It’s said that in the late 19th century when the United States’ government needed someone to curb lawlessness in the Indian Territory, Bass Reeves was the man they turned to....
Category: Bass Reeves
Bass Reeves was one of the first Black Deputy U.S. Marshals west of the Mississippi River, renowned for his skill, bravery, and dedication to justice during the late 19th century in the American West.
Below, World History Edu presents some of the internet’s most asked questions about this lawman:
Was Bass Reeves born a slave?
Yes, Bass Reeves was born into slavery in 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas. He later escaped during the Civil War and lived among the Creek and Seminole tribes until the end of the war.
How many people did Bass Reeves arrest during his career?
Over his 32-year career as a U.S. Deputy Marshal, Bass Reeves is credited with arresting over 3,000 felons and bringing them to justice.
Was Bass Reeves ever shot or wounded in the line of duty?
Remarkably, despite the dangers of his job and the numerous attempts on his life, Reeves was never wounded.
Did Bass Reeves really arrest his own son?
Yes, in a testament to his unwavering commitment to the law, Bass Reeves had to arrest his own son, Bennie, for the murder of his wife.
Was the character of the “Lone Ranger” based on Bass Reeves?
While the direct connection remains debated among historians, some believe that Bass Reeves was an inspiration for the iconic fictional character, the Lone Ranger, due to similarities in their stories and methods.
How long did Bass Reeves serve as a U.S. Deputy Marshal?
Bass Reeves served as a U.S. Deputy Marshal for 32 years, from 1875 until 1907.
How did Bass Reeves die?
Bass Reeves passed away in 1910. He lived a long life and left behind a significant legacy as one of the greatest lawmen of the Wild West.
Why is Bass Reeves important in American history?
Bass Reeves is significant not only for his impressive record as a lawman but also as a symbol of resilience and determination. In an era rife with racial prejudice, Reeves’s achievements as a Black Deputy U.S. Marshal showcased the breaking of racial barriers and the importance of commitment to justice.
Are there any monuments or memorials dedicated to Bass Reeves?
Yes, there’s a statue of Bass Reeves in Fort Smith, Arkansas, dedicated to his memory and his contributions to law enforcement and justice in the Wild West.