by William J. Connell
Gold and blood, Indians and pioneers, criminals and vigilantes! These are terms that have captivated the imagination of America for generations. Nevertheless, authentic, first-hand accounts of the vigilantes have been few indeed. The reason is plain: no one who helped to dispense the rough and salutary justice of the frontier thought it discreet to tell what they knew. But after the passing of the years, when time healed many wounds, William J. McConnell, once Governor of Idaho and also United States Senator, came forth with a story that makes the blood leap. In matter-of-fact fashion, and as vividly as if he were relating events of the day before yesterday, he tells of the overland journey to the Coast, of placer mining in California shortly after the wild days of ‘49, of homesteading in Oregon, and of farming and prospecting in Idaho. Most unusual and interesting of all, he relates the inside story of the secret Vigilantes, who restored control of territorial affairs for the people of Idaho when criminals and their satellites in office had made a mockery of the processes of justice and government. This edition is dedicated to John Cooper, bibliophile and ever curious scholar-enthusiast for American history and the story of Westward Movement.