The West (19th Century)

By asawyer
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs

    Bureau of Indian Affairs
    On this day in 1824, The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs was formed. As a branch of the Federal Government, its purpose was (and still is) to manage 55,700,000 acres of land reserved for Native Americans in the United States. The overall results ended up limiting Native American's rights even further, although this has resolved itself slightly over time.
  • Indian Removal Act

    Indian Removal Act
    This Act was passed in May of 1830 under the approval of President Andrew Jackson. It allowed him to negotiate with Southern Tribes, and remove them to reserved federal territory west of the Mississippi River. Many people had mixed feelings about this, but it ultimately was put into place and enforced.
  • Indian Appropriations Act

    Indian Appropriations Act
    This Act, passed by Congress in 1851, made funds avalible to move western tribes onto reservations. It in turn aggrivated the Great Plains area, leaving no place for Indians to go when final land was taken. The offical reason why the Indian Appropriations Act was passed is unclear.
  • Billy the Kid

    Billy the Kid
    William H. Bonney (Billy the Kid) became a frontier outlaw after participating in the Lincoln County War. It's belived he killed around 8 men, his first kill at 17 years old. He was incredibly skilled with weapons, and died of a gunshot to the chest.
  • Homestead Acts

    Homestead Acts
    In May of 1862, President Lincoln signed these Acts into law. They offered a bunch of land (generally 160 acres, to be exact) to people who had never rose against the government for little or no cost. These act worked- people took up the offer, until government decided to retain control of the land.
  • Battle of Apache Pass

    Battle of Apache Pass
    This was a battle fought from July 15-16th, between the U.S. and Apache tribes, as one of the many Apahe War battles. The Apache took the first move, attacking soldiers as they passed through Apache's Pass, Arizona. In the end however, soldiers turned triumphant and the attackers fled.
  • Little Crow's War (Dakota War of 1862)

    Little Crow's War (Dakota War of 1862)
    This event in 1862 was a war between eastern tribes (The Souix) and the U.S. Little Crow (an Indian leader of the Dakota) and his people had had enough of the constant treaty violations and unpaid debts by the U.S. against them. Dakota sparked this war as they killed 5 settlers on a hunting expedition on August 17th- the war ended with the surrender of most Dakota bands.
  • The Cheyenne Uprising

    The Cheyenne Uprising
    In 1863, the Cheyenne tribe was fed up with the reservation they were forced to live on. The soil was poor, and they were starving, so in turn they attacked settelers and wagons. This eventually lead to the Sand Creek Massacre.
  • Sand Creek Massacre

    Sand Creek Massacre
    Colonial Chivington attacked Cheif Black Kettle's Cheyenne Camp in November of 1864. The motive was former raids and attacks made by the Cheyenne in the Cheyenne Uprising. This event left 163 Cheyenne dead.
  • Red Cloud's War

    Red Cloud's War
    Red Cloud was an Indian Cheif. When government officals and soldiers started to hint towards pushing him and his people off of his land, he planned an attack on them. The attacks were successful, and a peace treaty was made by the U.S to the Indians.
  • Cattle Drives

    Cattle Drives
    Cattle Drives were the highlight of a Cowboy's carrer- moving herds of cattle long distances to market. These were extremely popular in the Wild West form 1866-1896, in which more than 10 million cattle were hearded across the west.
  • Fetterman Massacre (Battle of the Hundred Slain)

    Fetterman Massacre (Battle of the Hundred Slain)
    This December battle occured in 1866 as one of the battles in Red Cloud's War. The conflict was between Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians and U.S Soldiers. All the Soldiers deploied were killed in this battle, making it an Indian victory, and cause for America to withdraw from the Red Cloud War altogether.
  • Fort Laramie Treaty (Souix Treaty of 1868)

    Fort Laramie Treaty (Souix Treaty of 1868)
    This was an agreement made in 1868 between America and select indian tribes. It guarenteed these tribes ownership of certain land in South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming. This was great for the tribes, and overall ended the Red Cloud War.
  • Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad

    Completion of the Transcontinental Railroad
    Although it was not offically deemed "complete" until November 6th, the last spike making the Transcontinental Railroad complete and functionable was driven into the ground on May 10th. This was a technology breakthrough at the time- It provided fast transportation at a low cost. Many people boarded trains in place of taking stage coaches or wagons.
  • AZ Apache (Camp Grant) Massacre

    AZ Apache (Camp Grant) Massacre
    This event in April of 1871 was an attack by the U.S. on 2 Apache tribes (Pinal and Aravaipa Apaches) who ended up surrendering at none other than Camp Grant in Arizona. There were 144 total deaths, and it sparked a series of conflicts between Americans, these Apache tribes and a few others.
  • The Lakota War

    The Lakota War
    This event was a series of battles that occured from 1876-1877 between America and 2 Indian tirbes, The Lakota and the Cheyenne. It was untimately sparked when rich minerals, like gold, were discovered on these tribes' territories. The U.S. ended up winning, and a treaty was made, permedentally esablishing Indian reservations.
  • Battle of Little Bighorn (Custer's Last Stand)

    Battle of Little Bighorn (Custer's Last Stand)
    This event was a conflict between 3 Indian tribes ( Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes) and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. It occurred near the Litrtle Bighorn River. The final result was a victory for the 3 tribes, and an overwhelming loss for the U.S.
  • "Dead Man's Hand"

    "Dead Man's Hand"
    Dead man's hand is described as a two-pair poker hand consisting of the black aces and black eights. This term originated from the murder of Wild Bill Hickok's murder. As an imfamous outlaw, Wild Bill was holding 2 black aces and eights in his hand, playing poker, when he was shot and killed.
  • Desert Land Act

    Desert Land Act
    This Act was developed in March of 1877 to promote and sell land out west. This land was not very desirable, it was lacking many resources, but in turn was sold at little to no cost. The Desert Land Act was the beginning of the Homestead Act- it had to be more specific, for the government lost hundereds of acres of land to fraud.
  • The Capture of Nez Perce (Nez Perce War)

    The Capture of Nez Perce (Nez Perce War)
    This event was a war, fought from October - June of 1877, concerning the Nez Perce Tribe and the United States Army. It was sparked by the forced removal of parts of the tribe from their sacred land to a reservation in Idaho. Unfortunately the Nez Perce lost this battle and were forced to surrender, loosing rights to the original reservation and their land for quite some time.
  • Pratt's Boarding School (Carlisle Indian Industrial School)

    Pratt's Boarding School (Carlisle Indian Industrial School)
    In 1879, after seeing the success of Indian students in school, Richard Pratt founded the first ever all-Indian school. Named Carlisle, it was created from former prison barraks. Pratt's sole purpose was to make Indians "as American as possible". After years of dispute with government, Pratt was forced to retire.
  • Publication of "A Century of Dishonor"

    Publication of "A Century of Dishonor"
    "A Century of Dishonor" was a book written by Helen Hunt Jackson, which was published in 1881. What made it different was the fact it was the first of its kind- that is, a book that focused on the injustices of the Natives. It's intent was to change government policy towards Indians, and although it drew a lot of public attention, it did not have much of an impact on unfair government policy.
  • Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

    Gunfight at the O.K. Corral
    This event may quite possibly be the most famous "gunfight" recorded in the entire wild west. It occured on a Wednesday, around 3:00 p.m. at the O.K Corral in Tombstone, Arizona Territory, because of a still raging fued between cowboys and lawmen. 2 were killed, and 3 were injured.
  • Bill Cody's "Wild West Show"

    Bill Cody's "Wild West Show"
    William Fredrick Cody, Better Known as "Buffalo Bill", started his infamous shows in 1883. The shows themselves depicted cowboy life and the action of Indian and American wars. His shows were a great success, and he toured for a little less than 19 years.
  • Capture of Geronimo

    Capture of Geronimo
    This event marked the end of the Indian wars in the Southwest. Geronimo was an Indian warrior and for decades fought to keep his people's land against the U.S. However, he surrendered on this day in 1886 due to exaustion and being outnumbered, and while he and his people were sent to various reservations, lived on to become a sucessful farmer.
  • Edmunds-Tucker Act

    Edmunds-Tucker Act
    This was an Act passed by Congress in 1887, restricting some of the pactices of the LDS Church. This act was passed in response to the dispuite between the Church and U.S. Congress reguarding marrige practices. The act was passed, but repealed in 1978.
  • Dawes Act

    Dawes Act
    Also known as the General Allotment Act, this act, approved by Congress on Febuary 8th, 1887, allowed the President to break up Indian reservation land (which was held by tribes) into smaller, individual allotments of land. Those who complied would be granted citizenship. This ultimately had a negitive effect on Native Americans, and ended their communial holding of property.
  • Wounded Knee Massacre

    Wounded Knee Massacre
    In December of 1890, a massacre of more than 251 Indians were killed or harmed by whites under the command of Colonel James W. Forsyth. The exact details of this event are unknown (there are a few versions as to of what happened), however, it is known that the 7th Cavalry Regiment found and relocated the Indian Tribe Lakota, which eneded up in massacre.
  • Forest Reserve Act

    Forest Reserve Act
    This Act, approved in 1891, allowed for the president to set aside forest land in the public domain. A few presidents, like Benjamin Harrison and Grover Cleveland took advatage of this, totaling more than 38 million acres of forest. In 1907, a law was passed limiting a President's amount of acres he could set aside.
  • Turner (Frontier) Thesis

    Turner (Frontier) Thesis
    This was a theory devoped in 1893 by no other than Federick Jackson Turner. This theory states that the primary result of the moving frontier line ended up forming democracy. His thoery ended up among popular belief, and impacted learning and preception of the frontier for many.