November 15, 2020

The REAL Charles P Stanton Story Now Comes to Light

When Parker Anderson put the folklore of Charles P Stanton in the crucible of fact-checking, nearly all of it burned away. Indeed, nearly everything one thought he knew about this famous legend is either untrue or highly dubious.

In his 2020 book "Arizona Gold Gangster Charles P Stanton," Anderson reveals that Stanton was far more complicated and "mysterious" than is widely known. His reputation of being sordid and even evil was largely propagated by his enemies. Since it was repeated over and over, from generation to generation, it all seemed to be well-sourced and true.

Stanton's true biography--as much as could be found--has finally been compiled. Called into question is the story of his studying to be a priest at "Monmouth Monastery," but was expelled after dipping into the collection plate. "This story is just a little too cute to be believable," Anderson asserts. After digging through all likely sources that might confirm this account, Anderson found nothing.

Next to be lit-up is the story that Stanton was an accomplice in the Great Diamond Swindle of 1872. It turns out that "there is no documentation or newspaper coverage tying Stanton to the Slack and Arnold diamond hoax," Anderson writes, "and it's extremely unlikely he had anything to do with it."

RELATED: The Great Diamond Swindle of 1872

True crime story of Phillip Arnold and John Slack who walked away a half-million dollars richer orchestrating a diamond swindle in 1872.

The author digs deeply into court records and newspaper accounts to find the true story of William Partridge's killing of Yaqui Wilson. In no way did Stanton goad Partridge into killing Wilson as the folklore contends. "The legend and the documentation are truly irreconcilable with each other," Anderson determined.

As for the legend of Stanton hiring the Mexican Vega Gang to do his dirty work, Anderson uncovers that "there is no surviving documentation that [Vega] was operating in the Weaver mining district this early."

The story that Stanton used the Vega Gang to murder John Timmerman also has some very serious clerical and timeline problems which Anderson reveals.

Stanton's biography isn't the only one to be studied fully. Great work is accomplished in fleshing out Barney Martin, who plays a large role in the Stanton story. He and his family were notoriously robbed and murdered while heading to Phoenix. The old folklore often ties Stanton to this crime; suggesting his motive to be either money or property. However, Anderson presents strong evidence that this was not the case.

The idea that Stanton's murder went uninvestigated and that the Weaver district became peaceful after his death, turn out to be untrue as well...

Although necessity required several changes in scene to cover all the loose ends of the folklore, the narrative stays fluid, coherent and clear. It's polished and a pleasure to read. 

Once again Parker Anderson has literally rewritten history. If one wants to know what really happened, one really must read the book!

RELATED: "Story of a Hanged Man" by Parker Anderson (A review)

A review of the book "Story of a Hanged Man" by Parker Anderson; a historical account of the life and times of Fleming James Parker, Arizona outlaw.



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