The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937 Page: 78
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78 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
on the Pecos, blazing thereby the Goodnight-Loving Trail, which
became the established route from central and southern Texas to
Fort Sumner, Denver, and Cheyenne. During the next eight years
he had ranches at Bosque Grande, on the Pecos, in eastern New
Mexico, and on the Apishapa and Arkansas rivers in southern
Colorado. In 1874 he established the "Home Ranch" in the Palo
Duro Canyon and there, in partnership with John George Adair,
became owner and manager of ranches covering 1,335,000 acres
and grazing 100,000 high-grade cattle. These facts emerge more
or less incidentally in the development of the narrative. Mr. Haley
is concerned with the man rather than with his fortunes. We
learn casually of the lone rider back-trailing to Texas with $30,000
in gold packed in saddle bags; that Goodnight bought part of
the Gervacio Nolan eleven league grant in the Arkansas valley
near Pueblo; that the profits of the first partnership with Adair
were $512,000, of which Goodnight received one-third; that he
handled 300,000 head of cattle in the eleven years of the Good-
night-Adair association; that he took the inferior Quitaque ranch
as his portion of the land when the partnership dissolved; that
he had sold the Quitaque by 1890 and sunk nearly all of his
money in a disastrous mining venture in Mexico; that he was
finally reduced to small means and a life residence in his home at
Goodnight. We learn that he built churches and endowed schools,
but this was all by the way. The man himself was so supremely
superior to the accidental state of his fortunes that one almost
forgets that he was the first great "cattle baron" on the Texas
plains, handling vast sums and commanding loans during the
drought and depression of 1887, when, as he wrote: "a good bur-
glar stands a better chance to get money in Kansas City than a
It is the life of a region and an era that the author puts between
the covers of his book. He knows the land that Goodnight ranged
and the men with whom Goodnight worked and fought, and with
rare appreciation and literary skill he weaves them all into the
texture of the telling. The writer claims no more than his due,
in saying, "more than the man rides the trail of the past--the
West itself rides there beside him." Acquaintance with the
pungent men who made the West of three-quarters of a century
ago is revealed by a thousand intimate characterizations and a
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 40, July 1936 - April, 1937, periodical, 1937; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101099/m1/86/: accessed May 27, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.