Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Communism Is Slavery

This is one of the shortest blogs that you will ever read here. This post is an answer to three questions that I received from a reader. The first question, "What's wrong with Communism?" The second question, "Why do you (Tom Correa) hate Communism so much?" And the last question, "How does Communism relate to what's happening today?"

Before going into my answer, let me just say that I have to admit that I was tempted to go into the whole history of Communism. I was going to go into how Communism is slavery, how it makes its subjects slaves of the state, how it deprives people of self-worth, dignity, and basic freedoms.

I was going to go into how Communist governments restrict the human spirit, make demands at the point of a gun, how Communist regimes intimidate and extort through force and threat, and fear of retaliation. I was even going to talk about how Communism has murdered more than a hundred million of its own people during its history.

As for why I hate it so much? I was going to write about how, when I was a U.S. Marine and just 19 years old, I participated in the last two military operations in Vietnam. I was going to describe how I saw the terror on the faces of those fleeing Communism during the Fall of Saigon, South Vietnam, with nothing more than they could carry. I was going to say how it was then that I learned how fear of retribution for wanting to be free can force people to flee for their lives. But I decided not to.

And while I was going to go into details of how in 1985 we all learned about the Communist "Re-Education Camps" in Vietnam after the Communists took over, I decided against it. You see, while I was going to mention how the world learned that year that the Communists in Vietnam had killed over 2.5 million people in their "Re-Education Camps" in the ten years after the Fall of Saigon, I thought you wouldn't care to hear about it.

Yes indeed, I was going to go into all of that simply because I thought for a moment that someone might be interested in knowing about the callousness, the indifference, the pain, and the suffering of those who have had to live under Communism, and why I hate Communism so much. But I decided not to. I decided not to while knowing that long and drawn-out articles about such crimes against humanity don't hold the interest of people who really should be interested in knowing about such horrors. Yes, especially when such horrors may soon be ours.

Instead, I present to you what I think is wrong with Communism:

Communism is all about the total control of every aspect of our lives. Control of their people is absolutely paramount to a Communist regime. Control is their weapon to stop freedom from flourishing. Control enables Communist regimes to hold on to power. That, my friends, in a nutshell, is what's wrong with Communism.

Communism doesn't believe in citizenship or a person having God-given rights. Communism believes the only rights that we have all come from the government. And as such, Communists believe our rights can be taken away by the government. Communism is a form of government in which a powerful, omnipresent central government, consisting of a few people with unrestricted God-like power, can regulate and control every aspect of the lives of its subjects.

Communism is the physical and spiritual antithesis of Americanism and our founding principles. I say this because Communism does not allow its people fundamental rights, such as liberty, free speech, freedom of religion, due process of law, freedom of assembly, freedom against warrantless search and seizure, and freedom to protect oneself -- especially against the government.

In our Republic, Capitalism enables the private sector to employ workers through individual business owners, corporations, or other non-government agencies. Communists believe that capitalism is wrong and the private sector must be under government control. The same goes for the affairs of your city, town, and state. Communism believes that all government affairs, no matter at what level, should answer to the central government.

As for us, a Communist central government would mean a Communist federal government. And of course, this means we would have absolutely no say regarding the destiny of where we live.

As for my opinion about how does Communism relate to what's happening today?

I believe the detrimental policies and actions of primarily Democrat politicians today are all about Democrats believing they have unrestricted power while attempting to transform our federal government into a dominant all-pervasive Communist government. Those wanting this are enemies to us all. They are against everything America is about.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

America's Story Of Slavery Is Not Black & White

Americans should understand that our history regarding slavery is more complex than simply saying, "Black Man Good, White Man Bad." 

I say this since I recently received a note from a reader who took issue with my story The Civil War: Did The North Use Slave Labor?  That article is about child slave labor practices in the Industrialized North during and after the Civil War and the North's hypocrisy. They were supposedly against slavery in the South.

My reader read the story and somehow determined that I tried to somehow demean what African slaves went through. He thought this because I wrote about child slave labor in the North. Though the practice of child slave labor lived long after black slaves were freed in the South, I pointed that out in the article, but that must not matter to him. He just couldn't understand that there are many forms of slavery, that there are many groups who have practiced slavery, and there are several more groups that have been victims of slavery. America's story of slavery is very complex and more than just about African slavery. 

As I state in that article: Slavery comes in several different forms. Forced Marriage, Domestic Servitude, Indentured Servants, Forced Labor, Bonded Labor, Child Labor, and Sex Trafficking are all forms of slavery. As for "chattel slavery"? Chattel slavery is the "owning" of human beings as property. They are bought, sold, given, and inherited. Since slaves in this context have no personal freedom or recognized rights to decide the direction of their own lives, isn't that comparable to what they did to children until the 1930s?

The child slave market was filled by hiring others to find them and detain them. In some cases, it was from orphanages. Other times it was from a destitute family. They were lied to and held prisoner, and even kidnapped. They were sold into bondage and stolen. They had no personal freedom or recognized rights, were beaten and starved, had bounties put on their heads if they escaped from where they were housed or worked, and were in some cases shackled to machinery and given a coffee can to urinate in. To me, that's slavery. That is certainly not the life of a free person.

Slavery in American is not something that only Africans endured. Since I can't avoid the obvious pun, it's not simply Black and White. Slavery is not just about Africans being brought to America as slaves. And while I've gotten used to people writing me to call me a Right-Wing Extremist over silly Leftist social issues, I'm finding that I'm being criticized because I write the truth about our history. 

Of course, the subject more than any other that gets folks on the Left steamed is when I write about the history of slavery in America. We've all heard the Left's mantra, which is always the same: Africans were done wrong as slaves, and no other group comes close to their suffering at the hands of white men.

That's their argument, even if it is wrong. That's what they believe, even if it is wrong. Frankly, the Left gets a lot of things wrong.

For example, the Left keeps saying that 1619 was the start of slavery in the United States. Forget that We the People didn't create the United States until 1776. The year 1619 was not the start of slavery in North America or the British colonies. 

Here's something else they conveniently never mention: the first legally recognized slave owner in Britain's North American colonies was a black man. It's true. According to colonial records, before 1655, there were no legal slaves in Great Britain's American colonies. Believe it or not, they only had "Indentured Servants" before that year. 

After being held for 7 years, all masters were required to free their Indentured Servants since their contracts expired. So yes, 7 years was the limit that an Indentured Servant could be held. Upon their release, a freed Indentured Servant was granted 50 acres of land. Since there were Irish and German Indentured Servants in Virginia at the time, the law stated that this also included any "Negro" purchased from slave traders. Negros, as they were known at the time, were also granted 50 acres upon their release.

Anthony Johnson was a "Negro," as he was listed since the word "negro" means "black," from what is modern-day Angola. He was brought to Virginia to work on a tobacco farm in 1619 after a British ship raided a Portuguese ship. Because the Portuguese slave traders baptized the slaves bought in Africa, the British had to abide by a Crown law that said they could not make slaves of baptized captives. So instead of calling them "slaves," the British called them "Indentured Servants." 

In 1622, Anthony Johnson was almost killed when Powhatan Indians attacked the farm he was on. Of the people on that farm, 52 out of 57 people were killed in the attack. Johnson married a black female servant while still working as an Indentured Servant on the farm. When Johnson was released as an Indentured Servant, he was legally recognized as a "free Negro," and he took up farming. 

To his credit, it's said he ran a very successful farm that expanded. Soon, he had many acres and several black Indentured Servants. In fact, by 1651, Johnson had 250 acres and five black Indentured Servants of his own. In 1654, when it was time for Johnson to release John Casor, one of his black Indentured Servants, he refused. Johnson decided not to. Instead of letting him go, Anthony Johnson instead told Casor that he was extending his time.

Casor left and became employed by a free white man named Robert Parker, Johnson's neighbor. Johnson took legal action and sued Robert Parker in Virginia's Northampton Court in 1654 to retrieve his "property," which was Casor. In 1655, the Virginia colonial court ruled that Anthony Johnson could hold John Casor indefinitely. The court gave judicial sanction for blacks to own slaves of their own race. Because of that, John Casor became the first permanent slave in the British colonies in America, and Anthony Johnson became the first legally recognized slave owner in Britain's American colonies. And yes, both men were Africans.

While both men were black, I find it interesting that whites could not legally hold a black Indentured Servant as an indefinite slave until 15 years later, in 1670. In that year, the Virginia Colonial Assembly passed legislation permitting free whites, blacks, and Indians the right to own blacks as slaves. Yes, that ruling also gave Indians the right to own slaves -- black and white. And yes, they did.

By 1699, the number of free blacks prompted fears of a "Negro insurrection." So, believe it or not, that was the year that the British colony of Virginia ordered the repatriation of freed blacks back to Africa. And believe it or not, most blacks actually remembered what it was like to be sold into slavery by other Africans. So most sold themselves to white masters just so they would not have to return to Africa.

This was the first effort to repatriate free blacks back to Africa. The modern nations of Sierra Leone and Liberia both originated as colonies of repatriated former black slaves. As for black slave owners in North America? Anthony Johnson was just the first of many.

It is true that many slaveholders were African or had some African ancestry. And while this is going to be one of those points where someone is not going to like the truth and will inevitably write to call me something or other, the number of black slave owners continued to rise after the United States was established and cut ties with the British.

President Thomas Jefferson, who is vilified today for owning slaves, stopped the importation of slaves into the United States in 1807. Yet, by 1830, 3,775 black slave owners were living in the South. Those black slave owners owned 12,760 black and white slaves. By 1860, the year before the start of the Civil War, about 3,000 black slaves were owned by black slave owners in New Orleans alone.

It should be noted that some historians believe that black slave owners bought their own relatives to give them better lives. Of course, some historians say that most black slaveholders appeared to hold slaves as a commercial decision absolutely no different than white slave owners did.

Slavery in America is said to have begun when the first African slaves were brought to the North American colony of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619 to aid in the production of crops as tobacco. But that might not be completely accurate. For example, the Irish slave trade began when British King James II sold 30,000 Irish prisoners as slaves to the New World.

England's King James II issued a proclamation of 1625 that required Irish political prisoners be sent overseas and sold to English settlers in the West Indies. By the mid-1600s, the Irish were the main slaves sold to Antigua and Montserrat. At that time, 70% of the total population of Montserrat were Irish slaves.

Ireland quickly became a source of human livestock for English merchants. The majority of the early slaves to the New World were actually white. In fact, from 1641 to 1652, over 500,000 Irish were killed by the English, while another 300,000 were sold as slaves.

As a result of deporting those who the English considered criminals and killing the rest, Ireland's population went from about 1.5 million to less than half that in one decade. Families were said to have been ripped apart as the British did not allow Irish husbands to take their wives, and subsequently, fathers were stripped from their children as they were sent across the Atlantic. 

This led to a population of homeless women and children. Britain’s solution was to auction them off as well. During the 1650s, over 100,000 Irish children were taken from their parents. All just to be sold as slaves in the West Indies, Virginia, and New England.

In that decade, 52,000 Irish, mostly women and children, were sold to Barbados and Virginia. Another 30,000 Irish men and women were sold to the highest bidder. Finally, in 1656, Cromwell reportedly ordered that 2,000 Irish children be taken to Jamaica and sold as slaves to English settlers needing cheap labor.

One writer said that many people today will avoid calling the Irish slaves - yet that's what they indeed were -- slaves. History Revisionists will try to explain the plight of the Irish as their simply being "Contract Labor," which is another term for "Indentured Servants." But it would be dishonest to describe them as such, especially since they were indeed treated as slaves. 

While I know full well that my bringing up the plight of the Irish will be seen as me trying to lessen the plight of Africans brought to America, people should recognize that Irish slaves were nothing more than human cattle during the 17th and 18th centuries. And yes, their plight did precede the Africans. 

Of course, the African slave trade was just beginning during that same period. It is well recorded that African slaves were more expensive to purchase and were actually treated better than their Irish counterparts. Some say that stemmed from the Irish being Catholics, which were hated by the British, who were Protestants. And no, there is no Irish History Month to talk about their suffering. 

And how about those New England slave traders? Why don't we hear how the folks in the British colonies in New England dealt in slaves long before the South got involved in the slave trade? They actually had more Native American slaves than the South had African slaves at one point. 

Why don't we hear about the New England slave trade? Could it be because it had nothing to do with African slaves? And no, I'm not talking about child slave labor in the Industrial North. The New England slave trade had to do with Native Americans in the New England area being taken as slaves by British settlers there? 

The fact is it did happen. During what became known as the First Indian War of 1875, also known as the King Philip’s War, British colonies in the Northeast joined together to create the New England Confederation to fight the Wampanoag, Nipmuck, Pocumtuck, and Narragansett Indians. The leader of the Indians was a Chief by the name of King Philip. 

As a result of that war, thousands of Native Americans of different tribes, including women and children, and the noncombatant elderly who surrendered to avoid enslavement -- were taken as slaves. Almost as many women, children, and elderly were taken as slaves by the British colonialists as were warriors taken as slaves. 

Native Americans were enslaved by British colonialists, and Native Americans enslaved their enemies. It's true. While they were hunted and taken as slaves, Native American tribes took captives and made slaves of their enemies for centuries. They certainly did long before Europeans ever arrived at "The New World, The Americas." 

Slaves were taken as prisoners of war. Among some Pacific Northwest tribes, about a quarter of the population were slaves. Other slave-owning tribes of North America were, for example, the Comanche, the Credo, the Pawnee, and the Kiowa. Most tribes held slaves. 

In fact, many Indian Tribes who made the journey on the Trail of Tears brought their slaves with them -- including their black and white slaves. It's true. After 1800, the Cherokees and the other civilized tribes started buying and using black slaves from whites and black slave owners. It's said that it was a practice that they continued after being relocated to Indian Territory in the 1830s.

The Five Civilized Tribes adopted some practices of the Europeans that they saw as beneficial. Owning slaves was seen as useful. It's said the Cherokee tribe had the most slaves.  In 1809, while it is said that they did have a few white slaves, they held nearly 600 enslaved blacks. In 1835, that number increased to almost 1,600 slaves. And by 1860, that number increase to around 4,000. And yes, that increase came after the Trail of Tears and their relocation to the Indian Territory.

Cherokee populations for those dates were 12,400 in 1809, 16,400 in 1835, and 21,000 in 1860. Of the Cherokee who owned slaves, 83 percent of them held fewer than 10 slaves. Some historians believe that the tribes owned slaves to mirror the whites with who they came in contact. Some say the nature of slavery in Cherokee society often mirrored that of a white slave-owning society. 

For example, the Cherokee had laws that barred intermarriage of Cherokee and enslaved Africans. Cherokee who aided slaves were punished with one hundred lashes on the back. Interestingly, those of African descent were barred from holding office in the Cherokee society. That was especially true if they were a mixed-blood Cherokee.

And as for enemy captives? Man or woman did not matter to the tribes if you were from another tribe. They saw their enemies as lower than them. An example of this is the story about a Ute woman captured by the Arapaho and later sold to a Cheyenne as a slave. The Ute woman was used as a prostitute while she lived as a slave until about 1880, when she died of a hemorrhage resulting from "excessive sexual intercourse." It is said that a Ute had no worth to a Cheyenne.

And no, Native American tribes taking slaves was not a practice confined to the modern-day contiguous lower 48 states. The Haida and Tlingit Indians tribes that lived along southeast Alaska's coast were traditionally known as fierce warriors. They were also slave traders. Some of their slaves were taken along the California coast. Yes, they used boats to raid as far south as the coast of California.

Believe it or not, even Hawaiians had a "slave-class" long before Europeans discovered those islands. The Kingdom of Hawaii called their law The Masters and Servants Act of 1850. Just two years later, in 1852, it replaced the Kingdom's "Kauwa System" of serfdom.

The word "kauwa" is Hawaiian for "slave-class." Their slave class called the"kauwa" was filled with those taken as prisoners of war or their children. The kauwa were identified with a tattoo mark around the eyes or on the forehead. They were indeed slaves, but also much more than that. They were often used as a human sacrifice at the luakini heiau when worshipping their gods. They were not the only human sacrifices. Law-breakers of all classes and social castes, and even defeated political opponents, were also acceptable as human sacrifices. Yes, that's real tough politics when the loser becomes a human sacrifice.

Because of their need for cheap labor, the Kingdom of Hawaii adopted and used the American Fugitive Slave Laws to govern the Indentured Servants and the treatment of immigrant labor brought to Hawaii. When Hawaii became a Territory of the United States on June 14, 1900, Hawaii's Masters and Servants Act of 1850 was abolished. Although not officially slavery, Hawaii's Masters and Servants Act of 1850 nevertheless shared the economic goal of slave laws to harness labor. Those slave laws were that of the United States.

And here's something that you probably won't hear during Black History Month: the Spanish colony of Florida was where the first African slaves were traded in the early 1520s. So while some Leftist groups want to say that slavery of Africans in North America started in Virginia in 1619, they would be wrong. As for those who say it started in 1654 with Anthony Johnson, who was himself an African, convinced a court that his African Indentured Servant John Casor was his property for life, they would be wrong. 

Native American tribes, tribes that, in most cases, were so different from each other that most could not speak the language of their enemies, had been practicing slavery for thousands of years before Europeans ever arrived. Of course, as we can see merely what took place in New England, Florida, Alaska, California, and Hawaii, Native Americans were not the only group to do so. 

Too bad we don't teach the real story of slavery in American schools. And while none of this article is meant to diminish what African slaves went through, we should understand that no single group has exclusive ownership to suffering under slavery. 

As for Reparations over being the descendants of slaves? While this is barely scratching the surface of what took place regarding all of those made slaves, it sounds like more than just blacks would get Reparations if every group who were slaves got payment for suffering. 

So now, have I left anyone out? Well, yes, I have. 

But since I'm sure that I left someone out, let's move on and talk about another type of slavery that was widespread in the West. It was a type of slavery that really took off in the West, and it had everything to do with the Chinese. No, not the Chinese slave labor paid a quarter of what others were paid while working on the railroads. 

Both during and after the 1849 California Gold Rush, Chinese women were trafficked as sex slaves. They were shipped to California from China specifically as sex slaves. And by the way, when blacks today talk about how their ancestors had to face the indignity of standing on an auction block, those Chinese women were made to do the same thing when they were sold at auction starting in the 1850s on the wharf of San Francisco. Yes, right there in San Francisco, a sex slave trade was started. 

Chinese women were paraded out in open-air auctions to be less than human and feel shame. The sale of those Chinese women as sex slaves forced them into lives of prostitution and lives of bondage. And while it has since gone underground, sex-slave trafficking is something that is still taking place today.

Though the slave wages paid to illegals to do farm work still lure many across the border, illegals are not as needed on farms since more and more of America's agriculture is modernizing. But we should make no mistake about it. While illegals are needed as slave labor in sweatshops, today, children are the number one commodity in sex slave trafficking. 

Who is responsible, and who is profiting off of today's sex-slave trafficking? Politicians! 

Some say it's the coyote, the brokers, government officials, the shipper, and several other middlemen. In reality, the middlemen are not the people making it all possible. That distinction belongs solely to the politicians who are fighting so hard to keep our border with Mexico open. And frankly, I agree with those who say our politicians are getting rich off of the sex slave trade because they are responsible for allowing the underground sex slave trade to stay in business.

American politicians are responsible for the trafficking of women and children as sex slaves today. And no, we're not talking about putting teenagers on the streets of our biggest Democrat-controlled cities as hookers. Instead, I'm talking about sex slaves as young as 6 and 8 years old to be used by wealthy pedophiles. What should make every American angry is that men and women in Washington D.C., our political representatives, have the ability to stop it. But they don't. That makes them ultimately criminally responsible for enabling child sex slave trafficking to take place. 

Subsequently, today, with the help of corrupt politicians getting paid to keep our border open and unsecured, politicians who oppose securing the border allow modern-day slave trafficking and child sex slave trafficking into the United States from anywhere in the world. They are the people responsible for women and children from Mexico and Latin America, from China and other nations, to come into the United States for such a life. 

So while some want Americans to focus on the black slavery of the distant past, real slavery continues today. And yes, it is a shame that the politicians who scream the loudest to open our border haven't faced criminal charges yet for allowing slavery of both women and children to continue in the United States. Of course, corrupt politicians of both parties are being paid to keep the border open. I'm told that all politicians have to do to keep getting paid by Mexican Cartels is simply maintain a political position of opposing our securing our border with Mexico.

Before someone writes to tell me, "We need more laws." Please remember that the African slave trade in the United States went underground after President Thomas Jefferson stopped the legal importation of African slaves into the United States in 1807. That law took effect on January 1st, 1808. From 1808 to when the Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Lincoln in 1863, for those 55 years, slave traders risked arrest and prison to fill their pockets with money. 

That same sore of greed is the problem that we face today. While slavery was technically outlawed with the passage of the 13th Amendment, slavery is still going on because of corrupt politicians. Sadly, we have crooked politicians in Congress and the White House today who are amoral, terribly dishonest, easily bought, and have no regard for human life. Many feel that the law doesn't apply to them.

Some say they should be tar and feathered. Frankly, I agree.

Tom Correa

Tuesday, June 8, 2021

Cowboy Ballads by Myra Hull

by Myra Hull

February 1939, (Vol. 8, No. 1), pages 35 to 60.

ALL the cowboy songs in this collection are genuine; that is, they have actually been sung by ranchers and cowboys on the range, along the trail, in the night herder's lone vigils on the prairie, or in the cowboy's moments of relaxation around the campfire and in the dance hall in the open cow town at the end of the trail.

None of the songs here recorded have been borrowed from other collections. Some of them I heard as a child, as they were sung by my cowboy brothers, by hired hands, or by the cattlemen who frequently stayed the night at our homestead in Butler county, twenty miles from Jesse Chisholm's trading post, on the old Chisholm trail; others were set down for me as remembered by old-time cowboys of the 1870s, such as N. P. Power; several of the most picturesque ones were contributed by my nephew, Dr. Hull Alden Cook, as they are still sung on the ranches of Colorado, Arizona, and Wyoming.

I have been inspired by such ballad collectors as N. Howard Thorp, Dr. Louise Pound, Miss Margaret Larkin, and John and Alan Lomax, as well as the numerous contributors to the Journal of American Folk-Lore. But all these collections have been used only for purposes of comparison and comment. In every instance, I have observed the tradition of folk-ballad collectors in recording songs exactly as they were sung, being careful not to yield to the temptation to improve upon the text or to synthesize the variants in order to produce an attractive composite song.

Cowboy songs are ballads; that is, they are stories in song. Furthermore, many of them are folk ballads, in a very real, if not in a technical sense. One of the tests of the Old World folk ballad was its anonymity, which was acquired through centuries of oral transmission until its origin was lost in antiquity. Cowboy songs are comparatively young so that one might expect the authors to be known. Some few of them are, but many of the origins have been obscured by word-of-mouth transmission, as they were for the most part not written down but were disseminated by the singing cowboys as they went up the trail or from one ranch to another.

Moreover, although the themes of most of the cowboy songs were indigenous, the cowboy had the habit of borrowing a song or a poem, adapting it to the occasion, and with joyous abandon, adding to it endlessly. The most popular of these songs have countless variants, many of unconscionable length. Much of this re-creation has communal aspects, as the examples will illustrate later.

In composing his song the cowboy might purloin only a line, as in the "Come, all ye" pattern of the "Texas Ranger"; sometimes a stanza would be lifted bodily; and in at least one instance, "The Dying Cowboy," a whole song has been parodied. Some of the tunes are likewise borrowed and may be traced to German folk songs, Irish airs, English and Scotch ballads, popular American songs, or even hymn tunes. Of most of the apparently original tunes as well as the words, it is next to impossible to discover the composer.

Whatever their origin, the cowboy has by his singing and his recreations made them his own, and has unconsciously established a norm with more or less clearly defined characteristics. The cowboy vernacular, the marked accent and verve of the rhythm, the peculiar moods, and themes, tend to give the ballads a certain distinctive flavor by which the collector learns to test their genuineness. And when all allowances have been made for borrowings, there remains a mass of material that impresses one with its freshness, its invigorating atmosphere, its dramatic quality, and its power to revive a real-world in which the cowboy was the dominant figure.

The importance of the cowboy in the development of the West has not been fully appreciated. He appears in the movie and in the radio broadcast as a picturesque figure, dashing over the plains in pursuit of wild and romantic adventures: a more or less isolated phenomenon, dissociated from the serious business of history-making and state-building. As a matter of fact, the cowboy was the central figure not of light comedy and romance but of an enterprise so vast as to assume epic proportions.

According to Joseph Nimmo, a government statistician, between five and six million Texas cattle were driven northward during the twenty years following the Civil War. In one single year, 260,000 cattle crossed the Red River, going "up the trail." That meant an army of 2,600 cowboys, to say nothing of the number required to care for the vast herds on the various ranches. Not only was the cattle industry a great enterprise in itself, but it had very important by-products as well, in the making of trails and in establishing along these roads cow towns that became permanent titles.

The most important of these trails, the Chisholm Trail, began as a traders' trail, established by Jesse Chisholm, in 1865, in order that the Indians of the Southwest might have access to the supplies of his store, which was in the vicinity of present Wichita. From this trading post the "Traders' trail" ran southward deep into present Oklahoma, crossing the Kansas line near Caldwell. Two years later the Texas drovers were traveling this trail, on their way to Abilene, to which the Kansas Pacific railroad was completed in 1867. 

Eventually, the whole cattle trail from the Red River station northward through the Indian territory and the Kansas towns of Caldwell, Wichita, and Newton to Abilene, a distance of over 600 miles, was known as the Chisholm Trail. As railroads and settlers carried the frontier westward, other towns, such as Ellsworth and Dodge City, received Texas cattle. 

The most original cowboy songs were those about "the long drive up the trail," and the most famous of these ballads is "The Old Chisholm Trail." Miss Margaret Larkin rightly calls this the cowboy's classic: "Its simple beating tune, . . . its extemporaneous yelps, whoops, and yips; its occasional departures from singing into shouting, are as exciting as the clatter of horses' hooves on the hard prairie." 

N. Howard Thorp, whose version is the earliest I have found in print, says: "The origin of this song is unknown. There are several thousand verses. . . . Every puncher knows a few more. . . ." 

The song is sung from Mexico to the Canadian line; and if one had all the versions reduced to a composite whole, it would furnish most of the colorful episodes of the cowboy's strenuous life. The stampede, the most dreaded event in the cattle drive, is recorded in almost all the versions:

I popped my foot in the stirrup and gave a little yell,
The tail cattle broke and the leader went to hell. (Thorp)

Oh, the wind commenced to blow and the rain began to fall,
And it looked, by grab, that we was gonna to lose 'em all. (Hull)

The song pictures also the long, hard drive, through storm and flood, the monotonous fare of bacon and beans, and the unsatisfactory pay-off, with hints of wild carousals in the saloons of the cow towns.

Tune "A," given below, was contributed by my brother, O. J. Hull, now of Ontario, Cal. I do not know when he first heard it, but probably comparatively early, for he lived near the old Chisholm trail as early as 1873 when the treks of the longhorns from Texas to Caldwell and Wichita over Chisholm's traders' trail were only well begun. The tune of the stanzas is similar to Margaret Larkin's second version, but the refrain is entirely different from hers. 

The words of Version "A" are so nearly like those of Version "B" that I have recorded them only once. Version "B" was contributed by Dr. Hull Alden Cook, now of Sidney, Neb., as he heard it in Colorado. He also sings the more common tune of the first version, to the accompaniment of his guitar.


Oh come along, boys, and listen to my tale,
I'll tell you all my troubles on the of Chis'm trail.


Come a-ti yi youpy youpy ya youpy yay,
Come a-ti yi youpy youpy yay.

On a ten-dollar horse and a forty-dollar saddle,
I was ridin', and a-punchin' Texas cattle.

We left of Texas October twenty-third,
Drivin' up trail with a 2 U Herd.

I'm up in the mornin' afore daylight,
An' afore I sleep the moon shines bright..

It's bacon and beans most every day,
I'd as soon be eatin' prairie hay.

Old Ben Bolt was a blamed good boss,
But he'd go to see the girls on a sore-backed hoss.

Old Ben Bolt was a mighty good man,
And you'd know there was whisky wherever he'd land.

I woke up one mornin' on the Chisholm trail,
With a rope in my hand and a cow by the tail.

Last night on guard, an' the leader broke the ranks,
I hit my horse down the shoulders an' spurred him in the flanks.

Oh it's cloudy in the west, and a-lookin' like rain,
And my damned of slicker's in the wagon again.

Oh the wind commenced to blow and the rain began to fall.
An' it looked by grab that we was gonna lose 'em all.

I jumped in the saddle an' I grabbed a-holt the horn,
The best damned cowpuncher ever was born.

I was on my best horse, and a-goin' on the run,
The quickest-shootin' cowboy that ever pulled a gun.

No chaps, no slicker, and it's pourin' down rain,
An' I swear, by God, I'll never nightherd again.

I herded and I hollered, and I done pretty well,
Till the boss said, "Boys, just let 'em go to Hell."

I'm goin' to the ranch to draw my money,
Goin' into town to see my Honey.

I went to the boss to draw my roll,
He figgered me out nine dollars in the hole.

So I'll sell my outfit as fast as I can,
And I won't punch cows for no damn man.

So I sold old Baldy and I hung up my saddle,
And I bid farewell to the longhorn cattle.

"Whoopee Ti-Yi-O," one of the most picturesque songs of the trail, traces the drive of the cattle from Texas to their "new home"in Wyoming. "Early in springtime," in fact as early as March, the ranchers of northern Texas began to round up the cattle that had been running on the range. Those not already branded were marked. 

Then the horse-herd, the "cavvyard," was brought in by the horse wrangler. It consisted of a "string" of six to ten horses for each cowboy. A cattle king with 15,000 cattle to drive north would divide them into herds of 2,500 each, with about twenty-five cowboys in attendance, so that 150 horses might be in each "cavvy."

When they were at last ready to "throw the dogies out on the long trail," the order of march was usually as follows: The two leading cowboys, one on each side, rode at the head, "pointing the herd." At regular intervals other cowpunchers rode along the flanks, and still others brought up the rear. Usually the chuckwagon followed the herd, and next came the "cavvy." A herd of two thousand cattle would string out for a mile or two, and might be on the road from Texas to northern Idaho from March to August.

Cattle were driven north to the railway markets, or to feed on the lush grass of the high plains, or to furnish "beef for Uncle Sam's Injuns" on the reservations of the Northwest.

"Whoopee Ti-Yi-O" is one of the most interesting of the cowboy songs in its picturesque cowboy vernacular and in the weirdness of its tune. The tune of my version is similar to Owen Wister's, as recorded by Lomax, except that mine is further complicated by an additional refrain, which makes another peculiar turn in the melody.

As to the age of the song, Miss Larkin thinks it dates from somewhere in the 1860's. But so far as I have been able to learn, neither the exact date nor the author is known. N. Howard Thorp says that he heard it sung by Jim Falls, in Tombstone, Ariz. Wister's date, 1893, seems to be the earliest thus far noted. 

The version here recorded, as set down by Dr. Hull Alden Cook, is still sung on the ranges of Colorado and Wyoming.


As I was a walk-in' one morn-ing for pleas-ure,
I saw a cow-punch-er a rid-in' a-long.
His hat was throwed back and his spurs was a ,jing-lin;
And as he a approached he was sing-in' this song,

Chorus (to be sung after each stanza)

Whoo - pee: Ti- yi- o, Git a long lit-tle dog-ies;
It's your mis- for- tune, And none of my own,
Whoopee: Ti-yi-o, Git a - long lit-tle dog-ies,
For you know that Wy-om-ing will be your new home.

Oh, early in the springtime we round up the dogies,
Mark 'em and brand 'em and bob off their tails.
Then round up the horses, and load the chuckwagon,
And then throw the dogies out on the long trail.

Oh, some boys goes up the trail for pleasure,
But that's where they gets it most awfully wrong.
For you have no idea the trouble they give us,
While we go a-driving them all along.
Oh, your mothers was raised away down in Texas,
Where the jimpson weed and the sandburs grow.
Now we'll fill you up on prickly pear and cholla,
Till you're ready for the trail to Idaho.

Oh, you will be soup for Uncle Sam's Injuns,
It's "Beef-heap beef" I hear them cry.
Git along, git along, git along little dogies,
You'll be beef Steers bye and bye.

Oh, I ain't got no father; I ain't got no mother,
My friends, they all left me when first I did roam.
I ain't got no sister; I ain't got no brother,
I'm a poor lonesome cowboy an' a long ways from home 

"The Texas Ranger," another ballad of the trail, is of the familiar "Come, all ye" pattern. It introduces an incident that is a reminder of the fact that the cowboys were useful to the on-coming settlers in repelling Indian attacks and in pushing the frontier westward.

The words of this song are recorded by Louise Pound, Mellinger Henry, John A. Lomax, and others, but the tunes seem to be rare.  

Of the version here recorded, both words and music were contributed by N. P. Power, Lawrence, February 18, 1938. He set the song down from memory as he heard it in 1876, while a cowboy on the John Hitson cattle ranch, eighteen miles north of Deer Trail, Colo. Mr. Power says that he has never seen the song in print and has no knowledge of the author. His version is much the earliest that I have found.


Come, all ye Texas rangers, wherever you may be,
I'll tell ye of some trouble that happened unto me.
Come, all ye Texas rangers, I'm sure I wish you well,
My name is nothing extra, so that I will not tell.

When at the age of Sixteen I joined the jolly band,
That marched from San Antonio down to the Rio Grande.
Our Captain he informed us, I suppose he thought it right,
"Before you reach the Station, my boys, you'll have to fight."

We saw the Indians coming, we heard them give the yell;
My feelings at that moment, no human tongue can tell.
We saw the glittering lances, the arrows round me hailed;
My heart it sank within, my courage almost failed.

We fought them nine long hours before the Strife was o'er,
And the like of dead and dying I never saw before.
Twelve of the noblest rangers that ever roamed the West,
Were buried with their comrades and Sank in peace to rest.

Then I thought of my dear mother, who through tears to me did say,
"These men to you are strangers; with me you'd better stay."
But I thought her old and childish, the best she did not know,
For my mind was bent on rambling and rambling I did go.

Perhaps you have a mother, perhaps a sister, too;
Likewise you have a sweetheart to weep and moan for you.
If this be your condition and you're inclined to roam,
I'll tell you by experience you'd better stay at home.

The words and music of "Jake and Rome" were sent to me by Dr. Hull Alden Cook, with this note of explanation: "This is the song as I obtained it from a Navajo girl at Kayenta, Ariz. Her adopted name is Betty Wetherill, and she has been adopted into John Wetherill's family. She and her sister sang this to me one night in June, 1935, at the Wetherill ranch home, in the heart of the desert."


Jake and Rome were ridin' along,
Jake was singin' what he called a song,
When up from a gully what Should appear
But a mossbacked sooky and a bald-faced steer.

Jake started after with his hat pulled down,
He built. himself a 'locker that would snare a town,
But the steer he headed for the setting sun,
And believe me, neighbor, he could hump and run.

Rome followed up his partner's deal
Two old waddies that could head and heel
Both of them a-workin' for the Chicken
Coop With a red hot iron and a hungry loop.

The sun was shinin' in old Jake's eyes,
And he wasn't ready for no great surprise,
When the steer gave a wiggle like his dress was tight,
And he busted through a juniper, and dropped from sight.

Old Jake's pony done a figure 8,
Jake done his addin' just a mite too late.
He left the saddle a-seein' red,
And he landed in the gravel of a river bed.

Now Rome's horse was a good horse, too,
But he couldn't figure out just where Jake flew;
So he humped and he started for the cavvyard,
And he left Rome sittin' where the ground was hard.

Jake Sat a-holdin' up his swelled up thumb,
Says he, "I reckon we was goin' some!"
When Rome he bellered, "Get away from here,
Or you're goin' to get tangled with that bald-faced steer!"

Rome clumb a-straddle of a juniper tree,
"There's no more room up here," says he.
So Jake he figures for himself to save
By backin' in the opening of a cutback cave.

The Steer he charged with his head 'way down,
A-rollin' his eyes and a-pawin' the ground
Hookin' and a-sniffln' and a-turnin' about,
Every time he quit old Jake come out!

Rome said, "You old fool, back out of sight,
You act like you're hankerin' to make him fight!"
When Jake he answered sort of fierce and queer:
"Back, hell, nothin'; there's a bear in here!"

A favorite theme of cowboy songs is the death of the cowboy on "the lone prairie." It is not strange that the thought of such a tragic end was uppermost in his mind, for life on the trail was hazardous. On this point Everett Dick says that a horse's stepping into a prairie dog or badger hole might throw its rider under an on rushing herd, where he would be trampled to death."

In trying to turn a herd, it was not uncommon for a cowboy to ride off a cliff or into a gully, where his comrades found his mangled form the next day. Along the trail another mound was made, which bore mute witness to the fact that a cowboy died doing his duty." 

The fragment, "Blood on the Saddle," treats of such an episode; and though the song is sung in a humorous fashion, its connotation was anything but funny to cowboys. I know nothing of the origin of the song, but I am inclined to agree with Dr. R. W. Gordon, formerly of the American Folk-Lore archives of the Library of Congress, that it does not quite ring true as a genuine cowboy song.

My niece, Dr. Winifred Hull Salinger, New Haven, Conn., sang this song for me in 1930, as Austin Phelps had heard it in Arizona.


There's b-lood on the saddle,
There's b-lood all around.
And a great big puddle
Of blood on the ground.

Oh, pity the cowboy,
So bloody and red.
His pony fell on him,
And mashed in his head.

"The Dying Cowboy," or "The Lone Prairie," has for its theme the cowboy's lonely grave on the prairie. N. Howard Thorp says that he first heard this song from Kearn Carico, Norfolk, Neb., in 1886. The authorship, he says, has been accredited to H. Clemons, Deadwood, Dak. 

However, as I have mentioned before, the words are obviously a parody, stanza for stanza, of "The Ocean Burial," a song, according to Phillips Barry, familiar to folk-singers of the Eastern states nearly a hundred years ago.

Alvin B. Cook, of Dodge City, remembers hearing his mother sing "The Burial at Sea," the same song, in western Kansas some forty years ago.

Of the many tunes of "The Dying Cowboy," my version "A" is the most common. It is similar to the Lomax and the Larkin tune. Version "A" was sung by Dr. Leroy W. Cook, Boulder, Colo., as he heard it in western Kansas forty years ago. Version "B" was sung by Joe M. Hull, now of Bonner's Ferry, Idaho, as he heard it in southern Kansas, probably in the early 1890's. I have never seen this tune in print.

The complete song as recorded by Thorp and others is six or eight stanzas long.


Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie,
Where the wild coyote will howl o'er me,
And the rattlesnake coiling there o'er me.

Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie.

"Oh, bury me not," and his voice failed there;
But they listened not to his dying prayer;
In a narrow grave just six by three
They laid him there on the lone prairie.

Where the dewdrops fall and the butterfly rest,
The wild rose bloom on the prairie's crest;
Where the coyotes howl and the wind blows free,
They buried him there on the lone prairie.


Another prime favorite with the cowboy was "The Cowboy's Lament." N. Howard Thorp says that he heard a version of this song in 1886. The authorship, he adds, is accredited to Troy Hale, Battle Creek, Neb.  But here again there is obviously a borrowing at least of the refrain,

Beat the drum slowly and play the fife lowly,
And play the dead march as they carry me on.

This, Phillips Barry points out, bears a striking resemblance to a passage in the Irish song, "The Unfortunate Rake" (Ireland, 1790). 

But whatever its origin, the cowboy by his re-creations has made it his own. There are innumerable versions. Of these, Thorp's is the earliest. Lomax has a much longer variant.

The opening line of Dr. Pound's version is unique:

As I walked through Tom Sherman's bar-room.

One of the commonest beginning lines is Thorp's-

As I walked out in the streets of Laredo.

Miss Larkin's first lines are unusual:

My home's in Montana,
I wear a bandana.

Interesting, too, is Miss Larkin's concluding stanza:

And take me to Boot Hill And cover me with roses,
I'm just a young cowboy And I know I done wrong.

Version "A," contributed by Freda Butterfield, was sung by her father, Oscar G. Butterfield, as he learned it in western Kansas in the late 1880's. Miss Butterfield is in doubt about some of the lines, particularly of the first stanzas.


Come sit beside me and hear my sad story
Tell one and the other before they go.
further to stop their wild roaming before it's too late.

My friends and re-la-tions they live in the na - tion:
They know not whith- er their poor boy has roamed,
I first took to drink - ing and then to card play- ing,
Got shot in the bos- om and death is my doom,

My friends and relations they live in the Nation;
They know not whither their poor boy has roamed;
I first took to drinking and then to card-playing,
Got shot in the bosom and death is my doom.

So write me a letter to my gray-haired mother,
And write me a letter to sister so dear,
Then there is another who's dearer than my mother
Who'd weep if she knew I was dying out here.

Then beat the drums slowly and play the fife lowly
And play the dead march as you carry me along;
Take me to the graveyard and lay the sod o'er me,
For I'm a poor cowboy, and I know I've done wrong.

Version "B," as sung by Joe M. Hull (about 1890), has which I have not seen in print nor heard elsewhere.


Sometimes the cowboy songs are cynical in mood. Such a one is "I've Got No Use for the Women," as sung by Freda Butterfield, Iola. 

I know nothing as to the origin of this "gambler and gunman" song. Such terms as "mesquite," "chaparral," and "vaquero" indicate that it hails from the Southwest.


I've got no use for the women;
A true one may never be found;
They'll stand by a man when he's winning,
And laugh in his face when he's down.

My pal was a straight young puncher,
Honest and upright and square;
He became a gambler and gunman,
And a woman sent him there.

If she'd been the pal that she should have,
He might have been raisin' a son
Instead of out there on the prairies
To fall by the ranger's gun.

When a vaquero insulted her picture
He filled him full of lead.

All the night long they trailed him
O'er mesquite and gay chaparral;
And I couldn't help think of that woman
As I saw him pitch and fall.

He raised his head on his elbow,
The blood from his wounds flowed red;
He looked around at his comrades,
Whispered to them and said:

Oh, bury me out on the prairie
Where the coyotes may howl o'er my grave.
Bury me out on the prairie,
Some of my bones to save.
Wrap me up in my blanket;
Bury me deep in the ground,
Then cover me over with boulders
Of granite huge and round.

So we buried him out on the prairie,
Where the coyotes still howl o'er his grave;
And his soul is now a-resting
From the unkind touch she gave;
And many another young puncher
As he rides by that pile of stones,
Recalls some similar woman,
And envies his mould'ring bones.

Cowboys in their hours of leisure and relaxation in the winter evenings on the ranch or in the saloons and dance halls, swapped songs that they had brought with them from the East and South or picked up here and there from some settler or chance acquaintance. 

Such a song is "Springfield Mountain," one of the very few American ballads based on an actual incident. Its history is discussed in exhaustive articles by W. W. Newell and by Phillips Barry, according to whom the original ballad was a serious one, recounting the tragic death of "Lieutenant Merrick's only son."

(The name varies, as Curtis, Carter, etc.) But the song has become debased by oral transmission and re-creation until it is a ludicrous comedy.

The song here set down by Dr. Hull A. Cook as it is still sung in Colorado has a tune different from any that I have seen in print.


On Spring-field moun - tain there did dwell
A come - ly youth, I knew him well
Ti - roo - ri, roo - ri, roo - ri - ray;
Ti - roo - ri, roo - ri, roo - ri ra - a - ay, roo - ri - ray.

On Monday morning, he did go Out in the meadow for to mo-o-ow.

As he was mowing, he did feel

A pizen sarpint bite his he-e-el. (Refrain.)

Oh Molly, Molly, come and see
A pizen sarpint bited me-e-e.

Then Molly knelt on her knee
And sucked the pizen out of he-e-e.

But Molly had a rotten tooth
And so the pizen killed them bo-o-oth.

(The song is sung without a break between the refrain and the following stanza.)

Another native ballad that has shown remarkable vitality and longevity is "Young Charlotte." Phillips Barry, who says that he himself knows thirty versions of this song, accredits its authorship to William Carter, "the Bensontown Homer." From Vermont, the author seems to have carried his song to Ohio and Illinois and perhaps even to Utah with the Mormons. This early trek across the continent may account for the song's wide dissemination. After almost a hundred years of "communal re-creation," Mr. Barry believes, the song "has earned the right" to be enrolled "in the number of the nobility" among ballads. 

The song is a "nice long one," and would last out the cowboy's evening, the Barry and the Pound versions each having twenty-six stanzas. Although the words vary slightly in the different versions, the theme is always the same.

Young Charlotte lived on a mountainside, In a wild and lonely spot, There was no house for ten miles around, Except her father's cot.

Young Charlotte was fair but too proud. On a bitterly cold night, she went with Charlie, her lover, to a dance a long distance from her home. Her mother urged her to wrap up in a blanket for fear she would "take her death of cold" during the long sleigh ride to the dance.

"Oh, no, Oh, no," young Charlotte cried,
And she laughed like a gypsy queen;
"To ride in blankets muffed up
I never will be seen."

As the ride progressed, Charlotte complained that she "grew exceeding cold"; but later she murmured faintly, "I'm growing warmer now." As they drove up to the dance hall door, Charlie discovered that his "charming bride" was a "frozen corpse."

Her parents mourned for their daughter dear,
And Charles wept o'er the gloom,
Till at last young Charles too died of grief,
And they both lie in one tomb.

The song ends with a moral:

Young ladies, think of this fair girl
And always dress aright,
And never venture thinly clad
On such a wintry night. 

The tune, which I heard Zeke Paris sing more than forty years ago, is the same one that my mother used in the well-known Civil War song, "The Drummer Boy of Shiloh." 


Cowboy life was enlivened by racy snatches, such as this one from "The Son of a Gamboleer"

-I drink my whisky clear,
I'm a roving rake of poverty,
The son of a gamboleer.

I recall from hired hands' repertoires such choice bits as

She turned up the box and she poured out the pepper,
Whack-fal-de-al-de-ay, whack-fal-de-al-de-ay,
There's whisky in the jar!


In such a category belongs Lomax's "Cowboys' Gettin'-Up Holler," my version of which runs,

Wake, Snake, day's a-breakin'!
Peas in the pot, and the hoe-cake's a-bakin'!

This is one of the countless choruses of "Old Dan Tucker," perhaps the most nearly ubiquitous of all American fiddle tunes. Other dance tunes popular with the cowboy were "Money Musk," "Fisher's Hornpipe," "Devil's Dream," "Arkansaw Traveller," "Rosin the Bow," "Irish Washerwoman," and "Turkey in the Straw" (sung by my mother as "Old Zip Coon"). 

If the fiddler were absent, the caller at the dance would improvise words to many of these tunes. "The Girl I Left Behind Me," that favorite of the Civil War, of ancient lineage, went through almost as many transformations as "Mademoiselle from Armentieres."

In gentler mood, the cowboy of the 1870s indulged in some of the popular sentimental songs, such as "Lorena," "Sweet Evelina," "Bonnie Eloise," "Annie Lisle," "Lillie Dale," and "Sweet Eulalie." In such a mood, no doubt, the "notorious woman outlaw" of the Indian territory, Belle Starr, struck off "My Love Is a Rider." 

The words of this song, recorded by Margaret Larkin, are strongly reminiscent of the following song, which my mother, Mrs. Eliza Sinclair Hull, brought West with her from Ohio, in 1866.

All I've got is an old iron pot, And a fryin' pan to wash the baby in.


My lover's a rider, a rider so fine;
The steed is his sov'reign; the rider is mine.

Blue eyes and brown hair, and right noble in mien;
Oh, charming and fair is my lover, I ween.
My heart is a castle well-bolted and grim;
My love is the pass-key; it opens to him.

My lover's away; he is over the sea;
I need not be told he is thinking of me.
If you have a lover so noble and true;
I'll finish my song and then listen to you.

Not uncommon among the songs of the cowboy (sung, sometimes, I fear, when he had reached the maudlin stage of inebriation) were the sob-songs of mother, home, and the cowboy's heaven.

Sam Ridings, in The Chisholm Trail, mentions one of these songs, which he calls "Two Thousand Miles Away." It is almost exactly like the chorus of the following song, which I heard Zeke Paris sing when I was a child. I wish it were possible to put into the printed song the great fervor and pathos of the singer!


On the banks of a lone - ly riv- er,
Ten thous- and miles a - way.
Then blame me not for weep - ing;
Oh, blame me not, I pray,
For I've an ag - ad moth - or
Whose hair is turning gray

Then blame me not for weep - ing;
Oh, blame me not, I pray,
For I've an ag - ad moth - or
Ten thou - sand miles a - way.

Of the numerous songs depicting the cowboy's heaven, perhaps the most famous one is "The Cowboy's Dream," beginning

Last night as I lay on the prairie
And looked at the stars in the sky,
I wondered if ever a cowboy
Would drift to the sweet bye and bye.

The song, to the tune of "My Bonnie Lies Over the Ocean," is an analogy in which heaven, "the trail to the great mystic regions," is compared to the long drive up the trail.

The most picturesque stanza is

And I'm scared that I'll be a stray yearling,
A maverick, unbranded on high,
And get out in the bunch with the "rustler,"
When the Boss of the Riders goes by.

N. Howard Thorp's version, one of the earliest, he says was given him by Walt Roberts, Double Diamond ranch, White Mountains, 1898. The authorship is ascribed to the father of Captain Roberts; of the Texas Rangers.

The loveliest cowboy song of the lone night on the prairie is "Night Herdin' Song." This version, as it is still sung to quiet the restless cattle on the range, was set down for me by Dr. Hull A. Cook. I know of only two tunes for this song, the one I record here and Margaret Larkin's. 


Oh, move slow, dogies; quit roving around,
You have wandered and trampled all over the ground.
Oh, graze along, dogies, and feed kinda slow,
And don't forever be on the go.

Move slow, little dogies, move slow,
Hi-o, Hi-o-o-o-o.

I've circle herded and night herded too,
But to keep you together! That's what I can't do.
My horse is leg weary, and I'm awful tired,
But if you get away I am sure to get fired.

Bunch up, little dogies, bunch up,
on the go. Move slow, lit - tle do - gies, move slow.
Hi-o, Hi-o-o-o-o.

Oh, lay still, dogies, since you have laid down,
Stretch away out on the big open ground.
Snore loud little dogies and drown the wild sounds
That will all go away when the day rolls around.

Lay still, little dogies, lay still,
Hi-o, Hi-o-o-o-o (Repeat) Hi-o, Hi-o-o-o-o.

There is something singularly moving in this song, as it is sung in the dim light of a Western campfire, to the soft accompaniment of the guitar. One who has slept out under the open sky on the barren high plains of Wyoming is reminded poignantly of the "wild sounds" that haunt the night watcher in that desolate region.

This picture of the "leg-weary" cowboy talking to his restless cattle, pleading with them not to stampede, and finally soothing them to sleep with his plaintive lullaby, brings to a fitting close this brief survey of the cowboy's life in song.

-- end of 1939 article from the Kansas Historical Society.

This is reprinted here as it was published in 1939. 

Tom Correa

Friday, June 4, 2021

Causes of the Civil War

Battle of Gettysburg
Currier & Ives lithograph, July, 3,1863

While I will go into the multiple causes of the Civil War in a moment, I hope you find the Democratic Party's 1856 and 1860 official political platforms below as interesting as I do. The language sounds almost patriotic and reasonable until one realizes that Democrats wanted to keep slavery intact and allow it in the West. 

1856 Democratic Party Platform
June 02, 1856

Resolved, That the American Democracy place their trust in the intelligence, the patriotism, and the discriminating justice of the American people.

Resolved, That we regard this as a distinctive feature of our political creed, which we are proud to maintain before the world, as the great moral element in a form of government springing from and upheld by the popular will; and we contrast it with the creed and practice of Federalism, under whatever name or form, which seeks to palsy the will of the constituent, and which conceives no imposture too monstrous for the popular credulity.

Resolved, therefore, That, entertaining these views, the Democratic Party of this Union, through their Delegates assembled in a General Convention, coming together in a spirit of concord, of devotion to the doctrines and faith of a free representative government, and appealing to their fellow-citizens for the rectitude of their intentions, renew and re-assert before the American people, the declarations of principles avowed by them when, on former occasions in general Convention, they have presented their candidates for the popular suffrage.

1. That the Federal Government is one of limited power, derived solely from the Constitution; and the grants of power made therein ought to be strictly construed by all the departments and agents of the government; and that it is inexpedient and dangerous to exercise doubtful constitutional powers.

2. That the Constitution does not confer upon the General Government the power to commence and carry on a general system of internal improvements.

3. That the Constitution does not confer authority upon the Federal Government, directly or indirectly, to assume the debts of the several States, contracted for local and internal improvements, or other State purposes; nor would such assumption be just or expedient.

4. That justice and sound policy forbid the Federal Government to foster one branch of industry to the detriment of any other, or to cherish the interests of one portion to the injury of another portion of our common country; that every citizen and every section of the country has a right to demand and insist upon an equality of rights and privileges, and to complete and ample protection of persons and property from domestic violence or foreign aggression.

5. That it is the duty of every branch of the Government to enforce and practice the most rigid economy in conducting our public affairs, and that no more revenue ought to be raised than is required to defray the necessary expenses of the Government, and for the gradual but certain extinction of the public debt.

6. That the proceeds of the public lands ought to be sacredly applied to the national objects specified in the Constitution; and that we are opposed to any law for the distribution of such proceeds among the States, as alike inexpedient in policy and repugnant to the Constitution.

7. That Congress has no power to charter a national bank; that we believe such an institution one of deadly hostility to the best interests of the country, dangerous to our republican institutions and the liberties of the people, and calculated to place the business of the country within the control of a concentrated money power, and above the laws and the will of the people; and that the results of Democratic legislation in this and all other financial measures upon which issues have been made between the two political parties of the country, have demonstrated to candid and practical men of all parties, their soundness, safety, and utility, in all business pursuits.

8. That the separation of the moneys of the Government from banking institutions is indispensable for the safety of the funds of the Government and the rights of the people.

9. That we are decidedly opposed to taking from the President the qualified veto power, by which he is enabled, under restrictions and responsibilities amply sufficient to guard the public interests, to suspend the passage of a bill whose merits cannot secure the approval of two-thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, until the judgment of the people can be obtained thereon, and which has saved the American people from the corrupt and tyrannical domination of the Bank of the United States, and from a corrupting system of general internal improvements.

10. That the liberal principles embodied by Jefferson in the Declaration of Independence, and sanctioned by the Constitution, which makes ours the land of liberty and the asylum of the oppressed of every nation, have ever been cardinal principles in the Democratic faith, and every attempt to abridge the privilege of becoming citizens and the owners of soil among us, ought to be resisted with the same spirit which swept the alien and sedition laws from our statute-books.

And Whereas, Since the foregoing declaration was uniformly adopted by our predecessors in National Conventions, an adverse political and religious test has been secretly organized by a party claiming to be exclusively American, it is proper that the American Democracy should clearly define its relation thereto, and declare its determined opposition to all secret political societies, by whatever name they may be called

Resolved, That the foundation of this union of States having been laid in, and its prosperity, expansion, and pre-eminent example in free government, built upon entire freedom in matters of religious concernment, and no respect of person in regard to rank or place of birth; no party can justly be deemed national, constitutional, or in accordance with American principles, which bases its exclusive organization upon religious opinions and accidental birth-place. And hence a political crusade in the nineteenth century, and in the United States of America, against Catholic and foreign-born is neither justified by the past history or the future prospects of the country, nor in unison with the spirit of toleration and enlarged freedom which peculiarly distinguishes the American system of popular government.

Resolved, That we reiterate with renewed energy of purpose the well considered declarations of former Conventions upon the sectional issue of Domestic slavery, and concerning the reserved rights of the States.

1. That Congress has no power under the Constitution, to interfere with or control the domestic institutions of the several States, and that such States are the sole and proper judges of everything appertaining to their own affairs, not prohibited by the Constitution; that all efforts of the abolitionists, or others, made to induce Congress to interfere with questions of slavery, or to take incipient steps in relation thereto, are calculated to lead to the most alarming and dangerous consequences; and that all such efforts have an inevitable tendency to diminish the happiness of the people and endanger the stability and permanency of the Union, and ought not to be countenanced by any friend of our political institutions.

2. That the foregoing proposition covers, and was intended to embrace the whole subject of slavery agitation in Congress; and therefore, the Democratic Party of the Union, standing on this national platform, will abide by and adhere to a faithful execution of the acts known as the compromise measures, settled by the Congress of 1850; "the act for reclaiming fugitives from service or labor," included; which act being designed to carry out an express provision of the Constitution, cannot, with fidelity thereto, be repealed, or so changed as to destroy or impair its efficiency.

3. That the Democratic party will resist all attempts at renewing, in Congress or out of it, the agitation of the slavery question under whatever shape or color the attempt may be made.

4. That the Democratic party will faithfully abide by and uphold, the principles laid down in the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions of 1798, and in the report of Mr. Madison to the Virginia Legislature in 1799; that it adopts those principles as constituting one of the main foundations of its political creed, and is resolved to carry them out in their obvious meaning and import.

And that we may more distinctly meet the issue on which a sectional party, subsisting exclusively on slavery agitation, now relies to test the fidelity of the people, North and South, to the Constitution and the Union—

1. Resolved, That claiming fellowship with, and desiring the co-operation of all who regard the preservation of the Union under the Constitution as the paramount issue — and repudiating all sectional parties and platforms concerning domestic slavery, which seek to embroil the States and incite to treason and armed resistance to law in the Territories; and whose avowed purposes, if consummated, must end in civil war and disunion, the American Democracy recognize and adopt the principles contained in the organic laws establishing the Territories of Kansas and Nebraska as embodying the only sound and safe solution of the "slavery question" upon which the great national idea of the people of this whole country can repose in its determined conservatism of the Union — 


2. That this was the basis of the compromises of 1850 confirmed by both the Democratic and Whig parties in national Conventions — ratified by the people in the election of 1852, and rightly applied to the organization of Territories in 1854.

3. That by the uniform application of this Democratic principle to the organization of territories, and to the admission of new States, with or without domestic slavery, as they may elect — the equal rights, of all the States will be preserved intact; the original compacts of the Constitution maintained inviolate; and the perpetuity and expansion of this Union insured to its utmost capacity of embracing, in peace and harmony, every future American State that may be constituted or annexed, with a republican form of government.

Resolved, That we recognize the right of the people of all the Territories, including Kansas and Nebraska, acting through the legally and fairly expressed will of a majority of actual residents, and whenever the number of their inhabitants justifies it, to form a Constitution, with or without domestic slavery, and be admitted into the Union upon terms of perfect equality with the other States.

Resolved, Finally, That in view of the condition of popular institutions in the Old World (and the dangerous tendencies of sectional agitation, combined with the attempt to enforce civil and religious disabilities against the rights of acquiring and enjoying citizenship, in our own land) a high and sacred duty is devolved with increased responsibility upon the Democratic party of this country, as the party of the Union, to uphold and maintain the rights of every State, and thereby the Union of the States; and to sustain and advance among us constitutional liberty, by continuing to resist all monopolies and exclusive legislation for the benefit of the few, at the expense of the many, and by a vigilant and constant adherence to those principles and compromises of the Constitution, which are broad enough and strong enough to embrace and uphold the Union as it was, the Union as it is, and the Union as it shall be, in the full expansion of the energies and capacity of this great and progressive people.

1. Resolved, That there are questions connected with the foreign policy of this country, which are inferior to no domestic question whatever. The time has come for the people of the United States to declare themselves in favor of free seas and progressive free trade throughout the world, and, by solemn manifestations, to place their moral influence at the side of their successful example.

2. Resolved, That our geographical and political position with reference to the other States of this continent, no less than the interest of our commerce and the development of our growing power, requires that we should hold as sacred the principles involved in the Monroe Doctrine: their bearing and import admit of no misconstruction; they should be applied with unbending rigidity.

3. Resolved, That the great highway which nature, as well as the assent of the States most immediately interested in its maintenance, has marked out for a free communication between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans, constitutes one of the most important achievements realized by the spirit of modern times and the unconquerable energy of our people. That result should be secured by a timely and efficient exertion of the control which we have the right to claim over it, and no power on earth should be suffered to impede or clog its progress by any interference with the relations it may suit our policy to establish between our government and the Governments of the States within whose dominions it lies. We can, under no circumstances, surrender our preponderance in the adjustment of all questions arising out of it.

4. Resolved, That, in view of so commanding an interest, the people of the United States cannot but sympathize with the efforts which are being made by the people of Central America to regenerate that portion of the continent which covers the passage across the Interoceanic Isthmus.

5. Resolved, That the Democratic party will expect of the next Administration that every proper effort be made to insure our ascendency in the Gulf of Mexico, and to maintain a permanent protection to the great outlets through which are emptied into its waters the products raised out of the soil and the commodities created by the industry of the people of our Western valleys and the Union at large.

Resolved, That the Democratic party recognizes the great importance, in a political and commercial point of view, of a safe and speedy communication, by military and postal roads, through our own territory, between the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of this Union, and that it is the duty of the Federal Government to exercise promptly all its constitutional power to the attainment of that object, thereby binding the Union of these States in indissoluble bonds, and opening to the rich commerce of Asia an overland transit from the Pacific to the Mississippi River, and the great lakes of the North.

Resolved, That the administration of Franklin Pierce has been true to the great interests of the country. In the face of the most determined opposition it has maintained the laws, enforced economy, fostered progress, and infused integrity and vigor into every department of the government at home. It has signally improved our treaty relations, extended the field of commercial enterprise, and vindicated the rights of American citizens abroad. It has asserted with eminent impartiality the just claims of every section, and has at all times been faithful to the Constitution. We therefore proclaim our unqualified approbation of its measures and its policy.

1860 Democratic Party Platform
June 18, 1860

1. Resolved, That we, the Democracy of the Union in Convention assembled, hereby declare our affirmance of the resolutions unanimously adopted and declared as a platform of principles by the Democratic Convention at Cincinnati, in the year 1856, believing that Democratic principles are unchangeable in their nature, when applied to the same subject matters; and we recommend, as the only further resolutions, the following:

2. Inasmuch as a difference of opinion exists in the Democratic party as to the nature and extent of the powers of a Territorial Legislature, and as to the powers and duties of Congress, under the Constitution of the United States, over the institution of slavery within the Territories,

Resolved, That the Democratic party will abide by the decision of the Supreme Court of the United States upon these questions of Constitutional law.

3. Resolved, That it is the duty of the United States to afford ample and complete protection to all its citizens, whether at home or abroad, and whether native or foreign-born.

4. Resolved, That one of the necessities of the age, in a military, commercial, and postal point of view, is speedy communication between the Atlantic and Pacific States; and the Democratic party pledge such Constitutional Government aid as will insure the construction of a Railroad to the Pacific coast, at the earliest practicable period.

5. Resolved, That the Democratic party are in favor of the acquisition of the Island of Cuba on such terms as shall be honorable to ourselves and just to Spain.

6. Resolved, That the enactments of the State Legislatures to defeat the faithful execution of the Fugitive Slave Law, are hostile in character, subversive of the Constitution, and revolutionary in their effect.

7. Resolved, That it is in accordance with the interpretation of the Cincinnati platform, that during the existence of the Territorial Governments the measure of restriction, whatever it may be, imposed by the Federal Constitution on the power of the Territorial Legislature over the subject of the domestic relations, as the same has been, or shall hereafter be finally determined by the Supreme Court of the United States, should be respected by all good citizens, and enforced with promptness and fidelity by every branch of the general government.

The Democratic Party's political 1856 and 1860 platforms above are provided by The American Presidency Project (APP) website. The APP used the first day of the national nominating convention as the "date" of these platforms since the original documents are undated.

Staunch Democrat, and Confederate Vice President, Alexander H. Stephens, summed up the Democratic Party ideology as being based "upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery, subordination to the superior race, is his natural and normal condition."

By maintaining slavery and specifically keeping the Fugitive Slaves Laws intact, the Democratic Party's platform contributed directly to the Civil War. But to fair, while some may want to say that slavery was the only issue that caused the Civil War, I believe that would be an unfair generalization. Slavery was not the only issue. From what I can see, there were multiple causes of the Civil War. 

Some of those causes can be defined as the issues dealing with Democratic Party resistance to President Thomas Jefferson 1807 law forbidding the importation of slaves into the United States; of slavery and sectionalism; economics and the influx of immigration and cheap labor flooding into the Northern States; unwarranted tariffs imposed by the Federal Government that negatively impacted the Southern economy while the Southern economy was still dependant on slave labor. 

Of course, the issue of slavery prompted arguments over States Rights versus the over-reaching power of the Federal Government. This attributed to other causes of the Civil War including the resistance to powers being asserted by the Federal Government which are not specifically given to it by the U.S. Constitution; compromises that failed in the long run; the Kansas-Nebraska Act; the 1854 creation of the Republican Party who maintained an anti-slavery platform and the election of Republican President Abraham Lincoln in 1860; the Democratic Party-controlled South's decision to secede and form the Confederacy; a desire for self-rule; and lastly, the attack on Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861, which started the Civil War.

After decades of tensions over slavery, States' Rights, the question of whether slavery would be allowed in the Westward expansion, the violence in places like Kansas, and other impacting issues, the tipping point came with the election of Republican anti-slavery President Abraham Lincoln in 1860. That single event caused seven Democratic Party-controlled Southern states to secede and form the Confederate States of America in February of 1861 -- a month before Abe Lincoln formally took office in March of that year. 

The Democratic Party's 1856 and 1860 official political platforms are interesting reading. For me, it is interesting how the Democratic Party appeared to be staunch defenders of the U.S. Constitution. Yet, the Democratic Party is the only political party to incite succession and participate in a violent insurrection in the entire history of the United States. 

While some today might be so narrow-minded as to call the Confederates, "traitors," they forget that Americans saw our Union of States, our United States, much differently at the time. Certainly much different than we do today. In the late 18th century and the mid-19th cent, American states saw themselves as sovereign state-nations that joined together to form a Federal Government for reasons of defense and economics. 

If we were to compare that to modern times, then it would be not much different than how the nations belonging to the European Union see themselves today. The 27 nations belonging to the European Union were made through political and economic pressures to surrender much of their sovereignty. 

The British seceding the European Union recently for their own self-interest in an attempt to shake off the economic burden of the European Union, the unfair demands of that Union, political policies, and edicts made by that Union. The British people did not want to accept demands put up them, demands which were not in accordance with British laws or what the British people want for themselves. Yes, the Brits wanted the ability to create their own destiny as a sovereign nation.  

Frankly, that's really no different than how American states saw seceding from our American Union in 1861. As I said before, it was obviously not only over the issue of slavery. In fact, when we consider how the vast majority of Southerners did not own slaves in 1861 and were more concerned about the unjust economic policies coming out of Washington, D.C. at the time, that face enforces the belief that seceding was over the issue of self-rule. Over sovereignty, and not merely over slavery. 

Of course, in the end, our Civil War was fought on American soil and at sea including in the oceans near nations such as France and Brazil, resulting in over 620,000 American soldiers killed, and millions more wounded and disabled for life. And while the North went fairly unscathed, much of the South was left destitute and in ruin.

Tom Correa