the conquest of the far west n.
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The Conquest of the Far West. Chapter 26. In the late 19 th century ‘the west’ would have been land west of the Mississippi River Anglo-migration would encounter Eastern Indian tribes (moved during Jacksonian Period) forcibly resettled in ‘ Oklahoma Territory ’ such as Cherokee & Creek

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societies of the far west

In the late 19th century ‘the west’ would have been land west of the Mississippi River

  • Anglo-migration would encounter
    • Eastern Indian tribes (moved during Jacksonian Period) forcibly resettled in ‘Oklahoma Territory’ such as Cherokee & Creek
    • Midwestern Plains Indians; diverse group of tribes including the Sioux Nation & the Cheyenne
      • Primarily nomadic buffalo hunting peoples
    • Far Western tribes like the Pueblos had lived amongst Spanish settlers since the 1600s
  • US government’s treatment of the Indian was criticized by Helen Hunt Jackson in A Century of Dishonor (1881)
Societies of the Far West
the romance of the west

Understanding of the 19th century west is often mythical due to”

    • Late 19th Century ‘Rocky Mountain School’ of artists inspired by the untouched west
      • Albert Bierstadt
    • Mark Twain’s early literary efforts were about his youth on the Mississippi River or young adulthood in Nevada
    • Cowboy Myth
      • Cowboys were often poor young men (sometimes former slaves) who worked on western ranches & cattle drives
        • Popular in western novels like ‘The Virginian’
    • Wild West Shows –’Buffalo Bill’ & Annie Oakley; gunslingers
The Romance of the West
the dispersal of the tribes

Whites saw the west as ‘virgin land’ waiting for them to tame

    • Presence of the Indians did not fit this ideal
  • Us gov’t Indian Peace Commission in 1867 decided to move all of the Plains Indians into two reservations, one in the Oklahoma Territory and another in the ‘Dakotas’
    • No more individual tribal treaties; Indians expected to form permanent settlements
  • Railroad building, fad for hides & settlers were decimating the buffalo –main Indian food source
  • Nearly all of the 15 million killed b/w 1865 - 1885
The Dispersal of the Tribes
indian hunting

Starting in the 1850s, Indians in small parties of 30 – 40 began attacking wagon trains & ranches; eventually soldiers

  • Sand Creek Massacre (1864) –US army retaliated in CO against Cheyenne & Arapaho attacks more than 130 ‘friendly’ Indians
‘Indian Hunting’

Battle of the Little Big Horn, MT (1876) -Sioux left their Dakota reservation in 1875 under the leadership of Sitting Bull & Crazy Horse

    • Gen. George A. Custer & the 264 men of the 7th Cavalry attacked –no US soldiers survived
    • Within two years the Sioux were forced back to their reservations
  • Wounded Knee, SD (1890) –Last major fight b/w US army & the Sioux. More than 300 Indians killed
the dawes act

Dawes Severalty Act of 1887

    • Provided for the gradual elimination of tribal ownership
    • 160 acres to a family or 80 acres to an individual
    • Could not gain full title to the land for 25yrs
    • Applied to all tribes but the Pueblo
    • Assimilation with Anglo ways was a major goal
      • Prevented Indian rituals like the Ghost Dance; and mandated Christian Church attendance
      • Children often removed and sent to boarding schools
The Dawes Act