Arthur Chapman was an early twentieth century American poet and newspaper columnist. He wrote a sub-genre of American poetry known as Cowboy Poetry. His most famous poem was Out Where the West Begins.
Circa 1910, after reading in an Associated Press report of a conference of the governors of the western states at which the geographic beginning of the U.S. West was disputed, he hastily composed what was to become his most famous poem, "Out Where the West Begins," celebrating the people and the land of the frontier. The first of its three seven-line stanzas ran "Out where the handclasp's a little stronger, / Out where the smile dwells a little longer, / That's where the West begins; / Out where the sun is a little brighter, / Where the snows that fall are a trifle whiter, / Where the bonds of home are a wee bit tighter, / That's where the West begins." The poem was an immediate sensation, widely quoted, often imitated, and more often parodied. According to the dust jacket of Chapman's 1921 novel, Mystery Ranch, "To-day ["Out Where the West Begins"] is perhaps the best-known bit of verse in America. It hangs framed in the office of the Secretary of the Interior at Washington. It has been quoted in Congress, and printed as campaign material for at least two Governors. . . . [Chapman's poems possess] a rich Western humor such as had not been heard in American poetry since the passing of Bret Harte."