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Captain Jack Crawford: Buckskin Poet, Scout, and Showman + Ho! for the Black Hills: Captain Jack Crawford Reports the Black Hills Gold Rush and Great Sioux War
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 392 pages
  • Publisher: University of New Mexico Press; Reprint edition (March 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0826351743
  • ISBN-13: 978-0826351746
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,903,127 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

This biography re-creates Jack Crawford's experience as a scout, rancher, miner, reformer, husband and father, and poet and entertainer to reinterpret the American Dream and the lure of getting rich pursued by many during the Gilded Age.

About the Author

Darlis A. Miller is professor emerita of history at New Mexico State University, Las Cruces.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Coming to the United States from Ireland, the 14-year-old John Wallace Crawford brought a brother and two sisters to join their parents who had left Ireland two years earlier and made a home in Minersville, Pennsylvania.

Shortly after his arrival, young John went to work in the coal mines to help support his family. There, he earned the princely sum of $1.75 per week. This was an inauspicious beginning for the boy who would be known as Captain Jack Crawford, co-star of Buffalo Bill Cody and toast of New York City.

Jack Crawford was a poet, a scout and a gifted showman who lived during exciting times in America. A member of the Forty-eighth Pennsylvania volunteers, he was in the thick of battle during the final days of the Civil War. Later, he traversed the Black Hills of the Dakotas interviewing miners for a newspaper, and was appointed chief of scouts of the Black Hills Rangers, a group engaged in protecting miners from angry Sioux. After Custer's death, Crawford became a military scout, participating in "the starvation march" in 1876.

The pages of Jack Crawford's life are chapters in American history, and Darlis Miller recounts it well.

- Gail Cooke
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was an excellent book to learn some interesting history about America through an interesting individual. My husband had seen a knife this man had known in a museum and wanted to know more about him.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Born in Ireland but growing up as a teenager in the coal towns of Pennsylvania, "Captain" Jack Crawford, a.k.a. "The Poet Scout," grew up to be a unique personality of the American West (as the book's subtitle suggests). A married man with several small children, he spent almost all of his time away from home trying to strike it rich, usually through various mining enterprises or as a stage performer. His initial fame started with his time in the Black Hills at the start of the gold rush in the mid-1870s followed by a brief stint as scout with General George Crook's command against the Sioux (taking part in the fight at Slim Buttes in September 1876). He achieved a certain level of fame, but never quite hit the jackpot like his contemporary Buffalo Bill Cody (with whom he had a somewhat stormy relationship). The money he made was never enough considering all that he lost in failed ventures. I found the book easy to read and other than a few small criticisms, really enjoyed the book. Recommended.
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By DHMadsen on September 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a fantastic book about a unsung hero of the Old West. I had read bits and pieces about Captain Jack but never a complete book. Was thrilled to find this volume and could not put it down. Interesting life and was one of the instrumental people who shaped our perceptions of the Old West and the days of the cowboys. If you are interested in western history or just a good read I recommend this book!
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Format: Hardcover
Many people rise to prominence during their lives, but their relevance fades and their names are unrecognized in relatively short time. Jack Crawford's was such a life: Crawford's history has become obscure. His adventures ranged from Civil War battlefields to gold rush camps in the Dakotas, the Cariboos of eastern British Columbia, and the Klondike. They included service as a scout in the indian wars of the mid- and southwest, service as a federal law officer who ranged from Mexico to Wisconsin, and mine developer in New Mexico. Through most of this time he had a parallel career as newspaper correspondent, political activist, entertainer, author, and sometime performer with "Buffalo Bill" Cody. Crawford's activity as a communicator brought the West to masses of newspaper readers and attendees of his public appearances, in a time when these were "the media", predating the now-familiar accessibility of electronic communications. Western fiction authors from Buntline to McMurtree have modeled their characters upon people like Crawford. Although his prominence had him rubbing elbows with US Presidents, there hasn't been much historical review of his life prior to this book. Darlis Miller has preserved a fascinating element of Americana in her study of "Captain" Jack Crawford.
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