A Swallow Press Book
“The Bassett home gave refuge to a veritable who’s who of western outlaws, among them Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid, Elzy Lay, Matt Warner, and many lesser rustlers… What makes the book so delectable are the lovingly detailed scandals involving Brown’s Park pioneers.”
“(A)s fine an account of the Bassetts as we are likely to get.”
Sandra Dallas, Denver Post
“In a sense this book is more than a sketch of three women; it is a biography of a family with all its rivalries, foibles, failures and loyalties. It is also an account of remarkable courage, stamina and adaptability on the raw frontier of the western slope. Read and enjoy it as popular history.”
Mary Lee Spence, The Pacific Historian
“One of the most fascinating parts of the book must be the appendix, ‘Confidentially Told,’ which consists of a manuscript written by Ann Bassett and Frank Willis. This covers in detail the killing of Valentine Hoy by Harry Tracy, and tells of Charley Crouse’s activities as a rustler and his association with the outlaws.”
Roy O'Dell, English Westerners' Society Tally Sheet
In the late nineteenth century, Brown’s Park, a secluded valley astride the Utah-Colorado border, was a troubled land of deadly conflict among cattle barons, outlaws, rustlers, and small ranchers. Homesteader Elizabeth Bassett gained a tough reputation of her own, and her daughters followed suit, going on to become members of Butch Cassidy and the Wild Bunch’s inner circle. Ann—who counted Cassidy among her lovers—became known as “queen of the cattle rustlers.” Both sisters proved themselves shrewd businesswomen as they fended off hostile takeovers of the family ranch. Through the following decades, the sisters became the stuff of legend, women who embodied the West’s fearsome reputation, yet whose lived experiences were far more nuanced. Ann became a writer. Josie, whose cabin still stands at present-day Dinosaur National Monument, applied her pioneer ethics to a mechanized world and became renowned for her resourcefulness, steadfastness, and audacity.
For The Bassett Women, Grace McClure tracked down and untangled the legends of Brown’s Park, one of the way stations of the fabled “Outlaw Trail,” while creating an evenhanded and indelible portrait of the Bassetts. Based on interviews, written records, newspapers, and archives, The Bassett Women is one of the few credible accounts of early settlers on Colorado’s western slope, one of the last strongholds of the Old West.
Grace McClure was a freelance writer based in Tucson, Arizona. More info →
Save 20% ($15.16)
Save 20% ($31.96)
US and Canada only
Availability and price vary according to vendor.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Without humor, the American West would be a vast territory of arid clichés — stolid cowboys and fearless lawmen, or, in more modern visions, dastardly land developers and fanatical environmentalists — all of them as lifeless as an alkalai flat.
For Cricket Sings, Cahokia medicine woman, the omens have been bad. She is old, and so at this year’s Sun Ceremony she will tell her stories, the tales handed down from grandparents to grandchildren since the memory of the People began. The Sun King is dying, unable to perfom the Ceremony which will bring good crops to the fields.
At the age of 27, Fannie Sedlacek left her Bohemian homestead in Nebraska to join the gold rush to the Klondike. From the Klondike to the Tanana, Fannie continued north, finally settling in Katishna near Mount McKinley. This woman, later known as Fannie Quigley, became a prospector who staked her own claims and a cook who ran a roadhouse. She hunted and trapped and thrived for nearly forty years in an environment that others found unbearable.
In a fascinating work of religious history and cultural inquiry, Hatfield brings to life the true story of a nineteenth-century farmer-spiritualist, Jonathan Koons, whom thousands traveled to Ohio to see. As heirs to the second Great Awakening, he and his followers were part of a larger, uniquely American moment that still marks the culture today.