These five wild cowboys were European?
Recently, BBC discussed the role of the African-Americans in the Cowboy culture and the fact how the film industry and the books often neglect the fact that many African-Americans were, in fact, cowboys as well. While Quentin Tarantino Oscar-winning “Django Unchained" movie with a black cowboy played by Jamie Foxx brought this to the limelight for a whole number of reasons, people are more interested in why that wasn’t the case before. The film industry neglected the fact that cowboys were not inclusively white, but that’s not the only problem. The fact is that some of the famous cowboy names were not American is even more shocking.
With the immigrant issue in the center of the attention, shedding some light on the European immigrant who was real-life cowboys seemed like a good cornerstone, to begin with. Yes, as usual for the Americans, cultural appropriation is not new. Over the course of the last few centuries, the so-called “American” culture took all there was to be made, from the scientific discoveries to the archaeological treasure. Now, as people have access to the information like never before, the question arises. What is left of the American culture once everything that belongs to the rest of the world is stripped off? Well, it’s quite likely we’ll be left with a blank sheet, but for now, take a look at these European immigrants who were real-life cowboys.
Thomas O'Connor, well-known for his nickname “Terrible Tommy" was a cowboy and an outlaw who managed to escape Chicago courthouse before he was caught and executed. Many know him for his terrible crimes, but he’s still a legend in the West. Even though his surname gives it away, his Irish descent had been neglected for almost two centuries. As a European immigrant in Chicago, Terrible Tommy encountered problems with the police at the early age, which ultimately led to his death.
John Edwin Bull, known only as “John Bull" is also one of the legendary names in the cowboy history, but his birth and childhood in England are often neglected in the movies and documentaries. Known as one of the top gunmen in the West, John Bull remains a silent figure, a European immigrant whose ways of dealing with people were healthy in that time.
Charles Earl Boles, known as “Black Bart” is yet another cowboy who was born and raised in England. His poetic messages marked an era of the signature robbery, yet notorious reputation was more than enough for him to be the subject of admiration in America, yet again disregarding his origins, he was taken as a symbol of American outlaw.
One of the top names in the cowboy world, Butch Cassidy, was also a man born into an immigrant family. His British parents turned to the Mormon faith and became one of the first Mormons to come to Utah. His notorious crimes remain legendary, but his origin is often ignored.
Mart Duggan may not have a notorious reputation, but this cowboy was known for gun skills in the West. Most of the people are unaware that he is an Irish Immigrant, whose parents moved to the USA when he was just a child. Unlike the others on this list, he served the law for most of his life.