Through his incredibly varied fifty-year career, John J. Healy left an indelible mark on the Canadian and American west. At different points in his storied life, Healy was a soldier, a trapper, a prospector, a free trader, an explorer, a horse dealer, a scout, a lawman, a newspaper editor, a speculator, a merchant, a capitalist, a historian, and a politician. He defied classification while defining the lifestyle of a frontier adventurer and buccaneer capitalist in the late nineteenth century.
In Healy’s West, Gordon E. Tolton cuts through the mythology and controversy of this larger-than-life character, giving us the most complete and truly balanced account of Healy’s life ever published. From Irish famine to army saddle; from scouting on the Oregon Trail to digging for mountain gold in Idaho; from taking on powerful monopolies to trading with the Blackfoot; from political manoeuvring to hunting down rustlers behind a sheriff’s badge, Healy challenged life, nature, enemies and, governments head on—in print, in business, and in physical combat. An entertaining and critical portrayal of the west’s most charismatic figure, Healy’s West is a must-read for any history buff.