We are not makers of history we are made by history.-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This week, we take a walk through history, starting with the origin of Watch night Service (New Years Eve) , Reconstruction, the Old West, Black Cowboys, and a review of the Taylor’s & Co, 1873 Cattlemen revolver.  Shooting drills with Michael J. Woodland.  Happy New Year.


Watch Night

The Watch Night service can be traced back to gatherings also known as “Freedom’s Eve.” On that night, Black slaves and free blacks came together in churches and private homes all across the nation awaiting news that the Emancipation Proclamation actually had become law. At the stroke of midnight, it was January 1, 1863; all slaves in the Confederate States were declared legally free. When the news was received, there were prayers, shouts and songs of joy as many people fell to their knees and thanked God.


A brief history of Reconstruction

Reconstruction was a significant chapter in the history of civil rights in the United States, but most historians consider it a failure.

The term Reconstruction Era, in the context of the history of the United States, has two parts: the first covers the complete history of the entire country from 1865 to 1877 following the American Civil War (1861 to 1865); the second sense focuses on the transformation of the Southern United States from 1863 to 1877, as directed by Congress, with the reconstruction of state and society.



Celebratory gunfire is the shooting of a firearm into the air in celebration. This is my friend Charlie, celebrating life as he does regularly on his YouTube Channel.  Check him out.

The Old West

Black Cowboys

Addison Jones, Range Boss

Bill Pickett – invented the sport of Bulldogging on his horse Spradley

Bob Leavitt Bob Leavitt worked at the W Bar Ranch at the mouth of Little Dry in Eastern Montana.

Bose Ikard – rode with Charles Goodnight

Bronco Sam – not afraid of anything

Charley Willis – Singing Cowboy

George Glenn – rode the Chisholm Trail in 1870

Isom Dart

Jesse Stahl – once rode a bronco backwards with a suitcase in hand

John Ware – a highly respected rancher

Mary Fields – Mary Fields ran a stage coach and mail route

Moses Speese -west in 1888 to Westerville, Nebraska

Nat Love – the most famous black cowboy of all

“One Horse Charlie” – rode with the Shoshone Indians



Review of the Taylor’s & Co. 1873 Cattlemen Revolver SA Pistol 


I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past.–Thomas Jefferson



Happy New Year.

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2 thoughts on “Freedoms Eve [Podcast 503]”

  1. Also Bass Reeves! Check him out!

    Thanks for your great podcast. I know you’ve been at it for a good while but I just recently found it, linked on the blog of an instructor at a Rifle skills class I took this past summer.
    Be well and much thanks, I’ll be listening. SP RN, Boise, ID

    1. And don’t forget that mighty California pioneer and town founder, Charles Beckwourth!

      John Ware! You are of course familiar with “John Ware’s Cow Country” by the Canadian author Grant McEwan. I think the only reason John Ware didn’t make it into McEwan’s “Fifty Mighty Men was that Ware needed his own book to cover his life properly. Thirty years after John Ware died the old-timers in Calgary, when forming a historical society unanimously agreed that it should be called “The John Ware Society.”

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