1853 Los Angeles Gangs
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by Steven W. Knight
Category: Historical Fiction/Mystery/Crime
Description: Novelized history of lawless L.A. gangs of 1853 and the Rangers who battled them. Rebel Mexican leader with twice the troops as the LAPD decides to overthrow California's Government. Problem. He underestimates ONE police volunteer. In Horace Bell's viewpoint, L.A. beckoned with love and police work. Also, he could study for the Bar. Violence brought his rapid retribution. For Paulette Bovierre, with a lost love in France, Horace Bell had a promising future. She was pure strength in adversity. In Don Tomas Sanchez's viewpoint, L.A. offered political power as he fought to keep the status quo. The Americans had already grabbed too many Mexican ranches. For Dona Jacinto Talamantes, her love at first sight starts a triangle between Horace and Paulette. Love lived forever. In Roy Bean's heart, L.A. was a place to have fun "whorin'" and to be a ranger. Yes, sin permeated everywhere. Humor existed for their survival. For Juan Flores' viewpoint, first he must kill the Chinese, then all the Americans. His gang would revolt against the new order. Now all must face the largest struggle ever seen in Los Angeles. Character counted when one ranger challenged 100 miscreants. [Cover art Dirk A. Wolf]
eBook Publisher: Hard Shell Word Factory, 2002
eBookwise Release Date: July 2003
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [327 KB]
Reading time: 200-281 min.
"1853 Los Angeles Gangs by Steven W. Knight is an impressively written, historical novel of the lawless gangs of Los Angeles, and the determined Rangers who stood against them. The superbly drawn story of a turbulent yesteryear city is populated with such memorable characters as Juan Flores who intends for his gant to dominant a rapidly expanding and ethnically diverse city by first killing off the Chinese, and then the Americans; Don Thomas Sanchez struggling to preserve political power in the face of American landgrabs; and Horace Bell with his implacable dedication to the law. Drama, action, bloodshed, love and great courage fill the pages of this exciting and entertaining saga from cover to cover."--Midwest Book Review
"Your novel details memorable pieces of history, and I have truly enjoyed reading it."--Leroy D. Baca, Sheriff of Los Angeles County
"Every very bit as exciting as I anticipated. A good read, well written and fast moving. You told it with humor and enthusiasm. Little-known but authentic L.A. history in novel format. You've captured the heart of early L.A. You've struck a font of neglected Western history. Tombstone had its O.K. Corral shootout and San Francisco its vigilantes. But L.A. was a more violent and interesting place which may now, because of your book, get the attention of historians."--Max Hurlbut, Retired LAPD, Alaska Chief of Police, and chief Tombstone City Marshal
100,000 MINERS flooded into California from 1848 to 1849. Separate races, diverse languages, different religious and moral beliefs were all represented. Each individual wanted to strike it rich and return home. Most were lucky enough to barely cover their food expenses. After they left the Northern mining areas, they made Los Angeles a popular stopping place. Many stayed in Southern California for the climate; many tried to get wealth illegally.
By 1851 San Francisco possessed vigilantes, 6,000 who hanged anybody they did not like. Los Angeles, being much smaller in population, chose to commission 100 men from their judges, attorneys, merchants, and ex-Texas Rangers, to be their Volunteer Mounted Police Force. These police volunteers changed their name to the Los Angeles Rangers in 1853.
This story is about them, those brave men who protected the small pueblo de Los Angeles and its 1600 citizens. The day after they were appointed, July 13, 1851, they each took an oath of vigilance. They were then licensed to kill, a power they had to use from time to time.
Copyright © 2002 by Steven W. Knight