Settling the West


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Settling the West

  2. 2. There‟s Gold In Them There Hills Placer Mining was used to extract gold & minerals from the ground, but only the shallow level of ground was penetrated with this method. Equipment like picks, shovels & pans were used in Placer Mining.
  3. 3. THE BIG STRIKE IN NEVADA The Story of the Comstock Lode
  4. 4. 1859 BOOMTOWN Henry Comstock claimed some land in Six-Mile Canyon, Nevada It was not even his land! He was able to insert himself into one of the richest gold and silver strikes in history News of this strike caused a boom of 30,000 people to crowd into Virginia City, Nevada almost overnight!
  5. 5. Virginia City
  6. 6. Virginia City Video1. What was the „blue mud‟ they found in Nevada?2. How did Hearst make out with his land?3. What are some of the numbers relating to the silver in the hills.4. How did they solve the problem of digging the silver mine?5. What were some of the dangers of digging so far below?6. What caused the decline of the silver mine?7. What is the Comstock Load‟s legacy?
  8. 8. What Was A Boomtown Like?• Crime was a serious problem  All those people & no sheriff  They did have Vigilance Committees (volunteers who enforced laws)• They often punished innocent people by accident or on purpose.• Women worked at “hurdy- gurdy” houses where they danced for a drink.
  9. 9. Ranching & Cattle Drives
  10. 10. RanchersSome sought their fortunes by building ranches on the Great PlainsIn the early 1800s, no one thought building a cattle ranch on the Great Plains would be successfulThey thought cattle from the east couldn‟t live on the tough prairie grass.
  11. 11. •This breed of cow was adaptedto the tough grass and climate ofthe Great Plains.•The government offered freerange on their land to all cattle.•It was free & unrestricted by theownership of private farms.•A breed of cattle that descendedfrom Mexico had emerged inTexas
  12. 12. Cowboys and Mexicans
  13. 13. Texas Longhorns•Before the Civil War, there was no reason to roundup the Texas Longhorns because beef prices were solow!• Two developments raised their demand:1. The Civil War2. Construction of the Railroads• During the Civil War, the Cattle were needed in the east to feed the soldiers.• Cattle could be driven up North to the Rail lines &Transported to the east at 10 times the price thecowboys could get in Texas for the same cows.
  14. 14. Chisholm Trail•One of the most famous routes tobring cattle north was the ChisholmTrail that led to the town of Abilene,Kansas.• Between 1867 & 1871 nearly 1.5 million head of cattle traveled on the Chisholm trail.•When Abilene was full of cowboys, itrivaled any mining town inrowdiness!
  15. 15. TheCattleTrails
  16. 16. Wild Bill HickokWith the prosperity of the cattlemen came anera of lawlessness. The famed gunman WildBill Hickok served as Abilene s marshal in 1871and is reputed to have killed more than 50alleged lawbreakers during his brief tenure.The appearance of homesteaders and fencedranges discouraged the Texas cattletrade, much of which was diverted to Wichita.Winter-wheat cultivation was introduced inAbilene in the mid-1870s and remainseconomically important. Abilene is still ashipping point for livestock, as well as for grainand other agricultural products, and it hassome light industry. Abilene." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 1 Jan. 2008 <>.
  17. 17. Wild Bill HickokIn 1876 Hickok married a widow, Mrs.Agnes Lake Thatcher, but he soon left her(in Cincinnati) to visit the goldfields of theBlack Hills in the Dakota Territory. It wasthere, at a poker table in Nuttall & MannsNo. 10 saloon in Deadwood, that Hickokwas shot dead by a drunken stranger, JackMcCall. The cards Hickok was holding—apair of black aces and a pair of black eightsplus an unknown fifth card—becameknown as the dead mans hand. McCallsmotive was never learned; he was tried,convicted of murder, and hanged on March1, 1877. Hickok, Wild Bill." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 1 Jan. 2008 < >.
  18. 18. The Long Cattle Drive•Thousands of Cattle were rounded up & gathered from theopen ranges.•The brands on the cattle was the only thing thatdistinguished one from the other.•The ranchers branded their cattle before moving them.•Stray calves with no brand were divided up between thedifferent owners and branded.•Most of the cowboys on the cattle drives were formerConfederate soldiers who after the war were trying torebuild their lives.•Many were Mexican & some were AfricanAmericans who had beenfreed after the Civil War.
  19. 19. •The open range would end when ranchowners began to build fences to preventsheep herders from grazing the land meantfor cattle.•The price of beef fell due to oversupply &many went bankrupt.•Then, in the winter of 1886, blizzardscovered the ground so deep that cattle couldnot graze any grass.•Temperatures fell to 40 degrees belowzero.•The fences were usually made of barbedwire not wood fences.
  20. 20. Barbed Wire Joseph Glidden
  21. 21. Cattle Industry Legacy•The Cattle Industry survived, butit was changed forever.•The days of the open range hadended.•Herds were fenced in on ranchesand the cowboy became a ranchhand who worked on the farm ofthe wealthy owner.
  22. 22. Farming the Plains
  23. 23. Geography of the Great Plains•Extends all the way to the Rocky Mountains to about thecenter of Abilene, Texas.•Rainfall is about 20 inches each year on the Great Plains &trees grow only along the banks of Rivers & Streams.•Many people considered the Great Plains to be a desertunfit for farming or grazing.
  24. 24. The Great Plains The Transcontinental Railroad encouraged the establishment of towns along the railroad.• The Government encouraged people to settle the Great Plains by passing the Homestead Act.• People could claim up to 160 acres of public land & get the title to the land if they lived there for 5 years. The people who decided to take the offer faced many challenges!
  25. 25. Problems on the Prairies• No trees to build a home • People were forced to build homes from sod cut from the ground• No water to drink • They had to dig wells 300 feet deep to tap drinking water• Summer temperatures soared to over 100 degrees!• Prairie fires were a constant threat• Grasshopper swarms swept over farms & destroyedentire crops.• Winter brought blizzards and bitter cold!
  26. 26. The Realty--A Pioneer’s Sod House, SD
  27. 27.  New Farming Methods: Dry farming required planting seeds deep into the ground where there was enough moisture to help them grow. New Equipment made dry farming easier: seed drills, steel plows, reapers and threshing machines helped to farm wheat.
  28. 28. New Agricultural Technology Steel Plow [“Sod Buster”]“Prairie Fan”Water Pump
  29. 29. • New machines allowed a single family to bring in a huge harvest!• Some of these wheat farms were 50,000 acres.• They were called Bonanza Farms because they made so much profit!• Bonanza farms owners, like the mining companies, formed companies, invested in equipment and hired people to work.
  30. 30. Bonanza Farms
  31. 31. • The United States became the world‟s largest exporter of wheat in the 1880s.• Other Nations trying to compete caused an oversupply of wheat & Prices crashed!• A terrible drought in the late 1880s also strained the farms.• Most farmers had to borrow money on their lands. When they couldn‟t pay, the bank took their ranches.• Some were given the chance to stay and work on the farms they once owned, as tenant workers.• By 1900, 1/3 of the farms were rented instead of
  32. 32. Closing the Frontier Much of the land in the west was still unoccupied by 1890, but the Government reported that it was nearly full when it took a census of People living in the west. It was upsetting to some people who always had the hope ofthough news spread that the Even being able to go west and make a new start. The real story ofclosing, many more wasn‟t frontier was the people who went west about heroes who rode off into the sunset. people traveled west in the 1900s It was about “regular ole‟ people” who built places to making their new starts, but unlike the live, formed communities and worked hard to do what had to be of “getting rich quick”, the work stories done. They didn‟t get their new environment. lives was hard in rich, but most were proud of the they had made on the frontier.
  33. 33. Native Americans
  34. 34. Native Americans Native Americans lived in North America long before Europeans even knew the continent existed. The Great Plains people were nomads who followed the buffalo. Suddenly people arrived calling themselves “Americans”, claiming land for themselves and killing buffalo almost to the point of extinction. Americans broke treaties that promised Native Americans rights to lands & forced them to relocate.
  35. 35. Native Americans Native Americans resisted by attacking wagons, trains, stage coaches and ranches. The first major clash happened in 1862 when the Sioux people in Minnesota launched an uprising. The Dekota Sioux had been moved to a reservation in Minnesota with the promise of the United States government paying them each year for the land they left behind. The money was called annuities because it came once each year. American traders in the area made up fake debts owed to them by the Sioux & took the annuities meant for the Sioux.
  36. 36. Native Americans The United States government was late making the annuities payments in the year of 1862. As the Sioux waited for the money, many of their people were starving. Chief Little Crow asked the American traders to allow his people to get food on credit until the annuities arrived. The trader who answered Little Crow was Andrew Myrick: “If they are hungry let them eat grass or their own dung.” Two weeks later, Myrick was found shot to death with grass stuffed in his mouth. Little Crow & the Sioux killed hundreds of soldiers & civilians before the uprising was put down. 307 Dakota Sioux were sentenced to death, but President Lincoln reviewed the evidence & reduced the number of people to be executed to 38.
  37. 37. Colonel JohnCheyenne were waiting at a fort to The Chivington negotiate a peace treaty with the Americans. Because they had been attacking women & children, Chivington killed them. “Kill and scalp all, big and little!”The Cheyenne were flying a Sandy Creek, COwhite flag & an America flag, but Sand Creek MassacreChivington ignored the symbolsof peace. November 29, 1864
  38. 38. Native Americans The United States Senate investigated Chivington‟s attack & brought no charges against him. This outraged many Americans who saw what he did to the Cheyenne as unjustifiable.
  39. 39. Capt. William J. Fetterman 80 soldiers massacred December 21, 1866Lakota Sioux leader,Crazy Horse ledFetterman into a trap.Crazy Horse trickedFetterman into followinga small band of Lakota, &lured him into an ambushwhere hundreds of LakotaIndians waited tomassacre him & his men.
  40. 40. Mt. Rushmore: Black Hills, SD
  41. 41. Battlefield Detectives: Custer‟s Last Stand1. Why did the Americans attack the Natives?2. What battle tactics did Custer use?3. What battle tactics did the Natives use?4. Why did the Americans fail?
  42. 42.  GOLD had been discovered in Black Hills, South Dakota. So many Americans had rushed to the area killing buffalo so rapidly they were disappearing. Professional hunters hunted the buffalo to sell the hides. Many hunters killed buffalo by the hundreds just for sport leaving their bodies to rot. The Railroad companies hired sharp shooters to kill large numbers of buffalo who were blocking the railways‟ traffic. The Lakota Sioux & Cheyenne Indians were not supposed to leave the reservation, but left to hunt for food near the Bighorn Mountains in Montana. Lt. Colonel George A. Custer underestimated the 2,500 Native Americans & attacked them in daylight as they camped by the Little Bighorn River. The Lakota Sioux & Cheyenne Indians killed all of Custer‟s men. Newspapers reported Custer as the victim. Lakota Sioux Chief, Sitting Bull tried to flee with his people to Canada, but the Americans forced him & his people back onto the reservation in the Black Hills.
  43. 43. The Battle of Little Big Horn 1876 Gen. George Armstrong CusterChief Sitting Bull
  44. 44. Crazy Horse Monument: Black Hills, SD Lakota Chief
  45. 45. Nez Percé Chief Joseph! When Americans tried to force Chief Joseph’s tribe onto a smaller Reservation in Idaho, he fled running for than 1300 miles before being captured. “Our Chiefs are killed…The little Children are freezing to death. My People…have no blankets, no food Hear me, my chiefs; I am tired; my Heart is sick and sad. From where The sun now stands I will fight no More forever.”
  46. 46. “Ghost Dance”, 1890 A terrible battle took place at Wounded Knee Creek as the Participants of the Ghost dance Were attacked. Chief Sitting Bull Was BlamedThe Native Americans were notSupposed to practice this type of ritualWhich would cause the settlers to disappear& bring back the buffalo.
  47. 47. Tragedy at Wounded Knee The government sent police to arrest ChiefSitting Bull for leading the Ghost Dance.Sitting Bull‟s people tried to stop the arrest, and an exchange of gunfire killed manyIncluding Chief Sitting Bull.
  48. 48.  After Chief Sitting Bull was killed, thePeople who were part of the Ghost DanceRan from the reservation. On Dec. 29, 1890, American troops caughtUp with the Ghost Dancers at Wounded Knee Creek & tried to force a surrender. A terrible battle took place by WoundedKnee Creek.
  49. 49. Chief Big Foot’s Lifeless BodyWounded Knee, SD, 1890 25 U.S. Soldiers killed 200 Lakota men, Women and Children Killed.
  50. 50. Helen Hunt Jackson She described allThe broken promises The American government Had given to the NativeAmericans including Facts from the Massacre At Sand Creek. A Century of Dishonor (1881)
  51. 51. Dawes Act (1887):Assimilation wasThe process of Assimilation PolicyForcing NativeAmericansTo abandonTheir culture &Become American. Carlisle Indian School, PA
  52. 52. William “BuffaloBill” Cody’s Wild West Show
  53. 53. “Buffalo Bill” Cody & Sitting Bull
  54. 54. Geronimo, Apac he Chief: Hopeless Cause
  55. 55. Indian Reservations Today