ETERNITY AT THE END OF A ROPE
Executions, Lynchings and Vigilante Justice in Texas, 1819–1923
By Clifford R. Caldwell and Ron DeLord
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Since 1819 over 3,000 souls found their personal “eternity at the end of a rope” in Texas. Some earned their way. Others were the victim of mistaken identity, or an act of vigilante justice. Deserved or not, when the hangman’s knot is pulled up tight and the black cap snugged down over your head it is too late to plead your case.
This remarkable story begins in 1819 with the first legal hanging in Texas. By 1835 accounts of lynching dotted the records. Although by 1923 legal execution by hanging was discontinued in favor of the electric chair, vigilante justice remained a favorite pastime for some. The accounts of violence are numbing. The cultural and racial implications are profound, and offer a far more accurate, unbiased insight into the tally of African-American and Hispanic victims of mob violence in the Lone Star State than has ever been presented. Many of these deeds were nothing short of morbid theater, worthy of another era.
This book is backed up by years of research and thousands of primary source documents.
Includes Index and Bibliography.
Clifford R. Caldwell is recognized as an accomplished historian, author and researcher on the American West. He is an expert in period firearms, and has conducted extensive research on the Texas cattle trails, trail drivers and cattle kings. Cliff is the author of a dozen non-fiction history books, and volunteers some of his time doing research for the Peace Officers Memorial Foundation of Texas.
Ron DeLord served as a patrol officer and detective from 1969 to 1977. In 1977, he was one of the founders of the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas (CLEAT) and was elected its first president. After thirty years as president, he is currently serving as special counsel. Ron is a licensed Texas attorney and is a nationally recognized police labor official, lecturer, and seminar leader. He is the author of numerous works on labor law as well as Texas history.
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