BUFFALO GUNS & BARBED WIRE: TWO FRONTIER ACCOUNTS BY DON HAMPTON BIGGERS
Author: Don Hampton Biggers
Publisher: Texas Tech University Press, Nov 2003
Frontier newspaperman Biggers, as a witness to the last years of of the West Texas frontier, collected the stories of the buffalo hunters & early cattlemen. Intro by A.C. Greene, Biog by Seymour V. Conno. 16 duotones, 1 map; 10x7 inches, 264 pgs.
Newspaperman Don Hampton Biggers witnessed the last years of the West Texas frontier and grew intrigued with the buffalo hunters, the early cattlemen, and the stories they told. As the 20th century began, he was collecting and publishing the recollections of old-timers who had participated in making Texas history.
This book combines two of Biggers's works, History That Will Never Be Repeated (1901) and Pictures of the Past (1902)--both rare and coveted by collectors of Texana. The two, republished in 1991 as a Book Club of Texas special edition and trade clothbound edition, are now available in paperback for the first time.
For Pictures of the Past the author wove old buffalo hunters' stories into descriptions of the herds, the slaughter, Indian incidents, Fort Griffin, the battle at Adobe Walls, and much more. History That Will Never Be Repeated records lore of the cattle industry in West Texas from 1876. In these vivid accounts by cowboys and ranchers are some of the most emblematic events of the American West--riding line, working roundup, turning a drift herd--recalled not for their romance but for their hardship and for the sheer endurance required of the men who lived them. The remarkable period photography of George Robertson and Erwin E. Smith illustrates the book in duotone throughout.
EXCERPT FROM HISTORY THAT WILL NEVER BE REPEATED
(From the John Lovelady account, p. 173)
The departure of the grey wolves from [the Double Mountain Country] in 1880 was one of the most remarkable incidents that ever occurred...Early one morning about the middle of February, I was riding on the edge of the plains near the caprocks when I saw some distance from me a great string of objects, coming out of the canyon and heading in a northwestern course across the plains...[I] discovered to my astonishment that they were wolves...[T]here must have been several thousand of them. They were traveling in a lope or sweeping trot, they were probably twenty abreast, and the pack must have been 2 or 3 miles in length.
WHAT THE EXPERTS ARE SAYING:
"Biggers catches the flavor and the intent of those he interviewed out on the old buffalo range, in the sudden-like towns, on the vast ranches...He may glorify their exploits a shade too enthusiastically, but he never worships them, and he tells their stories, warts and all." --A.C. Greene