Not only was this a kick ass show, but the real stories can be even more intriguing. Here are some of the basics:
-November 6, 1868- Lakota and white leaders sign the Fort Laramie Treaty, requiring the U.S. government to protect Lakota lands from white intruders.
-1874- August - Gold in the "Black Hills"-Upon hearing the news, the government attempts to buy back the land from the Sioux Nation, but their offer is refused because the Black Hills, referred to by the Sioux as Paha Sapa, is considered holy land.
-1875- John B. Pearson discovers gold in Deadwood Creek and as word spreads quickly a mining camp is established.
-1876-A Miners' Court was established in August, to establish a provisional government in the city. (of the people by the people)
Now at this time everyone in the camp is an "outlaw" living in the wild territory. There has been little to no actual influence by the Federal government, and there is NO STATE. There is a booming support industry, saloons, prostitutes, laundry, medical care, newspaper etc... This is almost instantaneous as the miners start moving in.
Also in 1876-
The stagecoach arrives
Theatre came to camp
Platting of sidewalks begins
Smallpox hits the town, within 7 days and care center and treatment is established.
U.S. Congress repeals the 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty- Tries to annex Deadwood.
During the annexation American government is busy at war with the Indians throughout the West and issues many declarations, most ignored by the citizens. There was no active threat of the gun from Uncle Sam. Somehow this muddy mountain mining town still manages to accomplish-
-The hanging of Jack McCall for the murder of Wild Bill Hickok.
-Education funds are raised and a School is built for the children, and residents.
-Cattle Ranching begins
-Local regulations are created for the "cleanliness of working girls"
-Telephone service begins in 1878.
-1888-The Chinese minority, mined, opened shops and laundries and worked as domestic servants in the white community. They developed a city within a city, electing their own mayor and council and founding independent police and fire departments.
-November 02, 1889 North Dakota (including Deadwood) becomes a State and finally has to start bowing to an ever increasing "State/Federal" presence.
Now I believe it could go without saying that Deadwood was at times a "take no shit, rough and tumble" town that had to be gritty, to say the least. My main point is that "outlaws," with little to no oversight, built a successful community outside the established law. Not only successful but advanced, extremely advanced taking into account their geography. Health care, news, transportation, and a variety of jobs were available, for the cost of the responsibility to do it well. The had telephone lines in 1878! Can people do the "right thing" without a Presidential platform telling them to? Yes we can.
Liberty, and the free market. Gotta love this country, especially when the story is as good as gold.