The Johnson County War

The Johnson County War

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  • 1870 (Wyoming)- only 9000 US citizens. Many wealthy cattle barons were given positions in government so their livestock was failing. Small ranchers were ranching more successfully so big ranchers became suspicious of them hustling their cattle. Homesteaders were annoyed as big ranchers did what they liked and were let off in court due to their status.
  • Governor Barber of Wyoming supported the cattlemen who said homesteaders were stealing their cattle. The Sheriff of Buffalo (Red Angus) supported homesteaders who said the cattlebarons were stealing their land.
  • Cattlemen regularly hanged local homesteaders, among those were Ella Watson and Jim Averil (a poor local couple) and 9 trappers who were out hunting for wolves.
  • Cattlemen made a list of 70 rustlers they wanted killed. 1892- they hired a lynching party of 43 cattlemen + gunmen. The party attacked the KC Ranch. They killed Nick Ray + Nate Chapman (foreman of the Wyoming Farmers)
  • Kill List
  • I want all 319 of you, to trap those cattlemen at TA ranch!
  • Red Angus sent 319 men to trap cattlemen at TA ranch. Cattlemen were eventually rescued by Army cavalry
  • I'm in, let's do this boys!
  • YES SIR!
  • I hereby charge you cattlemen with murder
  • $
  • $
  • However, the cattlemen bribed the jury with money and the case was dropped.
  • $
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