Click on image to enlarge.
eBook by Chuck Kelly
eBook Category: Historical Fiction
eBook Description: Sammy, freed as a slave at the end of the Civil War, wants more than anything to become a cowboy. When forced to flee his home after an unfortunate incident results in the death of his old master, Sammy heads west to Texas to realize his dream. He soon finds that freedom isn't all it is made out to be and lands himself in a whole parcel of trouble. Eventually, he is taken in and befriended by Drew Morgan, a Texan cattle rancher. Drew gives Sammy a job and Sammy finds himself joining Drew and his employees on his first cattle drive. After an unfortunate incident with a snake, Sammy learns how to use his gun, and with practice, becomes a fast draw. There are several incidents along the trail where Sammy is forced to use his newfound gun skills, and although Sammy never looks for trouble, each incident serves to build Sammy a reputation as a gunfighter.
eBook Publisher: SynergEbooks, Published: SynergEbooks, 2001
Fictionwise Release Date: October 2004
3 Reader Ratings:
"Finally freed from slavery, Sammy's celebration is shortened by the death of his father. With the approval and help of other former slaves, Sammy escapes. My heart sank for young frightened Sammy. Without direction or family, his only dream, to be a cowboy seemed impossible after a severe beating in a white man's bar in Texas. A wealthy white rancher named Drew arrives at Sammy's rescue, claiming to want nothing in return. Frightened Sammy hesitates but accepts his ride from the fateful town. Drew introduces him to new friends, an exciting life and a real paying job! Traveling to Abilene, Sammy was injured and spent many hours practicing his fast draw. Becoming the fastest draw brought Sammy less joy than he expected. Especially after meeting a beautiful girl. You'll enjoy the journey as na´ve Sammy grows into a kind man with responsibility and self-acceptance. This is one of the best eBooks I've read in months!"--Lynn LaFramboise
Although Blacks--or Negroes as they were identified in earlier history--were an essential part of the Old West, they were somehow excluded from most fiction. Dime novels, the most popular form of fiction at that time, did not include Negroes except as insignificant characters. (I will refer to Negro Cowboys as Black Cowboys in the following paragraphs.)
There are numerous accounts in our history of Black Cowboys that endured the same hardships other cowboys encountered. Some became gunfighters, others were outlaws, and there were those who became lawmen. For the most part, the Black Cowboy did his job well--in some instances, better than his contemporaries. Why Black Cowboys were excluded from fiction has several theories. Some say the western writers wanted to glamorize the Wild West with virile, white heroes to portray the whites as though they had conquered the West all by themselves. Others contend it was racism, i.e., that the writers wanted to suppress any accomplishments performed by Blacks and completely destroy the memory of Blacks from western history. But you cannot destroy the truth. Blacks were an integral part of our western heritage. They performed well and, in some instances, out-performed many of the leading cowboys.
The idea for this novel came about when I worked on the same bill with Sammy Davis, Jr. at the Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas. He always wore his red, pearl-handled gun backstage, constantly practicing his fast draw. During our conversation I told him that I was a writer. Sammy said that if I would write him something where he could use his gun, he would be interested.
After my conversation with Sammy Davis Jr., I began writing a novel about a character named Sammy who is freed as a slave at the end of the Civil War and wants more than anything to become a cowboy. Through unfortunate circumstances, when Sammy does get a job on a cattle drive heading north, he gains a reputation as a gunfighter.
This story is how I feel a Black man could have been treated at the close of the Civil War, and his reaction to that treatment.