The Best and Shortest Cattle Trail from Texas by Kansas Pacific Railway Company

Name: The Best and Shortest Cattle Trail from Texas  | Artist: Kansas Pacific Railway Company Media: Map | Year(s): 1873
Kansas Pacific Railway Company | The Best and Shortest Cattle Trail from Texas | 1873 | Map | The Rees-Jones Collection

About the Work

Printed in large numbers with variations in text, the Kansas Pacific Railway used trail maps and guide books as promotional materials to lure cattle drovers from the shipping centers of rival railroads. This 1873 lithograph map on banknote paper shows Texas and parts of the Indian Territory, Arkansas Territory, Kansas, Colorado, and New Mexico, providing a summary of the great cattle trails from Texas to Kansas. Both functional and promotional, the map shows cattle routes to be followed by ranchers to market their beef, stretching from points in Texas (commencing at its southernmost points from "King's," and Corpus Christi at the Gulf of Mexico), north to Kansas railheads (terminating at Ellsworth, Russell, Fort Hays, and Ellis), with rail lines leading to western points such as Denver, Colorado. The longhorn steer with the Kansas Pacific Railway's name on a banner spanning its horns, and the title of the map on a Texas lone star badge hanging from a ring in the steer's nose, underscores the map's marketing function.