Settling the West
Chapter 13
Objectives
• Trace the growth of the mining industry in the
West
• Describe the ways that new technology changed
open-range ranching
• Explain how and why people began settling the
Plains
• Trace the growth of commercial farming on the
plains
• Discuss conflicts that arose between the Plains
Indians and American settlers
• Summarize the problems caused by attempts to
assimilate Native Americans
Key Terms
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Hydraulic Mining
Henry Comstock
Open Range Cattle
Chisholm Trail
Barbed Wire
Homestead Act
“Great American
Desert”
• Dry farming
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Bonanza Farms
Oklahoma Land Rush
Morrill Act 1862 1890
Nomads
Indian Peace
Commission
• George A. Custer
• Ghost Dance
• Dawes Act
The Frontier
• Mining huge industry
• Ranchers cattle and sheep on public land
• Farmers fail--- bad weather, high cost of storing
and transporting
• New inventions--- steel plow mechanical reapers
and windmills make it possible—barbed wire
• Farmers make own party
• Railroads connect the west
• Plains Indians are destroyed
Mining Industry
• West is rich in gold,
silver, and copper
• Brought settlers
• Placer Mining--shallow deposits used
picks, shovels, and
pans
Mining
► Henry Comstock--- miner found Silver ore
► Brought hoards of people to Nevada
► Became a boom town
► Silver gone
► This cycle was repeated
► Gold --- Colorado, Dakota Territory, Montana
► Northern Greater Plains developed
► Railroads built
► Congress divides the territory –North and South
Dakota Montana
Impact of Mining
► Small
mining gives way to big business
► Surface materials were quickly taken
► Ended up in hands of eastern bankers
► Miners were first to realize importance of
west
► Added to nations wealth
► Paper backed by gold and silver
► Mining improved the supply of money
First Transcontinental Railroad
 Gold encouraged building for railroad
 Connected East to West
 Omaha, Nebraska and end in
Sacramento California
 First Transcontinental Railroad
 Union built Omaha to West
 Central Pacific stared in Sacramento
 Met at Promontory Point, Utah
Why are the Railroads
Important??????
 Get people to the mines
 Allowed western settlement
 Made it possible to move cattle back
east
 Quick way to transport goods
 Made ranching and farming profitable
Cattle Drives
 Cattle Ranches--- too dry
 Texas Longhorns
 Ranches were able to grow
 Open Range – grassland owned by
government provided land ranchers
could graze cattle ---free unrestricted
 Long drives from Texas to sale
 Chisholm Trail – route to Abilene major
route town filled with cowboys and
miners
Cattle Farming
Driving Cattle becomes popular
Sheep herders moved their flock
Cattle farmers blocked
“range wars” barbed wire makes
appearance
 Livestock is prevented from roaming
 Long Range Drives are ended
 Cattle now raised in fences, longhorns
disappear, and cowboys become ranch
hands
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Farming on the Plains
“Great American Desert”
 Construction of railroads and credit to
prospective settlers
 Pamphlets and Posters “ticket to
prosperity”
 Homestead Act--- 10 dollars (registration
fee) claim up to 160 acres and after
living there for 5 years receive title
 More willingly to move
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Farming on Plains
Dry Farming --- Plant deep where there
was moisture
 Steel plows, seed drills, and reapers
 Wheat became the crop
 More people moved
 Wheat Belt – Dakotas, western parts of
Nebraska and Kansas
 Farms covered up to 50,000 acres called
Bonanza farms – big farms
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Wheat Farming
1880’s United States leading exporter
Prices drop
Farmers had to mortgage land
Homesteaders head home
What is a homesteader??????
Closing Frontier
1889 last of frontier closed--- Oklahoma
10,000 people raced to stake claims
Oklahoma Land Rush
Land Grant Universities
• Morrill Acts 1862
1890 –
• Granted land to
colleges to teach
• Agriculture, Military
Tactics, Mechanic
Arts
• Alabama Polytechnic
Institute
Native Americans
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Great Plains were inhabited
Nomads
Placed belief in power of natural world
Buffalo main food source
Settlers began moving
Buffalo decrease
Direct cause railroads –used for food and killed for
blocking and destroying railroad tracks
Killed just for hides --Plains depended on them –food, shelter, tools. Weapons
Plains Indians
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Government wanted Native Americans
to farm
Killing of buffalo
Move to reservations—stop being
nomads --Causes conflicts
Settlers number grew =conflicts
Conflicts
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Sand Creek Massacre– Native
Americans distrust white men --why???
Colorado militia slaughtered innocent
women and children ---Do not get charged with a crime
Fetterman Massacre--Battle of Little Big Horn
Big Change
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Ranchers, miners, farmers
Forced relocation (not honor treaties)
Attack wagon trains and ranches
Sioux in Minnesota
Dakota Sioux agreed to live on reservation
Government issued annuities ---payments
Ended up with the traders
1862 Congress delayed payments
Starving to death
Big Change
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Little Crow asks traders for food
Myrick --- “let them eat grass…”
Found dead
Uprising
Hundreds are slaughtered
Tribunal many put to death
Several Indian uprising Fetterman’s Massacre and Sand
Creek Massacre
Indian Peace Commission--- 2 large reservations
Indian Peace Commission
2 large reservations
Indian Affairs (federal agency)
Last Wars
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Many left reservations
Overrun with gold miners
Battle of Little bighorn
1876--- Custer leader
Underestimated fighting capabilities
Launches attack
Native Americans actually win
Custer is painted as victim of massacre
Army stepped up
Wounded Knee
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Ghost Dance --- defied government order
Symbolic dance –settlers disappear, buffalo
return, and return of deceased ancestors
Government tried to break it up
Battle ensued 25 soldiers and 200 Native
Americans died
Native Americans
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A Century of Dishonor 1881--- described the
abuse
Assimilation---- break up reservations
Families could be self supporting
Dawes Act --- 1887 allotted 160 to each head of
household
Single –80 children 40
Land sold to settlers $ going to fund
Fails --- dependant on buffalo for food
Had to adapt to settlers way of life
Farmers
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Grange --- fraternal order of farmers
Upset : High Tariffs, income did not keep up
with rest of economy, hard time paying debts,
bade weather, expensive machinery, high rates
to ship,
Form own political party =Grange
To unite farm families
Coops and farmers alliance ---cheap seed and
fertilizers
Farmers alliance = exchanges ---force prices up
interest rates down
Farmers Demands
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Ocala Demands ---Free unlimited coining of silver coins (reduce
inflation)
Tighter regulations on railroads
Suppport for the sub treasury plan (government
warehouses
End protective tariffs
Graduated income tax
Direct election of Senators
Why?????
Greenbacks --- formed to fight inflation
 More money in circulating less it is worth
pay debt off
 Railroads –monopoly on transportation
 Warehouses ---store crops till price rose –
called the sub treasury plan - government
loan money to pay off crops –farmer could
hold the crop in warehouse till price rises
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Populist Party
People’s Party
 Help farmers
 Sherman Solver Purchase Act 1890– keep
farmers voting Populist --- treasury
purchase 4.5 million ounces silver per
month
 Put up a candidate for President
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Essay
• Obviously, there was animosity between the
Native Americans and the people making the
move out west. Describe the federal
governments attempt to resolve the conflict
(including the consequences of it) and the
attempt to assimilate Native Americans into
American society.
• Dawes Act, allotments, Indian Peace
Commission, Battle of Little Bighorn, and
Wounded Knee
Study Guide
• Comstock Lode
• Transcontinental Railroad ---where it started and ended
and importance
• Sherman Silver Purchase Act
• Farmers Party –why formed and what it stood for
• Grievances of Farmers
• Ocala Demands
• Sub treasury plan
• Governmental control of Native Americans ---what did
they want
• Importance of railroads
Study Guide
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Promontory Point, Utah
What closed the frontier
Impact of mining
Disappearance of Buffalo --- what caused
it
• Farmers alliance
• Cooperative