In The Story of Oklahoma
, Deputy U.S. Marshal Bass Reeves appears as the "most feared U.S. marshal in the Indian country." That Reeves was also an African American who had spent his early life enslaved in Arkansas and Texas made his accomplishments all the more remarkable. Black Gun, Silver Star
sifts through fact and legend to discover the truth about one of the most outstanding peace officers in late nineteenth-century America--and perhaps the greatest lawman of the Wild West era.
Bucking the odds ("I'm sorry, we didn't keep Black people's history," a clerk at one of Oklahoma's local historical societies answered one query), Art T. Burton traces Reeves from his days of slavery to his Civil War soldiering to his career as a deputy U.S. marshal out of Fort Smith, Arkansas, when he worked under "Hanging Judge" Isaac C. Parker. Fluent in Creek and other regional Native languages, physically powerful, skilled with firearms, and a master of disguise, Reeves was exceptionally adept at apprehending fugitives and outlaws and his exploits were legendary in Oklahoma and Arkansas.
In this new edition Burton traces Reeves's presence in the national media of his day as well as his growing modern presence in popular media such as television, movies, comics, and video games.