Cowboys & Trailblazers
In the mid 19th Century the American cowboy
has occupied a place sufficiently important to entitle him to a considerable share of public attention. His occupation wis unique. In the exercise of his function he is always a man on horseback. His duty as a worker in the cattle business is at times to ride over the range in order to see that straying cattle do not rove too far from the assigned limits of time herd of which lie has charge; at times to drive the herd from one locality to another; and at times to round up the dispersed cattle, by which is meant to collect them together for the purpose of branding calves, or of selecting beef cattle, which latter are driven to railroad stations for shipment to market. The chief qualifications of efficiency in this calling are courage, physical alertness, ability to endure exposure and fatigue, horsemanship, and skill in the use of the lariat.
The original cowboy of this country was essentially a creature of circumstance, and mainly a product of western and southwestern Texas. Armed to the teeth, booted and spurred, long-haired, and covered with the broad brimmed sombrero the distinctive badge of his calling, his personal appearance proclaimed the sort of man he was.