TIMELINE: Tuesday, July 4 – Friday, July 6, 1876[1]


Years before: Janet Stuart leaves Salt Lake City to attend school in Philadelphia.[1]


Years before: Janet Stuart is married to Kilmer in Philadelphia.[1]


Some time before: Janet Kilmer is widowed.[1]


Shortly before: Janet Kilmer returns to Salt Lake City from Philadelphia.[1]


Shortly before: Governor Charles Sanderson Stuart's "great heart fails him" when he is shot through the heart and killed.[1]


Shortly before: In Grantsville,[1] Utah Territory,[2] a man gives Judge Somervell papers incriminating Stuart's administration of corruption and is later killed. Bart Maverick wins a poker game in Grantsville.[1]


Tuesday, July 4, 1876: Bart Maverick listens to Judge Somervell's speech in which he predicts this will be the last Independence Day celebrated in Grantsville as a territory because by the following year, the territory will have become the thirty-ninth state of the Union. Bart, the Judge, Janet Kilmer, Charles W. Farfan and Quincy Bigelow share a stage from Grantsville to Salt Lake City. Bart and the Judge's suitcases are switched while disembarking at the Capital City Hotel. The Judge's suitcase is stolen while in Bart's possession and Farfan is murdered. Bart's hotel room is ransacked. Hazelton has Bart beaten and gives him 24 hours to surrender the contents of Somervell's suitcase or he will be killed.[1]


Wednesday, July 5, 1876: Hazelton leaves a note with the Capital City Hotel clerk for Bart, reminding him he has only 14 hours to surrender the contents of Somervell's suitcase or be killed. Bart heads out to find Somervell's suitcase and Janet insists on accompanying him to take it away from him if he finds it. In Somervell's carriage, they chase Bigelow's stage and discover he got off along the Old Wagon Road and headed north on foot. Bart and Janet track him[1] into Emigration Canyon.[2] Along the way, they take shelter for the night in an abandoned barn.[1]


Thursday, July 6, 1876: Bart and Janet track Bigelow into the ghost town[1] of Gifford[2] and see smoke rising from a stove vent on the roof of an abandoned shop. Bart finds Bigelow in the shop and learns Bigelow had stolen Somerville's suitcase from him the day before and, finding nothing of value in it, threw it into the window of a warehouse[1] back in Salt Lake City.[2] Bart attempts to force Bigelow to return with him to recover the suitcase only to discover Janet has taken the carriage and left them behind. Bart and Bigelow walk back[1] to Salt Lake City[2] and find learn the suitcase Bigelow had thrown into the warehouse was gone. Bart tracks carriage wheels from the warehouse to Louie's shack and finds a bundle of papers he believes is Somervell's package from the suitcase. Hazelton and his men chase Bart into the warehouse where Bart shoots and kills them in self-defense. The marshal, Somervell and Janet find Bart in the warehouse reading Somervell's papers. After hearing Somervell's story about the corrupt Stuart administration, Bart surrenders the papers to him and takes Janet to dinner.[1]


The day after: Bart leaves[1] Salt Lake City[2] for Denver[1] on the train.[2]


Shortly after: Bart arrives in Denver.[2]


01. Maverick, The Thirty-Ninth Star (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

02. The Conjectural Maverick, Maverick Trails

03. Public Land Laws Passed by Congress from March 4, 1875, to April 1, 1882; (1883)Henry N. Copp; General Land Office, Washington, D. C.



Grantsville Independence Day banner

The dating of "The Thirty-Ninth Star" is one of the simplest in the Maverick Saga. The episode opens on July 4, 1876, as evidenced by the centennial banners in the streets of Grantsville.[1]


Capital City Hotel register

The dates shown in the Captial City Hotel desk register clearly show the date Bart Maverick, Charles W. Farfan and Quincy Bigelow checked into the hotel as July 4, 1876.[1]


"I understand they're going to pass a bill against grasshoppers."

When Hazelton and the Capital City Hotel clerk discussed the news from Washington, D. C.,[1] Hazelton made a sarcastic reference to what was most likely the Grasshopper Acts. Having been discussed in Congress since 1874, the act hoped to address homestead farmers in the mid-west that had lost crops to recurring plagues of grasshoppers. In Maverick's time, as today, folks liked to trivialize the dealings of their statesmen. The act did not outlaw grasshoppers, of course, but offered relief to those who's crops had been stricken. The reference seems fairly obscure for a 20th-century television audience, but is an interesting reflection of a timeless political skepticism. Still, it is consistent with, and verifies, the year of the story as 1876.[3]


"Well, sounds like somebody's celebrating July the sixth ahead of you."

When gunshots sound out from down the street, the hardware salesman's remark to Tiny confirms the passage of two days from the time Bart left Grantsville to the day of his gunfight with Hazelton and his men at the warehouse[1] in Salt Lake City.[2]

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