The Matador Land and Cattle Company. By W. M. Pearce. Nor-
man (University of Oklahoma Press), 1964. Pp. xiv-+26.
Photographs, maps, appendices, index. $5.95.
The Matador cattle and land enterprise, from its inception in
the 1870o's until the huge Scottish-controlled company went into
voluntary liquidation in 1951, served as one of the great founda-
tion stones on which the cattle industry of the Southwest was
erected. Designed from the beginning as a beef-raising, profit-
seeking enterprise, the initial company was established and incor-
porated under the laws of 'Texas in 1879 by five men, each of
whom it is supposed, subscribed $1o,ooo to provide the necessary
capital. Boasting a valuation of between $1,200,00o and $1,300,000
in 1882, the Matador was purchased in that year by a group of
Scottish businessmen for the sum of $1,250,000 and became the
Matador Land and Cattle Company, Limited. The most spectacu-
lar era in Matador history was ushered in on December 4, 1882,
when the new company, under a foreign board of directors, held
its first board meeting at 104 Commercial Street in Dundee, Scot-
land. This corporation was the only foreign-controlled joint stock
enterprise, engaged in beef cattle production, to survive in the
Southwest until the middle of the twentieth century.
The turbulent story of this extraordinary business venture is
skillfully set forth in W. M. Pearce's The Matador Land and Cat-
tle Company. A major contribution to business history as well as
to the history of 'Texas and the Southwest, the author combined
a fluid and engaging style with many hours of painstaking research
to produce a vivid account of the Matador enterprise. The re-
markable depth of scholarship achieved by Pearce was made pos-
sible by the richness of the source materials available to him. The
Matador Papers, a part of the highly acclaimed Southwest Collec-
tion at Texas Technological College at Lubbock, formed the main
framework for this illuminating history. These papers, composed
largely of letters, diaries, ledgers, reports, and legal documents of
the Scottish company, are absolutely indispensable in the produc-
tion of a project of this type.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 68, July 1964 - April, 1965. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101198/. Accessed September 1, 2014.