ELLIS, MARK R.
Title Law And Order In Buffalo Bill's Country: Legal Culture And Community On The Great Plains, 1867 - 1910.
Book Condition Softcover. Brand new book.
Publisher University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln: 2007.
Seller ID 90296X1
Celebrated accounts of lawless towns that relied on the extra-legal justice of armed citizens and hired gunmen are part of the enduring cultural legacy of the American West. This image of the frontier has been fueled for more than a century by historians—both amateur and academic—and by various popular images. In the twenty-first century, Great Plains communities continue to perpetuate this image with tourist attractions and events that pay homage to their "lawless" past. But these romanticized depictions of the violent frontier do not accurately portray the legal culture of most early Great Plains communities. Law and Order in Buffalo Bill's Country is a case study of law and legal culture in Lincoln County, Nebraska, during the nineteenth century. Mark R. Ellis argues that nascent nineteenth-century Great Plains communities shared an understanding of the law that allowed for the immediate implementation of legal institutions such as courts, jails, and law enforcement. A common legal culture, imported from New England and the Midwest, influenced frontier communities to uphold traditions of law and order even in the "wild and wooly" frontier community of North Platte, Nebraska. This study is one of the first to examine legal institutions on the Great Plains. By setting aside the issue of a violent frontier West and focusing instead on community building and legal institutions, this study presents a very different image of the frontier-era Great Plains. Mark R. Ellis is an associate professor of history at the University of Nebraska at Kearney. "It is extremely well researched and presented in layman's terms that all of us nonlawyers can understand."—Francis Moul, Lincoln Journal Star "Well worth perusing by anyone interested in how those in the frontier west dealt with issues of crime and justice."—Peter J. Hill, Journal of American History 2008 Great Plains Distinguished Book Prize, sponsored by the Center for Great Plains Studies, finalist. 2008 Scribes Book Award, sponsored by the American Society of Legal Writers, runner-up.
(Key Words: Mark R. Ellis, Law and Order, North Platte, Nebraska, Great Plains. North Platte, Nebraska, Lincoln County, American West).