Presentation on theme: "The Cattle Industry on the Great Plains"— Presentation transcript:
1 The Cattle Industry on the Great Plains Click here to find out about the development of the Cattle Industry
2 The Cattle Industry on the Great Plains The CivilWarThe USArmyTheRailroadsThe PlainsIndiansDemandin the EastGoodnight& LovingThe OpenRangeCowTownsTheCowboys
3 Click here to go back to the factors slide. Between 1861 and 1866 the USA wassplit by a Civil War between theNorthern States of the Union and theSouthern States of the Confederacy.Texas was on the losing side. Duringthe war the Ranchers of Texas werecut off from their markets in the Northand East. A small time rancher,Charles Goodnight, was away from Texas and had no contact with his herd of cattle.Yet in this time it increased from around 180 to head. All over Texas theimpact of the Civil War was to lead to a massive increase in the number of cattle;by 1866 there were an estimated cattle in Texas. The economy of theEast went into boom and the demand for meat grew after the end of the war. TexanCattlemen looked for a way to meet this demand and make a profit.Click here to go back to the factors slide.
4 Click here to go back to the factors slide. The 1860s were a decade of Plainswars between the Indians native tothe area and the incoming whitesettlers backed by the US Army.The army built camps and forts onthe Plains to maintain its control,protect its soldiers and safeguardthe new migrants or homesteaders. These forts were given names suchas Fort Laramie and Fort Sumner. The soldiers in these forts neededfeeding with fresh meat, and contracts were available to those who couldsupply the demands of the army The US Army also had the job of ensuringthe supply of food to the Indians on the reservations.Click here to go back to the factors slide.
5 Click here to go back to the factors slide. One big problem of moving thecattle from Texas to the cities ofthe East was transport. Thebuilding of the Trans-ContinentalRailroad by 1868 solved thisproblem. It was now possible todrive the cattle to a rail depot,sell them to a dealer, who could then transport them in refrigerated wagonsto the growing cities of the East such as New York and Chicago. Vastprofits were now available for those with the cattle to sell. The railroadarrived at Sedalia in 1865, and by 1870 it extended into Kansas. It washere that the cow towns such as Abilene were built at railheads for thetransport of cattle to the East.Click here to go back to the factors slide.
6 Click here to go back to the factors slide. The 1860s were a period ofreservation life for many of thetribes of the southern Plains. Theyhad been defeated by the USArmy and were now trapped onreservations controlled by thearmy and government agents.The reservations were usually in the worst areas of land and the Indiansfound it impossible to support themselves through farming. The agentsappointed by the government had the responsibility of ensuring that theIndians were ‘looked after’ and fed. Contracts were available to those whocould supply the cattle needed. By 1870 the US Army was buying between60 and head of cattle a year to feed the Indians and its own soldiers.Click here to go back to the factors slide.
7 Click here to go back to the factors slide. The middle of the nineteenthcentury saw an industrialrevolution in the northeast ofthe USA. Vast cities were growingand with this growth came millionsof new immigrants and workerswho needed to be fed. The endof the Civil War in 1866 had sped up this process. The market was there,and the Cattlemen of Texas, with their vast herds, were determined tofulfil it. The railroads of the 1860s and 1870s offered the required transportto bring the beef to the marketplace.Click here to go back to the factors slide.
8 Click here to go back to the factors slide. The cattle industry in Colorado owedmuch to Charles Goodnight and OliverLoving, who were Texan ranchers. Bythe end of the Civil War Goodnight hada herd of about cattle. With fewchances for selling beef in Texas, helooked to the mining towns aroundDenver in Colorado. In 1866 the twomen drove the herd towards Colorado. The Goodnight-Loving Trail swung westinto New Mexico. Here, by chance, they discovered another market. A Navajo Indianreservation had been established at Bosque Rodeo near Fort Sumner. By 1866, theNavajo were starving, and the government was keen to buy Goodnight’s beef.Goodnight and Loving repeated their drive in Their success and profits of1866 led to many other ranchers following them into the trail driving business andthe cattle trade of the 1860s was born.Click here to go back to the factors slide.
9 Click here to go back to the factors slide. As the profits available tocattlemen continued to flow in the1860s, a new breed of rancherwas born. This was the era of theOpen Range and the CattleBarons. The first of this new breedwas John Illif. He set up a ranch inthe new territory of Wyoming in 1867.Illif won a contract to supply beef to the Union Pacific Railroad and its constructioncrews. He bought $ worth of steers from Charles Goodnight and sold themfor a huge profit. The profits of men such as Illif attracted many more to try theirhand at ranching on the Great Plains. Land for ranching was cheap; often it wassimply taken. Cattle ranching took place on the open range – acre after acreof unfenced land. This was the heyday of the cowboy, but it did not last long.Click here to go back to the factors slide.
10 Click here to go back to the factors slide. In 1867, cattle arrived atAbilene. By steersa year were moving up theChisholm Trail. The railroadshipped them north from Abilene,mainly to Chicago, whichestablished itself as a meatpacking centre. Joseph McCoy eventually went bankrupt, and other cattletowns, such as Elsworth, Hays and Dodge City, began to compete for thecattle business. However, McCoy’s initiative and enterprise had beencrucial to the growth of the cattle industry. The traffic on the ChisholmTrail later shifted to the Western Trail. This took Texan cattle to DodgeCity, which became the main Kansas cattle centre from 1875.Click here to go back to the factors slide.
11 Click here to go back to the factors slide. Cattle could not drive themselvesnorthwards to the markets! Theyneeded the cowboys to guidethem. The 1860s to the 1880swere the high point of the cowboyera. Young men from manydifferent backgrounds, white, blackand Spanish became cowboys. Theirjob was to escort the herds from Texas to the markets along the set Trails. It was avery hard life, with low pay and cowboys were always short of sleep when on theLong Drive. Cowboys continued to be important in the cattle industry during thetime of the Open Range on the Plains. They did the job of patrolling the edges of thevast ranches, protecting the cattle and rounding them up when it was time forthe herd to go to market.Click here to go back to the factors slide.