Journal by Jack Bailey

Name: Journal | Artist: Jack Bailey Media: Book | Year(s): 1868
Jack Bailey | Journal | 1868 | Book | National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum, Oklahoma City, OK

About the Work

Written by North Texan Jack Bailey, this is the earliest day-by-day journal of a cattle drive from Texas to Kansas. Historians estimate that trail drives moved 6-9 million head of cattle from Texas to Kansas between 1867 and 1886. Traveling in 1868, shortly after the Civil War, Bailey chronicled his encounters with American Indians, soldiers, freed slaves, and cowboys from other trail drives. Cowboying was hard on the body. Like the characters from the Hat Creek Cattle Co. in Lonesome Dove, Bailey battled hunger, thirst, infections and distress. During the three-month journey, the thirtyseven- year-old drover complained of “rheumatism, pleurisy, fever, and pneumonia,” all self-diagnosed and treated. With multiple daily entries, the Bailey journal is a rare, detailed glimpse of what life was like on the trail.