Jesse James And Billy The Kid

1133 words - 5 pages

The definition of an outlaw is “One that is unconventional or rebellious”. Billy the Kid and Jesse James were two notorious outlaws, both icons of the Wild West. Billy the kid, a hard headed criminal with no mercy, a ruthless killer that so many men and women were afraid of became a problem that the law could not put up with. On the other hand Jesse James became an organized crime boss that tried to strike it rich by rebelling against the North. Jesse James also became a large problem to the law. Both men had a story to tell, two different stories that when compared, are not very different at all.
Billy the Kid, originally William Henry McCarty Jr., was born in New York, New York on November 23, 1859. William also went under many other names such as William H Bonney, Henry Antrim, Henry McCourty, and The Kid. There was so much confusion about his name because his mother remarried a man named William Antrim and Billy took his last name. Henry adopted the name but the family began calling him Billy to stop the confusion. Billy began his life of crime when he was caught stealing butter from a rancher but had gotten away with no punishment. Yet he did not stop at stealing. He got into a bar fight one night in a saloon. The 5 foot 6 boy was getting beat to a pulp when he finally pulled a revolver and shot the bully till he lay lifeless on the bar floor. Billy was captured, and under the charge of murder, he ditched the guardhouse and went on the run. This was when he became an outlaw. He arrived at Lincoln County, New Mexico and got a job from a man named John Tunstall and his life began to look better. But, a merchant and cattleman named James J. Dolan, who essentially ran the show down in Lincoln County, started causing problems. James Dolan had Tunstall killed and ruined Billy’s chance at a good life. When Dolan killed Tunstall, Billy swore he would get revenge. He started a gang called the Regulators and Dolan declared them all outlaws. It became a huge feud between the two factions and many people apart of the Regulators died because of it, but Billy just kept running, evading the sheriffs, and escaping jail. One night when Billy was in hiding, Pat Garret, a lawmen looking for him, found out where he was staying. On July 14, 1881 Garret snuck into the Maxwell residence and asked Pete Maxwell, the owner of the property, where Billy was. Billy walked in with a knife and pistol and said “Quien es”, which means "who's there" in Spanish, but Garret shot him down before Billy could do the same to him. Billy was only 22 when he died.
At around the same time Billy the Kid was born, a man named Jesse James and his brother Frank James, were two outlaws at large. Jesse James was born September 05, 1847 in Kearney, Missouri. He was a Civil War veteran that had fought for the Confederate army before he turned to a life of crime. Jesse and his brother tried to live an honest life working their families’ farm, but by 1866 they decided to become bank robbers....

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