The longhorns are coming!
The cattle drive was a principal feature of America during the 19th century. For example, between the 20 years spanning from 1866 to 1886, some 20 million cattle were driven from ranches in Texas where longhorns could be bought for a dollar or so a head to railheads such as Abilene where the same animals could be sold for nearer forty dollars a head. The rapidly-growing cities of the North such as New York and Chicago needed meat and the South was delighted to supply.
With the southern economy in tatters after the end of the Civil War, the cattle drive was more than a way of life, it was a way of surviving. And it wasn’t just the cowboys whose livelihood depended upon the resilient longhorn cattle; all those who lived and worked in the many ‘cow towns’ which sprang up along the trails were also dependent upon the North’s need for fresh meat.
This website is dedicated to those who were part of that incredible and inspiring era.