The Wagonmasters: High Plains Freighting from the Earliest Days of the Santa Fe Trail to 1880


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SKU: 9780806119830 Category:


“A colorful account of a great breed of men.” Chicago Tribune “Certainly of interest to scholars and historians, The Wagonmasters should appeal too, to more serious Western history buffs because of its straightforward, coherent story of an important phase of the American West.” Sandra Dallas, Denver Post From 1882, when the first wagons were used in the Santa Fe trade, until 1880, when the completion of major railroad lines made the wagon train all but obsolete, wagon freighting was essential to the trade, settlement, and growth of the American West, from the Missouri Valley to the Great Basin. Freighters carried goods to and from Santa Fe, bringing in much of the trade goods for the settlements of the Mountain West. Under contract to the government, they supplied the army sent to fight Mexicans and American Indians. Without the wagonmasters, the flow of gold from the mines of Colorado and Montana, which proved essential during the Civil War, would have been delayed at least a decade. The Wagonmasters is the first comprehensive account of this colorful bygone industry and the men who worked the wagon trains-bullwhackers and mile skinners. A breed apart, they developed their own customs and language, greatly enriching American speech. The business was hard, dirty, and dangerous, but the wagon freighters, like the U.S. mail, almost always came through. Henry Pickering Walker, a well-known historian of the American West, was coauthor of Historical Atlas of Arizona, also published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

Additional information

Weight 1.25 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × 0.86 in


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