Warren M Elofson
Release Date: 10 December 1030
Format: Paperback / softback
Prostitution, gunfights, barroom brawls, and cattle rustling -- while prevailing images from the American Old West -- have typically been absent from histories of the Canadian frontier. In "Cowboys Gentlemen & Cattle Thieves," Warren Elofson demonstrates that the Canadian frontier was less restrained, law-abiding, and insulated from death and violence than has been believed. He challenges traditional views that Canadian ranching society was a microcosm of the "Old World," arguing that the greatest influence on ranchers and settlers was the need to deal with the frontier environment.
Elofson helps us feel the dust, sweat, cold, and danger on the round-ups as well as the disheartening after-effects of stampedes. He describes the massive losses incurred when herds were subjected to winter storms, wolves, prairie fires, disease, and rustlers, illustrating the dangers of ordinary life for both cowboy and settler.
"Cowboys Gentlemen & Cattle Thieves" underscores the immense contribution of American "frontiersmanship". Men and women, horses and equipment came north from Montana and other states; among them were legendary cowboys such as John Ware and the owner of the Bar U outfit, George Lane, as well as notorious outlaws like the Sundance Kid.
Elofson makes it clear that the frontier was ultimately developed by the men and women who started family ranches and farms. By adopting intensive agricultural practices, they carved a permanent place in rural western Canada, insuring that they and others like them would occupy the land long after most of the "cattle barons" had faded into the records of history.
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