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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944 Page: 78

Southwestern Historical Quarterly

industry in the United States since the close of the Civil War.
A highlight in this drama was the conflict between Kansas
farmers and Texas cattle drivers. To some extent, this strug-
gle was assuaged by the establishment of Abilene, Kansas, as
a shipping point. When it became too civilized for a "cowboy
capital," Abilene was replaced by Wichita, Newton, Ellsworth,
Junction City, Caldwell, and Dodge City. The shipping of
cattle from these towns removed the necessity for driving large
herds across the entire state and thus damaging the crops of
Kansas farmers. Even so, the Texas fever, brought by the
herds and spread by a tick, was for many years a cause of
friction between Texans and "Kansas Jayhawkers."
Another highlight is the building of enormous estates on the
unoccupied grazing land of the Great Plains. Professor Dale
draws an analogy between the large ranching domains of this
area and the feudal states of medieval Europe. Like all analo-
gies, this is only partly true. Ranch owners and feudal lords
may have had a few traits in common, but the cowboy can-
not by any stretch of the imagination be compared to a serf.
Serfs were tied to the land; cowboys have always quit their
bosses when they got ready and gone where they pleased, sell-
ing their skill to the highest bidder.
More informative than this analogy is Professor Dale's de-
scription of European adventurers who played important roles
in the building of the "empire of grass." The Scotch, particu-
larly, invested vast fortunes in Western ranches, and England
became a leading market for beef. Relationships between In-
dian tribes and ranchers are also described in detail.
As a delightfully readable general picture of the "cow coun-
try" in the United States, this book is entirely worthwhile.
Austin, Texas
J. Sterling Morton: Pioneer, Statesman, Founder of Arbor Day.
By James C. Olson. Lincoln (University of Nebraska
Press), 1942. Pp. xiv+541. Bibliography, illustrations,
and index. $3.50.
This book is more than a brilliant biography of a brilliant
and colorful individual. It is within certain limits the political
history of a pioneer prairie state and to a considerable extent
of the nation-wide conflict of political principles and ideals


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 47, July 1943 - April, 1944, periodical, 1944; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.