The American Cowboy

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The American Cowboy The cowboys of the frontier have long captured the imagination of the American public. Americans, faced with the reality of an increasingly industrialized society, love the image of a man living out in the wilderness fending for himself against the dangers of the unknown. By the year 1900 there were few renegade Indians left in the country and the vast expanse of open land to the west of the Mississippi was rapidly filling with settlers. Cowboys represented a major part of the frontier spirit and Americans were eager to keep the romanticism of the west alive. Throughout the 20th century, western-themed movies and books have been extremely popular. The cowboys of the west, while realistically a minor part of United…show more content…
He joined the Texas Rangers and fought for the Confederacy in the Civil War. Oliver Loving was a Kentuckian who also found his way to Texas during his early life. Loving was an experienced cattle herder who supplied meat to the Confederates during the Civil War although, "the army's ability to consume exceeded the ability to pay and by the war's end, the Confederate States of America owed Loving more than $100,000.00." (Hopkins County) Goodnight and Loving saw each others value in the partnership and realized the potential money to be earned. With Goodnight's Indian fighting skills and Loving's trail experience the two had great success. In 1866 they set out with two thousand cattle from Belknap, Texas to Fort Sumner on what would later be known as the Goodnight-Loving trail. Goodnight and Loving used the trail in 1866 and 1867 but stage lines, emigrants, and drovers made frequent use of the trail until almost 1900. Charles Goodnight ran the Ja Cattle Ranch after his herding days. The ranch was very successful and at one point contained more than 10,000 cattle. Goodnight was a good man who cared about maintaining the beauty and life of the frontier. In 1878 he saved four buffalo calves and by 1916 his 200 buffalo represented one tenth of the total number of buffalo in the United States. Most of the legend surrounding Goodnight and Loving regard the unusual circumstances of Oliver Loving's death. Larry McMurty used an identical

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