Vigilantes

Ep 70: Henry Plummer (Part 3) - Interview with Frederick Allen

“The severest justice may not always be the best policy.”

- President Abraham Lincoln

 
Location: Nevada City, Montana.  Settled on June 6, 1863, it was one of two major commerce towns in the territory, along with its sister city, Virginia City, MT.  Presently, Nevada City has been restored as an Outdoor Living History Historical Museum and tourist attraction.
 

Background:

The case of Henry Plummer represents the gray area between due process and necessary action, depending on whether you view a rise in criminal activity as a matter for the justice system no matter how lacking, or local imperium no matter how brutal.  In an interview with Frederick Allen, author of A Decent, Orderly Lynching: The Montana Vigilantes, we discuss his initial interest in the story, the motivations of the people involved, and the debate their actions spurred, then and now.

 
 

Related Books:

The Vigilantes of Montana
By Thomas Dimsdale
Vigilante Days and Ways
By Nathaniel Pitt Langford
Idaho's Vigilantes
By William J. McConnell, James S. Reynolds
 

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The Dark Myths Collective

http://darkmyths.org/

 

Credits:

Episode 70: The Sheriff and Outlaw Henry Plummer (Part Three) - Interview with author Frederick Allen.  Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees; Ryan McCullough Sound Design; Research Assistance by Tess Pfeifle and the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2017 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Photos taken by Forrest Burgess, Copyright July, 2004.

    Ep 69: The Sheriff and Outlaw Henry Plummer (Part 2)

     
     
     
    Location: Virginia City, Montana.  Considered a "Living Ghost Town," Virginia City offers visitors a well-preserved glimpse into the life of prospectors and pioneers of mid-nineteenth century America and was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1961.  The proposed original name for the town was "Verina" after the wife of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederate States of America during the Civil War, by men whose loyalties lay with the Secessionists.  However, a Connecticut judge, G. G. Bissell, a Unionist, staunchly objected and recorded it as "Virginia City."
     

    Background:

    The dual nature of Henry Plummer's character would leave us questioning his legacy and the legitimacy of his ending.  Was he simply an honest lawman reluctantly entangled in the rougher aspects of frontier justice or a downright robber and murderer with a badge?  There are authors who believe he was solely one or the other but there also seems to be ample circumstantial evidence that he was likely some combination of both.  The problem of determining his guilt or innocence, set against the backdrop of a nascent legal structure for the American West, would stir a debate that we continue to struggle with today.  When it comes to the protection of our families and communities, what measures are we willing to accept to ensure our safety?  When does crime prevention and the ad hoc adjudication of those in authority become a miscarriage of justice?  Where is the line between the precepts of our more mature legal system and common sense and what measurement should guide our conscience to determine when a line has been crossed?  We all want what's fair in light of our personal convictions, but like every condemned man, all Sheriff Henry Plummer wanted was a little more time.

     

     
     

    Related Books:

    The Vigilantes of Montana
    By Thomas Dimsdale
    Vigilante Days and Ways
    By Nathaniel Pitt Langford
    Idaho's Vigilantes
    By William J. McConnell, James S. Reynolds
     

    Special Offers from our Special Sponsors:

    • The Great Courses Plus - Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/legends and get one month of FREE, UNLIMITED access OR just take out your phone and text the word LEGENDS to the number 86329.  To get the reply text, standard message and data rates apply.
    • Blue Apron - Home cooking never tasted so good or was so much fun to make!  Go to BlueApron.com/astonishing to get your first THREE MEALS FREE with FREE SHIPPING!
    • Upside - Save BIG on business travel AND get FREE Amazon Gift Cards!  Go to Upside.com, click on the "Radio Listeners" link at the top, enter code BIZTRIP to get a $100 Amazon Gift Card on your first trip! 
     

    The Dark Myths Collective

    http://darkmyths.org/

     

    Credits:

    Episode 69: The Sheriff and Outlaw Henry Plummer (Part Two).  Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees; Ryan McCullough Sound Design; Research Assistance by Tess Pfeifle and the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Gallery slideshow photos by Forrest Burgess, taken July 2004, ©2004.  All content Copyright 2017 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.

    Ep 68: The Sheriff and Outlaw Henry Plummer

     
     
    Location: The town of Bannack, Montana, now a ghost town you can visit, with many buildings still standing.  Nearby is the still-lively ghost town of Virginia City, Montana, which hosts public festival events, Old West reenactments, and well-preserved historical displays.
     

    Background:

    Henry Plummer was like so many young men who ventured into the frontier of mid-nineteenth century America; full of a spirit of adventure and eager to make their fortunes in the gold fields of the Old West.  Handsome, charismatic and ambitious, Plummer soon went from trying his hand at prospecting to a career in law enforcement and was even encouraged to enter California politics by his supporters.  Plummer's successes, however, were tainted by his foibles as it was noted that his evening activities sometimes put the wild in "Wild West."  A move to Bannack, Montana, and election as sheriff of the area promised to restore his career and reputation.  This fresh start at the bottom of Plummer's pan would prove to be just a flash, as the townsfolk would soon suspect his connection to the robberies and murders allegedly committed by a gang of Road Agents who came to be known as "The Innocents" and many speculated he might even have been the mastermind behind the purported crime wave.  But was Plummer actually guilty, or just guilty by association and a victim of circumstance and mob mentality?  Whatever the truth of the matter, Sheriff Henry Plummer eventually found himself at the end of his rope.

     

    Reference Links:

     

    Related Books:

    The Vigilantes of Montana
    By Thomas Dimsdale
    Vigilante Days and Ways
    By Nathaniel Pitt Langford
    Idaho's Vigilantes
    By William J. McConnell, James S. Reynolds
     

    Special Offers from our Special Sponsors:

    • Upside - Save BIG on business travel AND get FREE Amazon Gift Cards!  Go to Upside.com, click on the "Radio Listeners" link at the top, enter code BIZTRIP to get a $100 Amazon Gift Card on your first trip! 
    • Harry's - Quality shaving razors at an affordable price.  Go to harrys.com/alp to get a FREE Trial Set worth $13, just pay for the shipping!
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    • The Great Courses Plus - Go to TheGreatCoursesPlus.com/legends and get one month of FREE, UNLIMITED access OR just take out your phone and text the word LEGENDS to the number 86329.  To get the reply text, standard message and data rates apply.
     

    The Dark Myths Collective

    http://darkmyths.org/

     

    Credits:

    Episode 68: The Sheriff and Outlaw Henry Plummer (Part One).  Produced by Scott Philbrook & Forrest Burgess; Audio Editing by Sarah Vorhees; Ryan McCullough Sound Design; Research Assistance by Tess Pfeifle and the astonishing League of Astonishing Researchers, a.k.a. The Astonishing Research Corps, or "A.R.C." for short. Copyright 2017 Astonishing Legends Productions, LLC. All Rights Reserved.