GREAT STAGECOACH ROBBERS OF THE WEST by Eugene B. Block

GREAT STAGECOACH ROBBERS OF THE WEST

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In spite of its comprehensive title, this book by the author of The Wizard of Berkeley deals, with a few exceptions, only with California stagecoach robbers. There is no mention of the spectacular robberies of gold shipments from Montana and South Dakota mines, and one of the few robbers named by the author as working in Nevada, out of Virginia City, the notorious Henry Plumber, in fact made Virginia City, Montana, his headquarters. Or the few Colorado robbers listed one, supposedly occurring near Glenwood Springs in 1863, could not have taken place at the time named or in that locality, as Glenwood Springs was not founded until 1881 -- and was never a gold town. The California road-agents, according to the author, seldom molested stagecoach drivers, although they frequently robbed passengers; often the drivers simply handed over the treasure-boxes and everyone was satisfied. With the exception of the Murlela gang, who terrorized travelers in the early 1850's, few California robbers were needlessly brutal: one of the most famous, ""Black Bart"", the ""po8"" who left verses in his wake, worked alone: a few, usually unsuccessful, were women. In spite of the glamor on them by TV and movies, most stagecoach robberies were rather dull affairs, a situation reflected in this book, which suffers form hasty writing and a general sameness of them. It will appeal to readers knowing little of the subject and to beginning students who will value it for its bibliography.

Pub Date: Sept. 21st, 1962
Publisher: Doubleday