Late 1800s Nat Am and the West


Timing of Western Settlement /

Indian Removal

• 1844 Election of Polk – Manifest Destiny

• 1845 Annexation of TX, 1846 M/A War, 1849 CA Gold


• 1850s Compromise, KS Neb Act, RR Improvements

• 1860s Civil War, Homestead Act, Reconstr, Mass

Migration, Reservation system,

• 1870s Little Bighorn, Nez Perce Surrender

• 1880s – BIG immigration begins

• 1890s End of the frontier Establishment of Grange /

Mary “Yellin”

– Wounded Knee, Carlisle School

• 1898 Spanish American War

– Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, Phillipines

“Tell your people that since the Great Father promised that we should never be removed we have been moved five times….

I think you had better put the Indians on wheels and you can run them about wherever you wish.” – Anonymous 1876

Westward Migration After 1865

• Push / Pull factors for


• Impact on Native

American Population

• Myths v. Realities

• Eastern View of

Western Life

Push and Pulls

• Morril Land Grant Act

• Homestead Act

• Civil War

• Immigration

• “Free” Land

• Eastern Urbanization

• Romanticism

Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our

Chiefs are killed; Looking Glass is dead, Ta Hool Hool

Shute is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is 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 - Thunder Traveling to the Loftier

Mountain Heights - 1877

Westward Push and Native


• Land Use

• Broken Treaties

• Near Constant Wars

• Nez Perce Example

• Sioux Example

• Reservations

• Schools / New Land

Ownership Laws

We rode past what but recently had been the site of a far-flung camp of white and brown army tents and the grimy old canvas of torn tepees; now marked only, here and there, by the bended willow frames and shattered poles of what so lately were shelters for the living. Near by was the debrisstrewn grass where lay the lonely dead.

This photograph was taken five or six days after the tragedy while the bodies of the Lakota victims were being collected for burial. (

Nebraska State Historical Society

The photo has been digitally enhanced.)



The Carlisle


The View of “The West”

• Carlisle Example of


• Turner’s Thesis

• Jackson’s Expose

• Remington Paintings

• T. Roosevelt

Realities of the West

• Arid - “Great American Desert”

• Size of Rockies / Sierras / Wasatch

• Separation / Isolation – Distance to neighbors

• Expectations v. Realities

– Donner Party Example

• Short term booms in RR crossings, mining towns etc.

– “Wild West” image was episodic / localized

• Rugged individuals v. neighborly cooperation

• Failure / Death Rate

• Gender ratios

– Opportunities for egalitarianism

• Changing the geography

• Farming cooperatives v. Big

Ranchers v. Railroads

• The Grange

– M. E. Lease

Moving West / Indian Removal


• Homesteaders

• Bonanza Farms

• Boomers

• Squatters

• Sooners

• Exodusters

• Sodbusters

• Soddies

• Land Rush

• Sitting Bull (Sioux)

• Custer

• Little Bighorn

• Wounded Knee

• Chief Joseph (Nez Perce)

• Carlisle School

• A Century of Dishonor

(Helen Hunt Jackson

• Frederick Jackson Turner

• Remington