Zhe Passi, of the oqhor
T. R. HAVINS
THE economic history of Anglo-American Texas prior to
the Civil War was largely the history of cotton. When
the war closed and abolition deprived cotton of its crutch
of slavery, a new economic element, barely recognized hitherto,
but full-grown and immediately at hand, rose up to contest with
cotton for economic position. No longer would Texas remain
wholly dependent on cotton. During the ensuing thirty-five years
cotton and cattle would be the bulwarks of the state's economy.
The celebrated and colorful Longhorn was a crossbred animal.
His pedigree has never been entered in a herd-book. There are
no records of the mating of sire and dam that produced him.
One can only surmise, but surmisal is justifiable when the facts
are examined. Spanish cattle from Mexico arrived in East Texas
as early as 1713; every Spanish mission had its herd. Cattle were
of little value except for food, hides, and tallow, because the
isolated position of Texas left the Spanish settlers with no market.
The limited wants of the settlers were met by the slaughter of
moderate numbers; those not slaughtered were left to multiply.
And multiply they did in incredible numbers, reaching from the
lower Rio Grande Valley northward across the state and as far
westward as the Western Cross Timbers.1 Allowed as they were
to roam the ranges, these cattle reverted to primitive instincts
and became wild cattle. The term "wild cattle" was a familiar
expression in early Texas history, and it always meant Spanish
The first cattle to arrive in the English colonies along the
Atlantic seaboard were English cattle. The early importations
were from comparatively inferior breeds. Nowhere was improve-
ment manifested until after the American Revolution and then
only in New England. In the South retrogression was apparent,
iSee Clara M. Love, "History of the Cattle Industry in the Southwest," South-
western Historical Quarterly, XIX, 370ff.
2J. Frank Dobie, "The First Cattle in Texas and the Southwest," Southwestern
Historical Quarterly, XLII, 183ff.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 56, July 1952 - April, 1953. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101145/. Accessed December 7, 2013.