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Bluford Duck
Jun 17, 1859 - May 7, 1895

Photo  Dennis Wilson

Blue Duck, sometimes referred to as Bluford Duck was an  outlaw  of the  Old West. He was probably best known for a photograph taken of him around the mid-1880s, in which he posed with Belle Starr, a famous Old West female outlaw.

Blue Duck  was born in the  Cherokee Nation , with the name of  Sha-con-gah. By the early 1870s, Duck was riding with gangs across the  Oklahoma Territory  committing  armed robberies  and acts of  cattle rustling.  He became involved romantically with  Belle Starr along that time. After she married  Sam Starr, she and her husband formed their own gang, which  Duck joined. He is believed to have ridden off and on with that gang through most of the latter part of the 1870s. On June 23, 1884, he and Outlaw William Christie were riding  in the Flint District of the Cherokee Nation, and the two men came upon a farmer named Samuel Wyrick. For no apparent reason, the two outlaws opened fire on the farmer, emptying their  revolvers  into him, killing him. They then reloaded and fired on a young Cherokee boy who'd witnessed the  murder missing him but shooting his  horse  from beneath him. They were both captured by  Deputy US Marshal Frank Cochran , and taken before  Judge Isaac Parker , known as the "Hanging Judge", in  Fort Smith, Arkansas Both were convicted, but Christie was later cleared of the charge and released. Blue Duck was sentenced to  hang but later the  sentence was reduced to  life in prison He was sent to Menard Penitentiary in  Chester, Illinois  as Inmate # 2486. Blue Duck was assisted in an unsuccessful  appeal  by Belle Starr. In 1895,  he was diagnosed with  tuberculosis  and given only a short time to live. At that time,  he was granted a  pardon  and released. He died shortly thereafter in  Catoosa, Oklahoma where he is buried. 

His grave is in the Dick Duck cemetery in Catoosa, Rogers county.
He was one of the main characters in the Lonesome Dove series, a  series of four western novels written by Larry McMurtry and the five television miniseries and two television series based upon them.  series is set within historical events and characters, although they are often adapted or altered to accommodate the fictional timelines of the main characters. The novels and miniseries follow the exploits of several members of the Texas Ranger Division from the time of the Republic of Texas up until the beginning of the 20th century. Recurring characters include Augustus "Gus" McCrae, Woodrow F. Call, Joshua Deets, Pea Eye Parker, Jake Spoon, Clara Forsythe Allen, Maggie Tilton, Lorena Wood Parker, Blue Duck, and Buffalo Hump.

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