Friday, January 16, 2009

Deadwood is a real place

While we're talking Deadwood...

Although I'd heard of Wild Bill Hickok, it never occurred to me that anyone else in Deadwood would be based on a real person, or even that the town itself might be real. Turns out they are, and while I'm sure they're wildly fictionalized , Lovejoy, the Sherif and the Mayor are all based on real people and events along with a ton others.

Deadwood started illegally, as its location was at the time in Native American territory. The Treaty of Laramie of 1868 had guaranteed ownership of the Black Hills to the Lakota people. However, in 1874, Colonel George Armstrong Custer led an expedition into the Hills and announced the discovery of gold on French Creek near present-day Custer, South Dakota. Custer's announcement triggered the Black Hills Gold Rush and gave rise to the lawless town of Deadwood, which quickly reached a population of around 5,000.


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