Chp. 16: The Conquest of the Far West

Main

Taos Indians rebel in NM

1847

General Stephen Kearny tried to establish a territorial govt that excluded the established Mexican ruling class. Officials were Anglo-American. Fear that these officials would confiscate lands and threaten societies, Taos rebelled. NM remained under military rule for 3 yrs until US organized territorial govt in 1850.

CA Gold Rush

1848 - 1849

"Concentration" policy

1851

devised for western tribes in the face of white demands for access to lands in Indian Territory, each tribes was assigned its own defined reservation, confirmed by separate treaties. divided tribes from one another and made them easier to control

"Foreign Miners" tax passed

1852

passed in CA to exclude Chinese from gold mining, also helped exclude Mexicans

Comstock Lode

1858

silver deposits discovered in Nevada. First discovered by Henry Comstock. Found in Washoe district.

Brownsville Jail Raid

1859

led by the rancher Juan Cortina, who freed all the Mexican prisoners inside. challenge to American power. little long-term effect

Colorado Gold Rush

1859

gold discovered in Pike's Peak district of Colorado; following year 50,000 prospectors migrated to Colorado.

Kansas admitted to Union

1861

Homestead Act passed

1862

permitted settlers to buy plots of 160 acres for a small fee if they occupied the land they purchased for 5 yrs and improved it

Nevada admitted to Union

1864

Sand Creek Massacre

1864

Arapaho and Cheyenne were coming into conflict with white miners settling in the region. Bands of Indians attacked stagecoach lines and settlements in an effort to regain lost territory. In response to these incidents, whites called up a large territorial militia, and the army issued dire threats of retribution. Colonel J.M. Chivington led a volunteer militia force and massacred 133 people

Sioux Wars

1865 - 1867

Strike against Union Pacific

1866

5000 Chinese workers strike against railroad company, demanded higher wages and shorter workday. Company isolated them, surrounded them with strike breakers, and starved them. Strike failed and most returned to jobs.

"Long drives"

1866

some Texas cattle ranchers began driving their combined herds as much as 260,000 head, north to Sedalia, Missouri, on the Missouri Pacific Railroad. the caravan suffered heavy losses and only a fraction of the animals arrived in Sedalia. proved cattle could be driven to distant markets and pastured along the trail and that they would even gain weight during the journey

Nebraska admitted to Union

1867

Indian Peace Commission

1867

establishes "Indian territory" (later Oklahoma), composed of soldiers and civilians to recommend a new and presumably permanent Indian policy. Commission recommended replacing the "concentration" policy with a plan to move all the Plains Indians into two large reservations - Oklahoma and Dakotas

Black Kettle captured

1868

him and his Cheyenne warriors captured and killed by US forces

Union Pacific completed

1869

first transcontinental railroad, two lines joined at Promontory Point in northern Utah in the spring of 1869

US treaty w/ Chiricahua Apaches

1872

agreed by Chief Cochise, agreed to peace in exchange for a reservation that included some of the tribe's traditional land

Barbed wire invented

1873

invented by Joseph H. Glidden and I.L. Ellwood, became standard equipment on the plains and revolutionized fencing practices

Timber Culture Act passed

1873

permitted homesteaders to receive grants of 160 additional acres if they planted 40 acres of trees on them.

Black Hills Gold Rush

1874

Black Hills = Dakota territory

Sioux uprising

1875

Southern buffalo herd nearly extinguished

1875

brought on by hunting and ecological changes

Colorado admitted to Union

1876

Battle of Little Big Horn

1876

the tribal warriors surprised Custer and 264 members of his regiment surrounded them, and killed every man

Desert Land Act passed

1877

provided that claimants could buy 640 acres at $1.25 an acre provided they irrigated part of their holdings within 3 yrs

Nez Perce Indians resist relocation

1877

the govt. forced them to move into a reservation that another branch of the tribe had accepted by treaty in the 1850s

California Workingmen's Party

1878

created by Dennis Kearney, gained significant political power in CA,attacks Chinese immigration

Timber and Stone Act passed

1878

presumably applied to nonarable land, authorized sales at $2.50 an acre

Anaconda Copper Mine

1881

begins operations in Montana. Launched by William Clark, marked beginning of an industry that would remain important to Montana for decades

Chinese Exclusion Act

1882

banned Chinese immigration into US for 10 yrs and barred Chinese already in country from becoming naturalized citizens.

"Ramona"

1884

published by Helen Hunt Jackson, the setting for utopia, once the New World as a whole, had shrunk to the West of the US

Harsh winters help destroy open range cattle raising

1885 - 1887

"Huckleberry Finn"

1885

published by Mark Twain, character who repudiated the constraints of organized society and attempted to escape into a natural world, yearning for freedom reflected larger vision of West as last refuge from constraints of civilization

Geronimo surrenders

1886

ends Apache resistance

Dawes Severalty Act passed

1887

provided for the gradual elimination of tribal ownership of land and the allotment of tracts to individual owners: 160 acres to the head of the family, 80 acres to a single adult or orphan, 40 acres to each dependent child. Adult owners were given US citizenship but unlike other citizens they could not gain full title to their property for 25 yrs. Applied to most of western tribes

Prolonged drought in Great Plains

1887

North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington admitted to Union

1889

Oklahoma opened to white settlement

1889

formerly Indian Territory, granted territorial status

Battle of Wounded Knee

1890

12/29/1890: 7th Cavalry (once was Custer's regiment) tried to round up group of 350 Sioux at Wounded Knee, South Dakota. 300 Indians massacred, 40 whites died.

Wyoming, Idaho admitted to Union

1890

Indian "Ghost Dance" revival

1890

prophet Wovoka a Paiute inspired a spiritual awakening that began in Nevada. The new revival emphasized the coming of a messiah but its most conspicuous feature was a mass emotional "Ghost Dance" which inspired ecstatic visions that many participants believed were genuinely mystical

"Jason Edwards"

1891

published by Hamlin Garland, the agrarian frontier has seemed to be "the Golden West, the land of wealth and freedom and happiness. All of the associations called up by the spoken word, the West, were fabulous, mythic, hopeful."..."So this is the reality of a dream! A shanty on a barren plain, hot and lone as a desert. My God!"

Chinese Exclusion Act renewed

1892

"Frontier Thesis"

1893

proposed by Frederick Jackson Turner, argued the end of the "frontier" also marked the end of one of the most important democratizing forces in American life. Turner's definition of frontier: an empty, uncivilized land awaiting settlement

Utah admitted to Union

1896

to gain statehood, Utah's political leaders had to convince Congress they had outlawed Mormon practice of polygamy

Chinese Exclusion Act permanent

1902

"The Virginian"

1902

published by Owen Wister, romanticized the cowboy's freedom from traditional social constraints, his affinity w/ nature, supposed propensity for violence. Semi-educated man whose natural decency, courage, and compassion made him a powerful symbol of the supposed virtues of the frontier

Burke Act

1906

to speed assimilation of tribes but Indians continued to resist forced assimilation