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A Dynasty of Western Outlaws

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Title:A Dynasty of Western Outlaws
Wellman, Paul Iselin   
(7 of 14 for author by title)
The Iron Mistress
Death on the Prairie: The Thirty Years’ Struggle for the Western Plains
Published:   1961
Publisher:Pyramid Books
Tags:crime, history, non-fiction, western, outlaws

Wars breed crime and criminals; and the American Civil War did not differ from others in this respect. Out of the dislocations of that conflict grew a wave of lawlessness that transcended all expectations in the length of time it lasted, and in the number of successive generations in which it perpetuated itself as a noteworthy dynasty of outlawry.

From the first essays into crime by William Clarke Quantrill to the death of Pretty Boy Floyd before the guns of the FBI, three quarters of a century was spanned. In all that time there never was an hour when some connection, evident or latent, did not exist between one set of outlaws and the next, which would succeed it in the Quantrill legacy of crime.—Introduction.

Wellman goes into great detail discussing the gangs of: Quantrill, Jesse James, Younger brothers, Doolin, Belle Starr, and Pretty Boy Floyd and includes discussions on the lawmen like “the Hanging Judge”, the Pinkerton Detective Agency and Hoover’s G Men. [Suggest a different description.]

Pages:352 Info

Author Bio for Wellman, Paul Iselin

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Paul Iselin Wellman (October 15, 1895—September 17, 1966) newspaperman, writer of popular history, novelist and screenwriter, is best known for his books set in the Great Plains and Kansas. His two best-selling novels, The Walls of Jericho (1947) and The Chain (1949), both Literary Guild selections, are set in Kansas towns which closely resemble Dodge City and Wichita, respectively. Both novels received mixed reviews from the critics. But on one thing, all who wrote about Wellman’s books agreed: the Kansas setting is a totally authentic ingredient.

Paul Wellman came to Kansas via Oklahoma and Africa. He was born in Enid, Oklahoma on October 15, 1895. At six months, his parents went to Angola to become medical missionaries. Paul mastered the language of the Bantu of the Umbundu tribe, helping his father translate songs and sermons. He returned to Kansas and finished school. After the war, Wellman returned to Wichita and took a job as a reporter for the Beacon. He moved over to the Wichita Eagle and began writing accounts of the Great Plains Indian wars. Wellman was then hired by the Kansas City Star, where he worked on the telegraph desk and wrote editorials and headlines. In the meantime, he kept at his writing which resulted in an output of 31 books in the period 1934-1966—almost one published book per year. Wellman died in 1966 of stomach cancer, three weeks after receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of California at Los Angeles.

Paul Wellman is remembered as a man of the Great Plains who made a sincere attempt to portray Kansas and the people of Kansas.

Source: washburn.edu/reference/cks/mapping/wellman

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