Mule skinners

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by set7u3e
Last updated 10 years ago

Social Studies

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Mule skinners

Mule Skinners

Created by:

Erika Umali

Erika Brown

Jake Markunas

What do they do?

What are they?

Mule skinners were also known a mule drivers. The word skinner is slang for outsmart. The mule skinners job was to outsmart the mules which were notoriously stuborn animals. Mule skinners were also sometimes called teamsters. The mule skinners "counterparts" were the bull whackers, or freighters with oxen.

To work his team the mule skinner would usually sit on a mule's back and then control the team with a connected leather whip known as a jerkline. Their job was to move things around the farms they worked on and between their farm and town. There were millions of tons of freight moved across the Great Plains by mules and oxen.

What are mules?

Mules were the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. They have better footing than horses do in the mountains and on rocky terrain

Where do they work?

Mule skinners could work in all different types of terrain because mules had better footing than horses. They could be found from the frieght docks of old eastern ports to the american western frontier.

Fun Facts

The high point of the mule skinners was just before the invention of the steam engine. They were very popular from 1850-1870. They eventually became folk icons, such as in popular songs like Blue Yodel #8 by Jimmy Rogers and Mule Skinner Blues by Bill Monroe.


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