Friday, July 12, 2013

Seth Bullock, Black Hills Lawman

A few years ago HBO Has a hit show on their hands. It was called "Deadwood" and it was about life in that town. The story had many historical facts in it but also took some dramatic license. The show is definitely not for children. It is filled with rough language, sex, and violence but I liked it for a few reasons. The main reason was Timothy Olyphant as Seth Bullock.
The character as played in the show was intense, tough and very complicated. I wanted to learn more so I ordered many books about the characters I liked the most and about the town in general. Turns out Bullock was not quite the same in real like (no surprise) but he was an interesting man. Like many of his era he went west to make his fortune during the gold rush and he did make some money along the way. He lost some as well. He established a few businesses that ultimately failed. He was a lawman and he was perhaps the most successful as that. He was also tied into regional and then national politics. It seemed however that he always reached for things a little his ability. He was a dreamer and he tried to make his way in a tough world.
This is a by the number biography. Nothing flashy but very interesting if you want to learn more about the gold rush and towns like the ones depicted in Deadwood. There is a South Dakota Biography Series that feature more of the characters from the show. I will admit I did like the show and I did enjoy reading a little about the era. Seth was the least famous of the characters (I will post more about the other books at other times) but the way Olyphant portrayed him made him the most magnetic for me while I watched the show.
If you are a fan of westerns and can handle some pretty raw dialog and scenes, you should check out Deadwood some time. I may even watch it again sometime.

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