Bass Reeves was a Paris, Texas-born slave who become one of the toughest men of the frontier in history. Owned by farmer and politician George Reeves, Bass worked as water boy and later as his owners’ personal servant. In 1860, Reeves took the distraction of the Civil War as an opportunity to escape and live among the Indians. Rumor spread that Bass fled after he had physically beat George during a card game.
The escaped slave built a family and life in Crawford County, TX. Reeves had learned to become a sharpshooter during his time with the Seminole and Creek Tribes. In 1875, the Sheriff appointed Reeves as commissioned deputy U.S. marshal, making him one of the first black federal lawmen west of the Mississippi. Reeves stood 6’2″ and was known to be the toughest Marshal around. In one instance, he brought 19 men to jail at one time. The number of Reeves’ fugitives grew into the thousands. Some even turned themselves’ in when they got word of the deputy assigned to bring them in.
A recent Disney production of “The Lone Ranger” starring Arnie Hammer and Johnny Depp, gave way to the assumption that the Lone Ranger’s character, which was created in Detroit in 1933, was based upon the life and likeness of Bass Reeves, an unsung hero of the West.
Ironically, both Reeves and the Lone Ranger wore masks, Reeves mostly because he was a black man in a powerful position of authority during the slave era. Both men left tokens of silver with those they encountered; Reeves left a silver dollar, the Ranger, a silver bullet. When Bass Reeves caught his criminals, he sent them to the Detroit correctional facility, the same place that George Trendle and Fran Striker created the character.
The Indians taught Reeves the art of disguise during his training. He was taught to crouch in the saddle to appear smaller than he actually was.
Reeves became a vigilante, covering 75,000 square miles of territory. Although he couldn’t read or write, he was an expert at his job. When assigned to an outlaw, he would have someone read him the warrants and memorize its contents. He knew which warrant was which when he had to prove his capture. He would use disguises and aliases to capture his men, dressing as a cowboy, farmer, gunslinger, and even an outlaw. Bass carried two Colt pistols, butt-forward for a fast draw.
Of the countless arrests by Bass Reeves, his most memorable capture was of his own son, who was accused of murder. In 1907, Bass Reeves worked as a city policeman in Muskogee County, Oklahoma.
In 1910, Bass Reeves died of Brights Disease. His grave is unknown, though a bronze statue of him that stands 23 feet in height was erected in Fort Smith, Arkansas in May 2012.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (6/18-6/24)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Me & the homie @jaleelwhite #RujohnFoundation Happy to be in Jamaica! Good times
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5. Good Morning. Early day in Detroit! Making press rounds for @thebossnetwork's Ladies That Lead Tour. Thank you @traycemadre and @colourbynumbr for my glam.
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6. POWER the best show on TV @djenvy, Queens we so big out here. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO
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7. They said u lost a step, wasn't explosive as once was, the best days was in the real view, questioned your drive, your leadership, your commitment, you don't have killer instinct, going back home is the worst mistake in your career, he got the coach fired, players traded, won't work between him and Kyrie, Him and Kev won't work, love your teammates to much, there's no way he can deliver a championship in his hometown, etc etc etc.... But guess what THATS NONE OF MY BUSINESS #StriveForGreatness #ThisOneIsForTheLand #PutSomeRespeckOnMyName Hahahaha!!! Yes sir
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8. Oooooh weeee this man right here is responsible for at least three of our four babies!! #JOE ❤❤❤🎤 #rnb #king #voicelikebutter #ForPeetesSake
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9. Hanging with my @abcnetwork family! @abcunclebuck tonite y'all check us out ! @anthonyanderson @traceeellisross
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10. My broski ( @sayeedshahidi ) and I are on Top 5 Live on @go90 at 5 (which is super duper close)! Make sure to tune in :) #UncleBuck #Blackish
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11. Lights out💤 #GoodNight
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12. Late nights mornings
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13. Ran into the lovely talented @siedahgarrett on this brutiful favvuz deh!
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14. #halal #love #thedargans #kattwilliamsSHOW #mashallah when that Jennah piece HIT!! @sweetjennahcollection glasses by @baddieglamaccessories LIZ 😍 @dynamiteko top @dazzledmv and jeans @thevision414 and shoes: @louboutinworld
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15. Big Hair and Optical Illusions #OceanDrive #MiamiLiving #coverparty
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16. MAMA and THE SAVAGES ... ⚓️ #supportyourlocalgirlgang
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17. From the bottom of my ❤️, thank you new followers & old! & hello fellow night owls! #grateful #racheltrue #naturalhair #curlyhair #curlygirl #healthyhair
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18. I feel so grateful because I met these amazing young minds, visiting from Houston TX, during their college tour stop today at #usc.These students are ALL extraordinary and embody academic excellence so I'm humbled to have shared a few moments with them to applaud and celebrate their bright futures ahead! Thank you @EmergeFellows for inviting me to speak and blessing me with your love and attention this afternoon!
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19. Happy Fathers Day Pops. U taught me how to be a man. Lessons of love, hard work & gratefulness. Sorry the fishing didn't stick. LOL. I Love U!
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20. Sky Zone and Ice Cream! Best Fathers Day Ever!! Photo credit @mariahcarey
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21. Look what finally came in the mail 😎 #mtvmovieawards2016 💥+🌽! #straightouttacompton
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22. Claudia Jordan: ....
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23. 'Member that time I almost knocked a bajillion dollar camera off the car? Really? Yeah, me neither! #Greenleaf Episode 2 comin atcha!
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24. Full of love. #birthday #Cabo
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25. Oh hey! Look who just joined Snapchat
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