Colonel David Dawson Mitchell

Navajo agreed to stop raids and settle down peaceably (First) Fort Laramie (Wyo.) Treaty (Treaty of Horse Creek) Sioux (Dakota, Lakota, Nakota), Cheyenne, Arapaho, Crow, Arikara,Gros Ventre (Atsina),Mandan, Assiniboine Various chiefs and headmen Superintendent David Dawson Mitchell and Indian agent Thomas Broken Hand Fitzpatrick Tribes agreed to end all hostilities, surrender traditional lands, and move to new lands allow roads through new lands. Government was to pay 50,000 annual annuity for...

Population According To

Creek Indian Territory

COMMISSIONER OF INDIAN AFFAIRS (OR HIS AGENTS), 1872 Supporting themselves on reservations, receiving nothing from government except interest on their own funds or annuities pursuant to treaties Entirely subsisted by the government In part subsisted by the government Subsisting by hunting, fishing, roots, berries begging or stealing On reservations under complete control of agents Visited agency at times for food or gossip, but generally roaming on or off their reservations, engaged in hunting...

Railroad Deaths

1858 Utica Train Wreck

The first fatal railroad accident on record in the United States occurred in 1833. By the mid-century mark, train wrecks had become a surprisingly frequent form of disaster, caused by poor equipment, lack of standardization, unregulated operations, and often shocking carelessness of the operators. Vague and conflicting timetables were one major problem because trains traveled on local time, and until telegraphy was widely adopted in the 1850s, communication between distant stations on the line...

Explorers and Pathfinders

There were other explorers at work during these years who did not call themselves naturalists, but who nonetheless advanced the cause of knowledge in numerous fields. The middle decades of the 19th century represent the tail end of the last great age of discovery, which began with the expedition of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1804-06. From 1851 to 1875 U.S. explorers headed for distant unknown corners of the continent to explore and survey the trackless wilderness. The military took...

Dealing with Disaster in the 19th Century

One important difference from today was that even great disasters often remained local affairs, not widely known until weeks after the event. This was not the result of callousness or a conspiracy of silence but simply of slow communications. News had to travel by word of mouth or by telegraph, so national disaster was understood in a limited context of war or invasion, not flood or earthquake. Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper was normally the first to get the news out nationally, but that...

The Cattle Driving

The exploitation of nature took an entirely different form on the Great Plains in these same years the range cattle industry. Beef on the hoof and cattle drives to market were nothing new to Americans, but after the Civil War the combination of herds of wild longhorns in south Texas vast open grasslands and an insatiable market for beef back East created a booming industry. The combination also produced enormous environmental and social consequences. Beef became a staple of Americans' diet,...

Riverboat Disasters

Mississippi Riverboat Disaster

One of the paradoxes of progress was that the same technology that was such a boon to transportation could be a deadly killer the steam engine. Whether powering a riverboat or a train, steam engines were dangerous and fickle. Their boilers were often ticking time bombs. They could blow without warning and all too frequently did. The combination of barely contained fire, high-pressure steam, and primitive metallurgy was a lethal one even without the human element. And when accidents happened,...