1. Cowboys have often been envisioned as a men clad in denim clothes, a beige ranchers hat, riding freely into the sunset upon the prairies of North America. Unfortunately this is false. Most of the pioneers that settled the so called Wild West did not have the horses to ride in the first place, as they were uncharted lands. Not a lot of people were conquerors of nature; they would rather go out of the way to start a new life, far from where they were born. Since about 40% of the land in the Wild West was mesa or simply dried where water scarcely ever came upon, they relied on dromedaries for transport.
2. The vision of cowboys in the pioneer days was not that of awe and bewilderment like the romanticized look we have in the modern era. Truth is, almost everyone from the newly forming United States of America considered them either thieves, outlaws, highwaymen, vagrants, rapists or simply ill-meaning people that were running away from society and its laws to escape justice. And to some degree, this was correct.
3. Since these lands were lawless, or rather, the law of the newly formed towns and later states were shaky at best, somewhere even non-existent, outlaws among the pioneers were quite common. Yet even this image of criminals of the Wild West is false, since they used to be as what celebrities are today. The most common outlaw was that of a thief, robbing easy prey so that he can survive, be it his fellow man, or the natives of the land. Rarely these people were killers or rapists. Since the grip of the law was limited to not possible, the wanted posters for the criminals served them as a means of getting their way. A picture, a portfolio, a CV if you will. The crimes they had done, and the higher the reward offered for them, the bigger was their pride. Moreover, they boasted about the uniqueness they had brought to the insipid and boring life on the frontier.
4. Since all hand was needed in pioneering the West, people often threw their prejudice and judgement in favor of companionship. The newly emancipated slaves, be they black, Irish or natives, were often given the grime work. Not a lot of people were choosers for what they would make a living out of, and a small number of people even knew how to cultivate the land or even had livestock to begin with. Every working man, woman even child was needed. Most of the cowboys were after all, religious and hardworking. They considered idle hands to be the Devil’s workshop.
5. High-noon, shootouts, bar brawls, violence was among the rarest of things in the Wild West. As stated before, to survive the harsh lands, people preferred to be on good terms with each-other, so sporadic, never ending and senseless fights or killing over shoulder slights were very rare. Most people didn’t own a revolver, a musket or even a blade to be able to harm anyone, and those that did, with exceptions, preferred to be enactors of a just law and protectors of their land and neighbor.