Created by Chad Feehan, Lawmen tells the story of Bass Reeves, one of the first Black U.S. Marshals, and his various internal and external struggles with the intense job. The show stars David Oyelowo as the title character, alongside Donald Sutherland, Dennis Quaid, Forrest Goodluck, Barry Pepper, Grantham Coleman, Demi Singleton, and Lauren E. Banks.
The real Bass Reeves was born into slavery in Arkansas in 1838. At some point during the American Civil War, Reeves escaped and supposedly stayed with various Native tribes in Oklahoma before returning to Arkansas. Because of his knowledge of the area and ability to speak several other languages, U.S. Marshal James F. Fagan appointed Reeves as the first Black deputy to serve west of the Mississippi. Eventually, Reeves became the deputy U.S. Marshal for the Western District of Arkansas before being transferred to Paris, Texas.
While working as an officer, Reeves killed 14 outlaws and claimed to have arrested 3,000 felons (including his own son!!). Reeves served in various parts of the Midwest before he retired at age 70 in Muskogee. He died at age 71 of a kidney disease.
Lawmen will chronicle the ferocious life of Reeves and how he managed to become one of the most “legendary lawmen in the Old West.” The series will debut on Paramount+ on November 5th.