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Andy Adams


Andy Adams (1859-1935), American cowboy and author wrote The Log of a Cowboy: A Narrative of the Old Trail Days (1903);

My worst trouble was getting away from home on the morning of starting. Mother and my sisters, of course, shed a few tears; but my father, stern and unbending in his manner, gave me his benediction in these words: "Thomas Moore, you're the third son to leave our roof, but your father's blessing goes with you. I left my own home beyond the sea before I was your age." And as they all stood at the gate, I climbed into my saddle and rode away, with a lump in my throat which left me speechless to reply.

The Log is Adams' best-known work and still in print today. Based on Adams' involvement with a five-month drive of over three thousand head of cattle from Brownsville to Montana in 1882, it is said to be one of the most authentic records of the "Wild West" days in cattle country.

Andy Adams was born in Thornecreek Township, Indiana on 3 May 1859. His pioneering parents were Andrew Adams and Elizabeth née Elliot. Young Andy was of a tall and robust physique, and he grew up with an appreciation for his fathers' occupation as cattleman and farmer. He and his brothers assisted their father and learned all about the business. After six years of school, at the age of fifteen, Adams left home.

He soon became involved in the mule and horse-trading business in 1882 San Antonio, Texas, which took him to many parts of the state and country including Dodge City in Kansas, and the Cherokee Outlet in Oklahoma. For ten years the bulk of his time was spent in the dust and mayhem of cattle driving on the western trail. His attentions next focused on the mining boom which took him to Cripple Creek, Colorado. He ventured to Nevada and Kentucky as well in search of gold, though the venture failed and he began to seriously put his pen to paper and write about his adventures.

A prospective publisher suggested to Adams that he attempt a fictional account of cowboy life, and thus the idea for The Log of a Cowboy: A Narrative of the Old Trail Days was born. It was so successful and convincing that many believed it to be an autobiography, though of course Adams himself drew heavily from his own exciting life to fill its pages. A Texas Matchmaker (1904) and The Outlet (1905) followed. Cattle Brands (1906) is a collection of short stories. Reed Anthony, Cowman: An Autobiography (1907) was followed by Wells Brothers: The Young Cattle Kings (1911) and The Ranch on the Beaver: A Sequel to Wells Brothers (1927). Specifically aimed at the young boys among his readership it is the story of two orphans' rise to fortune and success in the cattle industry. A number of his works were lauded in England.

Andy Adams died on 26 September 1935 in Colorado Springs, and lies buried in the Evergreen Cemetery of El Paso County, Colorado, USA. He never married and left no children. The Colorado Springs Public Library and State Historical Society of Colorado in Denver maintains the bulk of his papers and manuscripts, donated by his nephew.

Biography written by C.D. Merriman for Jalic Inc. Copyright Jalic Inc 2006. All Rights Reserved.

The above biography is copyrighted. Do not republish it without permission.

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