In 1880, Billy the Kid was Worth $500. Now He’s Worth $5,000,000!

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Music – “Billy the Kid” from Outlaws: Songs of Robbers, Rustlers, and Rogues by Mark Lee Gardner. Released: 2012

The legendary

The legendary “Billy the Kid” (Photo Credit: http://www.legendsofamerica.com)

Anyone reading the news this week, or is a fan of Billy the Kid will have heard about a hitherto unknown photograph of him with members of his gang “The Regulators”, playing an innocuous game of croquet with friends and family, thought to have been taken in the summer of 1878. The 4″ by 5″ tintype of “Henry McCarty“, aka “William H. Bonney“, aka “Billy the Kid” was thought to have been taken a month prior to the Lincoln County War in New Mexico Territory.

The $5,000,000 photo of Billy the Kid and members of his gang

The $5,000,000 photo of Billy the Kid and members of his gang

Enlarged area from the photo showing Billy the Kid at left

Enlarged area from the photo showing Billy the Kid at left

According to news sources, investigators have spent more than a year examining and researching the tintype and it was recently announced to be authentic and appraised at $5,000,000! Not a bad return on an initial investment of $2.00! Apparently, the photograph is the only other portrait known to exist of the notorious Wild West figure. The other photograph is a 2- by 3-inch tintype taken at Fort Sumner in 1880. That image was sold for $2.3 million in 2010.

According to several sources, the closest thing to a wanted poster for Billy the Kid was a reward notice the governor put in the Las Vegas Gazette in December of 1880. Which read:

BILLY THE KID
$500 Reward
I will pay $500 reward to any person or persons
who will capture William Bonny, alias The Kid,
and deliver him to any sheriff of New Mexico.
Satisfactory proofs of identity will be required.

Billy the Kid, the legendary bad guy in the Southwest, spent much of life in New Mexico. According to Lynn Nusom, in his book “Billy the Kid Cook Book”, the debate about Billy the Kid persists.  He was sentenced to hang in Mesilla, New Mexico, for shooting and killing a Sheriff, but was fatally shot before that transpired, in 1881.

“Billy the Kid Cook Book” by Lynn Nusom

Nusom says that some claim that “the Kid” was “…a bandit, hoodlum and murderer”, yet others see him as “…a cowboy and a hero”. Some of the foods Billy might have eaten include “Huevos Rancheros”, “Hacienda Stew”, “Red Eye Gravy”,and “Crookneck Squash Soup”.
He might have enjoyed “Son-of-a-Gun Stew” or “Chile Rellenos Casserole

The reward poster for Billy the Kid (Photo Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk)

The reward poster for Billy the Kid (Photo Credit: http://www.dailymail.co.uk)

Huevos Rancheros might have been a favourite of bad boy Billy the Kid (Photo Credit: cookandbemerry.com)

Huevos Rancheros might have been a favourite of bad boy Billy the Kid (Photo Credit: cookandbemerry.com)

Billy certainly gets around these days (Photo Credit: www.keiloassociates.com)

Billy certainly gets around these days (Photo Credit: http://www.keiloassociates.com)

So, in 1880, the price on Billy was $500….today it’s $5,000,000. I wonder if Billy sensed he would become infamous in Wild West history and be worth so much cash. He could have bought a whole heck of a lot of pinto beans and green chile stew with $5,000,000! Too bad he’s not here to enjoy it.

Billy the Kid...the source of real and urban legend (Photo Credit: www.ufix.is)

Billy the Kid…the source of real and urban legend (Photo Credit: http://www.ufix.is)


My EatYourBooks cookbook collection

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About vintagecookbookery

Cookbook lover and collector with a burgeoning collection of cookbooks. Reading and researching food trends, history of cooking techniques and technological advances in cooking, what we eat and why and cookbooks as reflectors of cultures is a fascination for me. As of November 7th, 2013, I hold the current Guinness World Record title for the largest collection of cookbooks: 2,970 at the official count on July 14th, 2013 (applaud now, thank you very much!) The current (unofficial) number is now 5,851. What next? More cookbooks, naturally (small ones !)
This entry was posted in Billy the Kid, Cookbooks, Cooking, New Mexico, Wild West and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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