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Date:7/24/2014 7:31:35 AM
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FANCY'S PERCEPTIONS, Celebrate BlackHistory Month:
Born in Fort Concho, TX 2/ 8/1876, Crawford Goldsby. Cherokee Bill. Born to St. George & Ellen (Beck) Goldsby, Bill’s father was a mulatto from Alabama, a sergeant of the 10th United States Cavalry, & a Buffalo Soldier. His mother was a Cherokee Freedman, mixed with African, Indian & white ancestry.
After age 7, he attended an Indian School in Kansas for 3 years, then an Industrial School for Indians in PA for 2 years. Despite attempts for a good education, he could barely read & write.
Some say he killed his 1st man at age 12. His brother-in-law told him 2 feed some hogs. Grabbing a gun, Crawford shot & killed him, he was not prosecuted because of age.
His mother remarried & he disliked his stepfather. Crawford befriended a bad crowd, drank liquor, & rebelled against authority. Age 17, he worked on a ranch, & was well-liked. That changed the next year when he began his outlaw career, becoming 1 of the most dangerous & feared men in Indian Territory .
Spring 1894, age 18, His crime spree began when he shot a man named Jake Lewis. Lewis recovered from his wounds, Bill thought he killed Lewis & Bill fled for the Creek and Seminole Nations & joined up with outlaws Jim & Bill Cook.
Hiding from the law at his sister's home, Crawford saw her husband, a vicious drunk, beat her with a whip for not responding quickly 2 his orders, Bill walked up behind him & shot him 2 death.
Bill Cook & Cherokee Bill rounded up a gang, mostly of black men with Indian blood & began 2 terrorize Oklahoma. Starting out on whiskey charges & horse theft. Then robbing banks, stores, stagecoaches, & trains. They were ruthless, shooting anyone who got in their way.
While robbing a general store in Oklahoma, an innocent passerby heard commotion & stuck his head in 2 see. Curiosity got him killed as Cherokee Bill raised his rifle & shot him in the head.
He was captured 1-30-1895 & delivered 2 Fort Smith, Arkansas for murder trail. 2-26, Cherokee Bill was tried for murder before Judge Parker & found guilty. 4-13, an unconcerned Crawford Goldsby was sentenced 2 death.
Cherokee Bill was unconcerned because he planned an escape with the use of a gun that was smuggled 2 him by a trustee. 7-26-1895 he attempted a jailbreak, 1 of the guards was killed during the gun battle.
Cherokee Bill's lawyer worked on an appeal, maintaining that Bill did not receive a fair trial under Judge Isaac Parker, who characterized him as a "bloodthirsty mad dog who killed for the love of killing" & as "the most vicious" of all the outlaws in the Oklahoma Territory. The appeals were 2 no avail, on 3-17-1896 federal officials hanged him before hundreds of spectators. When asked if he had any last words, he said: "I came here 2 die, not 2 make a speech."
At the tender age of 20, Crawford "Cherokee Bill” Goldsby died at the end of a rope. His mother took his remains back 2 Fort Gibson, he is buried at the Cherokee National Cemetery.
(info obtained from
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