Mark C. Dillon, an associate justice of the appellate division of the New York State Supreme Court, brings all of his legal knowledge to bear on the actions of Montana vigilantes from 1863 to 1870 in The Montana Vigilantes, 1863-1870: Gold, Guns, and Gallows.
Dillon analyzes the circumstances that allowed vigilante groups to flourish, their flouting of the due-process standards of the era and the surprising acquiescence to their fate of many of the 62 men accused through March 1870. Along the way, the author provides more than 50 photographs and numerous digressions, including a discussion of how gold and silver became the basis for U.S. currency and what it meant when new sources of these precious metals were found.
All in all, Dillon has given us a well researched and highly accessible look at a significant topic.
–Carol A. O’Connor, co-author with Clyde A. Milner II of As Big as the West: The Pioneer Life of Granville Stuart