- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: Creative Texts Publishers, LLC (October 31, 2014)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0692437258
- ISBN-13: 978-0692437254
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 66 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,086 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Billy the Kid: An Autobiography: The Story of Brushy Bill Roberts Paperback – October 31, 2014
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"After more than 20 years of research and 22 books read, I am surprised and delighted at the new research revealed in Daniel's book. He approaches much of the information regarding Brushy's interviews with a new insight and has uncovered many new facts and documented records that support Brushy Bill Roberts' claim of being Billy The Kid. If you've ever wondered about this story and want to make a decision one way or the other, read Daniel's book. A marvelous effort to shed truth on the story once and for all." -Wayne Land
"Absolutely loved it, alot of thorough research went into this book, from photo comparisons to documents, a must read for anyone researching Billy The Kid or just curious for answers to a much controversial subject, Daniel A Edwards delves in and leaves no stone unturned, many of the documents in this book I know were hard to find, much information lost through the years were present in this book, Thank You Daniel A Edwards for spending the time and effort to compile the information and photos for this much interesting book, I truly enjoyed it." -Missylaneous
From the Author
In 1882 a notorious outlaw finally walked out of a New Mexico jail a free man. He had just completed serving a prison sentence for the murder of a Texas Ranger and decided prison was not for him. His debt to society paid, he walked out of the prison a free man and disappeared, never to be heard from again...or so we were told.
The outlaw was Jesse Evans, founder of the notorious "Jesse Evans Gang". This gang, that roamed New Mexico during the 1870s and 1880s, committed innumerable acts of armed robbery, violence and cattle rustling. Its members included such prominent western names as Frank Baker, Jim McDaniels and "Curly Bill" Brocius (among others) but no doubt the gang's most notable acquaintance was Jesse's childhood friend; the legendary Billy the Kid.
Traditional history tells us that Billy the Kid was killed in 1881 and that Jesse Evans was never heard from again. The truth, however, is that there is more evidence against this position than we are led to believe.
In 1948 when the brother of Jesse Evans passed away and his estate needed to be settled, Jesse Evans re-appeared and revealed that he had been living in Florida under the alias Joe Hines. Joe Hines was able to prove to the satisfaction of a court of law that he was the one and only Jesse Evans of legend. You see, his brother had left a parcel of land to Jesse and he intended to get what was rightfully his, and he did.
Jesse told the lawyer handling the case that he was one of three surviving participants of the Lincoln County War. One of the other survivors, he claimed, was his childhood friend William H. Bonney, alias "Kid" Antrim, alias "Billy the Kid". This was a startling claim from someone who had himself been considered long dead and it was against the odds that two surviving old men, both who were of meager means, would have the methods or energy to correct the 70 years of established storyline that had developed around the disappearance of Jesse Evans or the exploits of Billy the Kid.
Nevertheless, the lawyer, William Morrison, contacted the Kid who was now himself living under an alias and approaching 91 years old. At first he was reluctant to share his story, especially since he was technically still wanted and condemned to hang for a crime he didn't commit. However, after some consideration he decided it was more important to make an attempt to secure the pardon he was promised more than 70 years earlier than it was to remain a fugitive outlaw hiding in the shadows. In the end, after a lifetime of hiding and running from the law, Billy wanted to die a free man.
Morrison learned that the Kid's true name was not William H. Bonney, nor was it William H. Antrim. He had used many aliases over the years but his Christian name was William H. Roberts and he had the family bible to prove it. The Kid's story was remarkably normal. He discussed the events of the Lincoln County War and some of his infamous shootouts, but he also spoke equally as proudly of his skill as a cowhand and bronc buster. He spoke with deep emotion regarding his friends who had been killed and filled in many details of the times that had escaped the historians of the time and were only found out to be true many years later.
He also provided physical evidence of his identity, both on his own body and in the form of artifacts, and was even able to procure five signed affidavits from surviving witnesses who personally knew Billy the Kid that supported his claim. He spoke to these people in person and was recognized by all of them (and more). When they spoke together they were able to speak conversationally about the old days, each reminding the other of specific events when they were together as old friends do. After these meetings they were each individually and collectively certain that this man was Billy the Kid.
Morrison prepared his evidence and brought the ninety year old Billy the Kid before the Governor of New Mexico to obtain his pardon. In the end, however, the Governor made a media circus and a mockery of the proceedings and used it as a publicity stunt rather than treating it as a serious legal matter. It was thus that the testimony of two genuine living legends was discarded for the convenience of popular history as they chose to accept it. Discarded perhaps, discredited for a time, but not before their story was told in full.
William H Roberts, aka Billy the Kid personally collaborated on his autobiography with William V. Morrison and you are now invited to sit down with him and listen as he tells his story once and for all. Mr. Roberts' was a treasure trove of first hand testimony regarding life in the Wild West. Like all credible living witnesses of the period he would have no doubt been widely pursued and quoted if it were not for the fact that he claimed to be Billy the Kid.
Many men have from time to time come forward to claim that they were famous historical figures. No one, however, has ever been able to do so with the mountain of evidence that Mr. Roberts was able to provide that he was, in fact, the authentic Billy the Kid of legend. In addition to the signed affidavits from living witnesses that had known the Kid, his physical characteristics the two men shared (including gun and knife wounds), and photographic and physical records that William Henry Roberts had in his possession at the time, Mr. Roberts matched exactly the description of Billy the Kid, including height, weight, eye color, and stature. All of these evidences were available at the time to support his claim. However, despite these things no one of his era except Mr. Morrison was willing to investigate them during his lifetime.
What follows is the original tale put forth in collaboration with Mr. Roberts himself before his unfortunate death in 1950. His story is remarkable both in detail and simplicity. After all, Billy the Kid was a period of only a few years out of a life of ninety. Life, it seems, moves on. And much of life does not consist of adventure or amazing exploits but rather hard work and too often scrambling to get by. The story of Brushy Bill Roberts, therefore, is a story that in its entirety makes perfect sense. It explains with great credibility how a very human Billy the Kid began and ended life as a real person and not as a comic book character or dime novel hero.
My hope as you read this narrative is that you consider all of the evidence for yourself and that you keep in mind what Mr. Roberts said during this first meeting with Mr. Morrison.
He said simply "I done wrong like everyone else did in those days. I have lived a good life since I left New Mexico. I have been a useful citizen. I want to die a free man. I do not want to die like Garrett and the rest of them, by the gun. I have been hiding so long and they have been telling so many lies about me that I want to get everything straightened out before I die. I can do it with some help. The good Lord left me here for a purpose and I know why he did. Now will you help me out of this mess?"
Here's to you Brushy, and here's to getting this mess all straightened out once and for all. -Daniel A. Edwards
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No one will be quick to admit that because of people’s reputation and wealth would all be for not. History can and should be rewritten for true justice of Billy and for the world who need to know the truth.