Cattle, Cowboys, and Beef Barons


"In The late nineteenth century, over 4o,ooo men were employed to herd cattle (hippocampus.org1)". The men herding the cattle were called cowboys and they were usually in their 20s. The cowboys were diverse, their were black, white, Mexican, and Indian cowboys. "Being a cowboy was hard, it involved hard work, low pay and never ending exposure to the elements (hippocampus.org1)". The two main things in a cowboys life were animal and the great outdoors.

Cattle Drive Map

The cattle drive began in 1866, and the first cattle drive was from Texas to Sedalia, Missouri. From the 1860s through the 1880s, Cattle trails covered a great distance of Texas. The trail covered all the way north through Cheyenne, Wyoming. "Herds of 1,000 to 10,000 animals were moved over the huge open ranges of Prairie. Altogether, 4,000,000 head of longhorn cattle were driven north from 1866 to 1888(". The Texas Longhorn are a cattle breed descended from Spanish cattle.

In 1869, a meatpacker named G.H. Hammond created a new era of food production and distribution in the United States. He shipped beef slaughtered in Chicago to Boston in an air-cooled rail car. Before this was invented cattle were loaded onto a railcar and were shipped live to their destinations in the east. Many of the animals died because of this, so that's why Hammond created rail cars the animals can survive in. "Beef Barons” such as Swift and Armour developed an efficient, factory-type meatpacking industry that employed thousands directly and supported other businesses such as feed wholesalers and leather tanners indirectly, thus becoming critically important in their regional economies (".

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