The Chisholm Trail
Vintage postcard of a Texas Longhorn
This is Timothy Patrick Miller with Another Texas Story . . .
Although life was hard for the cowboys who rode the Longhorn Trails, an estimated 35,000 men responded to the call of the open range.
From the mid 1860s through the 1880s, they herded more than six million cattle out of Texas along a network of wagon roads and trails - none more traveled than the legendary Chisholm Trail, named for Indian trader Jesse Chisholm. It stretched all the way from South Texas to Abilene, Kansas, where a rail line and stock cars waited to transport beef to hungry markets in the East and West.
So...north they went, traveling 10 to 12 miles a day – a dozen men herding thousands of cattle on a journey that might last three to four months. Years later, historian J. Frank Dobie would write that it was "the most fantastic and fabulous migration of animals controlled by man that the world has ever known."
Today's program is made possible in part by a grant from Humanities Texas - a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and by the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. For Texas Stories, I'm Timothy Patrick Miller.
©2006, KJ Productions and Texas Stories
Program Guide for Today's Show
Handbook of Texas Online, s.v. "CHISHOLM TRAIL,"
Flanagan, Sue., "Trailing the Longhorns, A Century Later." Madrona Press, 1974.
"The Chisholm Trail, Exploring the Folklore and Legacy". Heritage Trails Program brochure. Texas Historical Commission, 2002.
Vintage postcard, circa 1940s. Private collection.
Royalty Free Music Library:
A classroom activity is being developed for this program.