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A Tale of Two Wild Wests   

In-Person Class:  The Elderwise classroom at the Vineyard Church.

A Tale of Two Wild Wests:  Michigan and New Mexico, with Frederick Godfroy and Billy the Kid

This is a story of two “wild wests” – old and new. Frederick Godfroy and Billy the Kid represent that transition, Godfroy because his family played a significant role in the early history of the region but unlike Billy, they are barely remembered. Billy the Kid emerged as one of the most famous historical characters of the West. In this class Kathleen Chamberlain will introduce both men, and will compare the two frontiers through them. Apaches versus Potawatomies. Range wars versus the French and Indian Wars and the War of 1812. The roles of the Indian trader and agent in both. Frederick Godfroy encountered Billy the Kid while living in wild New Mexican Territory on the Mescalero Apache reservation, and returned to Michigan with many stories to tell. Join us to hear and enjoy some of these tales.  

Kathleen Chamberlain holds an M.S. in Western history from the University of Colorado/Denver and a Ph.D. in United States history from the University of New Mexico. Her areas of specialization are Native Americans and the Old West. Kathleen taught American history at Eastern Michigan University for more than 15 years, retiring in 2016. She has published In the Shadow of Billy the Kid: Susan McSween and the Lincoln County War, and is currently writing another book titled Women Who Loved and Hated Billy the Kid, for the University of Oklahoma Press.


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