Back to Index

The American West, the Real West

Stanford alumnus Miles Seeley writes: "I did some research on the frontier when I was at Stanford. The men and women who went West were often rough and rowdy, it is true; but the life was rough and the weak often did not make it. Later, when cattle ruled, the cowboy was also rough and ready; and since I cowboyed for many years, I know how tough that life is. My understanding is that neither the Frontiersman nor the Indian was refined and "civilized", and their clashes were between men who basically were warriors. This may not appeal to our romantic instincts, but I think it is close to the truth".

My comment: The romantic view of the Indians holds that they did not have concept of private property, which led to the Frontiersmen's grabbing of their land, and they revered Nature, which the Frontiersmen did not. Holding the romantic view of cowboys, Eastern gentlemen came to Cheyenne, where they established the Cheyenne Club and played at being cowboys. They fought with real cowboys.

Ronald Hilton - 10/5/01