Adobe Walls: The History and Archaeology of the 1874 Trading Post

Front Cover
Texas A&M University Press, Apr 4, 1986 - History - 430 pages
In the spring of 1874 a handful of men and one women set out for the Texas Panhandle to seek their fortunes in the great buffalo hunt. Moving south to follow the herds, they intended to establish a trading post to serve the hunter, or "hide men." At a place called Adobe Walls they dug blocks from the sod and built their center of operations

After operating for only a few months, the post was attacked one sultry June morning by angry members of several Plains Indian tribes, whose physical and cultural survival depending on the great bison herd that were rapidly shrinking before the white men's guns.

Initially defeated, that attacking Indians retreated. But the defenders also retreated leaving the deserted post to be burned by Indians intent on erasing all traces of the white man's presence. Nonetheless, tracing did remain, and in the ashes and dirt were buried minute details of the hide men's lives and the battle that so suddenly changed them.

A little more than a century later white men again dug into the sod at Adobe Walls. The nineteenth-century men dug for profits, but the modern hunters sere looking for the natural time capsule inadvertently left by those earlier adventurers.

The authors of this book, a historian and an archeologists, have dug into the sod and into far-flung archives to sift reality form the long-romanticized story of Adobe Walls, its residents, and the Indians who so fiercely resented their presence. The full story of Adobe Walls now tells us much about the life and work of the hide men, about the dying of the Plains Indian culture, and about the march of white commerce across the frontier.


The Hide Men Come to Adobe Walls
Seeds of Unrest Flower into Violence
The Battle of Adobe Walls
Who Was Really There?
Adobe Walls after the Fight
Adobe Walls since 1874
The Setting
Tools and Equipment
Personal Artifacts
Unclassifiable Geologic and Zoological Artifacts

Overview of the Site and Field Work
Building Furnishings

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

Popular passages

Page 9 - North Platte, and on the Republican Fork of the Smoky Hill River, so long as the buffalo may range thereon in such numbers as to justify the chase.
Page 365 - The Emilio collection of military buttons, American, British, French and Spanish, with some of other countries, and non-military, in the museum of the Essex institute, Salem, Mass.
Page 8 - ... were more hunters in the country than ever before or afterwards. Thus came the high tide of buffalo-hunting. More were killed that season than in all subsequent seasons combined. I feel safe in saying that 75,000 buffalo were killed within sixty or seventy-five miles of Dodge City during that time. The noise of the guns of the hunters could be heard on all sides, rumbling and booming hour after hour, as if a heavy battle were being fought.
Page 12 - Plains and taking an easterly direction, their breaks and ravines forming a rough and, in places, impassable surface. The Canadian River passes through the Llano Estacado, its almost innumerable tributaries affording most pleasant and well-sheltered valleys, with abundant timber, excellent water and grazing.
Page 387 - Analysis of 19th Century White Kaolin Pipe Fragments from the Mero Site, Door County, Wisconsin.