Gov. Axtell Mentioned in Westerns

In Young Guns, a 1988 movie starring Emilio Estevez that romanticized the life of William H. "Billy the Kid" Bonney, Gov. Axtell is mentioned once while Billy sits in a bathtub, composing a letter to the Territorial Governor of New Mexico. I found this transcription, along with other quips from the movie under LIST: Movie Quotes (Part 2/2)

# Young Guns (1988)

William H. Bonney:  "Dear Governor Axtell.  I've heard that you will give
   200 dollars for my head.  Perhaps we should meet and talk.  I am at the
   Juarez village at the border.  Send 3 men, and instruct them not to shoot,
   as I am unarmed.  In short, Sir; I surrender.  Your obedient servant
   William H. Bonney.  PS:  I changed my mind.  Kiss my ass!"

While the movie is an entirely fictional account of the events, it does serve to remind us that Samuel Beach Axtell was governing the wildest part of the Wild West during the wildest times: the late 1870's. The Governor's unorthodox sense of justice needs to be put into this perspective.

David L. Axtell (Boulder CO) writes (1996):
...about my great-great-grandfather, Samuel Beach Axtell. He also appeared in a John Wayne movie, "Chisum". He was not presented in a very good light, but as being hesitant and indecisive. Of course the hero of the movie was John Chisholm, played by Wayne, who was at great odds with my GGF most of the time. It was Chisholm's political influence that led to Lew Wallace taking over the governorship of NM Territory. My GGF was made Chief Justice of the Territorial Supreme Court instead.

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Last revised 9-16-1995 by Dan Axtell