Cowboy Bob's Campfire ConversationsCowboy Campfire


Table of Contents

Cowboy Bob and the Bouncin' Bovine
The Philmont Mountain Lion
The Dyin' Gunfighter
The Truth About Wild Horses
Cowboy Bob: Movie Star
The Cowboy's Wardrobe
Some Other Cowboy Paraphernalia
The First Bulldogger
God's Bit and Bridle
The Adventures of Cheyenne Dawson
Louis Remme's Wild Ride

Bunc Bradshaw and the Mexican Captain

One of the earliest trails between Los Angeles and the Colorado River was called the "Bradshaw Trail" - in honor of California pioneer William David Bradshaw.

Bradshaw figures in a tale that proves that some of the most unbelievable stories are absolutely true.

Born in Buncombe County, North Carolina, in 1826, Bill Bradshaw was nicknamed "Bunc" after his birthplace. Bradshaw's father was a farmer, carpenter, and preacher.

By 1845, the elder Bradshaw had moved his wife, six sons, and seven daughters to Missouri. In their new home, the Bradshaw brothers became intrigued by the Oregon and Santa Fe trails.

Shortly after arrivin' in Missouri, four of the brothers - includin' nineteen-year-old Bunc - headed up the Oregon Trail as far as Fort Laramie.

At that point, one of the brothers - John - died of cholera. There's no record of their travels from there, but some of the other Bradshaws visited California and Bunc wandered clear to Sonoma.

In 1846, Bradshaw was hired to build a picket fence for a stuck-up, bossy Mexican Army captain, Salvador Vallejo.

When Vallejo criticized somethin' about the fence, Bradshaw told Vallejo exactly what he could do with his opinion.

Now, nobody had ever talked back to Vallejo the way Bunc did. Infuriated, Vallejo pulled out his sword and gave Bradshaw a swat with the flat of the blade.

It was the wrong thing to do.

One book writer says Bradshaw was "brave, eccentric, a natural lunatic."

What he done next kinda proves it.

Bunc grabbed a picket and went after the captain. Vallejo was a right skillful swordsman, but he was no match for Bradshaw.

The youngster knocked down the soldier, took the sword, and bent it all out of shape.

Without even stoppin' to draw his pay, Bradshaw saddled his horse and high-tailed it for Sacramento.

Joinin' Fremont's Bear Flag rebellion a few weeks later, Bradshaw was among the thirty-three frontiersmen who captured General Mariano G. Vallejo. They also caught the general's brother -- Capt. Salvador Vallejo.

Salvador was a-feared that Bradshaw would try to get back at him for the picket fence incident, but Bradshaw howdied him like some long-lost brother and assured him that he figured the score was even.

Bunc Bradshaw and Captain Vallejo were close friends for the rest of Bradshaw's short life.

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COPYRIGHT © 1999 BOB LEMEN, GRAND RAPIDS, MINNESOTA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
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