Saloons, Shootouts, and Spurs: The Wild West In the 1800's (Daily Life in America in the 1800s)
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Life on the American frontier of the 1800s is the stuff of American myth and legend. It was here in the wide-open spaces of the West that the rugged individualism of the American character was refined: in the strong but silent cowboy, the saloon girl with a heart of gold, and the sod-busting pioneer.
Faced with the incredible challenges of taming a wilderness, wresting the territory from the Native peoples, and dealing with the hardships of pioneer life, Americans were offered one of the richest opportunities in the history of human kind—the agricultural and mineral resources of a new land. The settling of this land is the story of America, a story of violence, wasted resources, and genocide, as well as heroism, freedom, and incredible opportunity.
The Wild West of the 1800s remains for Americans a land of hopes and dreams.
Graham Bell invents the telephone. 1877 1877 Great Railroad Strike—Often considered the country’s first nationwide labor strike. 1878 1878 Thomas Edison patents the phonograph on February 19. 1878 Thomas Edison invents the light bulb on October 22. 1881 1881 Billy the Kid, or Henry McCarty, is killed on July 14 at 21 years of age. 1881 Shootout at the OK Corral in Tombstone, Arizona occurs on October 26. 1882 1882 Jesse James, an outlaw, gang leader, and bank/ train robber, dies. 1890
number slain—Gen. Bowie was murdered in his bed sick and helpless. . . . The bodies of the slain were thrown into a mass in the centre of the Alamo and burned—the loss of the Mexicans in storming the place was not less than 1000 killed and mortally wounded. The Alamo mission as it looked in 1854. Part II Trappers and Miners In 1803, the United States made the largest land deal in history by purchasing the Louisiana Territory from France, acquiring 828,000 square miles for 15 million dollars.
important role in opening up the West. When English trappers moved into the West, they relied on the knowledge of the Voyageurs for survival. Demand for beaver pelts resulted in competing fur companies. Germanborn immigrant John Jacob Astor formed one of the biggest, the American Fur Company, in 1808. Astor became so wealthy through this business that he loaned money to the United States government. Also in 1808, Manuel Lisa organized the Missouri Fur Company. Cuban-born Lisa was a demanding
lured each miner onward—maybe, just maybe, tomorrow he would find that one huge nugget worth thousands of dollars. A gold miner’s life was hard and often disappointing. EXTRA! EXTRA! GOLD RUSH! Donner Party Disaster California Star (In the winter of 1847 snow trapped a wagon train headed for California and the party ran out of food. Two brothers, Jacob and George Donner, were leaders of the group.) After wandering about a number of days bewildered in the snow, their provisions gave out, and
how could people travel conveniently from the settled eastern states to the beckoning West? Developers dreamed of a railroad line connecting the two sides of the continent, and in 1862, the Union government began work on the transcontinental railroad. Two construction companies hired thousands of Chinese and Irish laborers; these workers endured dangerous conditions, rough weather and very low wages, but they got the job done. On May 10, 1869, workers completed the first railroad connecting the