Book review

In the tradition of his award-winning biographies, Meriwether Lewis and Fool's Gold, acclaimed historian Richard Dillon recreates the life of one of frontier America's most gifted lawmen, James B. Hume. Dillon paints a vivid picture of Hume, the greatest of Wells, Fargo and company's detectives, who ranged all over the West in search of robbers of the firm's express shipments. Formerly a sheriff in California's Mother Lode gold mining country, Hume did not operate in the usual manner of most western lawmen. Instead of using his gun in apprehending badmen, this courageous lawman preferred to rely on his brains. In collaboration with famed San Francisco policeman Isaiah Lees, Hume pioneered scientific detection in law enforcement in the American West-a science later known as criminology. In one of history's most fascinating arrests, Hume used a laundry mark to track down Black Bart, the poetry writing stagecoach robber. "Dillon...has written a colorful biography of an Indiana farm-boy, James Hume, who heeded the 'Go West' cry of his time...Dillon's portrait of the man is remarkably human and rounded." -Publishers Weekly "In a fast-paced story, historian Dillon gives life to this remarkable Wells, Fargo detective. While all the excitement of the chase is here, Dillon also gives a sensitive view of the whole man." -American West "Richard Dillon always writes with an adroit selection of words and phrases. In Wells, Fargo Detective he adds sardonic humor by reprinting extracts from the amazingly cold and stormy love letters Hume wrote his 'intended.'" -Arizona and the West "This biography by Richard Dillon reads as smoothly as a novel. He used James Hume's own letters and diaries...He not only relates the fascinating events of Hume's public life but mines his personality as well and finds a heroic and likable figure." -Carmon Friedrich

Wells, Fargo Detective: A Biography of James B. Hume by Richard H. Dillon

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Richard H. Dillon
Write Thought, Inc.
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Wells, Fargo Detective: A Biography of James B. Hume

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