The ultimate item of the cowboy outfit is of course the Stetson hat, which most of us just call a cowboy hat. Unlike the Natives, emigrants wore long and thick clothing which obviously made things worse for them while traveling in high temperatures. It was a rainbow cowboy coalition! And all of this has to be true; we know that horrific numbers of people died when settlers expanded West. However, during and after the American Civil War a large number of camels were either killed or ran into the wilderness. Springing from the bushes, the cowboy confronted his frightened mark with a warrant. The banks might as well have left their big white bags of gold sitting out on the porch. Regardless of the vision of the Wild West one may have, the old west was nothing like what it has been portrayed on a cinema screen for the better part of last century. A court even allowed him to legally adopt the bandit’s name. Those frontiersmen must have been firing bullets and dodging arrows on a daily basis, right? Hell, even if we'd never seen a Western in our lives, that would seem like a low number. But that's the point -- they got famous for a reason. Especially when you're talking about someone providing a potentially life-saving service (a guide kept you from getting lost, when getting lost meant getting dead). It's safe to say that Deadwood has embraced its Wild West past. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr to get sexy, sexy jokes sent straight to your news feed. Connect to your existing Cracked account if you have one or create a new Cracked username. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. On a riverbank in Texas, a master of disguise waited patiently with his accomplice, hoping that his target, an infamous horse thief, would show himself on the trail. In reality, the Cowboys at the time did not wear such headgear, purely because it was not practical and did not go with their overall rough and rugged attire. Check For Blue Teeth. Even Cracked favorite Teddy Roosevelt got in on the act by calling himself the "cowboy candidate.". Related story from us: Quick on the draw: Famous gunmen of the Old West. Cracked is published by Literally media Ltd.. Deadly gunman and Old West folk hero James “Wild Bill” Hickok was born in Illinois on May 27, 1837. That vision, that western movies gave us of a single wagon slowly treading on a rugged terrain is just that; a vision. No one's disputing that one. It was far more likely that the average settler would trade with Native Americans or hire members of various tribes as guides, rather than fight them. Despite the apparent hardships the people at the time had no infatuation with regular bathing or cleaning, most men and women went months without taking a bath, and they seemed fine with it. Black Bart, the Dalton Gang, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid all were famous for their daring robberies. One in four are believed to be black men who were released from slavery but didn't have the ability to flee far from their captors. But the basics were true, right? Today, if you find a political rally of people proclaiming themselves to be patriots, you can damn well bet you'll find cowboy hats in that crowd. But they seemed to wear everything but what we think of as "cowboy" hats. Here, Robert Walsh debunks the myths and shares what really happened. They were surely more civilized from the new settlers, more hygiene conscious for sure. Here are the top 10 real-life deadly gunslingers from the wild west era. Americans especially loved the old west, for its gunfights, cowboys, stagecoach robberies, and clashes with Indians. If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 4 Reasons Everyone in the New Superman Movie is a Dick. Most of the travelers packed a pair of goggles to avoid being devastated by the thick dust clouds and looked like a freshly unearthed mummy by the time they reached their destination. But it's not like the six-shooter of the time was very dangerous anyway. Following are some of the facts about the life on the frontier that is in sheer contrast with what we envisioned all these years. This timeline of the American Old West is a chronologically ordered list of events significant to the development of the American West as a region of the United States. And why not? Take the Wild West: we like to think we have a pretty good idea of what the frontier was like—punching cows and shooting cheats in places with names like Drunkman’s Creek and Dead Squaw’s Buttocks. Again, that's not zero, but it does mean that the vast majority of settlers never got into a murderous conflict with hostile tribes. The movie's villain, Dr. Arliss Loveless, is an amalgamation of two villains from the original series, the tech-savvy recurring villain of the original Wild Wild West television show named Dr. Miguelito Loveless (played by Michael Dunn), who was a little person rather than an amputee, and who appeared in 10 episodes total, and an amputee Confederate Colonel named Noel Bartley … There's always the boots, too, but they kind of go together as a pair. John Wayne was not a real Wild West Cowboy, but his portrayal of the era is what earns him a special place on this list. Fortunately, it hasn’t been that long since our ancestors tamed the American frontier. And with good reason. Believed to have committed 17 killings as a hired gunman throughout the West. It's loaded with facts about history, your body, and the world around you that your teachers didn't want you to know. The Whole Bushel. The Wild West, aka the Old West, was an astoundingly awesome period in American history that every person who has ever played Red Dead Redemption wants to emulate. You’ve seen it in countless westerns. Some of the camels were captured by the circus for shows and carrying stuff. The curved brim, those dips in the crown, the band -- the Stetson is about as iconic as clothing gets. Another is a bit simpler: Jane was a popular nickname for women in the Wild West (Lewis and Clark called Sacagawea “Jane”), and her life had been such a calamity. Starting in 1878, some 25 years into the westward expansion, action was finally taken -- even places as wild as Dodge City started posting signs like this: In fact, the gunfight at the O.K. But who would ever want to watch a Western where cowboys were meeting at high noon to shoot each other in the face with huge shotguns? Calamity Jane’s Maybe-Romance With Wild Bill Hickok Wild West has become a legend, but the real world of the American frontier played out just a short time ago. This inevitably created massive clouds of dust to even turn the day into night (or a nightmare) for those poor folks lurking at the back. The 'soiled doves' of the Wild West: Photos reveal the everyday lives of prostitutes in the brothels of the American Frontier. Wayne’s unforgettable image is what many of us picture today as what an Old West Cowboy looks, sounds, and acts like. The rate of homicide was significantly low; there were no choreographed gun-bouts, no mass hangings; to put it in one term ‘west was never the way you may remember from the western movies’. Dec 31, 2017 E.L. Hamilton. To put that number in perspective, the total number of pioneer deaths on the Oregon Trail from all causes (including disease) numbered 10,000 to 30,000, which means only 1 to 4 percent of all trail fatalities can be attributed to Native Americans. What it's like now: Watch daily Wild West Show shootouts on Main Street or re-enactments of Wild Bill Hickok's slaying. The Wild West provides some of the most enduring tenets of American mythology, perpetuated by film legends from Bronco Billy to Clint Eastwood. In the beginning, there was definitely gun violence, as there was neither standardized law nor a good way to enforce it, but the Wild West didn't stay wild forever. They were little more than a weapon of last resort. The Wild West, aka the Old West, was an astoundingly awesome period in American history that every person who has ever played Red Dead Redemption wants to emulate. In 1855, after a fight Hickok mistakenly believed had ended with the death of his adversary, the 18-year-old headed west. You can create an infographic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow! The entire town is a Nation… Now, clearly pop culture has turned much of the true West into bullshit legend -- there were never quick-draw artists who could shoot a six gun out of your hand with another six gun. In reality, the situation in the old west was not that bad, actually less violent than the other parts of America. Drinking water without a doubt was as expensive in the old west as gold. And that's not exactly what your mind jumps to when you think of cowboy hats, is it? This may come to many as a shock that Native Americans were absolutely flabbergasted to see the hygiene of the new western emigrants; they were disgusted. The good guy and the bad guy meet in the street at high noon. The Wild West was the home of many colorful (often disreputable) characters. Women stepped into the seedy side of life for a number of reasons. The more of a cowboy you are, the more American you are. About 300 to 400. Lawlessness ruled, vaults didn't exist, and criminals didn't give a shit. His leading role in America’s Western Hollywood films brought to life the nation’s frontier heritage. So are we! This era of massive migration and settlement was … The 1860s and the 1890s gave birth to the period known as the Wild West and laid a foundation to its ensuing mythology. Any expedition into "injun" territory came with the warning that you'd better go well-armed. As a point of comparison, bank robberies in 2010 amounted to 5,600. Second, the banks actually weren't that easy to get in and out of. Even rudimentary? There was no chance of overtaking as the trails were mostly narrow and could only have enough space of one and at most two medium sized wagons. Travelling in heat, fighting with nature, starving for days and searching for every drop of water; the emigrants had no view of their ‘wardrobe’ especially when they were literally fighting for their lives. Looking For The Best Medieval Artists? Native American deaths caused by the U.S. government and the military likely number in the millions. First, towns back in those days were much smaller, with the sheriff's office, saloon, general store, and bank usually clustered together for convenience. But there are several things to consider. To put this in perspective, at the time a pound of meat cost approximately one cent or even less in some places. In addition, some authors assume that the West was very violent and then assert, as Joe Franz does, that “American violence today reflects our frontier heritage” (Fran… With Kenny Rogers, Paul A. Hutton, Robert Utley, Leon Metz. Eight. While the Wild West wasn’t quite the world of gunslingers and desperadoes portrayed in movies, it was still a dangerous place. The American frontier, also known as the Old West or the Wild West, includes the geography, history, folklore, and cultural expression of life in the forward wave of American expansion that began with European colonial settlements in the early 17th century and ended with the admission of the last few territories as states in 1912. 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New Logo Exemplifies Why We Hate Brand Redesigns. Now, clearly pop culture has turned much of the true West into bullshit legend -- there were never quick-draw artists who could shoot a six gun out of your hand with another six gun. They didn't even use regular bullets like they currently do, instead opting for the so-called "cap-and-ball" system that was little more than a marble launched by black powder. While Natives were laughing their heads off on the smelly cowboys, the incoming people faced the struggle of life and death. The WILD women who ruled the outlaws of the West: Stunning photographs capture the madams and prostitutes of the 1880s frontier who would stop at … RARE photos of Colorado brothels during the 1800s show America’s Wild West and the tough women who plied their trade. In a thorough review of the “West was violent” literature, Bruce Benson (1998) discovered that many historians simply assumethat violence was pervasive—even more so than in modern-day America—and then theorize about its likely causes. Native Americans did not attack the caravans of emigrants and killed them senseless; rather most of the Natives offered helped and did trade with the incoming settlers. The move largely proved to be a success and the imported giants quickly acclimated themselves to western conditions and bred well. You can even visit Calamity Jane's grave. Back then, every man, woman, and child came pre-equipped with an old-timey revolver, which was used for everything from personal defense and hunting to celebrating. In the book The Lost Sisterhood: Prostitution in America, 1900-1918, author Ruth Rosen cites cases where some working girls were orphaned as children or came from broken homes. But for everyday criminals, common targets were often trains and stagecoaches because they were more isolated, easier to get into, and easier to escape. All of the curling and ornamentation came later, but this hat is the granddaddy of every cowboy hat in the world today. This created a whole new business industry; many ‘entrepreneurs’ took gallons of waters from the other side to sell it to the travelers and locals for high prices. Bass Reeves was born a slave in 1838 and later broke from his owner to live among Native Americans. In fact, the first real Wild West showdown (that we know about) was between a man named Davis Tutt and the infamous Wild Bill Hickock himself. We repeat: not tens of thousands, not even thousands. But skirmishes between Native Americans and the typical American settler trundling along in his covered wagon hardly ever happened. And as a bonus? Copyright © 2005-2021. Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Days were long, very long if you put in the equation the scorching heat. What was like back then: People got gunned down over hands of poker (aces and eights, the dead man's hand is from here). Even so, many myths have arisen about the period. Well, not really. As it turns out, this exciting period in American history wasn't as rife with murderous debauchery as Western movies and pulpy novels would have us believe. The real-life Django: The legendary African-American Wild West marshal who arrested 3,000 outlaws and killed 14 men. Research can find evidence of only about eight true bank heists, and that's across 15 states in 40 freaking years. Hosted by Kenny Rogers Here's Billy the Kid wearing some kind of fucked-up top hat: Here's Wild Bill Hickok wearing a woman's flat pancake hat: But what you would have seen mostly back then were bowler hats: They were more popular because they were a little more versatile in various social situations, especially in a time when all men wore hats all the damn time. Thanks for connecting! In fact, famed Western historian Lucius "Clearly a Fake Name" Beebe went so far as to call it "the hat that won the West." The original cowboys were Mexican cattlemen known as vaqueros, and they are literally everything you imagine a cowboy to be. Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? Of the hundreds of thousands of pioneers who willingly trudged all the way through Nebraska, only a few hundred died in clashes with Native Americans. Well, even if cowboys didn't have cowboy hats, we sure as hell know they had six-shooters on their hip. During this same period, settlers killed over 400 Native Americans. So you had to be really sure you wanted to shoot that dude. Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American West [Wallis, Michael] on Amazon.com. The Wild West of nineteenth century America was at times a chaotic and unruly place, not helped by the lack of law enforcement officials. They had curved edges that could defend you from both sun and rain, and they made you look incredibly stylish while doing what amounted to staring at cows for weeks at a time. Being that the sheriff's office was usually no more than a few doors down, you were probably pulling your big heist within earshot of the law. Photographs were taken of the families that traveled West, and they offer glimpses of what life was like during that time period. Corral was caused by one gang being unwilling to abide by the anti-firearm rule of Tombstone. Then sign up RIGHT NOW and pitch your first article today! Regardless of the vision of the Wild West one may have, the old west was nothing like what it has been portrayed on a cinema screen for the better part of last century. When you walk out the front door with the loot, there's the sheriff waiting for you. In fact, they precede Plymouth Rock by some 20 years, meaning they're older than America itself. Others were widowed with no other way to earn a living. The flurry of western movie production perpetuated the American romance with the Wild West and doing so went off course with fewer facts and more fictional conjuring. Following are 48 photos from the real Wild West you probably haven’t seen: Another injustice that movies did to those who lived in the west all through the 19th century was the fact that they were all portrayed as either gunslingers, land grabbers or mere sheep who worshipped the powerful. Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, not every cowboy (or human being, for that matter) was a white male. Writer Emma R. Marek found Laura Evens of Salida, Colorado, … The Wild West: A time when outlaws roamed the plains, every sheriff was a sure shot and gun battles filled makeshift cemeteries with the innocent and guilty alike. This documentary series, which was made in 1992, shows stories of how the real West was created and separates fact from fiction. In that half-a-minute of mayhem and murder at around 3pm on 26 October 1881, three outlaws from a gang known as the ‘Cowboys’ were shot dead when they faced off against the Earp brothers and their friend Doc Holliday. There is hardly a movie genre that captivated so many for so long the way ‘Western’ did; bringing back to life some of the lost traditions of the frontier along with its ruggedness and outlaws. You're almost done. Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American West The lawlessness, the guns, the constant Indian attacks? … Native Americans had become accustomed to the elements and learned to live with the hardships, and most of them washed regularly; far more frequently than the emigrants. It had an effective range of maybe 50 feet. Now try to find that in western movies. The term 'Wild West' was initially referring to the fact that the area was 'wild', i.e. Cowboys weren't an American invention at all. Hell, it wouldn't even be possible to "circle the wagons" in an emergency -- these wagon trains typically traveled spread out in a line several miles wide, rather than in the column that the term "train" suggests, in an effort to avoid each other's dust, wheel ruts, and debris. A man named J. Frank Dalton who came forward around 1948, at age 101, claiming he was the “real” Jesse James. In reality, the people moving towards frontier traveled in groups of hundreds of wagons on dirt roads. We've also included the kinkiest sex acts ever described in the Bible. One in three cowboys were Mexican vaquero. As towns formed and communities grew, the need for and tolerance of handguns started to fall. Another fact which was totally ignored by the western filmmakers was the presence of camels in 19th century Wild West. The Adams, one of the first revolvers introduced at the time and a hallmark weapon of the era, would burn the living hell out of your hand while launching the bullet. The cost of a mere cup of water started from one dollar, five dollars and in some places went as high as one hundred dollars. As for the "circling the wagons" thing, that ring formation was done each night not to keep hostile Indians out, but to keep their absurdly expensive cattle from wandering off. Below are 47 wild facts about the American Frontier. The Wild West era, a period of myth-making cowboys, gunslingers, and saloon madames, actually lasted only 30 years. In any case, the nickname stuck. But deaths due to wagon train clashes were few and far between. And stop by LinkSTORM to discover why you should always be ready to save a lady from the train tracks. Are you on Google+? Unfamiliar with the terrain the people moving to the old west feared death by thirst and starvation. Hell, we bet more settlers were accidentally trampled by their own cows. sparsely populated and uncultivated, not that it was particularly lawless or dangerous. Tom Horn Jr. was a scout, cowboy, soldier, range detective, and Pinkerton agent in the 19th-century American Old West. Mediocre? The flurry of western movie production perpetuated the American romance with the Wild West and doing so went off course with fewer facts and more fictional conjuring. Them while traveling in high temperatures agent in the Street at high noon ’ s filled with bandits... 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