OVERTIME/ RANCHER'S DAUGHTERS:
An Old-West Bibliography, annotated
NOTE TO ASPIRING AUTHORS: I'm obsessed with the old West, which is one reason I choose to write in this period. You probably don't have to reference quite this many books to write a historical.
Abbott, E. C. ("Teddy Blue") and Helena Huntington Smith. WE POINTED THEM NORTH: RECOLLECTIONS OF A COWPUNCHER. Norman OK: U of OK P, 1939. Notes: One of my favorites. Teddy Blue is quoted a LOT in other sources. He's wonderfully objective and informative, and yet one of the only autobiographers that is willing to linger on emotional aspects -- his relationship w/his family, and with his fiance/wife -- as well. Good overview on the Cheyenne "uprising" of '78.
Adams, Andy. THE LOG OF A COWBOY: A NARRATIVE OF THE OLD TRAIL DAYS. NY: MJF Books, Published w/Arrangement of U of Neb Press. No copyright included. Notes: Incredibly helpful information about an 1883 cattle drive. Hard to remember it's fiction (and in fact, some other sources quote it as fact). But the author was a cowboy, so the verisimilitude is very worthwhile.
Beck, Warren A. and Ynez D. Haase. HISTORIC ATLAS OF THE AMERICAN WEST. Norman OK: U of OK Press, 1989. Note: Another useful collection of maps with accompanying text; the one I photocopied was the Cheyenne trek in '78. (Irving Library)
Bettman, Otto L. THE GOOD OLD DAYS -- THEY WERE TERRIBLE! NY: Random, 1974. Notes: Immensely readable but what valid information there is -- and it's there -- is tainted by heavyhanded bias. Slants the issues so far that, for example, train travellers having to gulp lunch in 5-10 minutes is considered "cruelty" and even the discomfort of the sleeping berths on Pullman cars is included as a problem (if so, it's still a problem Ever travel on a EurRail pass?).
Brown, Dee. THE GENTLE TAMERS: Women of the Old Wild West. Lincoln: U of Neb P, 1958. Note: Considered a standard, I think. Good overviews of different types of women.
*Burns, Ken (presents): THE WEST. (v. 2, Empire Upon the Trails; v. 5, Grandest Enterprise Under God; v. 7, Geography of Hope; v. 8, Ghost Dance; v. 9, One Sky Above Us). Time Life Video, 1996. Notes: Superb series of documentary videos by the same man who made the award winning Civil War series. The last two videos include the story of Sheepman Love and his educated wife.
*CALICO CHRONICLE. Note: Sadly, ILL'd the book long before I was taking legitimate bibliographic notes. But if you can find it by title, DO! It focuses specifically on female fashions of the American Fronteir, while most costume books focus on Paris and NYC.
*Carter, ?. COWBOY CAPITAL OF THE WORLD. Note: Dodge City stories, even includes a very useful map of Front Street. (Bedford Library)
Cleaveland, Agnes Morley. NO LIFE FOR A LADY. Lincoln: U of Neb P, 1941. Note: WONDERFUL. Sad start, when her father died young, but her reminiscences of everything after the family moved to a New Mexico ranch where she and her siblings grew up is entertaining and informative -- the most active female cowpuncher who wasn't a rodeo kinda cowgirl I've found yet.
Dallas Magazine. 150 YEARS IN BUSINESS: Dallas Magazine Sesquicentennial Edition. Dallas TX: 1986. Note: Hooray for Irving Library for thinking to bind this special magazine. It breaks the eras of Dallas down into chunks (I photocopied "Post-War Boomtown" from 1865-99), and along with the text and pictures offers handy review dates and lists of businesses of the era. (Irving Library).
Butler, Anne M. DAUGHTERS OF JOY, SISTERS OF MISERY: Prostitutes in the American West 1865-90. Boston: U of Illinois Press, 1985. Good stuff on prostitutes. (TCJC)
*Dunlap, Patricia Riley. RIDING ASTRIDE: The Frontier in Women's History. Denver: Arden Press, 1995. Notes: Author may be a victim-oriented feminist; this bias slants some of the information in an annoying way, and the documentation is suspect. Still, some interesting points. (Bedford Library)
Editors of Time Life Books. THE COWBOYS. THE GUNFIGHTERS. THE RAILROADERS*. THE RANCHERS. THE TOWNSPEOPLE*. THE WOMEN. THE GAMBLERS*. New York: Time Life, 1973. Notes on all the TLBooks: Great overviews! Lots of great handy pictures and quotes. (Those I don't own: Bedford Library)
Editors of Time Life Books. THE OLD WEST. New York: Time Life, 1990. Notes: This is a selection of the best out of TLB's Old West series, some of which I just listed in the previous entry. It's nice to have access to bits of the ones I don't yet own.
*Erbsen, Wayne. COWBOY SONGS, JOKES, LINGO 'N LORE: Songs of the Wild Frontier. NC: Native Ground Music Inc., 1995. Note: Gave to Dad for birthday, but made copious copies. Includes everything the title says it does, especially lots of verses for cowboy songs. Pamphlet form, like you might pick up at a truck stop somewhere....
*Fletcher, Baylis John. UP THE TRAIL IN '79. Norman OK: U of OK Press, 1966. Notes: Some great bullet descriptions of the landscape, and since Fletcher's cattle drive was only a year past the one in my story, some indispensable pieces of information about how many settlements there were, and public opinion. (TCJC)
*Foster-Harris. THE LOOK OF THE OLD WEST. NY: Bonanza Books, 1955. This is a favorite; I hope to find a copy for myself. The author has a great, informative voice, and there are plenty of illustrations about different types of carriages or cigarettes. (Bedford Library -- 978 HAR)
Foster, Terrill. SHERIDAN'S FIRST STREETS. Sheridan WY: Quick Printing Co., 1982. #219 of the Centennial Edition. Note: One of my prized research sources, purchased in Sheridan. Pamphlet style, so not likely to be found InterLibrary Loan. Super focus on the Goose River area's early history; I wish it were longer.
*Gard, Wayne. THE CHISHOLM TRAIL. Norman OK: U of OK P, 1954. Note: Includes some information of women who travelled the cattle drive trail with their husbands! Not much, but at least it's mention. Good info on how cattle drives were run.
George, Susanne K. THE ADVENTURES OF THE WOMAN HOMESTEADER: The Life and Letters of Elinore Pruitt Stewart. Lincoln: U of Neb Press, 1992. Notes: George seems a bit to smarmy in her disproving of Stewart's veracity, for my taste, and it's a bummer to read about the negative stuff, but it's also nice to get the whole story, and some letters/info unavailable in other volumes. Definitely worth the reading.
*Green, George. HURST, EULESS, AND BEDFORD: HEART OF THE METROPLEX, An Illustrated History. Austin, Eakin Press, 1995. Note: What a super resource for my own immediate area! Lots of good pictures, and it's nice that the author is UTA (my alma mater) and the man who collected the photos is TCJC NE (my job). (Bedford Library).
Grierson, Alic Kirk. THE COLONEL'S LADY ON THE WESTERN FRONTIER: The Correspondence of Alice Kirk Grierson. Lincoln: U of Neb P, 1989. Note: Superbly researched; great notes and references in back. Depressing, though; she seems to always be asking her husband and son to write, and too many of them get committed. Still, interesting army-wife info, and her a feminist of sorts!
Guerin, Mrs. E. J. MOUNTAIN CHARLEY: Or the Adventures of Mrs. E. J. Guerin, who was thirteen years in male attire. Norman OK: U of OK P, 1968. Note: Wow, is this woman full of herself. It reads like a Ned Buntline adventure. Still, some useful insights into early woman's lib from one wild gal's point of view.
*Hart, Berbert M. OLD FORTS OF THE SOUTHWEST. NY: Bonanza Books, 1965. Notes: Listings by fort include rough maps; highly useful. I used it for Fort Dodge. Sadly, since it's about the SOUTHwest, it doesn't have information on Ft. Laramie. (TCJC)
Hendrickson, Robert. HAPPY TRAILS: A Dictionary of Western Expressions. NY: Facts on File, 1994. Notes: Most of the examples are taken from works of fiction, anything from SHANE to LONESOME DOVE, which may call the veracity into question. That said, there are a lot of really fun expressions I hope to use!
*Hoig, Stan. THE HUMOR OF THE AMERICAN COWBOY. Notes: Sent to Bert as belated Christmas present, 1997. And I really bought it thinking of him . . . but then I flipped through it and took notes (file: cowhumor.sam).
King, Bucky. THE EMPIRE BUILDERS: The Development of the Kendrick Catle Company. Sheridan, WY. 1992. Excellent scholarship, with a powerful focus on the Big Horn area and on the work of John B. Kendrick, one of the original Wyoming cattle barons. I treasure my autographed copy.
King, Bucky. BIG HORN POLO: The History of Polo in the Big Horn Area. Sheridan, WY: Still Sailing Productions, 1987. Note: this is another real find, mainly thanks to Vicki Jorgenson, president of the Big Horn Polo Club, forwarding an e-mail request of mine for more information to the author. The author graciously wrote me to tell me about her book, which she then sent to me, along with extra research I would never have found otherwise. People can be so nice... and in this case, wonderfully knowledgable!
Love, Christy; Molly Mooney and Rebecca Thomson. SHERIDAN MAIN STREET DISTRICT WALKING TOUR. Sheridan WY: Sheridan Press? No Listed Date. Note: Another prize. I bought this self-published booklet in Sheridan as well. Gives good historical background to the buildings on the town's main street. I hope to someday go back and walk it!
*MAPSCO: Fort Worth Street Guide & Directory, 1997 (A Routing and Delivery System for the Greater Fort Worth Metropolitan Area). Dallas: Mapsco Inc., 1997. Notes: Once I started trying to find historical markers and old cemeteries, this became a MUST. Once I found where Tarrant TX. was, it also provided a map of remaining streets! Sadly, it belongs to my sister....
McCutcheon, Marc. THE WRITER'S GUIDE TO EVERYDAY LIFE IN THE 1800s. Cincinnati: Writer's Digest Books, 1993. Notes: An overview and thus of necessity broad, but also incredibly helpful for a quick and dirty grasp of the century.
McLoughlin, Denis. WILD AND WOOLLY: AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE OLD WEST. NY: Barnes and Noble, 1975. Notes: Another good overview for broad based research. I've gotten some good info about forts, the wearing of pistols, and medical habits already.
Nahin, Paul J. TIME TRAVEL: A Writer's Guide to the Real Science of Plausible Time Travel. Cincinnatti: Writer's Digest Books, 1997. Notes: Well okay, so it has nothing to do with the old west except how my heroine gets there. Still, I've used it extensively, especially in the Julesberg scenes explaining how my particular time travel worked, and so wanted to include it. My bibliography, my rules.
Nielsen, Elaine. OGALLALA: A CENTURY ON THE TRAIL. Ogallala: Keith County Historical Society (self published?), 1984. Notes: Another of my treasures; Dad bought it in Ogallala for me. Good in-depth information about the town and business in the area, though not as good as the Dodge City book (no really good map, darn it).
Pender, Rose. A LADY'S EXPERIENCES IN THE WILD WEST IN 1883. Lincoln: U of Neb P, 1978. Notes: Maybe it's that British propriety, but this is the LEAST personal memoir of any I've read; Mrs. Pender discusses her trip with great and useful detail, but her emotions and relationships are rarely touched on. It's interesting that the cowboys aren't as gallant with her as with American women in other memoirs.
*Pool, William C. A HISTORICAL ATLAS OF TEXAS. Austin: Encino Press, 1975. Note: Great maps showing, for example, the Civil War, the Buffalo ranges, the Cattle Industry, Indian Campaigns and, of course, Cattle Trails. Tres useful.
Radeka, Lynn and John Bowen. LEGENDARY TOWNS OF THE OLD WEST. New York: Mallard Press, 1990. Note: Radeka is the photographer, Bowen the author; it's a big coffee table book showing the modern towns that were once legendary. Pretty useful.
*READER'S DIGEST: STORY OF THE GREAT AMERICAN WEST. Note: As useful a book as the Time Life Old West compilations. Helpful illustrations of train stations, roundups, Army forts, etc. (Bedford Library)
Richards, Clarice E. A TENDERFOOT BRIDE: Tales from an Old Ranch. Lincoln: U of Neb. P, 1988 (first printing, 1920). Notes: She changes the names in this book, which gives her more freedom to write it as if it were a novel; one of the most readable I've enjoyed. She's also the best-off wife I've run into yet, being from a fairly upper-class family.
*Roach, Joyce Gibson. THE COWGIRLS. Denton TX(?): U of North Texas Press, 1990. Notes: Another find! This is not merely, as I'd originally dismissed, about rodeo cowgirls, but also about real historic women who worked with cattle! And it's well researched and footnoted. It includes women who really went on trail drives, lived on ranches, etc., and moves through to modern times. I've mainly focused on the early chapters. (Bedford Library)
*Sanders, Leonard. HOW FORT WORTH BECAME THE TEXASMOST CITY (Captions by Ronnie C. Tyler). Fort Worth: Amon Carter Museum, 1961. Notes: I mainly picked this up for the pictures, which are great, but there's some good info here too. (Bedford Library)
Sanford, Mollie. MOLLIE. Lincoln NB: U of Nebraska Press, 1959. Notes: Good diary; nice lady. Lots of contemporary values imparted (like crying when her husband swears!) I forgot to copy the bibliographic data before loaning it out; hope to get it back soon, especially for the few pages where she talks about taking a teaching job.
Seidman, Laurence I. ONCE IN THE SADDLE: The Cowboy's Frontier, 1866 - 1896. NY: Facts on File, 1973. Notes: Gave it to Dad in '95 because I thought he'd enjoy the songs listed, stole it back from him in '97 <G>. Good overview of the range. Seems well researched, except he doesn't realize Adams' classic is fiction and uses it as a straight historical source.
*Selcer, Richard F. HELL'S HALF ACRE: The Life and Legend of a Red-Light District. Fort Worth: TCU Press, 1991. Note: It's about Fort Worth, but all the information about, for example, prostitues, is very useful for other frontier cowtowns as well. (TCJC)
Shaw, James C. NORTH FROM TEXAS: Incidents in the Early Life of a Range Cowman in Texas, Dakota, & Wyoming, 1852 - 1883. College Station, TX: Texas A&M UP, 1996 (First published 1931, privately, as Pioneering in Texas and Wyoming: Incidents in the Life of James C. Shaw). Notes: Very good footnotes by the editor (Herbert O. Brayer) and it provides a strong feel of the time period; I had personal problems w/the narrator's attitudes not just toward blacks, considering his time period, but animals as well. It reads in some places like a teenage boy's ramblings and braggings.
*Stark, Henry. VIEWS IN TEXAS, 1895-96. A Photographic Tour of Texas Made in the Winter of 1895-96 by Henry Stark * To Which has been added A Historical Commentary by A. C. Greene. Austin: Encino Press, 1974. Notes: Again, one that I picked up for the photographs. Mainly they are of towns and buildings. (Bedford Library).
Starita, Joe. THE DULL KNIFES OF PINE RIDGE: A Lakota Odyssey. New York: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1995. Notes: Have only read the segment on the Cheyenne "uprising" of '78, but it was nicely informative and objective. Follows the ancestors of that famous Dull Knife, aka MorningStar, through modern times.
Stewart, Elinore Pruitt. LETTERS OF A WOMAN HOMESTEADER. Lincoln: U of Neb Press, 1961 (reprinted from 1914 edition published by Houghton Mifflin). Notes: Priceless letters. Although the veracity of them is called into question in the George biography -- and really, some of them are kind of pat -- the sense of humor makes them a sheer delight.
Stewart, Elinore Pruitt. LETTERS ON AN ELK HUNT BY A WOMAN HOMESTEADER. Lincoln: U of Neb P, 1915. Notes: A great chance to revisit the old friend of the previous collection. Has more organic unity to the "plot," such as it is, and is more about the people met en route to and from the hunt than the hunt itself
Tyler, Ron, ed. in chief. THE NEW HANDBOOK OF TEXAS (in 6 Volumes). Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996. Notes: WHAT A SUPER SERIES OF REFERENCE BOOKS! In these books I can look up any town or county that is or ever was in Texas, and there'll be at least a brief right-up on its history. I belief it also includes districts, rivers, etc. (Irving Library).
Van Orman, Richard A. A ROOM FOR THE NIGHT: Hotels of the Old West. NY: Bonanza Books (U of Indiana Press), 1966? Notes: Didn't read the whole thing, but it had a lot of good information on this small but significant subject for writers setting a book in the Old West. (Euless Library).
Ward, Fay E. THE COWBOY AT WORK: All About His Job and How He Does It. Norman OK: U of OK P, 1958. Notes: Wow. The sheer number of diagrams alone make the book worthwhile (though it's a shame we must look to the text to explain most of the diagrams; a few subtitles would make it even better). HUGELY informative. A reference must.
*Wellman, Paul I. THE GREATEST CATTLE DRIVE. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1964. Notes: Nelson Story and his men starting from TX in 1866 and going up to the gold mines of Montana. Written for young adults, so a bit simplistic and overdone in the hero worship, but some good information anyway.
Wilder, Laura Ingalls. LITTLE HOUSE BOOKS (LITTLE HOUSE IN THE BIG WOODS; LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE; ON THE BANKS OF PLUM CREEK; BY THE SHORES OF SILVER LAKE; THE LONG WINTER; LITTLE TOWN ON THE PRAIRIE; THESE HAPPY GOLDEN YEARS; THE FIRST FOUR YEARS). NY: Harper & Row, 1971. Notes: Well yes, they ARE children's books. But they're also memoirs written from someone who was herself a pioneer, and as such, valuable. Especially since she goes into such detail about the daily minutae, and the beliefs of that age.
*Yates, Haydie. 70 MILES FROM A LEMON. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1947. I had to interlibrary loan this one to get it, but it is an excellent resource of life in the Sheridan, WY area in the early 1900's.
Adams, Ramon F. THE OLD-TIME COWHAND. Lincoln: U of Neb, 1948. (TCJC?)
Aldrich, Bess Streeter. A LANTERN IN HER HAND. Lincoln: U of Neb P, 1928. (FICTION.)
Atherton, Lewis. THE CATTLE KINGS. Lincoln: U of Neb, 1961. (TCJC?)
Bird, Isabella. A LADY'S LIFE IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. London: Virago Press, 1991.
James, Will. COWBOYS, NORTH AND SOUTH. Missoula MT: Mountain Press Publishing Co., 1995.
*Jones, Daryl. THE DIME NOVEL WESTERN. Bowling Green OH: The Popular Press, 1978. (Eastfield College Library)
Kohl, Edith Eudora. LAND OF THE BURNT THIGH: A Lively Story of Women Homesteaders On the South Dakota Frontier. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society Press, 1986 (first published 1938, Funk & Wagnalls).
Lane, Rose Wilder. FREE LAND. Lincoln: U of Neb P, 1938. FICTION.
Laune, Seigniora Russell. SAND IN MY EYES. Norman OK: U of OK P, 1956.
Mora, Jo. TRAIL DUST & SADDLE LEATHER. Lincoln: U of Neb P, 1946.
Myres, Landra L. WESTERING WOMEN and the Frontier Experience 1800-1915. Albuquerque, U of NM Press, 1982.
Nelson, Oliver. THE COWMAN'S SOUTHWEST: Being the Reminiscences of Oliver Nelson, freighter, camp cook, cowboy, frontiersman in Kansas, Indian Territory, Texas, and Oklahoma, 1878-1893. Lincoln: U of Neb P, 1953.
Parker, Watson. DEADWOOD: The Golden Years. Lincoln: U of Neb, 1981. Note: Looks like it might be as useful for future Deadwood research as Carter's book on Dodge.
Potter, Edgar R. "Frosty." COWBOY SLANG: Colorful Cowboy Sayings! Phoenix: Golden West Publishers, 1994.
Royce, Sarah. A FRONTIER LADY: Recollections of the Gold Rush and Early California. Lincoln: U of Neb P, 1960. (Copyright 1932, Yale U P).
Schmidt, Ruby, ed. FORT WORTH AND TARRANT COUNTY: A Historical Guide. Fort Worth: Texas Christian UP, 1984. (Eastfield College Library)
Tobias, Julia Brown. THUNDER & MUD: A Pioneer Childhood on the Prairie. Glendo, WY: High Plains Press, 1996.
Young, Carrie. NOTHING TO DO BUT STAY: My Pioneer Mother. NY: Dell, 1991.
* Books I don't yet own....