An interesting court document from 1904 that is signed by former slave and historic African American law enforcement trailblazer Bynum Colbert. Colbert says he was born in 1850 in Oklahoma as a slave in the Choctaw Nation. He stated, after escaping slavery and moving to Arkansas, he began a career in military service that included a stint as a teenager in the Civil War with the 54. United States Colored Troops Regiment Not to be confused with the legendary 54.
Calvary Regiment at Fort Arbuckle. By the 1870s Colbert started working successfully as a U. By the 1880s Colbert became deputy constable for the City of Fort Smith, AK likely making him the first African American policeman in the city's history according to the National Park Service. It's also said he worked closely with legendary western Black lawman Bass Reeves to catch fugitives who were on the run. The document measures 14" x 8 ½".
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