Bluford "Blue" Duck
(June 17, 1859 - May 7, 1895)
Born Bluford Duck, Blue Duck's Cherokee name was Sha-con-gah Kaw-wan-nu. This Blue Duck and the Blue Duck from Larry McMurtry's novel "Lonesome Dove" are similar in name only. None of the activities by the Lonesome Dove Blue Duck and this Blue Duck match. On June 23, 1884, in the Flint District of the Cherokee Nation, Blue Duck and another fellow named William Christie, both drunk, rode up to where a young farmer named Samuel Wyrick was working in his field. Blue Duck emptied his revolver into Wyrick, reloaded, and then fired again at an Indian boy who was working for Wyrick. Duck then rode over to a neighboring farm and shot at but missed the neighbor.
Duck and Christie were arrested for the killing. Duck was sentence to be hanged from Judge Issac Parker's gallows on July 23, 1886. Christie was cleared of the charge.
Blue Duck's attorney, Thomas Marcum called attention to his client's case by having him pose for a picture with Belle Starr. There is no proof that Blue Duck and Belle Star knew each other prior to this photograph. At the same time Marcum appealed for a lesser punishment - life in prison.
The lesser sentence was commuted and Blue Duck was committed to Menard Penitentiary at Chester Illinois on October 16, 1886 as inmate number 2486. Blue Duck developed consumption and was pardoned by President Cleveland on March 20, 1895. He was given only one month to live and was released so that he could die among friends.
Blue Duck died May 7, 1895 and was buried in the Dick Duck Cemetery near Catoosa, OK.
Information compiled by Steve Grimm