Discussion Outlaw Josey Wales: Who knew? The real Ten Bears...

Bruce Vail

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I always enjoy the discussion of Civil War movies at CWT and like a lot of you I have a real fondness for the Outlaw Josey Wales, the fictional story of a Confederae soldier who loses everything in the War, and then looks west to fnd a new life.

I never looked for historical versimilitude in the movie because, well, that's not the point. I was surprosed then to learn last week that the movie character of Ten Bears, the Comanche chief who makes peace with Josey, was a real historical figure. My son recommended the book The Comanche Empire and I started reading last week. Turns out Ten Bears was an important Comanche leader during the Civil War and that there is even an extensive documentary record of his life.

tenbears.jpg


The movie scene with Ten Bears is, of course, fictional, but the man had an interesting, if tragic, life. His efforts to maintain Comanche freedom and independence were ultimately doomed to failure but he had some successes before his death in 1872.

Since this is a CWT thread, it must be mentioned that the Comanche were guilty of enslaving other human beings, although they never attempted to build a society based on the mass enslavement of Africans. I haven't found any part of the book that talks about whether Ten Bears owned slaves, or not.
 

damYankee

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Asa Earl Carter the author of the book was a member of the KKK and a speech writer for Gov. George Wallace.
He was one of the KKK group that attacked and beat Nat King Cole on stage in Birmingham Ala. in 1956. After shooting two of the co-founders of the local KKK group he was a member of over finances.
George Wallace granted his a pardon in 1963. The original name of Outlaw Josie Wales was Rebel Outlaw,
in 1970 he ran for gov. of Alabama on the white supremacist party.
 

Nathanb1

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Asa Earl Carter the author of the book was a member of the KKK and a speech writer for Gov. George Wallace.
He was one of the KKK group that attacked and beat Nat King Cole on stage in Birmingham Ala. in 1956. After shooting two of the co-founders of the local KKK group he was a member of over finances.
George Wallace granted his a pardon in 1963. The original name of Outlaw Josie Wales was Rebel Outlaw,
in 1970 he ran for gov. of Alabama on the white supremacist party.

He was a real piece of work. https://www.texasmonthly.com/articles/the-real-education-of-little-tree/
 

mofederal

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I liked the movie quite a bit, and all of it's characters. Despite the the views of the author. It is still very memorable book and movie. Carter more than once passed himself off as part Cherokee. The Education of Little Tree, and Josey Wales sequel which was also made into a movie. Forrest Carter was no one to admire or even like very much. My favorite line: "Don't **** down my back and tell me it's raining."
 

JD Mayo

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I didn't like the reenactment footage in the beginning of the film. They used some film from the movie Red Badge of Courage. I don't think a quarillia warefare unit commanding officer wouldn't have looked like General Lee either in a uniform like that. Most of them didn't have uniforms or ranks. But other than that the story line was good. Reminds me of Ride with the Devil but that was better. The movie was also based off of a book as well.
 

7thWisconsin

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"Buzzards gotta eat same as worms." I loved "Gone to Texas" ever since I picked up a used copy at a library sale. Wore it out. Learning that "The Education of Little Tree" is fraud, and the life details of Asa Carter's life really soured me on his writing. I can't explain it because I'm usually the guy saying "judge the art not the artist." This time, though, I just can't get by it.
 

Waterloo50

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"Buzzards gotta eat same as worms." I loved "Gone to Texas" ever since I picked up a used copy at a library sale. Wore it out. Learning that "The Education of Little Tree" is fraud, and the life details of Asa Carter's life really soured me on his writing. I can't explain it because I'm usually the guy saying "judge the art not the artist." This time, though, I just can't get by it.
I can totally sympathise with your view point but I wonder if there’s another way to look at the Asa Carter legacy.
Asa Carter obviously held with values and was also responsible for things that are completely abhorrent but I think it’s important to remember that he was born in the 1920’s when race riots, lynchings and shootings were at their worst, he was a product of his time and from the little that I’ve read about him he was indoctrinated into racist ideology at a very young age, of course it’s obvious to all that he chose his own path when he decided to promote his racist ideology and he has to be held accountable for the crimes committed by his followers but just as we do with the CW especially when we attempt to put things like slavery into historical context maybe we should do the same with people like Asa Carter.
It’s not about making excuses for his behaviour or even trying to bury the past but just an attempt to look at things/people within historical context. It really helps me to gain a different perspective. I now know things about the author of Josey Wales that I didn’t know this morning, perhaps I’m wrong but I’ve managed to separate Asa Carter’s values/ behaviour from his writing which is important to me because when I watch the movie Josey Wales I just want to enjoy it for what it is.

with deepest respect (Waterloo50)
 
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Fiction is just that, simply for ones entertainment.........I didn't really get what a bio on him added or takes away from one of the best westerns of all time..........I still enjoy it the exact same........

Dont know much about Charles Portis either, but whatever someone digs up isnt going to take away from True Grit for me either.
 
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Polloco

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I'm a big fan of westerns, I have watched Josey Wales many times as Eastwood is one of my favorite actors.
I wish there were more westerns made today.
Many of the older westerns could be remade into some fairly decent movies if they'd only hire a good competent historian or technical advisor. But a lot of them are hopeless as far as storylines go. Plus some of these "Hollywood Characters" leave a lot to be desired. It's pitiful what passes for celebrities these days.
 

mofederal

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Archie, Charles Portis was a great guy, he was a journalist until 1964, when he began writing novels. He was a shy person, but he was comfortable around his friends. He was a people watcher like a lot of journalists/reporters are in real life. He could be very funny at times. Portis wrote some great books, and he will be remembered for writing them, especially True Grit.
 
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danny

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I can totally sympathise with your view point but I wonder if there’s another way to look at the Asa Carter legacy.
Asa Carter obviously held with values and was also responsible for things that are completely abhorrent but I think it’s important to remember that he was born in the 1920’s when race riots, lynchings and shootings were at their worst, he was a product of his time and from the little that I’ve read about him he was indoctrinated into racist ideology at a very young age, of course it’s obvious to all that he chose his own path when he decided to promote his racist ideology and he has to be held accountable for the crimes committed by his followers but just as we do with the CW especially when we attempt to put things like slavery into historical context maybe we should do the same with people like Asa Carter.
It’s not about making excuses for his behaviour or even trying to bury the past but just an attempt to look at things/people within historical context. It really helps me to gain a different perspective. I now know things about the author of Josey Wales that I didn’t know this morning, perhaps I’m wrong but I’ve managed to separate Asa Carter’s values/ behaviour from his writing which is important to me because when I watch the movie Josey Wales I just want to enjoy it for what it is.

with deepest respect (Waterloo50)

Sad
 
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