The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957 Page: 56
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
In its parts south of Waco, the Chisholm Trail was identical
with the earlier Shawnee Trail. Drovers had begun to use this
older route in the early i840's, determined to take their cattle
to markets even though they had no railroads. From Austin past
Waco and Dallas to the Red River, this route followed the mili-
tary road that Colonel William G. Cooke had surveyed in 1840.
From the site of Dallas north, the trail followed high ground
and came to be called the Preston Road. The trail crossed the
Red River at R.ock Bluff, near Preston.
Northward through the eastern end of the Indian Territory,
the Shawnee Trail followed an old Indian trail past Boggy Depot
and Fort Gibson. Southbound emigrants had begun to use and
widen this trail, which some of them called the Texas Road.
In southeastern Kansas, at a point near the present Baxter
Springs, the Shawnee Trail split. Some of the drovers took their
herds on north to Independence, while others pointed northeast
to St. Louis, Sedalia, Quincy, or Chicago. Later, as settlement
pushed westward, some drovers went around to the west, then
north to Junction City, Kansas City, or some point in Nebraska
The Shawnee Trail served Texas drovers well until a few years
before the Civil War, when they began to have trouble with
Kansas and Missouri farmers over what then was called Texas
fever. Then the war virtually put a stop to the northward trail-
ing. After the war, with the ranges crowded with half-wild cat-
tle and with money scarce, the Texas cowmen took up trailing
on a larger scale than ever. In 1866 they crossed the Red River
with herds estimated to total 2oo,ooo to 260,0o00 head.
But that year they ran into more trouble than ever. Mid-
western farmers were more determined than before that the
Longhorns, themselves immune to the fever carried by the ticks on
their hides, should not infect the farm cattle along the trail. Gath-
ering in armed mobs, the farmers stampeded many of the herds
and killed several of the trail hands. They caused other drovers
to follow roundabout trails or to hold their herds in the Indian
Territory until they could find some way to take them to mar-
This conflict made it clear that a new trail and a new market
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 60, July 1956 - April, 1957, periodical, 1957; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101163/m1/69/: accessed August 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.