Goodnight on the Trail

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“Charlie Goodnight, while decidedly brilliant, ruled his great cattle drives like a feudal overlord.”

No cowboy talked out of turn on a Goodnight drive. As his memorial to [Negro cowboy] Bose Ikard shows, Goodnight was an almost feudal figure, backing his men all the way and demanding complete obedience and loyalty from them. At the start of every drive he ordinarily drew up a contract stating each man’s responsibilities, forbidding gambling, drinking or cursing, and providing that any man committing a crime would be tried on the trail and punished on the spot.

Phillip Durham & Everett L. Jones
The Negro Cowboys