Black Cowboys and Indians

Excerpts from an article found in the S*P*U*R newsletter of the
Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum

Written By: Kevin Mulroy,Ph.D.

Photograph courtesy of William Loren Katz.

This image is also included in the "Spirit of the West"
moral in the Gene Autry Western Heritage Museum
Heritage Court .

NAT LOVE (alias "Deadwood Dick") Nat Love,better known as Deadwood Dick,Born a slave in Tennessee in 1854, Love moved to Dodge City and became a black cowboy. He later claimed that he entered a rodeo at Deadwood City in the Dakota Territory in 1876,won several of the roping and shooting contests,and ws given the name 'Deadwood Dick'. In 1907 Love wrote a highly romantized autobiography portraying a life filled with Indian fights,famous outlaws,dusky maidens,and amazing feats. In so doing,he sought to become accepted as the prototype of the dime novel "Deadwood Dick" series. In reality,however,Love spent most of his time working in the dust and hear as a black cowpuncher driving cattle up the Chisholm Trail. Along with the Old West,Nat Love was overtaken by progress and technology and this black Deadwood Dick eventually swapped his mount for the iron horse and took a job on the railroad as a Pullman porter.

Return to Home Page