Digital-Desert : Mojave Desert
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Mojave Desert History - Pioneer of the Mojave
Outlaws on the Mojave

Criminal Activity Centered in Desert

It is unlikely that the exact nature of the criminal problem in the fall of 1861 will ever be determined with any certainty from this point in time, especially since the contemporary sources could not even agree on the issue, but whatever its nature, the criminal activity was centered in the desert and affected Aaron Lane directly. What is certain is that many of the leading stockmen in Los Angeles suffered losses to horse theft, the Star and the military agreed that an encampment existed on the desert, and horses that were gathered there were being forwarded on to Salt Lake City.

Whoever it was behind all of this, the situation was dangerous, and rumors flew. There was even a report that Aaron had been killed in a shoot-out that supposedly took place between peace officers and secessionists at Lane's Crossing, but the paper assured everyone that the rumors of his demise were false:
    The reported death of Mr. Lane, of the Mojave, is untrue. He is doing all that he can, by keeping up a strict watch and ward over his crossing of the river, to prevent the passage, and stop the progress of the horse thieves.
On October 5th, the Star reported it had received "reliable information" that there had been a rendezvous on the Mojave, and that large bands of horses were being driven towards Salt Lake. The thieves had just spent several days pasturing their stock at Las Vegas. One band had 150 head of horses alone, and the Palomares brand had been recognized along with those of other local rancheros.

Seen in the vicinity were the "notorious" Lot Huntington, Riley Morse and Al Williams, and all were reported as being well mounted. Huntington was believed to have been riding a large claybank horse carrying the Palomares brand.

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LOT HUNTINGTON'S UNCLE, PROMIMENT BUSINESSMAN WILLIAM DRESSER HUNTINGTON (CENTER), WITH SONS HEBER (LEFT) AND DON
ecology: wildlife - plants - geography: places - MAPS - roads & trails: route 66 - old west - communities - weather - glossary
ghost towns - gold mines - parks & public lands: wilderness - native culture - history - geology: natural features - comments

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