Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy Birthday, Andy Adams...!

I don't know if you have ever heard of this guy, or read his work, but he is pretty cool!

One of the most interesting things is that much of his work is used as a historical reference! How cool is that?

May 3, 1859:
Cowboy author Andy Adams is born

Andy Adams, one of the most accurate chroniclers of the authentic "Old West," is born in Columbia City, Indiana.

While still in his teens, Adams ran away from home. He eventually made his way to Texas, where he found work as a cowboy. From 1882 to 1893, Adams witnessed firsthand the golden era of the Texas cattle industry, a time when the cowboys ran cattle on vast open ranges still relatively unrestricted by barbed wire fences. In 1883, he made the first of many cattle drives along the famous cattle trails running north from Texas to the cow towns of Kansas. As farmers began to challenge the ranchers for control of the land, Adams witnessed the gradual fencing-in of the cattle country that would eventually end the short age of the open range. He made his last cattle drive in 1889.

In 1893, Adams left Texas for Colorado, attracted by rumors of gold at Cripple Creek. Like most would-be miners, he failed to make a fortune in the business. He eventually settled in Colorado Springs, where he remained for most of his life. While doing on a variety of jobs, Adams began to write stories based on his experiences as a Texas cowboy. In 1903, he found a publisher for his novel The Log of a Cowboy, a thinly disguised autobiography of his life on the plains. A fascinated public welcomed tales from the former cowboy, and Adams wrote and published four similar volumes in less than four years.

Adams distinguished himself from the majority of other western authors of the day with his meticulous accuracy and fidelity to the truth. As its name implied, The Log of a Cowboy was a day-by-day account of a cattle drive Adams had made from Texas to Montana. The book had little plot beyond the progress of the cattle herd toward Montana, and had none of the romantic excitement offered by less literal chroniclers of the West. Adams' self-avowed goal was to make his fiction indistinguishable from fact, and as one commentator has noted, "in this he succeeds only too well."

While a reader searching for a good story might find Adams' books somewhat dull today, historians and writers looking for an accurate depiction of the cowboy life have found them invaluable. Beyond his five best-known books, Adams also wrote two popular novels for juveniles later in his career. When he died in Colorado Springs in 1935, he left a number of unpublished manuscripts of novels, stories, and plays that historians of the Old West have also found useful.

Isn't it nice to find out about guys like this? Shows that there are a lot of interesting folks in our past that we might find interesting. Not only that, we might even learn something...if we take the time to really pay attention, ya know?

Coffee on the patio this morning! Never did rain yesterday, but what did we expect, ya know?


JoJo said...

I am going to look for his books thanks for the post on him today.
Sorry you didn't get the rain. We are a little warmer this morning and by tomorrow we should be in the 40s at night and 70s durning the day,
I will join you on the patio for some coffee.

Momlady said...

You always have such interesting posts!

HermitJim said...

Hey JoJo...
Sounds like Spring is trying to come to the mountains! Hope it does warm up enough for you to get out for a bit!

Sounds like some pretty good weather, actually!

Hey Thanks, sweetie, for dropping in today!

Hey Momlady...
I really appreciate the fact that you find these little tid-bits interesting.

So many folks that had great stories behind them in the past!

Thanks so much for coming by today!

Bob from Athens said...

Interesting how some of todays readers find his stories about real life in the old west too dull to read. Guess even in books you still have to have high speed chases and at least once every five pages or so blow something up.

HermitJim said...

Hey Bob...
Reckon that most history affects some people that way! Rather here a fairy tale than the truth!

Sorta like modern day politics, I guess!

I thank you for the visit this morning!

Marjie said...

I love a good historic fiction.

Pat said...

Your post on Andy Adams was quite interesting. I am researching Adams, as he was born just a few miles down the road from us, and I'm a research volunteer and program presenter for our Whitley County Historical Society, Columbia City, IN...Nice to find stories that are really real...and the author is a nice guy...have a good day, Pat