Joseph Steyn came from the Hub and was the mayor of Nipton before Caesar's Legion took over the town. He initially made contact with the Powder Gangers after learning of the prison break, by sending out two "emissaries," known as Little Jim and Big Jim. Offering alcohol and the services of two prostitutes, Rose and Sylvia, he arranged for the Powder Gangers to come into the town during the day and NCR troopers to come at night, thus keeping the two enemy groups separate and the town's coffers (and his own) full.
Feeling that his post in Nipton lacked prestige, he was planning to return to the Hub and run for office, stockpiling supplies at a safehouse between Nipton and the Mojave Outpost, in case he had to make a speedy get away from Nipton back to the Hub.
Eventually Vulpes Inculta, who called himself "Mr. Fox," made Steyn an offer of 8,000 caps to allow him and several Caesar's Legion legionnaries to round up all of the Powder Gangers and NCR personnel. Instead the legionnaries captured the entire town and killed off most of the citizens, crucifying some. They held a lottery to determine each citizen's fate. When Steyn's ticket came up, Vulpes Inculta ordered him burned alive as punishment for his and the town's greed and disloyalty to those it had sheltered. Steyn left behind two notes detailing his plans with Caesar's Legion. One can be found on his personal terminal in the office on the top level of the Nipton Town Hall, and the other at the Nipton Road reststop.