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America: A.D. 1801 to 1900

Module by: Jack E. Maxfield. E-mail the author


Back to America: A.D. 1701 to 1800




The century opened with bloody warfare for the small Russian settlement at Fort St. Michael on Baranov Island, when the Tlingits Indians massacred the men and carried off the women to their village at the site of present day Sitka, in 1802. Two years later Baranov's men, regrouped in kayaks and supported by a Russian warship, bombarded Sitka and finally forced an Indian withdrawal. The Russians then built a new fort and in the years that followed the missionary Father Ivan Veniaminov built a cathedral, started a seminary, saved the Tlingits from a small-pox epidemic by vaccination, taught the Aleuts carpentry, blacksmithing and brickmaking, created an Aleut alphabet and with that translated the Gospels. Baranov was followed by 13 Russian governors, chiefly naval officers, but there was one prince and one baron. Commerce with San Francisco was brisk, particularly during the latter's gold-rush days. Among other things, 20,000 tons of Alaskan ice, packed in sawdust, was sold in San Francisco at $35 a ton. The zenith of Russian culture at Sitka was about 1820

The Kiksadi clan of Tlingits dominated the hinterland and thus the principal source of Russian food supply. Frequently these clans mounted crippling raids against the Russian mainland settlements, some as late as 1866. Supply ships from Russia had to go around the Cape of Good Hope and in some years none arrived. Many Russians died of scurvy before they learned that potatoes and other vegetables could be grown in the far north. At one point, the Russians attempted to solve their grain problem by establishing Fort Ross, only 90 miles north of the Spanish mission of San Francisco, but the area was not very fertile and they sold out to John Sutter in 1841.

We mentioned in the last chapter that the Russians virtually enslaved the Aleuts, forcing 1/2 of all males between the ages of 18 and 50 to work for very meager compensation. By this policy, along with disease and the use of the white man's firearms, the Aleut population had been reduced to about 1/10 of the original and the Eskimos on the mainland had been cut to about 1/2 by 1857. A massive seal fur industry resulted when a machine was developed which removed the outer layer of bristly guard hairs from the animal. A Moscow journal of 1835 boasted that between 1786 and 1832 there had been 3,178,561 Pribilof fur seals killed. Soon the yield decreased and both European and American fur markets declined so that the fur based economy ceased to be very profitable. The worst losses were in the 1820s.

When Russia was defeated in the Crimean War in 1856 she was desperate for money, and that, along with an increasing interest in China rather than America, was the big f actor leading to the sale of Alaska's 375,000,000 acres to the United States in 1867 for $7,200,000.

That purchase, arranged by Secretary of State William Henry Seward of the Andrew Johnson administration, resulted in the name "Seward's Folly" for that region for many years.

All was forgiven at the end of the century when the great Klondike and Nome gold rushes developed. (Ref. 234, 199)

Alaska's northwest contained some 24 Eskimo groups, all speaking related tongues.

Unlike their European and Siberian counterparts these Americans relied more on sea mammals than on the new world reindeer (caribou). Seals, walruses and sea-lions supplied food, clothes, boats, tents and oil for lamps. Tendons were used for sewing and bones took the place of wood. The Eskimos introduced umiaks (large, open, skin boats) and the toggle-headed harpoon to the world. (Ref. 288)


Central Greenland remained the most inhospitable of all Arctic areas, but Eskimos did live all along the southern coasts, both east and west, with a hybrid Eskimo-Danish culture. Due to an oversight at the Congress of Vienna in 1815, when Norway was taken away from Denmark, this colony was overlooked and remained in Danish hands. Administration was poor, however, and among other troubles the natives had a high incidence of tuberculosis. In far northwest Greenland a group known simply as Polar Eskimos lived in complete isolation, using sea-mammal bones for sled runners and using nets to catch cliff-dwelling birds. There were about 150 people there when Europeans discovered them in 1818. (Ref. 38, 288)


Arctic Canada had a mixture of Inuit (Eskimo) people living chiefly north of the tree-line and Arctic Indians living just south of that region. Among the latter were the Kutchins, who walked hundreds of miles each summer after the caribou herds. In winter they used snow-shoes and lived in domed caribou-skin tents or log and moss houses. They traded with the Eskimos. Koyukon, Tchin and Chipwyan tribes were all part of those Kutchin people. Inuit Eskimos lived on the Arctic Ocean coast line from Beaufort Sea to the Baff in Bay and Davis Strait as well as on the northern shores of Hudson Bay. (Ref. 288)

In 1825 British North America consisted of 2 major areas: First, there were the six settled provinces of Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Lower and Upper Canadas; and second there was all the remaining territory from Hudson's Bay on west to the Pacific. The first 4 named were known as the Maritime provinces; Lower Canada was later to become Quebec and had 625,000 chief Iy French people in 1841, while upper Canada later became Ontario and had 455,700 population in the same year. The western territory was owned by the Hudson's Bay Company and the Northwest Company with the British government keeping some authority. Each province was ruled by a local Tory oligarchy which supported the governor.

Occasionally an attempt to gain independence sprouted, such as the revolt promoted by Louis Joseph Papineau1, an assemblyman, John Neilson, a Scots and Edmund O'Callaghan, an Irishman - in Quebec. Papineau's fatal error was in alienating priests by anticlerical outbursts and when the bishop came out against him, few French Canadians would follow him. In Ontario an uprising of 1836 came nearer success. This was led by William Lyon MacKenzie of Toronto and Marchall Bidwell, a fugitive from the United States. The rebels marched on Toronto, but were dispersed by one volley from some militia. In May of 1838 Queen Victoria sent the young Earl of Durham to be commissioner of British North America and he adopted a course of clemency to the rebels. Through his recommendations Canada was given responsible government with a ministry responsible to an elective assembly. Nova Scotia obtained creditable government in 1848 without a rebellion through the statesmanship of Joseph Howe, son of a Bostonian. The governments of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island underwent similar peaceful evolution.

In the 1850s Tsimshian Indians2 of coastal British Columbia were savage fighters engaging in ritual cannibalism and they were finally "tamed" by a preacher, William Duncan, by 1862. He was later made governor of Vancouver. The gold rush of Vancouver Island and the Fraser River area occurred in 1858. In the Great Plains were large numbers of Catholic French Indians called "Metis". For 50 years they made yearly excursions in the plains to hunt buffalo and in the middle of the century they were confronted by the Hudson Bay whites, who set up various rules and regulations, which included the prohibiting of those people to trade with the Americans in St. Paul, Minnesota. This prairie land (Rupert's Land) was sold by the Hudson's Bay Company for 300,000 to the New Dominion of Canada in 1869, just 2 years after that Dominion was established by the British North American Act. The sale remained unknown to the 6,000 French-speaking and 4,000 English-speaking mixed bloods and 1600 white settlers in the plains areas.

Louis Riel the Younger, 1/8 Chippewa, but educated in Montreal on a Catholic scholar- ship, became the Metis leader. He rebuffed the government's attempts to survey and reclaim the land, working out of his headquarters in Fort Garry, which was later to become Winnepeg. Riel was hung as a traitor to the Dominion in 1885, 15 years after Manitoba had become a province. Canadian Mounted Police had been formed and after the Metis were controlled, the great nations of the Sioux had to be tamed and that included Sitting Bull, himself, who had gone to Canada after the famous Custer massacre in the United States. The end result for these displaced Indians, however, was gradual starvation, as civilization came west with the Canadian Pacific Railroad in the 1880s. We shall hear much more about earlier Indian problems in the vicinity of the Great Lakes in later paragraphs. (Ref. 151, 212, 32)

The formation of the Dominion resulted from three forces, the rise of Canadian nationalism, a desire of British liberals to slough off colonial responsibilities and the ambition of some elements in the United States to annex Canada. The constitution granted to the Dominion reserved the powers of government in the Parliament at Ottawa, but it failed to quench provincialism, particularly among the French population, which considered itself a nation apart, and still does.

Like the United States, Canada had a depression in 1873, which lasted at least 20 years and slowed the growth of that country considerably. It recovered only after the completion of the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway in 1885, after years of financial and engineering difficulties. The election of 1896 brought Sir Wilfrid, a French-Canadian lawyer, to head the government as premier and his long administration saw a wave of prosperity as the prairie provinces developed with their new railroad transportation system. Still, at the end of the century great expanses of land in Canada were essentially uninhabited. Lands occupied by 1900 included a narrow strip along the St. Lawrence River, Montreal and the eastern Great Lakes, then southern Manitoba, Saskatchewan and southeastern Alberta, with Winnipeg as a wheat center being the only city of over 100,000 west of Toronto. (Ref. 151, 8)

We cannot leave the discussion of British Canada without reverting back to activities connected to the War of 1812 with the United States. As early as 1811 British Canadian officials believed that war was imminent and began to warn Indians who were friendly to them. Chief among those were the Shawnees, who were led at that time by the mystic Prophet Tenskwatawa and the latter mobilized many Ottawas, Potawatomis and Chippewas in the Lake Michigan region. After some preliminary maneuvering actual land warfare began with the British and Indian forces defeating the Americans at the battles of Brownstown, Monguagon and Fort Michilimackinac. On August 16th Governor William Hull surrendered the American Fort Dearborn, just 24 hours after Potawatomis had killed most of the garrison. That winter the Prophet had trouble feeding his people in the Indiana area, however, and as another American expedition approached, he and most of his followers fled to Canada.

Knowing that the American Governor Harrison was preparing to recapture Detroit, the British commander Brigadier General Henry Proctor launched offensive operations. While ships transported the British regular militia and artillery across Lake Erie, the Prophet and his brother, Chief Tecumseh, led almost 1,200 Indians overland to the mouth of the Maumee. The attack failed and a similar one launched July 21, 1813 also failed. Meanwhile on Lake Erie, Capt. Oliver Perry's fleet took on the British under Capt. Robert Barclay and destroyed them in a 3 hour battle at Put-in-Bay. On land, Proctor talkea his Indians into withdrawing and preparing for new battle on the Thames River. In a great battle about 2 miles west of Moraviantown almost all the British soldiers were killed or captured and the Indians scattered through the forests. Tecumseh was shot down and the Indian remnant had only 374 warriors, with about 650 women and children. The natives spent a miserable winter of 1813-1814 camped at the western end of Lake Ontario and the British gave them just enough supplies to keep them from starving.

The war scene then seemed to shift to the Niagra frontier where the Iroquois were British allies. The Shawnees agreed to join with the Iroquois, but they arrived a full day after the decisive Battle of Chippewa had ended. For 2 years the British Indian Department had been hard pressed to feed all the exiles in Canada and they wanted them back in the United States. It was not until the white immigration into upper Canada occurred in the decade after the Treaty of Ghent, however, that the embittered Tenskwatawa severed his ties with the British Indian Department and returned to the United States where, by 1819, he no longer seemed a threat. (Ref. 293)


It is not a simple matter to scan the history of the United States in the 19th century in an outline form. The War between the States seems to make a natural break-point, with the situations before and after the war quite different. With this in mind we shall divide this section accordingly.


Presidential candidates for the election of 1800 were selected by party caucuses in Congress, with no public electioneering and no speeches or statements by the candidates. Even so, the politicians managed to make it a scurrilous campaign with the Republican winner, Jefferson, being accused of being a Jacobin, an atheist and a French agent. Jefferson himself believed that his election saved the country from militarism and monarchy. As for "monarchy", it was Jefferson who founded the "Virginia Dynasty" consisting of 4 presidents, who reigned for almost a third of a century. Each of these administrations will be briefly discussed.


By 1803 a doctor in backwoods Kentucky had vaccinated 500 people for small-pox. Through the Napoleonic Wars, the United States attempted a neutrality policy, but she could not avoid some combat with the pirates of Tripoli between 1801 and 1804, as we noted on page 1051. Meanwhile, the boundary of the nation went west to the Rocky Mountains through the purchase of the Louisiana territory from Napoleon for $16,000,000, since the little emperor was afraid Britain would soon pluck it from him anyway. But we shall discuss this more in a later paragraph when we outline the Mississippi valley region. (Ref. 140, 151) Jefferson himself was a most complex man and we have noted many of his characteristics on page 1028. A few additional remarks may be of interest here. The existence of his mulatto children was made public by the journalist James Thomas Callender in 1802 and again by the New England Palladium in 1805. In the field of religion, he re-wrote the New Testament, leaving out all mysticism, Virgin Birth, miracles, etc., entitling the work The Philosophy of Jesus of Nazareth. It was not published until after his death. As this man and his party gained power, the New England Federalists and their clergy worried about terror, atheism and free-love resulting from all this triumph of democracy. Alexander Hamilton, rising in stature on the political scene, truly expected Jefferson's regime to end in anarchy like the French Republic and he was ready to step in as the United States Bonaparte. He was killed in a duel by Aaron Burr, the vice-president, who was politically dead, himself, after that duel. Burr, 1806, tried to hatch a conspiracy against the United States from the region of New Orleans and that lead to a treason charge, from which he was finally freed by the work of his attorney, John Marshall. Burr left for Europe, there to try still more conspiracies unsuccessfully and finally returned to the United States in disguise in 1812. (Ref. 151, 123)

To go back a few years, Jefferson, concerned with the European situation which saw Napoleon still strong and the British navy supreme, built up the federal government to cope. But high wages in the United States navy and merchant marine began to attract deserters from the Royal Navy, so that the latter soon began to use that as an excuse to stop neutral U.S. ships and search them for deserters. Such an episode in June 1807, involving the U.S.S. Chesapeake, brought the new country and Britain to the brink of war. (Ref. 151)


In 1808 Congress had passed a law against the importation of slaves, but it was not strictly enforced because Eli Whitney's cotton gin initially made slave labor in the fields seem even more needed. In addition the invention of the gin introduced the principle of mass production to America, a feature which led to the Colt revolver, the sewing machine and the flour mill, revolutionizing the status of human labor, particularly in the western world and still more especially in the northern states. The north welcomed the Industrial Revolution while the south rejected it. After Jean Etienne Bore had demonstrated how to make granulated sugar from cane, a great sugar empire began to stretch along the Gulf. With the development of a steamboat which could go upstream against the Mississippi current, the sugar was sent to St. Louis, Louisville and Cincinnati for refining. (Ref. 39)

Although a great statesman, Madison was a poor politician and as a result of his ineptitude and Napoleon's maneuverings, difficulties with England increased. Both French and English navies were seizing and even scuttling American vessels. In 1811 Madison forbade all intercourse with England and as Napoleon had closed all Europe to Britain at the same time, it made for a very bad winter in England. By 1812 the United States and England were at war.

In the meantime, as the Spanish Empire appeared to be breaking up, the inhabitants of "West Florida" elected for the United States and were soon incorporated as the Territory of Orleans (later part of the state of Louisiana. We must also discuss the Indian situation in the Ohio and Indiana regions at this time. By 1800 many Indians were ready to try the white man's ways. Late in 1801 a delegation of chiefs from the Potawatomis, Miamis, Delawares, Shawnees, Kickapoos and Kaskaskias visited the east and two of the chief s asked for government assistance. As a result, during that first decade of the century the federal government and various religious organizations sent funds, farming implements and advisors to those tribes. Yet most of the programs were mismanaged and unscrupulous agents even sold the farm implements to white settlers. But primarily the Indians themselves could not become adjusted to the new ways. The Shawnees, early known as the "Southerners" by other Algonquian-speaking peoples shared the same problems. Branches of this tribe were scattered across the south, the Gulf Coast, the Delaware Valley, Georgia and South Carolina at various periods. In this century many were settled in Ohio and Indiana when the white citizens there declared an "open season" on Shawnee property. That, along with Shawnee excessive drinking, economic difficulties and various injustices led to deterioration of relationships. Some of these Shawnees, including a young prince, Tecumseh, had fought against the Americans under "Mad Anthony" Wayne at the end of the last century. Now Tecumseh's brother Tenskwatawa, a Shawnee holy man, sought to save his people with a new mystic religion. Claiming that he had been appointed by the Great Spirit he established Prophetstown near where the Tippecanoe joins the Wabash River, denounced alcohol and polygamy and set up certain rituals. The future president William Henry Harrison kept pushing his land acquisitions and further antagonizing various tribes, all of which soon began to accept the new Shawnee religion and join the groups at Prophetstown. The Kickapoos, Potawatomis, Ottawas, Chippewas, Crees, Winnebagos, Sacs, Miamis and Assiniboins were all converts. By 1807 Prophetstown had over 60 cabins and wigwams clustered around a frame council-house measuring about 150 by 34 feet. William Wells, the Indian agent at Fort Wayne, warned both then Governor Harrison and the Secretary of War that the Prophet constituted a serious threat and it was certainly true that most of these Indians had begun to sympathize more with the British in Canada than with the "Long Knives" Americans. Only the Shawnee clan led by Chief Black Hoof remained loyal to the United States. (Ref. 293)

But the Prophet began to have trouble feeding his hordes at his "holy city" and when the Ottawas and Chippewas near Lake Michigan defected, Harrison thought that the Shawnee leader was slipping and he made plans for further land encroachment. In September 1809 he signed a Treaty of Fort Wayne with Miamis, Delawares and some Potawatomis, obtaining over 3,000,000 acres of land in Indiana and Illinois. The Shawnees were incensed and Tecumseh set out south to try to gather more of his scattered kinsmen for a final confrontation. He also visited the British at Malden and, as we noted on page 1139, the British, foreseeing possible war with the United States, began to court these Indians, sending them food, arms and ammunition. Finally in the fall of 1811, after several unsuccessful conferences, Harrison started north from Vincennes with an army to put an end to Prophetstown. The famous Battle of Tippecanoe began in the early morning of November 7, 1811.

"Harrison described the battle as a 'complete and decisive' American victory, and three decades later he would gain the presidency as 'Old Tippecanoe', a military hero who had soundly beaten the Indians on the Wabash. But a closer examination of the battle and its outcome indicates that Harrison's claims were exaggerated. Both white and Indian losses were much the same. The American force numbered close to 1,000 officers and men. They suffered 188 casualties, of which at least 62 were fatal. The number of Indians engaged in the contest is much more difficult to ascertain, but there were probably between 600 and 700 warriors. Reports of Indian casualties also vary widely, but probably at least fifty were killed and seventy were wounded.''3


War was declared on the basis of the impressment of American seamen, repeated violations of American territorial rights and alleged blockading of the American coast. Although New England, where 3/4 of the American shipping was owned and which supplied most of the seamen, wanted no part of the war4, the war-hawks thought the fight, if successful, would result in the conquering of Canada, end the Indian menace and throw more western land open. Many politicians, including William Henry Harrison, had already grabbed land in the amount of about 48,000,000 acres between 1795 and 1809. The belief of many that Britain was behind the Shawnee Confederacy just described above, helped force the declaration of war on June 18th. Greatly outnumbered, the one saving fact for the United States navy vessels was that the Royal Navy was so deeply engaged in war at the same time with France and could spare only 1 ship of the line, 7 frigates and a number of smaller ships to operate off the American coast. The British did blockade much of the east coast and there was action, as we have seen (pages 1139-40) on and around the Great Lakes. The war was unpopular everywhere, perhaps due to poor leadership from Madison. After Napoleon's abdication in April, 1814, Britain was able to provide Canada with an adequate army and things changed rapidly, with the British war office planning a three pronged invasion attack - at Niagara, Lake Champlain and New Orleans - as well as raiding at Chesapeake. A British raiding party did enter Washington, ate at the White House (which Madison had evacuated) and burned all public buildings of the capitol. Otherwise execution was poor, however, and the final New Orleans attack was thwarted by General Andrew Jackson, although unknown to those participants, the peace had already been signed in Ghent.

After the war there was a great stimulus to manufacturing and by 1815 there were 500,000 spindles in operation. The Federalist New Englanders were actually talking about secession at that time, but the Republicans of the same area kept the activity under control. Those two parties continued to struggle for a quarter of a century. (Ref. 151) In 1814 General Andrew Jackson had defeated the Creeks at Horseshoe Bend near the border of Georgia and Alabama and so, after his defeat of the British at-New Orleans in the following year, the United States was well in control of the old "southwest". (Ref. 151, 39)

JAMES MONROE ADMINISTRATION (1817-1824) 4th President

Except for the Monroe Doctrine, the Supreme Court decisions of Chief Justice Marshall were the only enduring feature of the new nationalism of 1815 and after. The decisions included the defense of the constitutionality of the new Bank of the U.S., the right of the Supreme Court to review state court decisions concerning treaties or laws affecting the nation and finally the denial of the states to withhold militia from national service when demanded by the president. Henry Clay and John Calhoun were nationalist leaders in Congress at that time and both feared sectionalism. A post-war depression appeared in 1819 and in the recovery period, the question of slavery arose, with both sides threatening secession. In fear, Congress passed the Missouri Compromise, in which Missouri was admitted to the union as a slave state, but slavery was prohibited thereafter in any area north of Missouri's southern border, latitude 36~ 30". At the same time, Maine, which had just detached itself from Massachusetts, was admitted, thus making 12 free and 12 slave states.

It is appropriate here to return momentarily to the Indian situation in the southeast United States. In spite of all contact with Christianity the Southern Indians clung to many of their ancient rituals, especially the "bush" or annual Green Corn Festival, which lasted for several days after the new corn ripened and homage was paid to the Sun, Corn and similar Indian deities. However, many of the Indians and mestizos lived among the colonists, merged into the white culture and in time forgot their language and traditions. Genetically they had considerable impact, far more than is generally realized. After their many troubles more than 500 Creek survivors congregated in southern Alabama near Atmore, where for decades they lived near whites and Negroes. Each had its own school system, although the whites were dominant and discriminated against both ~he other groups. But mixing was considerable and today many of the "whites" in this area are in part Creek. All Indians were not exterminated by disease, warfare or-the later transfer west. In part they remained in the south, partly absorbed and helping to create 1 9th century "Negroes". Even Alex Haley, author of Roots, has Indian forebears. In the 1920s the anthropologist Melvill Herskovits made a random anthropometric survey of students at Howard University in Washington D.C. and of a selected groups of Negroes living in Harlem. One-third of each group displayed physical characteristics of Indian ancestry. In 1947 the historian August Meier made a genealogical survey of Negro college students in the southern heartland of Mississippi and adjoining states. On a large sample, 70% had Indian ancestors5. Thus right (Ref. 267) feels that the American black is not an African black but actually a new race. It is difficult to determine the extent of Indian blood in the American Negro because one does not have any of the Timucuans, Stonos, Occaneechees and other extinct tribes to study and present day Powhatans and Cherokees are not the same as those found at the time of first white contact.

In the United States early the word "slave" became synonymous with "black", "African" or "nigger" and since there were many Indian slaves, they were of ten subject to the same names and, in fact, considered the same. Actually genetically the southern Negro was a product of Africans, whites and Indians. After slave importation from Africa was outlawed and Indian slave raids in the South had become relatively insignificant, the percentage of males among those races of the south changed. The male Africans decreased in percentage while the male Indians increased. The famed Seminole Chief Osceola's spouse, or at least one of them, in all probability was a Negro and his father in all likelihood was white. A physical anthropologist who has examined Osceloa's bones has speculated that he had African forebears as well. Many modern Negroes are doubtless correct in claiming direct descent from that great Seminole warrior. As the Cherokees became increasingly cultured, they adopted white attitudes toward Negroes, but it was different among the Seminoles. Both slave and free Africans lived among them and indeed were a part of the Seminoles and their presence became more conspicuous during the 19th century Seminole wars. In 1818 General Andrew Jackson stormed into Spanish Florida and his major objective was Bowlegs Town, a sizable Negro settlement on the Suwannee River. (Ref. 267)

As Monroe's Secretary of State, in December, 1823, John Quincy Adams insisted that the president issue what became known as the Monroe Doctrine. As a warning to European pawers who might have designs on any of the new central and south American governments and to Russia, who was claiming new territory on the Canadian coast, the doctrine may be summarized as follows:

  1. The American continent was not to be considered as subject for future colonization by European powers
  2. The U.S. would not interfere with any existing European colonies

JOHN QUINCY ADAMS (1825-29) A minority president

Adams was a great patriot and wanted to use federal revenue to increase the navy, build national roads and canals, send out scientific expeditions and establish institutions of learning and research, but most of these things were not to materialize for some years to come.

ANDREW JACKSON (OLD HICKORY) (1829-37) 6th President and MARTIN VAN BUREN (1837-41) 7th President

This was the era of the great political figures - Adams, Clay, Webster, Van Buren and Calhoun, and it marked the beginning of the modern Democratic political party. The Adams - Jackson political campaign of 1828 was the most degrading experience of an election that the United States had experienced. Jackson was ill-educated, intolerant and rough, yet professing the principles of the Declaration of Independence and devoted to the union. Jacksonian democracy was the upsurge of a new generation of recently enfranchised voters against a somewhat ossified Jefferson Republican party. (Ref. 151) Jackson Democrats believed in equality only for white men and they introduced the spoils system into federal government, catered to mediocrity and diluted politics with the incompetent and the corrupt. The jackass as a symbol of the Democratic party was first used by the opposing Whigs as a satire on the supposed ignorance of "Old Hickory". Two vital issues of that time were:

  1. Nullification. First set forth in the Exposition of 1828 by the legislature of South Carolina, this stated that each state had the right to judge when its "agent", the federal government, exceeded its powers and then to take measures to prevent enforcement within state limits. Calhoun was the secret author. Jackson threatened the use of army and navy in a showdown in 1833 and South Carolina backed down
  2. The Bank of the United States. Jackson forced the demise of the previously well run U.S. Bank by denying it government funds. Local banks, released from control, increased paper credit for speculation in western lands and shortly there- after the financial panic of 1837 burst upon the country. Van Buren, a shrewd, able and dignified president spent the whole of his administration developing a substitute for the Bank of the United States. He was also the principal architect of the modern American political party

Andrew Jackson hated the British and all Indians, due to several unfortunate incidents in his childhood. It was an almost foregone conclusion, therefore, that when the whites wanted more land for cotton in the south that Jackson should outlaw the tribal kingdoms of the Choctaws, Creeks, Chickasaws and Cherokees in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia. The Indians appealed to the Supreme Court and Chief Justice John Marshall upheld their claim, but Jackson paid no attention and ordered the army "to get them out". 30,000 of those Indians were driven, one way or another on the "Trail of Tears" to Oklahoma and one quarter of them died on the trip. (Ref. 151, 39) The common impression that after the 1830s all Southern Indians had been either killed or removed to Oklahoma is misleading, however, because some 74,000 are still present in the South today, living in loose, ill-defined clusters, such as the Creeks around Poarch, Alabama and the Lumbees south of Fayetteville, North Carolina or on reservations. It was during Jackson's administration that the Second Seminole War was fought in 1835. Abolitionists charged that this was really not an Indian but a Negro war, resulting from southern white determination to capture and enslave Negro-Seminoles. Many parallels exist between the maroon wars in Jamaica (see page 1035) and the several Seminole wars fought in Florida, Georgia and Alabama. (Ref. 267) Additional Notes


We have previously noted that Harrison was elected, in great part, on the basis of his questionable victory over the Indians at Tippecanoe. (See pages 1143-44). Upon Harrison's early death, his vice-president, John Tyler, succeeded to the presidency, both of them representing those old Jefferson Republicans who would not follow Jackson. They were helped by a few remnants of the old Federalists.

The next several presidents of the eastern establishment contributed few major policies or advancements to the nation. JAMES K. POLK (1845-49), a Democrat, did bait Mexico in order to win California. This will be discussed in a later section on "Texas and Mexican War". He was followed by GENERAL ZACHARY TAYLOR, (1849-50), a Whig whose chief fame was that he was president during the period of the California gold rush, which will also be described later. MILLARD FILMORE, (1850-53) was a Whig who became president upon Taylor's death and signed the compromise bill admitting California and Texas as states and the organization of New Mexico and Utah as territories free to enter the Union without reference to slavery. His administration was the last of the Whig party, as FRANKLIN PIERCE (1853-57) was then elected as a Democrat. During his administration, Daniel Webster was Secretary of State and it was the time of the Kansas-Nebraska Bill, which will be mentioned in a later paragraph. JAMES BUCHANAN was elected for one term as a Democrat in 1857 and slavery was the real issue of that campaign as the slave trade continued, even though it had been illegal since Fillmore's administration. Between 1840 and 1847 some 440,000 slaves were illicitly exported to the United States, Cuba and Brazil. In 18 months of 1859 and 1860 some 85 slave ships were fitted out in New York City, alone. (Ref. 151)

We have very briefly covered the political and governmental situation up to the time approaching the Civil War, but we need to find out more about how people lived in that time. Cholera ravaged the entire country three times in this century and yellow fever hit the northeast early and then the southern and Gulf of Mexico ports, with a peak in 1860. (Ref. 125) Northern U.S. society experienced the industrial revolution, cheap transportation, educational and migratory movements and those things influenced the border states somewhat, but the lower south was entirely apart, as was the far west and the southwest. Thus we shall now discuss the various parts of the country separately.

First the north. This was a busy age, with every northern community a human ant-hill of activity. Most white workers still worked 63 hours a week and 18% of all children were still employed. Everything was business, there were no public parks or pleasure resorts, few games or sports. Sculling in the eastern harbors was the only competitive sport, trotting horse races about the only entertainment. As early as 1856 there were 38 trotting courses of national repute in the northern area. Medicine was bad and anyone wanting a good medical education had to go to Austria or France. Tuberculosis, cholera, typhus and yellow fever killed thousands. Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes did write on puerperal fever in 1842, antedating Semmelweis by 4 years, but few believed him. Dr. William W. Gerhard of Philadelphia did a fine study of cerebral meningitis in 1834 and later distinguished typhus and typhoid fevers. Dr. Crawford W. Long of Georgia, in 1842 and Dr. W.T.C. Morton of Massachusetts, in 1846 successfully used ether for anesthesia. Dr. Philip Physick of Philadelphia established surgery as a specialty and the American Medical Association was founded in 1847.

City water systems and sanitation were crude or absent. Philadelphia pioneered with pumping water from the Schuylkill River and by 1830 could deliver 6,000,000 gallons of water daily. But Chicago, owing to difficulty of drainage, had practically no plumbing until 1861. Boston, with a population of 165,000 in 1857 had only 6,500 toilets, of which 8, in the basement of the Tremont House, served 200 to 300 guests. Illuminating gas was fairly common by 1860 and 337 cities had it piped in from central plants using coal. Although the district of Michigan only had 31639 people in 1832, there were 940 miles of post roads. (Ref. 151, 217)

Immigr2tion from Europe accelerated. In the 1830s there were 540,000 newcomers with 44% Irish, 30% German and 15% English, but by 1840 the number rose to 2,814,554 in the following decade. Almost all arrived and stayed in the north and almost all became Jackson Democrats through the planned manipulations of the party hacks. Irish immigrants comprised 34% of all voters in New York City in 1855, but they contributed little to American economic or intellectual life. Ugly racial and religious riots arose in the eastern cities at least once every decade.

The factory system for cotton spinning and weaving became well established in New England, so that by 1840 there were 1,200 cotton factories, operating 2,250,000 spindles in the United States, 2/3 of these in New England. By 1850 there were over 1,500 woolen mills. These and other mills were operated largely by water power. In 1860 manufacturing produced $1,000,000,000. The iron industry developed very slowly. It has been written that the Atlantic towns heated their houses with coal brought 3,000 miles from England rather than by wood from their own forests 30 miles away, because sea transportation was that much cheaper than overland. Steam-ships were not in use at the time of those comments. (Ref. 213, 260) Still there were hard times between 1837 and 1841 and westward migration accelerated. Canal and railroad construction created a demand for cheap labor and made it easier for people to reach the west. The-states built their own canals, roads and railroads. Ohio linked the Great Lakes with the Mississippi valley; the Erie canal connected Buffalo to New York City.

By 1820 New York State's population of 1,372,812 was in first place and the increase in inhabitants of New York City was phenomenal. By 1850 there were 515,547 people in the city proper plus 96,838 in Brooklyn. Fortunes were accumulated there, but culture was deficient. Columbia University, the only college present until 1831, graduated only about 24 a year. New York University and Fordham added a very few more after 1841. Upstate New York, however, was well provided with denominational colleges. The most original contribution to higher education was Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded at Troy in 1824, the precursor of all the subsequent engineering and technical universities. An interesting aside is the final disposition of the great Dutch estates along the Hudson. Their lands had been rented out in an old feudal type system that involved peculiar considerations. With the death of Stephen Van Rensselaer, "the last patroon" in 1839, a rebellion broke out among his renters, when his sons tried to collect thousands of dollars of back rent. This forced New York legislation modifying the rent and lease laws and systems. Intellectuals of New York State were plentiful, including Clement C. Moore, Professor of Hebrew and Greek, who wrote "The Night Before Christmas"; William Cullen Bryant, America's greatest poet; Edgar Allen Poe; Henry W. Longfellow and Nathaniel Hawthorne. The artist Colonel John Trumbull of Connecticut painted the "Declaration of Independence" and "Battle of Bunker Hill". John Lloyd Stephens founded American archeology after trips to the old Maya scenes in Central America and Yucatan.

In other fields, Abbe Sicard established the first American school for the deaf at Hartford and Samuel Howe and Michael Anagnos founded the Perkins Institute for the blind. Women's suffrage movements were initiated as early as 1848. Many "isms" appeared, not the least of which was Joseph Smith's Mormon faith. In 1836 Emerson published "Essay on Nature", opening the period of transcendentalism, a belief in the divinity of human nature. In the same generation there were Hawthorne, Thoreau and the Alcotts.

By 1850 there had been formulated three basic principles of education:

  1. Free primary and secondary schools should be available for all children
  2. teachers should have professional training
  3. all children should be required to attend some school- up to a certain age

By 1840 over 150 small denominational colleges were in existence in the country. American science soon became specialized. Joseph Henry discovered the electromagnet and many other features of electricity and Samuel F.B. Morse used the former to develop the telegraph. Charles Goodyear had patented the vulcanization of rubber by 1844. The Smithsonian Institute was started in 1846 with Joseph Henry as its first director. Only astronomy lagged and this was due to the effect of organized religion, which considered probing the heavens with a telescope as mildly blasphemous.

And now we must consider life in the American south. We have already discussed the Indian-Negro situation at some length on pages 1115 and 1116. "Cotton was king in the south from 1815 to 1861, and the principle bulwark of his throne was Negro slavery"6. By 1860 the crop was almost 2,300,000,000 pounds, accounting for 2/3 of the total exports of the United States and 5/6 of the world's production. In that harvest 4,000,000 slaves were used. A prime field hand 18 to 25 years old was worth $500 in 1832 and $1.300 just before the panic of 1837, although their yearly maintenance cost only $15 to $60. Morison (Ref. 151) says that 13% of all Negroes in the U.S. in 1860 were mulattoes, but as we have seen, later writers might put this much higher, especially if one adds in Indian blood. The south was ruled by a few but strong classical southern gentlemen, of which only a few descended from the colonial aristocracy. The great mass of wealthy planters by 1860 were self-made men like Jefferson Davis, whose parents had lived in log cabins. There were probably fewer than 15,000 families of the southern white gentry and most of the white southerners were small farm owners. The latter were actually the governing class in Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. About half the cotton crop was made by those who owned from 1 to 6 slaves. Whites were forbidden to teach slaves to read and write in every southern state except Maryland, Kentucky and Tennessee. (Ref. 151) In contrast to this slavery in America we should recall that although slavery was almost universal in more ancient times, the slaves then were of the same race as their masters, of ten the better educated and usually could work or buy their way out of slavery eventually. In the U.S., slavery was fatally united with the permanent, physical fact of color. (Ref. 217) A slave rebellion led by Nat Turner in Virginia in 1831 resulted in the deaths of 57 whites and perhaps up to 100 Negroes before it could be put down by regular troops and navy personnel. Elsewhere in America slaves were being freed, in the British colonies in 1833, the French Antilles in 1848 and the Spanish republics in turn between 1813 and 1854. Only in a few Spanish and Dutch islands, the United States and Brazil did slavery continue after 1854. Some effort had been made to return blacks to Africa by the American Colonization Society, but by 1855 only 3,600 had been sent. This did help the Republic of Liberia to form a constitution patterned on the U. S. model, however, in 1857.

There was little literary, scientific or artistic production from the prewar south, with the exception of some outstanding "firsts" in medicine. Ephraim McDowell (trained at the University of Edinburgh) developed an international reputation in abdominal surgery, while J. Marion Sims, practicing in Alabama, laid the basis for the specialty of gynecology. As noted previously, Dr. Crawford Long of Georgia used ether for anesthesia in 1842, but he did not publicize his discovery for several years. The first dental school in the world was established in Baltimore in 1839. (Ref. 125) The south's one scientific achievement was Commander Matthew Fontaine Maury's Physical Geography of the Sea (1855), which marked him as the world's greatest oceanographer. Most of the south's energy, however, seemed to be devoted to backing up John Calhoun's ridiculous pro-slavery doctrines. Even in religion the southerners were different. Both the southern divisions of the Methodist and Baptist churches defended slavery. There were many reasons for the great resistance to the emancipation of the slaves. We have already noted that the invention of the cotton gin, which made cultivation of upland cotton by slaves profitable, was one factor. Jacksonian Democracy was another great influence, because of the rise of provincial, ill-educated politicians, who catered to the prejudices of the middle class and poor whites. Instead of preparing the south for the inevitable emancipation, those men flattered people into the fatal belief in the righteousness of slavery.


In this section we shall be concerned primarily with the territory gained through the "Louisiana Purchase" and what we currently consider the Middle West. We have infringed somewhat on this by discussing pre-war features in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, but in this 1 9th century it seemed that those regions were more closely linked with the traditional EAST.

There were many reasons for Napoleon's sale of the Louisiana Territory - his need for money, his fear that Britain would otherwise soon take it from him, and his General Leclerc's recent loss of 24,000 men over a 9 month period to disease and the arms of 500,000 black Haitians, who would not be enslaved. The legality of the sale was questionable, however, as the area was still in the hands of Spain, even though the French claimed that Spain had ceded the area to Napoleon in a secret treaty of 1801. At the time the contested region was an unmanned, undefended empire with the whole watershed of the Mississippi and comprising the present states of Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, both the Dakotas. Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, - that is, one-third of North America. The sale price of $16,000,000 actually amounted to 4 cents an acre. After the purchase, President Jefferson then appointed Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, along with a 16 year old Shoshone Indian girl and her French-Canadian husband as guides and interpreters, to survey the new purchase. They left St. Louis in May of 1804. (Ref. 151, 123, 39)

The boundaries of the Louisiana territory were actually very poorly defined except in the east and south, where the Mississippi and Red rivers respectively served as "natural barriers". On the west the border was the Rocky Mountains, whatever line that might indicate, and on the north there was even less definition, with mention of a border in the vicinity of the origin of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. By this century, the Sioux

Indians, who had been in the Michigan region in the early 1 7th century, then in Minnesota late in that century, had gone on to the Black Hills of South Dakota in the 18th century, driving out the Cheyenne and the Kiowa. In this 19th century they inhabited large areas of the north Great Plains and western prairies of Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North and South Dakota, as well as some regions in Canada. There were 7 tribes with a total of about 30,000 people. Like the Shawnees, most of them supported the British in the War of 1812. Treaties of one sort and another were signed with the United States in 1815, 1825, and 1851. (Ref. 38)

Even after the United States acquired Missouri in the Louisiana Purchase, French influence remained dominant in that region. But Americans began to filter in, particularly in the regions of the lead mines at Ste. Genevieve and Potosi. By the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition St. Louis was already notable as the gateway to the Far West. Later St. Joseph, Missouri was the supply center for the gold rush "49ers" and over 50,000 emigrants went through that city of only 3,000 permanent people. (Ref. 38, 39) On his return from Canada the Shawnee Prophet, Tenskwatawa, led his people into Missouri, but they met some resistance from local tribes and the whites and late in 1827 they left St. Louis, en route for Kansas. (Ref. 293) We have mentioned the admission of Missouri as a state of the Union and the politics involved in the "Missouri Compromise" on page 1145. Settlement quickened after the 1820s and many German immigrants arrived in the 1840s and 1850s.

In the early century part of the mid-west was not very enticing. De Tocqueville (Ref. 218) describes all the land which is now Oklahoma, Kansas, southern Nebraska, the panhandle of Texas and eastern Colorado and New Mexico as a desert, generally covered with sand incapable of cultivation' In the decade following 1821 some 271 steamboats were launched on the Mississippi and its tributaries. (Ref. 217) The treeless prairies were not well settled down to 1850, but then new machinery such as McCormick's mechanical reaper, Marsh's harvester, the steel-toothed cultivator, etC., along with the rising price of wheat up to $2.50 a bushel in 1855 and the building of railroads into the prairie country, stimulated a great proliferation of farmers. Politics was involved in the building of the railroads as well as the bill for the organization of the Great Plains as the "Territory of Nebraska" in 1854 and Stephen Douglas of Illinois was a promoter of both. The political issue was again slavery and its relation to the new Territory and the old Missouri Compromise (see page 1145). The old "Northwest" seethed with indignation over the Kansas-Nebraska Act which nullified the Missouri Compromise and was ripe to form a new anti-slavery party - a new "Republican" one. In Kansas itself, slavery and anti-slavery immigrants actually came to war, anticipating the Civil War and federal troops had to restore order. The two contending groups then each held conventions asking for statehood. The anti-slavery Topeka convention was rejected by the Senate in 1856 and the Le Compton Constitution was accepted.

Some of the Creeks, Cherokees and other southern Indians had migrated on their own to Oklahoma as early as 1818, and then, of course, Andrew Jackson moved hundreds there during his administration. After the Creeks had relocated in Oklahoma, supposedly not 1% could prove that they had no mixed blood. In many instances, this eventually resulted in a reversal of the old Indian matrilineal society and that created much tension. As early as 1819 the Cherokee Council had specifically prohibited white men from disposing of their Indian wives' property. (Ref. 267) Settling on the hills and meadow lands in the eastern section of Oklahoma territory, the so-called "Five Civilized Tribes"7 formed organized states and communities. They clashed some with the Plains Indians, particularly the Osage, but they were pretty well free of white interference before the Civil War.


In 1805 a "neutral ground" was established as a buffer zone between the United States and Mexico in the area between the Sabine River in the west and the Arroyo Hondo, a tributary of the Red River in the east. This soon became a haven for outlaws. In 1820 New Mexico, which then included Arizona and Texas, was a frontier province of Mexico and the latter country encouraged emigration from the United States. In 1821 Stephen F. Austin, taking over a grant which had been given to his father, settled 300 U.S. families in the most fertile region of Texas and by 1834 his colony comprised some 20,000 whites and 2,000 slaves, outnumbering the native Mexicans in Texas by 4 to 1. By the following year there were 28,000 North Americans and to these were soon added swashbucklers like Sam Houston, David Burnet, Branch Archer, Davy Crockett and the Bowie brothers of long knife fame. When Mexican President Santa Anna proclaimed the constitution of 1835, sweeping away state rights within the Mexican domain, the North Americans in Texas, led by Austin, expelled the Mexican garrison from San Antonio de Bexar and seceded, declaring Texas' independence. Santa Anna responded by crossing the Rio Grande with 3,000 men, besieging the 200 Texans at the Alamo fortress, killing them all. Already the colonists had proclaimed an independent Republic of Texas, elected David Gouverneur Burnet president ad interim and put Generalissimo Sam Houston in charge of troops. The latter defeated Santa Anna near the present day city of Houston and after quarreling with Burnet, he became the next president of the Lone Star Republic, which was recognized by President Jackson of the U.S. in 1837. The white population was barely 50,000 and the finances were poor.

Annexation to the United States was a solution to the Texas problems, but such occurred only after much bickering. It was finally hastily arranged after influential southern editors and politicians feared that the Republic of Texas would abolish slavery and they wanted Texas for a slave state, to balance the northern abolitionist ones. President Tyler arranged the annexation in 1845. The Mexican War, which broke out shortly thereafter may have resulted because President James Polk goaded Mexico into war in order to win California for the U.S. He had tried to buy California, unsuccessfully, so he took advantage of some debt repudiations by Mexico to put further pressure on the Mexican government, for collection. At the same time another Mexican revolution occurred and the new government there was spoiling for a fight. Polk ordered troops across the Rio-Grande on January 13, 1846 and the war was on. It had little support in the east but was popular in the Mississippi Valley, where the army received 49,000 volunteers. In March of 1847 General Winfield Scott landed 3 miles from Vera Cruz with an army, then marched to Mexico City along the old Spanish invasion trail and by September Mexico had surrendered. By the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) New Mexico (including most of Arizona8) was ceded along with Upper California (including San Diego) to the United States and the border of Texas was acknowledged at the Rio Grande. The U.S. assumed the previously disputed, unpaid claims and paid an additional $15,000,000. (Ref. 151, 198) (See also page 1160 for New Mex.)


The original Oregon Territory included the present day states of Oregon, Washington and Idaho and the province of British Columbia. The final border settlement with Great Britain was made in June 1846 under Polk's administration. Backwoodsmen from Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky made up most of the early white settlers and they were originally led there by the Rocky Mountain beaver hunters known as "Mountainy men". Indian troubles occurred from time to time, including the Cayuse War of 1847. The Cayuse Indians9, closely associated with the Nez Perce, but separate, blamed some missionaries for an outbreak of small-pox and killed those in the mission. The white settlers than declared war and subdued the Indians, who were placed on a reservation in 1855.

The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints, commonly called the Mormon Church, was responsible for settling Utah. Brigham Young, heir to Joseph Smith, who was murdered in Illinois in 1844, reached Utah with his followers in 1847. Included were some 4,000 English converts. By 1848 over 5,000 people had arrived and the Utah Territory was organized in 1850 with Young as territorial governor.

The development of Wyoming was closely allied with the fur trade and the great westward migrations. When John Colter, a trapper in the Wyoming Mountains, first returned to St. Louis with tales of the great canyons and steaming geysers of Yellowstone, he was ridiculed. Soon, however, the "Mountainy men" entered the country and helped establish the western route to Oregon through South Pass. The trail has hundreds of graves of those who died in blizzards, from starvation, disease and Indian attacks. In the first half of the century Colorado, part of the Spanish territory, was occupied chiefly by Indians, with only the occasional white hunter. The Comanches, Cheyennes, Arapahos and the Kiowas combined forces in 1840 to combat the invasion of their grounds and the settlement of Colorado by whites was accompanied by massacres, lootings and subsequent reprisals.

In Arizona the Pima Indians, whose language was of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic family, were joined early in the century by the Maricopa of the Hokan-Siouan linguistic stock, along the Gila River. That new alliance allowed them to severely defeat their old enemy, the Yumas, by 1857. (Ref. 38)

We have mentioned in another connection that the Russians visited San Francisco in 1806 and that they established a short-lived Fort Ross some 100 miles north of the Golden Gate in 1812. In 1826 Yankees arrived overland in the persons of Jedediah Smith and his fellow fur trappers, but colonization remained chiefly Mexican until the 1840s. In 1834 Governor Figueroa removed the San Francisco Solano mission from Franciscan monk control and put Mariano Vallejo in charge. Some 250,000 acres of land thus soon fell to his personal ownership and eventually he had 50,000 cattle, 24,000 sheep and 8,000 horses of which 1,000 were broken to saddle. He later supported the United States take-over, although he was put in prison for awhile and lost most of his land.

In 1839 the Swiss John Sutter arrived and established a "kingdom" of New Helvetia on a large area in the Sacramento valley. In 1836 a group calling themselves the "Californios" briefly asserted the independence of California and by 1845 had driven out the last Mexican governor. Led by John C. Fremont, Americans set up a republic at Sonoma under the Bear Flag. As news of the U.S.-Mexico war reached there soon afterwards, Commodore John D. Sloat captured Monterey, the capital, and claimed California for the United States. As we have seen above, by the Treaty of Hidalgo, this annexation was made permanent. Even in 1845 almost nothing was known in the United States about California, except for R.H. Dana's Two Years before the Mast and J.E. Fremont's Report of the Exploring Expedition to Oregon and North California. Barely 6,000 whites lived there and the Indians were weak. In January of the same year of the Hidalgo Treaty, a workman in the Sacramento Valley discovered gold in Sutter's millrace and soon the gold rush to the state was on. San Francisco rose in a few months to a city of 20,000, where eggs sold for $10.00 per dozen. Two years after the gold discovery, California became a non-slave owning state in a package deal, which also admitted Texas and formed territories in New Mexico and Utah. The gold fever was augmented as W.S. Bodie found gold high in the Sierras at "Bodie" in 1859 and struck it really rich in 1876. By 1880 the town of Bodie was roaring with life and death, with 56 saloons, 12,000 people and 1 killing a day. When gold ran out in 1883, Bodie was almost abandoned. (Ref. 151, 198, 39)

Before leaving this section on life in the United States west of the Mississippi before the War between the states, we should give a little additional information about progress in New Mexico, which was the chief center of the Mexican-Spanish civilization north of the Rio Grande. Early in this 19th century, some "North Americans" began to invade the area, including Lt. Zebulon Pike, who subsequently wrote a book which stimulated many Missourians to trek to Sante Fe for trade. Between 1824 and 1825 some 25 wagons left Missouri with about $35,000 worth of merchandise, which was sold in Sante Fe for $190,000,000 in gold. Later hundreds of wagons made the journey and on the return trip many brought mules, which later became identified with the state of Missouri. In 1841 Mirabeau Lamar, the second fully accredited president of the nation of Texas, invited the New Mexicans to join Texas and then raised an army with which to force the union, but the venture failed. (Ref. 198)


Because there were 4 candidates in the election of 1860, Lincoln won only 39% of the popular vote and carried only 2 counties in the south. (Ref. 8) As soon as he was elected the south rapidly fell prey to its dreamers with their visions of a great Southern Confederacy expanding around the whole Gulf and spreading from sea to sea, teeming with culture and trade and based on slavery. South Carolina declared its independence on the day before Christmas, 1860 and quickly Alabama, Florida and Mississippi followed, with Louisiana and Texas joining by February 1, 1861. Those states formed the Confederate States of America on February 8th, with the southern Congress electing Jefferson Davis president and Alexander H. Stephens as vice-president. The Confederacy was based on the two contentions of states rights and slavery, the former dooming their ability to wage war successfully and the latter preventing all possibilities of-a foreign ally. All of this occurred before President-elect Lincoln had even taken off ice and nothing was done in Washington until 6 weeks into Lincoln's term. Then multiple attempts at compromise and conciliation were attempted, but failed. Lincoln renewed his party's pledge to respect slavery in those states which had it, but would not acquiesce in secession.

The first gun of the Civil War was fired April 12, 1861 as the Confederate officers started to take Fort Sumter at Charleston, North Carolina. That firing on the flag was enough to arouse patriotism in the north and then events moved swiftly. To win, the north had to completely crush the south and most European experts thought this impossible.

Lincoln's paramount object was to save the Union, not to destroy slavery, but in the fall of 1862 after General Lee's army had been exhausted and depleted at Antietam, he did announce his Emancipation Proclamation to officially free the slaves in the rebel states. The loyal slave states (Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, West Virginia and Missouri) only later freed their slaves by state action.

Mostly boys fought the Civil War, it being almost certain that the majority on both sides were under 21, many as young as 15. Even the officers were young, some major generals being in their 20s. At least 540,000 Americans (population in 1860 was over 31,000,000) lost their lives in or as a result of that war. The average soldier was sick enough 2 or 3 times each year to be sent to a hospital, which was of ten a more dangerous place than the battlefield. Antisepsis was unknown, anesthetics not always available and abdominal wounds and major amputations meant probable death. The south had the best medical corps as a result of the work of their capable surgeon-general, Dr. Samuel Preston Moore, but neither side had an effective transportation system early and the south never developed one. In the last 2 years of the war the use of anesthetics finally became routine in the northern armies only. (Ref. 125) The commander of the Confederate Navy had a son killed in the Union Navy and Mrs. Lincoln's three brothers died fighting for the south.

In this outline we shall not attempt to record the campaigns and battles of this war. In spite of a series of costly land campaigns over two years, the Union won only after the South had been starved by a Union blockade and split by the Mississippi. The best officers on both sides were West Point graduates, but Lincoln may have been the best strategist of them all. He offered command of the Union forces at the beginning to General Robert E. Lee and Lee was against slavery, but he was a fifth generation Virginian and felt that he had to stay with his state. Most of the fighting was done in rough, forested country. Antietam, Gettysburg and Fredericksburg were the only important battles in open country. General Lee persistently underestimated the effect of rifle fire over open ground and that is why his attacks failed at Antietam and Gettysburg. The Union's .58 caliber rifle, 4' 8" long, fired by a percussion cap, could be fired at 3 rounds per minute and could kill at over 1/2 mile. Mines and submarines were used for defense in shoal waters. A new innovation was air observation from balloons. 50uthern hopes of a quick victory were based on the expectation that the North would not f ight and that England, needing cotton, would go to war to help the South. Both assumptions were in error, although warships for the Confederacy were built in both British and French ports.

During this war, Lincoln wielded a greater power than any president up to the time of Franklin D. Roosevelt and in actuality he was a dictator, from the standpoint of constitutional law. Under one of his proclamations, over 13,000 persons were arrested and confined by military authority for offenses ranging from theft of government property to treason. Lincoln had many enemies in the north, ranging from the religious Osgoodites, who considered him the Beast of the Book of Revelations, to the defeatists "Copperheads", who only wanted to negotiate and finally the "barnburning" Knights of the Golden Circle in the middle west. Lincoln also enraged the Congress by arbitrary acts that went of ten beyond the Constitution or the authority which Congress felt that he had. Until his death he was never wildly popular.

Every school child knows of General Lee's surrender to General Ulysses Grant at Appomattox on April 12, 1865 and of Lincoln's assassination at Ford's theater on the night of April 1 4th at the hand of an actor, John Wilkes Booth, declared to be insane. Some southern armies and vessels surrendered at various times subsequently, the last on November 6th, when the C.S.S. Shenandoah surrendered to British authorities. (Ref. 151, 39)

Map taken from Ref. 97

In the North

Production was stimulated in the north and in Philadelphia alone some 180 factories were built within 3 years. Immigration from Europe increased with 800,000 people coming within 5 years. Labor saving devices invented at that time, or in general use, included the Howe sewing machine, the Gordon McKay shoe machine and the mechanical reaper. Pennsylvania oil production went up to 128,000,000 gallons in 3 years. Ref ining methods allowed kerosene glass lamps to light American and English farmhouses. The Homestead Act in 1862 stimulated westward migration and opened up new prairie farmlands. Great fortunes were started - Armour (meatpacking), Havemeyer (sugar), Remington (guns), Carnegie (iron and steel), Borden (milk) and Marshall Field (merchandise). 40,000,000 bushels of wheat and flour were exported in 1861. New states were added during and after the civil conflict. (See map on previous page). Some 15 new colleges were established, including Vassar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, La Salle, Cornell and Swarthmore. At the end of the war, after the Confederate General Early had raided up to within sight of the capitol, there was inflation and paper dollars fell 2/3 in value-and the cost of living soared.

In the South

The war effort absorbed all. Transportation was wanting so that food and supply distribution was very bad, both during and af ter the war. Some areas starved, while others still had plenty. Texas was geographically removed from it all and uninvaded (except by Comanches) until 1865. Luxuries were imported from Mexico.


There was an extremely rapid demobilization of Union forces and, amazingly, generalized acceptance of the war 's result by the south. Of several thousand southerners who refused to return to allegiance to the nation, a large part went to Texas, with a few to Europe, Brazil and Mexico. Reconstruction is still a controversial subject in American history, of ten distorted by emotion. Still it was a deplorable and tragic period. For up to three years no compulsion was put on the southern states to enfranchise the Negro, but during that time nothing was done to prepare him for citizenship either and much was done to humiliate him and keep him "down". In spite of the stereotype picture of the northern Republicans beating and robbing the south, in actuality millions of dollars of northern money poured into the south for food, education and various charities. Congress, too performed wonders in relief, but not in racial adjustments. President ANDREW JOHNSON appointed provisional civil governors in every former Confederate state where Lincoln had not already done so. The South replaced slavery with the "Black Codes", which everywhere kept the Negro a second class citizen.

In March, 1867, by Act of Congress, military rule replaced the civil administrations of the rebel states. The Union military enrolled a new electorate and proceeded to set up reconstructed state governments. This was accomplished by 1870. Those radical governments persisted in some states for up to 8 years - Louisiana, Florida and Texas - and while they were infamous for some types of corruption, they also accomplished some good legislation that resulted in rebuilding schools, roads, railroads, etc. But overall, those governments were bad and in the end neither the freed Negroes nor the Republican party profited.

More disgraceful activities followed - the impeachment of President Johnson10 and the rise of the Ku Klux Klan.

The election of the war hero, GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT to the presidency started a dynasty of Republicans, which lasted almost to the end of the century. Unfortunately, below the presidency the corruption of the party was abominable. The Civil War, like every other war, had broken down morals and everyone was out to "make a fast buck". In addition stock speculation, over-rapid expansion of the agricultural west and a world-wide drop in prices brought on the panic of 1873 and a depression which lasted 3 years. Corruption and boss rule continued throughout the century. (Ref. 39)


An interesting feature of the last half of the century was the development of the Mormon culture in Utah. When Brigham Young had arrived in that area in 1841 it was the northern-most province of Mexico. The Mormons found a desert and made it over into one of the most fertile areas of the west and for many years they kept to themselves and practiced their religion, which included polygamy. When PRESIDENT GROVER CLEVELAND signed the act which made Utah the 45th state in the 1890s, however, polygamy had to stop. Some of the Mormons migrated to northern Mexico, rather than live under the Union's laws. (Ref. 39)

During the period from 1850 to 1870 the high plains states and the Rocky Mountain areas enjoyed a very moist period, but that was followed by decades of drought, with a great reduction of grass. That had a serious effect on the cattle herds, with a drastic reduction in numbers and it would have been the same for the buffalo herds, reducing them by 50 to 70%, even if they hadn't been over hunted. The Sioux Indians of the Dakotas, who were originally farmers, only became buffalo hunters shortly before their extermination late in this century. The buffalo herds were cut in two by the railroad as it went west in the late 1860s. Up to the time of the Civil War, the eastern (Union Pacific) railroad went only to Council Bluffs, Iowa and there was a Central Pacific RR running north and southwest of the Sierras. In 1866 Congress allowed the two commercial companies to build, one from each direction, and meet wherever they chanced. For a single mile of track they needed 40 cars to carry 400 tons of rail and timber (for- ties, bridges, etc.), fuel and food. The Central Pacific had to get its materials, except for timber, by sea - some 12,000 miles around Cape Horn. Eastern work gangs were chiefly new immigrants, mainly Irish, using plenty of whiskey, while the western crews were primarily Chinese, needing tea.

The United States government gave the companies a subsidy of $16,000 per mile of track on the prairie and $48,000 per mile in the mountains. The two tracks met at Promontory Point, Utah on May 10, 1869. In the first 2 decades of operation, freight rates were lowered 500% and travel time reduced by 900%. By 1890 the rail network was larger than in all Europe, including the British Isles and Russia. (Ref. 175, 62, 39, 8)

In 1867 at the end of a spur railroad line, Joseph McCoy bought the town of Abilene, Kansas for $5 an acre and then spent $5,000 for various kinds of promotions to get cattle there from Texas for shipment east. The result was the Chisholm Trail, beginning in south Texas near the Gulf and going through Oklahoma to Abilene. At the end of the Civil War, herds of 2,000 to 3,000 head of long-horned cattle moved regularly up this trail, from the matrix of some 3,000,000 of those cattle in Texas. Their ancestors had been brought over in the second voyage of Columbus. A good drive to Kansas was completed in three months. In the first 4 years McCoy shipped over 2,000,000 cattle out of his stock yards, greatly exceeding even his own boasts and it is probable that this was the origin of the expression "the real McCoy". In the 1860s and 1870s there were multiple cowtowns with cowboys, claim jumpers, fugitives, prostitutes and the natural enemies - cattlemen and sheep men. The death rate in those cow towns was proportionately 10 or 20 times as high as New York City today. Some of the mining towns were even worse. But the Great Plains, finally cleared of Indians and buffalo, were open for cattle. Between 1860 and 1880 even Kansas increased its cattle herds 16 fold and Nebraska by 30 times. In 1886 Wyoming had 9,000,000 cattle, although many owners went broke in the financial panic of 1885-87) (Ref. 39, 211)

In 1840 it took 233 man-hours of work to grow 100 bushels of wheat, but in 1920 it took only 80 man-hours. Part of that was due to the great increase in the number of draft horses, rising from 6,200,000 in 1850 to over 15,500,000 by 1900. American grain sent to Europe was cheaper than that grown locally and European agriculture was disrupted.

One result of that was Norwegian emigration to America. Social changes were in part related to various immigration patterns. The proportion of British Isle immigrants fell from 45% in 1861-1870 to 18% in 1891-1900 while that of - Russians and southern Europeans rose from 0.1% to 50% in the same period. Most of the newcomers went to the northeast so that in 1900 86% of the foreign-born were in states north of the Ohio River and east of the Mississippi.

The first significant labor organization was the "Knights of Labor", founded in 1869 and winning the first railroad strike in 1884. Marxists and anarchists started other unions, with the latter fanning the infamous Haymarket Square riot in 1886, as part of a Chicago strike. In 1886 Samuel Gompers founded the American Federation of Labor, which gradually succeeded the Knights as the spearhead of the American Labor movement. (Ref. 211, 151)

We have previously mentioned the Homestead Law of 1862 by which anyone could obtain 160 acres of western land by agreeing to work it and produce a crop within 5 years. This was made possible by three agricultural advancements, the windmill, a special plow11 for caked prairie soil invented by John Deere and barbed wire, which would keep cattle out. Of course the latter, in itself, provoked seemingly endless atrocities and battles between the farmers and the scandalized cattlemen. But in the final analysis, transportation was the key to the development of the west. By the end of the century more than 175,000 miles of railroad track had been laid, the Pullman sleeping car had been invented, along with the Westinghouse brake and refrigerator car. The Union Pacific, Central Pacific, Northern Pacific, Southern Pacific and the Santa Fe railroads were all aided by government grants and were well established in this period. The terminals of these lines - Omaha. Kansas City, Oakland, Portland, Seattle and Tacoma - all became metropolitan cities within 30 years, while the populations of all the western states increased by 5 to 10 fold. Of course Chicago, a terminal not only for railroads but also for river and lake traffic from the Great Lakes region, became one of the busiest trade centers of the world.

Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876 and Thomas A. Edison the incandescent light bulb in 1879. By 1885 the Bell Telephone Company had over 134,000 subscribers in the United States. Shipping tonnage on the Great Lakes increased from 100,000 in 1865 to 25,000,000 in 1901, with wheat and iron forming the chief cargoes. Pittsburgh became the center of the northern Appalachian coal fields and Birmingham, Alabama the hub of the southern Appalachian fields. Steel production reached 10,000,000 tons by 1900, outstripping the British output, yet farm products still greatly exceeded those of industry.

But over-production of goods and raw materials, over-capitalization of railroads and feverish speculation in securities brought financial panics in 1873 and 1893. After the latter, particularly, there were labor strikes with terrible violence. Trusts were formed, including the railroads and there were some very questionable business practices. The Interstate Commerce Act of 1887 was the federal government's first attempt to regulate the railroads and break up the trusts. The first ready-made plates for use in photography were developed in the 1880s and Henry Ford made his first twin-cylinder, water-cooled, 25 mile an hour car in 1896, although mass production did not materialize until after the turn of the century. (Ref. 213)

In spite of the financial panic of 1873, factories tripled their output between 1877 and 1892 so that the United States became the leading industrial power of the world. The panic of 1893 occurred when the Democratic Party was in power, and it subsequently became stigmatized as the party of depression. Born as the son of a poor weaver in Scot- land, Andrew Carnegie went from oil to building to buying up iron and steel mills and then to railroads and steamship lines. His monopoly of steel helped him to weather the 1892-3 depression and 9 years later he sold his steel interests out to the United States Steel Corporation for $250,000,000, after which he started his career of fabulous philanthropy. (Ref. 8, 151)

A major step in medicine occurred with the establishment in 1893 of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, with a remarkable faculty, which included the pathologist William H. Welch who was among the first to introduce microscopy and bacteriology into the country, the great clinician William Osler and surgeon William S. Halsted. Within a few years Hopkins' former students and professors carried the Hopkins' system to all parts of the United States. (Ref. 125)

On the political scene, RUTHERFORD B. HAYES was announced president in a disputed election by action of the National Electoral Commission by a strict party vote. Hayes refused to run again in 1880 and a "dark horse" GENERAL JAMES A. GARFIELD ran away with the nomination and finally the election. On his death by assassination 4 months later, his vice-president, CHESTER ARTHUR assumed office. Reform in the civil service commission regulation was made by law in 1883. Overall, some believe Arthur's was the best Republican administration between Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, but in the 1884 election, the Democrat GROVER CLEVELAND won the office. But Cleveland made many enemies, being rude to the press, offending Union veterans, vetoing hundreds of pension bills and trying to stop the "free coinage" of silver under the Bland-Allison Act. Cleveland lost the next election (1888) to the Republican BENJAMIN HARRISON, who made a dignified but ineffective president and his Congress wanted no legislation other than raids on the treasury and hold-ups of the consumer. As a result, Cleveland was returned for a second term in the elections of 1892. There followed the worst industrial depression since the 1870s. It was a period of soup kitchens, ragged armies of unemployed and desperate strikes. The party in power is always blamed for all hard times, so in 1894 the Republicans won again, with WILLIAM McKINLEY defeating the "boy orator of the Platte", William Jennings Bryan.


In 1897 Cuba was in revolt against Spain's inept rule and American journalists, such as William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, in a race for circulation, played up some atrocities and Cuban concentration camps in the American press. Soon there was a cry to "do something" about Cuba. Just as a new Spanish premiere did promise Cuba a measure of home rule and reform, however, the U.S.S. Maine battleship was mysteriously blown up in Havana harbor, with heavy loss of life. The clamor for war with Spain then became more than the weak President McKinley could stand and in place of accepting a peacef ul solution already offered by Spain, which even included ceding Cuba to the U.S., McKinley allowed Congress to declare war in April of 1898. The American fleets immediately went to work, with one Atlantic squadron blockading Havana and another protecting the U.S. coast. Commodore Dewey took the Pacific fleet into Manila Bay in the Philippines and without losing a single man reduced the Spanish fleet there to junk. The obsolete Spanish vessels there were no match for the newer American ships. Even so, the United States Naval bombardments in both Manila and the later Santiago Bay of Cuba, proved embarrassingly inaccurate, leading to a world-wide effort to improve long-range gunnery. (Ref. 279) After 10 weeks of fighting the U.S. had wrested an American empire from Spain. The ground war to "save Cuba" was a popular one, but sad because of lack of preparedness of the continental forces. For every one of the 289 men killed in battle, 13 men died of disease. If the Spanish forces had been in any way organized and reasonably led, the ragged U.S. forces could never have invaded the island, but they did. Then when the Spanish navy sailed out of Santiago Bay to be destroyed by the guns of Admiral Sampson's Atlantic squadron in July of 1898 the war was over. At the formal Treaty of Paris in the fall of that year, both Cuba and Porto Rico, as well as the Philippines, became U.S. possessions. For the latter, this country did give Spain $2,000,000.


By way of recapitulation we should mention that many Indian problems began after the United States acquired Florida through the treaty ratified in 1821. Then Monroe's bowing to the demands of land craving "westerners" and Jackson's follow-up policies resulted in the attempt to remove all Indians to regions west of the Mississippi. This began in the old "Northwest" and the lower South. We have seen that the Seminoles of Florida refused to move and under the leadership of Osceola, retreated to the fastness of the everglades, where they remain in some 200,000 acres of swampland today. The only "western" statesman to denounce these shabby activities was Henry Clay. From 1853 to 1856 there were 52 treaties signed, mostly with Indian nations west of the Mississippi, resulting in the addition of 174,000,000 acres to the national domain. There were 200,000 Indians between the Mississippi and the Rocky Mountains at the beginning of the century.

The Indian story of the second half of the century, however, is that of the Great Plains tribes and their attempts to prevent white settlements. The Sioux, Blackfoot, Crow, Cheyenne, Arapaho, Nez Perce12, Comanche, Apache, Ute and Kiowa were all well armed and had swift horses. The universal Indian sign language only became manifest at that time on the Great Plains, when tribes speaking different languages had to communicate and collaborate, although it had actually originated at an earlier date among the Westos, Shawnees and other Southern Indians. (Ref. 267) The wanton destruction of the buffalo, the Colt six-shooter and the white man's diseases were all fatal to the plains Indians. United, these Indians might have been invincible, but they were themselves divided and were defeated piecemeal, although at times the Indians seemed to be winning. When 60,000 Texans went to the Confederate army, it left scarcely 27,000 men behind to defend the entire state and the Comanches and Kiowas, among others, turned central Texas into a disaster area. This occurred even after prospectors in the 1849 gold rush had brought cholera to those tribes as they poured through their territories. Some of the tribes lost 50% of their people. The Comanches, who had gone south from Wyoming about 1700, were excellent horsemen, led by Quanah Parker in the late 1860s. Parker was never actually defeated in battle, but in 1875 he gave up his wars and accepted reservation life, leading the last of his Kwahadie clan and their 1,500 horses to Fort Sill, Oklahoma. He later became a business man, leasing land to Burk Burnett, Dan Waggoner and others in north Texas. But he also proselytized the peyote cult, which became known as the focus of the native American church. (Ref. 294)

The various tribes occupied and roamed over large territories at times and it will be easier to discuss them by tribes, rather than narrowly by regions. The Shoshones of Wyoming territory were linguistically and culturally related to the Utes and Paiutes and were actually great warriors against their Indian enemies (Sioux, Crows, Blackfoot, Cheyenne and Arapahos), but they made friends with the whites of the Lewis and Clark Expedition and later helped the Mormons to make safe passage. Fort Washakie was named after the great Shoshone chief. The Blackfoot occupied part of Wyoming and Montana territory, while the Nes Percel were primarily in Idaho. The Utes, some of whom were also friendly to whites, were primarily in Colorado, where there were no U.S. forts.

The Cheyenne and Sioux were more widely distributed, with the later especially spread from the Dakota territory through Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska. The U.S. had many forts in those areas, including Forts Buford, Abraham Lincoln, Yates, Meade and Randall in the Dakota Territory, Fort Kearney in Nebraska and Fort Ellis in Montana. Chief Sitting Bull was a Hunkpapa Sioux band warrior and Crazy Horse was an Oglala Sioux. In the 1 ,860s Washington gave the Hunkpapas a large reservation (along with some Cheyenne and Arapaho clans) encompassing the entire western 1/2 of South Dakota and the Powder River country to west of the Big Horn Mountains to be unceded Indian Territory, off limits to all white people. This was the Treaty of Laramie. But the Northern Pacific Railroad went through then and Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer was sent with reconnaissance guards. He reported that there was gold in the Black Hills, sacred to the Sioux. By 1875 there were over 1,000 prospectors there and Washington took away the unceded land. But Chief Sitting Bull ignored orders to go to a reservation. Consequently in 1876 three columns of army were sent out to "get" Sitting Bull. He did-a "scarlet blanket" ceremony to his god, which involved SO cuts of skin off each arm and then 24 hours of dancing. The now General Custer led one of the three forces of the U.S. and came across the trail of the Indians as they were moving. Recklessly and against orders, he attacked them. In the battle Custer was killed and the core of the 7th Cavalry was destroyed. Later the Sioux were defeated by Colonel Nelson Miles and Sitting Bull was taken prisoner. Still later, of course, he was famous with Bill Cody's Wild West Show, only to be killed in 1896 by Indian policemen, who had come to arrest him as a high priest of a ghost dance movement. After the capture of Sitting Bull, the Sioux Chief Big Foot, with 300 followers, escaped to the Badlands of South Dakota. They, too, were captured and taken to Wounded Knee Creek. When the soldiers were attempting to disarm the Indians gun fire broke out, the Indians were massacred and the bodies left on the ground to freeze. This is yet today a source of much Indian grievance and discontent. (Ref. 294)

In the meantime, by 1870 a new tanning process developed in 1870, made buffalo hides commercially workable and therefore buffalo hunting a year around business. At the same time there appeared the high powered Sharps' rifle that could kill a full grown buffalo at 500 yards. A top marksman might kill 200 a day in the Texas panhandle. This marked the end of the buffalo and of the remaining Indians. Buffalo slaughter at more than a million a year meant that by 1886 only about 1,000 remained on the plains. (Ref. 294)

Next we must turn our attention to the great southwest, where in the middle of the century some 7,000 Apaches lived in Arizona, New and Old Mexico. There were several bands - the White Mountain group, the Aravaipa Apache, the Mimbres and the Chiricahuas being the most numerous. The latter group was perhaps the most formidable and was led by Chief Cochise. In Mexico in 1837 and after, the states of Chihuahua and Sonora paid bounty of 100 pesos for a male Apache scalp, 50 for a woman's and 25 for a child. The Apache bows were lethal at 100 yards and they used slings which could hurl stones 150 yards, as well as war clubs and lances. Trained as long distance runners, they could cover 70 miles a day on foot in tough terrain. Chief Geronimo was made most vicious by a massacre of many of his people by the Mexican General Carrasco at Janos, Mexico. By the 1870s there were 10,000 white miners, ranchers and townsmen in Arizona and by 1880 the number had risen to 37,000, about 10 times the Indian population. In the 1880s 5,000 Apaches were forced on to the San Carlos reservation in southern Arizona where they were supposed to farm, but they didn't know how. Geronimo repeatedly escaped to Mexico and returned to raid. In 1886 General Nelson Miles took 5,000 troops to hunt him down and Geronimo finally gave himself up, after his family had been sent to Florida. In 1894 he and the remaining Chiricahuas were taken to Ft. Sill, where most of them soon died of disease. (Ref. 294)

The Zunis of the Southwest were very intractable and had repelled the Spaniards in earlier years, time and time again. Palmer (Ref. 165) says that they derived originally from two parental stocks, one from the north and one from the southwest, but their language is distinct and intelligible to no other Indian tribe. They have succeeded in preserving their myths and traditions in a "series of sacred epics, a sort of inchoate Bible"13. These facts are particularly interesting in view of Barry Fell's hypothesis discussed on page 210, concerning the possible relationship of the Zuni and their language with Libyan sailors. Information about some of the southwestern Indians has been slow in coming to light. In Rose Palmer's book, The North American Indians, (Ref. 165) written under the Smithsonian auspices as late as 1949, she does not even mention the Hohokam and Anasazi. She does mention "Basket Makers", stating that some cave-like dwellings in deep recesses of cliffs had been abandoned long before the Spaniards came. *** (Page 1202)

The Ute, Comanche, Hopi and Pima Shoshonean languages are related to the Nahautl group of languages of Mexico, which includes Aztec. Some of these Shoshonean Athapascan groups had early been isolated by mountains and deserts. The Mohave, who tattooed their bodies and wore practically no clothes, along with the Yuma, formed a connecting link with the southwest tribes. They had rafts and planked canoes sealed with asphalt.

In the far west, the Yuroks and Hupa (also Hoopa) of northern California, like the northwest coastal Indians, were highly civilized, using bows and arrows, body armor of thick elk hide and dugout canoes with 6 to 8- paddles that could even be used in the ocean. They ate salmon, mussels, seaweed (for salt), whale meat and acorns. The latter were dried, pounded into meal, treated with hot water to remove the tannic acid and then cooked in closely woven baskets, with stirring, until a tasteless gruel resulted. They grew and smoked tobacco. Although those two California tribes spoke- entirely different languages, they were friendly and cooperative with each other. The Hupa, living along the Trinity River, did not even know of white men until the gold rush days of 1850. (Ref. 165)


The Mexican Revolution actually began in 1810 when Miguel Hidalgo, a priest, called on his Indian followers to rise against their local rulers. Spanish rule had already deteriorated as Napoleon had subdued Spain. But Mexico City was even then a rich capital, with caravans of mules with noisy bells, carrying merchandise and maize flour daily to the city. (Ref. 260) Various governors appeared and disappeared in Mexico in that time of struggle between classes and among ambitious, selfish, military men. The Mexicans copied the United States constitution in 1824 almost exactly, but they could not make it function properly because of constant collisions of state and national sovereignties, with the result that by the 1830s they had alternated between anarchy and military despotism. (Ref. 217) War with Texas in 1835 and with the United States in 1845-48 resulted in the loss of much land. (See pages 1157 and 1158). Mexico had 30 presidents in its first 50 years. (Ref. 8) Benito Juarez, a Zapotec Indian, finally came into power and tried to improve his country's economic situation and lessen the political power of the Church, but that era was interrupted by Napoleon III's placing the Austrian Maximilian as Emperor of Mexico, supported by French troops, in opposition to Juarez. By 1867, however, Juarez had run the French out and subordinated church and state to a secular administration. As the French deserted, Maximilian was captured and shot. The last third of the century saw Porfirio Diaz as dictator of Mexico, when the liberals had been unable to give Mexico prosperity. Diaz allowed spectacular economic progress, but with foreign capital and leaving the populace poorer than ever. (Ref. 8)

Elsewhere in Central America there was much confusion. For awhile there was a Confederation of Central America including Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, San Salvador and Quezaltango, although the first four soon declared themselves independent of the federal government. In the first half of the century the main road to Guatemala City was almost impassable even with mules. The people, even the whites, went about essentially naked, living on tortillas, corn, dark beans and cigars. Polygamy was common, even among nominal Catholics. There were many gigantic Catholic churches desolate and deteriorating in the jungle, evidence of an expiring people. When a cholera epidemic struck in 1838 the priests told the Indians that foreigners in San Salvador had caused it, leading to further political confusion. (Ref. 203) Stephens (Ref. 204) described the bull-fights in Yucatan about 1840 as "brutal".

Nicaragua was the seat of multiple incidents, involving British, U.S. and local revolutionaries and Latin America has been suspicious of U.S. activities ever since. President Polk obtained the right of transit across Panama by treaty with Colombia in 1840 and the Panama Railway was completed in 1855, with American capital. The old Mayan ruins in both Yucatan and what is now Honduras were investigated and publicized by John Stephens from the United States. Belize had 6,000 people, 4,000 of which were black, mahogany cutters, but there was complete integration of the races in that British settlement. The old Indian 40 feet long canoes with cabins still plied the rivers, but were now manned by Negroes. The previously fierce, cannibalistic Caribs of the coast were now civilized and most were Catholics, although they had not mixed with the Spanish conquerors. (Ref. 203) There were three main political parties in Central America, one lead by Morazan, former president of the Republic of San Salvador, a second by the mulatto Ferrara in Honduras and finally Carrera, an Indian of Guatemala. The latter's country, although dominated by dictators through most of the century did manage to supply the Spanish with sugar, cocoa and indigo.

Early in the century European introduced disease took a high toll throughout Mexico and Central America in general. The native population of Mexico had been seriously depleted and in some areas, such as Veracruz in particular, there was a human vacuum which was resettled by French and Italian farmers. A big step in the control of tropical disease was made in 1881 by the Cuban physician, Carlos Finlay, as he defined the Aedes aegypti mosquito as the insect vector in yellow fever. More complete details were then developed by a United States commission working in Cuba under Walter Reed, at about the turn of the century. (Ref. 125)

In the Caribbean, Cuba remained under the control of Spain, even as most of the remainder of the Spanish Empire broke away. - This is not to say that there were not uprisings. A Ten Years War was initiated by Carlos Manuel de Despedes, but it was a revolt which was finally crushed. Cuba had 55 steam engines by 1860. It was the largest exporter of sugar and the richest colony in the world. (Ref. 213) But still the people were not happy and there was much bitterness which finally resulted in- 1895 with the brilliant poet Mose Marti becoming the chief spokesman for a new and stronger revolt. We have seen in a special segment above how the United States became involved in this uprising which terminated in the Spanish American War. Jamaica continued to have intermittent revolts against the white colonials. When slavery was abolished in 1833 the sugar industry declined. Overpopulation and the economic and social situations generated tension and unrest, leading to more severe riots. About 95% of the population was Negro or part-Negro and many left the island to seek employment elsewhere in the Caribbean or the United States.

The story of Haiti is somewhat involved. At the end of the last century Spain had ceded its part of the island, Santo Domingo, to France, but in 1801 the remarkable Negro leader, Toussaint L 'Ouverture conquered it. Although an expedition sent by Napoleon in

1802 failed to retake the island, Touissant was captured by trickery and died in a French prison. But Haiti remained independent and the remaining whites were expelled. Santo Domingo was brought under Haitian control by J.P. Boyer in the 1840s, but actually anarchy persisted, with mulattos fighting against Negroes. The eastern, originally Spanish part of the island never was fully assimilated and eventually out of the turmoil there emerged the Dominican Republic. (Ref. 38)


From 1815 to 1822 there was an amazing eruption of new nations in South America. In Argentina, after first having to fight off French, Portuguese and Dutch, a revolutionary movement of 1810 gave liberals an opportunity to reform the country socially and economically, but they failed. Jose de San Martin kept the revolutionary flame alive in a remote province and in 1817 led a famous march across the Andes with 3,500 men, to set up a new government in Chile. They then went on by sea to attack Lima, Peru. Back home in Argentina, in mid-century a bloody dictator, Juan Manuel de Rosas, took control, giving enormous ranches to his army veterans. Because of his great horsemanship, he him self was a respected gaucho14 Rosas was overthrown by Jose de Urequiza of the army in the Battle of Caseros in 1852 and the winner became chief executive, with a federal constitution. Immigration accounted for about 1/2 the population growth in this century. 30 % of the inhabitants lived in Buenos Aires and that city would not join the Argentine federation and there were intermittent civil wars between that city and province with the rest of Argentina through 1880, when the problems were finally solved under the presidency of Julio Roca. In the meantime, alliances had been concluded with Uruguay and Brazil and there had been a w ar with Paraguay between 1865 and 1870. During the administrations of Domingo Sarmiento (1868-74) and Nicolas Avellaneda (1874-80) education, commerce and immigration were encouraged and the census of 1869 showed over 1,700,000 people. English sheep were introduced to the country in 1840 and short-horn bulls in 1848. (Ref. 119, 175, 122)

Chile organized as a republic under the son of an Irish officer, Bernardo O'Higgins, in 1818. The principal result of the Chilean revolution was the transfer of economic and social control fro m a Spanish-led society to one dominated by conservative Creoles, as the people would not give up religious processions, cockfighting and gambling and the aristocracy kept their privileged positions and large estates. As with the other South A m erican nations, civil war occurred in 1829 and 1830 and wars with neighbors developed throughout the century. The greatest of those was the War of the Pacific with Chile fighting against Peru and Bolivia from 1879 to 1884. Chilean troops were everywhere successful and Chile gained possession of the Bolivian littoral and southern Peruvian coast, with rich nitrate territories of great economic importance. This region ran all along the Pacific coast and essentially blocked Bolivia fro m the sea. (Ref. 8) The last civil war occurred in 1891 and as the century ended war with Argentina was narrowly averted.

To go back in time to the early century, having established their own independence from Spain, Argentina and Chile went to the aid of Peru in 1821, with San Martin leading the army and Admiral Cochrane cooperating with the Chilean navy. In 1822 San Martin and Simon Bolivar met in Guayaquil at a time when only one Spanish army was left in the field. That army surrendered at Ayacucho in 1824. Simon Bolivar had dreamed of one great state of Colombia, but it was not to be and Ecuador, Colombia and Venezuela went their separate ways. Bolivia became independent under Bolivar in 1825 as a country some 21/2 times its present size. It was the rich nitrate and copper deposits along the coast that tempted Chile to seize that portion in the War of the Pacific (see paragraph above). In the 20th century other neighbors were to further chew up the borders of hapless Bolivia. Things were not a whole lot better in Colombia. In the seventy years just prior to 1903 that country had 17 civil wars, with conservatives, liberals, Catholics and separatists all involved from time to time. (Ref. 175) Originally a part of Colombia, Panama was given a federal status by Colombian constitutional amendment in 1855, although Panama did not declare its complete independence until after the turn of the century. Large oil reserves were found in Venezuela in 1870 and in the 20th century this has greatly increased that nation's importance in the world. (Ref. 213)

Portugal acted differently from Spain and met the demands of local autonomy. (Ref. 8) When Prince Regent Dom Joao, fleeing from Napoleon, landed in Rio in 1808 that city became capital of an empire including, besides Brazil itself, various Atlantic Islands, Angola and Mozambique in Africa and scattered areas in China, India and Oceania. Brazilian ports were opened; manufacture of iron and textiles undertaken; a bank, naval college, medical faculty, library and printing press were established. European artists and scientists arrived. Even so, as late as 1820 Brazil, in spite of gold and diamond mines and the Portuguese empire, was a poor, oppressed country, thinly populated and with little or no intellectual potential. (Ref. 292) Dom Joao returned to Portugal in 1821 with most of the cash from the Bank of Brazil, leaving Crown Prince Pedro to govern. On October 12, 1822 the Senate proclaimed him as constitutional Emperor of Brazil as Pedro I. Opposition to his autocratic ways and his obvious primary interest in the mother country finally forced his abdication in favor of his 5 year old son, Pedro II. Between 1840 and 1889 provincial revolts were gradually brought to a close and a period of order and progress was initiated. Commerce and industry expanded, 6,000 miles of railways were constructed by 1889, gold mines were further developed and sugar and rubber production were promoted. In 1872 the population was over 10,000,000, including 1,500,000 slaves. These were emancipated in 1888. Things changed in November of 1889 when the army, headed by General Manoel Deodoro da Fonseca, revolted and deposed the emperor and proclaimed a republic. Fonseca was elected president in 1891.

Map taken from Reference 97

After Peru was liberated from Spain by Bolivar, there was still no real political stability and civil strife continued until 1845 when Rarnon Castilla emerged as one of the strong men supported by the military. Even another small war with Spain occurred between 1863 and 1871 over some small off-shore islands. Before the war's end Jose Balta had become president and had begun some material expansion of Peru. Unfortunately Peru joined the wrong side in the War of the Pacific, mentioned above, and at the end lost the province of Tarapaca and after long haggling, the coastal portions of two more provinces.

In 1816 Jose Rodriquez de Francia made himself perpetual dictator of Paraguay as well as head of the Paraguayan Church and sealed that country off from the rest of the world until his death in 1840. He was succeeded by another dictator, Carlos Antonio Lopez, who held absolute power until 1862. His son, Francisco Solano Lopez succeeded him and attempted to increase the power of the country by vigorous means. The population had increased to over 1,000,000 and the first railway was constructed about that time. Lopez's ambitions for additional territory, however, brought about war with Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay (The War of the Triple Alliance) between 1865 and 1870 and the Paraguayan nation was virtually annihilated, with only about 28,000 men and some 200,000 women surviving. A long period of instability followed, with the economy slow in recovering.

In general we may say that the penchant for alternating dictatorships with various odd types of democracy has continued throughout Latin America even through the 20th century.


The Four Great Indian Nations of the southeast were Jackson's problems. The Chickasaw, Creek and Choctaw were all advanced civilized peoples, but the Cherokees were astounding. Spread over northwest Georgia into Alabama and part of Tennessee, the Cherokees had a printed language, which had been developed by George Gist, also known as Sequoyah, a Cherokee half-breed. Bibles, other books and even a weekly newspaper, "The Cherokee Phoenix", were printed. They welcomed Christian missionaries, built roads, houses and churches. In 1826 a Cherokee reported that his people possessed 22,000 cattle, 7,600 houses, 46,000 swine, 2,500 sheep, 762 looms, 1,488 spinning wheels, 2,948 plows 10 saw mills, 31 grist mills, 62 blacksmith shops and 18 schools. They were more civilized than the Georgia "crackers", who coveted their lands. The independence of that Cherokee nation had been guaranteed by the U.S. in a treaty of 1791, but the state of Georgia had been chopping away at their lands for 30 years and the discovery of gold in the area in 1828 was the last straw. The Indians had to be moved to Oklahoma Territory. The journey cost them 25% of their numbers but they retained their identity, government, language and alphabet to this day. (Ref. 64) There were several important landmarks in the approach to the American Civil War. Among these was the Dred Scott Decision. Dred Scott, a slave, having been taken temporarily into a free state, sued for his freedom and the Supreme Court decided against him on these grounds: (1) A Negro could not be a U.S. citizen and therefore could not sue. (2) As a resident of Missouri, the laws of Illinois (where he had been taken) did not apply. (3) In any event, Congress could not deprive citizens of their property - in this case a slave. This was in 1857. Another stepping stone toward war was John Brown's raid: John Brown, a long avid abolitionist, seized the federal arsenal at Harpers’ Ferry in October, 1859, as the first step in establishing a planned Negro Republic. He was later hanged. In the meantime, Lincoln, as a member of the new Republican Party, appeared on the scene. His party won the Congressional elections of 1860, combining solid policies of Hamiltonian Federalism with the hopeful, humanitarian outlook of the old party of Jefferson. Minnesota and Oregon were admitted as new states in 1858 and 1859, making 18 free and still only 15 slave states. Lincoln won the new presidential election as the Democrats fought and split over Douglas and Buchanan. (Ref. 39) The Navaho Indians have withstood the white onslaught better than most and this may be because they are cultural "borrowers" - learning agriculture, weaving and pottery from their early, settled, Pueblo neighbors, stealing horses from the Spanish and many social and religious ideas from the Mexicans. In 1863 Colonel Kit Carson subjugated the Navaho and imprisoned 8,500 of them in Fort Sumner. After three years they were released to a 16 million acre reservation in the southwest. While in prison some learned silver working and with this and their other skills they have survived as traders in the American market. (Ref. 151, 8, 39) Up to 1868 nearly 450 treaties had been signed by the U.S. government with various Indian groups and scarcely a one remained unbroken. With the end of the Indian wars an economic recession hit the West, for up to 1870 the federal administrations had been spending about $1,000,000 for every Indian killed. (Ref. 64)


  1. Strangely enough, Papineau took no part in the actual uprisings, as he first fled to the United States for help and thwarted there, went on to France. (Ref. 38)
  2. Tsimshian culture was typical of Northwest Coast Indians and similar to that of the Haida and the Tlingit. (Ref. 38)
  3. Quotation from Edmunds (Ref. 293), page 115)
  4. When the president ordered the militia of the northern states to the frontiers, Connecticut and Massachusetts refused to obey. (Ref. 217)
  5. These remarks are taken from Wright (Ref. 267), pages 250 and 251)
  6. Quotation from Reference 151, page 500
  7. The Cherokees particularly had a highly Europeanized culture, with a written language, invented by their great leader Sequoyah, before their western travels. (Ref. 38) See also pages 1201-1202
  8. The Hidalgo Treaty described some of the U.S.-Mexico border vaguely, and in 1853 President Franklin Pierce had James Gadsden purchase an extra 30,000 square miles along southern New Mexico and Arizona south of the Gila River, for $10,000,000. That area was considered the most practical route for a southern railroad to the Pacific. This was the "Gadsden Purchase". (Ref. 38)
  9. The Cayuse bred a small horse and gave the name cayuse to all Indian ponies. (Ref. 38)
  10. Fortunately the Senate, organized as a court under the Chief Justice, failed to convict Johnson and he remained in office
  11. This plow had a revolving blade, which turned the very hard soil
  12. The French-Canadians named these Indians Nez Perce because they pierced their noses for wearing shell ornaments. (Ref. 294)
  13. Quotation from Frank H. Cushing, who lived with the Zuni from 1879 to 1883, as given by Palmer (Ref. 165), page 128
  14. The gauchos were a mixture of Spanish Creoles and Indians

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