The Wild West in the 1880s was a time of extreme hardships. Life was tough and cheap.
The ranges had just been opened up by the railways to vast cattle-raising operations and refrigeration was the latest technology, allowing cattle to be butchered in Chicago and shipped around the world to an hungry market. Many British cattle companies were making yearly profits from between 20 to 50 per cent.
My great-grandfather's story is unique in that we still have a hundred of his letters, graphically illustrating his life as a cowboy. Beginning in 1883 a young and optimistic Hugh goes west only to return to his family in 1893 without a penny to his name. Was he bitter? No. This experience gave him the backbone to live a long and fruitful life. He would always refer to his time out West as the best years of his life.
This year I will share his unique insights here on the Tenderfoot website as I attempt to bring Hugh alive to a new audience.
I hope you will join me as we travel across time to the Great Plains of America.