Sunday, May 23, 2010

Deadwood Dick and Stagecoach Mary

Nat Love a.k.a. "Deadwood Dick" and Mary Fields a.k.a. "Stagecoach Mary" complement one another, though they never met. Above are their photographs and below are their stories.

Nat Love (1854-1921)
Nat (pronounced "Nate") was born into slavery in Davidson County, Tennessee. His family was emancipated after the Civil War and farmed their own land, but his father soon died. When Nat won a horse in a raffle, he sold it for $100, gave his mother $50, and left home with the rest to seek work in the West as a cowhand. He went to Dodge City, Kansas, and joined some cowboys who worked a ranch in the Texas panhandle. He received his nickname in 1876 when he won many contests at a rodeo in Deadwood, South Dakota, and rode away with the $200 prize. In 1872, he moved on to an Arizona ranch, and in 1877 was captured by Pima Indians, but escaped on a stolen pony. He broke horses, shot buffalo, delivered steers, wrangled mustangs, and survived cattle stampedes, a blizzard, and shootouts with rustlers. Nat didn't settle down until 1889, when he married and began a family. He supported them as a Pullman porter in Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, and finally southern California. Nat published his autobiography in 1907.

Mary Fields (c. 1832-1914)
Mary Fields was born a slave in Tennessee (or by another account Arkansas), emancipated after the Civil War, worked as a chambermaid aboard the steamship Robert E. Lee, and served at convents in Toledo, Ohio, and in the pioneer community of Cascade, Montana. At the Montana convent, she transported visitors to and from the train station in the stage coach, washed clothes, tended a large garden, cared for several hundred chickens, and hauled supplies in a wagon - once having to fend off a pack of wolves overnight when the wagon overturned. As an adult, she had reached a height of 6' and a weight of 200lbs, and was a crack shot with the rifle and revolver she used to defend her postal route, a contract job which she secured in 1895 after the bishop had her removed from the convent because of her rough behavior. She drank (but not to excess), swore, and smoked cigars. She had a standing bet that she could knock a man out with a single punch and was said to have broken more noses than anyone else in central Montana. The fiercely independent African-American woman was both feared and admired by those who knew her. Mary had run a restaurant, but went broke extending credit to her customers. She took in laundry, babysat, and supported the local baseball team. She gave food to the poor, and in return the townspeople built her a new house when hers burned down in 1912. When she died, Mary had no lack of pallbearers.


  1. How do you keep a people down? ‘Never' let them 'know' their history.

    "If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated."

    Dr. Carter G. Woodson 1875 – 1950

    “A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots.”

    Marcus Garvey 1887-1940

    "A tree without roots can bare no fruit, it will die."

    Erich Martin Hicks 1952 - Present

    Keep telling that history, our history:

    Read the novel; Rescue at Pine Ridge, "RaPR", a great story of black military history...the first generation of Buffalo Soldiers.

    The 7th Cavalry got their butts in a sling again after the Little Big Horn Massacre, fourteen years later, the day after the Wounded Knee Massacre. If it wasn't for the 9th Cavalry Buffalo Soldiers, there would of been a second massacre of the 7th Cavalry.

    Read the novel, “Rescue at Pine Ridge”, 5 stars Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the youtube trailer commercial...and visit the website

    I hope you’ll enjoy the novel. I wrote it from my mini-series movie of the same title, “RaPR” to keep my story alive. Hollywood has had a lot of strikes and doesn't like telling our stories...its been “his story” of history all along…until now. The movie so far has attached, Bill Duke directing, Hill Harper, Glynn Turman, James Whitmore Jr. and a host of other major actors in which we are in talks with see at;

    When you get a chance, also please visit our Alpha Wolf Production website at; and see our other productions, like Stagecoach Mary, the first Black Woman to deliver mail for Wells Fargo in Montana, in the 1890's, “spread the word”.


  2. The real ‘Stagecoach Mary’ story:

    Mary Fields, Black Mary, and ‘Stagecoach Mary’ are all one of the same person. Mary was born in 1832, a slave in Tennessee and was owned by a Catholic family; the father was a businessman and Judge who had a single girl child the same age as Mary. Mary’s mother was the House Slave Servant and the judge’s favorite cook; therefore Mary was always in the main house, in the kitchen and not in the fields, as a Field Slave. Mary’s father was a Field Slave, and Field Slaves were not allowed in the Main House, much less, to court a House Slave. Mary’s mother became pregnant by Mary’s father and he was beaten and sold to another plantation for getting Mary’s mother pregnant. After Mary’s birth, Mary’s mother and her were allowed to stay in the main house, and Mary became the Judge’s daughters’ playmate, therefore being the Judge’s daughter’s playmate, Mary was allowed to read and write, a rarity for that time.

    After the emancipation and coming into adulthood, Mary was 6 feet tall and weighed over 200 pounds. Mary became her own woman and traveled solely from Tennessee, up and down the Mississippi River, to Ohio, then finally to Montana where she got her nickname at the turn of the 20th Century. She earned this nickname by working for “Wells Fargo” delivering the United States Mail through adverse conditions that would have discouraged the most hardened frontiersmen of her time. All by herself, she never missed a day for 8 years, carrying the U. S. Mail and other important documents that helped settle the wild open territory of central west Montana.

    Mary had no fear of man, nor beast, and this sometimes got her into trouble. She delivered the mail regardless of the heat of the day, cold of night, wind, rain, sleet, snow, blizzards, Indians and Outlaws.

    Mary was a cigar smoking, shotgun and pistol toting Negro Woman, who even frequented saloons drinking whiskey with the men, a privilege only given to her, as a woman. However, not even this fact, sealed Mary's credentials given to her, her credentials boasted that, “She would knockout any man with one punch”, a claim which she proved true.

    Her fame was so acclaimed, even the Actor, Gary Cooper, two time Academy Award Winner, told a story about her in 1959 which appeared in Ebony Magazine that same year. While, Annie Oakley and Martha Canary (Calamity Jane) were creating their history with Buffalo Bill, Stagecoach Mary was making “her Epic Journey!”

    Despite Mary's hardness, she had another side of her, a kindness so strong, even today, in the beginning of the 21st Century, the town of Cascade, Montana, and other surrounding communities celebrate her birthday.

    The Epic movie is in pre-production mode. Check out website at


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