The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925 Page: 251
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something in and of the South. The picture of the Cotton King-
dom is hard and relentless, drawn only with regard to the dollar
that the planter was always losing. What is written is true; but
the essential truth is omitted-and a part of the essential truth
about the Cotton Kingdom had little to do with the dollar, but
much to do with a life that was somewhat contemptuous of it.
Less convincing is the chapter on "The Cow Country." The author
simply does not know his cows, and to read his description of the
industry that had its origin in Texas is somewhat like reading
English accounts of the American Rodeo held in London last sum-
mer. The procedure, as described, has too much of decorum about
it. The language is inadequate. There is too much division of
labor, too much tender concern for the cow, too much importance
attached to the yearlings over the rest of the herd. The cowboy
did not make his "principal entrance" at the time the trail herd
started north. He was regularly employed on the ranch, he helped
round up the cattle, brand them, and drive them to market. The
round-up and the branding operations actually made the greatest
demands on the skill and endurance of that misunderstood individ-
ual, the American cowboy. It is doubtful if a herd made up
entirely of yearlings (the term means a year-old calf) ever went
up the trail from Texas. The herds were usually composed of all
ages and of both sexes. A beef herd was made up of steers two
and three years old, not of yearlings.
The reference to mavericks is unfortunate. A maverick was a
stray or unbranded calf or cow. The error of assigning the origin
of the term to a "too enterprising rancher who had acquired noto-
riety by cutting out the unbranded calves before the round-up,
and marking them with his own brand," crept into print years
ago and found its way into a reputable dictionary and persists in
many quarters to this day. In justice to the Maverick family, the
true origin of the term should be given. A Texan by the name
of Maverick owned some cattle on the southern ranges, near the
Gulf coast. During the Civil War he abandoned this herd and
moved to San Antonio. The cattle multiplied and spread at a
great rate all along the coast. After the Civil War Mr. Maverick
sold his brand, but in spite of the natural increase, he was able
to deliver only about the original number of cattle, the increase
having been stolen. Cattle had become valuable in Texas, and
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 28, July 1924 - April, 1925, periodical, 1925; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101087/m1/255/: accessed July 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.