Plummers Shebang

"Plummer's Shebang"

Print Size: 21.5"x39"

Retail Price: $150 Sale Price: $95

Artist's Commentary

Henry Plummer was the outlaw leader of the 200 man force known as the "Innocents". He, also, was the gentleman sheriff of two Montana counties in the Gold Rush era. Between the towns of Bannack and Virginia city, he situated his spies at various stage stops, saloons and road houses. Whenever a miner or businessman appeared at one of these establishments headed for civilization and seemed to be carrying gold dust or cash, he was given a warm red muffler or scarf by the "friendly" bartender, wrangler or storekeeper...this red neck piece marked him for his gang who waylaid him a short distance out of town...

Plummer was born near New Haven, Connecticut on July 6, 1832. He came west and by age 23 arrived in the Bannack and Virginia city area of the Montana Territory. He was an intelligent handsome young man who would have succeeded in legal business but he chose the crooked path instead. He was a natural leader and recruited at least 2009 followers for his various enterprises and schemes. Being elected sheriff gave him access to information on gold shipments and other clandestine opportunities. His "transactions" finally came to the attention of the local citizenry who formed the Montana Vigilantes and put the "Innocents" out of business by lynching suspected gang members.

In fact, it was Henry plummer who built the hanging scaffold in Bannack that Henry swung from...that scaffold still bears witness today of the violent gold rush days of South West Montana.

The "colloquial" term "Shebang" was derived from these spying establishments and in the painting you will note the oblivious miner warmly wearing a nice bright wool muffler. Outside of town he would be relieved of all valuables and maybe his life. It was all the coincidental holdups and pat robberies that led to Plummer's demise...He was the only common thread to all the lawlessness and considered himself not only the law but above the law. He was hanged from his own scaffold on January 4, 1864.

This lithograph was reproduced from an original oil (20"x40") and is limited to 850 signed and numbered reproductions with 85 artist's proofs and 85 publisher's proof. It is printed on top quality 100% archival paper, pH neutral number 1 grade with an image size of 171/2"x35" " trim. It has been personally signed and inspected by the artist. The plates have been destroyed after publication.

Gary Carter

West Yellowstone, Montana

August 1991


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