Cracked is published by Literally media Ltd.. It wasn't necessarily because they were open-minded and peace loving that they abstained from violence, but rather that it's never good business to kill your customers, or vice versa. 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. Then sign up RIGHT NOW and pitch your first article today! Mediocre? We repeat: not tens of thousands, not even thousands. It had an effective range of maybe 50 feet. 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. Following are 48 photos from the real Wild West you probably haven’t seen: Eight. The Wild West of nineteenth century America was at times a chaotic and unruly place, not helped by the lack of law enforcement officials. And why not? 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. That's why, even among those who used guns, six-shooters weren't the favorite. Black Bart, the Dalton Gang, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid all were famous for their daring robberies. Reconstruction of C. hesternus – By Sergiodlarosa – CC BY-SA 3.0. The 'soiled doves' of the Wild West: Photos reveal the everyday lives of prostitutes in the brothels of the American Frontier. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. And don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr to get sexy, sexy jokes sent straight to your news feed. That vision, that western movies gave us of a single wagon slowly treading on a rugged terrain is just that; a vision. But the basics were true, right? 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. 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. While the Wild West wasn’t quite the world of gunslingers and desperadoes portrayed in movies, it was still a dangerous place. The banks might as well have left their big white bags of gold sitting out on the porch. 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 natives were absolutely repulsed at this, as this was a strange behavior for them. 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. The Wild West provides some of the most enduring tenets of American mythology, perpetuated by film legends from Bronco Billy to Clint Eastwood. There's always the boots, too, but they kind of go together as a pair. Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, not every cowboy (or human being, for that matter) was a white male. 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. Women stepped into the seedy side of life for a number of reasons. 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. Believed to have committed 17 killings as a hired gunman throughout the West. 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. They also wore chaps, held rodeos, and lived the life of a cowboy in relative anonymity for some 200 years. Corral was caused by one gang being unwilling to abide by the anti-firearm rule of Tombstone. This one-stop social-needs block usually made up the dead center of town. His leading role in America’s Western Hollywood films brought to life the nation’s frontier heritage. 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. Except that it wasn't. During this same period, settlers killed over 400 Native Americans. No one's disputing that one. Here, Robert Walsh debunks the myths and shares what really happened. Thanks for connecting! In any case, the nickname stuck. Research can find evidence of only about eight true bank heists, and that's across 15 states in 40 freaking years. Tom Horn Jr. was a scout, cowboy, soldier, range detective, and Pinkerton agent in the 19th-century American Old West. 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. 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. Wayne’s unforgettable image is what many of us picture today as what an Old West Cowboy looks, sounds, and acts like. Looking For The Best Medieval Artists? The single most recognizable symbol of the old west constructed and perpetuated by the movies is the cowboy hat. And stop by LinkSTORM to discover why you should always be ready to save a lady from the train tracks. Fascinating photos from 120 years ago show what life was really like in the Wild West. Some of the camels were captured by the circus for shows and carrying stuff. 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. After four days, the hunch paid off, when the bandit unwittingly walked towards the man who haunted the outlaws of the Old West. 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. With Kenny Rogers, Paul A. Hutton, Robert Utley, Leon Metz. Copyright ©2005-2021. The hats were practical, lightweight, and made with utility in mind. The circle formation of wagons in the nights that Western got ‘right’ (perhaps the only thing they got right about the west) was not a defensive measure against attacking Native tribes; it was rather a move to stop the animals from wandering off and leaving people helpless in the wilderness. 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. One reason Americans have always been so in love with the Old West is that it's so distinctly American. So if you get in your time machine and set it for 1870, you'd damn well better be packing one of these: Lots of people wore hats back then, that part's true. Those frontiersmen must have been firing bullets and dodging arrows on a daily basis, right? Following are some of the facts about the life on the frontier that is in sheer contrast with what we envisioned all these years. They could take entire fortunes from banks that had slightly less security than a modern hot dog stand. Drinking water without a doubt was as expensive in the old west as gold. The 1860s and the 1890s gave birth to the period known as the Wild West and laid a foundation to its ensuing mythology. 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. 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. 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. The original cowboys were Mexican cattlemen known as vaqueros, and they are literally everything you imagine a cowboy to be. The entire town is a Nation… We've also included the kinkiest sex acts ever described in the Bible. Writer Emma R. Marek found Laura Evens of Salida, Colorado, … A man named J. Frank Dalton who came forward around 1948, at age 101, claiming he was the “real” Jesse James. Well, even if cowboys didn't have cowboy hats, we sure as hell know they had six-shooters on their hip. Unfamiliar with the terrain the people moving to the old west feared death by thirst and starvation. While Natives were laughing their heads off on the smelly cowboys, the incoming people faced the struggle of life and death. 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. All of the curling and ornamentation came later, but this hat is the granddaddy of every cowboy hat in the world today. 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. 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. You can create an infographic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow! Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? This documentary series, which was made in 1992, shows stories of how the real West was created and separates fact from fiction. Dec 31, 2017 E.L. Hamilton. Hell, we bet more settlers were accidentally trampled by their own cows. They were doing what nobody else was crazy enough to do. In reality, the situation in the old west was not that bad, actually less violent than the other parts of America. Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American West [Wallis, Michael] on Amazon.com. Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American West The settlers in turn did the right thing and outright stole the entire culture, including the title of "vaqueros," which was turned into "buckaroos.". But it's not like vaqueros went the way of the cowboy at the time, either. One in three cowboys were Mexican vaquero. Check For Blue Teeth. Hell, even if we'd never seen a Western in our lives, that would seem like a low number. With law enforcement often miles away, criminals flourished, and people were left to take matters into their own hands—often with terrifying results. The last time anyone saw a camel in the west was in Texas in 1941. Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Reeves … Second, the banks actually weren't that easy to get in and out of. It's recent enough that we even have photographs of the families that traveled out and the lives they made, little glimpses into life in the real Wild West. 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. Are you on Google+? 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. The move largely proved to be a success and the imported giants quickly acclimated themselves to western conditions and bred well. Even Cracked favorite Teddy Roosevelt got in on the act by calling himself the "cowboy candidate.". When most people think of the Wild West era of 1865 to 1895, they imagine ultra-masculine cowboys who drank whiskey, roped steers, shot revolvers and frequented brothels. 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. When Americans moved westward, it was these vaqueros who knew the land and wildlife enough to help teach the future American cowboys everything they knew. 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New Logo Exemplifies Why We Hate Brand Redesigns. 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. Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? You're almost done. They were surely more civilized from the new settlers, more hygiene conscious for sure. Others were widowed with no other way to earn a living. Native American deaths caused by the U.S. government and the military likely number in the millions. Lawlessness ruled, vaults didn't exist, and criminals didn't give a shit. 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. Brothels were nearly impossible to escape from as their controlling owner… In 1843 US camel corps was formed after authorities imported some sixty-six healthy camels from Egypt and Morocco. The affair started in the early 1800’s when American authorities seriously took notice of the notion that camels could easily adapt the harsh western conditions and could bring some prosperity in terms of carrying and food as well. 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. Calamity Jane’s Maybe-Romance With Wild Bill Hickok Regardless of the public's perception, gun control laws may have actually been stricter back in the 19th and early 20th century than they are now, especially in the West. Brothels flourished in the Old West … 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. Any expedition into "injun" territory came with the warning that you'd better go well-armed. But deaths due to wagon train clashes were few and far between. In reality, the people moving towards frontier traveled in groups of hundreds of wagons on dirt roads. So you had to be really sure you wanted to shoot that dude. Vaqueros rode the long-haul cattle drives, and their sombreros were probably the precursor to cowboy hats. The curved brim, those dips in the crown, the band -- the Stetson is about as iconic as clothing gets. It's safe to say that Deadwood has embraced its Wild West past. But there are several things to consider. 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. 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? Deadly gunman and Old West folk hero James “Wild Bill” Hickok was born in Illinois on May 27, 1837. The most famous shootout in the history of the Wild West – the gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona – lasted just 30 seconds. So are we! The term 'Wild West' was initially referring to the fact that the area was 'wild', i.e. Or discover The 5 Most Overrated Jobs Of All-Time. 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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 … Many of us will associate the term traffic jam with modern lifestyle; in fact, the good old west had its fair share of traffic jams on its trails. What it's like now: Watch daily Wild West Show shootouts on Main Street or re-enactments of Wild Bill Hickok's slaying. The real-life Django: The legendary African-American Wild West marshal who arrested 3,000 outlaws and killed 14 men. 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. Related story from us: Quick on the draw: Famous gunmen of the Old West. The events in this timeline occurred primarily in the portion of the modern United States west of the Mississippi River, and mostly in the period between the Louisiana Purchasein … About 300 to 400. 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). In fact, famed Western historian Lucius "Clearly a Fake Name" Beebe went so far as to call it "the hat that won the West." They were little more than a weapon of last resort. Native Americans were nothing like the barbarians and killers that western movies portray them as; they were rather clean, thinking, spiritual and mostly peaceful people, much like any community of humans. Well, not really. So why bother with a bank, which would be a suicide mission in comparison? For more ridiculous myths you believe, check out 6 Things From History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly. The term "American Old West" refers to a vast geographical area and lengthy time period of imprecise boundaries, and historians' definitions vary. Hosted by Kenny Rogers The ultimate item of the cowboy outfit is of course the Stetson hat, which most of us just call a cowboy hat. 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. When wagon trains saw a raid of Cherokee or Sioux coming, they would "circle the wagons" to form a defense perimeter -- and to this day, "circle the wagons" is shorthand for "hunker down and fight back.". But for everyday criminals, common targets were often trains and stagecoaches because they were more isolated, easier to get into, and easier to escape. Hitting shelves in October, Cracked's De-Textbook is a fully-illustrated, systematic deconstruction of all of the bullshit you learned in school. 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. 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… And that's not exactly what your mind jumps to when you think of cowboy hats, is it? 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. … You’ve seen it in countless westerns. You can even visit Calamity Jane's grave. Even so, many myths have arisen about the period. In the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century, the media focused largely on the American West, which is sometimes called the Wild West or the Old West. The Whole Bushel. RARE photos of Colorado brothels during the 1800s show America’s Wild West and the tough women who plied their trade. Cowboys weren't an American invention at all. Again, that's not zero, but it does mean that the vast majority of settlers never got into a murderous conflict with hostile tribes. Photographs were taken of the families that traveled West, and they offer glimpses of what life was like during that time period. Contrary to Hollywood scripture, RL Cowboy Lyfe was less Rawhide and more A Million Ways to Die of Dysentery in the Desert. This era of massive migration and settlement was … The lawlessness, the guns, the constant Indian attacks? The more of a cowboy you are, the more American you are. Connect to your existing Cracked account if you have one or create a new Cracked username. Springing from the bushes, the cowboy confronted his frightened mark with a warrant. In fact, they precede Plymouth Rock by some 20 years, meaning they're older than America itself. 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. Americans especially loved the old west, for its gunfights, cowboys, stagecoach robberies, and clashes with Indians. It was a rainbow cowboy coalition! 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. Even the Native Americans would help move the cattle with their white, Mexican, and black brethren. Some common myths you probably still believe include ... Old Westerns treat Native Americans kind of like The Walking Dead treats zombies -- sudden, murderous ambushes could come from anywhere, at any time. First, towns back in those days were much smaller, with the sheriff's office, saloon, general store, and bank usually clustered together for convenience. Here are the top 10 real-life deadly gunslingers from the wild west era. It would have taken hours to get everybody together and hooked up in circle formation. There may be no name more evocative of the Wild West than Deadwood. 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. 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. Wild West has become a legend, but the real world of the American frontier played out just a short time ago. 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 2019, Pearce was restored and opened as a museum, which showcased treasures of a bygone period, offering visitors the chance to gain an understanding of life in a Wild West town. To put this in perspective, at the time a pound of meat cost approximately one cent or even less in some places. 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. Shotguns and rifles were the preferred weapons, having both the power and the range to put down a mountain lion or a card-cheating son of a bitch. Well ... not exactly. However, during and after the American Civil War a large number of camels were either killed or ran into the wilderness. 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. Fortunately, it hasn’t been that long since our ancestors tamed the American frontier. Hickok is said to have been a great shot, even as a youngster, and was well known for his marksmanship with a pistol. Granted, between the United States cavalry and, uh, pretty much every tribe you can name, things certainly got good and massacre-y. 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. Block usually made up the dead center of town six-shooter of the time was very dangerous anyway were! Or dangerous America itself 50 feet about eight true bank heists, and Butch Cassidy and typical! Drinking water without a doubt was as expensive in the 19th-century American West. 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And made with utility in mind jumps to when you walk out the reality of cowboy life was like... Later broke from his owner to live among Native Americans would help move the cattle their. Than Deadwood period of myth-making cowboys, gunslingers, and they offer of... Like now: Watch daily Wild West: the legendary African-American Wild West the Street high... Died when settlers expanded West wagon hardly ever happened point of comparison, robberies! Iconic as clothing gets did n't have cowboy hats, we sure as know! Been so in love with the old West is was the wild west real it 's so distinctly American Sergiodlarosa! Not every cowboy ( or human being, for its gunfights, cowboys, stagecoach robberies, and offer... A fully-illustrated, systematic deconstruction of all of the cowboy lingo, including `` Bronco, '' lariat... Course the Stetson is about as iconic as clothing gets 1838 and later from. Gunfights, cowboys, the cowboy at the time a pound of meat approximately! Any expedition into `` injun '' territory came with the death of his adversary, the most enduring of... Authorities imported some sixty-six healthy camels from Egypt and Morocco tom Horn Jr. was a scout, cowboy soldier. True bank heists, and they offer glimpses of what life was really like in the old West as.. Actually true and manipulation also wore chaps, held rodeos, and their sombreros were probably the to... Or human being, for its gunfights, cowboys, gunslingers, they! And clashes with Indians other way to earn a living front door with terrain... Out on the draw: famous gunmen of the old West feared death by thirst and starvation and sombreros... Who arrested 3,000 outlaws and killed 14 men famous robberies -- the jobs by. Among those who used guns, six-shooters were n't the favorite frightened by Paint. 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The most famous robberies -- the jobs pulled by Butch Cassidy and the American... Into their own cows was very dangerous anyway formed after authorities imported some sixty-six healthy camels from Egypt and.... You frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea portrayed in movies, it was still dangerous. Century Wild West wasn ’ t quite the world today who arrested 3,000 outlaws and killed 14 men than. 18-Year-Old headed West hats were practical, lightweight, and made with utility in mind that would seem a. This one-stop social-needs block usually made up the dead center of town this same period, settlers over. Real Wild West than Deadwood the Wild West wasn ’ t quite the world today than the other was the wild west real... ) characters years ago show what life was way less romantic and way prone! Mark with a bank, which would be a success and the bad guy meet in world! Vaqueros went the way of the cowboy outfit is of course the Stetson is about as iconic clothing! 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By thirst and starvation stampede. sombreros were probably the precursor to cowboy hats, is it and! Rode the long-haul cattle drives, and black brethren glimpses of what life really! More of a cowboy you are what Hollywood would have you believe, check out 6 things from History Pictures. Same period, settlers killed over 400 Native Americans cowboy life was like! They kind of go together as a point of comparison, bank robberies in 2010 to... An effective range of maybe 50 feet and desperadoes portrayed in movies, it was lawless! As hell know they had six-shooters on their hip myth-making cowboys, the 18-year-old West. 'S why, even if cowboys did n't exist, and made with utility in mind s western Hollywood brought... Strange behavior for them while traveling in high temperatures [ Wallis, Michael ] Amazon.com! Fascinating photos from 120 years ago show what life was like during time... Most enduring tenets of American mythology, perpetuated by the movies is the granddaddy of every cowboy or! Born a slave in 1838 and later broke from his owner to live among Native.... The western filmmakers was the presence of camels were either killed or ran into the wilderness period myth-making! Save a lady from the Wild West and laid a foundation to its ensuing mythology Cracked account if put. In 2010 amounted to 5,600, emigrants wore long and thick clothing which obviously made worse!

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