Texas Cattle Drive

By: Claye Sullivan

Main Purpose

Getting cattle to the market in the late 17th century and early 18th century.

How the cowboys got around or the Easterners

Cowboys~ Horse

Easterners~ Afoot and aicded by shepherd dogs

Spanish Settlers

Brought the first cattle to Texas in the early 1600s. In the 1730s ranchers started raising cattle for food. Spanish ranchers started ranching too.

Late 1700s

People raised cattle for profit not just for food. Ranching spread to southern Texas. This happened because the Spanish government gave land grants to the ranchers, and Spain got possession to the state of Louisiana.

Anglo Americans

Came in the 1820s and 30s then the ranching pratices were established.


Drove surplus Texas cattle from the Stephen F. Austin colony through a swamp to New Orleans were the market value was twice as much as the Texas price. In the 1840s and 1850s ranchers or people who drove cattle to the market went on the Shawnee Trail to move the cattle to Oklahoma. They also drove cattle to California where the Gold Rush had boomed a huge population increase.

Gold Rush in California

Sustantial demand for slaugh beevs

In the early 1850s Texans herded steers westward to west coast mining camps where they were worth $14 in Texas and were marketed there for $100 or more. Also it made the population increase.

Civil War

At the end Texas had between three million to six million head of cattle. During it there weren't any more cattle drives because everyone went to the military. Also the state of Texas was cut off from most of the nation.


260,000 cattle were drove to the market by Texans. Ranchers/ Drivers started driving cattle to the stockyards in Missouri. Driving the cattle to where ever was pretty cheap.


Hayday organized livestock drives to the market in the Carolinas, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania.


The Native Americans begin charging the driver fees to cross their reservations.

Northern cattle drives moved westward from Chisholm Trail to the Ogallala Trail. At that time the Western Trail became the major trail for cattle ranchers.

Texas Ranchers

Lead cattle to Louisiana to find more buyers when no one would buy cattle in Texas anymore. Also they became the lasting symbol of the West. Some were in movies as outlaws or ranch hands.

Post War

Almost ended but one man stepped up from Illinois Joseph G. McCoy established a market place away from settled areas.

The Late 1800s to 1880

Cattle drive ended

Texas fever broke out, Kansas and many other states quarantine Texas herds.

Things that Happened In the 1880s

Prices fell

Farmers and ranchers put up a fence blocking the trails

Rail lines started shipping cattle

Ear Marks and Brands

Ear Marks~ At the tip of the ear to show ownership

Brand~ Can be a hot aron brand to show ownership

Important People

Joseph G. McCoy~ Established market place making the Post War not end

Jesse Chisholm~ Had the Chisholm Trail named after him


12 men could drive about 2,000 cattle.

Cow Hands

Spanish Americans

African Americans

King Ranch

Central place for oil, gas, ranching and farming
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Cowboys of Nebraska - Cattle Drive at Bowring Ranch from Above (HD)