The depression, which occurred in the 1870's in this country, produced a nation of transients and tramps. Men traveled around the country, hopping the rails, looking for work. When they found none, some were not above robbing the defenseless.
Women went indoors when the sun went down. Doors were locked and bolted. If you were leaving town, you did not tell anyone, because chances were that you would return home to find your valuables missing.
On Sunday, November 19, 1878 this atmosphere of fear lead to the accidental shooting of the Braidwood town marshal.