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Westward Expansion: The Location of Cattle Trails, Longhorn
Transcript of Westward Expansion: The Location of Cattle Trails, Longhorn
Longhorn Cattle during Westward Expansion
At the end of the civil war, around 5 million longhorn cattle inhabited Texas. These huge creatures, with up to 8 foot horns, had very tough meat. They were originally hunted for their hides. After the war, the East developed a taste for beef, even if it was wild and tough meat. The transcontinental railroads allowed the beef to be transported. Thus began the great demand for longhorn cattle causing the Long Drive.
Location of Cattle Trails
Cattle trails were used widely in the West for the Long Drive. Cowboys used them to transport their cattle to the railroads where they were planning to sell them.
There were 4 major cattle trails.
How they relate to Westward Expansion/Significance to U.S. History
The cattle trails and the long drive helped lead to westward expansion, which changed the United States forever. The cattle industry was the most successful during Reconstruction, creating ranches all over the Great Plains. The long drive and cattle trails allowed Americans to transport the beef that was in high demand at the time, and allowed Americans and foreigners to settle in new regions. The cultures of all the people that settled there merged to create an entirely new culture for the United States.
7. http://genealogytrails.com/tex/state/cattledrives.html#Chisholm Trail
The Long Drive
The long drive was the journey cowboys made to transport the cattle to the railroads.The cowboys who rode the long drive were usually African Americans, Mexicans, or White civil war veterans. Some dangers of the trail were bad weather, stampedes, floods, and Native Americans attacks. A typical drive was 3,500 head of cattle. This drive would require about 18 cowboys, a cook, and a horse wrangler. The journey took between 25-100 days depending on the conditions. Each person had a specific job on the trail. There was not much time for rest or relaxation. Diaries were rare, but there are a few accounts from a cowboy named George Duffield about his jourey.
May 1st, "Big stampede. Lost 200 head of cattle."
June 19th, "15 Indians came to herd and tried to take some beeves. Would not let them. Had a big muss. One drew his knife and I my revolver. Made them leave but fear they may have gone for others."
After the cowboys returned from the drive, they would drink and gamble because they had been working for so long.
The Chisholm Trail
It was blazed in 1867, and used until 1884
It ran from Texas to Kansas
It ran through present day Oklahoma, which was Native American territory at the time
The trail totaled over 500 miles
The Great Western Cattle Trail
It was also called the Dodge City Trail and the Fort Griffin Trail
It was blazed in 1874, and used until 1893
It ran from South Texas to Ft. Robinson, Nebraska
The Goodnight-Loving Trail
It was blazed in 1866 by Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight, and used until the early 1880s
It started in Texas, ran through New Mexico and Colorado, and ended in Wyoming
It totaled over 700 miles
The Baxter Springs Trail
It was blazed in 1866
It ran from Southern Texas to Kansas, and had a branch to Missouri