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Highlands Ranch High School - Mr. Sedivy
Highlands Ranch, Colorado

Colorado History

- Colorado History -
The Cowboy's Prayer, Cowboy Poetry, Lingo,
Cowboy Ballads: Lullabies for Jittery Cows

The Cowboy's Prayer

Lord, please help me, lend me Thine ear,
The prayer of a troubled cowman to hear.
No doubt my prayer to you may seem strange,
But I want you to bless my cattle range...

As you O Lord my fine herds behold,
They represent a sack of pure gold.
I think that at least five cents on the pound
Would be a good price for beef the year round.

Lullabies for Jittery Cows - Cowboy Ballads

Cowboys on the Santa Fe Trail
Early cowboys relaxing at the end of a day's travel on the Sante Fe Trail.

Many cowboy ballads originated as a means of quieting stampede-prone cattle at night. Composed impromptu by cowhands riding around the herds, the often atonal songs took their rhythm from a horse's gait. Some had mournful tunes, but no words, and were termed "Texas lullabies." Others had standard verses that, like those excerpted below, became favorites.

The Old Chisholm Trail
I'm up in the momin' afore daylight
And afore I sleep the moon shines bright.
No chaps and no slicker, and it's pouring down rain,
And I swear, by God, that I'll never night-herd again.

Oh, it's bacon and beans most every day
I'd as soon be a-eatin' prairie hay.
I went to the boss to draw my roll,
He had it figured out I was nine dollars in the hole.
I'll sell my horse and I'll sell my saddle;
You can go to hell with your longhhorn cattle.

Little Joe the Wrangler
Little Joe, the wrangler, was called out with the rest;
Though the kid had scarcely reached the herd,
When the cattle they stampeded, like a hailstorm long they fled
Then we were all a-ridin' for the lead.

The next moming just at daybreak, we found where his horsefell,
Down in a washout twenty feet below;
And beneath the horse, mashed to a pulp, his spur had rung the knell,
Was our little Texas stray, poor Wrangling Joe.

The Rolling Stone - 1850s
Since times are so hard, I'll tell you, my wife
I've a mind for to shake off this trouble and strife,
And to California my journey pursue
To double my fortunes as other men do.
For here we may labor each day in the field
And the winters consume all that summers doth yield.

Dear husband, remember your land is to clear,
It will cost you the labor of many a year.
Your horses, sheep and cattle will all be to buy,
And before you have got them you are ready to die.
So stick to your farming; you'll suffer no loss,
For the stone that keeps rolling can gather no moss.

(The wife of the song, like thousands of uncounted women, succeeded in keeping her husband on the farm.)

Early Western Prostitutes
Cowboys in search of women's company after lonely months on the trail visited ladies such as these, posed in front of the house in which they entertained their customers.

Cowboy Lingo

Airin' the lungs: cussin'

Biscuit shooter: the ranch cook

Colorado mockingbird: a burro

Dally: a half-hitch of rope around
a saddle horn used when roping

Dog house: the bunkhouse

Flea trap: a cowboy's bedroll

Greasy belly: a cook

Gut hooks: spurs

Hay shaker: a farmer

Hot rock: a biscuit


Idaho brain storm: a tornado

Kack: a saddle

Kack biscuit: a saddle sore

Latigo: a leather strap used to
fasten a saddle on a horse

Maniac den: a sheep wagon or camp

Maverick: an unbranded animal

Necktie social: a hanging

Tasting gravel: thrown from a horse

Walking whisky vat: a drunkard


Cowboy Poetry

"I'm a bullwacker far from home.
If you don't like me just leave me alone;
Eat my grub when hungry, drink when dry.
Whack, punch, swar, then lie down and die."

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- Colorado History In Depth -
Lecture Notes, Reading, and Information:

| The Cheyenne Migration to Colorado |
| The Gratlan Affair, Massacre, Fort Laramie Treaty |

The Cheyenne Social Club
| A Cheyenne War Story: Wolf Road, the Runner |
| Cheyenne Traditions and Beliefs, Sacred Stories |
| Horses, Warriors, War Pipe, Sweatlodge Ceremony |
| Cheyenne War Parties and Battle Tactics |
| The Scalp Dance and Other Cheyenne Dances |

Fort Union
| The Sante Fe Trail and Fort Union |
| Sumner - Ninth Military Department / The First Fort Union |
| Early Arrivals to Fort Union, Daily Life at Fort Union |
| Captain Grover - The New Fort Union, the Confederate Threat |
| Fort Union Arsenal, William Shoemaker, End of Fort Union |

Americans from the East
| Thomas Jefferson, the Louisiana Purchase |
| The Expedition of Zebulon Pike |
| Pikes Peak or Bust / Colorado Gold Rush |

Colorado's Role in the US Civil War
| The Civil War, Fort Wise / Fort Lyon |
| Mace's Hole, Colonel Canby, F.C.V.R. | Fort Weld |
| The Pet Lambs, John Chivington |
| General Henry Sibly, Battle of Valverde, Fort Union |

Cripple Creek District Labor Strikes
| The Western Federation of Miners / State Militia |
| The 1893 - 1894 Strike | The Strike of 1903 - 1904 |
| The Mine Owners Association |
| Crimes and Military Rule in the Cripple Creek District |
| Marshall Law in Cripple Creek District / End of the Strike |
Early Cripple Creek District
| Photos, Fire, and Life in Cripple Creek |
| Other Colorful Towns in the Cripple Creek District:
Gillett - Colorado's Only Bullfight, Victor, Independence
| A Guide to the Miners' Gritty Lingo |

More Colorado History Information
| Bent's Fort Photos, Personalities, Plans, and More |

| What Was Easter Like at Bent's Fort? |
| Colorado Trivia, Miscellaneous Old Photos,
Western Personalities, Forts, and More

| Lullabies for Jittery Cows - Cowboy Ballads |
| Heraldry of the Branding Iron |
| Project Aims to Clear Infamous Cannibal, Alferd Packer |
Lead Gives Alferd Packer's Story More Weight |
| Legendary Colorado Love Stories: Baby Doe Tabor & More |
| Colorado Pioneer Women: Elizabeth Byers |
| Early Denver Jokes / The History of April Fools' Day |

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Highlands Ranch High School 9375 South Cresthill Lane Highlands Ranch, Colorado 80126 303-471-7000

Mr. Sedivy's History Classes
| Colorado History | American Government | Advanced Placement Modern European History | Rise of Nation State England | World History |
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