El Vaquero - Talk led by Jim Leavell

El Vaquero, America’s First Cowboy

El Vaquero, the Spanish colonial cowboy, is a true American hero. He was the first cowboy to ride the open ranges and sleep under the stars. He was the first cowboy to tame the wild horses of the plains and deliver vast herds of cattle across great distances. He was the first master of the basic and eternal cowboy skills: riding and roping.  His language gave us the words we now accept as common cowboy lingo: rodeo, chaps, wrangler, lariat, lasso, mustang, corral, buckaroo, bronco, stampede and ten-gallon hat, to name a few. 

Without the Spanish Vaquero there would be no John Wayne, no Gene Autry, no Roy Rogers, no Lone Ranger, no Annie Oakley, no Cisco Kid, no Hopalong Cassidy, no rodeos, no Stetson cowboy hat, no cowboy boots, no horses, no cattle, no cowboys singing around the campfire, no country western music, no Hank Williams, no Willie Nelson, no “Black Hat” modern country western singers, no “Mama, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow up to Be Cowboys,” no Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Shows, no Gunsmoke and dozens of other TV cowboy shows. El Vaquero is the seminal figure in the creation of the American West.

The stories of El Vaquero explain the origins of the most powerful and enduring American myth: the cowboy on his horse, riding tall in the saddle, his self-reliant, independent spirit representing all that is good in the American character. The stories of El Vaquero are the stories of America.

LIVE IN PERSON PROGRAM – Hughes Main Library. 

LIVESTREAM VIEWING - Want to watch from home?
The Talk will be livestreamed and questions will be taken from the virtual audience. A link to the livestream will be available at the History Comes Alive website when the event starts.

This event is not a costumed performance but will feature audience Q/A. 

  • Presented By: Greenville Chautauqua Society
  • Dates: May 21, 2024
  • Location: Hughes Main Library
  • Address: 25 Heritage Green Pl, Greenville, SC 29601
  • Phone:

    (864) 244-1499

  • Time: 7:00-8:30 p.m.
  • Price: Free