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Subject: ARCHIVE: January 12, 1910 ~Bass Reeves, pioneering first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River, credited with arresting more than 3,000 felons, shooting and killed 14 outlaws in self-defense, died of Bright's disease (nephritis), at age 71. ...

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Date Posted: Saturday, January 12, 03:01:21pm

The first black deputy U.S. marshal west of the Mississippi River.
He worked mostly in Arkansas and the Oklahoma Territory.
During his long career, he was credited with arresting more than
3,000 felons. He shot and killed 14 outlaws in self-defense. ...

Bass Reeves
(July 1838 – 12 January 1910)

Early Life ...
Bass Reeves was born into slavery in Crawford County, Arkansas, in 1838. He was named after his grandfather, Basse Washington. Reeves and his family were slaves of Arkansas state legislator William Steele Reeves. When Bass was eight (about 1846), William Reeves moved to Grayson County, Texas, near Sherman in the Peters Colony. Bass Reeves may have served William Steele Reeves' son, Colonel George R. Reeves, who was a sheriff and legislator in Texas, and a one-time Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives until his death from rabies in 1882.

During the American Civil War, Bass beat up George Reeves to get out of slavery Bass fled north into the Indian Territory. There he lived with the Cherokee, Seminole, and Creek Indians, learning their languages, until he was freed by the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery, in 1865. As a freedman, Reeves moved to Arkansas and farmed near Van Buren. He married Nellie Jennie from Texas, with whom he had 11 children.

Career …

...Reeves and his family farmed until 1875, when Isaac Parker was appointed federal judge for the Indian Territory. Parker appointed James F. Fagan as U.S. marshal, directing him to hire 200 deputy U.S. marshals. Fagan had heard about Reeves, who knew the Indian Territory and could speak several Indian languages. He recruited him as a deputy; Reeves was the first black deputy to serve west of the Mississippi River. Reeves was initially assigned as a deputy U.S. marshal for the Western District of Arkansas, which had responsibility also for the Indian Territory. He served there until 1893. That year he transferred to the Eastern District of Texas in Paris, Texas, for a short while. In 1897, he was transferred again, serving at the Muskogee Federal Court in the Indian Territory.

Reeves worked for 32 years as a federal peace officer in the Indian Territory, and became one of Judge Parker's most valued deputies. Reeves brought in some of the most dangerous criminals of the time, but was never wounded, despite having his hat and belt shot off on separate occasions. Once, he had to arrest his own son for murder.

In addition to being a marksman with a rifle and pistol, Reeves developed superior detective skills during his long career. When he retired in 1907, Reeves claimed to have arrested over 3,000 felons. He is said to have shot and killed 14 outlaws to defend his own life.

One of his sons, Bennie Reeves, was charged with the murder of his wife. Deputy Marshal Reeves was disturbed and shaken by the incident, but allegedly demanded the responsibility of bringing Bennie to justice. Bennie was eventually tracked and captured, tried, and convicted. He served his time in Fort Leavenworth in Kansas before being released, and reportedly lived the rest of his life as a responsible and model citizen.

When Oklahoma became a state in 1907, Bass Reeves, then 68, became an officer of the Muskogee Police Department. He served for two years before he became ill and had to retire.

Reeves was himself once charged with murdering a posse cook. At his trial before Judge Parker, Reeves was represented by former United States Attorney W.H.H. Clayton, who was a colleague and friend. Reeves was acquitted.

Death …
Reeves' health began to fail, and he died of Bright's disease (nephritis) in 1910. He was a great-uncle of
Paul L. Brady, who became the first black man appointed as a federal administrative law judge in 1972.
Reeves was buried at Agency Cemetery in Muskogee, Oklahoma. ...

Legacy …
In 2011, the US-62 Bridge, which spans the Arkansas River between Muskogee
and Fort Gibson, Oklahoma, was renamed the Bass Reeves Memorial Bridge.

In May 2012, a bronze statue of Reeves by Oklahoma sculptor Harold Holden was erected in Pendergraft Park in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

In 2013, he was inducted into the Texas Trail of Fame.

Print ...
=The Black Badge: Deputy United States Marshal Bass Reeves from Slave to Heroic Lawman by Bass Reeves great-nephew, retired federal Judge Paul L. Brady.

=Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves by historian Art T. Burton, published in 2006, is the only scholarly account of Reeves' life to date.

=A children's biography by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, won the 2010 Coretta Scott King Award.

=Illustrator and historian Joel Christian Gill published a graphic novel in 2014 called Tales of the Talented Tenth, Volume 1, which featured Reeves' life.

=Authors Ken Farmer and Buck Stienke have written five novels inspired by the exploits of Reeves: The Nations, Haunted Falls (winner of the Laramie Award for best action Western, 2013), Hell Hole, Across the Red, and Bass and the Lady.

=Author Elizabeth Bear depicted Reeves in her 2015 wild west/steampunk novel Karen Memory.

=Reeves "guest-stars" in the ninth volume of the Atomic Robo comic book series, "Atomic Robo and the Knights of the Golden Circle". The story, which takes place in 1884, features Robo, Reeves, and Doc Holliday teaming up to fight a mad scientist.

Television …
="Bass Reeves: The Real Lone Ranger" is the title and subject of Legends and Lies: The Real West (2015).

="Bass Reeves - The Real Lone Ranger" is also the title and subject of Gunslingers (2015). Reeves is portrayed by Joseph Callender.

=Popular speculation that Reeves was an inspiration for the fictional Lone Ranger may have originated from the 2006 Reeves biography. Burton wrote, "Bass Reeves is the closest real person to resemble the Lone Ranger". Burton also documents that Reeve's career as a law man was widely known and celebrated in his time. Burton cites many similarities between Reeves and the Lone Ranger (wearing disguises, having a Native American partner, riding a white and grey horse, giving out silver keepsakes, possessing legendary markmanship and horsemanship etc.)

=Reeves figures prominently in an episode of How It's Made, in which a Bass Reeves limited-edition collectors' figurine is shown in various stages of the production process.

=In "The Murder of Jesse James", a fictional episode of the television series Timeless (season one, episode 12), Bass Reeves is portrayed by Colman Domingo.

=Reeves was a featured subject of the Drunk History episode "Oklahoma" in which he was portrayed by Jaleel White.

=In the television series Wynonna Earp, Reeves' character appears in a season two episode titled "Everybody Knows" in which he was portrayed by Adrian Holmes.

=Bass Reeves figures into the plot of “The Royal Family” episode of “Greenleaf” (2nd season)

Film …
=Bass Reeves, a 2010 fictionalized account of Reeves' life and career, stars James A. House in the titular role. In They Die by Dawn (2013), Bass Reeves is portrayed by Harry Lennix.

=A miniseries, based on Burton's 2006 biography and co-produced by Morgan Freeman, is reportedly under development by HBO. As of April 2018, Amazon Studios is developing a biopic of Reeves with the script and direction helmed by Chloé Zhao.

Games ...
=Bass Reeves is a character in the miniature wargame Wild West Exodus.

=Bass Reeves is a playable character in the board game Western Legends.

Links …

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The 2010 Haiti earthquake occurred on the same date (NT)with more than 100,000 killed as a resultSaturday, January 12, 10:11:07pm

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