DYNAMITE AND SIX-SHOOTER
The story of Outlaw Thomas E. “Black Jack” Ketchum
By Jeff Burton
The story of Tom “Black Jack” Ketchum, an outlaw of the Old West. Facsimile of the Original 1970 Edition with a New Foreword by Marc Simmons.
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Thomas E. Ketchum, better known as “Black Jack” Ketchum, at six foot two inches tall with dark skin and black hair and described as having a “wonderful physique,” never became one of those folklore desperados whose violent and lawless ways were burnished with an illusive romance. If he is remembered at all, it is mostly for the peculiar circumstances which attended the curtailment of his earthly career. Yet, as a man who was noted in his own day, and who stood out above most others in his dubious profession, he is worthy of more than passing mention. He and his companions were among the boldest outlaws ever to ride the American Southwest, and almost the last of their line. Tom Ketchum and his small gang--one member was his brother Sam--were on the dodge in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona for less than four years and their career of banditry lasted for little more than two years.
Tom, often confused with the earlier Black Jack Christian who was the first outlaw in New Mexico to carry the handle “Black Jack,” was always the leader of their gang. In the end he paid dearly for his escapades. At his hanging in 1901 he declared, “Hurry up boys, I’m due in Hell for dinner.”
Jeff Burton was born in Nottinghamshire, England, in 1936. His interest in history, folklore, and myth began at an early age. His special field has been the study of law enforcement and outlawry in the American West.
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