ask-the-marshallLists of Plains Indian property captured by the army in the 1860-70s often mention “crowbars.” Why would the Plains Indians, who I thought travelled light, have crowbars?

Gary S. Bradak

Logan, Utah

It’s very likely that the Plains Indians had many uses for a crowbar, both as a tool and a weapon. I don’t think a crowbar would have been too heavy or cumbersome for traveling, certainly no more so than a long-barreled rifle. Like many other steel instruments that the white man brought to the West, the crowbar would have been a handy gadget to have around.

Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian.

His books include The Arizona Trilogy and Law of the Gun.

If you have a question, write:

Ask the Marshall, PO Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327

or e-mail him at

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