The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933 Page: 57
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A Log of the Texas-California Cattle Trail, 1854
then dead, in an hour one hundred were dead, others were tumbling
about ready to fall and die; such havoc among cattle was never
seen; it looked like taking a man's property away at one sweep;
James was cool about it believing in the old saying "that it was no
use to cry, &."4a
The oxen are all dead, consequently the carts are left behind,
also two Mexican cartmen, and various goods appertaining to such
Throwing into the Ambulanche the bedding, something to eat
and a few cooking utensils, the cattle were started without further
I am left behind to make disposition of the effects left; will leave
for the ferry in a few hours.
Arrived at the ferry about dark. I had to borrow eight oxen to
haul the carts in -the second day a son of the ferryman and
myself succeeded in finding twenty two head of James cattle.
Holliday's train will commence crossing tomorrow. George Craig
from San Antonio, and Holliday were here yesterday; I will go on
29th The Trains crossed at the upper ferry yesterday. They
will leave for the desert this evening or tomorrow.
In looking over the books of the ferry company, I find that
over four thousand head of cattle have crossed here. This ferry is
valued at twenty thousand dollars; the entire boat was hauled in
sections, from Warner's Rancho on the other side of the desert,
and one hundred and forty miles from here.
I learn that "talking Jimmy Campbell" from San Antonio, and
three other trains are still behind. It will be a loosing business
aHerds upon the California Trail continued to lose cattle at this point
for many years. In 1869 the late John Nichols, of Lampasas, was a hand
with a herd driven from his country by Jim Hill and Tom Toland. He
remembered the lagwnu of which Bell speaks, formed, he said, by over-
flow of the Colorado. "There had been no overflow for two years, how-
ever," he recalled, "and all the grass was gone. But in some of the swags
there were tall careless weeds which were very good feed for cattle, but
dangerous. If poor and hungry cattle got on these and filled up, and then
the cowboys started to driving them, they would swell up, and if you did
not stop it would kill your stock. Chat Helms, a sensible, one-eyed
gambler, told us that. We let our cattle fill up and started to driving,
and they began to swell and looked like they would burst. We rounded
them up and they went down in about two hours." John Nichols to J.
Evetts Haley, May 15, 1927.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 36, July 1932 - April, 1933, periodical, 1933; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101093/m1/65/: accessed February 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.