The animal that put the "cow" in "cowboy"
From 1866 to 1886, cowboys herded something like 20 million cattle from Texas to railheads in Kansas where they were shipped to Chicago and other points East. Because of your basic "glut," cattle wasn't worth much in Texas after the Civil War since stockmen couldn't get the cows to market due to the conflict. After the Civil War, folks in the north wand the east would pay high prices to get Texas beef. Several hundred miles-long trails like the Chisholm Trail, Great Western Trail, Goodnight-Loving Trail, and others, took a couple of months to get cattle typically from Texas to Kansas. It was tricky business: Not only were there trip hazards--rivers, wild animals, bad weather, cattle rustlers, and occasionally Indians--but there was also an art to getting the cattle to the stockyard without having them lose too much weight on the trail. If they did, the trip was for naught. Cattle drives have become a favorite of western artists through the decades. Look at the images below to decide what the artist wants us to know about a cattle drive.
A Buffalo Bill Center of the West Virtual Exhibit
Curated by: Marg2309