DescriptionJOHN SLAUGHTER'S TOMBSTONE, ARIZONA TERRITORY COWBOYS - C.S. FLY - CABINET CARD - circa 1879-80.
This is a great early Arizona Territory image from C.S. Fly of three identified cowboys with John Slaughter's Ranch outfit. The men are identified on the reverse in pencil as, "Wake Benge, Tad Roland, and Jeff Lewis - Cowboys for John H. Slaughter in July 1879 all came to Arizona with Mr. Slaughter's first herd. The first two (Begne and Roland) went back for the second (herd)." The Cabinet card is in fine condition with great contrast and tonality, and measures 4.25"x 6.5" on a thin card. The purple round stamp imprint of C.S. Fly is also on the reverse.
John Horton Slaughter (1841-1922) gained much fame as a Texas Ranger, Indian fighter, and Confederate veteran in Texas, but it was not until he went to Tombstone, A.T. that he made his fortune in ranching. Slaughter also later became the sheriff of Cochise County, and was known as a fearless lawman and killer of many thieves. The cowboy in this image, Tad Roland, is mentioned several times in the reference Southwest of John H. Slaughter by Allen A. Erwin. The reference states on page 136 in relation to his first drive, "John Slaughter had some of the worst outlaws in the country on his trail drive; one of these had left the James Gang to get a new start. Some of his good hands were Billy Grimes, Wake Benge, Jeff Lewis, Tad Roland, Billy Claiborne, and Tom Cochran." Billy Claiborne later worked for the Clanton-McLowery gang and while at the O.K. Corral gunfight with the Earps he notoriously ran away. He was later killed in 1882 by Earp ally "Buckskin" Frank Leslie, just outside of the Oriental Saloon in Tombstone. Roland must have been important to Slaughter as he worked for him until his death at the age of 34. Roland found Slaughter's ranch for him in south Arizona through a land grant he had i
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