Bass Reeves

From the publisher:

Sitting tall in the saddle, with a wide-brimmed black hat and twin Colt pistols on his belt, Bass Reeves seemed bigger than life. As a U.S. Marshal – and former slave who escaped to freedom in the Indian Territories – Bass was cunning and fearless.

When a lawbreaker heard Bass Reeves had his warrant, he knew it was the end of the trail, because Bass always got his man, dead or alive. He achieved all this in spite of whites who didn’t like the notion of a black lawman.

For three decades, Bass was the most feared and respected lawman in the territories. He made more than 3,000 arrests, and though he was a crach shot and a quick draw, he only killed fourteen men in the line of duty. Bad News for Outlaws reveals the story of a remarkable African American hero of the Old West.”

I had the good fortune to run across this when I was down town and as luck would have it, our local library had a copy.  I love stories of the Old West, especially the ones that are about characters that just seem larger than life.  After reading this and looking at some of the other resources, Bass Reeves was just one of those characters.  While the man’s life would seem the stuff of legend, many of the events are backed up by other sources.  The author, Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, uses colorful language and slang from that time to add to the enjoyment of the book.  She also has a short biography of Judge Parker (of Parker Co. fame), a list of other resources and glossary of terms.  While it is a kids book, I think I got more out of it than the kiddos.  It’s definitely worth a look.

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