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Press Release: Kander announces program on Bald Knobber vigilantes in the Ozarks


Jefferson City, Mo. — Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander today announced a program exploring the history of the 19th century Bald Knobber vigilantes. The program will be held at the Missouri State Archives, a division of his office, on Thursday, August 13, 2015, at 7 p.m. Dr. Matthew J. Hernando will present his new book, Faces Like Devils: The Bald Knobber Vigilantes in the Ozarks.

In the 1880s, Missouri’s Ozark hills were home to the Bald Knobbers, one of the most violent and notorious vigilance committees in 19th century America. At least 13 people—including vigilantes and their victims—died as a direct result of the Bald Knobbers’ various extra-legal activities. In his new book, Faces Like Devils: The Bald Knobber Vigilantes in the Ozarks, Dr. Matthew J. Hernando closely examines the history of this notorious organization, sifting through the folklore and myth to produce an authentic history of the rise and fall of Missouri’s most legendary post-Civil War vigilantes. He separates fact from fiction through the careful use of newspapers, contemporary accounts, census records and both state and federal court documents.

Join Hernando as he discusses his book, shedding light on this chaotic episode in Missouri history.

The Missouri State Archives is the official repository for state documents of permanent historic value, and is located at 600 West Main Street in Jefferson City. All programs at the Archives are free of charge and open to the public, with seating available on a first-come, first-served basis.

For more information on this and other programming at the Archives, contact Emily Luker, (573) 526-5296 or