High Chaparral was the name given to the ranch
owned and operated by the Cannon family in the
during the 1870's.
Stubborn, determined Big John Cannon was the
patriarch of the family, and his driving ambition to establish a flourishing
cattle empire in the rugged,
Arizona Territory was the thrust of the entire show.
His younger brother, Buck, was a good-natured
carouser who could outdrink, outshoot, outfight, and when properly motivated,
outwork any man alive - with the possible exception of his brother. John's son,
Billy Blue, was a young man in his 20's whose mother was killed by an Apache
arrow in the first episode of the series. After his first wife's death, Big John
married Victoria, daughter of Don Sebastian Montoya and heiress to his extensive
cattle holdings. Her brother, Manolito, accompanied her to the Cannon ranch and
became a permanent member of the household. Sam was the foreman, while
Pedro, and Joe were ranch hands.
The marriage of John and Victoria also united
the Cannons and the Montoyas in their efforts to tame the land. Family
differences, the conflicts between the Mexicans and the Americans, and the
ever-present threats from rustlers and renegade Indians all provided material
for the stories in the series.
A number of cast changes occurred in the
program's last season. The character of Billy Blue Cannon was dropped. Frank
Silvera, who played
father, had died and his character was written out of the show by having Don
Sebastian also pass away. Added to the cast was Wind, a half-breed youth who
became a member of the Cannon household after helping Big John avoid a major
disaster during a roundup.