Fifty Years on the Old Frontier: As Cowboy, Hunter, Guide, Scout, and Ranchman

Fifty Years on the Old Frontier: As Cowboy, Hunter, Guide, Scout, and Ranchman

by James H. Cook

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Of all that has been written of the cowboy and the life of the cattle range, very little has been written by the principal actors themselves. The same is equally true of the famous government scouts, mail riders and other adventurous figures, who were men of deeds rather than words. Not many possessed, like David Crockett and W. F. Cody, the power to dramatize themselves. James H. Cook, the author of Fifty Years on the Old Frontier, first published in 1923, was, however, a genuine cowboy, and he was able to recount in a most readable way his adventures over half a century. During the Seventies and part of the Eighties he rode the ranges in Texas and New Mexico. A vivid account is to be found in the first part of the book of the life of the cattlemen in the Southwest, including such details as rounding up entirely wild cattle and horses, and the conveying of droves of animals hundreds of miles through extremely rough, Indian-infested territory. Those who desire thrills can find them here. The author served as government scout in the campaign against Geronimo in 1885, and later, in the North, saw much of the unfortunate troubles with the Sioux and the Cheyennes, whom he showed to have been shamefully misused by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Much space is given to the Sioux chief, Red Cloud, of whom Cook was a champion and faithful friend. Not the least entertaining parts of the book are the narratives of hunts after big game in the Rockies, during the years when Cook was one of the foremost guides and hunters of the regions bordering the one transcontinental railway.

An invaluable addition to any Old West collection!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781789123043
Publisher: Papamoa Press
Publication date: 01/13/2019
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 189
Sales rank: 1,125,123
File size: 13 MB
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About the Author

James Henry Cook (August 26, 1857 - January 27, 1942) was an American frontiersman and historian. Known as “Captain Jim” Cook, was for more than fifty years a cowboy and ranch “boss” in the Llano Estacado country of Texas. He was a big game hunter in the northern plains and Rocky Mountain areas; an Indian scout for the United States cavalry in its campaign to corral the troublesome Apaches; a trusted and intimate friend of the Sioux; and an outspoken champion of the Northern Cheyennes.

Born in Michigan in 1857, “Captain Jim” Cook first learned to handle a lasso in Texas shortly after the Civil War. He caught wild cattle with the vaqueros and drove them north to railheads, he fought Comanche raiders and New Mexico badmen, and developed a keen understanding of Indian methods which won for him the respect of cavalry troops assigned to capture Geronimo.

Cook probably knew Red Cloud, the Sioux chief, better than any other white man. His graphic descriptions of the “superb but futile” Indian uprising, and of the mixed feelings of the army officers and soldiers assigned to quell it, reflect the genuine character of “Captain Jim” Cook: cowboy, rancher, Indian scout, plainsman, and author of Fifty Years on the Old Frontier.

He passed away in 1942 at the age of 84 and lies buried at Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska.

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