Colorado State University’s American West Program Hosts Discussion of Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid

A lawman, an outlaw and the result of a killing are under scrutiny during a talk for the American West Program at Colorado State University.

"Pat Garrett: The Ups and Downs of a Western Lawman" will be presented by Leon Metz, author and lecturer from El Paso, Texas, at 7:30 p.m. June 18 in Room A103 Chemistry Building on campus.

Metz will discuss Garrett’s early life and his election as sheriff of Lincoln County in New Mexico. For several years, Garrett’s challenge was to track down and kill William Bonney, better known as Billy the Kid. But after the slaying, Garrett’s life was never the same – he couldn’t hold his job as sheriff and began drifting around the country. Eventually he was shot and killed in a feud, with the identity of his killer remaining as debatable today as it was at the time.

Metz is author of 16 nonfiction books and dozens of articles in Western magazines and journals. He has traveled throughout the United States and Mexico speaking on Western history, gunfighters, the Rio Grande, the Mexican border and the military of the frontier. He currently is resident historian at El Paso’s Chamizal National Memorial.

Events for the American West Program will continue every Tuesday evening through July 30, when Patricia Limerick, historian from the University of Colorado-Boulder, will explore the role of the courts in the changing West.

Other topics include vigilantism, the role of the Posse Comitatus in the West and a slide presentation on the rise and fall of Wyoming lawman Tom Horn.

Following is a schedule of events. All talks begin at 7:30 p.m. in Room A103 Chemistry Building and are free and open to the public. The locations previously announced have all been changed to the Chemistry Building.

For more information, call Harry Rosenberg, history professor and coordinator of the American West series, at 491-5230.

  • June 18 – "Pat Garrett: The Ups and Downs of a Western Lawman," Leon Metz, author and lecturer, El Paso, Texas.
  • June 25 – "Posse Comitatus in Blue: The Soldier as Frontier Lawman," Michael Tate, history professor, University of Nebraska-Omaha.
  • July 2 – "Tom Horn, Wyoming Range Detective: Guilty of Murder in the First Degree," Chip Carlson, historian and biographer, Cheyenne, Wyo.
  • July 9 – "The Texas Rangers in History and Legend," Robert Utley, historian, Georgetown, Texas.
  • July 16 – "Vigilantism – The Conservative Mob," Richard Brown, Beekman Professor of History, emeritus, University of Oregon.
  • July 23 – "Bat Masterson: The Colorado Connection," Mike Koury, publisher, Old Army Press, Fort Collins, Colo.
  • July 30 – "Judging Colorado: The Role of the Courts in the Changing West," Patricia Limerick, history professor, University of Colorado-Boulder.