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Josef Quinn Memorial Library

Sully's Biography


BYRON SULLY

GENERAL BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION

Sully reveals that he was "... born on a ship somewhere 'tween England and America. I don't know where. I don't even know the name of the ship." (#0208)

One tan dude.

Enigmatic loner.

A muscular, blue eyed-hunk. Wears Indian garb; has a tiny braid (left to grow out of respect for his deceased wife) which gets longer as the series progresses.

Sports a sharp-headed tomahawk, which he throws at crucial moments.

"Capable of striking fear in the hearts' of the locals, he's clearly a legend around these parts." A man of his word.

Miner who came to Pike's Peak in '59.

Fell in love with Loren's daughter, Abigail; married her when she was 18. Abigail died giving birth; girl baby died with her. Abigail's year of birth is 1842.

During epidemic, he tells Dr. Mike of Cheyenne tea made of purple Coneflowers that is a substitute for quinine when Dr. Mike runs out of medicine. (#0101)

Keeps Loren's store from being overrun during the epidemic.

Takes Mike to Cloud Dancing to be cured of grippe.

Kisses Dr. Mike for the first time on the forehead while asleep, recovering from influenza. (#0101)

Gets handsome new, hand-tooled tomahawk from Robert E - will pay with elk hide next time he goes hunting. Saved Robert E's life after the forge exploded (tackled Robert E and rolled him in the dirt to put the flames out). (#0102)

Sully's wife Abigail had garden in same spot as Mike's. (#0102)

Sully acts as liaison between Cheyenne and Soldiers - trying to keep peace. He tries to explain to Custer that Black Kettle's people have nothing to do with the renegade Dog Soldiers who attack settlers. (#0103)

Mike helps Sully rescue Cloud Dancing from Custer and his beatings. Sully dresses up as an Indian, ties Mike up so that she will not be implicated, helps Cloud Dancing get out of town. Throws pitch fork at Custer, when he walks in on escape attempt. (#0103)

Sully scared of horses; buys Ethan Cooper's horse to conquer fear; confides to Cloud Dancing that he's scared of horses because his younger brother caught his foot in a horse's stirrup and got dragged to death. Sully's new horse is trained to return to Cooper after he's been "bought." (#0104)

Sully saves Mike from a grizzly bear. (#0107)

Sully gives Loren a blood transfusion for his strangulated hernia surgery. However, this sharing of blood enables he and Loren to heal the psychological wound Sully caused Loren when he married his only daughter, Abigail and she died giving birth to Sully's daughter, who died as well. (#0106)

Sully helps build schoolhouse. (#0114)

Mike and Sully are bridesmaid and best Man, respectively, for Grace and Robert E's wedding. Together, they give Grace and Robert E a bible for their wedding present. (#0202)

Sully, along with other members of the town, save Kid Cole from revengeful horse thieves. (#0202)

Sully saves Jake from revengeful Dog Soldiers when Jake accidentally shoots Little Eagle; Jake's not grateful. (#205)

Sully and Cloud Dancing, (usually the best of friends) get into a fist fight. (#205)

Sully and Mike persuade Black Kettle to accept a "peace" offering from the Army to the Indians consisting of blankets infected with typhus. (#0206)

Sully modifies the homestead; repairs the roof for Mike, though she's initially reluctant. He also repairs a rocking-horse for Mike which she secretly uses as a peace-offering to Abigail, his dead-wife. (#0207)

Sully reveals that he was "... born on a ship somewhere 'tween England and America. I don't know where. I don't even know the name of the ship." Sully's father was a farmer in England before the family immigrated. The family immigrated to New York, where Sully's father did odd-jobs. His heart gave out. Sully's mother said, "the city (New York) done broke it." Sully's mother drowned (herself?) in the Hudson River. This was when he was 10 years old. He headed west upon her death. (#0208)

Sully sends the longest telegram ever when he wires Mike her medical papers to Boston to help cure her mother. Sully follows Mike to Boston (#0208) and tells her he loves her. (#0209)

Mike gets jealous when she thinks Dorothy's teaching Sully the hanky-panky, but it's only the sweethearts' reel. The truth is revealed at the Sweethearts' Dance. (#0210)

"One of Sully's homes" is seen for the first time: under an out-cropping rock in a small clearing in the woods. (#0211)

Sully was a "powder man" (dynamite specialist) in a mine. He got trapped in a cave-in, "vowed never to go back in a mine." Had to rescind his vow to save Matthew. (#0212)

Sully's a trapeze artist extraordinaire, along with Dr. Mike as his partner, in "The Circus." (#0215)

Sully is kissed by Catherine, the "other woman" in "Another Woman." This causes a rift between Sully and Mike. (#0216)

Sully leaps into Myra's window and saves her from the notorious whore-cutter, Dandy John O'Malley. (#0222)

Sully deeds all the women in town small parcels of land so that they may vote for Mike in the Mayorial election. (#0222)

Sully hits Hank in the head with a log to protect Myra; accidentally puts Hank into a coma, but he does feel bad about it. (#0223)

Mike and the kids surprise Sully with a velocipede (early bicycle), just for the heck of it. (#225) Sully serves as best man for Horace on his wedding day. (#0225)

Sully teaches Brian to ride a velocipede (early bicycle). (#0226)

Sully stays with the kids when Mike goes to Soda Springs during its flu epidemic. When the Cavalry, thinking he's helping the Dog Soldiers blow up the tracks, shoot him in the back, Brian takes him to the Secret Cave. Jake and Hank go out to hunt Sully, because the railroad put a $200 bounty on him, but the Reverend knocks Hank out, and Colleen and Jake remove the bullet. Later, the townsfolk "cover" for Sully in front of the Cavalry, swearing he was in town. (#0227)

Sully saw his first naked lady when he was 10. (#0302)

Sully intervenes for Loren with Cloud Dancing when Dog Soldiers, in retaliation for the desecration of their burial grounds by a visiting paleontologist, take Loren Bray's deceased wife Maude's bones. Eventually, an exchange of bones is made and Loren gets Maude back. (#0306)

Sully becomes an Indian Agent for $100.00 a month. (#0307)

Sully reads Walt Whitman; Mike's not sure she approves of his reading matter. (#0309)

When Judd McCoy and his wild west show rolls into town, McCoy gets in a fight and breaks his hand, creating an opening for a knife-thrower in his show, which Sully accepts for the fee of $25.00, performing as "Sully the Savage," a knife-throwing "mountain man." Sully accepts the fee to pay for a leaded, beveled glass door that Mike wants (and that's also the source of a money argument between them) which happens to cost exactly $25.00. (#0310)

Sully accompanies Mike to Washington to support Mike as she pleads the Indians' cause at the Congressional hearings. Sully influences Cloud Dancing to accompany them as well. Sully was a Union Army sharpshooter who deserted when he found out he was ordered to assassinate a private individual for a corrupt member of government's personal gain. Sully is arrested, court-marshalled and at first sentenced to death, until Mike throws herself on the mercy of President Grant, who then commutes Sully's sentence to life imprisonment. Mike, with Ely Parker's (see "Catalyst" section) help, then springs Sully from prison in a daring escape. Knowing a plot's afoot to assassinate President Grant, Sully breaks into the White House just in time to save Grant from a sharpshooter's bullet. Grant, now ready to listen to Sully's story, exonerates him from the desertion charges, and appoints him an Indian Agent, and the family leaves Washington in triumph. (#0312)

Sully takes the Jewish peddler, Itzhak Frankel, to the Indian Reservation, where the Jew and the Indians engage in some mutually beneficial trading. (#0314)

Sully is thrown off his horse and sprains his foot badly; this causes him to be unable to accompany Mike up Pike's Peak when she goes in pursuit of Sam Lindsay. (#0315)

Although it's against his principles (he hates the railroad and all it implies) Sully helps Robert E put together the "mule," or steam engine for a locomotive, when Jackson Tait comes to town needing the engine fixed on a deadline. (#0317)

In their custody battle for the Cooper kids, Sully urges Mike to testify that, on Ethan's last visit two years ago, Sully apprehended Ethan trying to abscond with the church collection money. Sully fails to persuade her, and Mike loses the battle. (#0318)

Sully is forced to let Ethan act as Colleen's "Pa" when he takes over the pulling of the chariot (formerly Sully's job) at the father/daughter chariot race for the school's "Roman Day." Sully councils prudence when Mike, desperate, suggests running away with Brian and Colleen when she loses them in a custody battle with their father. His argument is that the law doesn't think they have a leg to stand on, and it's too hard on the kids to keep fighting. (#0318/0319)

Sully inconveniently goes to an Indian Conference just before Valentine's Day, and Mike thinks she'll be spending the holiday alone. Fortunately, Sully returns early and presents Mike the engagement ring he's been "savin' for a special occasion." (#0320)

Sully is carving a bed for Mike as a surprise wedding present; she discovers it and they share a very passionate kiss. (#0322)

Sully weeps for the Cheyenne at the Washita River massacre. In the aftermath of the slaughter of the Indians at Washita, Sully persuades Mike to agree to learn the ways of this Cheyenne Medicine Man (otherwise there would be no one to carry on the medicine). (This will be a psyche healing factor for both Cloud Dancing and Mike.) (#0323)

Sully, completely disheartened in the aftermath of Washita, almost takes a letter of resignation to Hazen, (his superior) but is disuaded from resigning as Indian agent by Loren, who has broken his leg and who Sully helps get back to town. (#0328)

Mike persuades Sully to engage in pre-marital counseling with the Reverend. (#0324)

Sully builds marital bed/new homestead. He gives his old homestead to Matthew and Ingrid. Sully's taken hostage by Custer (who's peeved that Sully interferred with his capturing Cloud Dancing) and prevented from going to his own wedding rehearsal dinner. Townsmen throw Sully a bachelor party for his wedding with Mike; they also get him a much needed bucksaw as a present. Despite Michaela's mother's interference, Mike and Sully have "their" wedding and consummate their love on board the train bound for Denver. (#0326/0327)

Sully and Mike return home from their honeymoon and move into homestead Sully built. They share a loving look when Brian remarks, "That's right, you're sleepin' with Ma, now!" (#0401)

We learn that Sully played baseball in the mining camps. (#0402)

"Whenever you need 'holdin',' just ask." That's what Sully tells Mike when she feels her erotic feelings for Sully are wrong. When she's still unsure, he tells her that the first thing the Cheyenne ask a young man who's just taken a wife is whether she..."show(s) enthusiasm..." (for sex). He then tells her, "I appreciate your enthusiasm." (#0403)

When trying to comfort Brian about his tame wolf's ("Pup") biting Ingrid, giving her rabies and ultimately causing her death, Sully tells Brian that he's made big mistakes too -- "I shot an unarmed man once. In the war (Civil). Killed 'im... Haven't fired a gun since." (Ironically, and unbeknowst to him, he's soon to pick up a gun when he shoots Pup in this same episode.) (#0404)

Jake sourly observes that Sully comes off "... like the hero of a dime novel..." in Dorothy's book about the town. Sully comforts Mike when she is hurt by what she considers betrayal from first Dorothy, and then Brian. (#0406)

We learn that Sully's favorite breakfast food is blueberry pancakes. In the same episode, Sully surprises Mike for Halloween by building a pumpkin coach and escorting her to the Halloween party -- seems it was her idea to go as Cinderella and Prince Charming, but he acted noncommittal until the very last moment, at which time (to her vast delight) he showed up driving the pumpkin coach (which he and Robert E built as a surprise for Mike) dressed as Prince Charming to her Cinderella. (#0407)

Sully receives a letter from an old friend, Daniel Simon. Sully and Daniel grew up together on the docks of New York. They came out west together to be gold miners, but ended up working the mines. Daniel saved Sully's life, and Sully promised him that if he ever needed anything, Sully'd be there. And, although this causes some dissention between him and Mike, who feels she's got a claim to him as well, eventually, Sully convinces Mike that, in order to be a man of his word, he must fulfill this promise to help his friend in the event of need. (#0408)

Sully gets a taste of politics when, per Robert E's suggestion, he sits on the council in Mike's absence (she's on an expedition to the top of Pike's Peak with the other ladies). Jake appoints Preston's proposed site for a hotel as an historical landmark, per the town charter, thus thwarting Preston's plan to build an establishment that would bring riffraff into Colorado Springs. Score one for Sully! (#0409/10)

Sully is very excited about the idea of Mike getting pregnant -- even carving the baby a beautiful cradle with an elaborate bird decoration -- until he witnesses the pain of local man Clayton Baker, who's just lost his newborn baby in childbirth and may lose his wife, Ginny, as well. This sad event causes him to flash back to first wife Abigail, who died while giving birth to Sully's baby girl. As such, Sully's terrified to put Mike in a position which could endanger her and/or cause him to lose her. Later, Robert E helps him come to grips with the fact that the risk is worth taking, which is good, because at the end of the episode, which happens to be Thanksgiving, (held at the Reservation this year) Sully learns that he and Mike are going to have a baby! (We also find out that Sully learned how to cook in the mining camps in this episode when he and Mike share a very romantic meal.) (#0411)

Sully (with Robert E) builds the "living nativity" for Christmas in this episode. More importantly, he councils Brian not to give up on little Sara (a new girl in town and Brian's first crush). He also tells Brian to follow the North Star if he's ever lost in the woods -- a bit of information that comes in handy later in the episode. Sully gives Brian a beautiful Indian necklace that he made with the Indians and that "he was savin' for his son." Finally, Sully helps Brian assert himself with Mike in his desire to be treated in a more mature fashion -- for instance, he persuades Mike to let Brian go out in the woods alone to look for Sara and Kyle, who are lost, and he persuades Mike that Brian's new, older hairdo is all right, as well as that he looks "fine" for the living nativity show (and thus doesn't have to change into the detested "little boy" burgundy suit Mike bought him for Christmas). In short, Sully helps Brian in his journey toward manhood in this episode. (#0412)

Sully teaches Matthew the art of defensive fighting so that he won't, as an unarmed sheriff, have to fight. Sully mastered this technique in the mining camps. It basically consists of using the other person's weight, or resistence, against them. (#0414)

It is Sully who suggests that the Reverend collect on loans he's made to the townsfolk for repairs on the church. (#0417)

Ezra Leonard engages Sully to lead the expedition to get his son Caleb back from notorious Noah McBride, who's kidnapped the boy in a desperate, last-ditch effort to keep the Colorado Statehood movement (which he feels Ezra, as a politician, personifies) at bay. Though Preston continously calls Sully a "savage" throughout the expedition, it's Preston, not Sully, who guns Noah down in cold blood after Caleb is rescued, though it is Sully who manages to overpower McBride long enough for Matthew and Caleb to escape. Even though Preston was a real jerk through the entire expedition to rescue visiting politician Ezra Leonard's son Caleb, Sully lugs Preston, whose leg has been caught in a bear trap during the expedition and is expected to die, back to Colorado Springs to be treated by Mike. (#0419)

Sully and Mike lock horns over the issue of Capital Punishment -- she's for Capital Punishment, he's against it -- "Wasn't so long go, the Army wanted to execute me." (#0420, page 40)

Sully is not happy about the new school on the reservation, especially when he sees how the Reverend (who's teaching there) is trying to assimilate the Indians into white culture. When the Reverend baptizes some Indian children, Sully, who is still Indian Agent at this point, closes the school in protest. Unfortunately, Lucien Hazen, Sully's Indian Agent supervisor, wires him back and orders him to re-open the school. As such, Sully is much relieved when Mike, who's also teaching at the school part-time, comes up with the solution of multi-culturalism, which will allow some cross-polination and mutual understanding not only between Anglo/Indian culture, but between the various newly intermingled but traditionally adversarial tribes as well. (#0421)

Sully mentions his friend Daniel Simon (first mentioned in #0408) when he and Brian have a discussion re: the competitiveness of friends in reference to Mike and her very competitive friend Miriam, who's visiting the household in this episode. Sully says that even though he and Daniel were the best of friends, he often felt like Daniel was "trying to do him one better." Sully teaches Mike's medical school friend Miriam Tillson how to ride a horse; he then takes her to see a doe and fawn in a clearing. (#0422)

Sully begins to see the writing on the wall re: his Indian Agent job when Lucien Hazen (last seen in ep. #0307) pays a visit to the reservation and is displeased to see that the Indian children are not being taught in a 'proper' school wearing 'proper' (white mens') clothes; that the teepees have not been taken down and log cabins put up as he instructed, and that the soldiers don't do their jobs; i.e., intervene when the Indians fight amongst themselves. (See #0421 two blocks above) Lucien pressures Sully to impliment these changes, which Sully, not wanting to expunge what's left of the Indians culture, resists. Unfortunately, Lucien responds to Sully's comment about the soldiers not doing their jobs by replacing the existing garrison with a garrison led by a man, Bryan O'Conner (see above) who'll obviously do his enforcement job all too well. (#0424)

When Cloud Dancing is stabbed by an angry and grief-stricken Pawnee named Two Spears (Two Spears, a new arrival to the reservation who has just watched soldiers murder his wife) Sully rushes Cloud Dancing to the clinic and gives him a transfusion of his own blood. Unfortunately, Sully feels, in spite of Cloud Dancing's counsel of patience and understanding toward Two Spears, that he must send Two Spears, (who doesn't do himself any favors when he gets into another fight) away from the reservation. Cloud Dancing is disappointed by Sully's decision. (#0424)

Sully has major (and uncharacteristic) trepidations re: Mike's medically treating visiting artist/leprosy victim Isabelle Maynard. His concern is that Isabelle's leprosy may be communicable or affect in some way not only Mike, but the couple's unborn child as well. His concerns are valid, since not much is known about the disease (though theories abound). Sully comes around in the end when it is discovered that the gallant Isabelle, seeing that the town will never accept her, has left town without saying goodbye. At this sad discovery, Sully pronounces (including himself in the mix) that "We didn't do right by her." (#0425)

Sergeant Bryan O'Conner, very upset by his soldier Private Reilly's death, overrides Supervisor Lucien Hazen's edict (which Sully arranged) that the Indians may try Cloud Dancing (who confessed to the murder to protect the frightened young brave) by wiring General Wooden, who wires back that he didn't know things were so serious with the Indians and who declares that the Army and the Indians are now in a state of war. At this, Sergeant O'Conner takes Cloud Dancing prisoner and escorts him into the town jail, effectively removing Cloud Dancing's right to a trial with a jury of his peers. Fortunately for Cloud Dancing, Sully defends him and utlizes the "Indians and Soldiers in a state of war" edict to Cloud Dancing's benefit by telling O'Conner in court that, if you're in a state 'a war with the Indians and you -- an army soldier -- kill one of 'em, then it's not a murder, but a casualty of war." Thus, "If Cloud Dancing's convicted of murder, you gotta arrest every army soldier that's killed an Indian during this state 'a war." Sully's defense of Cloud Dancing makes sense to the judge, who dismisses the case. Sergeant O'Conner confronts Sully at the end, "This war ain't over." (#0426)

When Plenty Horses accidentally shoots young Private O'Reilly in a reservation scuffle, (Reilly's gun goes off as the two men struggle for it and he dies of gunshot wounds, even when Mike operates to remove the bullet) no one owns up to the crime and tensions mount. Before violence can escalate against the Indians, however, Cloud Dancing steps forward to take the rap, especially since the overzealous commander, Sergeant O'Conner, is doing little to defuse existing tensions. Sully and Mike, knowing their friend Cloud Dancing as they do, are puzzled that Cloud Dancing won't come clean re: who really killed Private Reilly and what really happened, but Cloud Dancing has an ulterior motive behind his confession -- that is, he wants to unify his people by showing them through his actions that they should all act as people -- brothers -- whether they are Pawnee, Arapahoe or Cheyenne. Cloud Dancing's noble sacrifice does instill a sense of unity between the Indians, and after Sully cleverly defends Cloud Dancing we see the Indians Elders altogether, welcoming Cloud Dancing to the reservation after he's been released. (#0426)

Sully manages to rescue Cloud Dancing (who escapes along with some other Indians) from being transferred from the reservation at the behest of hostile Army Sergeant Bryan O'Conner. During the melee' that occurs, Sully gets stabbed in the shoulder and breaks his shin bone. (#0427)

Sully delivers his and Mike's baby, Katherine Elizabeth Sully, (aka Katie) in the woods. They're in the woods because he was trying to rescue Cloud Dancing from hostile Army Sergeant Bryan O'Conner, Cloud Dancing escaped but Sully was injured, Cloud Dancing leads Mike to Sully, and the Army reappears to capture Cloud Dancing, leaving injured Sully and pregnant Mike alone in the woods and vulnerable. Later, O'Conner reappears at end of episode to tell Sully that he's been fired as Indian Agent. (#0428)

MEDICAL HISTORY:

Sully is knocked unconscious by a dynamite blast while on a water-testing expedition with Mike. She saves his life by pulling his unconscious body from the water, at great personal risk. (#0109) Sully is beaten and left temporarily paralyzed in the legs by Tate Rankin. Dr. Mike and Cloud Dancing work together to cure him. (#0110)

Sully develops psychosomatic migraines when Cloud Dancing, his best friend and mentor, tells him he's going off to the black hills to mourn his son Walks on Cloud's death, perhaps never to return. Mike cures it with a "sweat lodge" which gives Sully the vision that his future is with Mike. (#0224)

Sully was shot in the back by Cavalry when he tried to stop the Dog Soldiers from blowing up the railroad; Brian takes him to the Secret cave and Colleen and Jake remove the bullet. (#0227)

Sully is thrown off his horse and sprains his foot badly; this causes him to be unable to accompany Mike up Pike's Peak when she goes in pursuit of Sam Lindsay. (#0315)

Sully is shot -- "The bullet passed right through, missed the bone..." -- by enraged Dog Soldiers at the Washita River massacre aftermath. Cloud Dancing saves him. (#0323)

Sully acquires a bleeding lip when he rescues Cloud Dancing from two bounty hunters. (#0401)

We get a hint that Sully's job as Indian agent may be coming to an end when we see that Sully's been continuously receiving and ignoring letters from his superior, Agent Lucien Hazen, regarding cutting the Indians' hair, making the medicine men stop practicing, making the Indians build log houses (take down the teepees) and making them build a church. (#0423)

Sully gets stabbed in the shoulder by Sergeant Bryan O'Conner while trying to keep Cloud Dancing from being transferred to a different reservation, which is initiated and carried out by hostile Sergeant O'Conner, who knows Cloud Dancing and Sully are friends. During the melee', O'Conner punches him (right after he has stabbed him) and Sully falls down a steep embankment, causing him to break his shin bone (tibia). (#0427)

Copyright © 1992-2004 CBS Entertainment Productions and The Sullivan Company