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John Wesley Hardin

Hardin, John Wesley, 1853–95, American desperado, b. Bonham, Tex. In the lawless violence of the frontier the boy early became a gambler and a gunman, but was able by his shooting skill and the help of friends to escape capture until 1877, when he was sentenced to 25 years for killing a sheriff. He studied law in prison and, pardoned in 1894, began practice in El Paso but was shot down a year later by a local constable.

See his autobiography, introd. by R. G. McCubbin (1961); biography by L. Nordyke (1957).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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