I think bias is often over-used just because someone has accepted support for a certain viewpoint if the evidence can be supported.
Not to be a public bore; and I have used it over and over...Ike Clanton is a classic example. How many people describe him and even his associates in a certain negative way when there is no real evidence to support that angle. Ranchers are cowboys before they become ranchers. That does not mean they are rustlers and thieves.
Applying a little reasoning can change the look. My favourite expression is "When you change the way you look at things...the things you look at change."
Consider the reason the Clantons and McLaurys were in Tombstone at that time. They, along with a neighbour rancher named Frink, had been gathering a combined herd of over 600 head of cattle. They were in town to close the deal on the cattle with a couple of local butchers as the McLaurys were heading back home. It was an important deal announced in the newspapers. These butchers were not announcing the purchase of stolen cattle. Read the description of those cattle. They were top-of-the-line American cattle with proper brands. Nobody could successfully rustle that many good cattle in southeast Arizona at the time without bringing every tough local rancher down on their heads!
There is, also on record, Ike's application from the state to move purchased cattle from dealers in Texas across the line into Arizona. Why apply for such a permit if you are driving stolen cattle? People don't seem to read well or stop and think about what they are reading.
The guys who were stealing loose cattle or cattle out of Mexico were the saddle bums who moved around and needed fast money. The cattle out of Mexico were scrawny, called 'corriente,' which means scrawny. They only dressed out at about 300 pounds. Ranchers could not make much money on them. I still see these cattle on ranch lands out by Bisbee.
Local ranchers do not seem to be doing well and might only raise these for their own consumption, maybe.
So I am just saying a lot of outlaw stories developed that seem to have no real support where the Clantons and their associates were concerned and some just don't want to let go of it. Maybe it sounds romantic or something. But their reputations were actually pretty good in this section of the country. Ike got into trouble later on up north with the Mormons, but that's another story.
Joyce. However, everyone (including me) has an agenda. The difficulty is to review our work to recognize those instances where our bias has overridden facts. Once we recognize those errors, we have... more
...good question; but if it is a question, could you be a little more specific? Just what was the reason for any white man to be moving cattle along the border area in the 1880's? Was it always rustling?... more