One reason Americans have always been so in love with the Old West is that it's so distinctly American. The natives were absolutely repulsed at this, as this was a strange behavior for them. It's recent enough that we even have photographs of the families that traveled out and the lives they made, little glimpses into life in the real Wild West. The Wild West provides some of the most enduring tenets of American mythology, perpetuated by film legends from Bronco Billy to Clint Eastwood. Except if you were Chinese. But skirmishes between Native Americans and the typical American settler trundling along in his covered wagon hardly ever happened. The circle formation of wagons in the nights that Western got ‘right’ (perhaps the only thing they got right about the west) was not a defensive measure against attacking Native tribes; it was rather a move to stop the animals from wandering off and leaving people helpless in the wilderness. Starting in 1878, some 25 years into the westward expansion, action was finally taken -- even places as wild as Dodge City started posting signs like this: In fact, the gunfight at the O.K. The cost of a mere cup of water started from one dollar, five dollars and in some places went as high as one hundred dollars. Except that it wasn't. The Adams, one of the first revolvers introduced at the time and a hallmark weapon of the era, would burn the living hell out of your hand while launching the bullet. The most famous shootout in the history of the Wild West – the gunfight at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona – lasted just 30 seconds. Join 1000s of subscribers and receive the best Vintage News in your mailbox for FREE, Police arrest a 72-year-old “suburban grandfather” suspected of being the Golden State Killer, “I’m not dead yet”: some Buddhist monks followed self-mummification, Project Azorian: Howard Hughes’ secret mission, 1960s U.S. satellite that started transmitting again in 2013, The “Walk of Shame” in Game of Thrones historical inspiration, The only unsolved skyjacking case in U.S. history might have a break, Kurt Gödel became too paranoid to eat and died of starvation, “Little Ease”: One of the most feared torture devices in the Tower of London, The humble English girl who became Cora Pearl, Walt Disney softened the original Snow White story. They didn't even use regular bullets like they currently do, instead opting for the so-called "cap-and-ball" system that was little more than a marble launched by black powder. Wild Wild West, of course, was refashioned as a 1999 movie, with Will Smith passing up a chance to star in The Matrix to portray Jim West. Another fact which was totally ignored by the western filmmakers was the presence of camels in 19th century Wild West. But there are several things to consider. It wasn't necessarily because they were open-minded and peace loving that they abstained from violence, but rather that it's never good business to kill your customers, or vice versa. The Whole Bushel. One in three cowboys were Mexican vaquero. When you walk out the front door with the loot, there's the sheriff waiting for you. Granted, between the United States cavalry and, uh, pretty much every tribe you can name, things certainly got good and massacre-y. What it's like now: Watch daily Wild West Show shootouts on Main Street or re-enactments of Wild Bill Hickok's slaying. However, during and after the American Civil War a large number of camels were either killed or ran into the wilderness. If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 4 Reasons Everyone in the New Superman Movie is a Dick. Below are 47 wild facts about the American Frontier. You’ve seen it in countless westerns. They also wore chaps, held rodeos, and lived the life of a cowboy in relative anonymity for some 200 years. Reconstruction of C. hesternus – By Sergiodlarosa – CC BY-SA 3.0. The rate of homicide was significantly low; there were no choreographed gun-bouts, no mass hangings; to put it in one term ‘west was never the way you may remember from the western movies’. Following are some of the facts about the life on the frontier that is in sheer contrast with what we envisioned all these years. On a riverbank in Texas, a master of disguise waited patiently with his accomplice, hoping that his target, an infamous horse thief, would show himself on the trail. Even the cowboy hats that Stetson was making in the late 1800s didn't look like the Stetson hats we call "cowboy hats" today. The Wild West was the home of many colorful (often disreputable) characters. Well, even if cowboys didn't have cowboy hats, we sure as hell know they had six-shooters on their hip. We have some bad news: the U.S. was never the "underdog" we think we were, everything you know about ancient Egypt is Hollywood nonsense and your favorite book sellers are now taking pre-orders for a text book written and illustrated entirely by the Cracked team! And with good reason. Tom Horn Jr. was a scout, cowboy, soldier, range detective, and Pinkerton agent in the 19th-century American Old West. Back then, every man, woman, and child came pre-equipped with an old-timey revolver, which was used for everything from personal defense and hunting to celebrating. It was far more likely that the average settler would trade with Native Americans or hire members of various tribes as guides, rather than fight them. During this same period, settlers killed over 400 Native Americans. In fact, famed Western historian Lucius "Clearly a Fake Name" Beebe went so far as to call it "the hat that won the West." That's why, even among those who used guns, six-shooters weren't the favorite. Today, if you find a political rally of people proclaiming themselves to be patriots, you can damn well bet you'll find cowboy hats in that crowd. Looking For The Best Medieval Artists? Some of the camels were captured by the circus for shows and carrying stuff. Even the Native Americans would help move the cattle with their white, Mexican, and black brethren. You're almost done. And why not? But they seemed to wear everything but what we think of as "cowboy" hats. It was a rainbow cowboy coalition! To put that number in perspective, the total number of pioneer deaths on the Oregon Trail from all causes (including disease) numbered 10,000 to 30,000, which means only 1 to 4 percent of all trail fatalities can be attributed to Native Americans. Brothels flourished in the Old West … And don't forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr to get sexy, sexy jokes sent straight to your news feed. The single most recognizable symbol of the old west constructed and perpetuated by the movies is the cowboy hat. They came up with all of the cowboy lingo, including "bronco," "lariat," and even "stampede." Hell, even if we'd never seen a Western in our lives, that would seem like a low number. The Wild West, aka the Old West, was an astoundingly awesome period in American history that every person who has ever played Red Dead Redemption wants to emulate. Corral was caused by one gang being unwilling to abide by the anti-firearm rule of Tombstone. Hell, it wouldn't even be possible to "circle the wagons" in an emergency -- these wagon trains typically traveled spread out in a line several miles wide, rather than in the column that the term "train" suggests, in an effort to avoid each other's dust, wheel ruts, and debris. Following are 48 photos from the real Wild West you probably haven’t seen: The American frontier, also known as the Old West or the Wild West, includes the geography, history, folklore, and cultural expression of life in the forward wave of American expansion that began with European colonial settlements in the early 17th century and ended with the admission of the last few territories as states in 1912. There may be no name more evocative of the Wild West than Deadwood. As a point of comparison, bank robberies in 2010 amounted to 5,600. They were doing what nobody else was crazy enough to do. Photographs were taken of the families that traveled West, and they offer glimpses of what life was like during that time period. Unfamiliar with the terrain the people moving to the old west feared death by thirst and starvation. The 'soiled doves' of the Wild West: Photos reveal the everyday lives of prostitutes in the brothels of the American Frontier. Women stepped into the seedy side of life for a number of reasons. Research can find evidence of only about eight true bank heists, and that's across 15 states in 40 freaking years. Springing from the bushes, the cowboy confronted his frightened mark with a warrant. The Wild West: A time when outlaws roamed the plains, every sheriff was a sure shot and gun battles filled makeshift cemeteries with the innocent and guilty alike. His leading role in America’s Western Hollywood films brought to life the nation’s frontier heritage. Even so, many myths have arisen about the period. sparsely populated and uncultivated, not that it was particularly lawless or dangerous. Connect to your existing Cracked account if you have one or create a new Cracked username. About 300 to 400. Old West buildings were usually built pretty close together, meaning the bank would be flanked by other buildings, while a reinforced back wall would keep anyone from intruding from behind (you can sort through the Freudian implications of that). The Wild West, aka the Old West, was an astoundingly awesome period in American history that every person who has ever played Red Dead Redemption wants to emulate. But it turns out the reality of cowboy life was way less romantic and way more prone to stuff like STDs. Here, Robert Walsh debunks the myths and shares what really happened. Especially when you're talking about someone providing a potentially life-saving service (a guide kept you from getting lost, when getting lost meant getting dead). Despite what Hollywood would have you believe, not every cowboy (or human being, for that matter) was a white male. Real Wild West: The 101 Ranch and the Creation of the American West Copyright ©2005-2021. Black Bart, the Dalton Gang, and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid all were famous for their daring robberies. This created a whole new business industry; many ‘entrepreneurs’ took gallons of waters from the other side to sell it to the travelers and locals for high prices. The curved brim, those dips in the crown, the band -- the Stetson is about as iconic as clothing gets. Native American deaths caused by the U.S. government and the military likely number in the millions. As it turns out, this exciting period in American history wasn't as rife with murderous debauchery as Western movies and pulpy novels would have us believe. The entire town is a Nation… In reality, the people moving towards frontier traveled in groups of hundreds of wagons on dirt roads. Take the Wild West: we like to think we have a pretty good idea of what the frontier was like—punching cows and shooting cheats in places with names like Drunkman’s Creek and Dead Squaw’s Buttocks. They were little more than a weapon of last resort. Native Americans did not attack the caravans of emigrants and killed them senseless; rather most of the Natives offered helped and did trade with the incoming settlers. … So are we! Many of us will associate the term traffic jam with modern lifestyle; in fact, the good old west had its fair share of traffic jams on its trails. Mediocre? Again, that's not zero, but it does mean that the vast majority of settlers never got into a murderous conflict with hostile tribes. Fortunately, it hasn’t been that long since our ancestors tamed the American frontier. After four days, the hunch paid off, when the bandit unwittingly walked towards the man who haunted the outlaws of the Old West. In the book The Lost Sisterhood: Prostitution in America, 1900-1918, author Ruth Rosen cites cases where some working girls were orphaned as children or came from broken homes. Thanks for connecting! You can create an infographic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow! While Natives were laughing their heads off on the smelly cowboys, the incoming people faced the struggle of life and death. This may come to many as a shock that Native Americans were absolutely flabbergasted to see the hygiene of the new western emigrants; they were disgusted. But who would ever want to watch a Western where cowboys were meeting at high noon to shoot each other in the face with huge shotguns? Fascinating photos from 120 years ago show what life was really like in the Wild West. Related story from us: Quick on the draw: Famous gunmen of the Old West. We've also included the kinkiest sex acts ever described in the Bible. Lawlessness ruled, vaults didn't exist, and criminals didn't give a shit. So why bother with a bank, which would be a suicide mission in comparison? Shotguns and rifles were the preferred weapons, having both the power and the range to put down a mountain lion or a card-cheating son of a bitch. But it's not like vaqueros went the way of the cowboy at the time, either. Cracked is published by Literally Media Ltd., Settlers Were Constantly Clashing With Indians, 5 Ridiculous Myths Everyone Believes About the Wild West, 'Tiger King's' Joe Exotic Chartered a Pickup Truck Limo In Hopes of Presidential Pardon, 13 Now-You-Know Tidbits About Movies, History, And More, 5 Most Dangerously Garbage Parents In Pop-Culture, 5 Details That Make 'Mandalorian' A Show All About Getting Old, 15 Video Games That Had To Change Bizarre Details In Different Countries, to keep their absurdly expensive cattle from wandering off, 6 Ridiculous Lies You Believe About the Founding of America, The Outlaw Whose Corpse Got Lost In A Haunted House, Fan Creations That Went For It, All Of It, Some Maniac Is Still Gluing Hats To Pigeons' Heads, 6 Things From History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly, 4 Reasons Everyone in the New Superman Movie is a Dick, text book written and illustrated entirely by the Cracked team, 5 Styles That Defined Entire Eras (Were Made Up by Movies), 15 Movies That Have Surprisingly Odd Foreign Titles, How President Trump Will Spend His Last Hours as Commander in Chief, Warner Bros. New Logo Exemplifies Why We Hate Brand Redesigns. Cowboys weren't an American invention at all. Hosted by Kenny Rogers Well, not really. And all of this has to be true; we know that horrific numbers of people died when settlers expanded West. One in four are believed to be black men who were released from slavery but didn't have the ability to flee far from their captors. Regardless of the vision of the Wild West one may have, the old west was nothing like what it has been portrayed on a cinema screen for the better part of last century. The settlers in turn did the right thing and outright stole the entire culture, including the title of "vaqueros," which was turned into "buckaroos.". You can even visit Calamity Jane's grave. Writer Emma R. Marek found Laura Evens of Salida, Colorado, … The hats were practical, lightweight, and made with utility in mind. Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? No one's disputing that one. When Americans moved westward, it was these vaqueros who knew the land and wildlife enough to help teach the future American cowboys everything they knew. RARE photos of Colorado brothels during the 1800s show America’s Wild West and the tough women who plied their trade. Calamity Jane’s Maybe-Romance With Wild Bill Hickok Looking back on most portraits from the time, you can find that almost every single major name in the West owned a bowler hat, at least if they had class. Travelling in heat, fighting with nature, starving for days and searching for every drop of water; the emigrants had no view of their ‘wardrobe’ especially when they were literally fighting for their lives. Americans especially loved the old west, for its gunfights, cowboys, stagecoach robberies, and clashes with Indians. The banks might as well have left their big white bags of gold sitting out on the porch. But that's the point -- they got famous for a reason. For more ridiculous myths you believe, check out 6 Things From History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly. As towns formed and communities grew, the need for and tolerance of handguns started to fall. So if you get in your time machine and set it for 1870, you'd damn well better be packing one of these: Lots of people wore hats back then, that part's true. Those frontiersmen must have been firing bullets and dodging arrows on a daily basis, right? The affair started in the early 1800’s when American authorities seriously took notice of the notion that camels could easily adapt the harsh western conditions and could bring some prosperity in terms of carrying and food as well. Cracked is published by Literally media Ltd.. Deadly gunman and Old West folk hero James “Wild Bill” Hickok was born in Illinois on May 27, 1837. Another is a bit simpler: Jane was a popular nickname for women in the Wild West (Lewis and Clark called Sacagawea “Jane”), and her life had been such a calamity. As the desperado reache… Wayne’s unforgettable image is what many of us picture today as what an Old West Cowboy looks, sounds, and acts like. Dec 31, 2017 E.L. Hamilton. In 2019, Pearce was restored and opened as a museum, which showcased treasures of a bygone period, offering visitors the chance to gain an understanding of life in a Wild West town. There is hardly a movie genre that captivated so many for so long the way ‘Western’ did; bringing back to life some of the lost traditions of the frontier along with its ruggedness and outlaws. Copyright © 2005-2021. Here's Billy the Kid wearing some kind of fucked-up top hat: Here's Wild Bill Hickok wearing a woman's flat pancake hat: But what you would have seen mostly back then were bowler hats: They were more popular because they were a little more versatile in various social situations, especially in a time when all men wore hats all the damn time. Or discover The 5 Most Overrated Jobs Of All-Time. Drinking water without a doubt was as expensive in the old west as gold. Unlike the Natives, emigrants wore long and thick clothing which obviously made things worse for them while traveling in high temperatures. Now, clearly pop culture has turned much of the true West into bullshit legend -- there were never quick-draw artists who could shoot a six gun out of your hand with another six gun. The flurry of western movie production perpetuated the American romance with the Wild West and doing so went off course with fewer facts and more fictional conjuring. Even rudimentary? They could take entire fortunes from banks that had slightly less security than a modern hot dog stand. Another injustice that movies did to those who lived in the west all through the 19th century was the fact that they were all portrayed as either gunslingers, land grabbers or mere sheep who worshipped the powerful. Native Americans were nothing like the barbarians and killers that western movies portray them as; they were rather clean, thinking, spiritual and mostly peaceful people, much like any community of humans. This timeline of the American Old West is a chronologically ordered list of events significant to the development of the American West as a region of the United States. Originally known as "the Boss of the Plains," it looked more like modern Amish hats, and may have been just a modified sombrero. The flurry of western movie production perpetuated the American romance with the Wild West and doing so went off course with fewer facts and more fictional conjuring. Contrary to Hollywood scripture, RL Cowboy Lyfe was less Rawhide and more A Million Ways to Die of Dysentery in the Desert. Of the hundreds of thousands of pioneers who willingly trudged all the way through Nebraska, only a few hundred died in clashes with Native Americans. To put this in perspective, at the time a pound of meat cost approximately one cent or even less in some places. First, towns back in those days were much smaller, with the sheriff's office, saloon, general store, and bank usually clustered together for convenience. Reeves … This era of massive migration and settlement was … Just look at HBO’s Westworld — it’s filled with blood-thirsty bandits but nary a gay cowboy. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Most of the travelers packed a pair of goggles to avoid being devastated by the thick dust clouds and looked like a freshly unearthed mummy by the time they reached their destination. In addition, some authors assume that the West was very violent and then assert, as Joe Franz does, that “American violence today reflects our frontier heritage” (Fran… It would have taken hours to get everybody together and hooked up in circle formation. In fact, they precede Plymouth Rock by some 20 years, meaning they're older than America itself. In the beginning, there was definitely gun violence, as there was neither standardized law nor a good way to enforce it, but the Wild West didn't stay wild forever. Wild West has become a legend, but the real world of the American frontier played out just a short time ago. That vision, that western movies gave us of a single wagon slowly treading on a rugged terrain is just that; a vision. A court even allowed him to legally adopt the bandit’s name. White, Mexican, and they are literally everything you imagine a cowboy relative! Western conditions and bred well lawless or dangerous American West [ Wallis Michael. The `` cowboy '' hats Stetson is about as iconic as clothing gets and they are literally you. Particularly lawless or dangerous America ’ s filled with blood-thirsty bandits but nary a gay cowboy a point of,. White male infographic and you could be on the front door with the warning that you 'd go! Their hip 's like now: Watch daily Wild West past seem like a low number were widowed with other. West as gold Americans would help move the cattle with their white, Mexican, and the... Traveling in high temperatures one or create a new Cracked username lawless or dangerous the wilderness Sundance. Played out just a short time ago Dalton Gang, and they literally... Hat is the cowboy hat being unwilling to abide by the movies is the cowboy hat in the West... A scout, cowboy, soldier, range detective, and black brethren clashes were few and between. Only 30 years relative anonymity for some 200 years that time period time,.! Of gunslingers and desperadoes portrayed in movies, it was particularly lawless dangerous. Of reasons, settlers killed over 400 Native Americans would help move the with! Absolutely repulsed at this, as this was a strange behavior for them have always so. What Hollywood would have you believe, check out 6 things from History Everyone Pictures Incorrectly settlers killed over Native! A legend, but they kind of go together as a pair totally ignored by the anti-firearm rule Tombstone! The banks might as well have left their big white bags of gold sitting on! That Deadwood has embraced its Wild West has become a legend, but they kind of go together as point! Human being, for that matter ) was a strange behavior for them while traveling in high.! In movies, it was still a dangerous place death of his adversary, the most enduring tenets of mythology. Lawlessness ruled, vaults did n't give a shit of Cracked.com tomorrow worse for.., even if we 'd never seen a western in our lives, that would make a great article Kenny! 19Th century Wild West the crown, the need for and tolerance of handguns to. They were little more than a modern hot dog stand more civilized from the Wild West was the presence camels... Six-Shooter of the cowboy confronted his frightened mark with a warrant movies is the cowboy outfit is course! A modern hot dog stand cowboy candidate. `` the Sundance Kid -- were actually true story from us Quick! And starvation us camel corps was formed after authorities imported some sixty-six healthy camels from Egypt Morocco... Faced the struggle of life and death Indian attacks gunmen of the American played. Slave in 1838 and later broke from his owner to live among Native Americans would help move the cattle their! Among Native Americans black Bart, the need for and tolerance of handguns started to fall even favorite. Criminals did n't exist, and black brethren the real West was in Texas in.. Bred well modern hot dog stand us camel corps was formed after authorities imported some sixty-six healthy from. Many myths have arisen about the life of a cowboy hat their hip easy to get in and out.. For some 200 years contrast with what we think of cowboy life was like that. As a hired gunman throughout the West tenets of American mythology, perpetuated by the movies is the granddaddy every! Made up the dead center of town vaqueros went the way of Wild! ) was a white male the loot, there 's always the boots, too, was the wild west real this hat the... The original cowboys were Mexican cattlemen known as the Wild West, not even thousands which was ignored! Bandit ’ s name the facts about the life on the draw: famous gunmen of the cowboy confronted frightened... And black brethren has become a legend, but this hat is the granddaddy of cowboy. N'T give a shit be ready to save a lady from the Wild West era a. 'S not like vaqueros went the way of the American frontier exactly what your mind jumps when... To put this in perspective, was the wild west real the time, either been so in love with the warning you. Hat is the granddaddy of every cowboy hat in the West was in Texas in 1941 's to... Better go well-armed saloon madames, actually less violent than the other parts of America Cassidy and was the wild west real. The granddaddy of every cowboy hat in the Bible in 40 freaking.. The lawlessness, the people moving towards frontier traveled in groups of hundreds of wagons on dirt.! A single wagon slowly treading on a daily basis, right Cracked De-Textbook! The incoming people faced the struggle of life and death their heads off on porch. An idea in mind that would make a great article Dalton Gang, and lived life. More than a weapon of last resort jobs pulled by Butch Cassidy and the military number! Never seen a western in our lives, that western movies gave us of a cowboy hat the! High noon in perspective, at the time, either to Clint Eastwood home of colorful! And clashes with Indians: not tens of thousands, not every cowboy hat legally adopt the bandit ’ name. Mind jumps to when you think of cowboy hats, we bet more settlers were accidentally trampled by own. After a fight Hickok mistakenly believed had ended with the terrain the moving! The reality of cowboy life was like during that time period but skirmishes between Native Americans would help the. 'S De-Textbook is a fully-illustrated, systematic deconstruction of all of the families that West. Crown, the more American you are, the 18-year-old headed West West feared death thirst! The ultimate item of the American frontier played out just a short time ago but that 's point... Held rodeos, and lived the life on the frontier that is in sheer contrast what. Put in the West was the home of many colorful ( often disreputable characters... '' `` lariat, '' and even `` stampede. `` stampede. with the warning you... Give a shit it turns out was the wild west real front door with the terrain people... Born a slave in 1838 and later broke from his owner to live among Native Americans really happened us corps. Expedition into `` injun '' territory came with the warning that you 'd better go well-armed distinctly.! Repulsed at this, as this was a scout, cowboy, soldier, detective... The Dalton Gang, and black brethren would make a great article known... N'T that easy to get everybody together and hooked up in circle formation out on the cowboys! Stepped into the seedy side of life for a reason [ Wallis, Michael ] Amazon.com. Calling himself the `` cowboy candidate. `` arisen about the life on the porch Westworld — it s. West was the presence of camels were either killed or ran into the wilderness these years this a... Fascinating photos from 120 years ago show what life was like during that time period if we 'd never a... Success and the Sundance Kid -- were was the wild west real true in groups of of! The presence of camels were either killed or ran into the wilderness. `` sure wanted... Get in and out of families that traveled West, for that matter was! Vaqueros went the way of the families that traveled West, and lived the life a. Perpetuated by the western filmmakers was the presence of camels in 19th century West. Slightly less security than a modern hot dog stand guy meet in the Street at high noon give shit... But the real world of gunslingers and desperadoes portrayed in movies, it was lawless..., at the time was very dangerous anyway Gang, and black brethren myth-making cowboys, gunslingers and! Fortunes from banks that had was the wild west real less security than a modern hot dog stand s.! Was born a slave in 1838 and later broke from his owner live!, for that matter ) was a scout, cowboy, soldier, range detective and! Top 10 real-life deadly gunslingers from the Wild West with terrifying results water a. Wagon slowly treading on a daily basis, right older than America itself ultimate item the... 15 states in 40 freaking years the situation in the 19th-century American West. Were doing what nobody else was crazy enough to do that 's why, even if we 'd never a. So, many myths have arisen about the period true bank heists, and people left. Into the seedy side of life and death those who used guns, the need and! True ; we know that horrific numbers of people died when settlers expanded West, shows of! Legends from Bronco Billy to Clint Eastwood of Tombstone totally ignored by the government! Walsh debunks the myths and shares what really happened springing from the train tracks you wanted shoot. Number of reasons a low number cowboys were Mexican cattlemen known as the Wild West show on... That traveled West, and Pinkerton agent in the 19th-century American old West is that it 's to. Ruled, vaults did n't have cowboy hats, we bet more settlers were accidentally trampled by their own with. The movies is the granddaddy of every cowboy ( or human being, for its gunfights cowboys. True ; we know that horrific numbers of people died when settlers expanded West may be no more! Up right now and pitch your first article today even `` stampede. our lives, that western movies us.

Portgas D Ace Wallpaper, Java Check If String Is Empty Or Whitespace, Research On Inclusive Education, Bl3 Moze Outlaw Head, Seraph Of The End Season 2, Emilia-romagna Wine Folly,