A Historian Responds

Mark C. Dillon has responded to my question from the previous newsletter, “Do you think Yeager’s List was real?”

He writes: “I believe the Yeager list existed but its hard copy has been lost to history. The reason I believe it existed is that so much activity was undertaken by the vigilantes that tracked the “list,” in terms of the hanging spree that followed the deaths of Yeager and Brown. It defies plausibility that the list was fictionally created by the vigilantes after the fact.”

(It may have been lost in any of the devastating fires to consume much of Helena in the 1870’s.)

Judge Dillon is a justice of the Supreme Court of the State of New York, serving in the Appellate Division. He is a historian and the author of Montana’s Vigilantes, 1863 – 1870; Guns, Gold, and Gallows. His book is a frequent resource for me in writing about the Vigilantes of Montana! His book is the only one to assess the legality of the Vigilantes’ actions.