Cowgirls: were they a reality in the West or just one of Hollywood's inventions for the silver screen? Much focus has been placed on cowboys, but until just recently historians have largely ignored “cowboy girls,” as they were referred to during the 19th century. Cowboy girls worked as cowhands on ranches and trails, including the famous Chisholm Trail. If they were fortunate, they owned their own ranches and had their own brands. According to the 1900 census, there were 800,000 women west of the Mississippi. While most women did not leave written records behind, there is enough information to make clear that there were women in the American West that made their living by herding cattle.

In reality, the heyday of the cowboy lasted only 25 ...

  • Loading...
locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles