In 1850, Scandinavian gold miners in California formed the first ski clubs in the United States. On June 2nd, a series of fires destroyed several million dollars worth of property in San Francisco. In 1851, Cornelius Vanderbilt established a steam ship route from New York to California. In 1852, Congress established the Oregon territory. A year later, a San Francisco club introduced the Irish sport of hurling into the United States. That same year a yellow fever epidemic killed 5,000 people in New Orleans. In 1854, the Kansas Nebraska Act opened the Kansas and Nebraska territories to popular overeignty on the issue of slavery.
In 1855, violence erupted over the expansion of slavery in “Bleeding Kansas. ” In 1856, Mormon leaders furnished handcarts to immigrants who intended to cross the plains. On May 24, John Brown and his son killed 5 proslavery men at Pottamatomie Creek in Kansas. In 1857, U. S. troops were sent to Utah to put down a Mormon rebellion. An expedition led by Albert Sidney Johnston and guided by James Bridger explored the Yellowstone river valley. In 1858, John Butterfield opened an overland stage route. On May 2nd, marathon horse riding became he craze in California.
John Powers rode 150 miles on a racetrack in 6 hours, 43 minutes, and 31 seconds; he used 25 mustangs and won $5,000. On May 11th, Minnesota entered the United States as the 32nd state. In 1859, mining operations increased in Nevada and Colorado. That same year painter Albert Bierstadt traveled through the Rocky Mountains. On February 14th, Oregon entered the Union as the 33rd state. During the 1850’s the Western movement was still strong. During the trip women didn’t want to wear their traditional dresses so they wore their bloomers instead.
In the ate 1850’s, dogfights were growing in the south, in New Orleans and Kentucky. (Chronicle of America; American Eras; Encarta Encyclopedia; Encyclopedia. com) In 1850, the gunfighter Benjamin F. Thompson established a reputation for himself by participating in at least 14 shootouts over the next three decades. California passed the Foreign Miners Tax. As a result of the population explosion after the Gold Rush, a wave of violence hit California. In one fifteen-month span in Los Angeles 44 homicides occurred. As a part of the Compromise of 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive
Slave Act in September. On July 23, 1851, members of the Sioux nation signed the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, ceding to the U. S. government much of their land in Iowa and Minnesota. In 1853, the U. S. and Mexico negotiated the Gadsden Purchase, whereby the former received 29,644 square miles of territory (the southernmost areas of present- day Arizona and New Mexico) for $15 million. The purchase established the final boundaries of the continental U. S. and provided the needed land for a railroad route. The U. S. Senate approved the purchase in June 1854. In People v. Hall, the California
Supreme Court held that no Chinese witnesses would be allowed to give testimony against a white man. In Clarke County, Missouri, David McKee organized the Anti- Horse Thief Association. In 1855, California counted 370 homicides in the first eight months of the year. In 1856, the Committee of Vigilance held sway in San Francisco. Led by the wealthy and powerful William Tell Coleman, its objective was to attack Irish Catholics, Chinese, and Mexican Americans as well as “punishing criminals. ” The Apache killed the U. S. Indian agent Henry Dodge.
Because of the efforts of Dodge, Navajo-U. S. relations had been fairly peaceful for the last six-year. In 1857, the decision of the Supreme Court in the Dred Scott case in effect ruled that slaves were property and could not be considered citizens under the Constitution. In 1858, Kansas repealed its antimiscegenation law. (Chronicle of America; American Eras) In 1853, John Sweet became principal of Rincon Grammar School in San Francisco. The Ohio legislature established free public education. Congregationalists found the Pacific University in Oregon. In 1855, the Illinois legislature established free ublic education.
Michigan State University was found in East Lansing. The Jesuits found Santa Clara College in California and that same year Auburn University was found in Alabama. In 1857, Illinois State Normal University was established in Normal, Illinois. The Ohio Reform School for boys was found. Margarethe Meyer Schurz opened the first private kindergarten in Watertown, Wisconsin. The Children’s Aid Society sent city boys to Western states. The Minnesota constitution established free Public education. In 1858, Episcopalians found the University of the South in Tennessee.
Also, Iowa State University was found in Ames and Catholics found St. Ignatius College in San Francisco. (Chronicle of America; American Eras) In 1850, opera debuted in San Francisco with an aria from Verdi’s Ernani. David G. Robinson published “Seeing the Elephant. ” Josiah Gregg, explorer and author of “Commerce of the Prairies,” died. James Wilkins created intense excitement when he exhibited his “Moving Mirror of the Overland Trail” in Peoria, Illinois. Frederic Church painted “Twilight, Short Arbiter Twixt Day and Night,” an epic landscape that suggested the grandeur of the American West.
In 1851, Dame Shirley (Louise Amelia Knapp Smith Clappe) began publishing “The Shirley Letters,” vivid accounts of life amongst the miners. Mayne Reid published the novel “The Scalp Hunters. ” Stephen Foster composed “Old Folks at Home. ” Henry Rowe Schoolcraft, ethnographer and geologist, published the first volume of his “History, Condition and Prospects of the Indian Tribes of the United States. ” Schoolcraft’s work became a resource for writers such as Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. George Caleb Bingham depicted Daniel Boone as a Moses-like figurative in “The Emigration of Daniel Boone into Kentucky.
With the “Country Election” Bingham begins his “Election” series, the paintings depicted the democratic process in the West. James Fenimore Cooper, author of the Leatherstocking novels, died in his home in Cooperstown, New York, the basis for the fictional settlement in Cooper’s “The Pioneers. ” George Copway briefly published a newspaper devoted to Native Americans, “Copway’s American Indian. ” John James Audubon, naturalist, painter, and author of “Birds of America,” died. In 1852, Harriet Beecher Stowe published “Uncle Tom’s Cabin. ” San Francisco’s “Golden Era,” a literary journal, egins publication.
In 1853, Augustus Baldwin Longstreet published his novel, “Flush Times. ” Old Block (Alonzo Delano) collected his “Pacific News” articles, which were humorous sketches about life in Gold Rush San Francisco. For the first time San Francisco had its own resident opera company, “The Pacific Musical Troupe. ” Asher B. Durand painted “Progress (The Advance of Civilization),” commissioned by railroad baron Charles Gould. In 1854, Margaret Jewell Bailey published “The Grains,” and John Rollin Ridge published a ninety-page novel, “The Life and Adventures of Joaquin
Murieta, the Celebrated California Bandit. ” Ridge was a Cherokee Indian from Arkansas who went West during the Gold Rush. Finding little gold, he became a California journalist and the first Native American novelists. Henry David Thoreau published “Walden, Or Life in the Woods,” a work that would end up having an enormous impact on the way American Writers viewed nature. In 1855, Augusta J. Evans published the novel “Inez, A Tale of The Alamo. ” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published the poem “Song of Hiawatha. ” Walt Whitman anonymously published a collection of poems titled “Leaves of Grass.
John Phoenix (George Horatio Derby), one of the first Far Western humorists, published a collection of his sketches, “Phoenixiana. ” Maria Ward published “Female Life Among the Mormons. ” In 1857, Alonzo Delano presented his play, “A Live Woman in the Mines,” one of the earliest dramas written in the West. (Chronicle of America; American Eras; Encarta Encyclopedia) In the 1850’s, the Mormons of Utah had vast discrepancies with President James Buchanon about their liberty and his governing.
In 1852, the first Plenary Council of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States was held. The record revealed 1. illion Catholics but only 1,800 priests to serve its 1,600 churches and mission stations. Brigham Young publicly announced that plural marriage is a holy practice incumbent on Saints deemed worthy of the privilege. In 1857, fearing the invasion of a Federal Army, the Mormons and their allies attacked a wagon train and killed 120 California bound settlers. A year later, President James Buchanan ordered an expedition of 2,500 soldiers to Utah in order to assert Federal authority over the Mormons. The force camps outside Salt Lake City recalled at the outbreak of the Civil War. Meanwhile, Buchanan pardoned he Mormons.
By 1850, the Protestant establishment became absorbed with California as the bellwether for the evangelical impulse; that preoccupation now displaced the earlier enthusiasm for the conversion of Native Americans. In the early 1850’s, Chinese laborers began making their way to California. In the 1850’s, the corporate life of American Jews in the West took shape with the gold rush immigrations. The community of “True Inspiration,” a movement that originated in Germany, moved westward from New York in 1855 and established the Amana colonies in east-central Iowa, it practiced a orm of communal theocracy.
Between 1852-1855, 10,000 migrants received their assistance. Of the 22,000 converts traveling to the Salt Lake Valley through 1855, 19,500 were from Great Britain, 2,000 were Scandinavians, and the rest were French, Italian, and German. (Chronicle of America; American Eras; Encarta Encyclopedia) In 1851, Lewis Henry Morgan’s study of the Iroquois was published. Audubon begins publishing “The Vivaparous Quadrapeds of North America. ” The Pacific Railroad and the U. S. Army Corps of Topographical Engineers conducted a series of expeditionary surveys in the Northwest until 1855.
In 1854, G. K. Warren compiled all known geographic information into a map of the United States from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean. John Boardman Trask’s geological report on the agricultural and mineral resources of the coastal mountains is presented to the state legislature of California. In 1857, J. S. Newsberry, a geologist for the Pacific Railroad, investigated shell beds and alluvial plains on the West coast and inferred that the Oregon Cascades once had been covered by an ice cap; this led to the study into the geologic origins of North America.
In 1850, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) began writing their first newspaper, “The Deseret News,” in Salt Lake City. Frederick Douglass renamed his paper “Frederick Douglass’ Paper” and it won’t be published until 1860. The phrase, “Go West, Young Man. Go West! ,” originally written by John Soule of the “Terre Haute Express,” is popularized by New York Time editor Horace Greeley, one of the most enthusiastic promoters of the nineteenth century. The Columbian newspaper is founded in Olympia, Washington.
In 1854, the “Kansas Weekly Herald,” the first ewspaper in Kansas, began production under an elm tree on the townsite of Leavenworth. The paper continued under two other names until 1861. In 1855, “Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper” began publication in New York and “Harper’s Weekly” both end up becoming pioneers of visual communication. Joseph Medill and Charles Ray purchased the “Chicago Tribune” and transform it into one of the most important newspapers in the United States. In 1857, Congress authorized the postmaster general to secure bids for an overland stage service to carry mail and passengers from Missouri to San Francisco.
The Brigham Young Carrying and Express Company, known as the XY Company, won the contract. The first mail delivery from Independence, Missouri, to Salt Lake City took twenty-six days. The federal government canceled the contract after only six months. A rail line between St. Louis and New York City is completed, inspiring dreams of a transcontinental railroad. England and America were connected for the first time by the Atlantic telegraph cable; it breaks within a few weeks. In 1859, William N. Byers launches “The Rocky Mountain News,” a modest newspaper that he used to boost the fortunes of Denver.
Horace Greeley began a trip across the country, sending dispatches about his journey to the “New York Tribune. ” Greeley attested to the rich land and resources in the West and scouted the best route for the transcontinental railroad. He is less impressed with the Indians he encountered along the way, calling them children. Arizona’s first newspaper, the “Weekly Arizonian,” was printed in Tumac. The paper’s press was shipped around Cape Horn to California and then by wagon to the town. (Chronicle of America; American Eras; Encyclopedia. com)
In 1850, John Heath invented a binder to tie grains, further mechanizing U. S. agriculture. Approximately 2,133,000 bales of cotton were picked in the United States; nearly three times the amount from twenty years earlier. On September 9th, only two years after gold is discovered, California becomes the 31st state in the Union. On September 20th, Congress granted the first federal land to states for the construction between Chicago, Illinois, and Mobile, Alabama. In 1852, two railroad lines connected Chicago, Illinois, with eastern ports. In this year alone, $81 million worth of gold was mined in California. On December 30, 1853, the United States bought the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico.
This stretch of land in southern Arizona and New Mexico completed the boundaries of the continental United States. By 1854, three hundred thousand people had arrived in California for the Gold Rush. The nation’s first commercial flour mill opened in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a city that would end up becoming become a major wheat-processing center. The Kansas-Nebraska Act commenced the white settlements of Kansas and Nebraska. It also helped push the country toward civil war over the issue of slavery in the territories, including Kansas. On August 3rd, the Graduation Act was passed to reduce the price of federal land.
The rice per acre varied from 12. 5 cents to $1. 25, depending on the length of time it had been on the market. On December 30th, George Bissell and Jonathan Eveleth created the nation’s first oil corporation, called the “Pennsylvania Rock Oil Company. ” In 1855, Chicago, Illinois, surpassed St. Louis, Missouri, as the center for the Western grain trade. David Christy published his book “Cotton is King,” coining the phrase “Cotton is King” for the South. In 1856, the Illinois Central Railroad between Chicago and Cairo, Illinois, was completed; it received more than 2. 5 million acres of federal land to help finance its onstruction.
On April 21st, the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi River was constructed between Rock Island, Illinois, and Davenport, Iowa. On August 24, a drop in grain prices and the over-production of U. S. manufactured goods in an atmosphere of renewed land speculation set off another panic. The resulting depression lasted two years. In 1858, the Butterfield Overland Mail began service to California. On March 30th, Hyman Lipman patented the first pencil with an eraser. In July, gold was discovered near present-day Denver, Colorado, which initiated the Pikes Peak Gold Rush and the white settlement of Colorado.