Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bad News for Outlaws

Everything about Bass Reeves was big: his shoulders, his hands, his hat, his horse, his mustache and his reputation for being a sure shot. But the biggest thing about him was his character. Vaunda Micheaux Nelson does an exemplary job of introducing this Texas born slave turned free man who fought for justice. In Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U. S. Marshal, she chronicles how Reeves went about outwitting outlaws from 1875 to 1907. In that time he brought in over 3,000 bad guys, sometimes as many as 17 at once! Sadly, his own son was one of those 3,000. The tone of the telling puts you in an old west frame of mind and the illustrations are as right as rain. It was fun to find this forgotten hero. 

Ages: 9-12

Activity: You may be wondering, what do U.S. Marshals do? They apprehend more than half of all federal fugitives, protect the federal judiciary, operate the Witness Security Program, transport federal prisoners, conduct body searches, enforce court orders and Attorney General orders involving civil disturbances and acts of terrorism, execute civil and criminal processes, and seize property acquired by criminals through illegal activities. 

Are you interested in becoming a U. S Marshal like Bass Reeves? Today you would have to meet these qualifications: be a U.S. citizen between the ages of 21 and 36, have a bachelor’s degree or three years of qualifying experience, have a good driving record and valid driver's license, complete a structured interview, meet medical qualifications, undergo a rigorous 17 1/2 week basic training program and be in excellent physical condition. Here are links to the fitness standards for men and the fitness standards for women. Can you do 33 push-ups, 40 sit-ups and run a mile and a half in 12:18? If so, you may well be on your way to being a U. S. Marshall. You can look here for more information.


  1. Stay tune for the epic feature of: “Bass Reeves” US Deputy Marshal. In the mean time, keep telling that history:

    Read the novel, Rescue at Pine Ridge, “RaPR”, a great story of black military history…the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers.

    How do you keep a people down? ‘Never’ let them ‘know’ their history.

    The 7th Cavalry got their butts in a sling again after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn’t for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry.

    Read the novel, “Rescue at Pine Ridge”, 5 stars Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the youtube trailer commercial…and visit the website

    I know you’ll enjoy the novel. I wrote it from my mini-series movie of the same title, “RaPR” to keep my story alive. Hollywood has had a lot of strikes and doesn’t like telling our stories…its been “his-story” of history all along…until now. The movie so far has attached, Bill Duke directing, Hill Harper, Glynn Turman and a host of other major actors in which we are in talks with…see at;

    When you get a chance, also please visit our Alpha Wolf Production website at; and see our other productions, like Stagecoach Mary, the first Black Woman to deliver mail for Wells Fargo in Montana, in the 1890’s, “spread the word”.


  2. Hi There,
    I enjoy your blog so much and pass it on to many people who are looking for history sources. Thank you for contacting me regarding your blog a while ago. Also, I have awarded you Blog of Substance award. You can find it here.
    Thank you for sharing these great resources.