Conquest of the West

  • Jesse James

    Jesse James was a very popular man before and after his death. He was involved in a number of gangs, that robbed trains, banks; etc. James robbed and murdered many people, only resulting in death by one of his own gang members. He was born on September 5, 1847 and died on April 3, 1887.
  • Discoving Gold and Silver

    In 1848, James W. Marshall discovered the beautiful features of gold. As word got around of these breathtaking, expensive rocks; many people fled to California where most of it was found. This then created what we know today as the California gold rush.
  • Homestead Act of 1862

    The Homestead Act of 1862; which was signed by Abraham Lincoln, stated that anyone who has never taken up arms against the United States government could apply for a land grant. This grant would give you acreage for free or a very small amount.
  • Transcontinental Railroad System

    The transcontinental railroad system was created between the years of 1863-1869. It served as a trade route and opened up many opportunities for Americans to explore and settle. Along with opening up trade, immigration rates increased due to the amount of work that was created.
  • Shifting from "Long Drive" to "Cattle Racing"

    In 1866, America switched from long drive cattle herding to cattle ranching. They made this change because cattle carried diseases that farmers did not want, therefore they made the herds turn around.
  • Barbed Wire

    Barbed wire was invented and patented in 1867 by Lucien B. Smith. It was created to confine cattle and to keep intruders from coming in. It can cause discomfort and possible injury.
  • Growth of the West

    In the later 1800’s, America was booming. We needed to support the growth of cattle trade, mining and farms. Thus, we had to start to create new towns to live in and hold our farms and stock. This era was very crucial to our history because we created factories and more job opportunities for our growing population.
  • Wild West Shows

    In 1883, Wild West shows were very popular and entertained many. They displayed the stereotypical version of what the West was actually like. These fun shows were not the truth. The truth was that there were many attacks, murders, and robberies; not as glamorous as the shows.
  • Dawes Act of 1886

    Henry Lauren Dawes created the Dawes Act in 1886. This act was made to sell the American Indians land to themselves. If they decided to live on this land then they could gain United States Citizenship.
  • Extinction of Buffalo

    The United States government encouraged the slaughter of buffalo, not only to have meat to eat and fur to give us warmth but also to starve the indians of one of their main food sources. There were only 1,000 buffalos left in the year 1890. Thankfully, Theodore Roosevelt saved the buffalo population, which is now estimated to 500,000.