My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

    Most of my posts to date have been related to history of the Colonial Era in New England, and to my first two novels, The Heretic’s Daughter and The Traitor’s Wife.  But, as I’m nearing the completion of my third novel set in Texas during the Reconstruction Era of post Civil War America (and have spent the last year researching the topic) I’ll be posting some discovered revelations about this little known period of Texas history. 

    One northerner visiting Texas in 1869 said that Texans were like the weather, “a perpetual enigma, a tissue of contradictions” and that its citizens did “everything for honor and nothing for justice.”   The time in which this “damn yankee” made his observations was one of the most violent periods in the Republic’s past.  In 1869 Texas led the country in homicide rates.  Recognizable man-killers like Cullen Baker, Elisha Guest, Wild Bill Longley and Ben Griffith walked openly in the streets and the home-grown law keepers had been effectively gutted, disarmed and disenfranchised, by the still-present Federalist forces.  A year later, in 108 counties there were 2,790 known petty and violent criminals at large.   There was general and open hostility towards the immigrant population flooding into Texas, which had been left at least physically untouched by the Civil War battles raging farther to the East; border disputes still flared with Mexico, Native Americans were being shot first and questioned second, and gun control was a hot button issue.

     Struggling to rise from the chaos, and often volunteering at great risk to themselves to restore order in their towns and fields, were men and women of the soil, settlers and cowboys who were often the real, unsung heroes of this battle to regain peace and civility to a savage place.

    The above photo is of my dad, John Hickman, who, in an earlier time, would have been happy to have been called a cowboy.


6 comments on “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

  1. Jim David says:

    Looking forward to your new book. Sounds like a very interesting time in Texas.

  2. Therese says:

    Hi Kathleen, I really enjoyed your book, the Heretic’s Daughter, and I learned so much while reading it. If you ever need someone to type, proofread, or edit your books, I would be very interested. Of course, it looks like you are well on your way to being a big-time author and probably have a staff of people helping you. Keep up the good work.


    • Therese: Thank you for your message! I do all my own writing/ typing and Little Brown Publishing does the edits before publication. But I really appreciate your offer and your support for Heretic’s Daughter. Best regards, Kathleen

  3. Mary Bish says:

    Good Morning from Arizona: Your cousin Winn is the son in law of my friend in Arlington, TX who referred me to your site. I would like to ask you about publishing; I am not sure this is correct spot to do it;

    If you could spare a couple of minutes I would very much appreciate having an e-address to write to?

    I have enjoyed browsing this site and learning of your great books. Your Texas kin is really proud of you, and with good reason.

    Mary Jane

    • Hi, Mary. My email address is Thank you for visiting the site and I’d be happy to share whatever information I have about publishing. Are you a writer looking to get published? KK

      • Mary Bish says:

        Yes, this is a one-time attempt to publish an event, in the form of an illustrated children’s book, which my husband and I experienced with a Great Horned Owlet we had rescued.

        We are not professional writers; the booklet is short, as most childten’s books are.

        We feel it important for youngsters with regard to wildlife preservation. I will send details to your Yahoo address you have kindly provided Thank you.

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