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Cow Towns, Cowboys, and Cattle drives

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Presentation on theme: "Cow Towns, Cowboys, and Cattle drives"— Presentation transcript:

1 Cow Towns, Cowboys, and Cattle drives
Home on the Range-Lyrics Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, Where the deer and the antelope play, Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, And the skies are not cloudy all day. Chorus Home, home on the range, Where the deer and the antelope play, Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, And the skies are not cloudy all day. Where the air is so pure, and the zephyrs so free, The breezes so balmy and light, That I would not exchange my home on the range, For all of the cities so bright. The Red man was pressed from this part of the west, He's likely no more to return, To the banks of the Red River where seldom if ever Their flickering campfires burn. How often at night when the heavens are bright, With the light from the glittering stars, Have I stood there amazed and asked as I gazed, If their glory exceeds that of ours. Oh, I love these wild flowers in this dear land of ours, The curlew I love to hear cry, And I love the white rocks and the antelope flocks, That graze on the mountain slopes high. Oh give me a land where the bright diamond sand, Flows leisurely down in the stream; Where the graceful white swan goes gliding along, Like a maid in a heavenly dream. Then I would not exchange my home on the range, Where the deer and the antelope play; Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, And the skies are not cloudy all day.

2 The Growing Demand for Beef
Due to rapidly growing cities (due to immigrants and work), the post-Civil War industrialized north began to demand beef in larger quantities. The Chicago Union Stockyards opened in 1865, and by spring 1866, the railroads were running all the way to Sedalia, Missouri, shipping beef and cattle all throughout America. From Sedalia, Missouri, Texas ranchers could ship their cattle to Chicago and Eastern markets. But the journeys from Texas to Sedalia were often dangerous: thunderstorms, stampedes, rain-swollen rivers, outlaws, and Native-Americans protecting their land threatened the success of their journey. Occasionally the cattle died of starvation or exhaustion. But if they made it through the long drive, they could be sold for 10 times the price they would have gotten in Texas.

3 The Cowboy Trade: The Influence of the “Vaquero”
Today, the American cowboy seems distinctly American; in reality, he learned his way of life from the first Spanish ranchers in Mexico: the vaqueros. The cowboy’s food, language, dress, and spirit were heavily influenced by the vaquero. The vaquero was also the first person to use spurs, metal spikes attached to the boot heel to direct the horse. Moreover, many cowboy terms were adaptations of Spanish words: bronco caballo or a “rough horse” that ran wild, became known as a bronco or bronc. The American ranch was an adaptation of the Mexican rancho. The strays or mestenos, were the same mustangs that the American cowboy tried to tame.

4 The Cow Town - Illinois cattle dealer Joseph McCoy approached several Western towns with plans to create a shipping yard where cattle trails and rail lines came together, allowing cattle to be shipped North more easily. - This plan gave rise to the “Cow Town.” One such town was Abilene, Kansas. - Abilene was unique because it connected trails such as the Chisholm Trail –the major cattle route from San Antonio, through Oklahoma to Kansas – to the railroad, later to be shipped to cities such as Quincy, Chicago, or Denver.

5 A Day in The Life of a Cowboy in the American West
Roughly 55,000 cowboys worked the western plains between 1866 – 1885. A cowboy worked 14 or more hours on a cattle drive. He was an expert rider, horseman, and marksman. His gun was used to protect the herd from wild animals or dangerous outlaws. The overland transport of the cattle, or long drive, lasted roughly three months. A typical drive included one cowboy for every 250 to 300 head of cattle –the herds could number anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 cattle. A cook was also on board who setup camp and a wrangler cared for extra horses. During the drive, the cowboys slept on the ground, bathed in rivers, risked death at river crossings, and looked out for lightning –a loud crack of lightning and thunder could easily send the cattle herd stampeding.

6 Map of the Long Drive and the Chisholm Trail, c. 1870

7 The Hunters’ Supper- Frederic Remington c.1909
Stampeded by Lightning – Frederic Remington c.1908

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