Moran, Thomas - Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (1872)
The FrontierDid our frontier make Americans different from Europeans? Why?The settlement of the West "the existence of an area offree land …. and the advance of American settlementwestward" was the central story of American history.The process of westward expansion had transformed adesolate and savage land into modem civilization. Ithad also continually renewed American ideas ofdemocracy and individualism and had, therefore,shaped not just the West but the nation as a whole. The Significance of the Frontier in American History Frederick Jackson Turner
Sand Creek Massacre (1864) Colonel John Milton Chivington of the Colorado Militia “I have come to kill Indians …. and believe it is right and honorable to use any means under Gods heaven to kill Indians.”
Among the group were 500 women and children and only 200 warrior.Chivington led his cavalry of 750 in a surprise attack on the Indians,killing 105 women and children and 28 men, as well as mutilating thedead and wounded.
Chief Black Kettle“But what do we want to live for? The white man has takenour country, killed all of our game; was not satisfied with that,but killed our wives and children too…” Chief Black Kettle 1863
Battle of Little Big Horn (1876)General Custer Chief Sitting Bull 500 troops 2000 warriors
Wounded Knee Massacre (1890)The Lakota were on their way toward the Pine Ridge Reservation. TheUS cavalry intercepted them and ordered them to hand over theirweapons. A shot was fired, and the Cavalry opened fire. The Lakotasought to escape the troops, who chased them for miles across theprairies. By the end of fighting, which lasted less than an hour, at least150 Lakota had been killed and 50 wounded. In comparison, US Armycasualties numbered 25 dead and 39 wounded.
“I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed. ….. The old men are all dead. …. It is cold, and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are -- perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. 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.”Chief Joseph – of the Nez Percé
A Navajo boy named Tom Torlino as he enteredthe Carlisle Indian School and a short time after the "reforming" process had begun
The Indian Wars1861 Pacific Railroad Act Gave companies land in exchange for building railroad Transcontinental Railroad (1869)1862 Homestead Act Offered 160 acres of land to western settlers Morrill Land Grant Act Set aside land for colleges in the West1876 Sioux Wars – Battle of Little Big Horn Chief Sitting Bull defeats General Custer’s Army1881 A Century of Dishonor by Helen Hunt Jackson Criticized Indian mistreatment & broken promises by gov’t1887 Dawes General Allotment Act Aim: Assimilation of Indians (Breaking-up tribes)1890 Battle of Wounded Knee Soldiers massacre 200 Sioux
‘Move On!’ Has the Native American no rights that the naturalized American is bound to respect Thomas Nast
I see over my own continent the Pacific railroad surmounting every barrier. I see continual trains of cars winding along the Platte,carrying freight and passengers. I hear the locomotivesA golden spike was driven at Promontory rushing andPoint, Utah in 1869, to signal the completion roaring...of the first linkage of railroads across theAmerican continent. Walt Whitman