Stagger Lee (African American)
Stagger” Lee Sheldon was a black cab driver who in 1895 shot another dude named Billy Lyons after they had been drunkenly arguing and Billy had, “snatched Sheldon’s hat from his head.” According to the newspaper, after plugging Billy in the gut with his revolver, Stagger Lee, “picked up his hat and coolly walked away.”
Immortalized in song, Stagger Lee has become an archetype, the embodiment of a tough black man; one who is sly, streetwise, cool, lawless, amoral, potentially violent, and who defies white authority. Within thirty years of Shelton’s death, Benjamin Botkin records stories of his having been born with a caul over his face (signifying one with the power to see spirits and destined for trouble), or of having sold his soul to the Devil (in exchange for the hat, said to be magic, over which he killed Billy Lyons). Additional legends credit him with the ability to transform himself into animals, of having caused the San Francisco Earthquake, and of having fought a duel with Jesse James
It was mentioned that even the devil himself was afraid of him and somehow he managed to kick the devil out for a time and ruled hell itself.