Saturday, December 1, 2012

Texas Cattle Drives BEFORE The Chisholm Trail

Long before the Texas cattle trails turned north through Fort Worth, Red River Station and Indian Territory to a railhead in Abilene, Kansas, there was a solid trade in herding cattle from south of San Antonio eastward into Louisiana.  This trade started as ear;y as 1830 long before the Civil War. It continued after 1865 and Harper's Weekly published a fine woodcut image and article in their October 19, 1867 edition.

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It's interesting to note that the cattle shown are not what we think of as traditional Longhorns.  Pictures of the period quite often show cattle of this type.

The short article below, published on the next page of the article gives what I think is an interesting overview of this early trade and it comes from an different point of view, rather than the Texas view.

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In addition to the drives east,  cattle had been driven  up the Shawnee Trail through Waco, Dallas, Preston, into eastern  Indian Territory and on up into southeast Kansas and southwest Missouri.  Shortly after this article was published or maybe at about the same time, the long drives to Abilene began.