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tv   Post- Civil War Cattle Trade  CSPAN  May 26, 2021 10:24pm-12:01am EDT

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history tv every weekend on c-span 3. to abilene kansas, up next, kansas state university history professor james sherow talks about his book, the chisholm
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trail, joseph mccoy's great gamble. he chronicles his success and international cattle trading, which sparked the growth of the u.s. beef industry. this is just over 90 minutes. >> good evening everyone, welcome to our latest revenue book chat at the watkins. i'm will hickox, but glib engagement coordinator here at the watkins. i thank you for joining us tonight. i'm starting to sound like a broken record before every event but these days when there are so many options for things to do with their free time and let me, you could see it on your couch every evening. it is very encouraging and exciting for us here at the museum to have a folks coming in for our advance. we really appreciate it. and i know that the staff at the raven bookstore appreciates it as well. so, and now, i will introduce tonight's guest speaker. this university distinguished
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professor in the department of history at kansas state university, he specializes in researching and teaching environmental history, kansas history, north american indian history, and history of the american west. he's written numerous books and articles, including railroad empire across the heartland. we photographing the westward journey if alexander gardner, which is a familiar resource for the staff and volunteers at the watkins. i know we have that book on our shelves and we have used it. the grasslands of the united states and environmental history, another book. tonight, the professor will discuss his latest work, and copies will be available for purchase and signing thanks to our partners at the raven bookstore right here in lawrence kansas. so, without further ado please join me in welcoming our guest. >> thank you, well, that was a
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generous introduction. i appreciate that. thank you for hosting me here at the watkins, i really am honored by this. and also the raven bookstore thank you for hosting as well, this is quite the privilege. so, i will start with the question that came to my mind as i started researching this book because late in the world would anybody want to do a book on the -- trail. it's been in movies and novels and so my approach to this was to take it and ask some different questions then asked before, and do this within an environmental, historical context. so, the main things i was looking at. i wanted to follow joseph mccoy's life. his life really encompasses everything that this trail system was about. so, when i look at his life and the opening of the chisholm
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trail. i'm asking myself, why the trail? why was this important in the first place? and why was the trail down at this particular moment in time? and more importantly, why joseph mccoy? why this particular individual? and what was his legacy? and as i came to an overarching conclusion about what all of this man's, i said it all had to do with one word, connections. so, in the brief two decades that this trail system was in place, you see a really remarkable transformation of the american grasslands. it's an ecological transformation that the trail system, in many ways, made possible. two individuals understood that transformation, for trapper, an
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indian trader, later, he put together wichita. he was involved in the cattle trade. he saw a lot and experienced a lot. the other fellow is colonel john p hatch, a civil war veteran who is a commander at fort sill. and both of these individuals witnessed in these cases the destruction of the bison, that he actually helped create because he was a four trader. but he lamented that later in his life. and as cattle came into play across the gas land -- grasslands replacing bison, he longed for that older grasslands, that older prairie systems of wild animals. throughout his life, he lamented that transformation. which he was a part of in the first place. hatch, the commander at fort sill, was there working with the colonists and he was also
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observing what was happening as a result of the scarce-ness of bison. the grazing of cattle, and the influx of farming. and how that was transforming the ecology of the grasslands around fort still, going from a missed telegraphs system down to a sparse short grass system, covered by brush. what caused that kind of ecological transformation? and hatch is important for another reason as well, he was there in his -- to help the cause, to help the -- to go from bison hunting tool becoming passed or lists. and then eventually, reaching that higher realm of a civilization as he thought about it becoming farmers. and so, these two individuals really saw what was going on. .
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the people who always seem to be on a losing end of this whole grand story where the indian people who occupied at the grasslands prior to the cattle trades. some of these individuals were in part responsible for it and some of them want to be involved in it. beaver, very interesting delaware was involved in the fair trade across the american west, but when he came back to present day oklahoma called the indian territory at the time, he took up ranching. he had a sizable cattle herd himself, he was a wealthy individual. had a sizable farm. a very interesting individual who also did trading. and he went up and down what later became the dyson trail. in many respects, we could call this a black beaver trail as easily as we can call it the chosen trail. the principal chief of the cherokee's, denis bushyhead,
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later on in the 18 eighties, 18 nineties was trying also to control the cattle trade that the cherokee's controlled and what was called the cherokee strip. he wanted to regulate and tax at the cattleman who were grazing their herds on indian land. and he had his own herds. before the civil war, this amazing that the turkeys had their own brand of cattle. and in fact, in indian territory, it was estimated, prior to the civil war collectively, these five nations had over 250,000 cattle. some of the ranchers, indian ranchers had as many as 10,000 in the herds. so, we need to rethink how we think about indian people and the cattle trade. general pleasant porter, a creek, he was a general in the civil war with the confederacy.
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some of the indian peoples did fight with the confederacy and he was one. but after the civil war, he took a branching again and he was very concerned about whose ride it was the control leasing on creek land. the creeks were well known for cattle -- being cattle raiser's. and so, was it going to be the federal government who controlled how they did that leasing, or were indians actually sovereign nations? he said by treaty, we are sovereign nations and we ought to be able to control what we do. but they weren't able to. eventually, all of these individuals who is out, completely. and they are the ones who bore the brunt of this. as well as the landscapes that they once occupied and maintained. when i think about this, then i'm thinking, well how do i
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tell the story? in this visual, joseph mccoy is a good person to follow during this. the story could be told by following his life and what he did. his great gamble on that trail. the legacy of that gamble. and what was this? well, in 1899, he was attending the second annual meeting at the national a lifestyle association and the opera house in denver, colorado these were stockman and we need to understand the distinguished -- document earned how this hurts, a on the land, they were the ones who control the trade from top to bottom. and so, on this grandstanding here, this stage, mccoy is going to be honored and given a lifetime membership for -- in this organization for what
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he meant to developing the border capital trade talk was on the cusp of beginning in the 20th century. when they talked about him, they talked about his work being a mission. now that's an interesting statement to say in the cattle trade, pursuing emission. but it was contemplating the benefits to mankind at large, particularly he wanted to produce enough beef to feed the working class people's of the united states, who before this time were unable to afford it. but they also talked about ecological changes that were coming about as well. to make the wilderness the bloom and blossom has the rose. that's how he was introduced as being a person who did this. and mccoy, when he thought about himself and when he thought about stockman all together, it's interesting to
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note how he framed this. he said, they are the best of fathers. the most ardent of lovers. and that's an interesting comment. affectionate husband's, the best men. now, here is where he goes in a different direction than we think a lot of other people might go. they are gods nobleman. now, he's using that word, nobleman very precisely and stockman thought of themselves as night arrogance. they thought about themselves as being gnome in. they weren't the jeffersonian agrarian farmer. just doing a little patch of 160 acres of wheat. these were men on a grand scale who lived in very large homes. large ranches.
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employed hundreds of individuals. in some cases, maybe had heard, maybe ranging up to 100,000 animals. these were men who thought on a large scale. and in this respect, when they talk about being god's chosen, this doesn't kind of fit into that american ideal of the land owning farmer being the backbone of the republic, does it? these are men have a different cast. and they are pursuing something quite grand as he did. so, where do i want to begin the story? well, where everyone would begin a cattle trail story about particularly texas cattle. he began on the streets of new york city. and this is where i began this
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work. in the post civil war era, new york city was the largest city in the united states. over 1 million people. and there were people coming in constantly. when you consider the south at the end of the civil war, all of its cities were devastated. some of them incomplete ruin. while new york city was growing throughout the entire civil war. and amassing riches. and amassing lots of people. and lots of hungry people. i can't imagine what new york city was like in 1866, but i try to explain it a little bit. not only were there people crowded in the streets, but there were horses and animals constantly running through the streets, and we all know with these animals leave behind. and not only where the streets covered with a mini or, there
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were wild hogs running through the streets of the city as well, as well as domestic hogs shepherded through the various butchers. and then there were wild dogs, as well as domesticated dogs running the streets. there were herds of sheep driven through the streets of the city every day. but more interesting lee, from my perspective, and this came out of leslie's illustrated. there were cattle driven down the streets of new york city every single day. thousands of cattle. it boggles my mind to think about cattle driven up fifth avenue, but that was the case during this time. in this instance, if you look at the island of manhattan and from 40 guy street dowd to battery park doses soon to
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prove the eyelid, that's called the slaughterhouse district. well, there's a reason for that. there were, in this area, around 200 slaughterhouses working daily. taking the animals, doing live slaughtering in that district and throwing the 55% of the animals back into these barrels that the wild hogs would come and eat out of. it must have been an amazing scene altogether. this is wheren?br a large markes were. this is the new jersey shore here. and this is washington market. and so, the quarters of the beef would be portrait and then some of them would be hung on aisles. people at the time, reporters talked about these crimson curtains lining the aisles of the market. those were the quarters of beef hanging there for people to
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come around and buy. now, in 1866 was amazing to me as well, there was an individual walking the streets also setting idle. he was from illinois. his name was william mccoy. he had an office there. and he had two younger brothers back in springfield. joseph and james. and it was going to be their understanding of the new york worked it so is going to drive them into eventually creating as we now know as the chisel trail. see, there were changing tastes in dining at this time. particularly, motivated by restaurants like adele monaco is in new york. one of abraham lincoln's favorite treats when he went to dine at del monaco's was that the mongol monica steak. about a 20 ounce cut of sirloin.
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it still amazes me that lincoln could eat that and still not put on much weight. the dining at del monaco's was amazing. and very elaborate. many courses. but beef was starting to replace other cuts, particularly lamb, but also seafood, as beef became more popular. when mccoy also realized that with all the poor people in the city, that this was also a potential market for cheap meat, if you could get it into that market. these were the stock trains that came into the city on a daily basis. bringing cattle from particularly one state altogether and that was illinois. and that's where most of the cattle, well into the hole
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trail driving years, those 20 years. most of the cattle coming in to new york city was from the state of illinois. very seldom for texas cattle themselves, that drove directly for new york city. this would've been a disastrous thing for anybody involved in the train, financially that is, and i'll explain this interest a little bit. but these were the trends that we're bringing the catalan, like i said on a daily basis, and cattle were coming from all over the place. they were coming from kentucky, ohio, there were coming down from canada. from the province of ontario that's a prided a lot of cattle to the new york markets. and this was because there was no way that the farmers in the state of new york could supply and offer food to feed all of the people, just simply in york city. that's not saying anything else
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about all the other cities that are along the east coast and growing large at the same time. now, if you're wondering how strong those markets are and what prompted the mccoy brothers to think, maybe we could make a good killing in this business, so to speak. and so, if you look at this, i have traced the cattle trade from 1866 through 1884. the blue line here is the cattle that were driven north out of texas. each season. the orange line here is the cattle that was received into new york city. so if you look at this, there is only a couple of years where even all the cattle driven out of texas would have supplied the city of new york. only two years. that's how strong just one cities market was for beef.
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and so, knowing this, if you could just start getting your cattle into that, especially if they are cheap cattle in texas, then you can make a lot of money by the time it gets into this heated market here in new york city. and that's the whole goal. one of the people who realize this very early on was a name men samuel eller ten. and alert and realized a couple of things. one, city streets were really getting messy, no matter where you went in the united states. chicago was a mess for the same reasons that new york city streets were. st. louis had the same problems. and so, allerton, pittsburgh had the same problems. so allerton decided, all put together whether called union stock yards. now he was the first to do this. and the first one was in
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pittsburgh. and whatever union stock yard does, it takes railroad yards, it connects them to stop yards, connect them to the slaughterhouse, can exit all in the same setting with maybe a hotel and business facility for the people who are engaged in the trade. a union stop yard where all of this starts in one state and you take all of that mess out of the city streets. now, that was something people were looking forward to in a big kind of way. a second venture was created in chicago during the stalker which are famous in history for being the meat market, the hog city of the world. in this, he opened in december 25th, 1865. very big gift to the city of chicago. the second one was the -- this is in jersey.
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and so, here is the whole thing being done in jersey and then ferries would take the slaughtered animals and slaughtered meet to the new york sure. so the trains would arrive into the stock yards, into the holding pans and into the slaughterhouse and all the business and hotel were conducted right here. all of this in one great union, where everything is brought together in one setting. so this was a great advance on this. so this started the mccoy brothers thinking, maybe we can put together something like this in kansas and capture the trade from texas. now, john tracey alexander was an individual in illinois, who with the mccoy brothers knew very well. he ran an operation of about
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80,000 acres, where he raised cohen and then over winter, put weight on them and then put them into the new york markets. he was probably the largest operator in all of illinois. and so, when mccoy brothers wanted to do was to channel texas cattle, which were very cheap, because they had nowhere to go during the civil war. and get them to a transportation system and then take them to buyers, like alexander in illinois who would buy them and find them up. so the mccoy brothers were interested in being middleman and this whole system. they weren't interested in being cowboys themselves. they were interested in the buying and the selling of a life stop. as an essence was so alexander. so he kept them for over the winter, get them fat on hey, get them fat on corn. and then get them into that
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newark market. because each extra pound is more money that you make. and so, this is the result and that wonderful thriving metropolis in 1867. all of about two huts. one run by an interesting fellow by the name of josé jones. the kentucky and who prior to prohibition in kansas had a little whiskey shop there in abilene, and there used to be a state route that ran through here. and he would give people a little bit of whiskey to help them get on their way to denver, and he was also known as the mayor of prairie dog town. and that's because he would capture prairie dogs and then sell them to the people on the stagecoach after they had enough to drink, presumably.
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and then off they would go. that was a thriving business before the mccoy brothers got there. and so, the mccoy brothers put together with a call the great western stock yards. now, i don't know about you, but when i think about the stock yards in chicago, i think about the stock yards in new jersey. something is lacking here and the word great. but, you can't see it really well but alexander gardner, who toulouse florida looted 67, what's very well known photographer. great western stock yards. right about there. and i tend to think, given the stature of this individual that that may have been joseph maguire standing up there, taking all this in. so, what motivated him and his
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brothers to put in these tens and thousands of dollars into this operation? well, it was this. eventually, they're going to put a hotel there, as part of the great union stock yards. it's called a jewel drivers cottage. and that's where the businessman came, that's where the main stockman came. not the cowboys and that's where they did their business. they hide a nice billiard yard, and i saloon, made for a very comfortable setup. and so, this is where the cattle were loaded. the one in the world here? well, there's a reason for this i want to get to in just a little bit, but i had to do something to do with texas fever. in 1866, the texas government finally got their act together enough to recover from the civil war to drive cattle into illinois.
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and, what happened when they started doing this is something that happened as early as 1860 in kansas. and this is, whatever the texas cattle got close to any domestic short horns, he was short horton's died. now, think about this if you are a kansas finer and you have a couple of dairy cows and that's basically what you have. maybe you have a calf or maybe you have a poll and this texas goes by and a week later, your heard instead. you are not too thrilled with the presence of texas cattleman. and the eastern part of the state was settled -- and they were tough on these texas cattleman. they killed the herds, if they could. or stampeded them back into indian territory. or they would take and on some occasions, they actually took a drover, attached to a tree and
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whipped it back until it was a bloody bull. and said, don't come this way again. they were very serious. it always kind of tickles me a little bit to see westerns as always these vicious texas cattleman and cowboys who would raise terror with these poor defenseless farmers. it was much the opposite way. and so, mccoy had to find some place out of range where he could drive cattle and not interfere with those farmers, because that was creating havoc. so it was serendipitous that also, you had the building of these railroads across the state. and by 1867, it's reaching to line, and it's building further west so this creates this first link into these eastern markets. and so, the texas cattleman drove up to here, they could do their business in here and then the cattle would be put on to the stop cars and then
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eventually reach illinois, over winter there, put on additional weight and then they would be getting into the eastern coast cities. this all looked very good on paper. and mccoy was more than willing and he and his brothers were more than willing to invest and getting that going. there were other routes to that were very important at this time. there were other markets that were pulling cattle out of texas and into other places as far as savannah. but also london. american cattle were put live on tries atlantic boats to and taken to london because just like new york city, london fired the population fire far exceeded the ability of even english farmers to supply the city.
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eventually, there were changes in technology like this steam ship that had refrigerated holes. and so, now you could even pack more carcasses in this and get them into london then you could shipping live cattle. because obviously, shipping live cattle like this, you're going to have a few problems that are going to be beaten up by the time they get there. and this, it doesn't matter. because they're pack tight and refrigerated holds. and very low loss on the ship that's over. and everybody was pretty happily on stat technology was finally put together. cattle were also taken up the mississippi river. this shows cattle being loaded up to a steamboat, probably at the red river where the red river enters the mississippi that was a popular place for texas cattle meant to drive cattle. and then they would be packed
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so tightly on the step's of these boats that the cattle can move. and that have to stand there for as long as it's dark for the steamboat to get up to kay roe illinois and off-loaded there. joseph mccoy talked about the conditions of the cattle, they were packed so tightly that the crew would throw hay on their backs and the cattle would eat the hay off the backs of other cattle. they would be watered by having a hose and just fed by hose to get the water that they needed. this was a pretty brutal transportation system altogether. but it was -- it shows you the dynamics of the trade. and here is a thing that shaped the trade war than anything else altogether. this take, a lovely little creature, syphilis on your
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lattice. and then it harvard -- harbored a three micron large crewman saw it, a tiny little crater inside the belly of this kick. now this take thrived in the southern regions of the united states, and the southern portions of texas but also and mississippi, louisiana, georgia, florida. and what this tech would do, it latches on to the cattle, it would latch on to dear and horses as well or almost any animal. and it would release this chromosome into the blood street of the cattle. now, in the south, the long horns and the cherokee cattle both developed communities to -- the mothers gave those caps enough immunity where they could survive and they would be touched by this disease.
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but they would survive it and grow into adulthood. this -- when it got into the bloodstream of enamel that wasn't protected by the antibodies that its mother had given it, it would directly attack the red blood cells and just drill through them. and utterly destroy them. this was a pretty gruesome death for any of those animals. now then, in the north, this ticked eyes in the winter. and so, the short ones in the north never had any encounter with this tech. not until the texas cattle were driven up during the summers and then the texas cattle oftentimes, their whole highlands would be covered with the sticks. to the point where sometimes he hides almost look great from being covered with the ticks. while the ticks would drop off, of course all the way up the trio and anytime they got near
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the domestic kurds, the stakes would laugh at trump to the domestic animals. these animals had no immunity. and within a week or two they were dead. this caused havoc throughout the entire industry. and nobody understood, or even figured out how to treat this until 1890. there are about, so well after the cattle trail driving was done, and over in the united states, this tick was an active player in the whole game of those markets. in 1868, so mccoy gets his cattle operation really going in 67. that's the first time cattle are shipped to the east out of his place. so he thinks, man, 68 is going to be even better. well, this is what happened in 68. this fever broke out
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everywhere. all across the east. it broke out in canada because cattle were shipped up through canada. it broke out in new york, it out in new jersey, a broke out in ohio, a broke out in missouri. and short for uncatalogued across the nation were dying. and the governors of the states said, we are embargo in any cattle coming up from texas. and this created chaos through the whole markets. you can imagine what's mccoy thought after investing all this money and now having no place to sell cattle. it was a devastating thing that eventually all of these cattleman decided to have a conference in springfield, illinois where they worked out arrangements were any cattle that were over winter, because they knew for some reason, any cattle to were aware reentered were safe to put with short
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horns. because the ticks would die. but they didn't understand why. they didn't understand why this was happening. and so, any of them that were certified to be over winter could then be put in the markets every the following year. mccoy noted that it was with a nice little bribe, a lot of cattle could get certified for being over winter. but that was the compromise that everybody had to make. all of these delegates from all across the united states and canada met in springfield to try to work out the situation, to keep this cattle business alive. so, that was one aspect of this that i was looking at that had an environmental context, in terms of disease. how climate shaped where the stakes could live. what effects it had on the markets, policies, governors and then consumers. consumers didn't want to eat any of these animals that died from a disease like this.
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and so, all of these things were coming together. it was the connections here that i was looking for and trying to understand. you can see other connections as well. rainfall. not only was a rainfall a dangerous situation for cattleman on the trail, you didn't want to be caught out like this. but oftentimes, you were. and i can't imagine what it was like for the herds to be caught in these rainstorms. and lightning and then they are stampeding and you have to go out there and bring those cattle back into the herd. and it's hailing. if you've been in a hailstorm without any coverage, you know that's not a fun event. and so -- these are the kinds of conditions that these people injured.
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but there were other things that were interesting to me about ten trustees rainstorms. but part of this was, what's where the rainfall amounts during growing seasons? and so, i tracked these down each year. this happens to be the growing season rainfall in 1867. then done and recorded by different army posts across the gas lines. and so the blue line is from fort lays, that's in texas. fort -- is in the southern portion of present day, oklahoma. fort reilly and fort lerner are up in kansas. what happened was interesting to note that here is the fort riley line here. so this is the one that's probably closest. and so, for some reason in that particularly year, you have an
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extraordinary amount of rainfall in september, but also in july, and particularly in june. now, this affects the grass conditions. and it creates something that a lot of cattleman call washing grass. it's grass that this and put on a whole lot of weight on to the cattle. it can eat lots and lots of it, look screen it looks healthy but yet it's not going to produce the kind of beef cattle that fetch a good market price. and so, these kinds of variations in terms of rainfall affect market conditions across the entire united states. once again, the connections, what are they? some of the connections, and i'm sure texas cowboys around the campfire never thought about, i wonder how strong the out years are this way, jake? i don't know, it could be a messy summer for us if they are strong.
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well, el niño, and his blue line, if we look at 1877, this is a particularly very strong el niño. and whatever nina's produced across the grasslands as a higher rate of rainfall. and so, in 1877, if you look at this fort riley, you have a very high rainfall. and so, the cattle trade business is connected to more than just simply the markets in new york city. it's connected to what's happening with pacific currents that are driven by changes and solar radiation. i don't know that cowboys thought about that kind of connection to what was happening to them on the trails. but to me, this was fascinating to chart out overtime. i looked at latinos, those years where if you had a strong one, then rainfall dips.
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and what you can see oftentimes where these orange lines, you can see a dip in the rainfall. so, all of these connections, four out of sight are affecting what happens to the cattle trade. the most interesting thing is over wintry. something that's not been given a whole lot of attention to as far as i'm concerned. if you think about over wintry, remember if the cattle were certified as over wintry, then they could go freely into the eastern markets. so if you drive your cattle up too and -- what's the thing to do? take them out onto the mixed grass prairies, and then set up a nice operation and then by springtime, they are ready to go, you feed him quickly on the emerging grass and get them
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into the markets as soon as they put on a little bit of weight. you are, they're even before it dries from texas get up to this point. how does over wintry work? i must have been at the experience for cowboys, because they got to live in a dog out, easily by a live stream. you have to be by water all the time for cattle. and there has to be living water. it can be frozen up or cattle are going to die from dehydration. and cowboys also got to spend their spare time putting up a few times of hay for each cattle that they were milling out here on the prairies. and remember, the grass is so dormant. so each day that they craze off that grass, that hurt has to go a little further out. and then they have to bring it out to the water. and so, obviously, living in a dark out through the winter in kansas, i mean, think about
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this winter. how many of you would like to spend a cozy winter in a dugout right by the creek? it would not have been very pleasant, i think. well, this particular winter was really bad. the markets were really full and the east coast. so a lot of stockman said, will trust over winter, but they have to go further west, because in this particular year, in the fall of 1871, the prairies were burned off and so the only place where they had grass was on the shorter grass farther out, like around hays. so they take the cat or -- cattle out there and november is looking not too bad. this is freezing. and these temperatures are dry from army posts surgeons. they have fort lauren hurd and
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fort reilly and fortes. and the surgeons took the readings three times, in the morning, in the afternoon and the early evening. and so, that's what this graphic shows. it's those combined readings through the month of november. well, i think any of you can see what happens here by about the 17th. the highs on the day, one, two, three. only three days to do the highs get above freezing. now, if you are windows cowboys, stuck with the heard somewhere around hays, between -- you are starting to get a little anxious about how this winter is starting to turn out. this is december. it doesn't get much better. and at the line across here, once again freezing. and christmas wasn't worth
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celebrating much because of the high on christmas day in fort riley got up to about five degrees below zero. now, during that particular winter. this was accompanied by high winds and snow. so not only freezing temperatures. a kind of makes me think that last february was pretty mild. and then this was january. and it just doesn't get much better. but the time spring came, the texas cattleman who had hertz out there, they had lost anywhere from 70 to 90% of their herds. about the only thing that they were able to harvest where the hides. the newspaper accounts here in lawrence record shipments of just cars filled with cattle hides, going back to the
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tanneries. that was all that was left that the catalan could salvage out of this particular winter. so once again, what are the connections between texas, crowed is a law, winter. these are the kinds of things that i was trying to figure out and how that affected markets. geography also affected all of this. the way that cattle were being driven. they were oftentimes driven on the trails and this is the other connection. they have to be driven up a place where you have grass and this territorial survey map, there is no indication of trees. this isn't southern campuses. there are life creeks on either side, so you're on a rich here. so you can see what is coming at you from either side. you are always close the water. and you're always close to grass. that is the key component in making that work. but the thing that's going to finally disturb all of this is
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getting back to that jeffersonian ideal of the agrarian republic. and topping up the land into sections, quarter sections and so forth. this is a federal survey outfit and present day side which counted. cutting the land up into neat little squares. this is something that would put an end to texas cattle driving because the two systems could not coexist. once this is put into squares, and that becomes my property, and i'm growing wheat on it, instead of having this in the short grass or the mix grass that you see here, then i don't want texas cattle coming up through it. and so, this represents that transformation from this grassland system that you see here to a full fledged address agricultural system in the
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ecological change is that a company that. when you look at this from photographs from 1867, this is a gardener photograph that john charlton, who lives here in town was the former photographer for the kansas geological survey. and he studied these photos from alexander gardner that were taken in 1867 and this is just a little bit to the west of hays, kansas. and you can see the sparse short grass prairie, kind of on the sides of the hill here. no trees. and here, you see prairie grass, you see cropland's, trees, streets, elevators, homes, a completely different landscape is in place here by 2000. so what's the cattle train did, it kind of created a pathway
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for this to come into play, replacing this. and that's one of the connections i look at. how did that transformation occur? and what were the ecological forces that made this possible? so basically, you can have different kinds of ecosystems in the same place. think about this as a wild grassland system. and this one being a domesticated grassland system. that's what we'd is. it's grass. that's what corn is, it's grass. that's what alfalfa is, it's the grass. it's just not buffalo grass. so they both thrived here. they both do okay there. most of the time. but you have two different -- two very distinct ecosystems occupying the same space. so this is the importance of the cattle trades, is that it
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made this transformation possible. when i look at how mccoy was lionized on his death and -- in 1915, an october 1915 marshall murdoch, the wichita ego had this to say that mccoy grazed into the mirage of the plains with a soft and creamy i have a poet. the pace was long ago, but joseph mccoy went on dreaming of them and of their tomorrow. what was that dream? well, marshall murdoch said it was prairies full of glistening city, crisscrossing it in the giant highways hitting it with teaming millions. so, when we think about what to you should think about the legacy of mccoy, how much did murdoch get right? obviously, what we have here is
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an equal logical as -- part of the cattle. trade and industrial transformation of the cattle trade, the stock yards, refrigeration, creation of get cattle into this market. indian peoples hunting cultures and the roles and the cattle trade were completely destroyed. they never had a place in it. by 1890, they lost control of authority -- maintain their own herds and had a habit of going on to the reservations and stealing cattle from the cheyenne's and
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going back home again. in the army, oftentimes its charged with going back and getting these cattle never fun experience for them because think about lot of them were former confederates and the soldiers were stationed at fort sale in other places. former union veterans they were. to complicate matters -- the seventh cavalry was put into play where the buffalo soldier, is american cavalry were. always it created a rather rough time when they met with former confederates. and so, indian peoples didn't have a lot of resources to combat that. and they were unable to protect their cattle trade. the cherokee's, creeks, the
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eventually lost their ability to control leases. not only that, they had other land sold off. and that's completely destroyed their ability to even do ranching. on a large scale. then the rise of western mythology, mccoy gave us stockman. we are often think of him giving the myth of the cowboy. nadine have much time with cowboys. they were the workers. when newspapers talk about cowboys early on in the candle trade business, the new york times tribune referred to them as herders and cowboys. that was the place of the cowboys at the end of the trade. the real people wear the stockman.
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and mccoy gave us the minutes of the stock went and that hasn't mystified into popular cold sure, it's been the myth of the cowboy. which is sort of an irony that mccoy, giving us the myth of the stockman was not able to tap down in the midst of the cowboy. but, these are some of the things, some of the major things i have come to understand about the trade that opened my eyes to see it in a different way. looking at connections that made it more work and in some cases did not. thank you for your time. i would be happy to take any questions you have now. [applause] so, does anyone have
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a question? yes? >> professor cher, i think about how americans bodies in particular have changed in the 20th and 21st centuries because of our diets, quite drastically. it sounds like beef became a staple in the american diet after the civil war thanks to people like mccoy. have you uncovered any indicators or evidence that american culture or american's health and way of life changed in that time period because of beef consumption? >> excellent question. yes it did. the texas cattle coming up always fetched the word crisis. the short home supreme in -- raced in canada, kentucky, or ohio. mccoy understood this. so did texas cattleman. and then to get into some of
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the other markets in new york city there were they fulton market, catherine market, where people living in the tended markets went to buy their food. so a great meal for them was when they could afford to buy beef. beef became more prominent in their giants, especially after advances in creating the slaughterhouses like allerton did. they were able to mass produce more beef than ever before by like 200 butcher shops that one time populated this slaughterhouse district of manhattan. so yes, the poor working class people started being able to buy beef on a more regular basis. the cuts were cheaper though. texas longhorn beef was never sold or served in the monaco
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restaurant. that never would've happened. it never had the fat, marbling, or anything. longhorn, at best, they sailed them and weighed over 900 pounds. it was a pretty small animal. so the cats were also leaner. even though the illinois stock market tried to put more fat and weight on the cattle before putting them into the eastern markets. yes sir? >> the train to abilene if i'm correct was 1857 to 1891 correct? >> where 1872. >> we're most of those herds -- or, what part of those herds were over when turned landed that -- we think of the drivers being
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one where they went straight through and said era. >> they were over winter dan illinois. that's because you have better grass conditions, corn, and the idea was to get them to transfer into a spot like abilene. get them into a rail cars. get them into illinois as quickly as possible. that's where those people like alexander were so important in this trade because, they kind of bundled everything and hopefully into new york markets. the over winter-ing was done there. not along the trail. if the markets became flooded, one who took their herds of blasts, for you that could be short selling margins as a
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cattle or. herds were over winter between so liner and haze. once the rail heads were shifted to places like wichita, they were over win turned around great ben, today. so there weren't places in kansas of where they were over when interred. yeah. >> i have two questions. one was where the trail was. are there verified maps of where the trail went through kansas and where would we find them and how wide was it? it wasn't like 50 feet. i mean -- was it two miles wide? obviously the cows varied on the path. >> great question. there were surveys done of the trail, and these surveys are
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housed in the kansas historical society. when the earlier issues of the kansas historical correlates in chose the completely out of the trail through kansas. in oklahoma and the historical archives there, also have a very similar map of the trail. there is a lot of questions about where the trail ran. let me see. there i am on the trail. [laughs] don vaguely and i went out chasing to spot something on the trail not long ago. the trail itself to never and land in a narrow ribbon because, in the first place, you had to
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be grazing cattle. if you're one of the first herds going up, you can keep two and narrow route. if you are in the second and third, you have to go a little farther out when you get to the grazing grounds. and sometimes that can be miles and miles apart or you may take a little short cuts to the main trail because you always have to be close to water. you always have to be close to grass as well. those are two conditions that you can never wavered from the herds are usually watered at least twice a day, three times a day really. in the morning, if you get them up and going, and in the afternoon at some point take a break, and then in the evening. and so, that was a very serious consideration. if the grazing grounds around the water source or grazed off,
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then the cattle had to go far out the grays and pretty soon you're in a losing situation because the grays is far out and they lose the way they may have gained from coming back to water. getting out the trail earlier finding those side pass to get up those can be many miles apart sometimes. my second question was about the lay of the land in the city. i recently discovered a had a relative who owned a tavern on -- square. is that close to the washington market? >> it's north of it as i understand. that was one of the favorite spots for where -- >> they can go into those discussions, whatever. >> yes a lot that drove people there. >> okay, thanks. >> two questions also.
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did the trail exist prior to this period for any reasonable commerce? and secondly, the name chisel trial where did that come from? >> there are people who have written scores about -- i will start with the last one form. where the name chisholm came from. i think most of us agree it had to do with jesse chisholm. prior to the civil war, they would trade routes radiating all throughout the grasslands. indian people knew them. and they knew them very well. you had to be able to find water we and that's how people got around. think of the grass and i discussed it in my book as stored so solar energy and that feeds the animals. just likes toward solar energy in the form of petroleum powers our cars. it's just a different form. that's the key to making it
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work, solar energy. so, you've got to have that. and so, that was very important. i think i drifted off. and your question again? >> the name chisholm. >> oh yeah. so this people knew this route. they knew a route from the trading post that they would go to many times around where the kansas reserve -- remains the larger one. this was a trading area. people knew this area. to go from there to the red river self, or any of the reverse through the indian territory, there were certain routes that people took. glad weaver knew this beginning of the silver war union officers were vacating their post very quickly. they needed -- they cannot go south, they couldn't go east.
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into arkansas, that was a silly move. too far to go to california and what they wanted to do was get back to the north so the black beaver took them 1861 and later would be come the chisholm trail known as the tourism jail. it was already well-known realm to many people. so black beaver lead a union army officers and their families to this trading post area around where wichita is today. they went a little further north, caught the santa fe trail and then got themselves into kansas city and beyond. and then when black beaver came back to his ranch, and it up and destroyed by texas confederates. so he lost everything and then had to move back. chisholm was operating his operation in present day indian
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territory and he was part cherokee, part scottish. and so he also at that time moved his trading operations up to the same spot where wichita is today. and after the civil war, then he was -- present day el reno, and there's a trading post there. that's where he was working also with meat, who was in the town of present a to wanda. so these people all knew each other. and worked on the trade with each other and radiating out of kansas city in the santa fe trail, that was the connection to the east. and so, they knew this route. and jesse chisholm was following that same route in downtown reno where he died early on. so, for sometime the trail in
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kansas when mccoy created it from present a wichita to present a abilene, sometimes that portion of the trail was called mccoy's trail. was an even called chisholm trail. and then there was the coils trailer not and eventually, the whole trail system landed on the name chisholm trail. and probably because of the death of jesse. just as easily can be called black beavers trail. any other questions? yes ma'am. >> when you refer to the cowboy, what exactly do you mean by that? there were many camp how boys, there were different characters? >> there were characters. a lot of the cowboys that mccoy
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talks about where former confederates, they were young men. when he talked about them coming into a blame he said they were still wearing their gray shirts from their time being in the confederacy. >> the reason i ask that is that my great, great grandfather, his story was that he was a drover. on the tracing trail. and have a horsehair bridal that was made by him around campfires. that was my great grandmother story. >> right. and drivers were a little bit different than cowboys. they were oftentimes controlling or managing the herds. cowboys worked for drover's. he was probably a cowboy than. maybe he wanted to be a do-over. >> no, i think he left misery, went down into the civil war area and then over into texas. >> there were a lot of young men, primarily young men.
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if you were leading the herd or the drover, you were a well respected individual. because you were in charge of maintaining a heard that was put together by, who knows how many other ranchers. and so, when their herds were put together, each rancher had its own brand, right? and then when they heard that was going to be driven north was a culmination of all these different guards, so they were given a trail brand. so there were two brands on the cattle. when identifying the owner, and when identifying that the hurt that was driven north. and then this way, there were times when stampedes and other things that the cattle would get almost up from the different currents and cowboys had the tasks of supporting those herds out and getting back on the trail. so there were lots of different herds commingled in the same
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one. and the drivers were responsible for maintaining that order. that's a lot. that's a lot of responsibility. >> one cattle were being driven up by the trail, they were going through native american territory. can you talk a little bit about the interactions between the cowboys, the drivers and the native people? >> okay. native peoples, they weren't stupid about what was happening to them. they understood, it was akin to owning a lot of filling stations at the interstate and nobody paying for the gas. they had the filling stations. it was called the grass. and they wanted the grass for their own horses, they wanted the grass for -- the animals that they hunted. and so, if you are going to drive the hurts, then they want tools. they want tolls paid. some of their tribes demanded
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money per head. and others, which is -- would say i would like this, one this one, this one, we're going to have a barbecue. and a good texas cattleman would say, fine, i don't know about those but here is this one. i'm sorry, it has a broken leg and then there's this. one and this one and so, they would make these arrangements. sometimes it went so well, sometimes it didn't. and we get a misconception about this. sometimes the interactions, one of my favorite stories is about -- thursday's one heard being driven north. it is crossing one of the rivers in indian territory. i think it may have been the wichita. and as the command she's come on the scene, and as the committees come on the scene,
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they decide, will help you drive the heard across the river. it's swollen and you guys are having some trouble so will help you do this. and so they knew they were kind of getting a couple of beeps out of the whole thing. so they help these cattleman drive the heard across the river. so then they thought, well, we still haven't stopped having fun, i don't know how much front there is about driving cattle across the river. but they had some fun at it, apparently. and so, it was a game of rope at the speeding warrior. so a command she -- considers in front of the texas cattleman who had a lasso and the idea was to rope the brave off of his horse. now, no command she in his right mind thought he was going to get roped. but one unfortunate fellow, maybe he was on a slow horse but anyway he got roped off his horse and fell flat on his back
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and so, the texans were going on my god we are in trouble now. what's going to happen to us, we roped this guy off, he doesn't look very good. so they all raced to him and the rope was tied around his chest and they cut the rope and then slowly the brave comes back to life and sets up and i think everybody cheered and then his own command trey colbert who was with him just broke out and laughter. they thought it was the funniest thing they'd ever seen. and i don't know what the gun got ripped off the horse thought but and how we got along with everybody after that. but the texans were very happy to get back on the trail again after having this little bit of
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sport with command cheese. so, there were all these kinds of stories and when indian peoples were treated fairly, things went smoothly. when they weren't treated fairly, things went poorly. and there were probably too many stories of things going poorly then things going well. . he >> three questions and one. what was the average size of the herd on the drive? how many cowboys did that require? and how many days did it take? >> okay. all those were variables. the herds could be small as several hundred to a herd size of several thousand. and so, then it varies about how many crew people you need to do a heard that size. if you had a heard of a couple of thousand, probably need a
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few people on the site, maybe two or three and then there was always somebody who had the front job of eating dust in the back and then there was always the person who had to go front, scout out the grasses, scout out the water sources. they knew where they were primarily but where where the places that were most advantageous. and so, that had to be done. and then there was the armada in the back, a few miles back. and so, the horses were changed out every day. and so, you had to have a hard herd of horses in the back and so i took a few cowboys to also do that. and then you also had the wagon with all of the supplies later becoming a chuck wagon. so these were pretty large operations. and the average wage was probably about 15 dollars a month for the cattleman, for the cowboys.
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the driver took a cut of the proceeds. and then, the idea was to bring your money back in, distributed to the ranchers back in texas. the driving conditions were take, you can get up in a couple of months. if they were poor, you run into poor gracing conditions or rainfall storms, stampedes, it could take a lot of longer. and some of the stories of the stampedes are just incredible. on one occasion, the cattle were thirsty and the drover's, when they throw hands got to this one watery whole, there was no water. and so they had to go to the next one. and then there was an indian camp and the cattle, they smell the water, they could sense it. and they broke into a stampede and ran right through that
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village and so, all the indian horses and everything we're just all scattered and the lodges were all run over. the cattle were just going everywhere. you can imagine what kind of mayhem that was. so you didn't want to encounter troubles alike that. >> one more question. if somebody died along the trail, where they paid and how did they get back to texas? >> i don't know that they got back to texas. and you know, i don't know how the eying worked. i -- probably the drivers knew who the family was. maybe some of those guys didn't even have families. so, i don't know. maybe the true over that point said, well, it save me some money. i mean, it was kind of --
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there wasn't much foolishness or tolerance on those trail drives. and our mentality. because it was heard, grueling work, every single day. which is interesting to, one thing that i note about this, if you are caught drinking while driving or being on the trail, you were fired immediately. there was no tolerance for a drunk cowboy on the trail. because they would cause more troubled and they were worth. and so, no matter where they were, they were sipping. and that could be a very dangerous situation when you were just a lone individual and the middle of indian territory and they say, good luck buddy. yeah. >> how do even know what happened? did the cowboys sit there at night and ready journal? how do we know this? >> people like mccoy did.
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mccoy wrote about his experiences and the cowboy trade. but in the 1920s, and with the passing of a great many of these cowboys, there was a group of individuals in texas who put together interviews of all the cowboys who had gone up the trail. and this has been published. it's called the trail drivers of texas. and those stories are fascinating. and you have to be careful about reading them, because you are reading peoples memories. the things that happened, 20, 30 years earlier. in some cases, a 40. and so, occasionally, you detect some embellishments. and some of these stories check out very well. in terms of, you can cross reference when they say well, we were driving this one herd up through indian territory and
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we had all this trouble with a northerner. in other words, storm coming out of the north. and so, i can look at the post records and say, okay, they said they were here on this day, what was happening at the post and the post surgeon notes and then all at once, they correlate. so you know that story is accurate. or maybe, the one about the drivers who came up to abilene in 68, they couldn't sell their animals. so, they sent most of the crew back to texas, and kept the herd out. mccoy said, why don't you help me catch some bison? i will advertised abilene by advertising bison. when the cities of st. louis, chicago, they got them to the
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bronx zoo. it's an early form of a wild west show. they were going to go into these stadiums and rope antelope, bison, and things they had captured and show them what the wild west was about. this was 1868. they didn't -- in chicago. the chicago papers reported what happened, it was a debacle. the bison already were pretty crippled up by the time they got there. and the cowboys were pretty rough on the bison in this stadium and newspapers reported on the viciousness of them all. the next two nights showings were canceled. mccoy didn't do so well with that. so, those are just interesting side things that happened with what you are talking about here.
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>> is there an estimate on how many kids traverse the trail during the activity? and when did chicago become the slaughterhouse of the world? you talk about the cattle going exactly to new jersey. was chicago -- chicago developing at that time and did they refer -- depend on redford ration cars? >> i don't have a good firm answer for you on your first question. i don't know exactly how many individuals went up and down the trail. it would just be a wild guess on my part. and to your second question, chicago really starts dominating homes,
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slaughterhouse, doctorate by 1900 there were not a lot of firms prior to this. they were in omaha, lamar california. refrigeration helped. no question. the consolidating of the slaughterhouse and shipping, and the stock yards, altogether that led those chicago people to really come to dominate it. then when you get the stories like sinclair, is the gentleman, about the conditions and working in the slaughterhouses of chicago. chicago came to dominate by 1900 through a series of ruthless consolidation. so eventually, those stock yard facilities like the ones in new jersey, they were clothes down from the ones in pittsburgh. in the eastern cities, they get closed down. we see that happening across
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kansas over the last 50 years as well. no stock yards in wichita anymore, or in kansas city. the slaughter houses are now all move to the western portion of the state. so you see this kind of shifting occurring even during this time period just in a little different manner given the technology at the time. [applause] i want to thank you all. you've been an attentive audience. excellent questions. thank you for coming out tonight. >> thank you. [noise] >> thursday, a house committee hearing on the practices and policies of the nation's largest banks.
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live coverage begins at 2 pm eastern on c-span 3, online at, or listen live on the preseason band radio app. >> weeknights this month, we are featuring american history tv programs as a preview of what's available this weekend on c-span 3. thursday night, american history tv's lectures in history series takes viewers into college classrooms across the country. in this program, baylor university professor taylor kid lectures about the first grade him wakening in the americas. appeared in the mid 18 century of -- that swept through the colonies. the salem witch trials led to traveling preachers and an emphasis on evangelism. watch 8 pm on thursday eastern and enjoy american history tv on c-span 3. >> now author air j dole and
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discusses the american for trade beginning in the 1800s. his book is for fortune and empire. the epic history of the free trade in america. he spoke at the university bookstore in seattle on july 28th, 2010. >> i remember very clearly, the moment in which the idea for this book came to me. it was back in the spring of 2007. i was reading a book called the founding of new england, which was written in 1921 by james trust solo adams. in it, he had a sentence that arrested my antigen. he said, the bible in the beaver where the two main stays of the plymouth colony during its early years. i knew what he meant about the bible of course because they were religious separatists in the state from europe and they came through from the new world and i had no idea why he threw beaver into the mix though. that got me curious. i started reading, i quickly
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discovered that for the better part of a decade, the main source of income for the pilgrims was trading beaver pelts with the local indians and selling those pelts in london. that got me wondering even more wet else i didn't know about the american free trade and it turned out to be quite a lot. i went down to my local library, i started reading books about the first trade. i quickly realized that there was a fascinating history there that could be used to tell an equally fascinating story about american history using the for a trade as a narrative backbone to sort of talk about how america was transformed into a trends continental nation. one of the things i learned now that i have written the book and can reflect, i'm absolutely convinced that if you do not understand the basics of the history of the four train in america, you cannot really understand american history. it had that big win impact. what i will do now, is give you
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a whirlwind tore through for fortune and empire. the roots of the free trade go back to prehistoric times when humans war first to protect them from the elements. during the medieval era, a normal man and cone -- word for protection. they wore it particularly for fashion purposes as well. by the late 15 hundreds, however, the enormous demand for furs in europe had stripped the continent of beaver. fortunately for the europeans, another source of beaver appeared across the atlantic and america. the first to witness the four wealth of the new world where the explorers and fishermen who came in the 15 hundreds. in between fishing in exploring, they traded for pelted with local indians. by the end of the 15 hundreds, the french had established the first for trading colonies in what now is modern-day canada. then in 16 oh nine, this man
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shown here, an employee of the doubt, she sailed up a river that would later bear his name. there he found plenty of indians with pell to trade. when that information reached haaland after his voyage, merchants their got very excited. they established the new colony called new netherlands. the heart of rich was new amsterdam and, which we know s manhattan in the city of new york. in all the first the -- judge wanted to trade for in america, none was better than the beaver, who's plush under four for was useful and making burger -- beaver hats. during the 16 twenties, thirties, and forties, the dutch traded up and down the east coast with iroquois, -- and east nations. they were not the only ones who were in the world -- new world looking for pelts. they also had pilgrims of -- and of massachusetts ben.
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and the front of canada. almost surprising to me, the swedes, who had established a colony along the delaware river in the 1930s. i never knew there was a swedish colony, it lasted for about 20 years. it was founded primarily as a for trade outpost. in exchange for, the europeans gave the indians a variety of goods, including cloth, kettles, beads, one pump, guns, and alcohol. the latter of which had a devastating impact on indian culture throughout the entire force of the free trade. they're all competing for first in the new world, that's not surprising than that they came to blows the first to strike was peter strides -- the governor of new netherlands known as old peg leg. cannon blew off the old part of his leg and he had a stub with silver bands around it. he wasn't somebody who put up
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with fools lightly. his first assault, it was on uyghur to the south in the delaware river. they were led by an enormous man, johansson print he way more than 400 pounds. the indians dubbed him big belly. knew sweden was only a small colony, if you within 1200 individuals. the reason it was a thorn in peter side was because they were taking first that the dutch thought where there's. peter invited his time for a number of years and in 15 55 he said to many on lana down to the delaware weaver and he outside the sweet and sent them back. he would've liked to deal with the new england years of the north away he dealt with the swedes. but there was a mighty assemblage of colonies whose population dwarfed that of the dutch. so we used diplomacy and threats to stave off the english with only limited
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success. the english started expanding in population and they swept into the connecticut river valley and hints of law new england putting the squeeze on the dutch then in 16 60 for the british and english oppose the dutch the set for warships over and transformed new netherlands into new york as the english expanded their domain they ran into the french at a flash point between the two empires which was always the for trade in this map 1720 and it shows why the two empires were on a collision course if you look at the green areas those were playing by the english. the green area up in the center of the back is that land around hudson's bay which was also done by the english. the french claim the pink in yellow areas. at the frontiers where they met, the most violence ensued. the boiling point was reached
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in 1754, one dispute over the ohio valley, and especially the firm riches of the ohio valley, sparked the french and indian war, which is also known as the seven years'war. the colonies backed by the mother country, rallied to drive the french from the continent. the big question now is, what would the british do with the lens they had conquered. this cartoon, it is actually the first political cartoon ever made in america by benjamin franklin. it's used to rally the colonies to act together and defeat the french and the indians. >> many americans look forward to expanding the for trade after the french and indian war and some expansion did occur. the american for trade remain relatively insignificant up till the mid-17 centuries because the british wanted to protect the indians and give for traders who are operating out of quebec and montreal the upper hand. so the basically kept the americans out of these new
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lands that the americans had shed their own blood to achieve. and that really created a lot of resentment in the part of the americans, and it resent out fueled the american revolution along with a lot of other things the british did to us that we didn't like. this engraving, does anybody know what this is? >> the boston massacre? >> yes, by paul revere. amazing. they called it the bloody master at the time. it became more universally known as a boston massacre. vanquishing the british didn't mean the american such as benjamin franklin shown here in his favor martin her for had, would have free rein over the for trade. in fact, out sting the british didn't lead to the revitalization of the american for trade at all. the british maintain control of all the fur trading posts around the great lakes, and throughout along the mississippi and the ohio valley. and it kept the americans out. during the late 1700s and early 1800s, there was one bright spot for the american for trade,
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and it was along the pacific northwest coast, where the sea otters swam in blue green waters. in 1778, british captain james koch visited the pacific northwest coast.


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