Law Shows Up in the West
US Marshals are on The Way
\The wild west was startled awake early one spring morning to learn the judge was coming to town and things were about to change. The Civil War had ended and the Indian problem out west was taken care of. Now it was time for the conquering white man to move onto the open prairies, and into the wild plains and mountains and put down his roots. But first there was a bigger problem looming. But never fear, the man who would solve it was on his way.
Even the end of the Civil War would not change the West as much as the arrival of Judge Isaac Parker. As his boots hit the ground he set up shop in the courthouse at Fort Smith, Arkansas, hired over two hundred deputy marshals and assigned them a job. It was time to clean up Indian Territory of the white scourge riding there.
Every man on the street called this upcoming task impossible. Outlaws into the thousands roamed the 74,000 square miles of Indian Territory freely carrying on what they considered their jobs. Pilfering, train and bank robbing, shooting law abiding citizens, kidnapping, raping, maiming, and any other wild untamed act they could come up with. It was so bad the area was considered the wildest of the West.
Tales of those western deputy marshals riding under Judge Parker’s reign are some of the most exciting in American history. The Western US Marshal District encompasses Fort Smith, Arkansas, where Parker set to work. Today the US Marshal Museum of the Western District is located alongside the Arkansas River there. It opened in February, 2021, a bit delayed due to the Covid pandemic.
Off and on for a year I worked to write stories of those brave deputies. It would take a set of books to cover their adventures. So I made it a point to research some of those who had never ridden through tales on the silver screen or in books. I wanted to find the brave unknown deputies. As the research went on I realized there were a few so brave and well known I simply had to present their tales as true to reality as possible. Still, for the most part, you’ll find stories you’ve never heard or read. You can be sure they existed.
Be ready to accompany the deputies and marshals on their sometimes wild rides and meet some of the worst outlaws they encounter. Do you believe only one Black deputy rode for the judge? Bass Reeves has been presented over and over in film and the pages of books as such. Perhaps he was the first and undeniably a hero. Yet deputies of all colors from many countries rode for the Western Marshals. Some women took up the five pointed star as well, and you’ll find their stories. You’ll read about them all shown doing their jobs as closely as possible to the reality of the times and places involved.
Oh, it’s true I’m known for sexy, dark, and gritty stories, but you’ll find no romance in the jobs it took to rid the west of such heathens and killers as rode the trails in those days. So don’t expect it. But you will find excitement, wild and brave men, and dark and gritty tales from out of the West. The truth as near as history will reveal it.