Mule Skinner

views updated

MULE SKINNER

MULE SKINNER. Mule skinners (or mule drivers) and their complements, the bullwhackers (freighters with oxen), flourished from the 1850s through the 1870s, when millions of tons of freight were being pulled by mules and oxen across the Great Plains. In the early 1860s the great firm of Russell, Majors and Waddell operated 6,250 wagons and 75,000 oxen pulling freight west of the Missouri River. Mules and mule skinners were probably as numerous as oxen and bullwhackers at that time. The mule skinner used a long whip with which he could, aided by "language," take the skin off a mule.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Pelzer, Louis. "Pioneer Stage-Coach Travel." The Mississippi Valley Historical Review 23 (1936): 3–26.

Taylor, George Rogers. The Transportation Revolution. New York: Rinehart, 1951.

J. FrankDobie/t. d.

See alsoMule .

About this article

Mule Skinner

Updated About encyclopedia.com content Print Article Share Article