One in 4 cowboys was black and it's believed that the real “Lone Ranger” was inspired by an African American man named Bass Reeves.
Reeves was born a slave, but he escaped during the Civil War. He eventually became a Deputy U.S. Marshal, was a master of disguise, an expert marksman, had a Native American companion, and rode a silver horse.
Over the 35 years that Bass Reeves served as a Deputy U.S. Marshal, he earned his place in history by being one of the most effective lawmen in Indian Territory, bringing in more than 3,000 outlaws. Killing some 14 men during his service, Reeves always said that he “never shot a man when it was not necessary for him to do so in the discharge of his duty to save his own life.”
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