Happy Birthday, Nat Love!

1 Posted by - December 4, 2017 - BLACK MEN


Nat Love, also known as Deadwood Dick, was an African-American cowboy after the American Civil War. In 1907, Love wrote his autobiography, Life and Adventures of Nat Love.

Love was born a slave on the plantation of Robert Love in Davidson County, Tennessee, in June 1854. Despite slavery era laws that outlawed black literacy, he learned to read and write as a child with the help of his father, Sampson Love. When slavery ended, Sampson attempted to start a family farm to raise tobacco and corn, but he died shortly after the second crop was planted.

Love then took a second job working on a local farm to help make ends meet. After a few years of working odd jobs, he won a horse in a raffle. He sold the horse for 100 dollars, so he gave half his earnings to his mother and used the other half to leave town. He went west to Dodge City, Kansas, to find work as a cowboy.

In Dodge City, he joined the cowboys from the Duval Ranch, located in Texas. Because of his excellent horse riding skills, the Duval Ranch cowboys gave Love the nickname, “Red River Dick.” Once he joined the Duval cowboys, he left Dodge City and returned with them to the home ranch in the Texas Panhandle.

Love’s autobiography tells of many adventures fighting against cattle rustlers and inclement weather. His many years of experience made him an expert marksman and cowboy. On July 4, 1876, he entered a rodeo in Deadwood, South Dakota and managed to win the rope, throw, tie, bridle, saddle and bronco riding contests. It was at this contest that fans gave him the nickname, “Deadwood Dick.”

On October 1877, he was captured by a band of Akimel O’odham while rounding up stray cattle near the Gila River in Arizona. Love reported that his life was spared because the Indians respected his fighting ability. A while after being captured, he stole a pony and managed to escape into West Texas. Love spent the latter part of his life working as a Pullman porter on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.

He died in Los Angeles in 1921 at the age of 67.

?In 1969, a clothing company in Boston took the name Nat Love to pay homage to this “groovy guy.” Nat Love, Inc. introduced hot pants to the United States at the first National Boutique Show, which was held at the Hotel McAlpin in New York City.

?”Mounted on my horse my… lariat near my hand, and my trusty guns in my belt… I felt like I could defy the world.”

?”Every time you shoot at someone, plan on dying.”

?”If a man can’t go out in the blaze of glory, he can at least go with dignity.”

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