Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Texas Tidbits : The First Cattle Drive

Cattle drives are as Texan as corn bread and pinto beans. They've been a part of our heritage for hundreds of years. Did you know that the first cattle drive in Texas was a result of the American Revolution, and took place some fifty-seven years before the Alamo? Me either,un- til this morning. In 1779, Spain became a crucial ally to the American colonists fighting for their independence, by declaring war on Great Britain. King Carlos III commissioned Bernardo de Galvez, for whom Galveston is named, to attack British forces along the Mississippi. In order to continue the assault, Galvez needed food for his army. The Handbook of Texas Online picks it up from there : "In order to feed his troops, Gálvez sent an emissary, Francisco García, to Texas governor Domingo Cabello y Robles requesting the delivery of Texas cattle to Spanish forces in Louisiana. Accordingly, between 1779 and 1782, 10,000 cattle were rounded up on ranches belonging to citizens and missions of Bexar and La Bahía." There you have it. the first cattle drive in Texas history. I had never really thought about Texas' role in the American Revolution, but now that I have tasted the first morsel  of it, I am hungry for more. I'll employ my Google-Fu to see what else we can learn about the subject in a future post. Adios, y'all.

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