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Reportably kiiled a negro in Leon Co Texas and then killed Benjamin Bradley Janaury 4, 1870 in Hill Co Texas+a man named Wood "vanished":

Dallas Morning News March 6, 1892

Dallas Morning news August 31, 1895


Killing a man in a Kansas Hotel in 1871:

"Kansas Daily Commonwealth"  August 9, 1871

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To Contunue:

Killing a man in a Kansas hotel in 1871:

"Abilene Chronicle" August 10, 1871

"Abilene Chronicle" August 17, 1871

for Summary of his life see


June 19 1872 account of gunfight concerning Hardin in Willis Texas-see page 4

1876 arrest of  Hardin aka Swain in Mobile Alabama

Howdy Tony!!

Pard, there's little doubt that Hardin was a killer. Now weather he was a stand up "shootist" or not is still in question. Keep in mind that most of the tales about his prowness come from Hardin's own "autobiography". We know for a fact, that when he was arrested in Florida by Texas Rangers( which led to his prison sentence), the ranger simply whacked him over the head with his pistol and placed him under arrest. Hardin later explained ( also from his autobiography) that his pistol hammers became entangled with his suspenders and that's why he didn't defend himself. He also said( once again from his autobiography) that he ran from Wild Bill Hickok in Abilene, after shooting a man through a wall, because he was afraid Hickok and his deputies would kill him. Rumors still persist that Deputy Selman killed Hardin because Hardin had Selman kill the husband of a woman whom Hardin was interested in and Hardin failed to pay up. Deputy Selman was tried for murder, because they couldn't determine if Selman had shot him from the front or the back, even though there were witnesses. The hard lead bullet entered through the back of his head and exited above his eye leaving the same size entrance and exit wound. I think the words of a juror in the trial in which Selman was acquitted best sum up John Wesley Hardin and I quote" if he(Selman) shot him( Hardin) from the front, it was good marksmanship and if he (Selman) shot him (Hardin) from the back, it was good judgement" unquote.


good responce!

trouble is that hardin autobiography is sometimes taken as "Gospel truth" so to speak-for example Hardin Claim of Killing and wounding members of the Mobile Alabama police in a 1876 shootout-the records show a different result! Only one person slightly injured-while Hardin was run out of town for marked cards-not in bio!

Hardin was a bad mix of a short temper, fast gun reflexs and a racist attitude.....

Howdy Tony!!

There is also an account in his "autobiography" of Hardin's killing 2-4 soldiers that came to arrest him. According to the U.S. Army, there is no record of these killings!! I believe it might pay the reader to take what Hardin wrote with a grain of salt and any man that quarreled with him and turned his back was a fool!!


Hardin did kill a african American in 1868

In regard to killing 3 soldiers in 1868 and killing 1 of 2 soldiers:

*See Bob Bowman article which shows that there was a murder by Hardin-but who and how many victums there are known but to G-D.

  • Hardin said he shot one of the two soldiers killed in 1869, in "Richland Bottom", the other having been shot by his cousin, Simp Dixson, a member of the Ku Klux Klan and a man who hated Union soldiers.[8]:17 [69] The record does show that a Sgt. J.F. Leonard of Company B, 6th US Cavalry, was wounded at Livingston Texas on May 7, 1869.[70]

Howdy Tony!!

The African American that Hardin shot was a former slave of one of Hardin's relatives as I recollect. Hardin was a young man at the time and knew the slave well. When he objected to something Hardin told him to do and picked up a stick, Hardin shot and killed him!!  Let's hear it for the big, bad, brave gunslinger, who shot and killed a former slave, who was brandishing a stick!! Not exactly the stuff legends are made of, huh?? I don't mean to come down too hard on .Mr Hardin ( pardon the pun), but the only person I could find any proof of his killing in any sort of a gunfight, was a deputy that arrested him for participating in another killing in some sort of a local feud. When you dismiss the "propaganda" in Hardin's autobiography, there's not a lot of evidence that supports the theory of his being a 'shootist". On the other hand, the evidence that he shot and killed (read murdered) a man through a wall in the American Hotel in Abilene, Kansas and the fact that he killed (again read murdered) a

former slave are very real!! I have no problem with the with the fact that Hardin was a murderer. The theory that he was a renowned "shootist" is a different matter.





I've read one account of the killing of Charles Webb that suggests after the initial encounter Hardin and Webb were both down and when Webb appeared to be getting up,Hardins friends shot him to death.I think most of the Old West gunfighters were a lot of hype. 

Any contemporary newspaper accounts of Webb Shooting-besides JWH?


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