markalause at gmail.com
Fri Feb 1 10:06:56 MST 2013
This is a bit earlier than my readings in the period, though I've
encountered the same sources in tems of the base of Comanche power as
It's a very interesting project--very massive--and there are several
places I'd look for starters. Census records will provide the basic
statistics on the numbers of horses, mules, etc. That's all online.
Early cities would provide lots of material on the subject, since one
of their key functions had been the removal of horse dung and dead
horses from the streets by the licensed cartmen. By the 1840s-1860s,
a horse-powered mass transit system functioned in NYC, which couldn't
have functioned without it.
As to agriculture and transport generally, despite the emphasis on
race horses, horse-breeding made Kentucky what it was in the
antebellum period. I have nothing on my shelf, but I'm srue there's
literature in the agriculatural and local histories.
I'm probably most familiar with the military use of horses in the
Civil War, which exaggerated the trend--like all other resources.
Just finishing a second volume to close the 1864 Missouri
campaign--going from Jefferson City to Kansas City and south into the
Indian Territory and Texas. I don't think there wasa hors e left in
the wake of where the two--actaully three--mounted armies came
through. Thousands were left jaded and broken down--and preyed upon
by wolves. As an aside, the manipulation of the supply of mounts in
the Indian Territory was one of the things that the US used to break
the power of its Indian allies after the war.
Most of the classic economic histories of the Civil War provide lots
of material on horses, their imporance and their disappearance. Not
just Missouri, but all across the Midwest. This loss was so great
that I'm sure it played an important factor in the seriousness and
pace of the government's encouragement of railroad-building
afterwards. This, at least, reduced the reliance on horses for
long-distance cartage by the overland trails.
As an aside, after the technology began to take horses out of the
long-distance operation, there was an emphasis on strength rather than
endurance. This led the extension of the Kentucky-based industy into
Missouri to refocus on breeding mules, which remained in wide use for
many purposes long after the introduction of the tractor.
On Fri, Feb 1, 2013 at 11:11 AM, Louis Proyect <lnp3 at panix.com> wrote:
> Rule #1: YOU MUST clip all extraneous text when replying to a message.
> I am working on an article about the war against the Comanche Indians in the
> pre-Civil War period. As you may know, Pekka Hamalainen's "Comanche Empire"
> argues that the hegemony of the Comanches in the lower plains was based on
> its immense "capital" in horses. What I am looking for are books/articles on
> the role of the horse in the rise of American capitalism. Contact me at
> lnp3 at panix.com for leads.
> Send list submissions to: Marxism at greenhouse.economics.utah.edu
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