"Ned Huddleston, Alias Isom Dart,Alias The Black fox"

"Ned Huddleston, Alias Isom Dart, Alias The Black Fox"

Ned Huddleston, Alias Isom Dart,Alias The Black fox, was a good hearted man that made mistakes and died for them
Ned Huddleston, Alias Isom Dart,Alias The Black fox, was a good hearted man that made mistakes and died for them

"Ned Huddleston,Alias Isom Dart, Alias The Black Fox"

This  is another story of the black forntier, about black cowboys of the old west, acording to Lillian Schlissel:

One of the best bronco riders of all times was Ned Huddleston.  No man in the country understood horeses better the {he} did" . No rider' ever threw a leg over a horse."

Huddleston was born a slave in Arkansas in 1849.  At sixteen he ran away and joined a rodeo in Mexico, where he learned to be a stunt rider and a clown.  A rodeo clown is hired to make the adiuence laugh, but his most important job is to protect a cowboy who has fallen off the horse.  I takes daring and skill to draw off an angry bull from a cowboy who is hurt on the ground.

Ne was a natural.  he could saddle a horse when no other man could come near it.  Rodeo riders said they had see Ned talk to horses on occasion it was also said he talked a horse away form its owner. When Huddleston came back to the United States, he tried mining, but white men were almost always stealing whatever gold a blck man found.

He joined some thieves known as The Gault Gang.  They would stampede a herd of horses and ride off with as many as they could get to follow them.   The owner of one herd laid an ambush at the rustler"s camp, and when the thieves returned, he and his men killed every single one.  When Ned came back to the hideout , he saw bodies of his friends.

It was a sobering sight.  After emptying their money belts, he gave each man a decent burial. When night fell, Ned worried that the men who killed the gang might come back for him, and so he slipped into one of the new graves and spent the nigh next to a dead man. In the light of morning, Ned got on a train headed Oklahoma.

When he got off the train, he changed his name to Isom Dart( sometimes Isham) Dart and decided it was time to go straight.  Yet, whether his name was Ned Huddleston or Isom Dart, Ned didn't exactly change his ways.  He found a new gang and went on living by a little larceny of livestock.  In other words, he stole a few more horses.

It wasn't long before Isom Dart was arrested.  One the way to jail. the sheriff's horse bolted, the Bucboard turned over, and the sheriff's leg was broken. Now Isom may have been a horse theif, but he was also a kindheaarted man. He caught the horses, righted the buchboard, took the sheriff to a doctor, and turned himself in athe local jail.

When Isom Dart came to trial, the all white jury said he was an honest man, an they st him free. Dart went to work breaking wild horses.  That meant getting them to tolerate a bridle and saddle.  People who watched him work  began to call him "The Black Fox".  After years of hard work, Ned Huddleston finally saved enough money to buy his own ranch.  But just as Ned --Or Isom  was settling down, a paid killer named Tom Horn began hunting that use to been horse rustlers.

Ned was going straight and paid little attention to warnings , but one day, as he stepped out of the door of his own cabin, he was gunned down .  How should Ned Huddleston be remembered?. As one of the best bronco riders in the West? or as a horse thief and rustler?. Perhaps the should be thought of as a superb horseman, a black cowboy with a good heart, a man who loved wild horses and life just a little outside of the law.

Benny Faye Douglass



More by this Author


Comments 16 comments

creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 5 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona Author

Thank you Ruth, for your visit and coment, I appreciate you.Godspeed. creativeone59


Ruth Gentry Forester 5 years ago

My mother was born in Isom Springs, Ok. in 1921. I remember her telling about the town's being named for an Indian man by the name of Isom Ned, and that the town was underwater, after Lake Texoma was created. This is the first time I have heard the fuller history. I so much enjoy and appreciate this! Thank you!


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 5 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona Author

Thank you Cindy,for the visit and I'm glad I could help. Have a blessed day. Godspeed. creativeone59


Cindy Hamleton 5 years ago

He is a pretty awesome guy!!! I am doing a report on Ned!! I am almost done. Thanks for the great info!! :)


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 5 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona Author

Thanks Micky, for your visit and comment and maybe one day he to will have a statue. Godspeed. creativeone59


Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 5 years ago

There should be a statue for this man! He was a lot more honest than Strom Thurmond and Strom has many statues. God bless the Black Fox!


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona Author

Not exactly, I would have to go back and check, but it I find out I will let you know. Thank you for stopping by my hubs. I appreciate you. Godspeed. creativeone59


Reba Joann Kriner 6 years ago

Do you know what part of Arkansas he came from? Very interesting article!


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona Author

Thank you for stopping by my black western hubs, I appreciate the visits and you comments and feedback. Godspeed. creativeone59


pmccray profile image

pmccray 6 years ago from Utah

creativeone59 - another fantastic hub. Tom Horn has been said to have been some type of hero in the west. But to shoot a man unawares without warning or to draw down without calling him out is as bad as a back shooter. Horn sounds like more of a coward, great story about a typical cowboy be he black or white, just trying to survive.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona Author

You're always welcome, thank you for your comment and feedback. creativeone59


wannabwestern profile image

wannabwestern 6 years ago from The Land of Tractors

What an interesting life Ned Huddleston led. The fact that he was murdered after he turned his life around sounds like fodder for a great Hollywood movie or true west novel. Thanks for another interesting hub.


creativeone59 profile image

creativeone59 6 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona Author

Thank you fastfreta, I appreciate you and you feedback. Godspeed. creativeone59


fastfreta profile image

fastfreta 6 years ago from Southern California

Another interesting story of a little known history maker. Good hub.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Again, I just loved your story. Thank you so much for writing it.


Veronica Allen profile image

Veronica Allen 6 years ago from Georgia

creativeone59 - I really enjoyed this history lesson. Ned Huddleston led a fascinating life, and it's good that he's good points were highlighted. We all make mistakes in life, and that's what we can take from this lesson. He obviously learned from them, and used it as a catalyst to do better.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working