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Cowboys. By: Shayla Simpson, Derek Ashby, Tiffanie Collins, and Sierra Salazar. Vaqueros and cowboys. American settlers had never managed large herds. They learned from their Mexican neighbors how to round up, rope, brand, and care for animals.

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cowboys

Cowboys.

By: Shayla Simpson, Derek Ashby, Tiffanie Collins, and Sierra Salazar.

vaqueros and cowboys
Vaqueros and cowboys.
  • American settlers had never managed large herds. They learned from their Mexican neighbors how to round up, rope, brand, and care for animals.
  • The cowboy’s clothes, food, and vocabulary was influenced by the Mexican vaquero.
  • Cowboys were not in great demand until the railroads reached the Great Plains.
  • During the gold rush in 1849, some cattlemen went on a trek through Apache territory and across the desert to collect $25 to $125 a head for their cattle.
growing demand for beef
Growing demand for beef.
  • After the Civil War, the demand for beef skyrocketed, due to rapidly growing cities.
  • From Sedalia, Texas ranchers could ship their cattle to Chicago and markets throughout the East.
  • This is why the cowboys had jobs and were able to make a living.
  • They found out that the route to Sedalia presented several obstacles, like thunderstorms, and rain-swollen rivers.
the cow town
The cow town.
  • The next year, cattlemen found a more convenient route.
  • Illinois cattle dealer Joseph McCoy had plans to create a shipping yard where the trails and lines came together.
  • McCoy helped survey the Chisholm Trail.
  • This became the major route from San Antonio, Texas, through Oklahoma to Kansas.
  • 35,000 cattle were shipped during the first year.
  • It doubled to 75,000 the next year.
a day s work
A day’s work.
  • Cowboys worked 10 to 14 hours a day on a ranch and 14 or more on the trail.
  • Twenty-five percent were African American, and at least twelve percent were Mexican.
  • The real-life cowboy was doing work nonstop.
  • Some cowboys were as young as 15 years old.
  • Their horses usually belonged to their boss.
roundup
Roundup.
  • The cowboy’s season began with a spring roundup.
  • They herded all the longhorns they could find on the open range into large corrals.
  • They starved the cattle until they preferred grazing to running away.
  • After the herd was gathered and branded, the trail boss chose a crew for the long drive.
the long drive
The long drive.
  • This often lasted about three months.
  • A drive consisted of one cowboy for every three-hundred head of cattle, a cook who also drove the wagon, and a wrangler.
  • A trail boss earned $100 or more a month for supervising the drive and negotiating with settlers and Native Americans.
  • They slept on the ground and bathed in the rivers.
  • Thunder, or even a sneeze, could cause a stampede.