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Encyclopedia > Chisholm Trail

The Chisholm Trail was a route used in the late 19th century in the Western United States for cattle drives, the movement of cattle overland. The trail stretched from southern Texas across the Red River to Abilene, Kansas, and was used from 1867 to 1884 to drive cattle northward to the railhead of the Kansas Pacific Railway, where they were shipped eastward. Alternative meaning: Nineteenth Century (periodical) (18th century — 19th century — 20th century — more centuries) As a means of recording the passage of time, the 19th century was that century which lasted from 1801-1900 in the sense of the Gregorian calendar. ... If you have been redirected here after viewing any statistical information, note that as defined by the Census Bureau, the western United States includes 13 states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming. ... Binomial name Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758 Cattle (often called cows in vernacular and contemporary usage, or kye as the Scots plural of cou) are domesticated ungulates, a member of the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae. ... Official language(s) See: Languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 268,581 sq mi (695,622 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... The Red River is one of several rivers with that name, and of two rivers with that name in the United States. ... Abilene is a city in Dickinson County, Kansas, United States, 163 miles (262 km) west of Kansas City. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... 1867 (MDCCCLXVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1884 (MDCCCLXXXIV) is a leap year starting on Tuesday (click on link to calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Thursday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar). ... A Railhead is a terminus of a railway line that interfaces with another tranport mode, for example shipping. ... The Kansas Pacific main line shown on an 1869 map. ...

The trail is named for Jesse Chisholm who had built several trading posts in what is now western Oklahoma before the American Civil War. He never drove cattle on the trail and died in 1868. Jesse Chisholm Jesse Chisholm (1805-1868), a mixed blood Cherokee trader, became famous for the trail he scouted to supply his various trading posts among the Plains Indians in what is now western Oklahoma. ... Official language(s) None Capital Oklahoma City Largest city Oklahoma City Area  Ranked 20th  - Total 69,960 sq mi (181,196 km²)  - Width 230 miles (370 km)  - Length 298 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ... Combatants United States of America (Union) Confederate States of America (Confederacy) Commanders Lincoln, President Ulysses S. Grant, General Jefferson Davis, President Robert E. Lee, General Strength 2,200,000 1,064,000 Casualties 110,000 killed in action, 360,000 total dead, 275,200 wounded 93,000 killed in action...



In 1866 in Texas, cattle were worth only $4 per head, compared to over $40 per head in the North and [{Eastern United States|East]], because lack of market access during the American Civil War had led to increasing number of cattle in Texas. 1866 (MDCCCLXVI) is a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 12-day-slower Julian calendar. ... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ...

In 1867, Joseph G. McCoy built stockyards in Abilene, Kansas. He encouraged Texas cattlemen to drive their herds to his stockyards. The stockyards shipped 35,000 head that year and became the largest stockyards west of Kansas City, Kansas. 1867 (MDCCCLXVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... A Texas Longhorn Joseph McCoy was a 19th century cattle baron. ... Kansas City is the third largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Wyandotte County; it is part of the Unified Government [1] which also includes the cities of Bonner Springs and Edwardsville. ...

O. W. Wheeler and his partners used the Chisholm Trail to bring a herd of 2,400 steers from Texas to Abilene in 1867. This herd was the first of an estimated 5,000,000 head of Texas cattle to reach Kansas over the Chisholm Trail.


Today, most historians consider the Chisholm Trail to have started at the Rio Grande or at San Antonio, Texas. From 1867 to 1871, the trail ended in Abilene. Later, Newton, Kansas, and Wichita, Kansas, each served as the end of the trail. From 1883 to 1887, the end of the trail was Caldwell, Kansas. The Rio Grande flowing in Big Bend National Park The Rio Grande in its lower course, between Matamoros and Brownsville Known as the Rio Grande in the United States and as the Río Bravo (or, more formally, the Río Bravo del Norte) in Mexico, the river, 3,034... Nickname: Alamo City; River City Location in the state of Texas Coordinates: Counties Bexar County Mayor Phil Hardberger Area    - City 1067. ... 1867 (MDCCCLXVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (see link for calendar). ... 1871 (MDCCCLXXI) was a common year starting on Sunday (see link for calendar). ... Main Street and E 4th looking north to downtown. ... Nickname: Air Capital Location in the state of Kansas County Sedgwick Mayor Carlos Mayans Area    - City 359. ... 1883 (MDCCCLXXXIII) was a common year starting on Monday (see link for calendar). ... 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. ... Caldwell is a city located in Sumner County, Kansas. ...

In Texas, there were hundreds of feeder trails heading north to one of the main cattle trails. In the early 1840s, most cattle was driven up the Shawnee Trail. The trail was previously used by Indian hunting and raiding parties; it went north from Austin through Waco and Dallas, then it crossed the Red River near Preston before continuing along the eastern edge of modern day Oklahoma. The path later became known as the Texas Road. Nickname: Live Music Capital of the World Location in the state of Texas Coordinates: Country United States State Texas County Travis County Mayor Will Wynn Area    - City 669. ... Waco is the county seat of McLennan County, Texas. ...      Nickname: Big D Location in the state of Texas Country United States State Texas Counties Dallas, Collin, Denton, Kaufman, and Rockwall Mayor Laura Miller Area    - City 997. ... Preston is a small community located in Okmulgee County, Oklahoma. ...


By 1853, cattle was being driven into parts of Missouri, where farmers began blocking herds and turning them back because the Texas longhorns carried ticks that caused diseases in other types of cattle. Violence, vigilante groups, and cattle rustling caused further problems for the drivers. By 1859, laws were passed preventing the cattle from being driven through those areas. By the end of the Civil War, the bulk of the cattle was being moved up the western branch of the Texas Road, which joined the Chisholm Trail at Red River Station in Montague County, Texas. This article does not cite its references or sources. ... The Texas longhorn, defined and refined by nature, is ecologically adapted to the sparse and rugged grazing land of Texas. ... 1859 (MDCCCLIX) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar). ... Red River Station once existed as a small community south of the Red River at Salt Creek in north western Montague County, Texas. ... Montague County is a county located in the state of Texas. ...

The importance of cattle drives began to diminish in 1887 with the arrival of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad in Texas. 1887 (MDCCCLXXXVII) is a common year starting on Saturday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar or a common year starting on Monday of the Julian calendar. ... The Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad (known as the MKT, or Katy) began as the Union Pacific Railway, Southern Branch (unrelated to the Union Pacific Railroad) in 1865. ...

On the long trips the cattlemen would have a lot of difficulties. The trips took about two to three months. They had to cross major rivers like the Arkansas and the Red, and innumerable smaller creeks, plus the topographic challenges of canyons, badlands, and low mountain ranges. The weather was not always good. In addition to these natural dangers, there were rustlers, unpacificed Native Americans (Oklahoma at that time was Indian Territory, governed from Fort Smith, Arkansas), and the natural contrariness of the half-wild Longhorn cattle themselves, which were prone to stampede with little provocation. The headwaters of the Arkansas near Leadville, Colorado The Arkansas River is a major tributary of the Mississippi which flows east and southeast through Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma territories and then into the state of Arkansas. ... Cattle rustling or cattle raiding is the act of stealing livestock. ... An Aani (Atsina) named Assiniboin Boy. ... Fort Smith is a city situated at the junction of the Arkansas and Poteau rivers. ... Official language(s) English Capital Little Rock Largest city Little Rock Area  Ranked 29th  - Total 53,179 sq mi (137,732 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 261 miles (420 km)  - % water 2. ... The Texas Longhorn is a breed of cattle known for its characteristic horns, which can extend to six feet in width and have a slight upward turn at their tips, as well as for their distinctive burnt orange coloring. ... A stampede is an act of mass impulse among herd animals or a crowd of people in which the herd (or crowd) collectively begins running with no clear direction or purpose. ...


Red River (1948), directed by Howard Hawks, is a fictional account of the first drive, in 1865, along the Chisholm Trail. Red River is a 1948 western film which tells the story of the first cattle drive along the Chisolm Trail in the fictional framework of a cattle man who feuds with his adopted son over ownership of their cattle in the middle of a drive. ... Howard Hawks Howard Hawks (May 30, 1896 – December 26, 1977) was an American film director, producer and writer of the classic Hollywood era. ...


  • Tennant. H.S. "The Two Cattle Trails", Chronicles of Oklahoma 9:4 (December 1931) 84-122 (accessed August 16, 2006). (and map)
  • Worcester, Donald E. "Chisholm Trail", Handbook of Texas-Online (accessed August 16, 2006).

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Handbook of Texas Online: (962 words)
The earliest known references to the Chisholm Trail in print were in the Kansas Daily Commonwealth of May 27 and October 11, 1870.
It was, Wayne Gard observed, like a tree—the roots were the feeder trails from South Texas, the trunk was the main route from San Antonio across Indian Territory, and the branches were extensions to various railheads in Kansas.
After trailing techniques were perfected, a trail boss, ten cowboys, a cook, and a horse wrangler could trail 2,500 cattle three months for sixty to seventy-five cents a head.
Chisholm Trail. The Columbia Gazetteer of North America. 2000 (140 words)
Chisholm Trail, route over which vast herds of cattle were driven from N Texas to the railheads in Kansas after the Civil War.
Named for Jesse Chisholm, a part-Cherokee trader who, in the spring of 1866, drove his wagon, heavily loaded with buffalo hides, from N Texas through what is now Okla., to Wichita, Kansas; the S terminus was Abilene, Texas.
The development of RRs and wire fencing ended the trail’s use, and it became the subject of Western folklore.
  More results at FactBites »



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