The Diaries of John Hunton, Made to Last, Written to Last, Sagas of the Western Frontier


With his homeland overrun and devastated during the Civil War, Virginian John Hunton turned his eyes westward and, in 1867, traveled to Wyoming Territory's Fort Laramie, bastion of the plains and headquarters for military operations against the Sioux and other Indian Nations. He settled near that vast army reservation and later became one of the largest government contractors, freight haulers, and cattlemen on the booming Wyoming frontier.

In 1873, Mr. Hunton began to record the story of his life and experiences in his diaries, which ultimately spanned more than half a century. He willed these journals to his good friend Pat Flannery, who dedicated the last years of his life to preparing the historical documents for publication. Besides the daily diary entries through 1888, Mr. Flannery also included narratives by John Hunton and others in these works, and his own painstakingly researched commentaries, to clarify and expand upon significant events from that enthralling period. As a result, the publications vividly preserved day-to-day life on the frontier and presented true exploits not only of people living in that era who have been all but forgotten, but also of such memorable Old West characters as Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane Canary, Buffalo Bill Cody, Generals Crook and Custer, Red Cloud, Spotted Tail, and many others, most of whom were personally known by Mr. Hunton.

This book is an abridged version of Pat Flannery's monumental works. Selected excerpts from his manuscripts paint a vibrant and accurate picture of John Hunton's life, loves, and times. Its pages chronicle the existence and passing of a fascinating generation, a breed of men and women whose lives were often hard but seldom dull.

Michael Griske 

(2005), 2006, 5½x8½, paper, 164 pp.

ISBN: 9780788438042