The Log of a Cowboy

A Narrative of the Old Trail Days

Cover image for


Author: Andy Adams
Published: 1903
Language: English
Wordcount: 100,383 / 274 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 68.6
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 2,932
Added to site: 2004.07.06 8775
Genres: Western, Audiobook

The Chicago Herald said: As a narrative of cowboy life, Andy Adams' book is clearly the real thing. It carries its own certificate of authentic first-hand experience on every page.

Show Excerpt

he cattle, three and four years of age, and two thousand four and five year old beeves, estimated as sufficient to fill a million-pound beef contract. For fear of losses on the trail, our foreman had accepted fifty extra head of each class, and our herd at starting would number thirty-one hundred head. They were coming up from ranches in the interior, and we expected to cross them the first favorable day after their arrival. A number of different rancheros had turned in cattle in making up the herd, and Flood reported them in good, strong condition.

Lovell and Flood were a good team of cowmen. The former, as a youth, had carried a musket in the ranks of the Union army, and at the end of that struggle, cast his fortune with Texas, where others had seen nothing but the desolation of war, Lovell saw opportunities of business, and had yearly forged ahead as a drover and beef contractor. He was well calculated to manage the cattle business, but was irritable and inclined to borrow trouble, therefore unquali


Average Rating of 4.8 from 4 reviews: *****
Sean Adams

Excellent - would recommend it to any reader of Larry McMurtry's "Lonesome Dove", for which it was possibly a source. Same trek from Texas to Montana and same time period.

H. Garza

A very realistic book on the trials and tribulations of a cowboy on a major cattle drive for several months on the trail. Highly engrossing and entertaining. I wholeheartedly recommend this book.


Life on the trail with all ups and downs of crossing streams, lack of water, heat, stampedes, rogues, town events is in this book, with love to detail and the animals involved, and lots of small campfire narratives and good humor, even tears at the end. This, and not the occasional shooting and lawlessness is how it was. Don't miss it.

Steve Peters

Whilst described as a fiction this book was clearly written about 2 decades after Andy Adams actually took part in real life cattle drives.

In this account, most possible coming as a make up of his own diaries, the characters describe their day to day experience on a 5 month - 3000+ cattle drive. Indeed the drive which begins in Texas and ends in Montana details all of the trials and tribulations of the cowboys who take part.

Readers should not however be put off by the title "The Log of a Cowboy" which appears to suggest a diary or documentary. In fact the book is a brilliant read as well as being an eye opener as to the real conditions of such long drives during the mid to late 19th century.

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