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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Old West: One in Four Cowboys were African Americans

“Goodbye Ol’ Paint”, the classic Cowboy song, as composed 
and performed by an African American Cowboy, along on a 
cattle drive because he was “a good cowhand and a great singer.” 
The social and interpersonal aspect of life on a cow drive were 
often more important than how well you handled 
a horse or your skills with the cows or a gun.
One in four cowboys on cow drives were African Americans. 

Source top photo: Black cowboy and horse [between 1890 and 1920?] 
Western History/Genealogy Department, Denver Public Library. [Call Number: X-21563].
Source bottom Bunch of genuine old time cowboys and bronco busters at Denver, Colorado. Solomon D. Butcher. 1905. 
Nebraska State Historical Society. [Digital ID: nbhips 12615]

First Posted 11-5-10