From Wikipedia: Albert “Swejen” Swearengen (Ian McShane), is the proprietor of the Gem Saloon, born in England but raised in a Chicago orphanage under an abusive figure known as Mrs. Anderson. He mentions on occasion that Mrs. Anderson ran a brothel at the girls’ orphanage before running the boys’ orphanage. Swearengen was among the first settlers of Deadwood, earning him several land claims and a position of power. The Gem Saloon, offering alcohol, prostitution and faro also acts as Swearengen’s base of operations.
Swearengen is cunning, manipulative and initially appears to be the most cynically amoral of all the characters, showing no hesitation in resorting to violence and murder when it serves his business interests. When former Montana marshal Seth Bullock comes to camp to sell hardware, his upright, law-abiding manner and strong sense of justice serves as an unintended, yet upending threat to Swearengen, and they initially butt heads until Swearengen decides to make Bullock the “face” of Deadwood and encourages him to pick up the badge again, turning Bullock’s respectability to his advantage in securing the future of the camp… Read More