Sobriquets of Missouri
Missouri under various names—Regulators, Honest Men's Leagues, Law
and Order Committees. In Northeast Missouri there was the Anti-Horse
Thief Association, and in Southwest Missouri, the notorious Bald Knobbers.
Unless these vigilance committees worked closely with officers of the law,
as did the Anti-Horse Thief Association most of the time, they added to the
disrespect for legal authority, too often perverted justice, and sometimes
became fronts for lawless gangs that had quietly taken them over.23
The outlaws in Missouri, particularly the James gang, received national
attention when the seeming immunity of Frank and Jesse to the law became
a political issue. The Democratic party recovered its control of the state in
1872 with the election of Silas Woodson to the governorship and a majority
to both houses of the general assembly. It was not to relinquish its hold on
March, Missouri, II, 1132-1133.