Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Chisholm Trail Founder For Western Wednesday...!

Jesse Chisholm is a name that will probably be associated with the old west.

Actually, the cattle drive trail known as the "Chisholm Trail" will be what everyone thinks of when the name Chisholm comes up. It's always nice to find out a bit of history about the folks responsible for creating something of such importance, I believe.


Founder of Chisholm Trail dies

Jesse Chisholm, who blazed one of the West’s most famous trails, dies in Oklahoma of food poisoning.

Although the trail named for him later came to be one of the major cattle-drive routes between Texas and Kansas, Jesse Chisholm was a frontier trader, not a cattleman. Born in Tennessee of a Scottish father and a Cherokee mother, Chisholm was among the early pioneers who moved west into what is now the state of Arkansas. In his 20s, he joined a community of Cherokee Indians in northwestern Arkansas and became a frontier trader. His familiarity with both Anglo and Native American culture and language (he could reportedly speak 14 different Indian dialects) helped him build a thriving trade with the Osage, Wichita, Kiowa, and Commanche.

Chisholm’s knowledge of the Native Americans also made him useful to government officials. The U.S. was eager to negotiate treaties with the tribes in the region, and Chisholm served as a liaison between tribal leaders and federal officials at several important councils. Many Indian leaders trusted and respected Chisholm, and he successfully negotiated for the release of numerous Anglo captives taken by the Kiowa and Commanche.

Chisholm’s vast knowledge of southwestern geography were invaluable in trailblazing. He led several important expeditions into the Southwest during the 1830s and 1840s, and during the Civil War opened a trading post near present-day Wichita, Kansas. Following the war, he blazed one of the first trading routes south down from Wichita to the Red River in central Texas. Eventually extended all the way south to the Gulf of Mexico, the trading route became known as the Chisholm Trail.

A straight wagon road with easy river crossings and few steep grades, Chisholm designed his trail for the lumbering heavy freight wagons used for commerce. In 1867, a year before Chisholm died, his trail also began to be used for a different purpose: cattle drives. The rapidly growing Texas cattle industry needed to move its herds north to the railheads in Kansas, and Chisholm’s gentle trail provided an ideal route. During the next five years, more than a million head traveled up the road, trampling down a path that was in some places 200 to 400 yards wide. Hooves and the erosion of wind and water eventually cut the trail down below the level of the plains it crossed, permanently carving Chisholm’s Trail into the face of the earth and guaranteeing its lasting fame. Traces of the trail may still be seen to this day.

I find it a little ironic that the man responsible for bringing so many steaks to the table of others, died from food poisoning. Probably wasn't all that uncommon back in those days, though.

Coffee out on the patio this morning. Supposed to turn cold again tonight, so we better enjoy it!


Chickenmom said...

Ah, Mr.Hermit - you sent me on "The 'ole reading trail" again!! Patio sounds good to me - we had snow and ice again!

linda m said...

That is interesting about the food poisoning. I am sure without a method of refrigeration food poisoning was common. But to have the "steak" king die from it is funny. Coffee outside sounds divine. Snow and ice here and very cold.

JO said...

Very interesting post this morning.

It turned cold here last night had to turn the heat up a bit. Ready for a refill please

Mamahen said...

I, like you and the others find this ironic. Rain n 40+ temps the last 24 hrs but changing to snow n sliding down to subzero temps the the next 24.....I'll bring donuts for all :))

HermitJim said...

Hey Phyllis...
You know you love the hunt! Besides, it gives you something fun to do.

Thanks for coming by today.

Hey Linda M...
I thought it was kinda ironic. Going up to the high 70s again today, then turning cold omce more!

Thanks for stopping by this morning!

Hey Jo...
Glad you liked the post. More cold headed our way as well.

Thanks for dropping in today!

Hey Mamahen...
Donuts sounds good. Brig 'em on!

Thanks for the visit today!

Dizzy-Dick said...

It was probably a bad steak . . or maybe some stale donuts?? I always liked fresh meat and never understood why they hang meat for long periods of time to "age" it. It tastes better to me the same day it is killed.

Dizzy-Dick said...

It was probably a bad steak . . or maybe some stale donuts?? I always liked fresh meat and never understood why they hang meat for long periods of time to "age" it. It tastes better to me the same day it is killed.

Rob said...

I've had food poisoning, I'll bet that' was not a good way to die.

Judy said...

He had eaten sausage preserved in bear grease. The bear grease had turned rancid. So whenever anybody in the Survivalist/Prepper/Homesteading group get to talking about using larding as a means of preserving meat I also pipe up and mention how Jesse Chisholm died.