Archive for May, 2016

May Announcement for the Utah Westerners

“Vigilante Justice: Fact, Myth and Modern Legacy”

Ellen Baumler

Montana’s early history is violent and controversial. Historians disagree over the motives of the Vigilance Committee that formed in December, 1863. That controversy will probably never be resolved, but there are historical documents and photographs that help us better understand the events of the early territorial period and their outcomes.

In preparation for the upcoming Montana adventure, historian Ellen Baumler will share some of the earliest photographs of Bannack, Virginia City and Helena and discuss the dynamics of these early gold camps.  Central to the program is the important Masonic connection that stretches all the way back to Lewis and Clark, the theories behind the vigilante warning 3-7-77 (which appears on the modern badge of the Montana State Highway Patrol), and how Montana’s past has shaped its present.

Ellen Baumler received her PhD from the University of Kansas in medieval studies in English, classics and history. She has been an author, educator, and interpretive historian at the Montana Historical Society since 1992. She has composed hundreds of signs for Montana’s historic places, developed historic walking tours, and written National Register nominations. Ellen is an award winning author of eleven books and dozens of articles on many historical topics, hostess of the popular long-running radio show “History on the Go,” and a 2011 recipient of the Governor’s Award for the Humanities.

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May 9, 2016 at 9:12 pm Leave a comment


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