TV Series | TV-PG | | Western
Marshal Matt Dillon keeps the peace in rough and tumble Dodge City.
The series was set in the 1870s. Kansas entered the Union in 1861. The Marshal's Service provided local law enforcement in territories, not in states. The duties Matt Dillon performed would have been handled by a town Marshal or County Sheriff (in ... ...
Dr. Galen 'Doc' Adams:
Why don't you take that money and invest it in something? Why don't you do that?
Festus Haggen: Invest it in what?
Dr. Galen 'Doc' Adams: There's wonderful land values outside of Dodge. Now why don't you go out there someplace, look around, and buy yourself a lot?
Festus Haggen: A lot of what?
Dr. Galen 'Doc' Adams: A lot! ...
Matt is called a US Marshal. Kansas became a state in 1861, more than a decade before the series is set. There was only one US district court in Kansas and one marshal assigned to it, plus a number of deputy marshal. All deputies would be based in Hays, the capital, not towns like Dodge. And deputies would enforce federal laws and court orders, and capture federal fugitives. They would not have state or local jurisdiction (like breaking up fights in the Long Branch). At the time of the series Dodge had a town marshal, and a county sheriff with jurisdiction outside the town limits.
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