Big Nose George
George Parrott known as Big Nose George, Big beak Parrott, George Manuse and George Warden, was a cattle rustler and highwayman in the American Wild West in the late 19th century. His skin was made into a pair of shoes after his lynching and part of his skull was used as an ashtray. In 1878, Parrott and his gang murdered two law enforcement officers — Wyoming deputy sheriff Robert Widdowfield and Union Pacific detective Tip Vincent — after a bungled train robbery. Widdowfield and Vincent were ordered to track down Parrott's gang on August 19, 1878, following the attempted robbery on an isolated stretch of track near the Medicine Bow River; the officers traced the outlaws to a camp at Rattlesnake Canyon, near Elk Mountain, where they were spotted by a gang lookout. The robbers stamped out the hid in a bush; when Widdowfield arrived at the scene, he realized. The gang ambushed the two lawmen. Vincent was shot before he made it out of the canyon; the gang took each mans' weapons and one of their horses before covering up the bodies and fleeing the area.
The murder of the two lawmen was discovered and a $10,000 reward was offered for the "apprehension of their murderers". This was doubled to $20,000. In February 1879, "Big Nose" George and his cohorts were in Milestown, it was known around Milestown that a prosperous local merchant, Morris Cahn, would be taking money back east to buy stocks of merchandise. George, Charlie Burris and two others carried out a daring daylight robbery despite Morris Cahn traveling with a military convoy containing 15 soldiers, two officers, an ambulance, a wagon from Fort Keogh, tasked to collect the army payroll. At a site 10 miles beyond the Powder River Crossing, near present-day Terry, there is a steep coulee. Approaching the coulee over a five-mile plateau, the soldiers and the wagon became "strung out", creating large gaps between party members; the gang stationed themselves at the bottom of the coulee, at a turn in the trail. The gang first surprised and captured the lead element of soldiers, as well as the ambulance with Cahn and the officers.
They waited and captured the rear element of soldiers with the wagon. Cahn was robbed of an amount between $3,600 and $14,000, depending on, doing the reporting. In 1880 following the robbery of Cahn, Big Nose George Parrott and his second, Charlie Burris or "Dutch Charley", were arrested in Miles City by two local deputies, Lem Wilson and Fred Schmalsle. Big Nose and Charlie got drunk and boasted of killing the two Wyoming lawmen, thus identifying themselves as men with a price on their head. Parrott was returned to Wyoming to face charges of murder. Parrott was sentenced to hang on April 2, 1881, following a trial, but tried to escape while being held at a Rawlins, Wyoming jail. Parrott was able to wedge and file the rivets of the heavy shackles on his ankles, using a pocket knife and a piece of sandstone. On March 22, having removed his shackles, he hid in the washroom until jailor Robert Rankin entered the area. Using the shackles, Parrott struck Rankin over the head. Rankin managed to fight back, calling out to his wife, for help at the same time.
Grabbing a pistol, she managed to persuade Parrott to return to his cell. News of the escape attempt spread through Rawlins and groups of people started making their way to the jail. While Rankin lay recovering, masked men with pistols burst into the jail. Holding Rankin at gunpoint, they took his keys dragged Parrott from his cell. Parrott's "rescuers" turned out to be townspeople, bringing Parrott out to a lynch mob of more than 200 people; the mob strung him up from a telegraph pole. Charlie Burris suffered a similar lynching not long after his capture. Doctors Thomas Maghee and John Eugene Osborne took possession of Parrott's body after his death, to study the outlaw's brain for clues to his criminality; the top of Parrott's skull was crudely sawn off, the cap was presented to 15-year-old Lillian Heath a medical assistant to Maghee. Heath became the first female doctor in Wyoming and is said to have used the cap as an ash tray, a pen holder and a doorstop. A death mask was created of Parrott's face, skin from his thighs and chest was removed.
The skin, including the dead man's nipples, was sent to a tannery in Denver, where it was made into a pair of shoes and a medical bag. They were kept by Osborne, who wore the shoes to his inaugural ball after being elected as the first Democratic Governor of the State of Wyoming. Parrott's dismembered body was stored in a whiskey barrel filled with a salt solution for about a year, while the experiments continued, until he was buried in the yard behind Maghee's office; the death of Big Nose George faded into history over the years until May 11, 1950, when construction workers unearthed a whiskey barrel filled with bones while working on the Rawlins National Bank on Cedar Street in Rawlins. Inside the barrel was a skull with the top sawed off, a bottle of vegetable compound, the shoes said to have been made from Parrott's thigh flesh. Dr. Lillian Heath in her eighties, was contacted and her skull cap was sent to the scene, it was found to fit the skull in the barrel and DNA testing confirmed the remains were those of Big Nose George.
Today the shoes made from the skin of Big Nose George are on permanent display at the Carbon County Museum in Rawlins, together with the bottom part of the outlaw's skull
Mound Bayou, Mississippi
Mound Bayou is a city in Bolivar County, United States. The population was 1,533 at the 2010 census, down from 2,102 in 2000, it is notable for having been founded as an independent black community in 1887 by former slaves led by Isaiah Montgomery. Mound Bayou has a 98.6 percent African-American majority population, one of the largest of any community in the United States. The current mayor of Mound Bayou is Darryl R. Johnson. U. S. Routes 61 and 278 bypass Mound Bayou to the west and lead south 9 miles to Cleveland, the largest city in Bolivar County, north 27 miles to Clarksdale. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city of Mound Bayou has a total area of 0.9 square miles, all land. As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 1,533 people residing in the city; the racial makeup of the city was 98.0% Black, 0.9% White, 0.1% Asian and 0.1% from two or more races. 0.9% were Hispanic or Latino of any race. As of the census of 2000, there were 2,102 people, 687 households, 504 families residing in the city.
The population density was 2,395.1 people per square mile. There were 723 housing units at an average density of 823.8 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 98.43% African American, 0.05% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.81% White, 0.05% from other races, 0.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.38% of the population. There were 687 households out of which 38.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 24.7% were married couples living together, 43.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 26.5% were non-families. 24.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.06 and the average family size was 3.66. In the city, the population was spread out with 34.7% under the age of 18, 12.9% from 18 to 24, 23.5% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, 9.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 27 years. For every 100 females, there were 78.3 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 67.6 males. The median income for a household in the city was $17,972, the median income for a family was $19,770. Males had a median income of $21,700 versus $18,988 for females; the per capita income for the city was $8,227. About 41.9% of families and 45.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 58.5% of those under age 18 and 34.5% of those age 65 or over. Mound Bayou traces its origin to freed African Americans from the community of Davis Bend, Mississippi; the latter was started in the 1820s by planter Joseph E. Davis, who intended to create a model slave community on his plantation. Davis was influenced by the utopian ideas of Robert Owen, he encouraged self-leadership in the slave community, provided a higher standard of nutrition and health and dental care, allowed slaves to become merchants. In the aftermath of the Civil War, Davis Bend became an autonomous free community when Davis sold his property to former slave Benjamin Montgomery, who had run a store and been a prominent leader at Davis Bend.
The prolonged agricultural depression, falling cotton prices, flooding by the Mississippi River, white hostility in the region contributed to the economic failure of Davis Bend. Isaiah T. Montgomery led the founding of Mound Bayou in 1887 in wilderness in northwest Mississippi; the bottomlands of the Delta were a undeveloped frontier, blacks had a chance to make money by clearing land and use the profits to buy lands in such frontier areas. By 1900 two-thirds of the owners of land in the bottomlands were black farmers. With the loss of political powere due to state disenfranchisement, high debt and continuing agricultural problems, most of them lost their land and by 1920 were landless sharecroppers; as cotton prices fell, the town suffered a severe economic decline in the 1930s. Shortly after a fire destroyed much of the business district, Mound Bayou began to revive in 1942 after the opening of the Taborian Hospital by the International Order of Twelve Knights and Daughters of Tabor, a fraternal organization.
For more than two decades, under its Chief Grand Mentor Perry M. Smith, the hospital provided low-cost health care to thousands of blacks in the Mississippi Delta; the chief surgeon was Dr. T. R. M. Howard, who became one of the wealthiest black men in the state. Howard owned a plantation of more than 1,000 acres, a home-construction firm, a small zoo, built the first swimming pool for blacks in Mississippi. In 1952, Medgar Evers moved to Mound Bayou to sell insurance for Howard's Magnolia Mutual Life Insurance Company. Howard introduced Evers to civil rights activism through the Regional Council of Negro Leadership which organized a boycott against service stations that refused to provide restrooms for blacks; the RCNL's annual rallies in Mound Bayou between 1952 and 1955 drew crowds of ten thousand or more. During the trial of Emmett Till's killers, black reporters and witnesses stayed in Howard's Mound Bayou home, Howard gave them an armed escort to the courthouse in Sumner. Author Michael Premo wrote: Mound Bayou was an oasis in turbulent times.
While the rest of Mississippi was violently segregated, inside the city there were no racial codes... At a time when blacks faced repercussions as severe as death for registering to vote, Mound Bayou residents were casting ballots in every election; the city has a proud history of credit unions, insurance companies, a hospital, five newspapers, a variety of businesses owned and patronized by black residents. Mound Bayou is a crowning achievement in the struggle for self-determination and economic empowerment. From its earliest
Lynching in the United States
Lynching is the practice of murder by a group of people by extrajudicial action. Lynchings in the United States rose in number after the American Civil War in the late 1800s, following the emancipation of slaves. Most lynchings were of African-American men in the South, but women were lynched, white lynchings of blacks occurred in Midwestern and border states during the 20th-century Great Migration of blacks out of the South; the purpose was to intimidate blacks through racial terrorism. On a per capita basis lynchings were common in California and the Old West of Latinos, although they represented less than 10% of the national total. Native Americans and Asian Americans were lynched. Other ethnicities, including Finnish-Americans, Jewish-Americans, German-Americans and Italian-Americans were lynched occasionally; the stereotype of a lynching is a hanging, because hangings are what crowds of people saw, are easy to photograph. Some hangings were professionally photographed and sold as postcards, which were popular souvenirs in some parts of the U.
S. Victims were killed by mobs in a variety of other ways: shot burned alive, forced to jump off a bridge, dragged behind cars, the like. Sometimes they were tortured as well, with body parts sometimes sold as souvenirs. Lynchings were not fatal. A "mock" lynching, putting the rope around the neck of someone suspected of concealing information, might be used to compel "confessions". According to the Tuskegee Institute, 4,743 people were lynched between 1882 and 1968 in the United States, including 3,446 African Americans and 1,297 whites. More than 73 percent of lynchings in the post-Civil War period occurred in the Southern states. According to the Equal Justice Initiative, 4,084 African-Americans were lynched between 1877 and 1950 in the South. Lynchings were most frequent from 1890 to the 1920s, with a peak in 1892. Lynchings were large mob actions, attended by hundreds or thousands of watchers; as in the case of Ell Parsons, they were sometimes announced in advance in newspapers and in one instance with a special train.
However, in the 20th century lynchings became more secretive, were conducted by smaller groups of people. According to Michael Pfeifer, the prevalence of lynching in postbellum America reflects lack of confidence in the "due process" judicial system, he links the decline in lynching in the early twentieth century with "the advent of the modern death penalty": "legislators renovated the death penalty...out of direct concern for the alternative of mob violence". He cites "the modern, racialized excesses of urban police forces in the twentieth century and after" as having characteristics of lynching. "More black people killed by cops in 2015 than were lynched in the worst year of Jim Crow."On April 26, 2018, in Montgomery, The National Memorial for Peace and Justice opened. Founded by the Equal Justice Initiative of that city, it is the first large memorial to document lynchings of African Americans in the United States. After the Reconstruction era, most of the South was politically dominated by white Democrats.
Lynchings were used to intimidate blacks by racial terrorism. The rate of lynchings in the South has been associated with economic strains, although the causal nature of this link is unclear. Low cotton prices and economic stress are associated with higher frequencies of lynching; the granting of U. S. Constitutional rights to freedmen after the American Civil War the vote, was resisted by many white Southerners; some blamed the freedmen for their own wartime hardships, post-war economic losses, loss of social and political privilege. During Reconstruction and white people working for civil rights were attacked and sometimes lynched. Black voting was suppressed by violence as well as by poll taxes and literacy tests. White Democrats regained control of state legislatures in 1876, a national compromise resulted in the removal of federal troops from the South in 1877. In decades, violence continued around elections until blacks were disfranchised by the states from 1885 to 1908 through constitutional changes and laws that created barriers to voter registration across the South.
White Democrats enacted Jim Crow laws to enforce blacks' second-class status. During this period that spanned the late 19th and early 20th centuries, lynchings reached a peak in the South. Florida led the nation in lynchings per capita from 1900 to 1930. Georgia led the nation in lynchings from 1900 to 1931 with 302 incidents, according to The Tuskegee Institute. Lynchings peaked in many areas when it was time for landowners to settle accounts with sharecroppers. There is no count of recorded lynchings which claims to be precise, the numbers vary depending on the sources, the years considered, the definition used to define an incident; the Tuskegee Institute has recorded 3,446 blacks and 1,297 whites being lynched between 1882 and 1968, with the annual peak occurring in the 1890s, at a time of economic stress in the South and increasing political suppression of blacks. A five-year study published in 2015 by the Equal Justice Initiative found that nearly 3,959 black men and children were lynched in the twelve Southern states between 1877 and 1950.
Over this period Georgia's 586 lynchings led all states. African Americans mounted resistance to lynchings in numerous ways. Intellectuals and journalists encouraged public education protesting and lobbying against lynch mob violence and gover
Chicago the City of Chicago, is the most populous city in Illinois, as well as the third most populous city in the United States. With an estimated population of 2,716,450, it is the most populous city in the Midwest. Chicago is the principal city of the Chicago metropolitan area referred to as Chicagoland, the county seat of Cook County, the second most populous county in the United States; the metropolitan area, at nearly 10 million people, is the third-largest in the United States, the fourth largest in North America and the third largest metropolitan area in the world by land area. Located on the shores of freshwater Lake Michigan, Chicago was incorporated as a city in 1837 near a portage between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River watershed and grew in the mid-nineteenth century. After the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, which destroyed several square miles and left more than 100,000 homeless, the city made a concerted effort to rebuild; the construction boom accelerated population growth throughout the following decades, by 1900 Chicago was the fifth largest city in the world.
Chicago made noted contributions to urban planning and zoning standards, including new construction styles, the development of the City Beautiful Movement, the steel-framed skyscraper. Chicago is an international hub for finance, commerce, technology, telecommunications, transportation, it is the site of the creation of the first standardized futures contracts at the Chicago Board of Trade, which today is the largest and most diverse derivatives market gobally, generating 20% of all volume in commodities and financial futures. O'Hare International Airport is the one of the busiest airports in the world, the region has the largest number of U. S. highways and greatest amount of railroad freight. In 2012, Chicago was listed as an alpha global city by the Globalization and World Cities Research Network, it ranked seventh in the entire world in the 2017 Global Cities Index; the Chicago area has one of the highest gross domestic products in the world, generating $680 billion in 2017. In addition, the city has one of the world's most diversified and balanced economies, not being dependent on any one industry, with no single industry employing more than 14% of the workforce.
Chicago's 58 million domestic and international visitors in 2018, made it the second most visited city in the nation, behind New York City's approximate 65 million visitors. The city ranked first place in the 2018 Time Out City Life Index, a global quality of life survey of 15,000 people in 32 cities. Landmarks in the city include Millennium Park, Navy Pier, the Magnificent Mile, the Art Institute of Chicago, Museum Campus, the Willis Tower, Grant Park, the Museum of Science and Industry, Lincoln Park Zoo. Chicago's culture includes the visual arts, film, comedy and music jazz, soul, hip-hop and electronic dance music including house music. Of the area's many colleges and universities, the University of Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Illinois at Chicago are classified as "highest research" doctoral universities. Chicago has professional sports teams in each of the major professional leagues, including two Major League Baseball teams; the name "Chicago" is derived from a French rendering of the indigenous Miami-Illinois word shikaakwa for a wild relative of the onion, known to botanists as Allium tricoccum and known more as ramps.
The first known reference to the site of the current city of Chicago as "Checagou" was by Robert de LaSalle around 1679 in a memoir. Henri Joutel, in his journal of 1688, noted that the eponymous wild "garlic" grew abundantly in the area. According to his diary of late September 1687:...when we arrived at the said place called "Chicagou" which, according to what we were able to learn of it, has taken this name because of the quantity of garlic which grows in the forests in this region. The city has had several nicknames throughout its history such as the Windy City, Chi-Town, Second City, the City of the Big Shoulders, which refers to the city's numerous skyscrapers and high-rises. In the mid-18th century, the area was inhabited by a Native American tribe known as the Potawatomi, who had taken the place of the Miami and Sauk and Fox peoples; the first known non-indigenous permanent settler in Chicago was Jean Baptiste Point du Sable. Du Sable arrived in the 1780s, he is known as the "Founder of Chicago".
In 1795, following the Northwest Indian War, an area, to be part of Chicago was turned over to the United States for a military post by native tribes in accordance with the Treaty of Greenville. In 1803, the United States Army built Fort Dearborn, destroyed in 1812 in the Battle of Fort Dearborn and rebuilt; the Ottawa and Potawatomi tribes had ceded additional land to the United States in the 1816 Treaty of St. Louis; the Potawatomi were forcibly removed from their land after the Treaty of Chicago in 1833. On August 12, 1833, the Town of Chicago was organized with a population of about 200. Within seven years it grew to more than 4,000 people. On June 15, 1835, the first public land sales began with Edmund Dick Taylor as U. S. Receiver of Public Monies; the City of Chicago was incorporated on Saturday, March 4, 1837, for several decades was the world's fastest-growing city. As the site of the Chicago Portage, the city became an important transportation hub between the eastern and western United States.
Chicago's first railway and Chicago Union Railroad, the Illi
Cindy Hyde-Smith is an American politician serving as the junior United States Senator from Mississippi, in office since April 2018. A member of the Republican Party, she was the Mississippi Commissioner of Agriculture and Commerce and a member of the Mississippi State Senate. Born in Brookhaven, Hyde-Smith is a graduate of Copiah-Lincoln Community College and the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1999, she was elected to the Mississippi State Senate as a Democrat, she represented the 39th district from 2000 to 2012. In 2010, Hyde-Smith became a Republican, citing her conservative beliefs. Hyde-Smith was elected Mississippi Agriculture Commissioner in 2011, the first woman elected to that office. On March 21, 2018, Governor Phil Bryant announced his intention to appoint Hyde-Smith to the United States Senate seat being vacated due to the resignation of Thad Cochran. Hyde-Smith was sworn into office on April 9, 2018, she is the first woman to represent Mississippi in Congress. Hyde-Smith was a candidate in the 2018 U.
S. Senate special election for the remainder of Cochran's term, which expires in 2021, she finished first in the top-two general election on November 6, 2018, but did not receive more than 50% of the vote, thus advancing to a November 27 special runoff election versus Mike Espy. Hyde-Smith won the runoff election. Hyde-Smith was born in Brookhaven, the daughter of Lorraine Hyde and Luther Hyde, grew up in Monticello, Mississippi, she attended Lawrence County Academy in Monticello, a segregation academy established in response to Supreme Court rulings ordering the desegregation of public schools. The school's team nickname was the Rebels, she graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi. Hyde-Smith was a member of the Mississippi Senate, representing the 39th District from 2000 to 2012, she had a conservative voting record in the state Senate, in 2010, she switched parties from Democratic to Republican. Hyde-Smith's switch made the Senate divided between Republicans and Democrats, with each holding 26 seats.
Hyde-Smith chaired the Senate Agriculture committee from 2004 to 2012 and was a member of the Appropriations, Corrections, Forestry, Public Health and Welfare and Military Affairs, Wildlife and Parks committees. She was Vice Chair of the National Agriculture Committee of State Legislators. Hyde-Smith was elected in 2011 and took office on January 5, 2012. Hyde-Smith was elected to a second term as commissioner as 2015, defeating Democratic nominee Addie Lee Green. On March 21, 2018, Governor Phil Bryant announced Hyde-Smith as his choice to fill the United States Senate seat held by Thad Cochran, who indicated he would be resigning the seat at a date due to ongoing health issues. Cochran resigned on April 1, Bryant formally appointed Hyde-Smith on April 2. Hyde-Smith became the first woman to represent Mississippi in the United States Congress; the Senate was in a district work period and was not conducting legislative business at that time, so she did not take the oath of office until the Senate reconvened for legislative business on April 9.
Hyde-Smith announced that she would seek election to the seat in the 2018 special election on November 6. The Trump administration did not support Hyde-Smith's appointment because of her history as a Democrat, but in August, Trump endorsed her candidacy, he stumped for Hyde-Smith in suburban north Mississippi. Hyde-Smith declined to debate her Democratic opponent, Mike Espy, before the November 6 special election. After she and Espy each finished with about 41 percent of the vote, she agreed to debate Espy on November 20; the run-off election was held on November 27, 2018. With nearly 99% of the vote counted, Hyde-Smith was declared the winner with 53.8% of the vote. During the run-off campaign, while appearing with cattle rancher Colin Hutchinson in Tupelo, Hyde-Smith said, "If he invited me to a public hanging, I'd be in the front row." Hyde-Smith's comment drew harsh criticism, given Mississippi's notorious history of lynchings and public executions of African-Americans. In response to the criticism, Hyde-Smith downplayed her comment as "an exaggerated expression of regard" and characterized the backlash as "ridiculous."Hyde-Smith joined Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant at a news conference in Jackson, Mississippi on November 12, 2018, where she was asked about her comment by reporters.
She responded, "I put out a statement yesterday, that's all I'm gonna say about it." When reporters redirected questions to Bryant, he defended Hyde-Smith's comment, changed the subject to abortion, saying he was "confused about where the outrage is at about 20 million African American children that have been aborted."On November 15, 2018, Hyde-Smith appeared in a video clip saying that it would be "a great idea" to make it more difficult for liberals to vote. Her campaign stated that Hyde-Smith was making an obvious joke, the video was selectively edited. Both this and the "public hanging" video were released by Lamar White Jr. a Louisiana blogger and journalist. In November, it was noted that she attended a school, created to avoid court-mandated racial integration and made use of various confederate symbols, that she sent her daughter to a similar school. Committee assignments Committee on Agriculture and Forestry Committee on AppropriationsSubcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development and Drug Administration, Related Agencies Subcommittee on the Interior and Related Agencies
Ellen Liddy Watson was a pioneer of Wyoming who became known as Cattle Kate, an alleged outlaw of the Old West. The "outlaw" characterization is a dubious one, as she was not violent and was never charged with any crime during her life. Accused of cattle rustling, she was lynched by agents of powerful cattle ranchers as an example of what happens to those who opposed them or who threatened their interests, her life has become an Old West legend. Ellen Liddy Watson was born about July 1860, it is that she was the daughter of Thomas Lewis Watson and Francis Close, who married the next year on May 15, 1861, in Grey County, Ontario. The eldest of ten surviving children, Watson helped at home and attended school, learning to read and write in a small one-room building. In 1877, the family moved to Kansas. Soon after the move, Watson went to Smith Center, Kansas to work as a cook and housekeeper for H. R. Stone. While there, she met farm laborer William A. Pickell, they married on November 24, 1879. Their wedding portrait survives, depicting a "tall, square-faced woman", Watson was 5 foot 8 inches tall, weighed about 165 pounds.
She had blue eyes and a Scottish accent, inherited from her parents. Pickell drank heavily, he would beat Ella with a horsewhip. In January 1883, Watson fled to back to her parents' home. Pickell came after her, but was intimidated by her father and fled, had no contact with her afterwards. Watson moved to Nebraska, 12 miles north of her family's homestead, she worked at the Royal Hotel for a year while establishing residency and filed for divorce. That same year she moved, against her family's wishes, to Denver, Colorado to join one of her brothers who lived there, she moved on to Cheyenne, Wyoming. It was unusual during that period in American history for a woman to move independently and alone, but she found work as a seamstress and a cook. Watson disliked Cheyenne and in late 1885 or early 1886 followed the railroad to Rawlins, Wyoming where she began working as cook and waitress in the premier boarding-house in town, the Rawlins House. On February 24, 1886, Watson met James "Jim" Averell, in Rawlins to file a homestead claim for land along the Sweetwater River, about 1 mile from the Oregon and California Trails.
There he opened a restaurant and general store catering to people traveling west. He hired Watson to cook at his restaurant. In May and Averell applied for a marriage license 100 miles away, in Lander, Wyoming; the license listed her as "Ellen Liddy Andrews". It is unclear whether the two were married, although historians think it that the marriage did take place, but was kept a secret; this allowed Watson to apply for land through the Homestead Act of 1862, which permitted single women, but not married women, to buy 160 acres of land, provided they improved it within five years. In August 1886 Watson filed squatter's rights to the land adjacent to Averell's. In May 1888, she filed her homestead claim to the same piece of land. To meet the requirements of the Homestead Act, Watson had a small cabin and corral constructed on her property. To earn extra money, Watson mended clothing for cowboys; the fact that men visited her cabin, "may have led to rumors" that she was a prostitute. With her savings, Watson bought cattle from emigrants on the trails.
She fenced about 60 acres of her land with barbed wire, but this would not have been enough grazing area for her small herd. In this era, many ranchers grazed their cattle on public land. In 1872, about two dozen of the cattlemen with the largest ranches banded together to create the Wyoming Stock Growers Association to protect their rights to the open range. After suffering massive losses in the Snow Winter of 1880–1881, when cattle were unable to get to the grass under the snowdrifts, ranchers began growing hay as an alternative way of feeding the animals during the winter. For an area with little rainfall, this meant that access to water was now crucial to the survival of the ranches; the land claimed by Watson and Averell controlled 1 mile of water along Horse Creek. A neighbor, the powerful cattleman Albert John Bothwell, made several offers to buy Watson and Averell's land from them, they declined. The wealthy cattlemen began to build portable cabins on unclaimed land, declaring homesteads and registering them, thus acquiring the land and moving the portable cabin to another location and repeating the process.
Averell, being the local justice of the peace, began writing about these acts to a newspaper in Casper and seemed to reference Bothwell directly. A law at the time stated that unbranded calves became the property of the WSGA; the cattlemen's associations limited small ranchers from bidding at auctions, insisted that all ranchers and large, have a registered brand. The cost for registering a brand was exorbitant. A brand had to be "accepted", the cattlemen's associations had substantial power inside the committee that either rejected or accepted brands, thus locking out smaller ranchers. Over a three-year period Watson and Averell filed applications for five different brands and were denied each time. In 1889 she bought a registered brand, "L-U", from John Crowder. In a move that may have been retaliation for the repeated denial of her brand applications, Watson filed for approval to construct a water ditch to irrigate more of her land; this ditch, if built, would reduce the amount of water available to neighboring ranchers, including Bothwell
Lynching of Amos Miller
Amos Miller was a 23-year-old African-American man, lynched from the balcony of the Williamson County Courthouse in Franklin, Tennessee, on August 10, 1888. Miller was accused of raping Mrs. Scott, a 50-year-old white woman, near Santa Fe in Maury County on June 9 or 10, 1888. Miller worked as a farmhand on the Scott farm in Maury County. Miller, 23 years old, was described by The Daily American as "a heavy-built dark negro". Miller was arrested on June 16 at the home of Marshal Roberts, where he tried to steal a hat after he had lost his. Miller confessed to the assault, was jailed in Columbia. On the same day, a mob threatened to lynch him; as a result, he was transferred to the jail in Franklin on June 17, but once again, a mob threatened to lynch him. He was transferred to a third location: the Davidson County Jail in Nashville. Miller's trial was postponed twice because of these threats. On August 9, one day before the trial, a mob came from Maury County to Franklin; the next morning, some of the mob were in the public square, others on horseback, others in the courthouse.
Miller entered the courthouse. His lawyers asked to change the location of the trial or postpone it again, but Judge McAlister rejected this and decided to continue the proceedings. During the trial, a mob of 40 men entered the courthouse and, with other men who were in the building, forced Miller out of the room; the men proceeded to hang Miller from the railings of the courthouse balcony at about 10 am. Law enforcement were unable to identify the lynchers "notwithstanding the fact that not one of the mob was disguised"