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  • 1. Settling the West Chapter 8 Created by Ronna Williams
  • 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. Diggin’ Deeper • After Placer Mining, corporations would move in to begin Quartz Mining. • Quartz Mining dug deep beneath the surface. » When there were no more deposits to dig, the corporations that mined disappeared.
  • 5. 1859 BOOMTOWN • The blue-gray mud there turned out to be pure silver! News of this strike caused a boom of 30,000 people to crowd into Virginia City, Nevada almost overnight! Henry Comstock claimed some Land in Six-Mile Canyon, Nevada!
  • 6. Virginia City, Nevada had been only a frontier outpost. Suddenly, the town had 1. Opera house 2. Shops with European clothes & furniture. 3. Several Newspapers 4. A 6 story hotel with the west first “rising room”..
  • 7. 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.
  • 8. Ranching & Cattle Drives
  • 9. While some were mining silver and digging for gold, other people headed out west to build ranches on the Great Plains. In the early 1800s, no one thought building a cattle ranch on the Great Plains would be successful because the cattle from the east couldn’t live on the tough prairie grass.
  • 10. A breed of cattle that descended from Mexico had emerged in Texas! This breed of cow was adapted to the tough grass and climate of the Great Plains. The government offered free Range to all cattle. The grazing land was owned by the American government. It was free & unrestricted by the ownership of private farms. Mexican cowhands taught the American herders the art of rounding up & driving cattle. They helped to create America’s first Cowboys.
  • 11. Before the Civil War, there was No reason to round up the Texas Longhorns because beef prices were so low!
  • 12. 1.The Civil War 2.Construction of the Railroads Cattle could be driven up North to the Rail lines & Transported to the east at 10 times the price the cowboys could get in Texas for the same cows. During the Civil War, the Cattle were needed in the east to feed the soldiers.
  • 13. Between 1867 & 1871 nearly 1.5 million head of cattle traveled On the Chisholm trail. When Abilene was full of cowboys, it rivaled any mining town in rowdiness!
  • 14. The Cattle Trails
  • 15. With the prosperity of the cattlemen came an era of lawlessness. The famed gunman Wild Bill Hickok served as Abilene 's marshal in 1871 and is reputed to have killed more than 50 alleged lawbreakers during his brief tenure. The appearance of homesteaders and fenced ranges discouraged the Texas cattle trade, much of which was diverted to Wichita. Winter-wheat cultivation was introduced in Abilene in the mid-1870s and remains economically important. Abilene is still a shipping point for livestock, as well as for grain and other agricultural products, and it has some light industry. Abilene." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 1 Jan. 2008 <>.
  • 16. In 1876 Hickok married a widow, Mrs. Agnes Lake Thatcher, but he soon left her (in Cincinnati) to visit the goldfields of the Black Hills in the Dakota Territory. It was there, at a poker table in Nuttall & Mann's No. 10 saloon in Deadwood, that Hickok was shot dead by a drunken stranger, Jack McCall. The cards Hickok was holding—a pair of black aces and a pair of black eights plus an unknown fifth card—became known as the dead man's hand. McCall's motive was never learned; he was tried, convicted of murder, and hanged on March 1, 1877. Hickok, Wild Bill." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2008. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 1 Jan. 2008 <>.
  • 17. *Thousands of Cattle were rounded up & gathered from the open ranges. *The brands on the cattle was the only thing that distinguished one from the other. *The ranchers branded their cattle before moving them. *Stray calves with no brand were divided up between the different owners and branded. Most of the cowboys on the cattle drives were former Confederate soldiers who after the war were trying to rebuild their lives. Many were Mexican & some were African Americans who had been freed after the Civil War.
  • 18. The open range would end when ranch owners began to build fences to prevent sheep herders from grazing the land meant for cattle. The price of beef fell due to oversupply & many went bankrupt. Then, in the winter of 1886, blizzards covered the ground so deep that Cattle could not graze any grass. Temperatures fell to 40 degrees below zero. The fences were usually made of barbed wire not wood fences.
  • 19. Barbed Wire Joseph Glidden
  • 20. The Range Wars Sheep Herders Cattle Ranchers
  • 21. The Cattle Industry survived, but it was changed forever. The days of the open range had ended. Herds were fenced in on ranches and the cowboy became a ranch hand who worked on the farm of the wealthy owner.
  • 22. Settling the West Chapter 8 Created by Ronna Williams
  • 23. •Extends all the way to the Rocky Mountains to about the center 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 Desert unfit for farming or grazing.
  • 24. 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. No trees to build a home No water to drink People were forced to build homes from sod cut from the ground. 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 & destroyed entire crops. Winter brought blizzards and bitter cold!
  • 26. The Realty--A Pioneer’s Sod House, SD
  • 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. New Agricultural Technology “Prairie Fan” Water Pump Steel Plow [“Sod Buster”]
  • 29. Farmers weren’t familiar with the prairie soil & when they used dry farming to plant seeds during the dry season, all the soil just blew away with the wind. These farmers were called sodbusters! Most lost their homesteads through because of drought, wind erosion, and overuse of the land.
  • 30. They had the same problem with the wind, but they were able to make quick profits by using mechanical reapers to speed harvests. Wheat became to the Great Plains like cotton was to the south! Many farmers moved to The Great Plains Region to Farm wheat producing the Wheat Belt.
  • 31. 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!
  • 32. 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.
  • 33. 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 tenant farms in the Wheat Belt.
  • 34. 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 of being able to go west and make a new start. Even though news spread that the frontier was closing, many more people traveled west in the 1900s making their new starts, but unlike the stories of “getting rich quick”, the work was hard in their new environment.
  • 35. Water from the deep wells watered their gardens. The Railroad brought lumber to build houses & coal to use for fuel. The real story of the people who went west wasn’t about Heroes who rode off into the sunset. It was about “regular ole’ people” who built places to live, formed Communities and worked hard to do what had to be done. They didn’t get rich, but most were proud of the lives they had made on the frontier.
  • 36. Settling the West Chapter 8 Created by Ronna Williams
  • 37. 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.
  • 38. 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.
  • 39. 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.
  • 40. Colonel John Chivington Kill and scalp all, big and little! Sandy Creek, CO Sand Creek Massacre November 29, 1864 The Cheyenne were waiting at a fort To negotiate a peace treaty with the Americans. Because they had been Attacking women & children, Chivington Killed them. The Cheyenne were flying a White flag & an America flag, but Chivington ignored the symbols Of peace.
  • 41. 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.
  • 42. Capt. William J. Fetterman 80 soldiers massacred December 21, 1866 Fetterman’s Massacre Lakota Sioux leader, Crazy Horse led Fetterman into a trap. Crazy Horse tricked Fetterman into following a small band of Lakota, & lured him into an ambush where hundreds of Lakota Indians waited to massacre him & his men.
  • 43. Mt. Rushmore: Black Hills, SD
  • 44. 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.
  • 45. The Battle of Little Big Horn 1876 Chief Sitting Bull Gen. George Armstrong Custer
  • 46. Crazy Horse Monument: Black Hills, SD Lakota Chief
  • 47. Chief Joseph!Nez Percé “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.” 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.
  • 48. “Ghost Dance”, 1890 The Native Americans were not Supposed to practice this type of ritual Which would cause the settlers to disappear & bring back the buffalo. A terrible battle took place at Wounded Knee Creek as the Participants of the Ghost dance Were attacked.Chief Sitting Bull Was Blamed
  • 49. Tragedy at Wounded Knee • The government sent police to arrest Chief Sitting Bull for leading the Ghost Dance. Sitting Bull’s people tried to stop the arrest, and an exchange of gunfire killed many Including Chief Sitting Bull.
  • 50. • After Chief Sitting Bull was killed, the People who were part of the Ghost Dance Ran from the reservation. • On Dec. 29, 1890, American troops caught Up with the Ghost Dancers at Wounded Knee Creek & tried to force a surrender. • A terrible battle took place by Wounded Knee Creek.
  • 51. Chief Big Foot’s Lifeless Body Wounded Knee, SD, 1890 25 U.S. Soldiers killed 200 Lakota men, Women and Children Killed.
  • 52. Helen Hunt Jackson A Century of Dishonor (1881) She described all The broken promises The American government Had given to the Native Americans including Facts from the Massacre At Sand Creek.
  • 53. Dawes Act (1887): Assimilation Policy Carlisle Indian School, PA Assimilation was The process of Forcing Native Americans To abandon Their culture & Become American.
  • 54. William “Buffalo Bill” Cody’s Wild West Show
  • 55. “Buffalo Bill” Cody & Sitting Bull
  • 56. Geronimo, Apache Chief: Hopeless Cause
  • 57. Indian Reservations Today