The Beef Bonanza: Or, How to Get Rich on the Plains by James Sanks Brisbin

Name: The Beef Bonanza: Or, How to Get Rich on the Plains | Artist: James Sanks Brisbin Media: Book | Year(s): 1881
James Sanks Brisbin | The Beef Bonanza: Or, How to Get Rich on the Plains | 1881 | Book | The Rees-Jones Collection

About the Work

“During the winter the weather is extremely cold . . . which sometimes is exceedingly pleasant . . . . The Grazing (sic) cannot be excelled in any country in the world, and much of the stock runs out all the winter . . . . In the springtime, the stock is fat, and it is fair to say no better beef can be found.”

Considered the most important promotional book for the cattle industry of the 1880s, it helped trigger the cattle boom drawing in major investors from Europe and the East Coast. Author James Brisbin, a leader of the First National Convention of Cattlemen, goes on to describe bountiful timber, roads between towns and rivers for commerce and peaceful reservation Crow Indians. It is easy to understand the appeal of Montana to grass-starved Texas cattlemen and their hope to have a reserved pathway for cattle drives to be called “The National Trail.” However, railroads and owners of short- horned cattle lobbied hard against the passage of the Congressional bill to secure that reserved path and the measure failed in 1886. Since all the Western states between Texas and Montana outlawed the passage of Texas cattle due to a tick fever carried by longhorns, long cattle drives mostly ended by 1886 as cattle raisers were forced to use railroads to transport stock to markets.