The Best in the West


California Gold Rush

January 1848 - 1855

The California Gold Rush began when gold was found by James W. Marshall at Sutter's Mill in Coloma, California. The news of gold brought some 300,000 people to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. The sudden influx of immigration and gold into the money supply reinvigorated the American economy, and California became one of the few American states to go directly to statehood without first being a territory, in the Compromise of 1850. The Gold Rush initiated the California Genocide, with 100,000 Native Californians dying between 1848 and 1868. By the time it ended, California had gone from a thinly populated ex-Mexican territory to the home state of the first nominee for the Republican Party. (

U.S. Victory in the Mexican American War

february 1848

A border skirmish along the Rio Grande started off the fighting and was followed by a series of U.S. victories. When the dust cleared, Mexico had lost about one-third of its territory, including nearly all of present-day California, Utah, Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico. (

California Statehood

september 1850

Caused by the gold rush it brought over many immigrant and with such a huge and sudden increase of population, it skipped the normal process just flat out became a state almost over night. ( my own head :P )

Gold Discovery at Pike's Peak

July 1858

The people in the gold rush were known as "Fifty-Niners" after 1859, the peak year of the rush and often used the motto Pike's Peak or Bust! Hardrock mining boomed for a few years, but then declined in the mid-1860s as the miners exhausted the shallow parts of the veins that contained free gold, and found that their amalgamation mills could not recover gold from the deeper sulfide ores. (

The Comstock Lode

June 1859

It was lode of silver ore found under the eastern slope of Mount Davidson, a peak in the Virginia Range in Nevada. After the discovery was made public in 1859, it sparked a silver rush of prospectors to the area, scrambling to stake their claims. The discovery caused much excitement in California and throughout the US. Mining camps soon thrived in the vicinity, which became bustling commercial centers, including Virginia City and Gold Hill. (

Passage of the Homestead Act

may 20, 1862

The Homestead Act accelerated the settlement of the western territory by granting adult heads of families 160 acres of surveyed public land for a minimal filing fee and 5 years of continuous residence on that land. And many, many applied.

The Dakota Uprising

August 17, 1862 - December 26, 1862

The Dakota tribe was promised money and protected land which they got neither and lived in poverty. so in return they started an uprising and attacked settlers, immigrants, etc. for revenge.

Arizona's Application for Statehood

February 1863

On February 14, 1912, the man who would become Arizona’s first Governor, George P. Hunt, walked from his hotel in Washington D.C. to the Capitol building to watch President Taft sign Arizona into statehood. That historic day in February sparked celebrations with dancing, fireworks, and gunpowder throughout the Arizona Territory. Arizona had just become the last state in the continental U.S., and the status was hard won. (

The Sand Creek Massacre

November 29, 1864

The Sand Creek Massacre was a massacre in the American Indian Wars that occurred on November 29, 1864, when a 675-man force of Colorado U.S. Volunteer Cavalry attacked and destroyed a village of Cheyenne and Arapaho in southeastern Colorado Territory, killing and mutilating an estimated 70–163 Native Americans, about two-thirds of whom were women and children. (

The First Long Drive


The first large-scale effort to drive cattle from Texas to the nearest railhead for shipment to Chicago occurred in 1866, when many Texas ranchers banded together to drive their cattle to the closest point that railroad tracks reached, which at that time was Sedalia, Missouri. However, farmers in eastern Kansas, still concerned that transient animals would trample crops and transmit cattle fever to local cattle, formed groups that threatened to beat or shoot cattlemen found on their lands. Therefore, the 1866 drive failed to reach the railroad and the cattle herds were sold for low prices.[10] There were other drives northward without a definite destination and without much financial success. (

The Beginning of the Red Cloud's War


Red Cloud's War was an armed conflict between the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Northern Arapaho on one side and the United States in Wyoming and Montana territories. The war was fought over control of the western Powder River Country in present north-central Wyoming. This grassland, rich in buffalo, was traditionally Crow Indian land, but the Lakota had recently taken control. The Crow tribe held the treaty right to the disputed area, according to the major agreement reached at Fort Laramie in 1851. All involved in "Red Cloud's War" were parties in that treaty. (

Creation of the Indian Peace Commission

July 20, 1867

Congress established the Indian Peace Commission to negotiate peace with Plains Indian tribes who were warring with the United States. The Peace Commission met in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 6, 1867, where it elected Nathaniel G. Taylor, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, as its president. (

The Battle of the Little Bighorn

Jun 25, 1876

The Battle of the Little Bighorn was an armed engagement between combined forces of the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. The battle, which resulted in the defeat of US forces, was the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876. (

Silver Discovery in Tombstone

April 1877

After serving as a scout for the United States Army during 1877, Ed Schieffelin began prospecting for silver in the hills east of the San Pedro River against others warnings. He used Brunckow's San Pedro mine as a base for operations to prospect among the rocky outcroppings northeast of the cabin. After many months, Schieffelin finally located loose silver ore that had been eroded from the nearby hills into a dry wash. It took him several more months to find the source. When he located the vein, he estimated the vein to be fifty feet long and twelve inches wide. The vein of silver ore was above the San Pedro River Valley, on a waterless plateau called Goose Flats. (

The Surrender of Chief Joseph

Oct 5, 1877

Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians surrenders to U.S. General Nelson A. Miles in the Bearpaw mountains of Montana, declaring, “Hear me, my chiefs: My heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever.” (

Gunfight at the OK Corral

october 1881

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral was a 30-second shootout between lawmen and members of a loosely organized group of outlaws called the Cowboys that took place at about 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona Territory. It is generally regarded as the most famous shootout in the history of the American Wild West. The gunfight was the result of a long-simmering feud, with Cowboys Billy Claiborne, Ike and Billy Clanton, and Tom and Frank McLaury on one side and town Marshal Virgil Earp, Special Policeman Morgan Earp, Special Policeman Wyatt Earp, and temporary policeman Doc Holliday on the other side. (

The First Raids by las Gorras Blancas


Las Gorras Blancas was a group active in the New Mexico Territory and American Southwest in the late 1880s and early 1890s, in response to Anglo-American squatters. Founded in April 1889 by brothers Juan Jose, Pablo, and Nicanor Herrera, with support from vecinos in the New Mexico Territory pueblo communities of El Burro, El Salitre, Ojitos Frios, and San Geronimo, in present day San Miguel County. (

The Oklahoma Land Rush

April 22, 1889

The Oklahoma Land Rush (originally indian territory)was the first land rush into the Unassigned Lands. The area that was opened to settlement included all or part of the present-day Canadian, Cleveland, Kingfisher, Logan, Oklahoma, and Payne counties of the US state of Oklahoma. The land run started at high noon on April 22, 1889, with an estimated 50,000 people lined up for their piece of the available two million acres (8,000 km²). (

Closing of the Frontier


A year after the Oklahoma Land Rush, the director of the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the frontier was closed. The 1890 census had shown that a frontier line, a point beyond which the population density was less than two persons per square mile, no longer existed.

The Homestead Steel Strike

June 30, 1892

The Homestead Steel Strike was an industrial lockout and strike which began on June 30, 1892, culminating in a battle between strikers and private security agents on July 6, 1892. The battle was one of the most serious disputes in U.S. labor history, third behind the Ludlow Massacre and the Battle of Blair Mountain. The dispute occurred at the Homestead Steel Works in the Pittsburgh area town of Homestead, Pennsylvania, between the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers (the AA) and the Carnegie Steel Company. The final result was a major defeat for the union and a setback for their efforts to unionize steelworkers. (