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The discovery of gold in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory in 1874 started a stampede of fortune-seekers sweeping across the plains in numbers unseen since the California Gold Rush a generation earlier. A nationwide depression resulting from the devastation of the Civil War drove thousands into lands legally ceded to the Sioux with the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie.


By 1876, the sheer force of gold-hungry prospectors, speculators and opportunists was causing new and violent conflicts with the Indians. The Army tried at first to enforce the treaty but was soon overwhelmed in just protecting the settlers and keeping some semblance of peace.


It wasn't long before mining camps and towns sprang up throughout the Black Hills. Millions of dollars were dug out of the Black Hills and tented camps like Deadwood became boom towns almost overnight.


For Bret and Bart Maverick, the opportunity to tap the deep pockets of these newly rich was irresistible. The wealth of the Black Hills was great enough that even the threat of Indians was hardly a deterrent for these two former Galvanized Yankees.[1] They spent significant parts of the year, either separately and together, in and around the Black Hills, looking for their next big poker game, or just trying to save their own necks.[2][3][4]


But the West was big and growing bigger. The Maverick Brothers also traveled everywhere from New Orleans[5] to Nevada[6] and from Wyoming Territory[7] to Mexico[8]...and they were just getting started.


05. Maverick, The Resurrection of Joe November (1960), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

06. Maverick, The Third Rider (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

07. Maverick, The Misfortune Teller (1960), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

08. Maverick, Plunder of Paradise (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.


01. Maverick, Trail West to Fury (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

02. Maverick, The Ghost Soldiers (1959), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

03. Maverick, High Card Hangs (1958), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.

04. Maverick, Two Beggars on Horseback (1959), Warner Bros. Pictures, Inc.



Deadwood, Dakota Territory, c1876.


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