CHAPTER 4.1 How Miners and Ranchers helped build the American West
Reconstruction Ends…Compromise of 1877 The Presidential election of 1876 was Rutherford B. Hayes (R) from Ohio vs. Samuel Tilden (D) from New York. On election day, 20 electoral votes were being disputed. An agreement was worked out in Congress that allowed Hayes to become President. The agreement was that federal troops had to be removed from the southern states ending Reconstruction. Who was going to protect the 13th (slavery), 14th (citizenship), and 15th (voting) amendements for African Americans in the South? Troops had done this before.
Growth of the Mining Industry… Remember the Gold Rush? 49ers? Large numbers of people were heading west into unnamed territories in search of…. Dolladollabillzyalll!
The Comestock Lode In 1859 Henry Comstock staked a claim in the Six-Mile Canyon in Nevada. The sticky blue-gray mud was pure silver ore. This discovery is referred to as the “Comstock Lode”. By 1864 enough people moved into Nevada to make it our 36th state Comstock Lode made more than $230 million and helped finance the Civil War.
How Gold and Silver made the West Several Colorado boomtowns became populated due to the growth of mining. 1. Leadville 2. Colorado Springs (Pikes Peak) Tombstone was a silver town in Arizona made famous by Wyatt Earp.
Tombstone, Arizona Silver town made famous by Wyatt Earp and the “Showdown the OK Corrall”
Boomtowns cont… Prospecting….Men always came first… Towns would pop up without police….vigilance committees Next came women…laundarers, cooks, dancers, etc
Ranching and Cattle Drives Some Americans mined for gold and silver while others invested in cattle. Cattle farming was a big business and so was cattle driving. The cowboy was a professional cattle driver that would take large numbers of cows from one location to another. Cattle farming was a huge money market during the Civil War due to the need to feed the soldiers from both sides.
Longhorn – from Spanish cattle breed allowed to run wild and adapted to living on grass of Great Plains and very little water
Cattle Drives Cows were left open range until it was time for the drive – semi wild state Cattle Trails would start in Texas with 2,000 to 5,000 cows. Each cowboy need 3-4 horses per day. Balanced distance with food to sell cows for more. Cowboys would move the cows north into Kansas and Nebraska. The animals would then be loaded onto train cars and shipped east to be slaughtered. The most famous cattle trail was the Chisholm Trailwhich started in San Antonio and ended in Abilene Kansas. It is estimated that between 1867 and 1871 about 1.5 million longhorns took the Chisholm Trail to Abilene.