Billy the kid

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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One of the most famous outlaws and gunfighters of old west, was Henry Mccarty (most people think his name was William H. Bonney) or "Billy the Kid" as most people knew him.

There is much speculation as to where Billy was born. So far, the possibilities are New York City, Indiana, and Missouri. But he did move out west with his family and eventually became a cowboy in Lincoln county, New Mexico Territory, working for cattleman J. H. Tunstall. Tunstall treated Billy like a son and Billy loved him a lot.

But in February 1878, a rival cattle outfit killed Tunstall. Billy vowed vengeance on anyone who was involved in the horrible murder of Tunstall. The death of Tunstall started the Lincoln County War in which Billy played a major part. This "War" was actually a struggle between two rival groups of businessmen and ranchers. Murders and depredations between the two groups culminated in a three-day battle in Lincoln, New Mexico during the July of 1878.

There have been many stories that Billy was in the gang that shot Sheriff Bill Brady dead, but probably isn't true, Billy the Kid was not a cold blooded killer.

Governor Lew Wallace (also the Author of "Ben Hur") offered a 500$ reward for anyone who could capture "The Kid" and bring him to any sheriff in New Mexico. In 1880, Lincoln County elected Sheriff Pat Garret and a posse trapped "The Kid" and four of his companions in a hut in Stinking Springs. After a three-day siege, the gang was captured.

In 1880-1881? Billy the Kid was sentenced to be hung. However, on April 23, 1881, Billy escaped from custody, killing two guards. When his escape made the news, it said simply "The Kid's Escaped" and the article didn't have muck detail.