On the Westerns Channel, I saw Clint Walker’s Cheyenne Bodie arrested for not having proper identification. Did ID cards exist in the Old West?

Ronnie Sanders

Bentonia, Mississippi

For the most part, ID cards are a creation of the 20th century. Back in the days of less government, citizens had no need for such things. It’s true that federal marshals and Texas Rangers, for example, had commissions that they frequently carried with them. Most law officers had badges of some sort. Members of the military had enlistment papers. But those forms of ID certainly weren’t in the same category as today’s driver’s licenses or Social Security cards.

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