Sep. 12, 1959
60 min.
NBC TV Network

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The Cartwright's thousand-square-mile Ponderosa Ranch is located near Virginia City, Nevada, site of the Comstock Silver Lode, during and after the Civil War. Each of the sons was born to a different wife of Ben's; none of the mothers is still alive. Adventures are typical western ones, with lots of personal relationships/problems thrown in as well

Bonanza Season 12 (1970-1971)

12x01 12 12x01 The Night Virginia City Died
- Roy Coffey and Clem are on a search for an arsonist, who is torching ranches around Virginia City. Clem is devastated to discover that his fiancée, Janine is a prime susp ...
Sep. 13, 1970
12x02 12 12x02 A Matter of Faith
- The Cartwrights discover that their friend Dusty Rhoades has taken in a young boy, who's father was a slain rainmaker.
Sep. 20, 1970
12x03 12 12x03 The Weary Willies
- The Cartwrights discover how much trouble that ex-Civil War veterans are having, trying to resume their former lives.
Sep. 27, 1970
12x04 12 12x04 The Wagon
- Hoss escapes from a prison wagon, along with a woman who he believes is innocent of her alleged crime, after he is arrested by a sheriff who doesn't seem to care if he is innocent ...
Oct. 04, 1970
12x05 12 12x05 The Power of Life and Death
- Ben and Joe play a game of cat and mouse when they chase down a man through the desert, who has shot a Colonel. When they find the man hiding near a watering hole, Ben is unexpectedly ...
Oct. 11, 1970
12x06 12 12x06 Gideon, the Good
- Joe gets himself in danger when he searches for a woman that he witnessed having killed a man. Unsure of who the killer is, he recognizes her picture as being the wife of the ...
Oct. 18, 1970
12x07 12 12x07 The Trouble with Trouble
- Hoss has his hands full when he volunteers to be the acting Sheriff for a town named Trouble. But he seems to have bitten off more than he can chew when he ends up arresting ...
Oct. 25, 1970
12x08 12 12x08 Thornton's Account
- Joe frantically searches for help when Ben injures his back after his new horse throws him down a steep hill.
Nov. 01, 1970
12x09 12 12x09 The Love Child
- A father rejects his dying daughter because she had a child out of wedlock. Worse he rejects his grandson as well.
Nov. 08, 1970
12x10 12 12x10 El Jefe
- When a greedy miner owner in the town of Prince River forces Mexican farmers off their land, Hoss and Joe come to tgheir rescue.
Nov. 15, 1970
12x11 12 12x11 The Luck of Pepper Shannon
- Ben gives a job at the Ponderosa to Pepper Shannon, a one-time hero and outlaw made famous in dime novels, on the condition he stays away from Jamie, an admirer of his.
Nov. 22, 1970
12x12 12 12x12 The Impostors
- Hoss and Joe pretend to be part of a gang that robbed a stage coach, but are in danger of being outed when a wife of one of the thieves shows up in town.
Dec. 13, 1970
12x13 12 12x13 Honest John
- Jamie befriends an old man known as 'Honest John' and his crow, and urges John to rebuild an old wagon so they can leave the Ponderosa.
Dec. 20, 1970
12x14 12 12x14 For a Young Lady
- The aunt and uncle of a young girl want to gain custody of her because they believe that she holds the rights to a gold mine.
Dec. 27, 1970
12x15 12 12x15 A Single Pilgrim
- When Hoss is accidentally shot, the two settlers from Virginia argue over what to do with him.
Jan. 03, 1971
12x16 12 12x16 The Gold-Plated Rifle
- Ben searches for Jamie after he breaks a very special rifle he was told to never touch.
Jan. 10, 1971
12x17 12 12x17 Top Hand
- A battle over who will be trail boss on a big cattle drive ensues when the Cartwrights pick Kelly, a former ranch hand on the Ponderosa as their choice, but Mr. Weatherby knows ...
Jan. 17, 1971
12x18 12 12x18 A Deck of Aces
- A land deal with the railroad causes confusion when Bradley Meredith, a Ben Cartwright look-a-like, accepts a deal as Ben...a deal that he previously had turned down.
Jan. 31, 1971
12x19 12 12x19 The Desperado
- A fugitive black man holds Hoss hostage and has no problems killing a white man.
Feb. 07, 1971
12x20 12 12x20 The Reluctant American
- When the property of an English holding group shows little profit, the owners come from England to Nevada to see exactly why.
Feb. 14, 1971
12x21 12 12x21 Shadow of a Hero
- Ben discovers an Army general that he has supported as the next governor, is all for killing Indians.
Feb. 21, 1971
12x22 12 12x22 The Silent Killer
- When an influenza epidemic hits the Ponderosa, the wife of a doctor feels she knows what to do. But Doc Martin insists that the doctor is merely a fraud.
Feb. 28, 1971
12x23 12 12x23 Terror at 2:00
- Three men, posing as newspaper reporters, plan on shooting down the whole town with a Gatling gun that they apprehended after killing the Army soldiers who were guarding it.
Mar. 07, 1971
12x24 12 12x24 The Stillness Within
- When Joe is blinded by an explosion, he falls into a summit of self pity. A woman tries to teach him how to survive now that he is sightless, much to his resistance, but he ...
Mar. 14, 1971
12x25 12 12x25 A Time to Die
- Ben helps an old friend, April Christopher and her daughter come to terms when April is bitten by a rabid wolf while visiting the Ponderosa.
Mar. 21, 1971
12x26 12 12x26 Winter Kill
- When a prized steer belonging to the Cartwrights gets killed by the foreman of a neighboring ranch owner, his scheming boss plans to take unfair advantage of their mistake.
Mar. 28, 1971
12x27 12 12x27 Kingdom of Fear
- An oppressive man known as "The Judge," collects slave labor for mining his gold veins. When the Cartwrights and Candy are captured trespassing on private property, they are ...
Apr. 04, 1971
12x28 12 12x28 An Earthquake Called Callahan
- Joe searches for a professional fighter who can clear the name of Dusty Rhoades, who is languishing in jail. But Tom Callahan refuses to ever step foot in Virginia City ever ...
Apr. 11, 1971

Season 12 Characters

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