TEE WAR ON POWDER RIVER by Helena Huntington Smith


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Miss Smith has a whopping good tale to tell and tells it with a grand flair for detail and many wickedly unfeminine ironic thrusts. It is the story of a cattle bonanza that flourished and vanished almost entirely within a single decade. During the late Seventies, many wealthy Britons poured money into Cattle herds along Powder River, a stream which descends from the Big Horn mountains in Montana and ends in mid-Wyoming. Soon there were British cowboys all over the range and soon there were too many cattle. A disastrous winter decimated the vast herds and, when the British and the Easterners pulled up stakes, the big independent ranchers who remained found themselves beset by small ranchers who weren't too careful about where their stock came from. A coalition of big ranchers attempted Several legal injunctions to protect themselves. They also blacklisted any cowboy who personally owned a cow. Among Other incidents this led to the ghastly lynching of a young prostitute who ran 'a house' out on the plains and her sometimes boyfriend, who had been collecting too many unbranded cows that belonged to the big ranchers. Finally, the cattlemen hired 22 Texas gunslingers and formed an enormous revenge-posse that rode against the ranchers and spread terror. When the ranchers band together, it is war, literally.... An urbane, cultural study written with zest and wit.

Pub Date: April 22nd, 1966
Publisher: McGraw-Hill