Thomas M. Griffith, a civil engineer based in New York, for the supervisory engineering work on the bridge. Some chose to pay the Suspension Bridge toll, while others floated their herds down the river. The population of Waco grew rapidly, as immigrants now had a safe crossing for their horse-drawn carriages and wagons. Since , the bridge has been open only to pedestrian traffic and is in the National Register of Historic Places.
In the late 19th century, a red-light district called the "Reservation" grew up in Waco, and prostitution was regulated by the city. The Reservation was suppressed in the early 20th century. In , Baylor University was founded in Independence , Texas. It moved to Waco in and merged with Waco University, becoming an integral part of the city. The university's Strecker Museum was also the oldest continuously operating museum in the state until it closed in , and the collections were moved to the new Mayborn Museum Complex.
The school moved to Waco in , changing its name to Add-Ran Christian University and taking up residence in the empty buildings of Waco Female College. Add-Ran changed its name to Texas Christian University in and left Waco after the school's main building burned down in One of his targets was Baylor University. Brann revealed that Baylor officials had been importing South American children recruited by missionaries and making house-servants out of them.
Brann was shot in the back by Tom Davis, a Baylor supporter. Brann then wheeled, drew his pistol, and killed Davis. Brann was helped home by his friends, and died there of his wounds. In , the first Cotton Palace fair and exhibition center was built to reflect the dominant contribution of the agricultural cotton industry in the region.
Since the end of the Civil War , cotton had been cultivated in the Brazos and Bosque valleys, and Waco had become known nationwide as a top producer. Over the next 23 years, the annual exposition would welcome over eight million attendees. The opulent building which housed the month-long exhibition was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in In , the exposition fell prey to the Great Depression , and the building was torn down. Meant to be a family fun event with food, games, and entertainment, the Crash turned deadly when both boilers exploded simultaneously, sending metal flying in the air.
Two people died and six were seriously injured. In , an African American teenager named Jesse Washington was tortured, mutilated, and burned to death in the town square by a mob that seized him from the courthouse, where he had been convicted of murdering a white woman, to which he confessed. About 15, spectators, mostly citizens of Waco, were present. In , the Waco City Council officially condemned the lynching, which took place without opposition from local political or judicial leaders; the mayor and chief of police were spectators.
On the centenary of the Lynching, May 15, , the mayor apologized in a ceremony to some of Washington's descendants. A historical marker is being erected. In the s, despite the popularity of the Ku Klux Klan and high numbers of lynchings throughout Texas, Waco's authorities attempted to respond to the NAACP's campaign and institute more protections for African Americans or others threatened with mob violence and lynching. Mitchell was the last Texan to be publicly executed in Texas, and also the last to be hanged before the introduction of the electric chair.
In , Grover C. Thomsen and R. This would later become known as the soft drink Big Red. James T. Connally, a local pilot killed in Japan in On May 11, , a tornado hit downtown Waco , killing A granite monument featuring the names of those killed was placed downtown in In , the Texas Department of Public Safety designated Waco as the site for the state-designated official museum of the legendary Texas Rangers law enforcement agency founded in Renovations by the Waco government earned this building green status, the first Waco government-led project of its nature.
The construction project has fallen under scrutiny for expanding the building over unmarked human graves. In , bones were discovered emerging from the mud at the confluence of the Brazos and Bosque Rivers. Subsequent excavations revealed that the bones were 68, years old and belonged to a species of mammoth. Eventually, the remains of at least 24 mammoths, one camel, and one large cat were found at the site, making it one of the largest findings of its kind. Scholars have puzzled over why such a large herd had been killed all at once.
The site is currently being looked at by the National Park Service for possible inclusion into the National Park system. They are conducting a special resource study to be presented to Congress. After 50 days, on April 19, , a standoff between FBI agents and Branch Davidians ended in a fire that destroyed their compound, referred to as Mt. Carmel , thirteen miles from Waco. Seventy-four people, including leader David Koresh , died in the blaze. This event became known as the Waco siege. During the presidency of George W.
On May 17, , a violent dispute among rival biker gangs broke out at Twin Peaks restaurant. The Waco police intervened, with nine dead and 18 injured in the incident. More than were arrested. This was the most high-profile criminal incident since the Waco siege, and the deadliest shootout in the city's history. According to the United States Census Bureau , the city has a total area of The total area is As of the census  of , , people resided in the city, organized into 51, households and 27, families.
The population density was recorded as 1, The racial makeup of the city was About Non-Hispanic Whites were In , the census recorded 42, households, of which Around The average household size was calculated as 2. In , The median age is 28 years. For every females, there are For every females age 18 and over, there are Of the total population, Waco has a council-manager form of government.
Citizens are represented on the City Council by six elected members; five from single-member districts and a mayor who is elected at-large. This regional agency is a voluntary association of cities, counties, and special districts in the Central Texas area. The Waco Fire Department operates 13 fire stations throughout the city. According to the Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce, the top employers in the city as of July are: . A 7-mile scenic riverwalk along the east and west banks of the Brazos River stretches from the Baylor campus to Cameron Park Zoo. This multiuse walking and jogging trail passes underneath the Waco Suspension Bridge and captures the peaceful charm of the river.
Downtown Waco is home to Magnolia Market , a shopping complex containing specialty stores, food trucks , and event space, set in repurposed grain silos originally built in for the Brazos Valley Cotton Oil Company. Waco Independent School District serves most of the city of Waco. The schools are all rivals in sports, academics, and pride. Moore High School, G. Moore Academy. In the past, several other higher education institutions were located in Waco: . The major daily newspaper is the Waco Tribune-Herald. Interstate 35 is the major north-south highway for Waco.
US Highway 84 is the major east-west thoroughfare in the area. Bush Parkway. Loop bypasses the city to the east and south. The Waco area is home to three airports. Bush when he was visiting his ranch in Crawford. It is also a hub airport for L3 and several other aviation companies. Local transportation is provided by the Waco Transit System, which offers bus service Monday-Saturday to most of the city. Nearby passenger train service is offered via Amtrak. The Texas Eagle route includes daily stops in McGregor , located 20 miles west of the city.
The Baylor Bears athletics teams compete in Waco. The football team has won or tied for nine conference titles, and have played in 24 bowl games, garnering a record of 13— The Waco BlueCats , an independent minor league baseball team, plans to play in the inaugural season of the Southwest League of Professional Baseball in A new ballpark is planned for the suburb of Bellmead. Previous professional sports franchises in Waco have proven unsuccessful. The Waco Marshals of the National Indoor Football League lasted less than two months amidst a midseason ownership change in The team became the beleaguered Cincinnati Marshals the following year.
The Waco Wizards of the now-defunct Western Professional Hockey League fared better, lasting into a fourth season before folding in Both teams played at the Heart O' Texas Coliseum , one of Waco's largest entertainment and sports venues. It was rumored that they would play in the Heart O' Texas Coliseum. However, the league broke up into three separate leagues, and subsequently, a team did not come to Waco in any of the new leagues. Professional baseball first came to Waco in with the formation of the Waco Tigers, a member of the Texas League.
The Tigers were renamed the Navigators in , and later the Steers. In , the team was sold to Wichita Falls. In , a new franchise called the Indians was formed and became a member of the Class D Texas Association. The lights were donated by Waco resident Charles Redding Turner, who owned a local farm team for recruits to the Chicago Cubs.
On the night of August 6, , baseball history was made at Katy Park: in the eighth inning of a night game against Beaumont , Waco left fielder Gene Rye became the only player in the history of professional baseball to hit three home runs in one inning. The last year Waco had a team in the Texas League was , but fielded some strong semipro teams in the s and early s. During the World War II years of —45, the powerful Waco Army Air Field team was probably the best in the state; many major leaguers played for the team, and it was managed by big-league catcher Birdie Tebbetts. In , A. Kirksey, owner of Katy Park, persuaded the Pittsburgh Pirates club to take over the Waco operation, and the nickname was changed to Pirates.
The Pirates vaulted into third place in They dropped a notch to fourth in , but prevailed in the playoffs to win the league championship. The Pirates then tumbled into the second division, bottoming out with a dreadful , 0. This mark ranks as one of the 10 worst marks of any 20th-century full-season team.
When the tornado struck in , it destroyed the park. The team relocated to Longview to finish the season and finished a respectable third with a record. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the standoff near Waco, Texas, see Waco siege. For the steamship, see City of Waco. For other uses, see Waco disambiguation. City in Texas, United States.
Location within McLennan County and Texas. See also: Timeline of Waco, Texas. See also: Neighborhoods of Waco. List of mayors of Waco, Texas. Name Portrait Term start Term end C. McCulloch  W. Wilkes C. McCulloch J. Riggins Allen Sanford Jas. Baker H. Mistrot J. Mackey J. Richards Thos P. Stone April 9, J.
Holloway, H. Connally A. Baker Duncan T. Brooks T. Bush G. Zimmerman Carl Mason, John F. Sheehy Jos W. Hale Charles Gray Catto Geo. Jones T. Gribble L. Murray D. Denton Frank L. Wilcox Richard C. Bush J. Hawkins L. Crow L. Bradshaw Ralph R. Wolf H. Connally, Jr. Robertson D.
Hicks, Jr. Smith Joe L. Ward, Jr. The land policy of the new nation was conservative, paying special attention to the needs of the settled East. By the s, however, the West was filling up with squatters who had no legal deed, although they may have paid money to previous settlers. The Jacksonian Democrats favored the squatters by promising rapid access to cheap land. By contrast, Henry Clay was alarmed at the "lawless rabble" heading West who were undermining the utopian concept of a law-abiding, stable middle-class republican community.
Rich southerners, meanwhile, looked for opportunities to buy high-quality land to set up slave plantations. After winning the Revolutionary War , American settlers in large numbers poured into the west. In , American pioneers to the Northwest Territory established Marietta, Ohio as the first permanent American settlement in the Northwest Territory.
It was later lengthened to reach the Falls of the Ohio at Louisville. The Wilderness Road was steep and rough, and it could only be traversed on foot or horseback, but it was the best route for thousands of settlers moving into Kentucky. In alone, Indians killed over travelers on the Wilderness Road. No Indians lived permanently in Kentucky  but they sent raiding parties to stop the newcomers. One of those intercepted was Abraham Lincoln 's grandfather, who was scalped in near Louisville. The War of marked the final confrontation involving major British and Indian forces fighting to stop American expansion.
The British war goal included the creation of an independent Indian state under British auspices in the Midwest. The death in battle of the Indian leader Tecumseh dissolved the coalition of hostile Indian tribes. In general the frontiersmen battled the Indians with little help from the U. Army or the federal government. To end the War of American diplomats negotiated the Treaty of Ghent , signed in , with Britain. They rejected the British plan to set up an Indian state in U. They explained the American policy toward acquisition of Indian lands:.
The United States, while intending never to acquire lands from the Indians otherwise than peaceably, and with their free consent, are fully determined, in that manner, progressively, and in proportion as their growing population may require, to reclaim from the state of nature, and to bring into cultivation every portion of the territory contained within their acknowledged boundaries.
In thus providing for the support of millions of civilized beings, they will not violate any dictate of justice or of humanity; for they will not only give to the few thousand savages scattered over that territory an ample equivalent for any right they may surrender, but will always leave them the possession of lands more than they can cultivate, and more than adequate to their subsistence, comfort, and enjoyment, by cultivation.
If this be a spirit of aggrandizement, the undersigned are prepared to admit, in that sense, its existence; but they must deny that it affords the slightest proof of an intention not to respect the boundaries between them and European nations, or of a desire to encroach upon the territories of Great Britain. As settlers poured in, the frontier districts first became territories, with an elected legislature and a governor appointed by the president. Then when population reached , the territory applied for statehood. In the western frontier had reached the Mississippi River.
Louis, Missouri was the largest town on the frontier, the gateway for travel westward, and a principal trading center for Mississippi River traffic and inland commerce but remained under Spanish control until Thomas Jefferson thought of himself as a man of the frontier and was keenly interested in expanding and exploring the West. France was paid for its sovereignty over the territory in terms of international law. Between and the s, the federal government purchased the actual land from the Indian tribes then in possession of it.
Additional sums were paid to the Indians living east of the Mississippi for their lands, as well as payments to Indians living in parts of the west outside the Louisiana Purchase. Even before the purchase Jefferson was planning expeditions to explore and map the lands. He charged Lewis and Clark to "explore the Missouri River, and such principal stream of it, as, by its course and communication with the waters of the Pacific Ocean; whether the Columbia, Oregon, Colorado or any other river may offer the most direct and practicable communication across the continent for the purposes of commerce".
Entrepreneurs, most notably John Jacob Astor quickly seized the opportunity and expanded fur trading operations into the Pacific Northwest. Astor's " Fort Astoria " later Fort George , at the mouth of the Columbia River, became the first permanent white settlement in that area, although it was not profitable for Astor. He set up the American Fur Company in an attempt to break the hold that the Hudson's Bay Company monopoly had over the region. By , Astor had taken over independent traders to create a profitable monopoly; he left the business as a multi-millionaire in As the frontier moved west, trappers and hunters moved ahead of settlers, searching out new supplies of beaver and other skins for shipment to Europe.
The hunters were the first Europeans in much of the Old West and they formed the first working relationships with the Native Americans in the West. Discovered about , it later became a major route for settlers to Oregon and Washington. By , however, a new "brigade-rendezvous" system sent company men in "brigades" cross-country on long expeditions, bypassing many tribes. It also encouraged "free trappers" to explore new regions on their own. At the end of the gathering season, the trappers would "rendezvous" and turn in their goods for pay at river ports along the Green River , the Upper Missouri, and the Upper Mississippi.
Louis was the largest of the rendezvous towns. By , however, fashions changed and beaver hats were replaced by silk hats, ending the demand for expensive American furs. The trade in beaver fur virtually ceased by There was wide agreement on the need to settle the new territories quickly, but the debate polarized over the price the government should charge. The conservatives and Whigs, typified by president John Quincy Adams , wanted a moderated pace that charged the newcomers enough to pay the costs of the federal government.
The Democrats, however, tolerated a wild scramble for land at very low prices. The final resolution came in the Homestead Law of , with a moderated pace that gave settlers acres free after they worked on it for five years. The private profit motive dominated the movement westward,  but the Federal Government played a supporting role in securing land through treaties and setting up territorial governments, with governors appointed by the President. The federal government first acquired western territory through treaties with other nations or native tribes.
Then it sent surveyors to map and document the land. Transportation was a key issue and the Army especially the Army Corps of Engineers was given full responsibility for facilitating navigation on the rivers. The steamboat, first used on the Ohio River in , made possible inexpensive travel using the river systems, especially the Mississippi and Missouri rivers and their tributaries. For example, the Army's steamboat "Western Engineer" of combined a very shallow draft with one of the earliest stern wheels. In —25, Colonel Henry Atkinson developed keelboats with hand-powered paddle wheels.
The federal postal system played a crucial role in national expansion. It facilitated expansion into the West by creating an inexpensive, fast, convenient communication system. Letters from early settlers provided information and boosterism to encourage increased migration to the West, helped scattered families stay in touch and provide neutral help, assisted entrepreneurs to find business opportunities, and made possible regular commercial relationships between merchants and the West and wholesalers and factories back east.
The postal service likewise assisted the Army in expanding control over the vast western territories. The widespread circulation of important newspapers by mail, such as the New York Weekly Tribune , facilitated coordination among politicians in different states. The postal service helped integrated established areas with the frontier, creating a spirit of nationalism and providing a necessary infrastructure.
The army early on assumed the mission of protecting settlers along the Westward Expansion Trails , a policy that was described by Secretary of War John B. Floyd in . There was a debate at the time about the best size for the forts with Jefferson Davis , Winfield Scott and Thomas Jesup supporting forts that were larger but fewer in number than Floyd. Floyd's plan was more expensive, but had the support of settlers and the general public who preferred that the military remain as close as possible.
The frontier area was vast and even Davis conceded that "concentration would have exposed portions of the frontier to Indian hostilities without any protection whatever. Government and private enterprise sent many explorers to the West. In —6, Army lieutenant Zebulon Pike — led a party of 20 soldiers to find the head waters of the Mississippi.
On his return, Pike sighted the peak in Colorado named after him. In , naturalists Thomas Nuttall — and John Bradbury — traveled up the Missouri River documenting and drawing plant and animal life. Swiss artist Karl Bodmer made compelling landscapes and portraits. He displayed a talent for exploration and a genius at self-promotion that gave him the sobriquet of "Pathmarker of the West" and led him to the presidential nomination of the new Republican Party in He crossed through the Rocky Mountains by five different routes, and mapped parts of Oregon and California.
In —7, he played a role in conquering California. It caught the public imagination and inspired many to head west. Goetzman says it was "monumental in its breadth—a classic of exploring literature". While colleges were springing up across the Northeast, there was little competition on the western frontier for Transylvania University , founded in Lexington, Kentucky, in It boasted of a law school in addition to its undergraduate and a medical programs. Transylvania attracted politically ambitious young men from across the Southwest, including 50 who became United States senators, representatives, 36 governors, and 34 ambassadors, as well as Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy.
The established Eastern churches were slow to meet the needs of the frontier. The Presbyterians and Congregationalists, since they depended on well-educated ministers, were shorthanded in evangelizing the frontier. They set up a Plan of Union of to combine resources on the frontier. The local pioneers responded enthusiastically to these events and, in effect, evolved their own populist religions, especially during the Second Great Awakening — , which featured outdoor camp meetings lasting a week or more and which introduced many people to organized religion for the first time.
One of the largest and most famous camp meetings took place at Cane Ridge, Kentucky in The localistic Baptists set up small independent churches—Baptists abjured centralized authority; each local church was founded on the principle of independence of the local congregation. On the other hand, bishops of the well-organized, centralized Methodists assigned circuit riders to specific areas for several years at a time, then moved them to fresh territory. Several new denominations were formed, of which the largest was the Disciples of Christ.
Historian Mark Wyman calls Wisconsin a "palimpsest" of layer upon layer of peoples and forces, each imprinting permanent influences. He identified these layers as multiple "frontiers" over three centuries: Native American frontier, French frontier, English frontier, fur-trade frontier, mining frontier, and the logging frontier. Finally the coming of the railroad brought the end of the frontier. Frederick Jackson Turner grew up in Wisconsin during its last frontier stage, and in his travels around the state he could see the layers of social and political development.
One of Turner's last students, Merle Curti used in-depth analysis of local Wisconsin history to test Turner's thesis about democracy. Turner's view was that American democracy, "involved widespread participation in the making of decisions affecting the common life, the development of initiative and self-reliance, and equality of economic and cultural opportunity.
It thus also involved Americanization of immigrant. He found that even landless young farmworkers were soon able to obtain their own farms. Free land on the frontier therefore created opportunity and democracy, for both European immigrants as well as old stock Yankees.
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From the s to the s, pioneers moved into the new lands that stretched from Kentucky to Alabama to Texas. Most were farmers who moved in family groups. Historian Louis Hacker shows how wasteful the first generation of pioneers was; they were too ignorant to cultivate the land properly and when the natural fertility of virgin land was used up, they sold out and moved west to try again.
Hacker describes that in Kentucky about Farms were for sale with from ten to fifty acres cleared, possessing log houses, peach and sometimes apple orchards, enclosed in fences, and having plenty of standing timber for fuel. The land was sown in wheat and corn, which were the staples, while hemp [for making rope] was being cultivated in increasing quantities in the fertile river bottoms Yet, on the whole, it was an agricultural society without skill or resources. It committed all those sins which characterize a wasteful and ignorant husbandry. Grass seed was not sown for hay and as a result the farm animals had to forage for themselves in the forests; the fields were not permitted to lie in pasturage; a single crop was planted in the soil until the land was exhausted; the manure was not returned to the fields; only a small part of the farm was brought under cultivation, the rest being permitted to stand in timber.
Instruments of cultivation were rude and clumsy and only too few, many of them being made on the farm. It is plain why the American frontier settler was on the move continually. It was, not his fear of a too close contact with the comforts and restraints of a civilized society that stirred him into a ceaseless activity, nor merely the chance of selling out at a profit to the coming wave of settlers; it was his wasting land that drove him on.
Hunger was the goad. The pioneer farmer's ignorance, his inadequate facilities for cultivation, his limited means, of transport necessitated his frequent changes of scene. He could succeed only with virgin soil. Hacker adds that the second wave of settlers reclaimed the land, repaired the damage, and practiced a more sustainable agriculture.
Historian Frederick Jackson Turner explored the individualistic world view and values of the first generation:. What they objected to was arbitrary obstacles, artificial limitations upon the freedom of each member of this frontier folk to work out his own career without fear or favor. What they instinctively opposed was the crystallization of differences, the monopolization of opportunity and the fixing of that monopoly by government or by social customs. The road must be open. The game must be played according to the rules. There must be no artificial stifling of equality of opportunity, no closed doors to the able, no stopping the free game before it was played to the end.
Manifest Destiny was the belief that the United States was pre-ordained to expand from the Atlantic coast to the Pacific coast. The concept was expressed during Colonial times, but the term was coined in the s by a popular magazine which editorialized, "the fulfillment of our manifest destiny In the s the Tyler and Polk administrations —49 successfully promoted this nationalistic doctrine.
However the Whig Party , which represented business and financial interests, stood opposed to Manifest Destiny. Whig leaders such as Henry Clay and Abraham Lincoln called for deepening the society through modernization and urbanization instead of simple horizontal- expansion. John Quincy Adams , an anti-slavery Whig, felt the Texas annexation in to be "the heaviest calamity that ever befell myself and my country".
Mexico became independent of Spain in , and took over Spain's northern possessions stretching from Texas to California. Santa Fe was also the trailhead for the "El Camino Real" the King's Highway , a trade route which carried American manufactured goods southward deep into Mexico and returned silver, furries, and mules northward not to be confused with another "Camino Real" which connected the missions in California.
The Spanish and Mexican governments attracted American settlers to Texas with generous terms. Stephen F. Austin became an "empresario", receiving contracts from the Mexican officials to bring in immigrants. In doing so, he also became the de facto political and military commander of the area. Tensions rose, however, after an abortive attempt to establish the independent nation of Fredonia in William Travis , leading the "war party", advocated for independence from Mexico, while the "peace party" led by Austin attempted to get more autonomy within the current relationship.
When Mexican president Santa Anna shifted alliances and joined the conservative Centralist party, he declared himself dictator and ordered soldiers into Texas to curtail new immigration and unrest. However, immigration continued and 30, Anglos with 3, slaves were settled in Texas by Remember Goliad". The U. Congress declined to annex Texas, stalemated by contentious arguments over slavery and regional power. Thus, the Republic of Texas remained an independent power for nearly a decade before it was annexed as the 28th state in The government of Mexico, however, viewed Texas as a runaway province and asserted its ownership.
Mexico refused to recognize the independence of Texas in , but the U. Mexico threatened war if Texas joined the U. American negotiators were turned away by a Mexican government in turmoil. When the Mexican army killed 16 American soldiers in disputed territory war was at hand.
Whigs , such as Congressman Abraham Lincoln denounced the war, but it was quite popular outside New England. The Mexican strategy was defensive; the American strategy was a three pronged offensive, using large numbers of volunteer soldiers. From the main American base at New Orleans, General Zachary Taylor led forces into northern Mexico, winning a series of battles that ensued. Navy transported General Winfield Scott to Veracruz. He then marched his 12,man force west to Mexico City, winning the final battle at Chapultepec. Talk of acquiring all of Mexico fell away when the army discovered the Mexican political and cultural values were so alien to America's.
As the Cincinnati Herald asked, what would the U. The Gadsden Purchase in added southern Arizona, which was needed for a railroad route to California. In all Mexico ceded half a million square miles 1. Managing the new territories and dealing with the slavery issue caused intense controversy, particularly over the Wilmot Proviso , which would have outlawed slavery in the new territories. Congress never passed it, but rather temporarily resolved the issue of slavery in the West with the Compromise of California entered the Union in as a free state; the other areas remained territories for many years.
The new state grew rapidly as migrants poured into the fertile cotton lands of east Texas. The central area of the state was developed more by subsistence farmers who seldom owned slaves. Texas in its Wild West days attracted men who could shoot straight and possessed the zest for adventure, "for masculine renown, patriotic service, martial glory and meaningful deaths". In about 10, Californios Hispanics lived in California, primarily on cattle ranches in what is now the Los Angeles area.
A few hundred foreigners were scattered in the northern districts, including some Americans. With the outbreak of war with Mexico in the U. Army unit, as well as naval forces, and quickly took control. Thousands of "Forty-Niners" reached California, by sailing around South America or taking a short-cut through disease-ridden Panama , or walked the California trail. The population soared to over , in , mostly in the gold districts that stretched into the mountains east of San Francisco.
Housing in San Francisco was at a premium, and abandoned ships whose crews had headed for the mines were often converted to temporary lodging. In the gold fields themselves living conditions were primitive, though the mild climate proved attractive. Supplies were expensive and food poor, typical diets consisting mostly of pork, beans, and whiskey. These highly male, transient communities with no established institutions were prone to high levels of violence, drunkenness, profanity, and greed-driven behavior. Without courts or law officers in the mining communities to enforce claims and justice, miners developed their own ad hoc legal system, based on the "mining codes" used in other mining communities abroad.
Each camp had its own rules and often handed out justice by popular vote, sometimes acting fairly and at times exercising vigilantism—with Indians, Mexicans, and Chinese generally receiving the harshest sentences. The gold rush radically changed the California economy and brought in an array of professionals, including precious metal specialists, merchants, doctors, and attorneys, who added to the population of miners, saloon keepers, gamblers, and prostitutes.
A San Francisco newspaper stated, "The whole country Violent bandits often preyed upon the miners, such as the case of Jonathan R. Davis ' killing of eleven bandits single-handedly. In a few years, nearly all of the independent miners were displaced as mines were purchased and run by mining companies, who then hired low-paid salaried miners. As gold became harder to find and more difficult to extract, individual prospectors gave way to paid work gangs, specialized skills, and mining machinery.
Bigger mines, however, caused greater environmental damage.
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In the mountains, shaft mining predominated, producing large amounts of waste. Beginning in , at the end of the '49 gold rush, through , hydraulic mining was used. Despite huge profits being made, it fell into the hands of a few capitalists, displaced numerous miners, vast amounts of waste entered river systems, and did heavy ecological damage to the environment. Hydraulic mining ended when public outcry over the destruction of farmlands led to the outlawing of this practice. The mountainous areas of the triangle from New Mexico to California to South Dakota contained hundreds of hard rock mining sites, where prospectors discovered gold, silver, copper and other minerals as well as some soft-rock coal.
Temporary mining camps sprang up overnight; most became ghost towns when the ores were depleted. Prospectors spread out and hunted for gold and silver along the Rockies and in the southwest. The wealth from silver, more than from gold, fueled the maturation of San Francisco in the s and helped the rise of some of its wealthiest families, such as that of George Hearst.
They moved in large groups under an experienced wagonmaster, bringing their clothing, farm supplies, weapons, and animals. These wagon trains followed major rivers, crossed prairies and mountains, and typically ended in Oregon and California. Pioneers generally attempted to complete the journey during a single warm season, usually over the course of six months. By , when the first migrant wagon train was organized in Independence, Missouri , a wagon trail had been cleared to Fort Hall, Idaho. Trails were cleared further and further west, eventually reaching all the way to the Willamette Valley in Oregon.
This network of wagon trails leading to the Pacific Northwest was later called the Oregon Trail. The eastern half of the route was also used by travelers on the California Trail from , Mormon Trail from , and Bozeman Trail from before they turned off to their separate destinations. In the "Wagon Train of ", some to 1, emigrants headed for Oregon; missionary Marcus Whitman led the wagons on the last leg. Some did so because they were discouraged and defeated. Some returned with bags of gold and silver. Most were returning to pick up their families and move them all back west. These "gobacks" were a major source of information and excitement about the wonders and promises—and dangers and disappointments—of the far West.
Not all emigrants made it to their destination. The dangers of the overland route were numerous: snakebites, wagon accidents, violence from other travelers, suicide, malnutrition, stampedes, Indian attacks, a variety of diseases dysentery , typhoid , and cholera were among the most common , exposure, avalanches, etc. One particularly well-known example of the treacherous nature of the journey is the story of the ill-fated Donner Party , which became trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains during the winter of — in which nearly half of the 90 people traveling with the group died from starvation and exposure, and some resorted to cannibalism to survive.
There were also frequent attacks from bandits and highwaymen , such as the infamous Harpe brothers who patrolled the frontier routes and targeted migrant groups. In Missouri and Illinois, animosity between the Mormon settlers and locals grew, which would mirror those in other states such as Utah years later. Violence finally erupted on October 24, , when militias from both sides clashed and a mass killing of Mormons in Livingston County occurred 6 days later.
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A hundred rural Mormon settlements sprang up in what Young called " Deseret ", which he ruled as a theocracy. It later became Utah Territory. Young's Salt Lake City settlement served as the hub of their network, which reached into neighboring territories as well. The communalism and advanced farming practices of the Mormons enabled them to succeed. The great threat to the Mormons in Utah was the U. The Republican Party swore to destroy polygamy, which it saw as an affront to religious, cultural and moral values of a modern civilization.
Confrontations verged on open warfare in the late s as President Buchanan sent in troops. Although there were no military battles fought, and negotiations led to a stand down, violence still escalated and there were a number of casualties. Finally in the Church leadership announced polygamy was no longer a central tenet, and a compromise was reached, with Utah becoming a state and the Mormons dividing into Republicans and Democrats. The federal government provided subsidies for the development of mail and freight delivery, and by , Congress authorized road improvements and an overland mail service to California.
The new commercial wagon trains service primarily hauled freight. In John Butterfield —69 established a stage service that went from Saint Louis to San Francisco in 24 days along a southern route. William Russell, hoping to get a government contract for more rapid mail delivery service, started the Pony Express in , cutting delivery time to ten days.
In Congress passed the Land-Grant Telegraph Act which financed the construction of Western Union's transcontinental telegraph lines. Hiram Sibley , Western Union's head, negotiated exclusive agreements with railroads to run telegraph lines along their right-of-way. Eight years before the transcontinental railroad opened, the First Transcontinental Telegraph linked Omaha, Nebraska and San Francisco and points in-between on October 24, Constitutionally, Congress could not deal with slavery in the states but it did have jurisdiction in the western territories.
California unanimously rejected slavery in and became a free state. New Mexico allowed slavery, but it was rarely seen there. Kansas was off limits to slavery by the Compromise of Free Soil elements feared that if slavery were allowed rich planters would buy up the best lands and work them with gangs of slaves, leaving little opportunity for free white men to own farms.
Few Southern planters were actually interested in Kansas, but the idea that slavery was illegal there implied they had a second-class status that was intolerable to their sense of honor, and seemed to violate the principle of state's rights. With the passage of the extremely controversial Kansas—Nebraska Act in , Congress left the decision up to the voters on the ground in Kansas. Across the North a new major party was formed to fight slavery: the Republican Party , with numerous westerners in leadership positions, most notably Abraham Lincoln of Illinois. To influence the territorial decision, anti-slavery elements also called "Jayhawkers" or "Free-soilers" financed the migration of politically determined settlers.
But pro-slavery advocates fought back with pro-slavery settlers from Missouri. The antislavery forces took over by , as Kansas became a free state. The episode demonstrated that a democratic compromise between North and South over slavery was impossible and served to hasten the Civil War. Despite its large territory, the trans-Mississippi West had a small population and its wartime story has to a large extent been underplayed in the historiography of the American Civil War.
The Confederacy engaged in several important campaigns in the West. However, Kansas, a major area of conflict building up to the war, was the scene of only one battle, at Mine Creek. But its proximity to Confederate lines enabled pro-Confederate guerrillas, such as Quantrill's Raiders , to attack Union strongholds and massacre the residents.
In Texas, citizens voted to join the Confederacy; anti-war Germans were hanged. Confederate Arizona was created by Arizona citizens who wanted protection against Apache raids after the United States Army units were moved out. The Confederacy then sets its sight to gain control of the New Mexico Territory.
General Henry Hopkins Sibley was tasked for the campaign, and together with his New Mexico Army , marched right up the Rio Grande in an attempt to take the mineral wealth of Colorado as well as California. The First Regiment of Volunteers discovered the rebels, and they immediately warned and joined the Yankees at Fort Union. The Battle of Glorieta Pass soon erupted, and the Union ended the Confederate campaign and the area west of Texas remained in Union hands. Missouri , a Union state where slavery was legal, became a battleground when the pro-secession governor, against the vote of the legislature, led troops to the federal arsenal at St.
Louis ; he was aided by Confederate forces from Arkansas and Louisiana. Louis and all of Missouri for the Union. The state was the scene of numerous raids and guerrilla warfare in the west. Army after established a series of military posts across the frontier, designed to stop warfare among Indian tribes or between Indians and settlers.
Throughout the 19th century, Army officers typically served built their careers in peacekeeper roles moving from fort to fort until retirement. Actual combat experience was uncommon for any one soldier. The most dramatic conflict was the Sioux war in Minnesota in , when Dakota tribes systematically attacked German farms in an effort to drive out the settlers. Over a period of several days, Dakota attacks at the Lower Sioux Agency , New Ulm and Hutchinson , slaughtered to white settlers. The state militia fought back and Lincoln sent in federal troops.
The federal government tried Indians for murder, and were convicted and sentenced to death. Lincoln pardoned the majority, but 38 leaders were hanged. The decreased presence of Union troops in the West left behind untrained militias; hostile tribes used the opportunity to attack settlers. The militia struck back hard, most notably by attacking the winter quarters of the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, filled with women and children, at the Sand Creek massacre in eastern Colorado in late Kit Carson and the U.
Army in trapped the entire Navajo tribe in New Mexico, where they had been raiding settlers, and put them on a reservation. The result by was millions of new farms in the Plains states, many operated by new immigrants from Germany and Scandinavia. With the war over and slavery abolished, the federal government focused on improving the governance of the territories.
It subdivided several territories, preparing them for statehood, following the precedents set by the Northwest Ordinance of It standardized procedures and the supervision of territorial governments, taking away some local powers, and imposing much "red tape", growing the federal bureaucracy significantly. Federal involvement in the territories was considerable. In addition to direct subsidies, the federal government maintained military posts, provided safety from Indian attacks, bankrolled treaty obligations, conducted surveys and land sales, built roads, staffed land offices, made harbour improvements, and subsidized overland mail delivery.
Territorial citizens came to both decry federal power and local corruption, and at the same time, lament that more federal dollars were not sent their way. Territorial governors were political appointees and beholden to Washington so they usually governed with a light hand, allowing the legislatures to deal with the local issues. In addition to his role as civil governor, a territorial governor was also a militia commander, a local superintendent of Indian affairs, and the state liaison with federal agencies.
The legislatures, on the other hand, spoke for the local citizens and they were given considerable leeway by the federal government to make local law. These improvements to governance still left plenty of room for profiteering. As Mark Twain wrote while working for his brother, the secretary of Nevada, "The government of my country snubs honest simplicity, but fondles artistic villainy, and I think I might have developed into a very capable pickpocket if I had remained in the public service a year or two.
In acquiring, preparing, and distributing public land to private ownership, the federal government generally followed the system set forth by the Land Ordinance of Federal exploration and scientific teams would undertake reconnaissance of the land and determine Native American habitation. Through treaty, land title would be ceded by the resident tribes. Townships would be formed from the lots and sold at public auction. As part of public policy, the government would award public land to certain groups such as veterans, through the use of "land script".
As a counter to land speculators, farmers formed "claims clubs" to enable them to buy larger tracts than the acre 0. In , Congress passed three important bills that transformed the land system. The Homestead Act granted acres 0. The only cost was a modest filing fee. The law was especially important in the settling of the Plains states.
Many took free homestead and others purchased their land from railroads at low rates. The Pacific Railway Acts of provided for the land needed to build the transcontinental railroad. The land given the railroads alternated with government-owned tracts saved for free distribution to homesteaders. Railroads had up to five years to sell or mortgage their land, after tracks were laid, after which unsold land could be purchased by anyone.
Often railroads sold some of their government acquired land to homesteaders immediately to encourage settlement and the growth of markets the railroads would then be able to serve. Nebraska railroads in the s were strong boosters of lands along their routes. They sent agents to Germany and Scandinavia with package deals that included cheap transportation for the family as well as its furniture and farm tools, and they offered long-term credit at low rates.
Boosterism succeeded in attracting adventurous American and European families to Nebraska , helping them purchase land grant parcels on good terms. The selling price depended on such factors as soil quality, water, and distance from the railroad. The Morrill Act of provided land grants to states to begin colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts engineering. Black colleges became eligible for these land grants in The Act succeeded in its goals to open new universities and make farming more scientific and profitable.
In the s government sponsored surveys to chart the remaining unexplored regions of the West, and to plan possible routes for a transcontinental railroad. Regionalism animated debates in Congress regarding the choice of a northern, central or southern route. Engineering requirements for the rail route were an adequate supply of water and wood, and as nearly-level route as possible, given the weak locomotives of the era. In the s, proposals to build a transcontinental failed because of Congressional disputes over slavery.
With the secession of the Confederate states in , the modernizers in the Republican party took over Congress and wanted a line to link to California. Private companies were to build and operate the line. Construction would be done by unskilled laborers who would live in temporary camps along the way. Immigrants from China and Ireland did most of the construction work. Theodore Judah , the chief engineer of the Central Pacific surveyed the route from San Francisco east. Judah's tireless lobbying efforts in Washington were largely responsible for the passage of the Pacific Railroad Act , which authorized construction of both the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific which built west from Omaha.
The line was completed in May Coast-to-coast passenger travel in 8 days now replaced wagon trains or sea voyages that took 6 to 10 months and cost much more. The road was built with mortgages from New York, Boston and London, backed by land grants. There were no federal cash subsidies, But there was a loan to the Central Pacific that was eventually repaid at six percent interest.
The federal government offered land-grants in a checkerboard pattern. The railroad sold every-other square, with the government opening its half to homesteaders. Local and state governments also aided the financing. Most of the manual laborers on the Central Pacific were new arrivals from China. He concludes that senior officials quickly realized the high degree of cleanliness and reliability of the Chinese. Ong explores whether or not the Chinese Railroad Workers were exploited by the railroad, with whites in the better positions.
He finds the railroad set different wage rates for whites and Chinese and used the latter in the more menial and dangerous jobs, such as the handling and the pouring of nitroglycerin. Building the railroad required six main activities: surveying the route, blasting a right of way, building tunnels and bridges, clearing and laying the roadbed, laying the ties and rails, and maintaining and supplying the crews with food and tools.
The work was highly physical, using horse-drawn plows and scrapers, and manual picks, axes, sledgehammers, and handcarts. A few steam-driven machines, such as shovels, were used. For blasting, they used black powder. Six transcontinental railroads were built in the Gilded Age plus two in Canada ; they opened up the West to farmers and ranchers.
All but the Great Northern of James J. Hill relied on land grants. The financial stories were often complex. For example, the Northern Pacific received its major land grant in Financier Jay Cooke — was in charge until , when he went bankrupt. Federal courts, however, kept bankrupt railroads in operation.
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In Henry Villard — took over and finally completed the line to Seattle. But the line went bankrupt in the Panic of and Hill took it over. He then merged several lines with financing from J. Morgan , but President Theodore Roosevelt broke them up in In the first year of operation, —70, , passengers made the long trip. Settlers were encouraged with promotions to come West on free scouting trips to buy railroad land on easy terms spread over several years.
The railroads had "Immigration Bureaus" which advertised package low-cost deals including passage and land on easy terms for farmers in Germany and Scandinavia. The prairies, they were promised, did not mean backbreaking toil because "settling on the prairie which is ready for the plow is different from plunging into a region covered with timber". All manufacturers benefited from the lower costs of transportation and the much larger radius of business.
White concludes with a mixed verdict. The transcontinentals did open up the West to settlement, brought in many thousands of high-tech, highly paid workers and managers, created thousands of towns and cities, oriented the nation onto an east—west axis, and proved highly valuable for the nation as a whole. On the other hand, too many were built, and they were built too far ahead of actual demand. The result was a bubble that left heavy losses to investors, and led to poor management practices. By contrast, as White notes, the lines in the Midwest and East supported by a very large population base, fostered farming, industry and mining while generating steady profits and receiving few government benefits.
The new railroads provided the opportunity for migrants to go out and take a look, with special family tickets, the cost of which could be applied to land purchases offered by the railroads.
Farming the plains was indeed more difficult than back east. Water management was more critical, lightning fires were more prevalent, the weather was more extreme, rainfall was less predictable. The fearful stayed home. The actual migrants looked beyond fears of the unknown. Their chief motivation to move west was to find a better economic life than the one they had.
Farmers sought larger, cheaper and more fertile land; merchants and tradesman sought new customers and new leadership opportunities. Laborers wanted higher paying work and better conditions. As settlers move West, they have to faced challenges along the way, such as the lack of wood for housing, bad weather like blizzards and droughts, and fearsome tornadoes.
One of the greatest plague that hit the homesteaders was the Locust Plague which devastated the Great Plains. On April 22, over , settlers and cattlemen known as "boomers"  lined up at the border, and when the army's guns and bugles giving the signal, began a mad dash to stake their claims in the Land Run of A witness wrote, "The horsemen had the best of it from the start.
It was a fine race for a few minutes, but soon the riders began to spread out like a fan, and by the time they reached the horizon they were scattered about as far as the eye could see". In the same manner, millions of acres of additional land was opened up and settled in the following four years. Fearful of takeover of Alaska then Russian America from the British Army based in British North America and due to lack of economic interests, Russia was eager to get rid of the territory it held onto since Secretary of State William Seward negotiated with the Russians to acquire the tremendous landmass of Alaska, an area roughly one-fifth the size of the rest of the United States.
On March 30, , the U. The transfer ceremony was completed in Sitka on October 18, , as Russian soldiers handed over the territory to the United States Army. Critics at the time decried the purchase as "Seward's Folly", reasoning that there was no natural resources in the new territory and no one can be bothered to live in such a cold, icy climate. Although the development and settlement of Alaska grew slowly, the discovery of gold fields during the Klondike Gold Rush in , Nome Gold Rush in , and Fairbanks Gold Rush in brought thousands of miners into the territory, thus propelling Alaska's prosperity for decades to come.
Major oil discoveries in the late 20th century made the state rich. That same day, the coup organizers created the Provisional Government of Hawaii and appointed Hawaiian jurist Sanford Ballard Dole as the islands' first President, hoping that Hawaii would be annexed by the United States.
Within 48 hours after the overthrow, the new Hawaiian government was recognized by all nations with diplomatic ties to the Kingdom of Hawaii, including the U. Cleveland was unwilling to overthrow the government by force, and his successor, William McKinley , negotiated a treaty with the Republic of Hawaii in In April , the Spanish—American War broke out, and the strategic use of a naval base at Pearl Harbor in the Pacific during the war convinced the U. It was signed into law by President McKinley three days later and came into effect on August 12, , officially creating the Territory of Hawaii.
Indian wars have occurred throughout the United States though the conflicts are generally separated into two categories; the Indian wars east of the Mississippi River and the Indian wars west of the Mississippi. Bureau of the Census provided an estimate of deaths:. The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number. They have cost the lives of about 19, white men, women and children, including those killed in individual combats, and the lives of about 30, Indians.
The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much higher than the given Fifty percent additional would be a safe estimate Historian Russell Thornton estimates that from to , the Indian population declined from , to as few as , The depopulation was principally caused by disease as well as warfare. Many tribes in Texas, such as the Karankawan , Akokisa , Bidui and others, were extinguished due to conflicts with settlers.
Government, and the Doolittle Committee was formed to investigate the causes as well as provide recommendations for preserving the population. The expansion of migration into the Southeastern United States in the s to the s forced the federal government to deal with the "Indian question". The Indians were under federal control but were independent of state governments. State legislatures and state judges had no authority on their lands, and the states demanded control. Politically the new Democratic Party of President Andrew Jackson demanded removal of the Indians out of the southeastern states to new lands in the west, while the Whig Party and the Protestant churches were opposed to removal.
The Jacksonian Democracy proved irresistible, as it won the presidential elections of , and By the "Indian Removal policy" began, to implement the act of Congress signed by Andrew Jackson in Many historians have sharply attacked Jackson. To motivate natives reluctant to move, the federal government also promised rifles, blankets, tobacco, and cash. By the Cherokee, the last Indian nation in the South, had signed the removal treaty and relocated to Oklahoma.
All the tribes were given new land in the " Indian Territory " which later became Oklahoma. Of the approximate 70, Indians removed, about 18, died from disease, starvation, and exposure on the route. The impact of the removals was severe. The transplanted tribes had considerable difficulty adapting to their new surroundings and sometimes clashed with the tribes native to the area.
The only way for an Indian to remain and avoid removal was to accept the federal offer of acres 2. However, many natives who took the offer were defrauded by "ravenous speculators" who stole their claims and sold their land to whites. Of the five tribes, the Seminole offered the most resistance, hiding out in the Florida swamps and waging a war which cost the U. Indian warriors in the West, using their traditional style of limited, battle-oriented warfare, confronted the U. The Indians emphasized bravery in combat while the Army put its emphasis not so much on individual combat as on building networks of forts, developing a logistics system, and using the telegraph and railroads to coordinate and concentrate its forces.
Plains Indian intertribal warfare bore no resemblance to the "modern" warfare practiced by the Americans along European lines, using its vast advantages in population and resources. Many tribes avoided warfare and others supported the U. The tribes hostile to the government continued to pursue their traditional brand of fighting and, therefore, were unable to have any permanent success against the Army. Indian wars were fought throughout the western regions, with more conflicts in the states bordering Mexico than in the interior states. Arizona ranked highest, with known battles fought within the state's boundaries between Americans and the natives.
Arizona ranked highest in war deaths, with 4, killed, including soldiers, civilians and Native Americans. That was more than twice as many as occurred in Texas, the second highest ranking state. Most of the deaths in Arizona were caused by the Apache. Michno also says that fifty-one percent of the Indian war battles between and took place in Arizona, Texas and New Mexico, as well as thirty-seven percent of the casualties in the county west of the Mississippi River.
Indians included in this group attacked and harassed emigrant parties and miners crossing the Snake River Valley, which resulted in further retaliation of the white settlements and the intervention of the United States army. The war resulted in a total of 1, men who have been killed, wounded, and captured from both sides. Unlike other Indian Wars, the Snake War was widely forgotten in United States history due to having only limited coverage of the war.
The conflict was fought in — while the American Civil War was still ongoing. Caused by dissolution between the Natives and the white settlers in the region, the war was infamous for the atrocities done between the two parties. White militias destroyed Native villages and killed Indian women and children such as the bloody Sand Creek massacre , and the Indians also raided ranches, farms and killed white families such as the American Ranch massacre and Raid on Godfrey Ranch.
In —, Carson used a scorched earth policy in the Navajo Campaign , burning Navajo fields and homes, and capturing or killing their livestock. He was aided by other Indian tribes with long-standing enmity toward the Navajos, chiefly the Utes. The Apaches under his command conducted ambushes on US cavalries and forts, such as their attack on Cibecue Creek , while also raiding upon prominent farms and ranches, such as their infamous attack on the Empire Ranch that killed three cowboys. During the Comanche Campaign , the Red River War was fought in —75 in response to the Comanche's dwindling food supply of buffalo, as well as the refusal of a few bands to be inducted in reservations.
The war finally ended with a final confrontation between the Comanches and the U. Cavalry in Palo Duro Canyon. The last Comanche war chief, Quanah Parker , surrendered in June , which would finally end the wars fought by Texans and Indians. Red Cloud's War was led by the Lakota chief Red Cloud against the military who were erecting forts along the Bozeman trail. It was the most successful campaign against the U.
By the Treaty of Fort Laramie , the U. With 53 Modoc warriors, Captain Jack held off 1, men of the U. Army for 7 months. Captain Jack killed Edward Canby. Numbering only warriors, the Nez Perce "battled some 2, American regulars and volunteers of different military units, together with their Indian auxiliaries of many tribes, in a total of eighteen engagements, including four major battles and at least four fiercely contested skirmishes. The conflict began after repeated violations of the Treaty of Fort Laramie once gold was discovered in the hills.
The end of the Indian wars came at the Wounded Knee massacre on December 29, , where the 7th Cavalry attempted to disarm a Sioux man and precipitated an engagement in which about Sioux men, women, and children were killed. Only thirteen days before, Sitting Bull had been killed with his son Crow Foot in a gun battle with a group of Indian police that had been sent by the American government to arrest him.
As the frontier moved westward, the establishment of U. They served as bases for troops at or near strategic areas, particularly for counteracting the Indian presence. Fort Laramie and Fort Kearny helped protect immigrants crossing the Great Plains and a series of posts in California protected miners. Forts were constructed to launch attacks against the Sioux. As Indian reservations sprang up, the military set up forts to protect them. Forts also guarded the Union Pacific and other rail lines. Fort Omaha , Nebraska was home to the Department of the Platte , and was responsible for outfitting most Western posts for more than 20 years after its founding in the late s.
Fort Huachuca in Arizona was also originally a frontier post and is still in use by the United States Army. Settlers on their way overland to Oregon and California became targets of Indian threats. Robert L. Munkres read 66 diaries of parties traveling the Oregon Trail between and to estimate the actual dangers they faced from Indian attacks in Nebraska and Wyoming.
The vast majority of diarists reported no armed attacks at all. However many did report harassment by Indians who begged or demanded tolls, and stole horses and cattle. A second treaty secured safe passage along the Santa Fe Trail for wagon trains.
In return, the tribes would receive, for ten years, annual compensation for damages caused by migrants. In the Far West settlers began to occupy land in Oregon and California before the federal government secured title from the native tribes, causing considerable friction. In Utah, the Mormons also moved in before federal ownership was obtained. A new policy of establishing reservations came gradually into shape after the boundaries of the "Indian Territory" began to be ignored.
In providing for Indian reservations, Congress and the Office of Indian Affairs hoped to de-tribalize Native Americans and prepare them for integration with the rest of American society, the "ultimate incorporation into the great body of our citizen population". Influential pioneer towns included Omaha , Nebraska City and St. American attitudes towards Indians during this period ranged from malevolence "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" to misdirected humanitarianism Indians live in "inferior" societies and by assimilation into white society they can be redeemed to somewhat realistic Native Americans and settlers could co-exist in separate but equal societies, dividing up the remaining western land.
Conflicts erupted in the s, resulting in various Indian wars. Such as in the case of Oliver Loving , they would sometimes attack cowboys and their cattle if ever caught crossing in the borders of their land. However, relationship between cowboys and Native Americans were more mutual than they are portrayed, and the former would occasionally pay a fine of 10 cents per cow for the latter to allow them to travel through their land.
After the Civil War, as the volunteer armies disbanded, the regular army cavalry regiments increased in number from six to ten, among them Custer's U. The black units, along with others both cavalry and infantry , collectively became known as the Buffalo Soldiers. According to Robert M. Utley :. The frontier army was a conventional military force trying to control, by conventional military methods, a people that did not behave like conventional enemies and, indeed, quite often were not enemies at all.
This is the most difficult of all military assignments, whether in Africa, Asia, or the American West. Westerners were proud of their leadership in the movement for democracy and equality, a major theme for Frederick Jackson Turner. The new states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama and Ohio were more democratic than the parent states back East in terms of politics and society. By the West, especially California and Oregon, led the Progressive movement.
Scholars have examined the social history of the west in search of the American character. The history of Kansas , argued historian Carl L. Becker a century ago, reflects American ideals. He wrote: "The Kansas spirit is the American spirit double distilled.
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