It's not just current Black cowboys - a number of freed Blacks went west after the Civil War. The earlier presence of Black cowboys settling the West has been almost forgotten
I have had family in the Eastern Washington since the territorial days. I've been told that early in the 20th century my gr. granddad had a Black ranch hand in his employ for 20 years and that he was the lead ranch hand for a good stretch of that time. I know his name, but I guess since I'd rather not put down grandpa's name here, I'll do the same for him.
This imgur photo I've linked to below is a detail taken of grandpa on the horse with two Black gentlemen standing next to the cop, one of which I reckon is the one I've heard about. The fellow in the long sleeved white shirt appears to be wearing a pair of chaps.
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