The Day of the Cattleman was first published in 1929. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.
The legend of the Wild West, as celebrated in thousands upon thousands of western stories and movies, radio and television programs, has a firm grip on the imaginations of both young and old, not only in America but in many other lands. But, popular though such versions are, they do not tell how the west was really won. Professor Osgood's account sets the record straight for those who want authentic history rather than melodramatic fiction.
"The range cattleman," Professor Osgood writes, "has more solid achievements to his credit than the creation of a legend. He was the first to utilize the semi-arid plains. Using the most available natural resources, the native grasses, as a basis, he built up a great and lucrative enterprise, attracted eastern and foreign capital to aid him in the development of a new economic area, stimulated railroad building in order that the product of the ranges might get to an eastern market, and laid the economic foundation of more than one western commonwealth."
Professor Osgood traces the rise and fall of the range cattle industry, particularly in Montana and Wyoming, from 1845 to the turn of the century. He gives a detailed account of the activities of the stock growers' associations and of the cattlemen's relations with the railroads and with the Federal government.
The book has won critical acclaim both in this country and abroad. The Saturday Review has described it as an "honest, scientific, and thorough examination" of a "semi-epic phase of Western life, now almost completely dead." In England, the Times Literary Supplement called it "the only substantial record of this particular chapter in the history of the West."