No end to learning about Bisbee’s history

I once figured that eventually I’d learn all the “big” stuff about Bisbee’s past. Then I’d just be filling in the gaps, like grouting tile.


Today, I was reading the transcript from the Deportation trial in 1920. W.G. Gilmore, an attorney for the defense of Harry Wootton, is making a closing argument to the jury. In part of his comments, he is trying to show how the prosecution’s testimony — all deportees — is rehearsed, since they all testify to the same thing in the same way, even if it were not possible for all of them to have seen all of the activities that are discusses.One of the boxcars in which deportees were sent to New Mexico

“There were 1,200 men and some man testified, I think, that there were 50 men to the [cattle or box] car; I think they said there were 24 cars and every man — you remember that Mexican that they shot at at Orborne?” [No, I didn’t remember.]

“Every man saw that, every one. They were in box cars; they were herded in there 50 men to the car, and there were, they say, 24 cars, but every witness that Mr. [Robert] French [the county attorney/prosecutor] brought on here, saw that — except the women. That is the character of the testimony you have to consider.” (more…)

Liberty Valance and Bisbee Deportation

Was listening to Gene Pitney’s “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance” while reading the transcript from the Deportation trial in 1920 and realized there was a line in the song (which wasn’t used in the movie, by the way, but was based on the same plot), that characterized the belief of many in Bisbee back in 1917.

The Jimmy Stewart character was a lawyer, said to be the kind of man the West would need to tame a troubled land. But, the song says:

“When the final showdown came at last, a lawbook was no good.”

As with all analogies, this one will break down under close scrutiny, but it does seem a bit odd that Jimmy Steward is lionized (by the public in the movie and the movie-going public) for going out of character and accepting a gun from a fellow townsman, then using it, while in the case of the Deportation, men are indicted for their actions in the “final showdown.”

What is your take on this?