Kit Perriman


April 19, 2021

Cowboy Wisdom #7

“An Old Timer is a man who’s had a lot of interesting experiences . . .


. . . some of them true!”

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April 16, 2021

The Chuck Wagon

The Chuck Wagon

  • Cowboys out on the trail relied on the camp cook (“cookie”) for their food.  Meals were served up from the chuck wagon – a store room and kitchen on wheels.
  • The first chuck wagon was designed from an old army vehicle by a cattleman called Charles Goodnight in 1866.
  • The front wheels were smaller than the back to make turning easier.
  • Chuck wagons featured a barrel that could hold two days supply of water, a hooped canvas cover to protect from harsh sun or rain, a heavy tool box, and a portable larder called the chuck box.
  • The chuck box contained flour, lard, coffee, tobacco, dried apples, raisins, sugar, beans, and other staples.
  • The body of the wagon held bedrolls, grain for the horses, and spare equipment.
  • A canvas was hung underneath to carry firewood.
  • The “Cookie” was often a former cowboy who had been injured.  He would have few culinary skills so the food was basic, boring, and unhealthy.
  • Food was prepared on a fold-down shelf at the rear of the wagon.  It was cooked on an open fire.
  • Meals generally featured bacon (sow-belly), beans, and some form of bread.  If the cook was a good shot with a rifle, there might also be jackrabbits, prairie chickens, deer, turkeys, or venison.
  • Hygiene was non-existent.  If there was no water for rinsing pots and plates they were scoured with grass, leaves, sand, or dry dirt.
  • Although Cookie was usually the most popular member of the crew – often acting as their banker, barber, and dentist as well – cowboys could not wait to reach the next town for a taste of fresh food, steak, and eggs!


Murdoch, David. Cowboy.  Worldwide: DK Publishing, 1993.

Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame, Fort Worth, Texas.  Research Trips 2015 and 2016.

Wikipedia, “Chuck Wagons,” at

(Photo: Kit Perriman)

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April 15, 2021

Cowgirl Spirit #2

“Cowgirl is an attitude, really.

A pioneer spirit, a special American brand of courage.

The cowgirl faces life head on, lives by her own lights, and makes no excuses.

Cowgirls take stands.  They speak up.  They defend the things they hold dear.

A cowgirl might be a rancher, or a barrel racer, or a bull-rider, or an actress.

But she’s just as likely to be a checker at the local Winn Dixie, a full-time mother,

a banker, an attorney, or an astronaut.”

(Dale Evans, 1992)

(Photo: Public Domain)

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April 14, 2021

Chief William H. Thomas (1805-1893)

Chief William H. Thomas



  • William H. Thomas was the Principal Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, who worked over thirty years to ensure their freedom and autonomy.
  • He was the first and only white man to serve as the principal chief.
  • As a youth, he was employed at the Cherokee trading post in Qualla Town, North Carolina.   Here he befriended the people, quickly learning their language and customs.
  • He was adopted into the tribe by Chief Yonaguska, who named him as his successor.
  • The chief gave him the nickname Will-usdi (Little Will).
  • Thomas trained himself to become an attorney so he could represent tribal interests during the Indian Removal period.
  • He bought 80 square miles of land with his own money so that the Eastern Cherokee would own an officially recognized homeland.  They were allowed to stay in the Qualla Boundary when other Cherokees were sent on the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory (Oklahoma).
  • He married Sarah Love, and they had three surviving children.
  • Thomas was repeatedly elected as the state senator, from 1848 to 1860.
  • Later on, Thomas served as a colonel in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, commanding a legion of Native Americans and Scot-Irish Highlanders.
  • After the war, he nursed the tribe through a devastating smallpox epidemic.
  • Unfortunately, he began showing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease, fell into debt, and was declared insane in 1867.  He was later institutionalized in Raleigh.
  • He died in 1893 and is buried in Waynesville, North Carolina.


Finger, John R. The Eastern Band of Cherokees: 1819-1900.  Tennessee: University of Tennessee Press, 1998.

Wikipedia, “William H. Thomas” at

(Picture: Public Domain)

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April 13, 2021

7 Cherokee Clans: Paint

7 Cherokee Clans: The Paint Clan

The Cherokee are a matrilineal society.  Children belong to their mother’s clan.



The Paint Clan provide the Naturalists, Sorcerers, or Medicine Men.  They use sacred red paint in religious ceremonies, and also to decorate the bodies of warriors setting out on the war path.

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April 12, 2021

7 Cherokee Clans: Blue

7 Cherokee Clans: The Blue Clan

The Cherokee are a matrilineal society.  Children belong to their mother’s clan.



The Blue Clan are also called the Panthers and Wild Cats.  They make medicine from a blue-colored plant that is given to the children of the tribe to maintain their good health.

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April 09, 2021

7 Cherokee Clans: Wild Potato

7 Cherokee Clans: The Wild Potato Clan

The Cherokee are a matrilineal society.  Children belong to their mother’s clan.




Also known as the Raccoons or Blind Savannah, the Wild Potato Clan are foragers and gatherers.  They collect wild potatoes from the edges of streams, a staple food that is pounded into flour for bread.  The Wild Potato Clan also pick nuts, berries, and edible plants.   

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April 08, 2021

7 Cherokee Clans: Bird

7 Cherokee Clans: The Bird Clan

The Cherokee are a matrilineal society.  Children belong to their mother’s clan.



The Bird Clan is also called the RAVEN, TURTLE DOVE, and EAGLE clan.  They are skilled blowgun hunters who capture birds for their food and feathers.  Only members of this clan are permitted to collect sacred eagle feathers.  They are often perceived as being a spiritual link between heaven and earth, sometimes acting as messengers.


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April 07, 2021

7 Cherokee Clans: Deer

7 Cherokee Clans: The Deer Clan

The Cherokee are a matrilineal society.  Children belong to their mother’s clan.



The Deer Clan are notoriously fast runners, traditionally employed as the messengers between villages.  They hunt deer in a respectful, sacred fashion and often tend the village animals. 

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April 06, 2021

7 Cherokee Clans: Long Hair

7 Cherokee Clans: The Long Hair Clan

The Cherokee are a matrilineal society.  Children belong to their mother’s clan.



The Long Hair Clan is also known as the Twister, Hair Hanging Down, Wind, and Stranger Clan.  They provide most of the Peace Chiefs.  Because of their beautiful hair, this group is also known for its vanity.  Prisoners of war, orphans, and strangers are usually adopted into this family.

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Copyright © 2021 | | All Rights Reserved