Cowboys and Cowgirls of the Old West

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The cow boys of the west, where did they come from? Why did they come? They came from all over but originally from mexico. They went to new mexico by 1598. by 1690’s they were in texas and by 1769 they were in California. From there they spread all over the western united states. Cow boys and a few cowgirls came to the planes for grazing. The brought there herds to fatten them up before sale. The cowboys used to use a pole to place the lasso over the cows horns. That evolved to throwing it around the cows neck.


While women grew up on horseback, others left the comforts of urban life to homestead. Many woman learned how to ride as early as age tree. the story goes saw thirteen-years-old Lucille Mulhall rope a cow and wrestle it to the ground that the term cow and girl were spoken as one word. But the National Police Gazette Juxtaposed the two words in 1893 and the montgomery ward catalogue closed the gap by 1895. The wild west shows and rodeos gave women opportunities to test their skills alongside man. Because of their Public role, cowgirls performers in rodeos and West shows had to wear skirts. The skirts were made of heavy leather and they were made of heavy leather and they were hot and cumbersome, so it's not surprising that cowgirls eventually began to compete in bloomers or Jodhpurs. The first woman to wear a pair of pants wile competing in a rodeo was Annie Oakley.


A famous cowboy was Charles Goodnight. he started as a cow boy and worked with the militia with the running battle against Comanche raiders. Then he joined the texas rangers in 1857 and fought for the confederacy in the civil war. After the war he joined “Making the Gather” a state wide round up of cattle left from the war. Once he had his cattle he had to go north to sell it because of the demolished south. He made a partner named Loving. They did well between them they made 17000 dollars, which was a lot back then. Loving died fighting a band of Comanche. He then joined with John G. Adair. He gained more than one million acres. they made the first cattalo, a cross between buffalo and cattle. he lived the life of a true cowboy. He sold his ranch and invested in mining. Then became a movie producer. He died in the town named after him in 1929.



The end of cowboys... barbed wire. It was invented by Joseph F. Gilden. Barbed wire was a cheaper and easier fencing than anything else at the time. It was the cause of the Range Wars, which was between cowboys and farmers, which ended in favor of the permanent farmers. First ranch to have it was in texas, it was traditionally used to keep cattle out of crops. The first conflict was when “drift fences” were constructed in order to keep the northern cattle from coming in to the Southern parts. They moved "like gray ghosts . . . [with] icicles hanging from their muzzles, eyes, and ears," toward the Texas Panhandle, and directly into the fences. There they were stalled; they could not go forward, and they would not go back. They stood stacked together against the wire, without food, water, warmth or shelter. The pressed close against each other in groups all along the fence line, and sometimes they gathered in bunches reaching as much as four hundred yards back from the fence. Still there was not enough warmth in their huddled forms to counteract the cold, and within a short time they either smothered or froze in their tracks. (132)". The northern cattlemen were out raged because all of there cattle were killed due to the exceptionally bad winter. Then private owners bought land and fenced it off causing a further depletion of the free range cattle and more tension between regular farmers and the cowboys. It turned into and almost war and in the end the cowboys could not fight the fences.
The cowboys exploited the natural resources of the west. They roamed using the grass water and wood as they found it. Often they used the wild horses as well. They were a people who took whatever was given to them, and exploited what ever advantages they could muster. Cowboys help lead the way for the great explanation of the west. They explored the west finding the best routes across the plains.

I have always been curious about the cowboys. They represent the free spirit of america. They do what they want and go where they want with out caring about what others think, but that is a lot of the potential of them and not necessarily their reality. I more or less am in love with the romanticized cowboy than the actual history. I also know modern day cowboys and ride in the old western sport of cuttin', as they would say.


One of the best - known performer, was Annie Okley she was also always careful to project the image of the traditional victorian woman, she was quoted as saying, "I don't like bloomers or bloomer woman,but i think that the sport and healthful exercise make women better healthier, and happier."Despite her big reputation as she did vista,she never lived any farther west then Ohio. Chief sitting Bull gave her the nickname "little sure shot" he was so amazed by her skills. In 1901 she was severely injured when the train that carried the wild west show collided with the another and she became partially paralyzed.She performed again but not as the same Annie. She later died in 1926 a few years After the accident from which she never regained her health.

In the 1800 woman who wanted to be a cowgirl was not respect by men. Cowboys felt that being a cowboy was for men and that no woman should be wearing pants. even though women new that they had been made funny of they still keep on trying. Woman were laughed up.But my 1895 woman were allowed to perform in the shows. Woman soon became Respected by man, for there skills and for there confidences. some of the best performers were Annie Oakley,Mrs. Frank Butler and Ellen Watson . Ellen Watson Was the only woman ever lynched in the western states. Annie was quoted " when [male competitors in a shooting competition] saw me coming along they laughed at the notion of my shooting against them ......It kind of galled me to see those hulking chaps so tickled in what was no doubt to them my impertinence in daring to shoot against them-and I reckon I was tickled too when I walked away with the prize"

I've never really been interest in cowgirl tell i read about Annie Okley. Cowgirls came a long way and have made it easer for women of my generation to able to perform in rodeos now. Even when men put them down they still keep there heads up kept trying to make a differences and i like and respect that about them.Once's women started to be in more shows men looked at them in a new light and new that it was just for fun to them. That's when men began to respect them to.

Work Cited\ photo%20gallery.htm

cowboy culture New York, Alfred A. Knopf 1982

Jordon,Teresa Women Of The Amircan West New York,1986

Savege,Candael, Cowgirls New York, 1982