March Wild West Trivia

The first Monday of each month I post a Wild West Trivia Question. Please leave your answer or best guess in the comment section of the blog post for a chance to win one of my books. At the end of the week, I’ll draw a name from all those who entered the contest and post the winner’s name in the comment section–be sure to check back to see who wins!

Thomas E. Ketchum, alias “Black Jack,” was the most noted desperado of the Southwest. Although he was credited with having taken the lives of some of his fellow beings, he finally paid with his own life for an attempted train robbery in which nobody was killed.

The crime was committed near Folsom, N M., August 16, 1899. Single-handed, “Black Jack” held up a Colorado and Southern passenger train. He ordered the engineer and fireman to uncouple the engine and leave the train. The conductor and mail agent opened fire on him, which he promptly returned. He received the contents of a double-barrelled shotgun in his right arm, but quickly changing the rifle to his left shoulder, he succeeded in wounding both conductor and mail agent. He then escaped in the darkness, but was captured next day. He was tried for assault upon a United States mail agent and sentenced to ten years in the penitentiary. Then in September, 1900, he was tried on the more serious charge of assault upon a railroad train with intent to commit a felony. He was also convicted on this charge and was sentenced to be hanged.

Question:  Before Ketchum met his fate at the end of a noose he wrote a letter to someone famous claiming several imprisoned men were innocent of the crimes they’d been accused of committing.  Who was that famous person?



22 thoughts on “March Wild West Trivia

  1. He wrote The letter to the president of the United States at that time. Which was President Mc Kinley, who was in office until 1901.

  2. Black Jack wrote the letter April 26, 1901 to U.S. President William McKinley before being decapitated during his hanging

  3. He wrote it to “His Excellency, the President of the United States”, President William McKinley.
    Ew. I can’t imagine being one of the 150 spectators watching him being hanged. That’s quite a … um … gross story about his execution….

  4. I figured it was the President of the U.S. but I would have had to look it up to know the name. Obviously everybody else already knew! 🙂 I was surprised that he was hanged for a crime where nobody died. That’s what happens when you let angry people decide the fate of others, I guess. This is exactly why I try not to make anybody mad at me. LOL!

  5. Thanks to everyone who entered my Wild West Trivia Contest this month…. The correct answer is President McKinley!

    Congratulations to Carolyn Armstrong–the winner of this month’s contest!

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