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Outlaw Cowboy Ike Clanton

The Cochise County Cowboys were a loosely associated group of outlaw cowboys in Pima and Cochise County, Arizona Territory in the late 19th century. They included cattle rustlers and robbers who rode across the border into Mexico and stole cattle from Mexican ranches, which they drove across the border and sold in the United States.

The Mexican government lowered tariffs and added forts along the border, and cross-border rustling and smuggling became less attractive. The Cowboys then began to steal cattle and horses from neighboring American ranches, reselling them to unscrupulous butchers. They also held up stagecoaches, stealing the strongboxes and strong-arming passengers for their valuables. In some instances, they killed drivers and passengers.

Modern media, such as the film Tombstone, have repeatedly and mistakenly depicted the Cowboys as a formally organized gang. But the roughly 200–300 Cowboys were in fact a loosely organized band of friends and associates who teamed up for various crimes and came to each other's aid. Their notoriety today is due to the death of three of their associates in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881, where they were opposed by Virgil Earp and his brothers, Wyatt Earp and Morgan Earp, along with Doc Holliday.


Cochise County Cowboys sections
Intro   Origins and background   Business owners vs. The Cowboys  Known criminal associates  Cowboys and the law   Aftermath   References  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Origins and background
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Outlaw Cowboy Ike Clanton

The Cochise County Cowboys were a loosely associated group of outlaw cowboys in Pima and Cochise County, Arizona Territory in the late 19th century. They included cattle rustlers and robbers who rode across the border into Mexico and stole cattle from Mexican ranches, which they drove across the border and sold in the United States.

The Mexican government lowered tariffs and added forts along the border, and cross-border rustling and smuggling became less attractive. The Cowboys then began to steal cattle and horses from neighboring American ranches, reselling them to unscrupulous butchers. They also held up stagecoaches, stealing the strongboxes and strong-arming passengers for their valuables. In some instances, they killed drivers and passengers.

Modern media, such as the film Tombstone, have repeatedly and mistakenly depicted the Cowboys as a formally organized gang. But the roughly 200–300 Cowboys were in fact a loosely organized band of friends and associates who teamed up for various crimes and came to each other's aid. Their notoriety today is due to the death of three of their associates in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral on October 26, 1881, where they were opposed by Virgil Earp and his brothers, Wyatt Earp and Morgan Earp, along with Doc Holliday.


Cochise County Cowboys sections
Intro   Origins and background   Business owners vs. The Cowboys  Known criminal associates  Cowboys and the law   Aftermath   References  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Origins and background
<<>>