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Entertainment
Historic Unedited Photos They Don't Want You To See
Publication: Historical Archives.
Posted by
760a631d0dea2ae92cb6e9f7b157b927
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Ned Christie

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Where:
Unknown
When:
1800s
Summary:
Outlaw Ned Christie was wrongfully accused of murdering a US Marshall; this would lead to his death by pursuing lawmen in 1892
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Ned Christie


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  Where:
Unknown

  When:
1800s

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Following the shooting of a United States Deputy Marshal named Daniel Maples, there was unrest in what was once the wild west. Maples was within the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma in May 1887 to arrest those that had smuggled whiskey into the region, since it has been illegal in that particular territory.

While approaching the town, Maples was killed, and it was John Parris that was initially arrested before he told officers that it was Ned Christie that killed Maples. A warrant was put out for Christie’s arrest, but he maintained his innocence. Choosing not to fight what would have likely been a losing battle in court, Christie decided to remain on the run.

With that, Christie went out into the wild, more than 10 miles away from where the ambush of Maples had happened. The judge at the time wasn’t able to allow Christie the right to use bail to get out of prison, which Christie says would have allowed the authorities to find out who really shot Maples, continuing to plead with the judge that he wasn’t the one that shot Maples.

Since Christie couldn’t get any sort of amnesty in the situation, he made sure that he had his closest allies at his home and barricaded himself in. Attempts by deputy marshals to bring Christie into custody would ultimately prove futile. His home had been too much of a stronghold, and the vast spread of land made it difficult to find Christie, especially since he knew the lay of the land better than anybody.

Authorities even upped their threats, saying that they were going to burn down his compound, and that it would be best to remove his family before they did so. Christie’s response was to fire bullets at the authorities, escalating the issue even farther. After one of their own were shot, the marshals went ahead with setting the home ablaze, which led to Christie’s wife and son escaping the compound, but not before his son had been shot.

Despite the fire and barrage of bullets that were shot toward his home, Christie and his family escaped. This led Christie to build himself a new compound, but this one was much more fortified than the one before it. This earned Christie a reputation as an outlaw amongst casual civilians, as he was making headlines in the newspapers on a daily basis.

The back-and-forth between Christie’s team and the marshals would last for more than two years, in what was referred to as Ned Christie’s War. Multiple standoffs occurred during this time, and after each one, the reward for Christie’s capture would climb. Many that were hoping for a big payday tried to take Christie dead or alive, but would eventually fail.

With tensions reaching their highest point on November 2, 1892, a final showdown was planned. Instead of sending just a handful of men to try and capture or kill Christie, there were dozens that made their way to the compound, including several Deputy Marshals. Cannonballs and gun blasts filled the air, knocking down the barriers surrounding Christie so that the team could move in for their final confrontation.

It was Deputy Wess Bowman that delivered the final blow to Christie, shooting him from nearby range after Christie had attempted to make yet another escape. Some that were in Christie’s team were able to escape with injuries, while other surrendered. They knew that their fearless leader had fallen, and that there weren’t any other options.

News of Christie’s demise had quickly made its way through Oklahoma, and his body was on full display because of Marshal Tolbert, who displayed him prominently for all to see as the train made its way to Fort Smith. Christie’s body was then sent to Fort Gibson, and reached its final resting place in Wauhillau, Oklahoma.

Though the government and media at the time considered Christie to be a dangerous outlaw, there were many that believed that Christie was framed. He had spent time as an executive member of the Cherokee Nation senate, and was well liked among those in the nation. It wasn’t the first time that Christie ran into trouble while maintaining his support, either, as he had been charged in a manslaughter before the charges were dropped.

Christie’s legacy is certainly an interesting one, with some maintaining that he was indeed guilty of shooting Maples, while others have honored his legacy by saying that it was the railroad company that ultimately wanted him out of the council, as he opposed any building of railroads through Cherokee territory. This became more widely believed more than 20 years after Christie’s death when one witness came forward and said that it wasn’t Christie that shot Maples.

This witness added that it was another outlaw named Bud Trainor that stole Christie’s clothing to make it look like it was Christie, who was reportedly sleeping in a bush after a night of drinking too much. If you visit the town of Tahlequah, Oklahoma now, you’ll find a memorial for Christie that maintains his innocence, saying that he was assassinated by United States Marshals.