Bass Reeves was a groundbreaking lawman in the West. Most people who know his name would be aware that he was born a slave and became a respected law officer mostly in the area that became Oklahoma, long before it became a state.
Reeves was born into slavery in 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas on the property of former Arkansas state legislator, William Steele Reeves. Authoritative accounts say instead that he was born in Texas. His last name was that of the owner William Reeves and his first name is believed to have been in honor of a grandfather by the name of Bass Washington.
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After the success of the book and film Hidden Figures which generated much deserved recognition for NASA employees Katherine Jonson, Dorothy Vaughan and Mary Jackson, the book with the eye catching title of Hidden Genius: Frank Mann, the Black Engineer Behind Howard Hughes came to our attention. It is the story of Frank Calvin Mann, as told by H. T. Bryer.
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Nathan/Nathaniel “Nat” Love was born into slavery but became a well known cowboy, even publishing a book on his life experiences, “The Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country as ‘Deadwood Dick’.” The book can be purchased or downloaded free from various sources.
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We first became acquainted with the name John Avery Lomax, Sr. when we found a 1942 recording of “Goodbye Old Paint,” which song is attributed to singing cowboy Charley Willis. The following is a brief overview of the many achievements of John Avery Lomax and son Alan James Lomax.
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(Image credit: findagrave.com)
Daniel Webster Wallace was born in Victoria County in 1860 in slavery. He grew up learning to be a cowboy and received his first wages when he was only fifteen years old. At the age of seventeen, he made a solo horseback ride of four hundred miles from Victoria through Indian country to far southwest Texas near the edges of Runnels and Taylor counties to seek employement with buffalo hunting expeditions, but instead went to work for Sam Gholston, a rancher and veteran Indian fighter. About one year later, he went to work for an outfit known as the N.U.N. which ran 8,000 head of cattle.
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