New Arrival


The Banditti of the Plains or the Cattlemen's Invasion of Wyoming in 1892 (The Crowning Infamy of the Ages).

[Denver: 1894].

Price: $7,500.00

About the item

First edition. Illustrated. [2], 139 pp. Half-title present. 1 vols. 8vo. MANNEY COPY OF A MILESTONE OF WESTERN AMERICANA. Publisher's black pebble-grain cloth. Light rubbing to extremities with some fraying, inner hinges tender. Early owner signature. Very good, internally clean. Cloth slipcase and chemise. Adams Herd 1474; Adams Six-Guns 1478; Dobie p.111; Graff 2750; Howes M522; Smith 6735; Six-Score 79; Streeter 2385. Provenance: C.H. Wunnicke, Cheyenne, Wyo; Richard Manney (book label).

Item #367633

One of the most famous books on the cattle industry, growing out of the Johnson County War in Wyoming in 1892, which pitted the large, established members of the Wyoming Stockgrowers Association against the smaller cattlemen and squatters on the range. As the chronicle of one of the last great upheavals of frontier violence in the wars over open range versus fencing, its importance is great. As can be imagined, the book was very unpopular with the officials and the big cattle ranchers, and especially with those who were named in it. These people convinced a court to order all copies of the book impounded with the charge that the book was libelous. Nearly every copy was destroyed; only a few appear to have been saved. Mercer’s print shop was burned and he had to flee Wyoming. In the ensuing years, people loyal to the big cattle interests destroyed any copies of the book which surfaced. As a result, this book is “exceedingly rare” (Adams).

"One of the most famous range books. A lot of confusion exists about this book, due to its supposed suppression and the vitriolic nature of the content. Mercer, a promoter and newspaper editor, wrote the book as an attack on the actions of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association during the Johnson County War. The work is usually listed as being published in Cheyenne; however, both of Mercer's children maintain that it was printed in Denver" (Adams, Six Score).