Regina H. Blackstock, professional genealogist

New Evidence #5 – The Cattle Connection

Family lore says James B. and his family were cattle ranchers.  Jumping forward to 1850 we find the first “Non-population Census Schedule” on Agriculture.  For the first time the United States collected information specific to agriculture and the farms so many of its citizens operated.  The collection of this information was typically handled by a different census taker and usually months apart from the population census.

The 1850 Agriculture Census for Dale County is not available online.  As a matter of fact, the only copy appears to be in the hands of the Alabama State Archives. Figure 16 provides a copy of the page where James B. and his immediate neighbors describe their farms:

Figure 16 - 1850 Agriculture Census, Dale County, AL – Page 1

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This information was recorded on October 25, 1850. The Agriculture Census has two pages.  Following along on line 12 on the second page, we find the rest of the information recorded for James B.:

Figure 17 - 1850 Agriculture Census, Dale County, AL – Page 2

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Note: This copy, provided by Alabama State Archives research assistants, does not show the final column which reports the value of animals slaughtered during the year.

The 1850 Non-Population census recorded the following information about our James B. Ward and the farms operated by his now married children:

James B. Ward: ACRES OF LAND:  50 Improved, -- Unimproved;
Value of Farm is $75, Value of Equipment is $125;
LIVESTOCK on 6/1/1850: 4 Horses, 3 Asses/Mules, 120 Milch Cows, 4 Working Oxen,
200 Other Cattle, 36 Sheep, 125 Swine, Value of livestock is $2,519;
PRODUCE: 36 bushels Wheat, -- bushels Rye, 300 bushels Indian Corn, 100 bushels Oats,
-- lbs Rice, -- lbs Tobacco, -- 400-lbs bales Cotton, 100 lbs Wool, -- bushels Peas/Beans,
50 bushels Sweet Potatoes, 1 bushels Barley, -- bushels Buckwheat, $-- Orchard produce,
-- gallons Wine, $-- Market Gardens, 100 lbs Butter, -- lbs Cheese, -- tons Hay,
-- bushels Clover Seed, -- bushels Grass Seeds, -- lbs Hops, -- tons Dew Rotted Hemp,
-- tons Water Rotted Hemp, -- lbs Flax, -- bushels Flaxseed, -- lbs Silk Cocoons,
-- lbs Maple Sugar, -- lbs Cane Sugar, 80 gallons Molasses, -- lbs Beeswax & Honey,
$30 Homemade Items, $? Animals Slaughtered.

 

John J. Ward:  ACRES OF LAND: 20 Improved, -- Unimproved;
Value of Farm is $75, Value of Equipment is $5;
LIVESTOCK on 6/1/1850: -- Horses, -- Asses/Mules, 15 Milch Cows, -- Working Oxen,
15 Other Cattle, -- Sheep, 110 Swine, Value of livestock is $205;
PRODUCE: 5 bushels Wheat, -- bushels Rye, 100 bushels Indian Corn, -- bushels Oats,
-- lbs Rice, -- lbs Tobacco, -- 400-lbs bales Cotton, -- lbs Wool, -- bushels Peas/Beans,
-- bushels Sweet Potatoes, -- bushels Barley, -- bushels Buckwheat, $-- Orchard produce,
-- gallons Wine, $-- Market Gardens, 50 lbs Butter, -- lbs Cheese, -- tons Hay,
-- bushels Clover Seed, -- bushels Grass Seeds, -- lbs Hops, -- tons Dew Rotted Hemp,
-- tons Water Rotted Hemp, -- lbs Flax, -- bushels Flaxseed, -- lbs Silk Cocoons,
-- lbs Maple Sugar, -- lbs Cane Sugar, 40 gallons Molasses, -- lbs Beeswax & Honey,
$40 Homemade Items, $? Animals Slaughtered.

 

Thomas J. Ward: ACRES OF LAND: -- Improved, -- Unimproved;
Value of Farm is $--, Value of Equipment is $5;
LIVESTOCK on 6/1/1850: 1 Horse, 1 Asses/Mules, 9 Milch Cows, -- Working Oxen,
8 Other Cattle, -- Sheep, 40 Swine, Value of livestock is $220;
PRODUCE: 14 bushels Wheat, -- bushels Rye, 40 bushels Indian Corn, -- bushels Oats,
-- lbs Rice, -- lbs Tobacco, -- 400-lbs bales Cotton, -- lbs Wool, -- bushels Peas/Beans,
30 bushels Sweet Potatoes, -- bushels Barley, -- bushels Buckwheat, $-- Orchard produce,
-- gallons Wine, $-- Market Gardens, 55 lbs Butter, -- lbs Cheese, -- tons Hay,
-- bushels Clover Seed, -- bushels Grass Seeds, -- lbs Hops, -- tons Dew Rotted Hemp,
-- tons Water Rotted Hemp, -- lbs Flax, -- bushels Flaxseed, -- lbs Silk Cocoons,
-- lbs Maple Sugar, -- lbs Cane Sugar, 10 gallons Molasses, 100 lbs Beeswax & Honey,
$24 Homemade Items, $? Animals Slaughtered

Unfortunately, the value of “Animals Slaughtered” was unreadable on my copy. 
It is very apparent James B. Ward was a cattle rancher by 1850!  He had 200 head of cattle.  Did you notice the number of cattle other ranchers reported in this column?  The next largest cattle ranches on the pages where James B. and his sons are listed only have 100 cattle (James Wilkerson & Williams Daniel) and 50 cattle (William Lewis). Most farms, as you can see from the partial page above, had less than 20 cattle.

In 1850, small farms producing less than $100 of products annually were not included on the Agriculture Census. By 1870, farms of less than three acres or producing less than $500 of products were not included.1  Therefore, we are unable to determine all of his neighbors from this census because those earning less than $100 are omitted.  We can conclude the farms of the neighbors shown were producing more than $100 a year.

Let’s continue to move forward in time.  Between 1850 and the next census in 1860, the following key events impacted the life of these families living in Dale County, AL:

We also find the last Agriculture Schedule for James B. Ward (Figure 18) in 1860.  Everyone in James B.’s family is accounted for on this single census page – which clearly indicates they lived near one another and were probably earning at least $100 annually.  We find a “J.B. Ward” living near James M. Davis, Chesley Pervis, Benjamin F. Ward, and John J. Ward.  It also identifies the area as “Newton Post Office” – which is consistent with present-day Malvern, AL.

Figure 18 - 1860 Agriculture Census

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This agriculture schedule, recorded 7/30/1860, spans two pages and collects information on 48 items.  The image above shows items 1-21 on one side of the page.  This census tells us the following additional information about our Wards, Davis, and Purvis families:

James M. Davis - ACRES OF LAND: 20 Improved, 60 Unimproved;

Cash value of farm: $110; Value of farming implements: $21;
LIVESTOCK: 1 Horse, - Asses/Mules, 3 Milch Cows, 2 Working Oxen, 9 Other Cattle,
- Sheep, 25 Swine. Estimated value of livestock = $260.
PRODUCE DURING THE YEAR: - bushels of wheat, - bushels rye, 200 bushels Indian corn,
- bushels oats, 200 lbs of rice, - lbs of tobacco, 1 400 lb bales of cotton, - lbs of wool,
6 bushels of Peas/Beans, - bushels Irish Potatoes, 15 bushels Sweet Potatoes, - bushels Barley,
- bushels Buckwheat, - value of orchard products, - gallons of wine,
$20 value of produce to market, 0 lbs of butter, - lbs cheese, - tons of hay,
- bushels of clover seed, - bushels grass seeds, 0 lbs of hops, - tons of hemp, - lbs of flax,
- bushels flaxseed, - lbs of silk cocoons, 0 lbs maple sugar, - 1000-lbs of sugar cane,
- gallons molasses, - lbs beeswax, - lbs honey,
$10 value of homemade manufactures, and $56 value of animals slaughtered.

 

Chesley Pervis - ACRES OF LAND: 40 Improved, -- Unimproved;

Cash value of farm: $150; Value of farming implements: $25;
LIVESTOCK: 4 Horses, - Asses/Mules, 6 Milch Cows, 2 Working Oxen, 1 Other Cattle,
12 Sheep, 75 Swine. Estimated value of livestock = $746.
PRODUCE DURING THE YEAR: 0 bushels of wheat, - bushels rye, 200 bushels Indian corn,
- bushels oats, 400 lbs of rice, - lbs of tobacco, 2 400 lb bales of cotton, 20 lbs of wool,
4 bushels of Peas/Beans, - bushels Irish Potatoes, 100 bushels Sweet Potatoes, - bushels Barley,
- bushels Buckwheat, - value of orchard products, - gallons of wine,
$120 value of produce to market, - lbs of butter, - lbs cheese, - tons of hay,
- bushels of clover seed, - bushels grass seeds, - lbs of hops, - tons of hemp, - lbs of flax,
- bushels flaxseed, - lbs of silk cocoons, - lbs maple sugar, - 1000-lbs of sugar cane,
- gallons molasses, - lbs beeswax, - lbs honey,
$100 value of homemade manufactures, and $212 value of animals slaughtered.

 

Benjamin F. Ward - ACRES OF LAND: 20 Improved, -- Unimproved;

Cash value of farm: $250; Value of farming implements: $25;
LIVESTOCK: 1 Horses, - Asses/Mules, 3 Milch Cows, 2 Working Oxen, 8 Other Cattle,
- Sheep, 25 Swine. Estimated value of livestock = $300.
PRODUCE DURING THE YEAR: 0 bushels of wheat, - bushels rye, 75 bushels Indian corn,
- bushels oats, 40 lbs of rice, - lbs of tobacco, 2 400 lb bales of cotton, - lbs of wool,
3 bushels of Peas/Beans, - bushels Irish Potatoes, - bushels Sweet Potatoes, - bushels Barley,
- bushels Buckwheat, - value of orchard products, - gallons of wine,
$50 value of produce to market, - lbs of butter, - lbs cheese, - tons of hay,
- bushels of clover seed, - bushels grass seeds, - lbs of hops, - tons of hemp, - lbs of flax,
- bushels flaxseed, - lbs of silk cocoons, - lbs maple sugar, - 1000-lbs of sugar cane,
20 gallons molasses, - lbs beeswax, - lbs honey,
$30 value of homemade manufactures, and $40 value of animals slaughtered.

 

Jno J Ward - ACRES OF LAND: 40 Improved, 240 Unimproved;

Cash value of farm: $500; Value of farming implements: $10;
LIVESTOCK: 2 Horses, - Asses/Mules, 4 Milch Cows, 2 Working Oxen, 12 Other Cattle,
- Sheep, 25 Swine. Estimated value of livestock = $360.
PRODUCE DURING THE YEAR: 0 bushels of wheat, - bushels rye, 200 bushels Indian corn,
- bushels oats, - lbs of rice, - lbs of tobacco, 5 400 lb bales of cotton, - lbs of wool,
4 bushels of Peas/Beans, 2 bushels Irish Potatoes, 41 bushels Sweet Potatoes, - bushels Barley,
- bushels Buckwheat, - value of orchard products, - gallons of wine,
$100 value of produce to market, - lbs of butter, - lbs cheese, - tons of hay,
- bushels of clover seed, - bushels grass seeds, - lbs of hops, - tons of hemp, - lbs of flax, - bushels flaxseed, - lbs of silk cocoons, - lbs maple sugar, - 1000-lbs of sugar cane,
25 gallons molasses, - lbs beeswax, - lbs honey,
$125 value of homemade manufactures, and $120 value of animals slaughtered.

 

J. B. Ward - ACRES OF LAND: 90 Improved, 140 Unimproved;

Cash value of farm: $2,000; Value of farming implements: $50;
LIVESTOCK: 4 Horses, - Asses/Mules, 80 Milch Cows, 4 Working Oxen, 60 Other Cattle,
130 Sheep, 100 Swine. Estimated value of livestock = $2,425.
PRODUCE DURING THE YEAR: 0 bushels of wheat, - bushels rye, 300 bushels Indian corn,
- bushels oats, - lbs of rice, - lbs of tobacco, - 400 lb bales of cotton, 300 lbs of wool,
- bushels of Peas/Beans, - bushels Irish Potatoes, 150 bushels Sweet Potatoes, - bushels Barley,
- bushels Buckwheat, - value of orchard products, - gallons of wine,
$100 value of produce to market, - lbs of butter, - lbs cheese, - tons of hay,
- bushels of clover seed, - bushels grass seeds, - lbs of hops, - tons of hemp, - lbs of flax, - bushels flaxseed, - lbs of silk cocoons, - lbs maple sugar, - 1000-lbs of sugar cane,
- gallons molasses, 30 lbs beeswax, 100 lbs honey,
$60 value of homemade manufactures, and $200 value of animals slaughtered

 

William J. Ward - ACRES OF LAND: 25 Improved, 55 Unimproved;

Cash value of farm: $400; Value of farming implements: $40;
LIVESTOCK: 1 Horses, - Asses/Mules, 10 Milch Cows, - Working Oxen, 10 Other Cattle,
- Sheep, 50 Swine. Estimated value of livestock = $400.
PRODUCE DURING THE YEAR: 0 bushels of wheat, - bushels rye, 75 bushels Indian corn,
20 bushels oats, - lbs of rice, - lbs of tobacco, 1 400 lb bales of cotton, - lbs of wool.,
5 bushels of Peas/Beans, - bushels Irish Potatoes, 50 bushels Sweet Potatoes, - bushels Barley,
- bushels Buckwheat, - value of orchard products, - gallons of wine,
$10 value of produce to market,
0 lbs of butter, - lbs cheese, - tons of hay, - bushels of clover seed, - bushels grass seeds,
- lbs of hops, - tons of hemp, - lbs of flax, - bushels flaxseed, - lbs of silk cocoons,
- lbs maple sugar, - 1000-lbs of sugar cane, 100 gallons molasses, - lbs beeswax, - lbs honey,
$30 value of homemade manufactures, and $100 value of animals slaughtered.

 

J.M. Ward - ACRES OF LAND: -- Improved, -- Unimproved;

Cash value of farm: $100; Value of farming implements: $10;
LIVESTOCK: 0 Horses, - Asses/Mules, 5 Milch Cows, - Working Oxen, 15 Other Cattle,
- Sheep, 25 Swine. Estimated value of livestock = $300.
PRODUCE DURING THE YEAR: 0 bushels of wheat, - bushels rye, 100 bushels Indian corn,
- bushels oats, - lbs of rice, - lbs of tobacco, 3 400 lb bales of cotton, - lbs of wool,
- bushels of Peas/Beans, - bushels Irish Potatoes, 50 bushels Sweet Potatoes, - bushels Barley,
- bushels Buckwheat, - value of orchard products, - gallons of wine,
$20 value of produce to market, - lbs of butter, - lbs cheese, - tons of hay,
- bushels of clover seed, - bushels grass seeds, - lbs of hops, - tons of hemp, - lbs of flax,
- bushels flaxseed, - lbs of silk cocoons, - lbs maple sugar, - 1000-lbs of sugar cane,
- gallons molasses, - lbs beeswax, - lbs honey,
$20 value of homemade manufactures, and $50 value of animals slaughtered.  

James B. has mostly cattle, sheep, & pigs, grows Indian corn & sweet potatoes, maintains bees (sells honey & beeswax) and makes most of his money selling animals for slaughter. While his sons and neighbors are mostly operating pig farms and growing some corn, cotton, sweet potatoes and also making molasses. It looks like the younger generation is trying new income sources – such as oats and white potatoes – while the older generation is continuing to do what they know best.

As a matter of fact, there were several other families in the Newton, AL area who were also keeping large herds of cattle.  The 1860 Non-population Census3 says:

Did you notice James B., his sons, and many of his neighbors did not report the number of “unimproved” acres on their 1850 farm?  Today the boundaries on our properties are very defined and well documented.  However, this was still virgin land in the 1850s with very few fences and “loosely” defined property boundaries.  It is hard for us to even imagine being the only family within 6 or more miles.

James B. also owned sheep and reported they produced 100 pounds of wool.  His sons, on the other hand, only own a few head of cattle and no sheep.   All three of them own large numbers of pigs (swine).

All three also owned Milch Cows (milk producing cows) and reported earnings on 50 to 100 pounds of butter which would have been churned and produced from milk fats.

In addition to growing wheat, Indian corn, and sweet potatoes, they also managed bees and harvested honey.  Since they also made molasses, they must have also grown some sugar cane.

Was cattle ranching in this area of Alabama a new industry?  Or, had it been around for a while?  Just how long had James B. been in the cattle business?

Figure 19 - Southern Pineywoods Breed4

Click image for larger view.

The first cattlemen in this area were the Spanish and they have a long history!  Ponce de Leon’s 1521 attempted to establish a colony in Florida included herds of Andalusian cattle – the first recorded domestic cattle being brought to what is now the continental United States!  His attempt to settle failed, but the cattle appear to have been left behind.  By 1605 the Spanish began establishing ranchos in Florida which are scattered from St. Augustine to the Apalachicola River. Cattle were also attached to the missions they established along what is now called The Spanish Trail. It was reported the Indians, who the missionaries worked with, liked working cattle and were soon skilled at breaking horses, too.  By 1640 prime breeding stock was imported from Cuba in an effort to improve production.  A 1698 Spanish tax roll reveals 34 ranchos stretching from the valleys of the St. Johns River to the Apalachicola River.  One ranch, the Rancho de la Chua, had over 1,000 head of cattle. Counting cattle owned by the missions and Indians, it is estimated as many as 15,000 to 20,000 head were free range grazing by 1700. Sixteen years later, a scouting party camping near present-day Tallahassee observes a mixed herd of Spanish cattle and buffalo, estimated at 300 head! These early breeds were apparently hardy and managed to survive well in the wild. It has also been noted that the local Indian tribes revived the cattle business after the British & Creeks decimated the missions along the Spanish Trail in the early 1700s.5

Diving a little deeper into the history of cattle in this region, we learn during the 1750s, South Carolina contained an estimated 70,000 cattle which had been the leading export prior to rice.  Estimating at least 15 acres of open range per animal, these cattle required over a million acres of unfenced land in order to forage.  South Carolina was so overstocked with cattle that cowpen keepers led their herds beyond SC’s borders. By 1766 NC’s assembly passed an act to address this issue which started a trend to fence and force free-range ranchers to find new range.  Georgia, on the other hand, embraced these free-range ranchers.  Cattle ranching also extended into Florida – which was under British rule by now.6

As a result, cowpens dotted the countryside throughout the colonies and also within the boundaries of Indian Territories.  When naturalist John Bratram visited Georgia in 1765, he observed many cowpens, which were “the greatest curiosity this country affords.”  He went on to describe a cowpen as a “kind of house, or hut, near a good spring, in which four or five negroes” and “one white man” resided.  They looked after “a number of cattle of various kinds” that occupied “a range of country of six or ten miles round.” The “chief employment of these herdsmen” was “to tend the calving of the cows” and “to bring those to the pen that stand most in need of assistance.” Bartram also noted that several Georgians had “two or three of these cowpens at ten miles distance from each other,” and the cattle grazed in “distinct herds,” feeding “both winter and summer in their respective walks.”  Bartram also described Florida Indian ranchers.  He said “Soon after sunrise, a party of Indians on horseback, appeared upon the savanna, to collect together several herds of cattle, which they drove along near our camp, towards the town.”7

In Southern AL, West FL, and SW GA it was a common practice until the late 1800s for ranchers to allow cattle free range on private and public lands.  Ranchers used salt licks instead of fences as well as burning forest undergrowth during the winter to produce tender new growths from the ashes.8

Every year ranchers herded cattle into cowpens, branded the new calves, drove surplus cattle to the market, and sold then for slaughter or to other ranchers.9  When looking through old records, it is not uncommon to find areas labeled as “Cow Pen” or “Cow Ford” which later became known by other names.  Often these locations were so named because they were resting points along the path of a frequent cattle drive.10

It is clear cattle ranching may have been one of the early “big money” industries in the North Florida area.

In 1772, the lieutenant-governor of British West Florida said 'The British planters around Pensacola ran herds of from 200 to 1,000 cattle.'  Creek Indians in southern AL and West Florida also owned cattle.  The “Bully,” chief of Red Ground, was reported to own 535 “black cattle” in 1792.   A few British colonials, such as William Gregory, moved into the interior and settled among the Indians and became a stock keeper for the Indians and later established his own herds. In the late 1700s Gregory's operations was described as:  'As far as the eye could see over the beautiful and gentle rolling prairies his cattle and horses fed, undisturbed by man or beast."11

Those who passed through the Creek Nation into AL and West FL observed domesticated cattle grazing in the woods.  A herd estimated at 2,000, belonging to a white rancher, was sighted in the early 1800s and a number of smaller herds owned by Indians were also seen.12

Joe Akerman, author of Florida Cowman, reveals the Indians in Alabama and West Florida continued to be involved in cattle ranching:

“In West Florida, and in areas where the Indians were still in control, beef production was not always so adversely affected.  Alexander McGillivray, the illustrious half-breed Creek chief and one time general in the British Army still owned great numbers of cattle in West Florida.  Chief Mucklesaopay (Singer) had many cattle too.  Mucklesaopay also owned a black slave known for his ability to handle cattle.  Other chiefs borrowed him on occasion to hunt and work their cattle. ……

“Important to Florida cattle trade and production during the last years of the British occupation and the first years of the Second Spanish Occupation was the business firm of Panton, Leslie and Company.  Although it was a British monopoly, its connections with the Indians in the Southeast were so extensive, that it was asked by the Spanish to remain in Florida.  Along with providing military goods, tools and presents to the Indians in exchange for furs and hides, Panton and Leslie also became a major stock raising enterprise.

“The firm maintained trading posts at Palatka, Lake George, St. Marks and Pensacola.  It also operated fifteen oceangoing vessels along with numerous small ships and many pack trains.  Cattle were sometimes shipped on these vessels.

“The extent to which Panton and Leslie was involved in the cattle business is revealed from letters written by some of their agents.  Edmund Doyle, who was stationed at Prospect Bluff on the Apalachicola River, writes of a company cattle herd of 1,200 beeves kept at a West Florida company ranch in 1808.  Several hundred head of cattle were kept in cattle pens at Lake George in East Florida.  Company herds were also kept on the River Styx near Orange Lake, and many cattle were penned at Pensacola for export and for sale to Indian tribes in the interior.  Constant references are made in Doyle’s letters to the sale and transfer of cattle from Prospect Bluff to other areas of the Spanish territory.  Some cattle sales were even made to American soldiers stationed on the frontier.

“Reports from the Panton and Leslie trading post on the Apalachicola describe the dangers faced by early Florida stock raisers.  Cattle were constantly being stolen or killed by roving Indian bands.  Rangers organized by the company had little success in recovering beef or in catching up with the rustlers.  In 1817 Indians hired by the U.S. Army were sent out from Fort Gaines to recover stolen cattle and horses.  They too were unsuccessful.”13

Another account cited by Akerman reveals more details on cattle ranching in the very early 1800s:

"A number of American settlers had moved to Florida before the Cession.  One such person was John L. Williams, early territorial father and one of two men who picked the site for the Territorial capital.  Williams and his family settled in present day Jackson County, an area almost untouched by ax or plow.  Around 1809, one of Williams' sons, Andrew Elton, became the owner of "many cattle."  During the early years, the family carried on most of their trading at the frontier town of Columbus, GA, located on the eastern edge of the Creek Nation.  Usually twice each year the family boarded a ship near Apalachicola and steamed up the Apalachicola and Chattahoochee Rivers to the trading posts of present-day Columbus.  They also drove large herds of cattle up the rivers to sell to the new settlers and Indians along the valley.

“Other herds, owned by people, such as the McKinnons of Walton County, were trailed westward to Pensacola and Mobile and northward to markets at Montgomery, Eufaula and Columbus.  A good price for beef sold at these markets in the early 1800s was 3 1/2 to 4 cents a pound or $2.50 per head.  M. Luther King [A History of Walton County, M.L. King] describes east-west herd trails that crossed the entire breath of Santa Rosa County; and market trails that ran southward from Santa Rosa County to embarkation parts -- presumedly at St. Andrews Bay, Apalachicola and St. Marks.

“This steady flow of beef going to market all through the Southeast was noted by a visitor in the early 1800s who remarked that his "journey was...interrupted by immense droves of 700 to 800 head of livestock being herded to market.  Though the cattle were very wild, timber-raised, and the drives were made from 400 to 500 miles through forest lands and across numerous rivers.”14

The McKinnons are noted as early Scots pioneers who settled and created the town of EucheeAnna in present-day Walton County, FL. After one of their kin, Neil McLendon, met Sam Story, Chief of the West Florida Euchee Tribe, in Pensacola, McLendon and the Chief became fast friends, and the Chief invited McLendon to come and live near them.  This band of Euchees had migrated from Tennessee into the Florida Panhandle and were well established by 1639 west of the Choctawhatchee River.  They had been allies with the Spanish. It was advantageous for the Scots to have Indians nearby to help them learn new ways, and the Indians found the relationship beneficial as it gave them new allies.  The Scots left their Carolina homesteads and moved to the present-day location of EucheeAnna, FL.  The two groups, the Scots and Euchees, lived side-by-side on opposite sides of the Euchee (aka Bruce) River until the death of Sam Story. Afterwards, many of his tribe relocated further south.15

Shortly before Chief Sam Story’s death, McKinnon is quoted as saying:

“Let us seek to make these men [the newcomers] better instead of running from them…I have a fine herd of cattle multiplying in the woods with but little care.  My hogs keep fat the year round about my home.  My bunch of sheep are fine but for the wolf, but I have to keep a shepherd after them for protection.  It will be hard to find as delightful a place to live in as this [EucheeAnna], a place as easy to earn a livelihood.  I have felt all the while that I was settled for life.  I don’t see how I could leave when I am as well situated as I am.”16

When Florida became a United States Territory during 1818-1821, it is apparent the Indians in this area were trading cattle.  On July 23, 1822 Abraham Eustis wrote a letter to the Secretary of War asking specific questions about the newly formed Territory of Florida’s relationship with the local Indians.  He asked the following questions about them and cattle:

“[Question #] 6th  Can the Florida Indians be permitted to sell their Horses, Cattle & Negroes?  If yea, under what restrictions?

“[Question #] 7th  Contracts are said to have been made with the Indians, before the cession of the territory [in 1818], for the purchase of negroes, which  have not yet been paid for, or delivered – Can these alleged contracts now be completed?

“[Question #] 8th  If an Indian Boundary be recognized in Florida, may the Indians be restrained from passing it, and in case of violation by an Indian, how is he to be punished?”17

Earlier in this same letter, Mr. Eustis explains how confusing everything is due to the recent change in governments (from Spain to the U.S.) and the lack of guidance:

"At present considerable anxiety exists among the white people, who are desirous either to trade with the Indians, or to establish plantations on the Spanish Grants in the interior part of the Country.  Some little fermentation has also been excited among the Indians.  Several white persons have already applied to me to grant them passports to proceed to the Indian settlements on different pretexts.  I have however declined any interference on these points, until I receive instructions on the subject.  From the best information I can obtain there is not at this time a single licensed trader in East Florida, and in consequence, many of the Indians are compelled to bring their skins and other articles of trade to this place.....“18

The Southern Pineywoods cattle breed (pictured in Figure 19) was one of the more common breeds during the 1800s, but now considered an "antique" breed.  It was an improved version of the larger breed known as the Florida Cracker Cattle.  Descendants of the cattle brought by the Spanish were being improved to match the grazing conditions in this area. The famous Texas Longhorn Cattle is a genetic cousin to the Southern Pineywoods breed.19

“Pineywoods” and “Wiregrass” are terms often used to describe a large area of southern Alabama and northern Florida.  Land in these areas was noted for huge long-leaf pine trees with few understory trees and lots and lots of wiregrass filling in the gaps.  It was also considered to be very poor farm land, and therefore very undesirable.  Present-day Coffee, Covington, Geneva, and Houston counties in AL and Holmes, Okaloosa, Walton, Santa Rosa, and parts of other counties in FL were mostly pine barrens at this time. In 1790, sixty years before the 1850 census, John Pope traveled through this area and noted the habits of cattle ranching at Alexander McGillivray’s place in Coosa County, AL.  He said they would “now and then collect [the cattle] together in order to brand, mark, etc.”  Pope also noted the existence of a Creek man, named Bully, who owned more than 500 head of cattle.20

As you can see, the history of cattle in the Northwest Florida and South Alabama area goes way back! Even to before James B.'s father's lifetime!

It is important to note that John Ward bought land the surveyors noted as “poor pine land.”  Most likely he, as well as Nathan and James, were already cattle ranching in 1827!



FOOTNOTES

1 Non-population Census Records, United States National Archives.  Census facts published by the U.S. Government on their website at: www.archives.gov/research/census/nonpopulation#ag

2 Ancestry.com. U.S., Selected Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Census Year: 1860; Census Place: Dale, Alabama; Archive Collection Number: M279; Roll: 27; Page: 69; Line: 12; Schedule Type: Agriculture.

3 Ancestry.com. U.S., Selected Federal Census Non-Population Schedules, 1850-1880 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010. Census Year: 1860; Census Place: Dale, Alabama (Newton Post Office area); Archive Collection Number: M279; Roll: 27.

4 Tributaries, Journal of the Alabama Folklife Association, “Southern Pineywoods Cattle,” Issue No. 9, 2006. NewSouth Books, Montgomery, AL. ISBN 0-9772132-0-X.

5 Joe A. Akerman Jr., Florida Cowman:  A History of Florida Cattle Raising  (Kissimmee, Florida: Florida Cattlemen's Association, 1976),  1-14.  … David Agee Horr, American Indian Ethnohistory: Southern and Southeast Indians, Volume III: The Florida Indians (New York and London: Garland Publishing Company, 1794),  80-81.

6 Henninger-Voss, Mary.  Animals in Human Histories:  The Mirror of Nature and Culture. University of Rochester Press, December 2002.  ISBN: 1580461212. 

7 Henninger-Voss, Mary.  Animals in Human Histories:  The Mirror of Nature and Culture. University of Rochester Press, December 2002.  ISBN: 1580461212.  Pages 61-63.

8 Tributaries, Journal of the Alabama Folklife Association, “Southern Pineywoods Cattle,” Issue No. 9, 2006. NewSouth Books, Montgomery, AL. ISBN 0-9772132-0-X.

9 Tributaries, Journal of the Alabama Folklife Association, “Southern Pineywoods Cattle,” Issue No. 9, 2006. NewSouth Books, Montgomery, AL. ISBN 0-9772132-0-X.

10 Tributaries, Journal of the Alabama Folklife Association, “Southern Pineywoods Cattle,” Issue No. 9, 2006. NewSouth Books, Montgomery, AL. ISBN 0-9772132-0-X.

11 Cox, History of Jackson County.  … Joe A. Akerman Jr., Florida Cowman:  A History of Florida Cattle Raising  (Kissimmee, Florida: Florida Cattlemen's Association, 1976),  23-24. 

12 Akerman, Florida Cowman,  23-24. 

13 Joe A. Akerman Jr., Florida Cowman:  A History of Florida Cattle Raising  (Kissimmee, Florida: Florida Cattlemen's Association, 1976),  30-31. 

14 Joe A. Akerman Jr., Florida Cowman:  A History of Florida Cattle Raising  (Kissimmee, Florida: Florida Cattlemen's Association, 1976),  38-40. 

15 Mary Frances Stuart, The Uchee Valley Scots  (Tallahassee, Florida: Florida State University, May 1956),  10-37. … Elba Wilson Carswell, Holmes Valley:  A West Florida Cradle of Christianity  (Bonifay, Florida: Central Press, 1969),  17-18. 

16 Mary Frances Stuart, The Uchee Valley Scots  (Tallahassee, Florida: Florida State University, May 1956),  25-26.

17 United States. National Archives and Records Service., The Territorial Papers of the United States  (Washington, D.C.: U.S. G.P.O., 1934), 22: 495-496.

18 United States. National Archives and Records Service., Territorial Papers, 22: 495-496.

19 Tributaries, Journal of the Alabama Folklife Association, “Southern Pineywoods Cattle,” Issue No. 9, 2006. NewSouth Books, Montgomery, AL. ISBN 0-9772132-0-X.

20 Blevins, Brooks.  Cattle in the Cotton Fields:  A History of Cattle Raising in Alabama.  University of Alabama Press, 2014.  Page 9.