Historians have devoted much time and effort investigating whether or not Henry Plummer, the sheriff of Bannack, Mont., actually committed the crimes for which he was hanged by vigilantes on a bitter cold January night in 1864. The question of his innocence has plagued Western historians for 15 decades. Author Linda Buxbaum has always been intrigued by this story. In “The Life and Times of Henry Plummer” (published by Xlibris), she works to shed some light into the whole conundrum.
In May of 1993, a posthumous trial was held in Virginia City, Mont., where a Madison County jury, consisting of twelve, registered voters split the verdict — 6-6. The judge declared a mistrial, and, had Sheriff Plummer been alive, she would have told him, “You are free to go.” Henry’s life tells the tale of a lawless West and epitomizes many a man’s experience in these untamed, violent mining towns of the 1800s where shootouts and duals rule and life is sometimes worth only a handful of gold or the dispute over a lady, proper or fallen. Trouble follows him everywhere.
This book explores life in the west where mining towns would spring up over night and disappear nearly that quickly, where men shot each other in an instant and death loomed at the drop of a hat. With richly drawn characters and compelling narrative, Buxbaum weaves a tale that portrays the Wild West in a unique light.
Fast-paced and gripping, “The Life and Times of Henry Plummer” imparts an important lesson on justice and history.