Cattle Drive Chili – A Cowboys Staple Food – American Cattle Drives 1865-1886

great info with a great recipe…making chilli today, but will try this next time

Town & Country Gardening

The first thing you must do is learn what life in the 19th Century [1865-1890] was like. You must understand what was and was not available to the average family or trail cook.

In most cases a cowboy was really a boy. Many young boys some only 12 years old moved millions of head of longhorn cows to market buyers. Many buyers headquartered in rail head towns like Abilene, Kansas to be shipped to stockyards in Chicago and other midwest and eastern markets. Trail drives were no place for old men or the weak.

Moving a herd of longhorns from Texas to Kansas was no small undertaking. Herds could number in 1 to 3 thousand head, could be moved only about 10 or 12 miles a day without the loss of much body weight. Cattle buyers would pay little if anything for poor starved down cows. It could take as…

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