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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Roots of Texas

The shaping of the American Cowboy came from the combination of the Spanish Vaqueros and the Anglo Europeans as they settle in the frontier of the new world.  No other undertaking can best illustrate this evolution than having a comprehension of those who settled the lands from Florida to California and no greater fight for land, than that of  Texas.

Trailing cattle to Louisiana and Mississippi is much older than trailing cattle to Kansas. Thousands of Texas longhorns from herds belonging to Spanish missions in South Texas were driven to Louisiana to feed the Spanish Army of Bernardo de Galvez, Governor of Spanish Louisiana.  Commissioned by Spain to mount a campaign against the British and to assist the American Colonist in their fight for independence, the Governor's Army would require enough meat to feed his men.  He would send a dispatch to San Antonio De Bexar which would begin the first recorded trail drive moving herds of cattle out from Texas.

From 1779 to 1781, during the American Revolution, some 10,000 longhorns were trailed across the bayous and through swamps to New Orleans. In the summer of 1779, a herd of 1,000 head, with 20 men from San Antonio hired to drive them, were attacked by Comanche warriors. The Indians killed one drover, wounded two others, and slaughtered some cattle, but the Texicans continued the drive.  This would be the roots of the American Cowboy, from the herds that aided freedom of American colonist supported by Spain, France and Holland against the British.  Though Spain too, would soon loose control of these lands, and Mexico would achieve it's own independence on September 16, 1810 known as Grito de Dolores.

No greater comprehensions understanding the taming of the west and the struggles endured by the cowboys and earlier pioneers can be explained without first mentioning Texas and her history:  These are the roots of Texas, the Cowboy and the trail drives to come.

March 6, 1836  "Remember the Alamo"

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