• April 18, 2024

America Will Never Die So Long As It Keeps Its Cowboy

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Author Jenna Stocker profileBy: Jenna Stocker

The frontier created the living myth we should not only defend but hold up as our ideal, a high moral bar that few can master.

In my home, I have a framed reproduction of Henry W. Hansen’s 1900 painting, “Questionable Companions.” My copy was originally housed in my maternal grandparent’s home, a small, converted cabin nestled amidst the poplars and pine trees on a small lake in north-central Minnesota.

On those rainy days at the lake, when my brothers and I were confined to the house instead of running half-naked through the woods or swimming as far offshore as we dared, I remember looking at that picture and imagining the conversation between the cavalryman and the Indian were having, walking through the faint desert trail.

What had they seen? Where were they going? What adventures were on the horizon? I fell in love with that picture and with it, the Western frontier and what Theodore Roosevelt called “Cowboy-Land.”

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H.W. Hansen’s “Questionable Companions”

wrote previously about the American Cowboy, but the currents of world events and domestic infighting have brought me back to this picture and the question: Is embracing the America of the frontier the defiant answer to what so many insist is our nation’s inevitable decline into irrelevancy?

Discovering the American Spirit

H.W. Hansen was born in Dithmarschen, Germany, and studied art in England as a young man. He had a promising career ahead in Europe, but he abandoned the Old World and set off for America in 1877.

He was inspired by writer James Fennimore Cooper’s “Leatherstocking Tales” – the adventure of this new nation, one of opportunity, green with an innocent assuredness and brashness that attracted the bold, fearless, and determined soul whose curiosity was whetted by what he read in Cooper’s prose. It was Hansen’s story but rang familiar in the hearts of so many who would look to America — and later the western frontier — as home.

full story at https://thefederalist.com/2022/04/18/reclaiming-the-untamed-spirit-of-the-american-frontier-is-our-last-hope-for-saving-the-republic/

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The post America Will Never Die So Long As It Keeps Its Cowboy first appeared on USSA News. Visit USSANews.com.

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