The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948 Page: 4
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
but by the state. When drouth pushed the landless cowman to
the brink of financial ruin, violence was inevitable.
The Texas Greenback party encouraged resistance to fencing
as a symbol of monopoly that sought to convert farmers and
small stockmen into serfs. The tendency of the agrarians to
lump various complaints into one was shown in this note found
posted on a street in Coleman:
Down with monopolies! They can't exist in Texas and especially in
Coleman County. Away with your foreign capitalists The range
and soil of Texas belong to the heroes of the South. No monopolies,
and don't tax us to school the nigger. Give us homes as God intended
and not gates to churches and towns and schools. Above all, give us
water for our stock.:
Along with the obstructed farmer and the landless cowman,
antagonists to the fence-builders often included the cowboy who
feared he might be thrown out of work and the rustler who saw
his prey protected and his shady activities hampered. Some of
the opponents had worthier motives. There was widespread
resentment of fencers who blandly took in too much territory.
Along with those who strung their barbed wire around only
their own ranch lands were others who neither owned nor leased
the pastures they enclosed. Still others had title to part of the
land but included farms and grazing lands belonging to neigh-
bors. E. S. Graham, a pioneer real estate man, asserted that the
ranchmen brought their troubles on themselves "by fencing up
large bodies of land that did not belong to them and by tram-
pling on the rights of the public."'7
These overambitious fencers, with some of those who enclosed
only their own extensive holdings, often had little or no regard
for the convenience of travelers. They set up mile after mile of
fence without making a gate. Roads were cut off; schools and
churches were made inaccessible to people who had to travel on
horseback; and in Archer County even the county seat was
blocked off so that farmers and stockmen could not reach the
courthouse except by cutting someone's barbed wire." Jones
County residents fared little better. Their county seat was com-
eFort Worth Gazette, November 7, 1888.
7Ibid., September 19, 1883.
sGalveston News, June 1, 1883.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 51, July 1947 - April, 1948, periodical, 1948; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101119/m1/22/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.