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2013 Arizona/New Mexico Joint History Conference

I have been given the honor of giving the opening plenary address at the upcoming 2013 Arizona/New Mexico Joint History Conference, to be held in Las Cruces, New Mexico (just north of El Paso, Texas). The conference dates are Thursday-Saturday, April 18-20, 2013.  It will be a busy 3 days for me.

The plenary address is on Thursday evening. The topic is the El Paso Salt War. Texas history, right? Well, yes, but the conflict involved some notable and notorious New Mexicans, including A.J. Fountain, Dan Tucker and the “Silver City Volunteers,” killers and rustlers like John Kinney, Jessie Evans,  and Jim McDaniels, Hatch’s 9th Cavalry, and others.

On Friday morning, April 19, I chair a panel on borderlands rustling during the 1870s and 1880s. Should be a good one. Arizona territorial historian Robert Palmquist will speak on the rise of the Arizona “Cow-Boys” during the pre-Earp period (1878-1880). Paul Johnson, author of the recently published “The McLaurys in Tombstone , Arizona: An O.K. Corral Obituary,” will explore the lives of two of the three men killed by the Earps and Holliday in the Old West’s most famous gunfight.

I will bring the focus back to New Mexico with my presentation on the capture of John Kinney by New Mexico’s territorial militia (with some previously unrecognized help from federal agents). Finally, on Saturday afternoon, April 20, I serve as “judge” in the latest “Justice Forum.” Each year, some notorious crime is “re-tried” and the question of guilt or innocence, of course, settled for all time. Last year, the murder charge against “Trunk Murderess” Winnie Ruth Judd was finally resolved. This year, New Mexicans who escaped trial for their alleged crimes in the 1877 Salt War will at last come before the bar of justice.

The conference program, still evolving, involves much more than who shot who in the outhouse (as my Irish mother likes to say). Take a look. Here is a link to the most recent version I can find, including conference program, registration, and hotel information:–WebProgramJan292013.pdf

I am looking forward to renewing friendships and to meeting southwest historians whose books and articles line my shelves and file drawers.  I hope to see you there.

painting by artist Bob Boze Bell in author’s collection