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Takin’ Texas North depicts former texas Rangers and legendary trail blazers Charles Goodnight and Oliver Loving driving their herd north from Texas to Colorado on the Goodnight-Loving trail in 1867.

On that trail drive, Loving and ‘one armed’ Bill Wilson left the herd to chase down Comanche raiders who had stolen some of their cattle. A few days later, the two cattlemen were ambushed by the Comanches. Wilson escaped uninjured, but Loving was grievously wounded. He eventually was found barely alive and taken to Fort Sumner, New Mexico. On September 15, 1867, Goodnight, who had stayed with the herd while Loving and Wilson had chased the Comanches, reached his friend and partner’s bedside. As he lay dying, Loving extracted from Goodnight a promise to bury him back in Texas: “I don’t want my bones to rest in alien soil,” he said. Goodnight agreed, but being Charley Goodnight, he first had to finish the job he had set out to do.

Charles Goodnight finished the trail drive and delivered his herd. Several months later, he returned to Fort Sumner, had Loving’s body exhumed and packed in charcoal in a casket that was slung on a wagon’s running gear. He then carried his friend’s body six hundred miles back to Weatherford, Texas where he was buried.

Charles Goodnight was the model for Woodrow F. Call and Oliver Loving was the Gus McCrae character in Larry McMurtry’s Pulitzer Prize-winning, epic novel of Texas: Lonesome Dove.

Takin’ Texas North is without doubt G. Harvey’s most iconic Texas painting. In this great, museum-quality work of art, one finds the true spirit of Texas. it speaks of vision, courage, loyalty, honor, rugged individualism and perseverance–the qualities and values that built and sustain Texas.

Takin’ Texas North was reproduced as a print by Texas Art Press in 1980.

Private Collection, Texas

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