A cowboy of the Pecos by Patrick Dearen

By Patrick Dearen

In the past due Eighteen Eighties, the Pecos River zone of Texas and southern New Mexico was once referred to as "the cowboy's paradise." And the cowboys who labored in and round the river have been often called "the so much specialist cowboys within the world." A Cowboy of the Pecos vividly reveals tells the tale of the Pecos cowboy from the 1st Goodnight-Loving livestock force to the Twenties. those meticulously researched and wonderful tales provide a glimpse right into a forgotten and but mythologized period. comprises archival pictures.

Along a lot of its Texas stretch this day, the Pecos is just a polluted trickle, squeezing via a jungle of salt cedars that choke banks sloughed and overlooked. the fashionable motorist crossing it via bridge is likely to greet it with a yawn than with visceral emotion. yet have been he to learn the heritage buried deep in its banks, he may locate the sweat and blood of cowhands who knew this ghost because the so much ambitious and treacherous river within the West.

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33 Reaching the Pecos after a long dry stretch in 1876, Nathaniel A. "34 Finally, in 1932, the Bureau of Economic Geology concluded what old-time cowhands had known all along. Page 20 Ten times saltier than the sea and highly impregnated with minerals, said Dr. C. L. Baker, the Pecos had the "world's worst" water. 35 Nevertheless, a thirsty cowhand usually had no choice but to dip his hat brim in its currents and cup up a mouthful, or many mouthfuls. And when he did, it often had a powerful effect on his gastrointestinal system.

M. Tunnel, paymaster, Fort Concho, 21 October 1869, in E. D. Judd, paymaster's office, Fifth Military District, to Brevet Colonel H. Clay Wood, assistant adjutant (hereinafter, AA) general, 11 November 1869, letters and telegrams received, Fort Stockton; and San Antonio Daily Express, 25 May 1877. 18. Colonel Nathaniel Alston Taylor, The Coming Empire or Two Thousand Miles in Texas on Horseback (Dallas: Turner Company, reprint, 1936, originally published 1877), 296, 301. 19. I have given these distances in air miles, but elsewhere I have sometimes elected to give distance in trail miles.

Page 24 Chapter Notes The California Cattle Trail 1. By the latter 1850s, the Upper Road pushed upstream on the east side and crossed near the New Mexico line at newly opened Pope's Crossing, rather than at Horsehead. For a study of Horsehead Crossing, see Dearen, Crossing Rio Pecos, 4360; and Patrick Dearen, Castle Gap and the Pecos Frontier (Fort Worth: Texas Christian University Press, 1988), 3561. 2. For a study of Emigrant Crossing, see Dearen, Crossing Rio Pecos, 3142. 3. For a study of Lancaster Crossing, see Dearen, Crossing Rio Pecos, 87107.

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