By Art T. Burton
Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves looks as certainly one of “eight extraordinary Oklahomans,” the “most feared U.S. marshal within the Indian country.” That Reeves was once additionally an African American who had spent his youth as a slave in Arkansas and Texas makes his accomplishments all of the extra amazing. Bucking the chances (“I’m sorry, we didn’t continue black people’s history,” a clerk at certainly one of Oklahoma’s neighborhood old societies replied a query), paintings T. Burton sifts via truth and legend to find the reality approximately some of the most notable peace officials in past due nineteenth-century America—and probably the best lawman of the Wild West era. Fluent in Creek and different southern local languages, robust, expert with firearms, and a grasp of cover, Reeves was once exceedingly adept at apprehending fugitives and outlaws, and his exploits have been mythical in Oklahoma and Arkansas. A finalist for the 2007 Spur Award, backed via the Western Writers of the US, Black Gun, Silver big name tells Bass Reeves’s tale for the 1st time and restores this awesome determine to his rightful position within the historical past of the yank West. (20070313)
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Additional info for Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves (Race and Ethnicity in the American West)
By the time I read the book, I had forgotten about the conversation with my grandfather concerning Reeves. Katz later discussed Reeves brieﬂy in his book Black Indians: A Hidden Heritage (Atheneum, 1986). In the mid-1980s my wife and I attended an African American rodeo in Chicago that featured a skit in which a stagecoach loaded with passengers is robbed by a gang of outlaws. Before the outlaws can get away, a black man with a badge rides up and saves the day. I remarked to my wife that it was a good skit, but there was no literature to substantiate this occurrence or any other in history.
5 In late May of 1881, Reeves served as a guard for the transportation of prisoners from the Fort Smith federal jail to the House of Corrections in Detroit. S. Marshal Dell personally accompanied the twenty-one prisoners on this trip by rail. S. marshals who served as guards on this assignment were Jacob T. Ayers, Thomas E. Lacy, J. M. Caldwell, Addison Beck, and George Maledon, who was also the ofﬁcial executioner at the Fort Smith jail. 0pt ——— Normal * PgEnds: , (3) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 transported was a female named Arena Howe who had been given a tenyear sentence.
Though a relatively early battle in the war, it was the last battle in which the Indians loyal to the Union under the leadership of the Creek Chief Opotheyahola, also known as Gouge, put up a ﬁght. They were crushed by the Confederate troops, mostly Texans and Confederate Indians, in pursuit. The loyalist Indians had put up an excellent ﬁght in two earlier engagements. These Indians were primarily Creeks, Seminoles, and African Americans. After this battle, Chief Opotheyahola and his Indians and blacks were forced to ﬂee in disarray from the Indian Territory into Kansas, freezing and starving.