Even though the Chisholm Trail is known for its use during the cattle drive era, Jesse wasn’t a cattleman, but a frontier trader. He had a great knowledge of the southwest that was valuable in trailblazing.
Because he was a trader, Jesse Chisholm’s trail was a straight road with easy river crossings and few steep grades so lumbering heavy freight wagons would have no trouble traveling it.
A year before Chisholm died; his trail also began to be used for cattle drives. For five years, more than a million head of cattle traveled up the road, creating a path that was 200 to 400 yards wide. Traces of the trail can still be seen to this day.
Filed under: Old West History
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