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THE AUTHENTIC LIFE OF BILLY THE KID
Facsimile of 1927 Edition
By Pat F. Garrett

Voted one of the 100 Best New Mexico Books.

New Foreword by Marc Simmons

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When Lincoln County Sheriff Pat Garrett ended Billy the Kid's life on the night of July 14, 1881 with a shot in the dark, he was catapulted at once into stardom in the annals of Western history. The killing occurred at old Fort Sumner, New Mexico on the Pecos River. Garrett by pure chance had encountered the Kid in a darkened room of the Pete Maxwell house. As the unsuspecting Billy entered, he was cut down without warning.

But the Kid had his share of friends and many of them stepped forward to level some harsh criticism against the lawman. It soon became clear that while Pat Garrett was an instant celebrity, he had also come away, at least in some quarters, with a negative image. To address that problem, he began thinking about a book to give the public his side of the story. The editor of the Santa Fe New Mexican, Charles Greene, offered to publish a Garrett volume if the sheriff could find someone to ghost write it for him. Pat enlisted his good friend Marshall Ashmun (Ash) Upson, a journalist, to do the job. Upson cranked out a manuscript and it was published in 1882 under the title The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid. Sunstone’s edition is a facsimile of the 1927 edition.

Before that fateful night in 1881, there was not much in Pat Garrett's career to suggest he was headed for a place in the history books. Alabama-born in 1850, he worked as a cowboy and buffalo hunter in Texas. By 1878 he had drifted to the Pecos in eastern New Mexico. Perhaps craving excitement, Pat Garrett ran for sheriff of wild Lincoln County in the fall of 1880. He was elected. Winning the office put him on a collision course with the outlaw Billy and the incident that catapulted the Kid into literary immortality.

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Softcover:
6 X 9
ISBN: 978-0-86534-572-0
312 pp.,$26.95

eBook:
ISBN: 978-1-61139-118-3
312 pp.,$12.94


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