Cartographer Flint Cooper developed this map reproduction from original Jack Potter’s 1935 original map and added important details about the cattle trails and drives. The border of the map is lined with old authentic Texas cattle brands.
Origin of Cattle Trails
The first cattle were brought to America by the Spanish. The Texas (then Mexican) plains were ideal grazing grounds as there was unlimited grazing and the climate was mild. Texans had all the cattle.
Prior to the Civil War, Texans drove their cattle to points on the Mississippi River and to Gulf ports for shipment to other markets. During the Civil War the Union armies successfully blockaded Texas ports in order to keep Texas meat from the Confederate army. Also there was nobody in Texas to herd or drive the cattle, the men were at war, and the herds ran wild. When the war ended there were within the borders of Texas between three and four million head of cattle.
After the war ended, there was great demand up East and Middle West for cattle, the cattle were worth ten times that than in Texas. However, the difficulties in reaching the northern buyer were great. Hundreds of miles of unknown Indian country had to be traversed, with no assurance of arriving at the journey’s end. But the Texas ranchers were determined to get their cattle to the north and to railroad depots.
Legend Heads of Cattle Route
The Eastern Trail – four million – intersected the Chisholm trail in Indian territory
The Chisholm Trail – Anadarko, in Indian Territory were it intersected The Eastern Trail to Abilene Kansas
The Western Trail – five million - via Dodge City, Kansas, This route is also the Lonesome Dove trail in the Larry McMurty TV miniseries.
The Goodnight and Loving Trail -quarter of a million – Pecos to Fort Sumner and a second trail to Pueblo Colorado
The Jim Stinson Trail – twenty thousand – central Texas to Estancia Valley New Mexico
The Potter-Bacon Cut-Off Trail – ten thousand – Albany Texas to Carizzo Springs Colorado were it intersected Goodnight and Loving Trail
The National Trail -ten thousand – Woodward in Indian Territory to Ogalala & Red Cloud Agency in Nebraska
The Chuck Wagon
In 1886 Rancher Charles Goodnight invented the chuck wagon in the Texas Panhandle. He bought an Army surplus wagon and added a food box and fold-down table on the back. The cowboys got their food on cattle drives from Texas to the north with this mobile kitchen.
Map measures 18” x 24”. Ships rolled in sturdy tube via USPS with tracking.
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