James Dolan was a 25-year-old hothead when he got in trouble in Lincoln County, NM in 1873. He got into a tiff with Captain James Randlett, an officer at nearby Fort Stanton. Dolan tried to kill him but failed. A few months later, army officials kicked Dolan and partner Lawrence Murphy off the fort grounds—partly due to the attempted killing, but also because of accusations that Murphy-Dolan were price gouging in selling beef to the army. In spite of that, the government never officially canceled the beef contracts with the two Irishmen.