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The Life and Adventures of Nat Love

Nat Love

Book Overview: 

Nat Love was born a slave, emancipated into abject poverty, grew up riding the range as a cowboy and spent his maturity riding the rails as a Pullman Porter. For me, the most amazing thing about him is that despite the circumstances of his life, which included being owned like a farm animal solely because of the color of his skin and spending later decades living and working as an equal with white coworkers, he was an unrepentant racist! Convinced that the only good Indian was a dead one, and that all Mexicans were “greasers” and/or “bums,” he rarely passed up a chance to shoot a member of either group, whether in self-defense or cold blood, and shows no sign of having appreciated the difference. At one point, he fell in love with a Mexican girl but, apparently unable to tolerate this reality, considered her “Spanish.”

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I don't think she thought I had the courage to go, and besides I had neither clothing or money and to tell the truth, the outlook was discouraging even to me, but I continued to look for an opportunity which happened in a very unexpected manner shortly after. One day a man by the name of Johnson announced that he would raffle a fine beautiful horse at fifty cents a chance. I heard of it at once, but had no money with which to get a chance. However, when there's a will there's a way, so I went to the barn and caught two chickens which I sold for fifty cents and at once got a chance. My chance won the horse. Mr. Johnson said he would give me fifty dollars for the horse and as I needed the money more than the horse I sold the horse back. Mr. Johnson at once raffled him off again and again I won the horse, which I again sold for fifty dollars. With nearly a hundred dollars I went home and told mother of what I had done and gave her half of the money, telling[Pg 39][Pg 38] her. . . Read More

Community Reviews

"Deadwood Dick" records, and lyrically delivers, the realities and the dream of the old West in his "unusually adventurous life." Nat Love's memoir (aka, Deadwood Dick) is certainly one that fans of the era will find fascinating because it story-tells an incredible span of topics from pre-civil war

A nice insight into the life of Nat Love. The writing is a bit uneven, as it was dictated to someone that didn't do a lot of editing of train-of-thought tangents, but there's still a lot of great stories in it. Even though a lot of the stories do have a "tall tale" feel to them -- attribute that to

A very enjoyable read, with tons of interesting bits. You have to factor in that Nat Love had a writer write his up for him and the writer, er, jazzed up some of the stories, and the tendency of cowboys to tall tale when reading. But still its fascinating history because much of what he states so ma

This was the second "Western expansion" book based on real life experiences that I read. I was intrigued by the narrative of Nat Love. He exudes self confidence to the point to hyperbole, meaning I see some areas where he may have exaggerated a bit. I am cautious in saying that because times were ve

I never heard of Nat Love. But he was truly a frontier legend who deserved to be fictionalized and embedded in the legend of the American West. Many of his stories are clearly embellished. But they are told in such a simple, matter of fact way to lend credit to the event. His story is the American s

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