Bass Reeves: The Lone Ranger

Bass Reeves: The Lone Ranger

It’s a cold autumn night, sometime in the
late 1870s, somewhere in the Western District of Arkansas. The West just cannot get Wilder here. You are on the run from the law, with a sentence
hanging on your neck, issued by none other than infamous Federal Judge Isaac Parker,
also known as “The hanging Judge”. He has dispatched his most effective and relentless
enforcer to bring you back to justice. A lawman so feared and respected that he haunts
criminals in their nightmares. How would you picture him in your head? You are probably thinking about your typical
cowboy, complete with Stetson hat, six-shooter and star-shaped badge, popularised by Hollywood. Tall like Gary Cooper, strong like John Wayne,
rugged like Clint Eastwood and full of grit like Jeff Bridges. You got most of it right, except one detail. You nemesis is a freed former African-American
slave: Bass Reeves, the first black Deputy US Marshal to ride for justice west of the
Mississippi River. Early life
Bass Reeves was born into slavery on the 16th of July 1838 in Crawford County, Arkansas. Bass got his first name from his grandfather,
Basse Washington, and his surname from the Arkansas state legislator William Steele Reeves,
who owned Bass Reeves and his family. In 1846, his master moved to Grayson County,
Texas where young Bass first worked as a stable hand and a blacksmith’s apprentice, before
becoming a manservant to the son of his master, George Reeves. This George Reeves was quite a high-profile
character, being the Speaker of the House in the Texas legislature and later a Confederate
Colonel during the American Civil War. Bass did actually follow him everywhere, joining
him in several battles. Bass himself claimed to have fought at Pea
Ridge in March 1862, Chickamauga in September 1863 and Missionary Ridge, November 1863. Now, we will see later on how Bass Reeves
achieved some outstanding accomplishments in his later life. And yet, the man must have felt the need to
“fluff up” his military record in newspaper interviews. According to his great-grandnephew, Federal
Judge Paul Brady, Bass did fight at the Pea Ridge battle, which by the way was a major
Confederate defeat, but he disputes Bass’ participation in the other battles. You see, sometime after Pea Ridge, Bass had
a disagreement over a game of cards with Col Reeves. Bass terminated his work relationship with
the Colonel with the only available means he had at that time: a punch in the face. That was the beginning of Bass Reeves’ legend. Escape to freedom
With the serious prospect of death by lynching, Bass fled north to the Indian Territory, modern
day Oklahoma, not far from Pea Ridge. During this period, he lived with the Cherokee,
Seminole, and Creek Indians, becoming fluent in the Muskogee language as well as learning
languages spoken by other tribes. He did not entirely escape from the war, though:
historian Dr Art Burton suggests that Bass may have become a Unionist sergeant after
joining a unit made up of former slaves and Native Americans fighting against tribes allied
to the Confederacy. The Emancipation declaration was issued in
1863, followed at the end of the Civil War by the ratification of the 13th Amendment
to the US constitution, which definitely abolished slavery. Bass was now a free man and was able to settle
in Arkansas, becoming a farmer near Van Buren. It was here that he met and married his first
wife, Nellie Jennie, from Texas, with whom he had ten children, five boys and five girls. Reeves and his family farmed in Van Buren
until 1875. What was life like for an African American
family in the Southern states at that time? Not easy, unfortunately. The early post-war years were promising for
African Americans. The federal Freedmen’s Bureau ensured that
by 1870 more than 240,000 black pupils were enrolled in more than 4,000 schools. Then, the 15th Amendment granted all males
the right to vote, regardless of “race, colour, or previous condition of servitude.” Within a few years, every Southern state legislature
had African American members, and 11 African Americans had been elected to the U.S. Congress
by 1875. Unfortunately, when Federal troops left the
occupied Southern States, former Confederates returned to power and rescinded many of the
rights gained by African Americans: these were forbidden to vote, to testify in court
against a European American, to enrol in school, to travel freely, to disobey an order, or
to leave a job without permission. In many states, any African American traveling
alone could be arrested or sentenced to forced labour. New codes of social segregation came into
being, as European and African Americans were forced into separate accommodations to an
extent even greater than during slavery. This harsh social order became infamous as
the “Jim Crow laws”, enforced by new vigilante organizations like the Ku Klux Klan, which
terrorized African Americans and tortured and killed those who violated the new codes. Lynching became common place. The District of Kansas, must have been a dangerous,
precarious World for Bass and family back then. However, Reeves had a very valuable talent. You see, the near-by Indian Territory, was
the favourite hiding place for hundreds of desperados, bandits on the run from Federal
and local lawmen. It was an expanse of land so lethal and lawless
that historian Art Burton compared it to Afghanistan post-insurgency. “You could just lose your life over your hat,
your horse, your gun, your woman, any damn thing.” Well, Bass Reeves was literally at home in
this hell-on-earth. He knew the territory, he was on friendly
terms with the native tribes and he could speak their language. Soon, this talent was recognised, and he was
hired as a guide by the US Marshals stationed in Van Buren when venturing into the Indian
Territory. The U.S. Marshals
Those of you who are not watching from the US may be asking “But who exactly are these
US Marshals they keep talking about?” The office of US Marshals was created in 1789
by the first ever American Congress, their function being to support the federal courts
within their judicial districts and to carry out all lawful orders issued by judges, Congress,
or the President. In practical terms, this included some pretty
bad-ass and life-threatening activities such as
Paying expenses to the court clerks Hiring court janitors
Ensuring witnesses were on time, or even – oh, the horror! – Filling water pitchers for the Judges, Attorneys
and jurors But their life was not all thrills. In fact, US Marshals were given the power
to appoint Deputies, who had to carry out the most mundane and clerical tasks, like
Apprehending murderous fugitives Escorting prisoners across dangerous territories
Carrying out arrest warrants Arresting criminals on the spot
Supporting local law enforcement in their normal duties
I may have gotten those lists in the wrong order, but my point is: the US Marshals had,
and still have, huge and varied responsibilities and were often in the front line of the war
against crime in the lawless lands west of the Mississippi river. Especially in a period in which they, and
the private detectives from Pinkerton, were the only law enforcement agencies with a Federal
jurisdiction. Let’s hear it from Burton again:
“The Indian Territory was where the majority of deputy U.S. Marshals had been killed in
the line of duty in the history of the Marshals Service. You’re looking at a little over 200 who have
been killed in the line of duty to this date right now. On record, over 130 were killed in the Indian
Territory. You also had Indian policemen getting killed. You had town municipal policemen getting killed. It had to be the greatest battleground between
crime and law in the history of the United States of America.” Reeves: Deputised
In 1875 former US Congressman Isaac Parker was appointed federal judge for the Indian
Territory. Parker became known as “The Hanging Judge”
for his propensity to hand out death sentences – a harsh man, but apparently that’s what
Western Arkansas and the Indian Territory needed. Parker appointed James F. Fagan as U.S. Marshal,
directing him to hire 200 U.S. Marshal Deputies. Fagan had heard about Reeves, who knew the
Indian Territory and could speak several Indian languages and decided to deputise him. It is tempting to celebrate Bass Reeves as
the first African American U.S. Deputy Marshal, but he was not. He may have been the first, or maybe even
just one of the first, west of the Mississippi. Our expert Dr Burton in fact claims that the
presence of black lawmen and soldiers in the old West has been grossly under-represented
by historians and popular culture alike: “If we look at the real Western frontier
… you also found blacks who were in law enforcement across the West, in Montana and
Colorado and New Mexico. Twenty percent of the military on the Western
frontier were African Americans” For example “The majority of the federal workers for
the Fort Smith court, Arkansas, in 1878 were African Americans.” So why do we celebrate and remember Bass Reeves
today? Not only because he was one of those who had
overcome barriers imposed by prejudice, by segregation, and sometimes even by laws which
today would count as a crime against humanity. Not only that, but because he was simply one
of the damn best US lawmen, ever. Period. [TA1] 3000 Arrests and some unlucky hats
And in the role of one of the finest lawmen ever, Bass Reeves certainly did look the part. He cut an impressive figure, standing at 6
foot 2, or 188 cm, sporting an epic handlebar moustache, black Stetson hat and dark polished
boots. He was an accomplished horseman and marksman,
due to his hunting and military experience, and life as a blacksmith and farmer had made
him incredibly strong. But Reeves was not all brawn. Even though he remained illiterate his whole
life Deputy Reeves had a prodigious memory so he just learnt by heart the warrants and
court orders as he received them. He could also be very cunning, preferring
to use guile instead of guns in many occasions, and had reportedly developed some impressive
detective skills. His track record speaks for itself. Over the course of his career as a Deputy
Marshal, from 1875 to 1907, Bass Reeves carried out 3000 arrests – that’s an average of
94 per year! He also shot and killed 14 criminals in self-defence,
but was never seriously wounded, despite his hat being shot in two several times. But let’s take a closer look at some of
his most famous adventures. In September 1884 Deputy Reeves was in The
Indian Territory, with arrest warrants for two horse rustlers, Frank Buck and John Bruner. Two local men had volunteered to guide him,
but unbeknownst to him these guys were Buck and Bruner! While camping for dinner, Reeves noticed Bruner
reaching for his pistol. The Marshal would not have it. He quickly grabbed Bruner’s gun and pulled
his own six-shooter. Behind his back, Buck was getting ready to
shoot. Quick as a flash, and still holding Bruner’s
weapon, Reeves turned around and shot Buck dead. In another case, Reeves had to face the famous
three outlaw brothers, the Brunters. But this time, it seemed like the criminals
had the upper hand: they ambushed Reeves and held him at gunpoint, taunting the man who
was already known as the “Indomitable Marshal”. Fearless as usual, Reeves calmly asked for
the date. When the brothers asked why, Reeves explained
that their arrest papers needed to be dated. After all, they were coming with him – dead
or alive. In a scene worthy of a Hollywood action movie,
the outlaws burst out laughing. Reeves took advantage of their distraction,
turning away from him the barrel of the closest gun. The other two brothers aimed at him, but Reeves
was quicker on the draw and shot them both dead. As per the third brother … some accounts
tell us that Reeves took him into custody. According to others, the remaining Brunter
still had some fight left in him, until Reeves disarmed him and cracked his skull with his
own gun. But as I mentioned earlier, Reeves was not
just about fists and bullets, he could be sly as a fox. During the pursuit of two outlaws in the Red
River Valley, Reeves and his colleagues thought the criminals were seeking refuge at their
mother’s cabin. Approaching old momma’s house on the open
terrain was too dangerous, but Reeves had a plan: he dirtied up his clothes, ditched
his polished boots for an old pair of shoes and shot three holes in his hat. (We like to think that Bass’ hat-maker was
a very rich man at this point of his career …)
He then walked 28 miles to the cabin and knocked on the door. When mum opened the door, Reeves impersonated
an outlaw on the run form the Marshals, thirsty, hungry and tired. Of course, the old lady sympathised and took
him in. Later that night, her naughty boys showed
up and she whistled to them, indicating that the coast was clear. As if. When the other Marshals arrived the morning
after, they found Reeves keeping watch on the two brothers, still asleep and safely
handcuffed. Without firing a shot, nor risking anyone’s
life, Reeves had scored a resounding victory, collecting a $5,000 reward – that’s about
$121,000 in today’s money. And yet, despite Reeves’ undisputed effectiveness,
some white lawmen still believed a black man had to be beneath them. Judge Brady, Reeves’ great-grandnephew,
reports one incident in which a white police officer threatened to shoot the Marshal with
his gun, guilty of ordering around some white federal prisoners – in other words, guilty
of doing his job! Only the intervention of a senior Marshal
could avoid a shootout amongst fellow lawmen. Legend of the Lone Ranger
Bass Reeves’ fame grew with each arrest, fuelled by local newspapers in search of heroes
to celebrate. His reputation as a fearless, indomitable,
incorruptible lawman, eventually became a deterrent enough to prevent criminals from
escaping justice. Just listen to this story from the summer
of 1903. One night, a man called Jerry Mcintosh had
dragged his wife out of bed during a drunken rage. He had doused her in oil and set her on fire,
leaving her alive but in critical condition. McIntosh was quick to leave town, but while
on the run, he had a dream, or rather, a nightmare. According to the July 16, 1903 edition of
The Daily Ardmorette: “McIntosh says he dreamed last night that
Deputy Marshall Reeves came upon him in the brush and when he jumped up to run the deputy
shot and killed him. When he awoke and realized that it was only
a dream he decided to come to town and give up immediately…” Bass Reeves steely dedication to upholding
the law did not hold back from friends or even family. He famously arrested the minister that had
baptised him, on charges of selling illegal liquor. And even more famously, he went after his
own son, Bennie. Here is from the Daily Ardmorette again:
“A warrant for the arrest of the younger Reeves for murdering his wife had been issued
and Marshal Bennett said that perhaps another deputy had better be sent to serve it. Old Bass was in the room and quietly said,
“Give me the writ.” He went out, arrested his son, brought him
into court and saw a jury try him, convict him, and sentence him to life imprisonment…” Bennie Reeves was eventually freed from his
life sentence for being a “model prisoner”, and he reportedly never committed another
crime again. So far we looked at the highlights of Reeves’
career, but in his tenure as Marshal there was at least one shadow. In April 1884, Reeves had in fact been involved
in the death by shooting of his camp cook, William Leech. An initial inquest ruled that this had been
an accident and no charges were filed against Deputy Reeves. But two years later, a former Confederate
took over the local US Attorney’s office and the sentence was over-ruled: Bass was
now charged with murder, stripped of his badge and held in jail for more than three months. Reeves and others testified that the shooting
was accidental, with his rifle going off while Reeves was trying to clear a faulty cartridge
from the chamber with a knife. He was eventually acquitted, but the legal
expenses left him financially ruined, as he was forced to sell his home. According to Judge Jim Spears, a member of
the Bass Reeves Legacy Initiative, the charges against the Deputy Marshal were politically
and racially motivated. However Reeves’ strength of character is shown
by the fact that he decided to continue his career after his acquittal. And so, the Lone Marshal rode again, and became
the legend we know of today. For some time he was believed to be the inspiration
behind the character of the Lone Ranger, a masked lawman in the old West, first appearing
in a 1930s radio show, then a 1950s TV series, comics, cartoons and several movies. Well, I am afraid to say that this myth can
be safely debunked as it was circulated by none other than our friend Dr Art Burton,
who hinted at this connection without any proof. The Lone Ranger was actually inspired by the
myth of Robin Hood and by Tom Mix, a star of early Western films. Rather than claiming that Bass inspired some
masked white dude in a lame 2013 movie, shouldn’t he deserve a proper, well-written, well-produced
and non-straight to video biopic? Morgan Freeman as the old Reeves narrating
in flashback, Chadwick Boseman as younger Bass and John Lithgow as ‘Hanging’ Judge
Parker. Story credit to Whistler! If producers are watching right now – consider
this a pitch. End of an era
The Wild West lost much of his wildness in the early XXth Century, as America fulfilled
its Manifest Destiny and the Pacific Coast was conquered by settlers. By 1907, Kansas, Arkansas and Oklahoma had
officially become States within the Union and the Indian Territory with its ongoing
war against the law was but a memory. Bass Reeves was now aged 68, time for him
to leave the U.S. Marshals. But he did not retire yet, preferring to serve
for a further two years as a Police Officer in the Muskogee police department. In 1909, the tireless Reeves finally did retire,
due to a kidney condition, called Bright’s disease. He died a year later on January 12, 1910,
being remembered in his obituary as a “universally respected US Deputy Marshal
who was absolutely fearless and had known no master but duty”.


  • Jason says:

    "Give me the writ."

    Western theme plays

  • Debra Allen says:

    Could be a great movie, would loved to have met this man

  • Draco lord says:

    Great video Simon! Keep them coming and I'll keep on watching.

  • Mudpuppy Media says:

    Im from the area in the State of Arkansas and grew up under the reputation of Judge Parker. True Grit. And Pea Ridge

  • Jeanette Moorhead says:

    I know one of his direct descendants . The man has the same eyes as his great , great , great grandfather . I asked him if he was related to bass reeves and he was shocked that I even knew who he was . He proudly said yes

  • Cloud Queen says:

    His birthday needs to be a national federal holiday!

  • mr Thulin says:

    1:21 Grayson county Texas in the house! 😂 💯

  • Robert Brown says:

    Cool 😎

  • Julia Irzyk says:

    You should do a biographic on Arnold Rothstein, the greatest gambler of all time, and reported fixer of the 1919 World Series (and also my great uncle).

  • Marko Gasparovich says:

    I swear in that last transition piece I heard Bron-Yr-Aur, anyone else hear that?

  • Berlon Outlaw says:

    Thank you sir

  • Philip LeVan says:

    I seen a documentary about him on Fox news channel's "Legends and Lies" program. I believe they even said his horses name was Silver. They went by facts only and said the Lone Ranger was a fictitious character but if it could be based on a real person it would be Bass Reeves.

  • wiire time says:

    You did this on your other channel 2 years ago

  • Ben Plummer says:

    I was born and raised in Arkansas (still live here) and know this story well. I still go to the Pea Ridge battlefield about once a year.

  • Jonathan Baltzly says:

    Do videos about Alvin York and Sam Davis

  • Nostalgic Wanderer says:

    The man deserves a good movie!

  • macrif says:

    Inspiration for the lone ranger, I believe is someone else. A white guy. At least what I've read. The Lone Ranger is a fictional charator anyway and the great uncle of the green hornet. Let Bass Reeves be Bass Reeves. He doesn't need to be anyone else. He's his own man and a hero.

  • LostEmpireProduction says:

    All in favor of Denzel Washington or Sam Jackson playing Bass Reeves?

  • Uncommon Sense says:

    100% of Jim Crow laws were passed by Democrat legislatures and signed by Democrat governors.

  • Blake says:

    do Sid Hatfield too please?

  • S. Andre Yoder Harris says:

    Yes I would love to be the DP.

  • TheLongDark says:

    My God, Bass Reeves' eyes! I haven't even broken any laws and I'm worried he's going to come for me. Dude looks like he hasn't given a single f*** at any point in his life.

  • Wen j says:

    Amazing man. Thank you for teaching me even more true American history

  • timdella92 says:

    Please do a biography on the best Texas Ranger, Frank Hamer. Hollywood wasn’t kind to him when they romanticized the death of Bonnie and Clyde. Hamer was a hero.

  • barry allan says:

    I am from Scotland and my history teacher told us about bass 30 years ago and it amazes me how many Americans have heard about this legend of a man.Maybe they’ll build a statue one day as he clearly deserves it

  • BANG _vg says:

    Strange, but not surprising that this man has never had a production done in honour of him. The idea of this man and what he represented would not fly well at all in the current climate of foreboding in the US. Hopefully, at some point there will be something produced. As already mentioned, I’m sure Denzel would love to play this role. Thanks for this. I had never heard of this amazing man

  • Tamara Head says:

    I love learning new things and I truly love history, Thank You for educating me about Bass Reeves. He was truly an amazing man who had an unparalleled respect for doing the right thing. Bass Reeves definitely deserves all the respect and accolades of today's society.

  • Ivan Hunter says:

    would you do one about Judas Iscariat

  • Ethan Dayton says:

    Closed Captioning on YouTube is so freaking weird, from Adding words and even sentences to completely misspelling them to using roman numerals for the number 20 when Simon says "XXth anniversary" too freaky.

  • Zeithri says:

    4:16 – Wow, it's just like when a certain President in America right now have worked hard to undo all things the former President worked hard to implement!
    Truly, history repeats itself.

  • Thomas Bingel says:

    Very recommendable!

  • Thoth dawhite says:

    no the best lawmen was Sam Steele

  • Tav Ferry says:

    Now THAT'S a man with strong character. Damn… Going through slavery and then he decides to be a part of the law for the nation that had wronged him.

    Take note people. You're more likely to make a difference when you work in the system and not out of it. This should be a Netflix series.

  • Romel Negut says:

    If a movie is made about this man's life, I wish that those responsable for making it will do justice to this legend by portraying him for what he was and NOT for what some people want to see.

  • Unhumanized says:

    Doing your job nah can't have that I'll shoot ya

  • Loupis Canis says:

    Thank you .

  • Baron Von Snuggle says:

    YES!! FINALLY! i have wanted this for so long! Thank you so much!

  • Elaine Evans says:

    How about doing a bio on Clayton Moore

  • Northern Nightmare says:

    This should be a film!

  • trwsandford says:

    Greatest disputed land between law and crime that is until Detroit, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Baltimore.

  • Thad Goy says:

    Here’s the next list I want to see in biographies:

    Dieter Dengler
    John McCain
    Jeremiah Denton
    Frank Eaton
    Hiroo onoda
    Yukio Mishima
    Martin Luther king jr
    Ngo Dinh Diem
    John Dillinger
    Leopoldo Galtieri
    Lee kuan yew, first prime minster of Singapore 🇸🇬
    Albert Goering, brother of Herman goering who helped saved Jews from extermination
    George Wallace
    General butt naked
    Philippe Petain
    Samuel L Jackson
    Joseph Christopher
    Lam kor-wan
    Syngman Rhee
    Kim ill sung
    Kim jong ill
    Boris Yeltsin
    Mikhail Gorbachev
    Nicolae Ceausescu
    Marilyn Manson
    Alice Cooper
    Steven Spielberg
    Kevin Poulsen
    Markus Hess
    Ray Kroc
    Walt Disney
    Vincent Price
    Charlton Heston
    Gene Wilder
    Bao Zhang (Song Dynasty judge nicknamed justice Bao)
    Agatha Christie
    Richard Lawrence (Andrew Jackson would-be assassin)
    Abraham Lincoln
    John Wilkes Booth
    Robert McNamara
    Sirhan Sirhan
    Will Smith
    Martin Lawrence
    Adam Sandler
    The high incident bandits, Larry Phillips jr & Emil Matasareanu
    Ray Holmes, the RAF pilot who took down a Dornier Do 17 by ramming it
    Henry Tandey, the WW1 soldier who refuse to shoot Hitler
    Lauri Torni or Larry Thorne, the Finnish soldier who fought in three armies
    Desmond Doss, the seventh day Adventist and only ww2 soldier who never hold a weapon
    Andrea Behring Brevik, Norwegian spree killer & domestic terrorist
    Nick Leeson, the broker who brought down barings bank
    Oliver Philpot, the POW who escape using a makeshift Trojan horse
    King George iii, the mad king
    Lenny McLean aka the guv’nor street fighter
    OJ Simpson
    Prince Charles
    Phineas Gage, the man who survive a head injury after an iron rod went through his head
    Roy Sullivan, the park ranger who survive 7 lightning strikes
    Steve Perry, former lead singer of journey
    General Dwight D Eisenhower, who later became the 34th president
    Pewdiepie, popular YouTube user
    Ivan Pavlov, Nobel prize recipient on physiology

  • Matthew Daniels says:

    The man is a legend and Ive never heard his story.. This certainly needs to be told in a movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Esh says:

    This video was breathtaking!

  • Brad Griffin says:

    This was really interesting. On a side note, I had a mate in the 80s whose nickname was Frank Buck.

  • Dan Rowley says:

    They were not African Americans. No such thing in the 1800's. They were freed slaves from Africa. Your too PC & in this case, ignorant, for your own good. But, that's another cross you bare.

  • Ken Bryant says:

    I am absolutely loving this channel! Perfect! Is there any chance at all you would consider profiling the following icons? : –

    Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

    George Orwell

    H.G Wells

    Jordan Peterson

    Eckhart Tolle

    Christopher Hitchens

    Richard Dawkins

  • thefrecklepuny says:

    Reeves was referenced in the time-travelling series 'Timeless'.

  • Jake Rose says:

    Frank Hamer has been cited as inspiration for the lone ranger!

  • Tucker Bombard says:

    He may not have inspired the Lone Ranger, but you can see his influence on Denzel Washington's character in The Magnificent 7.

  • Rick Mitchell says:

    This dude needs his own feature film!

  • Randy Bobandy says:

    As we are beginning to see more and more, The Left have lied about racism and slavery in America in order to bolster votes. Dems created KKK and Jim Crow Laws as well as made a deal with the so-called Civil Rights leaders that gave them power over black American's, they in turn encouraged the black mothers to be single parents by introducing a social welfare system that guaranteed government financial support but on the understanding that you couldn't claim this if you had a working man/husband in the household. As a result 96% of black children are born out of wedlock. Black families have been destroyed by the very people who are supposed to be helping them. There are many more examples of the evil carried out by the left against black American's, such as illegals effect the Black communities first because these are the area that are flooded with illegals who eventually take over and build businesses forcing black people out. The point is, it's not what the official history books say and if it is, that is not the history being taught in educational institutes, colleges and schools across the USA. MAGA!

  • Josh Flynn says:

    Quentin tarantino needs to make a western about this

  • Adam Grasinger says:

    One of my favorite old west icons. A real life myth and legend, thanks for giving more insight on the indomitable, incorruptible Bass Reeves.

  • meme lover says:

    I’m from Arkansas and I’m glad to see our state heroes remembered!!!!!

  • NOphion Trollbringer says:

    Instead of turning all existing characters and turning them black or female, they could just take this badass story and make a movie out of it.
    I would watch it.
    This story is franchise material!

  • Wulable says:

    Could you do an episode on Ali Abdullah Saleh and the history of Yemen/why Yemen is so messed up? I've been reading wikipedia and news articles about the Yemeni civil war and it seems like there is a lot of interesting back story here that would make a good biographics.

  • Emmanuel Thommy says:


    real life django?

  • Swedishmafia101 Shitposting Inc. says:

    Yee Haw

  • Jason Broomfield says:

    Thanks for this story it was absolutely brilliant. I'm a cop too wasn't aware of this gent but I agree needs to have a film made about him.Come on Hollywood let's have a true story made about a real hero!
    Thanks for all your and your teams work Simon the channel and your others are excellent.

  • gardensofthegods says:

    A number of black wealthy influential celebrities , especially those who were complaining that there's not enough films about blacks should put their money together and make world class story worthy of the Oscar .
    It's heartbreaking the Bass Reeves lost his home due to legal fees .

  • Sherod Smallman says:

    Yes! You used “European American”!!! It’s catching on!

  • Versus Versus says:

    Dude Dejango Unchained takes alot from this guy.

  • Deanna Jackson says:

    This man needs a movie made about him!

  • John Reynolds says:

    What an amazing bio. Great job

  • WenD1908 says:

    Thank you for this. If you look at Hollywood, the movies (mostly) ignored us and our contributions to the West.

  • CHIGGS 58TH says:

    You already did this one.

  • shooterqqqq says:

    Simon Whistler pushing the same old same old lie about a connection between Reeves and the Lone Ranger. It's a lie. The Lone Ranger came out decades before documents were uncovered about Reeves. The Lone Ranger's originators wrote down the description of the Lone Ranger as Robin Hood, Zorro and Tom Mix. This is click bait.

  • Wit says:

    To the Man, Woman and Child we can agree Bass Revees lived his life with dignity and the grit that his time demanded of him.

  • Ran Dri says:

    I am a big fan of the channel and I watch it regularly, along with your other channels, but it lacks immensly in WOMEN's stories. And history doesnt lack great women, they are just not represented enough in the media… So please take that into consideration.

  • John H. Stevens says:

    I really enjoy these videos of lesser-known but amazing historical figures.

  • Super_ShaG says:

    There is a sheriff in RDR2 Town of tumbleweed that's in reference to him

  • Black MoonHawk says:

    The real Lone Ranger? Another story stolen from a black hero and given to a white man, " high ho silver… away"

  • Morgan Overby says:

    That was a very good story. Thank you.

  • manuel maldonado jr says:

    thanks send is to me.

  • Mloclam Nomdnih says:

    Can do a video on the Pinkertons?

  • Karen Stein says:


    If anything, Bass Reeves was the inspiration for Rooster Cogburn. "True Grit" takes pllace in the same time and place as Bass' career – even naming the same judge. Book has many side comments that only make sense if you include the racial element, maybe explaining the bitterness of the lady.

  • Pink Alligator says:

    Ugh, I like you Simon and @Biographics but please never use that background music again, it is awful. I paused a number of times, confused as to what was beeping so horribly only to realize it was this video
    At 16:14 it's just a long shrieking tone I had turn of bcs it just hurt my ears and head so bad

  • Mavi Kartal says:

    I want you to make a video about Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in one of these days:
    March 18,May 19,April 23,August 30,October 29,November 10(rip)

  • Denis O'Brien says:

    You guys should do Sherri f Commodore Perry Owens…..the guy whose real life gun fights influenced Hollywood western portrayals.

  • Tristan Olsen says:

    If anyone likes historical graphic novels check out the story of Bass Reeves by Joel Christian Gill

  • Willie Parker says:

    Hollywood should make a movie about bass reeves and will Smith should make a movie about him

  • 5car Face says:

    Who writes your scripts?

  • DetroitLives313 says:

    He died the year my Grandfather was born.

  • travis johnson says:

    By 1907 Arkansas had been a state for almost 100years!

  • Roderick Van Hees says:

    Can you do one on the historical figure Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth.
    Note: not on the religious figure Jezus Christ, but on the life of the rabbi carpenter Yeshua

  • gkarjala says:

    Was that Bron yr ar?

  • Daley Wilk says:

    Chuck Norris the Texas ranger approves of this video

  • Xitlaly Cruz says:

    What a bad ass!

  • jmalmsten says:

    When I heard of the judge, All I could think of was Hateful 8.

    "When the handbill says "dead or alive", the rest of us just shoot you in the back from up on top a perch somewhere and bring you in dead over a saddle. But when John Ruth the Hangman catches you, you don't die from no bullet in the back. When the Hangman catches you… You hang!"

    I'm pretty much convinced a lot of Major Marquis Warren and Tarantinos Django was inspired by mr Bass.

  • Ryan Wulf says:

    Anyone else notice the seem to have borrowed a lot of this guy's story for the character of Chisolm in the 2016 remake of the Magnificent Seven?

  • Jonathan Williams says:

    Oklahoma was West not north

  • Luke Runnebaum says:

    You should do the buffalo soldiers of the US. They are some of the most amazing soldiers to roam the US honored by natives who gave them their names

  • Omar Arnold says:

    The answer to your question Simon is, "YES!!!" Thank you so much for posting this one!

  • Jonathan Williams says:

    Indian territory, and especially the tribes Reeves lived with, was part of the Confederacy
    I doubt he fought for the Union especially if he didn’t boast about it while boasting his Confederate service

  • th daydreammer says:

    and what happened to huckleberry finn???

  • The Villan says:

    Do Hannibal of Carthage next I want to hear his story

  • Agroplode says:

    Morgan Freeman mentioned Bass Reeves in an interview and got tears, when he said he wanted to have played this man before getting old. I dont think any actor can do him justice and hollywod manuscripts are full of funny one liners, ruining the level of danger this man faced. Better to leave alone the name and make a script loosely based on Bass Reeves.
    14:41 Bass looks like Nikola Teslas black cousin, I suspect he might have some unknown to history father or grandfather.

  • Elliott D says:

    Y'all should do bands and the members lives like the Beatles, led Zeppelin, or the beach boys

  • Hannah Stahl says:

    I bet his son was embarrassed as hell and that his daddy probably whipped his ass before he brought him in.

  • Hugh Gray says:

    Louis Mountbatten, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma!!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *