The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983 Page: 120
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120o Southwestern Historical Quarterly
only the latter: Lizzie Johnson, he notes, invariably bested her hus-
band, Hezekiah Williams, in cow deals.
Stampedes, unfriendly Indians, and shady characters bent on fleecing
naive cowboys awaited trail herds as they set out for Abilene, Dodge
City, Wichita, and other destinations along the Chisholm Trail and
its sister paths. Much like the current rush to the Sunbelt, "Young
men came from far and near-East, Midwest, South-to work on
Texas ranches and to 'go up the trail' " (p. 88). The boom busted be-
cause, much like the flood of youths who would "go up the trail," too
many would-be ranchers grazed too many cows on too little grass. The
industry expanded beyond logical limits; Texas cattle suffered the
stigma of tick fever; barbed wire came to obstruct the trail; railroads
finally offered a financially feasible alternative to driving beeves north-
ward; and the winter of 1886-1887, "the Big Die-up," forced an end
to the open range and its companion phenomenon, the cattle-trailing
The book will not satisfy all readers-those who would include the
tale of commission merchants at the end of the trail, who brought buy-
er and seller together, for instance, or those who would place more
emphasis on the delineation between real and reel cowboys. But Wor-
cester's The Chisholm Trail is the best, most readable synthesis of
cattle-trailing yet to appear. Relying on Wayne Gard's pioneering
work-as well as collateral studies by virtually every serious researcher
who has run a hot iron over the topic-he has blended much of the
literature on the trailing era into an intelligent analysis of the West's
most engaging episode.
Wichita State University JIMMY M. SKAGGS
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 86, July 1982 - April, 1983, periodical, 1982/1983; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101209/m1/140/: accessed February 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.