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Vigilantes

Vigilantes were self-appointed law enforcement groups which sprang up on the American frontier. One writer says that “vigilantism was [often] carried out by citizens who were moderate and orderly in their application of force,” but he notes that the danger of mob rule was also present. Just ask the poor fellow whose grave at Boot Hill Cemetery in Arizona bears this epitaph: “Lynched by mistake.”

Today in the Word, November 19, 1995, p. 26.