Black Cowboy 4 … Nat Love

26 Feb

Home on the Range – Tom Roush

Nat Love

texas longhorn 2

Rick (Surrounded by Imbeciles – https://surroundedbyimbeciles.wordpress.com/) was mentioning Nat Love. Nate Love was undoubtedly the most famous Black Cowboy. Tall (dark?) and handsome, he strode the plains – an imposing figure of man – who could back his bravado as a horseman, cowboy, rodeo competitor, and sharpshooter. A helluva guy.

Nat Love bio from Wikipedia:

Nat Love (pronounced “Nate” Love) (c. 1854 – 1921), and also known as “Deadwood Dick”, was an African-American cowboy following the American Civil War. In 1907, Love wrote his autobiography in which he tells of his father being a slave foreman in the fields, and his mother the manager of the plantation’s kitchen.

Love was a slave when he was born on the plantation of Robert Love in Davidson County, Tennessee, around 1854. Despite slavery era statutes that outlawed black literacy, he learned to read and write as a child with the help of his father, Sampson. When slavery ended, Sampson Love attempted to start a family farm to raise tobacco and corn, but he died shortly after the second crop was planted. Nat then took a second job working on a local farm to help make ends meet. After a few years of working odd jobs, he won a horse in a raffle, which he sold in order to leave town. He went west to Dodge City, Kansas, where he found work as a cowboyfrom the Duval Ranch, located in Texas. Because of his excellent horse riding skills, the Duval Ranch cowboys gave Love the nickname, “Red River Dick.” He left Dodge City and returned with them to the home ranch in the Texas Panhandle.

Love fought cattle rustlers and endured inclement weather. He was an expert marksman and cowboy. When he entered a rodeo in Deadwood, South Dakota, on the 4th of July in 1876, he won the rope, throw, tie, bridle, saddle, and bronco riding contests. It was at this rodeo that fans gave him the nickname “Deadwood Dick”.

On October 1877, he was captured by a band of Akimel O’odham (Pima) while rounding up stray cattle near the Gila River in Arizona. Love reported that his life was spared because the Indians respected his fighting ability. Eventually, he stole a pony and managed to escape into west Texas.

Love spent the latter part of his life working as a pullman porter on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. He died in Los Angeles in 1921 at the age of 67.

Nat Love

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Nate had a book …

Nate Love Book

Nate Love Book 2

Excerpt from Nate’s book:

“Quite a different sort of man was Yellowstone Kelley, government scout, hunter and trapper. He was one of the men who helped to make frontier history and open up the pathless wilds to the march of civilization. He was in the employ of the government as a scout and guide when I first met him, and thereafter during our many wanderings over the country, I with my cattle, he with Uncle Sam’s soldiers or on a lone scout, we often bumped up against each other, and these meetings are among my treasured memories. He was a man who knew the country better than he knew his own mother, absolutely fearless, kind and generous to a fault. He was the sort of a man that once you meet him you could never forget him, and us boys who knew him well considered him the chief of all the government scouts of that day. I also had the pleasure of meeting Kit Carson in Arizona and nearly all the government scouts, hunters and trappers of the western country, and they can all be described in one sentence, they were men whom it was a pleasure and an honor to know.

“Billie the Kid” was another sort of a man and there has never been another man like him and I don’t think there ever will be again. Writers claim that he was a man all bad. This I doubt as I knew him well and I have known him to do deeds of kindness. He had many traits that go to make a good man, but fate and circumstances were against the kid,

Yet I know he always remembered a kindness done him and he never forgave an enemy. I have rode by his side many a long mile, and it is hard to believe he was as bad as he is pictured to be, but the facts are against him, and when his career was ended by the bullet from Sheriff Garrett’s colt, the world was better off, likewise were some men who stood in mortal fear of the kid, and I suppose they had good reason to be afraid as the kid always kept his word.”

Nat Love 3

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Black Cowboy African American Cowboy

The Negro Cowboys

Lots of books … but no movies ??

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4 Responses to “Black Cowboy 4 … Nat Love”

  1. Rick February 26, 2015 at 8:13 pm #

    Thanks for the shoutout. I was talking about Nat in class yesterday. Students are always interested to find out that there was such a thing as black cowboys.

    • jcalberta February 26, 2015 at 11:25 pm #

      Very good. Should be better known for sure.

  2. Marilyn Armstrong February 27, 2015 at 9:15 am #

    Really interesting stuff and I didn’t know any of it, so I learned something today. I may get his book. It sounds fascinating.

    • jcalberta February 27, 2015 at 3:16 pm #

      I’ve just been correcting all the mistakes I made – my usual post Post process. LoL. Well of course we will never know how much is truth, exaggerated, embellished etc. I’m sort of a big fan of believing that ‘the truth is stranger than fiction’. I enjoyed his comments about Billy the Kid. Yet … you have to wonder ???

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