"Cherokee Bill: Black Cowboy-Indian Outlaw" Program and Book-Signing by Art Burton
Time & Location
About the Event
"Cherokee Bill: Black Cowboy-Indian Outlaw"
Please join us as we host nationally renowned author Art Burton for a program and book-
signing on “Cherokee Bill” on Monday, July 26 @ 5:30 pm at the Fort Smith Museum of History.
Cherokee Bill was every bit as colorful and outrageous as any criminal of the western frontier,
perhaps even more so. There were a few things about him that made him truly unique for a
famous desperado of the purple sage. First and foremost, he was an African American living in
the Indian Territory, Native American, and a citizen of the Cherokee Nation, as a freedman,
from his mother's lineage.
Compare Cherokee Bill to Billy the Kid, (Billy Antrim), of New Mexico Territory fame. Although
both outlaws received national media attention for their crimes while they were living, Billy the
Kid was remembered and immortalized in books and films in the twentieth century; this did not
occur for Cherokee Bill. Art Burton's newest book will help change that.
Art T. Burton received a B.A. and a M.A. in African American Studies from Governors State
University. He retired in 2015 after spending 38 years in higher education. He was a history
professor in the Chicago area, at Prairie State College and South Suburban College and worked
as an administrator in African American Student Affairs at Benedictine University, Loyola
University Chicago, and Columbia College Chicago.
In 1991, Burton wrote the first book on African American and Native American outlaw and
lawmen in the Wild West. It is titled “Black, Red and Deadly: Black and Indian Gunfighters of the
Indian Territory, 1870-1907.” In 1999, Burton wrote the first book on African Americans who
were scouts and soldiers in the Wild West. The book is titled “Black Buckskin and Blue: African
American Scouts and Soldiers on the Western Frontier.” In 2007, Burton wrote the first
scholarly biography on an African American lawman of the Wild West. This work is titled, “Black
Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves.” A new book Cherokee
Bill: Black Cowboy, Indian Outlaw was released in 2020.
Award winning author/historian Art T. Burton will give a lecture on the most notorious outlaw
to come before Judge Isaac C. Parker of the Fort Smith Federal Court. Mr. Burton will clarify
issues with Cherokee Bill's genealogy, the crimes committed by Bill and his stay at the Fort
Smith Federal Jail, where he was executed before the age of 20. Cherokee Bill was the most
colorful outlaw of the western American frontier, however, Judge Parker called Cherokee Bill
the worst outlaw to ever come before his bench in Fort Smith. Mr. Burton will also sign copies
of his new biography on Cherokee Bill.
Admission is: $7 Adults (16 and over), $5 Veterans and Military, $2 Children (6-15), Free to UAFS
Students, Children under age 6, and Museum members
- Adults (16 & Up)$7+$0.18 Service fee$7+$0.18 Service fee0$0
- Active Military/Veteran$5+$0.13 Service fee$5+$0.13 Service fee0$0
- Children's (6-15)$2+$0.05 Service fee$2+$0.05 Service fee0$0
- Museum Members & UAFS Students$0$00$0
- Children (Under 6)$0$00$0