Starr, Belle (1848–1889)

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Starr, Belle (1848–1889)

Confederate sympathizer, rancher and convicted horse thief, who associated with outlaws and made an enduring name for herself as the "Bandit Queen" of the Old West. Name variations: American Bandit Queen; The Lady Desperado; Queen of the Desperadoes; Petticoated Terror of the Plains. Born Myra Maybelle (or Maebelle) Shirley on February 5, 1848, in Jasper County, Missouri; gunned down on February 3, 1889, en route to Younger's Bend; daughter of John Shirley (a horse breeder and tavern owner) and Elizabeth "Eliza" (Pennington) Shirley; married Jim Reed, on November 1, 1866 (died 1874); (possibly) married Bruce Younger, on May 15, 1880 (marriage ended after three weeks); married Sam Starr, on June 5, 1880 (died 1886); married Jim July, in 1886; children: (first marriage) Rosie Lee Reed (b. 1868, known as Pearl Starr, speculated to be the illegitimate daughter of Cole Younger); Edward "Eddie" Reed (b. 1871).

Charged with horse stealing (July 31, 1882); tried by "Hanging Judge" Isaac Parker and sentenced to two six-month prison terms; released for good behavior after nine months.

In Belle Starr's day, it was unusual for a woman to wear pistols, let alone wear them over an expensive, black velvet dress, while riding sidesaddle and sporting a plumed hat. As a girl, Belle Starr dreamed of becoming a famous stage star; while she was not to appear in theaters, she did achieve legendary status, an infamous character from America's outlaw past. She grew up in the heated political atmosphere of her family's tavern, where Confederate sympathizers held passionate discussions concerning the Civil War that was underway during her teenage years. Her parents, backers of the cause these young men had fought for, were among those who offered food and protection to people like Jesse and Frank James, the Younger brothers, the Fishers and Jim Reed, who would become the first of Starr's four husbands.

To many Confederate sympathizers, robbing banks and other businesses owned by Northerners was considered a justifiable extension of the Civil War. Legend has it that Belle Starr served as a scout for the Confederates, fought Union militia, and dressed as a man to participate in robberies. In truth, her crimes may have been confined to horse stealing and harboring fugitives, but her lifestyle was so unusual for a woman of her time that she captured the imagination of writers who were hoping to entertain their 19th-century readership. The public became fascinated with her romantic name and the notion of a woman in the rough outlaw world normally reserved for men. She did, in fact, live and associate with many outlaws throughout her short life, but she considered herself a lady. Starr is said to have detested other women for the most part, especially those who condemned her behavior as shameful. Regardless of the seemingly endless myths that grew up around her, it is clear that she was extraordinary in her defiance of the social attitudes of the day.

Starr's death, still an unsolved mystery, deepened the intrigue she had inspired in life. She was gunned down two days before her 41st birthday, and several are the names of her potential killers. Her corpse was anointed with turpentine and oil of cinnamon. Her body was dressed in black velvet and laid in a pine coffin lined with black shrouding trimmed in white lace. Her arms were crossed, with one hand grasping the handle of her favorite revolver, which was later stolen from her grave.

For years, biographers have claimed to tell the "real" story of Starr's life, but in doing so they often contradicted each other, suggesting the likelihood that once so much myth is perpetuated the fictions cling like impurities to the facts. In 1997, Richard Arnott writing in Wild West made a comprehensive attempt to put forth what is actually known about Belle Starr from available evidence. He writes: "[F]ascinating, often fantastic, stories led to the myth and legend of Belle Starr…. [Her] true life was one without glamour."

Census records indicate that on February 5, 1848, Starr was born Myra Maybelle to John and Eliza Pennington Shirley in Jasper County, near Carthage, Missouri. Eliza, a seamstress and pianist from Kentucky who was known for her social eloquence, was closely related to the Hatfield family who later became famous for their feud with the McCoys. Belle's father, a successful breeder of fine Kentucky horses, became respected for his articulate political philosophy and gained the informal title of "Judge" Shirley. In 1856, he sold the family's land, and they relocated to Carthage where he acquired an inn and tavern on the town square. In addition to these properties, he owned a livery stable and a blacksmith shop. Arnott notes that the Shirley enterprises nearly filled a city block: "The 1860 census estimated the worth of John Shirley's holding at $10,000, a significant sum in those days. He was a respected member of the community; his library was an attraction to the intelligentsia, as were Eliza's piano and her gracious Southern manners."

Belle received her education in classical languages, music, and "the three Rs" at the Carthage Female Academy. Though she acquired training appropriate to her status, the extent to which she acquired her mother's manners is debatable. Said to have been teased for being skinny and homely, she was reported by some sources to have displayed her rage in tantrums. Starr played piano at weddings, church meetings, barn dances and her father's tavern, where she had an audience. An admirer of the outdoors, she explored the countryside with Bud, her older brother. He taught her to ride a horse with proficiency and instructed her in using a gun.

Their region was traversed by both the Confederate and Union armies. Notes Arnott: "Irregular bands of jayhawkers and 'Red Legs' laid waste to Missouri communities in support of the Union. Guerrillas and bushwhackers, led by 'Bloody Bill' Anderson and William Clarke Quantrill, retaliated with death and destruction in Kansas." Like her parents, Starr resented the encroachment of any Union actions on her family's way of life. Her brother Bud took up with the bushwhackers, to the delight of his father. Arnott speculates that Starr used her social interactions to gain information which could then be passed to her brother. Biographer S.W. Harman recounted one story in which Starr rode all night through the Missouri woods, during the war, to warn her brother that a Federal party was looking for him. Harman describes the end of her "famous 35-mile ride" when she was intercepted in Newtown County by a major in the Union Army, who then sent a detachment of cavalry to Carthage to capture her brother. According to Harman, when the officer laughed at the annoyance of the teenage girl:

This served to anger her and she gave expression to her rage in loud and deep curses. Then she would sit at the piano and ratle [sic] off some wild selection in full keeping with her fury; the next instant she would spring to her feet, stamp the floor and berate the major and his acts with all the ability and profanity of an experienced trooper, while the tears of mortification rolled down her cheeks, her terrible passion only increased by the laughter and taunts of her captor.

Thinking his men had already captured Starr's brother, the major released Belle, who purportedly sprang to the door, rushed out and cut long switches from some cherry bushes to use as riding whips. "I'll beat them yet," she is said to have declared, as she rode off on horseback, deserting the main road, vaulting fences and leaping over ditches. The major lifted his field glass and watched her retreat, saying, "Well, I'll be damned, she's a born guerilla. If she doesn't reach Carthage ahead of my troopers, I'm a fool." According to this story, Starr reached her brother in time and then, while riding at a leisurely pace, met the cavalry as they entered Carthage, whereupon she curtsied and told them her brother had left half an hour before.

What is known for certain is that her brother was eventually killed by Federal militia. Arnott puts the date of his death in June 1864, when he was killed while climbing a fence to escape the Federal forces in Sarcoxie, Missouri. Stories would later be written about an armed 16-year-old Starr going out to take her revenge, but Arnott finds no documentation to substantiate such claims. According to many accounts, though, the effect of all she had witnessed instilled a deep hatred in her for Yankees.

By age 15, Starr is reported to have associated with men from all walks of life and developed a headstrong personality. Her independence, unusual for a girl of her day, proved attractive to many men of the border country. Much has been made

of her purported beauty (and that of her daughter Pearl Starr ). At best the issue is subjective, and perhaps unimportant, but existing photographs and some less impassioned accounts suggest that it may be more accurate to describe Starr as plain, even homely. She did not necessarily blossom as some more fanciful versions of her history have claimed. "She has been described," writes Arnott, "as 'bony, flat chested with a mean mouth; hatchet faced; gotch-tooth tart.'" Whether or not such descriptions have any basis in fact, Starr was not to want for the love of outlaws.

In 1864, near the end of the Civil War, Federal troops captured Carthage and burned the city, including the Shirley house. The family then moved to Texas, where in 1867 John Shirley acquired a farm and built a new home and boarding house near Scyene, a community in Dallas County. The new tavern became a favorite gathering place for ex-Confederates who were finding it difficult to adjust to postwar society. Names like the James brothers and the Youngers blanketed the newspapers, as such outlaws robbed banks and held up trains. Roving bands of homeless men, embittered by defeat, found their way to Texas and John Shirley's bar.

One outlaw band which sought shelter with the Shirleys brought Starr her first husband, Jim Reed, a former soldier who had arrived in Texas with the remnants of his cavalry regiment in 1866. Starr had already met Reed, reportedly the quiet and religious son of a wealthy farmer from Rich Hill, Missouri, when both were children. One popular tale of their wedding has the makings of high drama. It includes a 19- or 18-year-old Starr defying her parents by riding off with Reed and his gang, and then being wed in a ceremony on horseback performed by one of the gang members. But Arnott cites a copy of their marriage license which indicates they were married by the Reverend S.M. Williams on November 1, 1866. He believes that Reed, "not yet a wanted man," was not even an objectionable choice to Starr's parents.

Although Reed first moved in with the Shirleys, by late 1867 the couple had returned to Missouri where they resided at the Reed homestead. A daughter, Rosie Lee, was born during September 1868. Starr's affectionate name for her was Pearl, and that became the name by which she would be known.

The paternity of the child has been a source of dispute among biographers. Many claim that Pearl was the illegitimate daughter of Starr and Cole Younger. Indeed, Starr is said by some to have called her daughter Pearl Younger and to have claimed that Cole was the father. By his own account, however, Cole Younger had visited the Shirleys in 1864 but did not see Starr again until 1868, when she was already six-months' pregnant. His denial of paternity has been disbelieved by some, but Arnott notes that "a manuscript compiled by Richard Reed, younger brother of Belle's husband, supports Younger's story."

Not long after she gave birth to Pearl, Starr lost another brother, Ed. She has typically been portrayed by biographers in the next months as a young mother gallivanting through Dallas saloons and dance halls. "This has been refuted by a neighbor of the Reeds who recalled Belle and the baby living at the Reed household and attending church," writes Arnott. Meanwhile, her husband was often away from home. He took up with the Cherokee Tom Starr, a known killer who ran a successful whiskey business with his sons. Before long, Reed ran into trouble with the law for murder and for his involvement in Tom's whiskey dealings and became a fugitive. Reed and Belle took Pearl with them to California (1869), and in 1871 Belle gave birth to James Edwin, also known as Eddie or Ed. By many accounts, this was a happy time for her, until Reed's identity as a fugitive was revealed. Trying to get a step ahead of the authorities, Reed rode horseback to Texas while Belle and the children made the trip by stagecoach.

In Texas, the family settled with the help of Cole Younger on a farm near Scyene. As the wife of one of the country's most sought-after outlaws, Belle is reported to have had difficulties fitting in with the Dallas and Scyene communities, though she is said to have cultivated the acquaintance of its citizens. Problems clung to Reed, to whose crimes were added two more killings. With a reward out for his capture, he and Belle headed for Indian Territory, while their children remained in Scyene with the Shirleys.

In November 1873, Reed was one of three robbers who stole $30,000 from the family of Creek Indian Watt Grayson; they dangled Watt and his wife from a tree in order to learn the money's location. The bandits "stretched" Grayson's "neck in a noose repeatedly," writes Grace Ernestine Ray , "but he revealed nothing until they began to torture his wife in the same manner. Then he told them where the money was hidden." Belle was rumored by some to have taken part in the robbery while dressed as a man. But according to Arnott, "No member of the Grayson family, nor any of the hired hands who had witnessed the robbery, mentioned a woman dressed as a man, or even a slightly built man."

After seven years of eventful marriage, Reed's crimes and his affair with Rosa McCommas prompted Belle to leave him. She went to live with her parents in Scyene.

In August 1874, with a price on his head, Reed was killed by Deputy Sheriff John T. Morris (also seen as Jim Morris). According to one popular version of the ensuing events, Reed's body was taken to McKinney, Texas, where authorities sent for Belle to identify him. At the time, a widow's denial of her husband's identity invalidated offers of rewards. Belle is said to have looked at the body, then told Morris and other law authorities, "If you want the reward for Jim Reed, you will have to kill Jim Reed. This is not my husband." Morris did not receive the reward, and Reed's body was buried in an unmarked grave near McKinney. The veracity of this tale, however, is in doubt. According to Arnott, newspaper accounts indicate that his body was identified "by those who knew Reed." Biographer Burton Rascoe believed that Reed's body was identified by numerous witnesses and accuses Harman, among others, of perpetuating other inaccuracies: the date of Belle Starr's birth, that she was a twin, or altering the name of the major who arrested her. Apparently, a few months after Reed's death, John Morris was killed by an unknown party.

Meanwhile, Belle is said to have had problems in her community. In March 1875, a committee seeking ways to remove her, as well as the outlaws who frequented the Shirley premises, sent a letter to the governor arguing:

For several years past the town of Scyene, Dallas County, Texas, and vicinity, has been noted as a place of resort for horse thieves, desperadoes and other bad characters—certain parties having located themselves here as a place of rendezvous for such characters, thus giving aid and comfort to thieving and marauding bands infesting all parts of the state.

They complained about James Reed, the San Antonio mail robber, "his widow being no less celebrated in such exploits than her notorious paramour," suggesting that she was in the habit of "donning often male attire" and riding hundreds of miles "to apprise outlaws of pending danger."

Starr's activities in the several years after Reed's death remain in dispute. Some note that in 1875 a Dallas grand jury indicted her for arson after she burned a store. The district judge set her bail at $2,500, which was deemed an excessive amount by a Dallas reporter. Months later, on August 12, 1875, a grand jury charged her with theft of a gelding, a serious charge in late '70s Texas. Starr was jailed. According to one story, she persuaded her jailer to elope with her, returning him to his wife shortly afterward with a card sewed into his coat which the unfortunate man failed to discover until too late. One source claims that it read, "Found to be unsatisfactory on using." Arnott questions the legitimacy of the arson incident and subsequent jailing for horse stealing. He suggests that these are examples of writers trying "to fill in the gaps in Belle's story…. Such activities are not, however, reflected in court records or newspaper accounts."

The widow Starr is thought to have married Cole Younger's uncle Bruce on, according to Phillip Steele, May 15, 1880. If this marriage did take place, it was short lived. Three weeks later, she married Sam Starr, the three-quarters-Cherokee son of Tom Starr. Arnott asserts that she was likely 32 when they married, and Sam may, or may not, have been 23. "By this marriage," writes Grace Ray, "the Caucasian wife acquired a landright in the Cherokee Nation, and she and Sam established a home on an allotment on the bank of a bend in the Canadian River. This became the notorious Younger's Bend, where Belle was to be victim to cowardly violence." While one source notes that the name Younger's Bend was bestowed by Tom Starr because of his admiration for the Younger Gang, other biographers have inferred that "Younger's Bend" reflected Belle's devotion to Cole Younger. Pearl and Eddie, who had been staying with relatives, joined their mother and stepfather on the land.

There are many accounts of Belle's great love for her daughter Pearl and the friction between Belle and Eddie. Some sources describe him as a continual source of irritation to his mother. Being sent away to be raised by his grandparents for years, and having a sister who could do virtually no wrong, may have contributed to the disintegration of an already difficult relationship. Others sources, however, indicate that Belle displayed a maternal feeling for both of her children.

Younger's Bend became a shelter for criminals. "[Belle] gave comfort to Sam and his outlaw friends," continues Ray. "Jesse James and some of the Youngers also came sometimes to Younger's Bend to hide out for a time…. Belle, to use her own words, befriended 'brave and gallant outlaws.' A newspaper quoted her as follows: 'There are three or four jolly, good fellows on the dodge now in my section, and when they come to my home they are welcome.'" Dime novelists of the time soon had her leading outlaw gangs throughout the nation, robbing stagecoaches, trains and banks. It appears that she had ample grounds for libel suits, but it also seems that she enjoyed and even embellished the stories.

Belle and Sam were charged with horse stealing on July 31, 1882. They went to trial before "Hanging Judge" Isaac C. Parker (his gallows were dubbed "The Gates of Hell") in March. If a reporter for the New Era is to be believed, Belle showed "a devil-may-care expression during her entire trial." Both she and her husband were found guilty of larceny, and they were fortunate that Parker displayed an uncharacteristic leniency in sentencing: Belle to two six-month terms, and Sam to one twelve-month term, in the Detroit House of Correction. In what Ray has called "a progressive prison which conducted academic classes, and tried to reform inmates," Sam's disinterest in learning apparently earned him hard labor, and it has been written that Belle charmed herself into a position as the warden's assistant. They were both released for good behavior after they had served nine months and returned to Younger's Bend. Writes Arnott: "Belle had become plump and dowdy while in prison, but she still rode and danced gracefully. She often adorned herself in a black velvet riding habit and rode sidesaddle, carrying her six-shooter…. She also liked to read and play a piano she had freighted into the Bend."

According to Arnott, after the fugitive John Middleton came to Younger's Bend seeking shelter, he and the Starrs became suspects in thefts from the Seminole and Creek treasuries (1885). Middleton decided it was time to move on, and the Starrs helped him to escape. He was found dead just days after they parted company, apparently having drowned while crossing a river on a horse the Starrs had procured for him. Upon learning of his death, the Starrs also found out that the mare they had purchased for him had not been sold to them by its owner. Belle was charged with larceny. "A writ was issued for her arrest in January 1886. She surrendered to the U.S. marshal at Fort Smith and was indicted, with trial set for September."

Sam Starr also became accused of a hold-up and more than one robbery. Rather than face the law, he opted for the life of a fugitive but was still able to see Belle on visits to Younger's Bend. Their home was raided by a posse after Belle was identified by an eyewitness as one of three people responsible for a number of farm-settlement robberies during February 1886. The witness claimed that Belle had been dressed in men's attire.

In Fort Smith, Belle pleaded not guilty and made bail. While she was there, the famous picture of Belle Starr with convicted murderer Blue Duck, both in handcuffs, was taken. The photograph led many to believe that Starr and Blue Duck were lovers, and that, in Ray's words, "Belle's employment of expert counsel [for Blue Duck] would effect commutation of his [death] sentence to life imprisonment." Arnott, however, writes of the photograph: "She did it at the request of Blue Duck's attorney, who apparently thought it would help his client in his pending appeal of a death sentence. This was the first and last time Belle saw Blue Duck." Arnott also goes on to note that the counsel which Starr is rumored to have employed for Blue Duck was in California that year.

When Starr stood trial in June, witnesses were unable to identify her, and she was discharged late in the month, only to return in three months for the larceny trial. Here, too, she was cleared. She left Forth Smith to find her husband, injured, at the home of his brother. Sam had been wounded by Indian police who had shot and killed his horse. She convinced him to turn himself in rather than risk being taken by Indian officers. While out on bail after his indictment, Sam was shot to death on December 17, 1886, by Frank West, a long-time enemy, at a Christmas party.

The deaths of two of her three husbands apparently did not make Starr shy of outlaws. "The widow Starr returned to Younger's Bend," writes Arnott, "and took Jack Spaniard, a notorious outlaw, to bed almost before Sam's body was cold." As was typical of her relationships, her time with Spaniard was forced to an end when his crimes caught up with him. He was hanged for murder.

Sam Starr's death meant that Belle's property at Younger's Bend was in jeopardy, because she was no longer married to an Indian. Her fourth marriage, however, renewed her claim to the land. She married the Creek Indian Bill July (some sources cite Jim July), the 24-year-old adopted son of Tom Starr. Bill's alias was Jim Starr, and some have written that it was Belle who requested the name change. By many accounts, her relationship with July, 14 years her junior, was a mother-son relationship and not necessarily a loving one. Her son Eddie was far from enamored with his mother's latest husband, who was little more than seven years older than he. Like his father and stepfather before him, Eddie became a horse thief.

Pearl became pregnant out of wedlock, and Belle tried to thwart the relationship between Pearl and the man responsible, attempting to force a marriage instead between Pearl and a wealthy Fort Smith liveryman. Pearl opted to have the baby rather than visit a "noted Fort Smith physician," and Belle vowed never to see the child, a promise she apparently kept in the short time she had left.

Belle had been warned by the tribal council that any further harboring of fugitives would earn her expulsion from Younger's Bend. When Edgar A. Watson approached her about renting some land, she eagerly accepted his money, unaware that he was a fugitive. Starr then learned from Watson's wife that the Florida authorities were after him for murder. Concerned with protecting her home, she tried to refund his money, but Watson refused to let her out of the deal. "In a face-to-face confrontation," writes Arnott, "she chided him with a comment that Florida authorities might be interested in his whereabouts." Watson was more than a little angry when he took back his rent money and settled on a nearby farm. He would soon be one among several individuals said to have motive for the murder of Belle Starr.

Starr and her husband July departed Younger's Bend together on February 2, 1889—he en route to Fort Smith to face Judge Parker and charges of horse stealing, and she to go shopping. In San Bois, they spent the night with friends. The next morning, February 3, July continued on to Fort Smith while Starr headed back to Younger's Bend. On the way, she stopped to see some neighbors, the Rowes, for a weekly Sunday gathering at their home. According to Arnott, Starr's son Eddie had been staying with the Rowes, and she had "had hoped to see [him]." Eddie, however, had already left. Edgar Watson was among the other guests, and Arnott records that he left shortly after Starr entered. Arnott continues: "Belle ate and chatted with her friends. She was nibbling on a piece of cornbread as she went out the door and headed for Younger's Bend. The road passed within several hundred yards of the Watson place. As Belle turned onto the river lane, a shotgun blast blew her from the saddle."

As she tried to get up from the road, she was hit with a second shot in the face and shoulder. Her horse raced back to Younger's Bend. An alarmed Pearl set out to look for her mother, who was not yet dead when Pearl found her. According to Ray, Starr's "Winchester lay nearby, but had not been fired. As shocked Pearl bent over her mother, Belle relaxed, then sank into nothingness."

It is said that neighbors, deputy marshals and Cherokee friends attended the funeral. Each member of the tribe dropped a small piece of cornbread into the casket, in a custom honoring the dead. The headstone on her grave was carved with a bell, a star, a horse, her brand, a clasped hand holding flowers, and the epitaph:

BELLE STARR
Born in Carthage, Missouri
February 5, 1848
Died February 3, 1889
Shed not for her the bitter tear
Nor give the heart to vain regret,
Tis but the casket that lies here,
The gem that filled it sparkles yet

Perhaps she was murdered by Edgar Watson. Both Starr's husband July and her son Eddie accused him. He was, in fact, arrested in connection with the murder but was later acquitted. Perhaps she was murdered by her son Eddie. According to several accounts, he had defied his mother by taking her prize horse to a barn dance. Belle, who hated his rough treatment of her horses, was allegedly enraged upon finding her abused horse and whipped Eddie viciously. Dr. Jesse Mooney, Jr., told his family that Ed had come to him with wounds from a whip all over his body. "I'm going to kill her for this," Eddie supposedly said. Perhaps she was murdered by her daughter Pearl for having stopped Pearl's marriage to the man she loved and, according to Arnott, working "to get Pearl's daughter placed in an orphanage." Or perhaps she was murdered by her husband July, whom she had reportedly caught in a relationship with a young Cherokee. Still others have been mentioned as possible suspects.

Jim July was killed by a deputy a few weeks after Starr's death. Watson was later killed in Florida. Eddie was said to have been killed in a saloon brawl in Wagoner. And Pearl was thought to have been a prostitute and bordello madam before her death in her late 50s.

As for Starr, the extent to which she caught the popular imagination cannot be overstated. Her story, apocryphal though it may be, has been portrayed in numerous fictional stories and films as well as biographies, newspaper accounts, and poetry. The fascination with this female desperado may be lasting, as may be the intersections of truth and fiction which her unusual life inspired.

sources:

Arnott, Richard D. "Bandit Queen Belle Starr," in Wild West. August 1997.

Harman, S.W. Belle Starr: The Female Desperado. TX: Frontier Press, 1954.

Rascoe, Burton. Belle Starr: "The Bandit Queen." NY: Random House, 1941.

Ray, Grace Ernestine. Wily Women of the West. San Antonio, TX: Naylor, 1972.

Rogers, Cameron. Gallant Ladies. NY: Harcourt, Brace, 1928.

Steele, Phillip. Starr Tracks: Belle and Pearl Starr. LA: Pelican, Gretna, 1989.

suggested reading:

Hicks, Ed. Belle Starr and her Pearl, 1963.

Mooney, Charles W. Doctor in Belle Starr Country. Oklahoma City, OK: Century Press, 1975.

Scott, Jennette. Belle Starr in Velvet (as told by Pearl Starr's granddaughter).

Shackleford, William Yancy. Belle Starr, the Bandit Queen.

Shirley, Glenn. Belle Starr and her Times: The Literature, the Facts, and the Legends. Norman, OK: University of Oklahoma Press, 1982.

Winn, Robert G. Two Starrs: Belle the Bandit Queen, Pearl, Riverfront Madame. Fayetteville: Washington County Historical Society, 1979.

related media:

Belle Starr (87 min. film), starring Gene Tierney and Randolph Scott, directed by Irving Cummings, 1941.

Belle Starr's Daughter (86 min. film), starring Ruth Roman and George Montgomery, directed by Lesley Selander, 1948.

"Belle Starr," starring Elizabeth Montgomery , directed for television by John A. Alonzo, script by James Lee Barrett, 1980.

Susan Slosberg , Adjunct Professor of Public Relations, Baruch College, The City University of New York, New York, New York

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