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Word Count: 718
Cattle ranchers began to move out onto the Great Plains in the mid 1800s In the late 1800s cowboys became popular in the cattle industry The American cowboys owe their knowledge of how to tame the cattle to vaquerars the Mexican cowboys The animals originally were from the ranches in southern Texas formerly operated by Spaniards and Mexicans The cowboys often called the wild cattle longhorns which were the huge herds of wild cattle About one- third of the cowboys were free black men who had moved west after the Civil War Each year Texas ranches would collect huge herds of cattle and start them northward on what was called the long drive The cowboys would take the herds of cattle along the railroads to get them to urban markets for the nations growing cities The American cowboy wore a wide brimmed hat that provided shade to protect him from the sun and the rain He wore pointed toe boots which slipped easily into the stirrups of his saddle and the boots had high heels to keep them from slipping They wrapped leather chaperreras or chaps around their legs to protect them from thorny chaparrel bushes They carried with them at all times revolver lasso whip and spurs Housing The cowboys lived in wagons called chuck wagons The chuck wagons included food sleeping blankets tools and other things to help them along with their journeys They would sleep on the ground with their blankets Sometimes they would make a fire These chuck wagons were not strong or sturdy Many times
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