The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955 Page: 183
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the market he created. In 1936 appeared Sam P. Ridings' The
Chisholm Trail. A participant in its stirring history Ridings
chronicled his recollections and those of his contemporaries after
careful recheck and research. Also by an elaborate map he care-
fully pinpointed the Chisholm Trail thru the various townships
and sections of Oklahoma. Now long after the end of an era, with
far better perspective and greater objectivity and after incom-
parable research, Mr. Gard completes the trinity of major his-
tories, including all American cattle driving in his. In this he fully
treats the causes leading to their creation, their heyday for a
decade and a half, and finally the factors that forced their abandon-
As Moses never reached the Promised Land neither did Jesse
Chisholm ride as a drover the trail that bore his name. Starting
from the southern tip of Texas this trail pointed north varying
only as water, suitable stream crossings, good grazing, and absence
of Indians required. From the east and west came short feeder
trails to the main stem. Its terminus in Kansas was a variable
factor. Abilene, Ellsworth, Dodge City, Newton, Wichita, and
Caldwell at various times became the magnetic pole or market
with boom conditions, toward which the long sinuous lines of
cattle were pointed.
Unlike his predecessor historians, the author includes the Shaw-
nee Trail and the Western Trail. Even the occasional drives to
New Orleans and other coastal points for shipment by water are
not overlooked. Into the vast panorama he has funneled a flood
of facts and exciting incidents creating some interesting eddies
and fascinating whirlpools but always keeping under control
the main currents.
As the trends toward dissolution of trail driving begin to
emerge, the story under Gard's guidance unfolds itself. The creep-
ing paralysis to which trail driving and open range life fell a
victim stemmed from the increase of farmers the adoption of
barbed wire, and the extension of railroads.
This work so soundly researched and so solidly written may
well serve as collateral reading for college students and an in-
valuable source book for their themes and theses. Impressive chap-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 58, July 1954 - April, 1955, periodical, 1955; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101158/m1/204/: accessed April 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.