Policing the Elephant: Crime, Punishment & Social Behavior

By: John Phillip Reid

Price: $15.00

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"Policing the Elephant," the companion volume to "Law for the Elephant," examines criminal activity and its consequences among travelers on the overland trail in the early nineteenth century. Reid consulted hundreds of primary sources to discover how justice was meted out--without police, attorneys, or courts. Separating fact from fiction, he explores how emigrants dealt with spousal abuse, homicide, robbery, organized crime, and larceny. He also looks into famous episodes of executions. Introducing real people and real incidents, his book shows that Americans have been far more law abiding than television, the movies, and pulp fiction would often have us believe.

Title: Policing the Elephant: Crime, Punishment & Social Behavior

Author: John Phillip Reid

Illustrator: Reg. Price: $15.00

Categories: Frontier & Pioneer Life, Trails,

Publisher: The Huntington Library Press: 1996

ISBN Number: 0873281594

ISBN Number 13: 9780873281591

Binding: Paperback

Book Details: 326 pages, 6 x 9, 1 map, 1 line illustration, The Huntington Library Press

Seller ID: 281594

Description: Policing the Elephant, the companion volume to Law for the Elephant, examines criminal activity and its consequences among travelers on the overland trail in the early nineteenth century. Reid consulted hundreds of primary sources to discover how justice was meted out--without police, attorneys, or courts. Separating fact from fiction, he explores how emigrants dealt with spousal abuse, homicide, robbery, organized crime, and larceny. He also looks into famous episodes of executions. Introducing real people and real incidents, his book shows that Americans have been far more law abiding than television, the movies, and pulp fiction would often have us believe.

About Author
John Phillip Reid, Russell D. Niles Professor of Law at New York University School of Law, is the author of Law for the Elephant, Chief Justice: The Judicial World of Charles Doe and A Law of Blood: The Primitive Law of the Cherokee Nation, among many other works.

Reviews
"Reid has done a good job of weaving together sometimes fragmentary evidence to present a comprehensive picture of migrants' attitudes toward crime and punishment on the overland trail. . . . Policing the Elephant is a welcome contribution to the history of crime and punishment in the mid-nineteenth-century United States."--The Journal of American History

"Reid's decades of meticulous, multi-archival research in primary documents has again produced a definitive and dispositive work on the overland trail experience."--California History

"Through an incisive analysis of the diaries, journals, and letters of emigrants crossing from Missouri or Iowa to Oregon or California, Reid examines how overland travelers experienced and responded to anti-social actions and their punishment."--Great Plains Quarterly

"This book should command a wide audience. Reid's anti-Turnerian thesis that overland emigrants were bound by their legal traditions, rather than being free spirits in a Wild West environment, will help cause a rethinking about an important aspect of the frontier experience."--Nebraska History

"This volume makes as significant a contribution to scholarship as did the first book, Law for the Elephant, and will, I predict, force scholars to reassess the role of law in nineteenth-century America."--Walter Nugent, Notre Dame University