Episode 6: Meet the Notorious, Yet Politically Significant, Black and Native American Outlaws Omitted from Old West History

While the ballads of gun-slinging outlaws like Jesse James and Billy the Kid play on, there’s another Old West gang that has been largely forgotten. This group of young boys – black, Native American, or of mixed-race – emerged from the shadows in a politically charged, yet severely flawed, rebellion. Have you ever heard of the Rufus Buck Gang?



Thank you to novelist Leonce Gaiter for bringing the Rufus Buck story to light. I’d also like to thank Stephen Aron, a professor at UCLA and specialist in frontier, borderland, and western American history, and Arthur Lurigio, a professor of psychology and criminal justice at Loyola University Chicago.


Indian Outlaws Taken, San Francisco Call, August 12, 1895.

The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang, Craig Lambert, Harvard Magazine, March-April 2012.

I Dreamt I Was in Heaven – The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang, Leonce Gaiter, Legba Books, August 5, 2011.

Violence and Innocence Love and Betrayal Butchery and Grace, Leonce Gaiter, 2011.

Forgotten Outlaw Rufus Buck Had a Dream, ICMN Staff, Indian Country Today, July 27, 2017.

Rufus Buck Gang: A Time to Die, Juliet Galonska, National Park Service, February 1995.

Rufus Buck Gang, Robert W. Boyle, Old West Daily Reader, Retrieved December 2017.

The Rampage of the Rufus Buck Gang of 1895, Jae Jones, Black Then, July 16, 2017.

Rufus Buck Gang, The Spell of the West, Retrieved December 2017.

Buck Gang, The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture, Linda D. Wilson, Oklahoma Historical Society, Retrieved December 2017.

PHOTO: Rufus Buck Gang, Artist/Photographer unknown, Public Domain