Jack McCall, Assassin

Review: Jack McCall, Assassin: An Updated Account of His Yankton Trial, Plea for Clemency, and Execution, Joseph G. Rosa, 1999.Jack Mccall

It’s the 140th anniversary of Jack McCall’s walk on part in the history of the Old West. James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok was playing cards when McCall stepped up behind him and shot him in the head.

A miner’s jury acquitted him. But he hung later in Yankton, the capitol of Dakota Territory. The jury, it was decided, had no right to hold a trial on what was legally Indian land.

McCall’s motives were obscure. His background is seldom mentioned. It was a life only remembered at all for what happened in Saloon No. 10 on that hot August afternoon.

As far as I know, Hickok scholar Rosa is the only one to have actually researched McCall’s life for this slender pamphlet of 24 pages.


More reviews of books related to the Old West are indexed here.

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