Talk:Johnson County War

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Not quite finished yet. Anyone is welcome to finish, but take care you use historical material not the latest movie which showed on the Hallmark channel and is not that historically accurate. User:Fredbauder Aug 25, 2002

  • I added a "POV" box to the page. Although most of it seems to be a straightforward historical narrative, the last few paragraphs are not a balanced presentation of facts. Also, I found the concluding section confusing; why did Harrison intervene? Who was supporting the "invaders" and who was supporting the "rustlers"? Why did Wyoming "go Democratic" after this incident? It would be great if someone who understands the situation better than I do could clean up the article. RussBlau 13:17, Apr 27, 2005 (UTC)
    The answers are in the article: because the Governor asked for it, and because justice was not served. I've visited the museum in Kaycee, Wyoming and that's pretty much what they said, so I'm removing the banner. Gazpacho 06:32, 17 May 2005 (UTC)
  • Well, maybe it's just me, but I'm not getting it. Sometimes when you know a lot about a subject it is hard to explain it to people who don't have the same base of knowledge. I don't doubt that what you've got is accurate, it just is hard to follow how the different sides of the conflict shook out. RussBlau 23:33, May 17, 2005 (UTC)
    Consider that law enforcement in a frontier area like Johnson County was limited, so both the settlers and the proprietors had a lot of flexibility on what they could get away with. The settlers got away with rebranding the proprietors' cattle, and the proprietors got away with making themselves judge and executioner on accusations of rustling. The cause of the war was that the settlers and proprietors had developed opposing views of the law and nobody tried to reconcile them.

    Hernando de Soto (economist) has written a lot about how property rights develop when the state isn't involved, including squatter's rights and private enforcement associations, and the JC War saw both of those at play. You can read an interview with him here and another one here Gazpacho 07:54, 18 May 2005 (UTC)

Political stuff[edit]

Does anyone have any source to back up the statement that the state went Democratic, and for how long? Pfeifer talks about the Republican local government being in the pockets of the big ranchers for a long time after 1892, so did the Democrats only come to power at the state level??--Bcrowell 3 July 2005 01:16 (UTC)

The Banditti of the Plains[edit]

I've edited this section to make it clear that it's a nonfiction book, written by an eyewitness. I've deleted the claim that it helped to make the war famous, since it seems to be logically inconsistent with the fact that the book was suppressed. I've changed the word "censored" to "suppressed," since that's how it's depicted at [1]. AFAIK, only pornography has ever really been censored by government in the U.S., not political tracts; I assume that the book was suppressed via economic means or the threat of a civil suit or something?? More clarification of how it was suppressed would be helpful.--Bcrowell 14:06, 6 August 2005 (UTC)

Aftermath Section[edit]

I took this section out because I find it very confusing and don't know if it really has much to do with the JCW:

From 1885 to 1909, fifteen supposed rustlers were killed by mobs. Starting in 1892, ranchers began to hire individual paid assassins. The killers, and the ranchers who hired them, were shielded by sympathetic elected officials, and coroners' juries tended to praise the killers and dwell on the supposed evil reputations of the victims. Some newspapers followed this lead, but for example the Cheyenne Sun wrote concerning the 1885 murder of Si Partridge, "How far lynch law may be given the support of public opinion is going to be a question for the western country to determine some day" [1] . After the turn of the century, public tolerance for the violence decreased. The end of the violence was enforced by public disgust at the 1909 Spring Creek Raid, in which three sheep workers were killed by fifteen masked men [2]

For instance, Fifteen supposed rustlers were killed where? Johnson County? Wyoming? The West? Furthermore, This over a 14 year period, which the JCW took place right in the middle. The quotes about Si Partridge took place 7 years before JWC, and the Spring Creek Raid 16 years after.

It is interesting information -- but it really needs to be written differently or broken up into different places. What do you think? Ok! 17:57, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

The Tisdale Divide[edit]

I notice there is no reference to the Tisdale Divide or the murder of John A. Tisdale. I remember driving by an old state sign on the Old Highway between Kaycee and Buffalo that references his murder as being one of the things that precipitated the War. The only reference I can find is pasted below. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 1800theman (talkcontribs) 17:03, 29 May 2007 (UTC)

I would like to edit this to ask what is (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Fair use rationale for Image:The Virginian.jpg[edit]

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Image:The Virginian.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

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If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images uploaded after 4 May, 2006, and lacking such an explanation will be deleted one week after they have been uploaded, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot 03:34, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

WSGA and Johnson County[edit]

It is interesting to note that Johnson County never joined the Wyoming Stock Growers Association after the JCW. That is, until sometime in 2007, more than 100 years after the US Army had to rescue the hired thugs from Texas.

Resentments last a long time here in the west! We just haven't been around as a society for the last 1,000 years as the societies in the Middle East have.

Read about it in the Casper Star Tribune. —Preceding unsigned comment added by BenjaminAdams (talkcontribs) 01:46, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Wyoming Civil War[edit]

As mentioned above, I visited the museum in Kaycee. Although I'm pretty sure that I remember seeing books there that referred to the "Wyoming Civil War," I cannot find any corroborating sources online that are not copies of Wikipedia. I can only find references to a Revolutionary/Loyalist conflict in Pennsylvania during the Revolutionary War. Therefore I have removed this name from the article. WillOakland (talk) 07:31, 2 May 2009 (UTC0

Riders of Judgement[edit]

The amazon website claims that the 2001 book of this title was written by a man named ralph cotton, using the name ralph compton. cotton, a 1994 pulitzer winner, has a stub wp article, which lists only his pulitzer winning title. the wp article on vaughan lists only 2 publications, and this isn't one of them. i have tagged this for citation, and unless the necessary documentation is provided in a reasonable time, i shall change it.`Toyokuni3 (talk) 06:34, 4 March 2010 (UTC)

A very small amount of research showed that this book really had nothing to do with the Johnson County War, so I removed it. However, it is abundantly clear that Cotton did write the book and simple Google searches shows that he is an accomplished writer, his Wikipedia article not withstanding. In short, the stated sentence had nothing wrong with it. In the future remember that Wikipedia is not a reliable source and shouldn't be used in such a way. CosmicPenguin (talkWP:WYOHelp!) 14:56, 6 March 2010 (UTC)

The Virginian[edit]

Assuming this novel uses the Johnson County War as its backdrop, most commentators feel Owen Wister took the side of the big ranchers. I'm working on a revisionist screenplay of The Virginian, which accepts that interpretation. The big ranchers falsely accuse the "little fellas" (that's what they were called) of rustling, so they'll have an excuse to lynch them.

However... I've read the novel twice, and it's hard to see the hand of the big ranchers in this. The rustlers -- including Steve, once the Virginian's best friend -- appear to be working on their own. They are portrayed as criminals, not small ranchers. Though the Virginian works for one of the big ranchers and lynches Steve, Steve really is a rustler. The Virginian understands that lynching -- devoid of a proper trial -- is murder -- and goes through some agony before killing his friend.

Wister was almost certainly on the side of the big ranchers -- but I'm not sure he actually says so (directly or indirectly). WilliamSommerwerck (talk) 23:16, 11 August 2012 (UTC)


How many people were killed during the Johnson County War? (talk) 02:47, 18 March 2015 (UTC)

Date of the War[edit]

The article states that the Johnson County War started in April, due to the fact that it was in this month where the Invaders were finally formed and dispersed. Yet, in the books I've read, there's been records of violence before that are a significant part of the war (not counting Watson's lynching). Furthermore, books and other sources don't record the war as starting in April, but agreed that most events took place in Spring 1892. Godzilladude123 (talk) 11:20, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:Johnson County War/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: Hchc2009 (talk · contribs) 15:41, 11 April 2015 (UTC)

I'll read through and begin the review proper tomorrow. Hchc2009 (talk) 15:41, 11 April 2015 (UTC)


(a) the prose is clear and concise, respects copyright laws, and the spelling and grammar are correct;

  • "As tension arise" - grammar
  • "and neighborhood Natrona and Converse Counties" ditto
  • " smaller settling ranchers and farmers " - ditto
  • "The war soon ended when the cavalry finally relieved the invaders, and the failure to charge them with the murders they have committed during the war." - ditto
  • " include some of the west's most " - ditto
  • "as well as being one of the most well-known range wars in the American frontier" - "of the American frontier"?
  • "Conflict over land was a somewhat common occurrence in the development of the American West but was particularly prevalent during the late 19th century and early 20th century " - is the 20th century bit relevant here, given that it is set in the 19th? You could also lose the "somewhat".
  • "Each spring, round-ups are held to separate the cattle belonging to different ranches. " - tense
  • "the common way to identify which cow belong to who" -ditto
  • "the doctrine is known as Prior Appropriation" - "is", or "was"?
  • "competition for land and water soon enveloped" - "enveloped" what?
  • "and the cattle companies reacted by monopolizing large areas of the open range to prevent newcomers from settling in" - "settling in" doesn't feel like the right verb here.
  • "Bandits taking refuge from the infamous Hole in the Wall" - what is a hole in the wall, and why would one need to take refuge from it...?
  • "was rumored to be behind many of the deaths. " - what deaths?
  • "Canton had already made a reputation of himself as a very lethal gunman." - you don't really need the "very" here
  • " as well as killing a Buffalo Soldier" - Buffalo Soldier needs explaining or at least a link
  • "They then apprehend her husband, Jim Averell" - tense
  • "However, before the trial can start," -ditto

(b) it complies with the manual of style guidelines for lead sections, layout, words to watch, fiction, and list incorporation.

  • "The conflicts started when cattle companies ruthlessly persecuted supposed rustlers throughout" - there's quite a bit of POV language here, particularly given the phrasing in the main text.
  • "The war soon ended when the cavalry finally relieved the invaders, and the failure to charge them with the murders they have committed during the war." - again with the POV issue
  • "Well armed bands of horse and cattle rustlers were said to roam" - said by who?

Factually accurate and verifiable:

(a) it provides references to all sources of information in the section(s) dedicated to the attribution of these sources according to the guide to layout;

(b) it provides in-line citations from reliable sources for direct quotations, statistics, published opinion, counter-intuitive or controversial statements that are challenged or likely to be challenged, and contentious material relating to living persons—science-based articles should follow the scientific citation guidelines;

  • Some bits are missing in-line citations, such as "However, as huge numbers of homesteaders..."; "He said as the gunmen pointed their weapons at him, he yawned before reaching for a pistol hidden under a pillow..."; "A total expedition of 50 men was organized."; "The group became known as "The Invaders,"; "The group organized in Cheyenne ..."; "During the siege, Champion kept a poignant journal..."; "Emotions ran high for many years following..."; "Parties sympathetic to the smaller ranchers spun tales..."; " In the 1968 novel True Grit by Charles Portis..."; "A 7-foot bronze statue memorial of Nate Champion ..."

(c) it contains no original research.

Broad in its coverage:

(a) it addresses the main aspects of the topic;

(b) it stays focused on the topic without going into unnecessary detail (see summary style).

Neutral: it represents viewpoints fairly and without bias, giving due weight to each.

Stable: it does not change significantly from day to day because of an ongoing edit war or content dispute.

Illustrated, if possible, by images:

(a) images are tagged with their copyright status, and valid fair use rationales are provided for non-free content;

  • Mostly yes (most are anonymous with no evidence of publication, but are OK under the date of creation + 120 year rule in the US). A more specific tag could be added to them, but the relatively generic US PD tag is fine.
  • File:TAranch.jpg needs a date of creation or publication to justify the US tag.
  • File:TA Ranch Stable.jpg needs some expansion on the "likely published in the Buffalo Bulletin that year" to justify the tag. It states that it is "post-1904", which makes it unclear which year it was "likely published", and it doesn't really explain why we think it was likely published in the Buffalo Bulletin. If unpublished, it would still be under copyright in the US Hchc2009 (talk) 19:26, 13 April 2015 (UTC)

(b) images are relevant to the topic, and have suitable captions.

  • Yes. I'll check the wording for POV etc. against the main text as I work through that. Hchc2009 (talk) 19:26, 13 April 2015 (UTC)


Did all I can with the pictures. Anything else? Godzilladude123 (talk) 09:40, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Restructured the sentence and added better references that would source the topics you have listed. Godzilladude123 (talk) 08:46, 20 April 2015 (UTC)

Fixed, except for the part of the ranchers and farmers ditto. Those two were equal victims from using the land and water rights. Godzilladude123 (talk) 04:36, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

if the images are the problems we can just remove it. They were uploaded probably a decade ago and the uploader cant be reached. (talk) 08:37, 28 April 2015 (UTC)

  1. ^ Pfeifer, Michael J. "Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society: 1874-1947." University of Illinois Press, Chicago. 2004. (Cheyenne Sun, quoted in the Laramie Boomerang, August 13, 1885, quoted in Pfeifer 2004)
  2. ^ Pfeifer, Michael J. "Rough Justice: Lynching and American Society: 1874-1947." University of Illinois Press, Chicago. 2004.