Southwestern Historical Quarterly
contains those qualities which will appeal to the general reader as well
as the historian. Professor Moore's study is a substantial contribution to
Louisiana's unique and fascinating history.
Texas A&M University JOHN T. DUKE
West of Hell's Fringe. By Glenn Shirley. (Norman: University of Okla-
homa Press, 1978. Pp. v+495. Preface, illustrations, maps, index.
Glenn Shirley has written a fascinating account of the outlaws and
lawmen active in Oklahoma Territory from the opening in 1889 to
statehood in 1907. Utilizing primary sources overlooked by other writ-
ers, notably local newspapers and official records, Shirley separates fact
from fiction in his quest for accuracy, and he presents not only an
interesting story, but an honest one. Maps and illustrations enhance
the colorful and informative narrative.
The outlaws, familiar to everyone in their day, included the Doolin
and Dalton gangs, individuals like Dynamite Dick, Arkansas Tom, and
Zip Wyatt, and females such as Cattle Annie and Little Breeches. Ad-
mired by some, the outlaws were considered by most citizens a daring,
dangerous menace to peaceful society. The lawmen who fought the
outlaws proved to be braver men as they went about the grim, serious
business of eliminating criminal activity in Oklahoma Territory, and
the success they achieved may be seen as a monument to their work.
Shirley's detailed descriptions of the action taken by the determined
men who brought law and order to Oklahoma Territory will appeal to
the wide audience attracted to that important subject. He also provides
excellent depictions of such rousing scenes as the "Run of '89," the rise
of "instant cities," and the use by outlaws of that border between
Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory known as "Hell's Fringe."
Another asset is the author's tendency to allow the men and women
involved in his account to speak for themselves, for their comments add
much to an exciting story.
In sum, this is a fine book, the best available on crime, criminals, and
the federal peace officer in Oklahoma Territory from 1889 to 1907. It
is well documented, written in an inviting style, and it should receive
deserved attention from those interested in the authentic story of law
and order in the American West.
Arizona State University
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 82, July 1978 - April, 1979. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101206/. Accessed May 5, 2015.