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Cow Boys and Cattle MenClass and Masculinities on the Texas Frontier, 1865-1900$
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Jacqueline M. Moore

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780814757390

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814757390.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 17 September 2021

In Town

In Town

(p.168) 6 In Town
Cow Boys and Cattle Men

Jacqueline M. Moore

NYU Press

This chapter shows that cowboys performed public rituals that displayed their masculinity through drinking, gambling, and fighting. But as more settlers moved into the region and as the cattlemen built houses in town for their families, the towns developed other economic interests as well as social values. They began with moral legislation, the so-called blue laws, but also gave regular lectures to the cowboys in the newspapers about proper behavior. When these lectures did not work, they tried to ridicule the cowboys in a variety of ways, suggesting that their unrestrained behavior was less than manly. As the cowboys became marginal to the lives of the town, they became subjects of humor and were relegated to the status of oddity or criminal. The cowboy thus became a pariah in the cow towns he had helped build.

Keywords:   masculinity, public rituals, settlers, blue laws, social values, moral legislation, cow towns, humor, cowboys, cattlemen

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