Category: History

No Silver Bullets

51Kylf76zCLCurrently reading Doug J. Swanson’s detailed history of the Texas Rangers, Cult of Glory (a real “myth buster”). Swanson expands on the pronouncement of Maxwell Scott and prints both the legend and the fact.

Two things caused me to stop early in the book and think. The first was in a section devoted to John Salmon Ford, Old Rip (a sobriquet indicting Ford’s prominence as a Texas Ranger who dealt savagely with any person he deemed a bad-guy). Ford attempted to create a slave empire in northern Mexico as a by-product of the Mexican-American War. He failed.

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Stairway To the Wall

images.jpgAfter the death of William Wirt Winchester, his wife Sarah inherited vast amounts of money including a sizable interest in her deceased husband’s firearms company. She also received a spiritualist warning that as long as the construction on the family palace in San Jose continued, she would escape death, possibly from the ghosts of those killed by Winchester repeating riles.

I first heard of the Winchester House in grade school when a student shared the story about stairways to the ceiling and doors in the walls with no rooms on the other side. Several years later on a family trip to San Francisco we drove past the house but didn’t take the tour. Years after that I saw the house again, standing in the midst of typical suburban sprawl: strip malls, multi-cinemas, car dealerships.

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