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.
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.