Legends of America

Follow the links to the various pages of Legends of America

The Old West Legends of America Outhouse Madness Ghostly Legends Outlaws Old West Saloons Rocky Mountain General Store Legends Photo Store The Book Store Make your travel reservations here! Route 66 Native Americans The Old States - Back East

Legends of America    |    Legends General Store    |    Legends Photo Shop

 

Legends Of America's Facebook PageLegends Of America's Twitter PageLegends on Pinterest

Legends Home

Site Map

What's New!!

 

Content Categories:

American History

Destinations-States

Ghost Stories

Ghost Towns

Historic People

Legends & Myths

Native Americans

Old West

Photo Galleries

Route 66

Travel Center

Treasure Tales

 

   Search Our Sites

Custom Search

Google

 

About Us

Advertising

Article/Photo Use

Copyright Information

Blog

Facebook Page

Guestbook

Links

Newsletter

Privacy Policy

Site Map

Writing Credits

 

We welcome corrections

and feedback!

Contact Us

 

Legends' General Store


Old West/Western

Route 66

Native American

Featured Items

Sale Items

Books/Magazines

CD's - DVD's

Nuwati Herbals

Personalized-Engraved
Postcards

Wall Art

Custom Products

and Much More!

 

  Legends Of America's Rocky Mountain General Store - Cart View

 

Legends' Photo Prints

Legends Photo Prints and Downloads
 

Ghost Town Prints

Native American Prints

Old West Prints

Route 66 Prints

States, Cities & Places

Nostalgic Prints

Photo Art Prints

Jim Hinckley's America

David Fisk (Lens of Fisk)

Specials-Gift Ideas

and Much More!!
 

Legends Of America's Photo Print Shop - Cart View

 

Family Friendly Site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Old West Legends IconOLD WEST LEGENDS

Nat Love, aka: Deadwood Dick - The

             Greatest Black Cowboy in the Old West

Bookmark and Share

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

 

-- Nat Love in The Life and Adventures of Nat Love, 1907

 

 

 

Born on June 14, 1854 as a slave on Robert Love’s plantation in Davidson County Tennessee, Nat (pronounced Nate) Love would grow up to be one of the most famous cowboys in the Old West.

 

Raised in a log cabin, Nat’s father had become a slave foreman on the plantation and his mother worked in the kitchen of the "big house.” Looked after primarily by an older sister when he was young, but she, like her mother, had duties in the kitchen so Nat primarily looked after himself. Though he had no formal education, with help from his father, he learned to read and write.

 

After the Civil War, when the slaves were freed, Nat’s father worked a small farm that he rented from his former master, Robert Love. But, freedom was to be short-lived for the former slave, as he died just a few years later.

 

Nat Love, also known as Deadwood Dick

Nat Love, also known as "Deadwood Dick."

This image available for photographic prints and  downloads HERE!

 

 

 

Nat then took various jobs on area plantations to help support the family and found that he had great skill in breaking horses.

 

In 1869, Love left his family in an uncle's care and headed west with $50 in his pocket. When he reached Dodge City, Kansas he ran into the crew of the Texas Duval Ranch. Having just brought a herd to the Kansas railhead, the cowboys were having breakfast when Nat joined them. The young man soon approached the trail boss asking for a job. The boss agreed that Nat could join them if he could break a horse named Good Eye. The wildest horse in the outfit, Nat would later say it was the toughest ride he’d ever had. But ride he did and got the job with the Duval Ranch at $30 a month.

 

The 16 year-old quickly adapted to the life of a cowboy, showing excellent skills as a ranch hand and practiced so often with a .45 revolver that his shooting skills also became very good. Earning a reputation as one of the best all-around cowboys in the Duval outfit, he soon became a buyer and their chief brand reader. In this capacity, he was sent to Mexico on several occasion and soon learned to speak fluent Spanish.

 

After three years with the Duval Outfit, Love moved on to Arizona in 1872, where he went to work for the Gallinger Ranch on the Gila River. There he traveled many of the major western trails, sometimes working in dangerous situations in Indian battles and fighting off rustlers and bandits. During these years as an Arizona cowboy, Nat was referred to as Red River Dick and claimed to have met many of famous men of the West including Pat Garrett, Bat Masterson and Billy the Kid.

 

In the spring of 1876, the Gallinger cowboys were sent to deliver a herd of three thousand steers to Deadwood, South Dakota. When the crew arrived on July 3rd, the locals were busy preparing for a 4th of July celebration. One of the many organized events included a "cowboy” contest with a $200 cash prize to the winner.

 

The contestants competed in roping bridling, saddling, and shooting. Winning every competition, hands down, Nat walked away with the $200 prize and the nickname of "Deadwood Dick."

 

Nat Love and his family

Nat Love and his family.

 

Nat continued to work as a cowboy in the southwest for another 15 years before he began to settle down and got married in 1889.The next year he took a job in Denver, Colorado as a Pullman porter on the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. As such, he worked on the routes west of Denver and moved his family several times to Wyoming, Utah and Nevada before finally settling down in southern California.

In 1907, Nat Love published his autobiography, The Life and Adventures of Nat Love, Better Known in the Cattle Country as "Deadwood Dick," a tale that tended to take on the epic proportions more noted in the many "dime novels” of the time.  Though he boasts in the book that everything actually happened, there is very little external verification, such as those famous western men that Love allegedly met.

 

In other cases, there are no records for the cattlemen that he said he worked with and for. As to what portion of the book is fact, and what is fiction will never be known; however, that didn’t stop the American public, hungry for tales of the west, from avidly reading the book.

 

Love’s last job was working as a courier for the General Securities Company in Los Angeles, California.

 

 

© Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated October, 2010.

 

From Legends' General Store

Old West Wisdom CalendarNative American proverbs calendarOld West Calendars - Utilizing our great vintage photos along with Old West phrases and Native American proverbs, we now have a great line of nostalgic calendars. These come in two designs - one with 12 different pages of designs and phrases for each and other budget priced wall calendars with a one page design. Don't miss an important date ever again!

Old West Calendars  Cowboy Calendar  Old West calendar  Native American calendar  Old West calendar

 

                                                            Copyright © 2003-Present, www.Legends of America.com