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Black Outlaws, Cowboys, and Lawmen of the Old Wild West

Isom Dart ~ A Black Cowboy It seems history has conspired against the many cowboys of color. Isom Dart is one of those black cowboys whose adventures are often left untold. Born a slave in Arkansas and later freed by the Civil War he rode West. His pursuits ranged from rodeo rider to cattle rustler. His life came to an abrupt end when he was shot down in Cold Springs, Colorado by an unknown assailant on October 3, 1900. #Black_History.

Unknown photographer Jose S. Abeita, bronco buster, in Magdalena c. 1920 25 x 40 Courtesy of the Autry National Center/Southwest Museum, Los Angeles

George Glenn, who rode the Chisholm Trail in the 1870′s, is the only black cowboy who figured prominently in the history of the Trail. From http://blackcowboys.com/?page_id=91

Bill Pickett (about 1920) was a legendary cowboy from Taylor, Texas of black and Indian descent. Born in the Jenks-Branch community on the Travis County line, he died in 1932, near Ponca City, Oklahoma. Pickett performed from 1905 to 1931 for the Miller brother's 101 Ranch Wild West Show, one of the great shows in the tradition begun by William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody in 1883. The 101 Ranch Show introduced bulldogging (steer wrestling), an exciting rodeo event invented by Bill Pickett.

Pony Express riders (c. 1860). Dangerous and difficult work - riders needed to be touch and lightweight. Famous advertisement for riders read: "Wanted: young, skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders, willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred".

Benjamin Hodges, a black Mexican cowboy who made his living as a con artist in Dodge City.