Bloody Bill Longley

Bloody Bill Longley

The Mythology of A Gunfighter

eBook - 2011
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Book News
Number ten in a series of works on Texas cowboys, outlaws and the west, this new edition of the biography of Bill Longley includes new and updated information based on the location and identification of his remains. The work attempts to paint an accurate picture of Longley, a outlaw who murdered several men, and to separate true facts from the self aggrandizing autobiographical writings the gunman penned from his jail cell. The work includes several photographs as well as reproductions of primary documents. Miller is an independent historian and the author of several biographies of Texas outlaws. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Texas A
& M Univ

William Preston Longley (1851-1878) went on a murderous rampage over the last few years of his life. Once he was arrested in 1877, and subsequently sentenced to hang, his name became known statewide as an outlaw and a murderer. Longley created and reveled in his self-centered image as a fearsome, deadly gunfighter. In truth, Longley was not the daring figure that he attempted to paint.


William Preston “Bill” Longley (1851-1878), though born into a strong Christian family, turned bad during Reconstruction in Texas, much like other young boys of that time, including the deadly John Wesley Hardin. He went on a murderous rampage over the last few years of his life, shotgunning Wilson Anderson in retribution for Anderson’s killing of a relative; killing George Thomas in McLennan County; and shooting William “Lou” Shroyer in a running gunfight. Longley even killed the Reverend William R. Lay while Lay was milking a cow. Once he was arrested in 1877, and subsequently sentenced to hang, his name became known statewide as an outlaw and a murderer. Through a series of “autobiographical” letters written from jail while awaiting the hangman, Longley created and reveled in his self-centered image as a fearsome, deadly gunfighter—the equal, if not the superior, of the vaunted Hardin.
Declaring himself the “worst outlaw” in Texas, the story that he created became the basis for his historical legacy, unfortunately relied on and repeated over and over by previous biographers, but all wrong. In truth, Bill Longley was not the daring figure that he attempted to paint. Rick Miller’s thorough research shows that he was, instead, a braggart who exaggerated greatly his feats as a gunman. The murders that could be credited to him were generally nothing more than cowardly assassinations.
Bloody Bill Longley was first published in a limited edition in 1996. Miller separates fact from fancy, attempting to prove or disprove Longley’s many claims of bloodshed. Since the time of the first edition, diligent research has located and identified the outlaw’s body, the absence of which was a longstanding myth in itself. This revised edition includes that part of the Longley story, as well as several new items of information that have since come to light.


Publisher: Denton, Tex. : University of North Texas Press, 2011
Edition: 2nd rev. ed
ISBN: 9781574413533
1574413538
9781574413052
1574413058
Characteristics: 1 online resource (xviii, 371 pages) : illustrations
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