No other era in American history has had such a profound affect on the country’s cultural consciousness: It was the Wild West, the untamed period when states were still territories and the men and women who lived there did anything they could to survive. And sometimes, survival meant breaking every law and moral code known to humankind. To counter the chaos, a few men loaded their Colt Peacemakers and stared down criminals. Do you know these Old West lawmen?
Following the Civil War, scads of people roamed West looking for new lives. Some took up farming and ranching, while others tried to open saloons, brothels and other businesses that catered to the desires of hard-living men. The pockets of civilization in the West were often dangerous, and even the town names evoked dread: Tombstone, Deadwood and Canyon Diablo all were infamous for being inhospitable places to live.
Lawmen took up the tough task of trying to maintain some semblance of order on the frontier. They settled disputes, disarmed drunken gunmen, and in some places, they really did shoot down evildoers in the middle of the dirt streets, dueling to the death in short, violent gunfights.
These men, like Wyatt and Virgil Earp, William Brady and “Longhair” Jim Courtright knew how to handle revolvers … and they were not afraid to use them. These were the kind of men who chased down the likes of Billy the Kid and his outlaw friends. Take our Old West lawman quiz now! You’ll either earn that shiny star badge, you’ll wind up face-down in the dust, just another casualty of the Wild West’s anarchy.