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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

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

4.5 stars. The preface of Nat Love’s memoir starts “Having passed the half century mark in life’s journey, and yielding to persistent requests of many old and valued friends of the past and present, I have decided to write the record of slave, cow-boy and pullman porter will prove of interest to the

Quite entertaining true story, although I suspect written with exaggeration. Full of history, focused on three main portions of his life: as a slave, as a cowpoke, and as a railroad porter. I rather enjoyed it.

I loved learning about a minority cowboy whose adventures should never have been forgotten. What an amazing life Nat Love lived! I really enjoyed his narrative and his great love for his country. Recommended for anyone interested in cowboy history, American history, black American history, or boys/m

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

Good read for the times

A good read,not so sure all is real as he says. Possibly a lot of boastful writing. He was one lucky SOB....more

A stream of consciousness story

The things I enjoyed most were the stories of the men he met. Saying Billie the Kid was a good guy bucks the history I've read. I can't imagine cattle drives in the thousands I'd head from gulf to Canadian border.

3.5 stars

I first heard of Nat Love when I read Paradise Sky, by Joe Lansdale. Nat Love was the main character and narrator, and I didn’t think to look up if he was based on a real person until I was almost finished with the book. I was excited to find that not only was he a real person: he had also

An amazing and rollicking true tale that's only hampered by the 'old-timey' writing style.

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