Did you know that on this date back in 1854 the first cattle drive from Texas arrived in New York City? You would if you’re a subscriber to This Week In The Old West.

In case you’re not, here’s the story:
This cattle drive wasn’t done by a Texas cowboy, but an English immigrant who grew up in Illinois, by the name of Thomas Ponting.

Ponting wasn’t a novice around cattle. As a youth in England he drove cattle to London. And later in Illinois he drove cattle up to Wisconsin. Hearing about cheap cattle in Texas, he and partner Washington Malone went down there and bought 800 longhorn cattle.

Four months after their start they got to Illinois. It was winter. So they took time to fatten the cattle on corn. In the spring Ponting sold all but 150 of the longhorns. Those 150 he wanted to take to New York. When they got to Muncie,

Indiana Pointing got the idea of transporting them the rest of the way by rail car.

When they arrived in New York, they were taken to the Hundred Street Market and auctioned off.

Although Pointing’s cattle drive was a great feat in itself, his greatest achievement was to show that cattle could be brought 2,000 miles from Texas and sold at a profit. And with this a new page in Old West history was opened.

If you’re interested in receiving a story like this via email each Sunday, go to www.ThisWeekInTheOldWest.com. It’s free.

Filed under: Old West History

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