Ballots and Bullets
The Bloody County Seat Wars of Kansas
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
284 Pages | 6 x 9 | 21 b&w illus., 1 map
“Bleeding Kansas” has earned its name. A state already scarred from the violence wrought by the likes of John Brown and William Quantrill, Kansas witnessed further episodes of wanton bloodshed in the late nineteenth century when settlers poured into a supposedly peaceful frontier.
Focusing on the tumultuous years 1885–1892, Robert K. DeArment’s compelling narrative is the first to reveal the complete story of the county seat wars that raged in Kansas—controversial episodes that made national news in the late 1900s but are largely unknown today.
With a story populated by some of the most notorious characters of the West—including Sam Wood, Theodosius Botkin, Bat Masterson, and Bill Tilghman—Ballots and Bullets relives the violence that only avarice can breed. Ordinary, decent citizens were drawn into bitter conflicts to advance their own communities and block the fortunes of other towns, even if it meant using hired gunmen.
Gripping and historically accurate, DeArment’s account reveals a shocking chapter in the history of the West.