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Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal (Exceptional Social Studies Titles for Intermediate Grades) (Nelson, Vaunda Micheaux) Library Binding – November 1, 2009
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From the Back Cover
"One of the bravest men this country has ever known."
"The most feared deputy U.S. marshal that was ever heard of."
The first black man to ever be a deputy U.S. Marshall.
Sitting tall in the saddle, with a wide-brimmed black hat and twin Colt pistols on his belt, Bass Reeves seemed bigger than life. Outlaws feared him. Law-abiding citizens respected him. As a peace officer, he 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.
Born into slavery in 1838, Bass had a hard and violent life, but he also had a strong sense of right and wrong that others admired. When Judge Isaac Parker tried to bring law and order to the lawless Indian Territories, he chose Bass to be a deputy U.S. Marshall. Bass would quickly prove a smart choice.
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 crack shot and a quick draw, he only killed fourteen men in the line of duty.
The story of Bass Reeves is the story of a remarkable African American and a remarkable hero of the Old West.
Top Customer Reviews
Did you know that, in spite of what we've seen in the movies and on TV, there were African Americans in the Old West? Bass Reeves was born around 1838 as a slave in Texas but ran away from his master during the Civil War and lived with the Native Americans in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) until after the war was over, when he settled in nearby Arkansas. However, in 1875, the U. S. Government sent Judge Isaac C. Parker to bring law and order to Indian Territory. The judge hired 200 deputy marshals to track down outlaws, and Bass Reeves was one of the marshals. Author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson describes some of the truly amazing feats that Reeves accomplished during his 32 years of service. He even captured bandit queen Belle Starr. You might also be interested to know that Gary Paulsen wrote a fictionalized account of Reeves called The Legend of Bass Reeves.
Anyone, young or old, who is interested in the Old West should really like Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves! However, beyond its connection to the wild frontier, this book, with great illustrations by R. Gregory Christie, is a good one for children generally because it describes the life of a man who exhibited admirable character in his life through his dedication to duty and his courage, honesty, and strong sense of right and wrong. While it would be excellent for Black History Month, it should not be relegated to that month alone and could be used at any time that late-nineteenth-century American history is studied. Features at the end include a glossary of Western terms, a timeline of Reeves's life, further reading and websites, and more information on Judge Parker and the Indian Territory, along with a note from the author on how she came to learn about Reeves. It is a fascinating story that I highly recommend.
And so Bass ran. He ran to Indian Territory. After the Civil War he bought some land in Arkansas and raised a family until Judge Isaac C. Parker hired him and many other deputy marshals to "track down outlaws in an area covering 74,000 square miles." It was a tall order, but Bass was up to it and soon became Parker's right-hand man. He was a crack shot, honest and would bring in hundreds of outlaws in thirty-two years. This book has some marvelous tales of some of his more unusual captures. For example, one time he "pretended to be a farmer" and deliberately ran over a stump and caught up a wheel. Four outlaws didn't want him near their hideout and went to help him. They helped him and he then helped them right off to jail.
This was a wonderful story to honor the memory of a deputy marshal who, although the best in his day, has all been but forgotten. I loved the setup of the story because it almost reads like a chapter book in that every two or three pages seemed to have an interesting stand-alone story.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
was a good book.. did not realize it is a children's book when I ordered itPublished 4 hours ago by David H
Another remarkable hero brought to life - I've enjoyed western stories and heroes but never heard of this great law enforcement official until I reviewed Bill O'Reilly's western... Read morePublished 8 days ago by Joseph H. Race
Filled with good information on a level that can be understood by children and adults about a true Western hero.Published 3 months ago by A. Nickel
I didnt realize it is more of a childrens book.I should have done better research on it.Published 8 months ago by Cricket
I intended this to be an adult book, not a children's book but the order came promply. Thank youPublished 11 months ago by Bonita Borchard