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Deadwood (Detail) 1888

Ghost Cowboy is about real tales from the 19th-century American frontier, when the Old West was young. Most of the posts here are actual news items from the 1800s and early 1900s. We'll be adding "new" content every week. Travel with us and sign up for an account, and you'll be able to leave comments and post in our forums. Your trailmasters, Ken in Alabama and Dave in Virginia, don't get to saddle up and vacation out west as often as they'd like, so they started this site. Drop us a note.


Blog launch


We've had the site up for about two weeks now and we're finally getting around to launching our blog. While the home page of Ghost Cowboy is where we will continue to feature new True Tales, the blog is where we'll talk about what's happening behind the scenes, announce new features and where we can make fun of desperado nicknames like "Flopping Bill."


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Newspaper Account / December 24, 1890

FORT WORTH, Texas, Dec. 24. -- The notorious Luke Short, who has in his day killed several men, was badly wounded last night by Charles Wright, a well-known gambler, who is slightly wounded in the left arm. Wright emptied one barrel of a double-barreled shotgun into Short's left thigh and shot off the thumb and two fingers of his left hand. There was a grudge between the men.

Pose-a Ye (Dew Moving), 1905

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Pose-a Ye (Dew Moving), photographed circa 1905 in New Mexico by Edward Sheriff Curtis.The Pueblo man Pose-a Ye (Dew Moving), photographed circa 1905 in New Mexico by Edward Sheriff Curtis.


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Newspaper Account / October 19, 1884

GALVESTON, Texas, Oct. 19. -- A dispatch to the News from Fort Worth says: "After years of watching and plotting some officers from New-Mexico last night succeeded in arresting T.J. Courtright, better known as Jim Courtright, who is charged with killing several Mexicans two years ago near Silver City, New-Mexico. Courtright is well known here, having served as State Ranger, detective, and City Marshal, and is regarded as one of the quickest men on the trigger in Texas.

"His arrest was effected by strategy, some New-Mexican Rangers, under the guise of friendship, luring him to a room where they covered him with their pistols before he was aware of their duplicity. A man named McIntyre, who assisted Courtright in killing the Mexicans, was captured in the same way last night at Wichita Falls. The arrests were made under New-Mexican warrants and a requisition from Gov. Ireland, of Texas. When the fact of Courtright's arrest was discovered great excitement and indignation prevailed, and 1,500 persons assembled at the hotel where Courtright was confined and prevented the officers from taking the night train.


Shorpy  The 100-Year-Old Photo Blog!

Juniper Gallery  Fine-art prints of the photos on this site.

Turnpike Cruiser  Photos of the present-day West, with an emphasis on Arizona and Bisbee, and the Canadian Rockies.

PatentRoom  Patent illustrations from the 19th and early 20th centuries. Buy as prints.

Plan59  Retro 1950s illustrations. Cars! Happy wives! Demonic Tots!

Box of Apples  Fruit-crate art from the turn of the century, available as fine-art prints.

AdventureLounge  Aircraft patent drawings and early aviation history. Will it fly?