What do Bat Masterson, Bill Cody, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, David Crockett, William Tecumseh Sherman, Mark Twain, Elizabeth Custer, and the Statute of Liberty all have in common? They all spent time in New York City! Each chapter provides a short biography of a Western icon and vividly describes how they made their mark on the young Country’s media and cultural capital. By tracing their path across the City- from casual visits, media campaigns, and political tours to family ties, shopping sprees, and steady employment, O’Connor aptly demonstrates how New York City influenced the lives and livelihood of the most familiar names of the late nineteenth century, and early twentieth century.
Locations around the City significant to the Western figures, including the Old Bowery Theater, the Market Exchange, Battery Park, the St. Nicholas Hotel, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral are illustrated through historic images and modern photos accompanied by interesting histories.
O’Connor’s meticulous research and surprising antidotes provides an informative and entertaining blend of New York City history and Western lore.
The book examines the experiences of legendary Western personalities in the Country’s largest city. Unbeknownst to the casual Western fan, New York City played host to the most famous names of the Old West. Some, like Wild Bill Hickok , and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, just passed through, while others, such as Gen. William T. Sherman, Bat Masterson and Libbie Custer made Gotham their final home. Each chapter gives a brief biography of the Western hero, and discusses what brought them to New York. The locations, where they lived or spent time is shown in photographs, in a “then and now” type format. A brief history of the locations, such as the Old Bowery Theater, where both David Crockett, and Buffalo Bill Cody attended performances, is also given. The result is a entertaining and informative mix of Western lore and New York City history
Michael P. O’Connor at the Western Writers of America Convention in Cheyenne, Wyoming.