Cattle War: A novel about the Border War with Mexico in the 1870s

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But the long, drawn-out verification process and court appeals cost a lot of money. Many of the land-rich and cash-poor Californios had to mortgage their land at high interest to pay their legal fees. Other problems plagued the Californios while they tried to prove their claims.

Lawyers swindled some of them. Land taxes, unknown in Mexican California, put the Californios further in debt. Squatters, hoping the Californios' claims would be rejected, moved onto their lands. The squatters fenced off homesteads, stole cattle, and sometimes violently forced the Californios out of their own homes. By the s, most of the Californios who had finally confirmed their grants still lost their land to the Americans due to overwhelming debts aggravated by plunging cattle prices and drought. In , the U. Supreme Court decided that Californios became full citizens when California was admitted as a state in Mexicans in the vast Territory of New Mexico were also eventually admitted as American citizens.

Texas Revolution and Annexation. Manifest Destiny. Digital History: Hypertext History. Texas Revolution. Texas Question in American Politics. The Face of Battle. War Fever and Antiwar Protests. War's Significance. Texas Declaration of Independence, March 2, Message of President Polk, May 11, Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago, February 2, Treaty of Guadalupe Hildago. Map of the Mexican War. Territorial Expansion of the United States: Expansion of the United States Map showing expansion year by year from to The White House: James K.

Polk Memorial. Encyclopedia Americana: Polk, James Knox. America the Beautiful: James Knox Polk. American Experience: James Knox Polk. The Californios to A time line. California's Untold Stories: Gold Rush!

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From the Oakland Museum of California. How did Californio's get land grants after Mexico won its independence? Where and when was the first rancho established in the Santa Barbara area? The short history of the Ortega rancho.

The U.S.-Mexico War: 1

From the Santa Barbara Independent. Consequences of Mexican Independence. The Mexican War. Public Land Commission. Land Loss in California. Spanish Arrival in California. Spanish Settlement Patterns. Mexican Rancho Period.

Gold Rush. Life in California in the s. From the Tehama County Museum.

Conflict became a way of life for Latin Americans attempting to construct nation-states. Liberals and Conservatives dueled with one another for political power, while caudillos military strongmen added their unique twisted logic to the political process. Keywords: border disputes , boundaries , frontiers , international wars , national identity , 19th-century border conflicts , state formation , Uruguay , War of the Pacific , War of the Triple Alliance. Access to the complete content on Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Latin American History requires a subscription or purchase.

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Peter V. N. Henderson

A range war is a type of usually violent conflict, most commonly in the 19th and early 20th centuries in the American West. The subject of these conflicts was control of "open range", or range land freely used for cattle grazing, which gave the conflict its name. Range wars have been the subject of movies and novels. The Lincoln County War was an Old West conflict between rival factions which began in Other notable figures included Sheriff William J. Brady, cattle rancher John Chisum, Ron Hansen's novel The Kid () is also inspired by the Lincoln County War. . The three men were buried at Fort Sumner, New Mexico.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code. For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us. In the Civil War and Reconstruction periods, Mexican rustlers gave much trouble along the border.

In claims made against the Mexican government, it was asserted that from through Mexican bandits stole , cattle from various South Texas ranches. The depredations of Indian and Mexican rustlers, however, fell far short of those perpetrated by white renegades. In fact, ranchmen in Mexico often were victimized by Texas thieves who swam large herds of "wet stock" across the Rio Grande by night and trailed them to Kansas markets. Other rustlers stampeded herds on the northward trails and drove off as many cattle as they could, using six-shooters to defend themselves if pursued.

Many preyed on herds that grazed on the western ranges, especially where canyons or high brush afforded hiding places. Most rustlers of the open-range era were cowboys who had drifted into dubious practices.

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They knew the cattle country and were adept at roping, branding, and trailing. One needed only to buy a few cows, register a brand, and begin branding strays.

Many cowboys' herds increased so rapidly that some ranchmen refused to hire any hand who had stock of his own. The altering of brands was a frequent practice among rustlers. Instead of the stamp iron used by most cattlemen, the rustler used a running iron—a straight rod with a curve at the heated end. When this was outlawed, he sometimes used a piece of heavy wire that he could bend into any shape and carry in his pocket.

Lincoln County War

More common was the theft of large unbranded calves. When a ranchman neglected to brand some of his calves before they were weaned, it was easy for the rustler to cut a pasture fence, drive the calves to his corral, and stamp his own brand upon them. Often he was not content with this but would return to take also the smaller calves, not yet weaned.

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This was more ticklish procedure, since Longhorn cows and calves had a strong instinct for returning to each other, even when separated by miles. Such reunions had to be prevented, for if a ranchman found a calf with a rustler's brand nursing from one of his cows, there likely would be trouble.

Before branding unweaned calves, often the rustler kept them penned until they quit bawling and learned to eat grass. Other measures used to keep them from getting back to their mothers and to hasten weaning were to cut the muscles supporting the calf's eyelids and thus make it temporarily blind, to apply a hot iron between the toes to make the calf's feet too sore for walking, or, in uncommon cases, to split the calf's tongue to prevent suckling.

The rustler might also kill the mother to make the calf a genuine orphan.