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Cowpunchers' planned strike starts slow, then flops


On this day in 1883, many Texas cowboys went on strike against their bosses, absentee ranchers. The cowboys' grievances, however, were against developments that proved permanent. As closed-range ranching wiped out the previous open-range industry, some of the cowboys' traditional perks were denied them. No longer could they brand mavericks, keep small herds of their own, or receive part of their pay in calves. The strike mustered some 300 cowboys at its peak strength, but after 2 1/2 months the work stoppage was so weakened that the May roundup occurred without incident. The last press mention of the strike was in the Dodge City Times for May 10, 1883.

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