The "Unwashed Crowd"

Bailey, Lynn R.

Published by Westernlore, 2014
ISBN 10: 087026804X / ISBN 13: 9780870268045
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Synopsis: The Unwashed Crowd was composed of stockmen who came to southeastern Arizona in two surges. The first group, mostly Texans, arrived as drovers for Santa Fe and Roswell contractors who controlled the cattle trade to reservations and military posts. Between 1878 and 1880 they congregated at a half dozen ranches strung along the east side of San Simon Cienega on the Arizona-New Mexico border. Punching cattle, and in some cases, military service, dehumanized these men, rendering them callous, brutal, larcenous, and contemptuous of Mexicans. Law abiding citizens labeled them the San Simon Bunch. Politicians and editors called them Cowboys for good reason. When the Indian trade collapsed in 1880 the Cowboys stole livestock in Chihuahua and Sonora and robbed trading caravans. They also preyed on small ranchers north of the border and raised hell in mining camps. Immune to vigilante action, these rogues were the bane of federal, territorial, and county law enforcement for four years. In the end, however, the rascals were displaced by a different breed of stockmen. In summer of 1882 men from Abilene, Texas, bought the ranches at San Simon Cienega; the result was formation of the San Simon Cattle and Canal Company which endured until 1920.
In the meantime another set of stockmen Pennsylvania Yankees with plenty of money set their sights on the Sulphur Spring Valley. Squatting along Whitewater Draw, these men carved out range equal in size to Rhode Island. The Erie Cattle Company, Cochise County s first corporate cattle company, was born in summer of 1883. There were other Pennsylvanians in Arizona. As early as 1877 Theodore F. White and his brothers Jarrett and Thomas, all from Norristown, together with John V. Vickers of Chester, were prodding cattle at the northern end of the Sulphur Spring Valley. First called El Dorado Ranch, their outfit grew into the Chiricahua Cattle Company, incorporated in spring of 1885.
Like all range cattle outfits, these companies began small, marketing Mexican beeves to mining camps, military posts, and reservations. The companies grew, improved their herds, and reached out for markets further afield: to packing houses in San Diego, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. In collaboration with other stockmen, the Erie and Chiricahua Cattle companies planted the range cattle industry in southeastern Arizona. They spearheaded formation of the Cochise County Live Stock Association which set a code of conduct for its members, established grazing districts and carried out roundups. This organization fought rustling at every turn, first by mandatory brand registration, then by control of law enforcement; it put into the office of Sheriff, John Horton Slaughter, a Texas frontiersman who warned rustlers: Get out of Cochise County or be Killed.
This book looks at Cowboy origins, pinpointing ranches and cattle stations between Chihuahua and reservations in Arizona and New Mexico. The organization of the San Simon Bunch is explored. Buyers in Mexico are named, as are reservation middlemen and Santa Fe and Roswell financiers.

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The "Unwashed Crowd"
Publisher: Westernlore
Publication Date: 2014
Binding: Soft Cover
Book Condition: As New
Edition: First Edition, 1st Printing.

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