The last of that history
wall; I bet you're pleased - Part IV
11 Sep 1997 08:09:26 -0700
08:48 Cherry Valley Park; Tulsa, Oklahoma :: 11 SEP 97
1800-1819 . 1820-1839
. 1840-1859 . 1860-1879
Finding historical documents with the '§' character.]
(120K): Territorial Growth 1880.
A US-China treaty gives the US the right to regulate, limit,
or suspend immigration of laborers from China. Cheap immigrant labor has
led to pressure for abrogation of the Burlington Treaty of 1868 which
allowed unlimited Chinese immigration.
Gold is discovered near Juneau, Alaska.
Tenth census: US population - 50,156,000
A. Garfield is inaugurated§
as the twentieth President of the United States.
President Garfield is shot
in the Washington, DC railroad station by Charles J. Guiteau§,
a disgruntled office seeker. Garfield dies two months later from the effects
of the bullet would. Guiteau is hanged in Washington.
A. Arthur is inaugurated as the twenty-first President of the United
Clara Barton, who worked in Civil War hospitals and with the
international Red Cross in Geneva during the Franco-Prussian War, returns
to the US to establish the American Red Cross.
Sitting Bull and his band of 187 return to the United States
from Canada, surrendering to officials at Fort Buford, North Dakota.
Helen Hunt Jackson publishes A Century of Dishonor in
the effort to publicize the desperate plight of American Indian people
that has resulted from US Indian policy.
The second transcontinental railroad is completed with the linking
of the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific Railroads at Deming, New Mexico.
The Standard Oil Trust, the most famous American cartel, is
organized. Using laws governing trust funds, John D. Rockefeller and his
associates create a monopoly within the oil industry, evading anti-monopoly
laws of the time by becoming "trustees" of the stock and absorbing many
rival oil companies.
The Pearl Street Electric Power Station, operated by steam and
built by Thomas A. Edison, goes into operation in New York City. It supplies
power for four hundred incandescent lights in fifty-nine buildings.
Immigrants totaling 250,630 arrive in the US as a result of
severe economic depression in Europe. Immigrants settle mostly in established
colonies in the Mid-West.
Gold is discovered in the Coeur D'Alene region of northern Idaho.
The Civil Service Commission is established by the Pendleton
Act, legislation which seeks to replace the spoils system by a merit system.
The US Navy is founded when Congress authorizes the construction
of three steel cruisers and one dispatch boat.
The Southern Immigration Association is formed in order to promote
European Immigration to the South.
William Frederick "Buffalo Bill" Cody organizes the first Wild
Mark Twain publishes Life on the Mississippi, recollections
of the heyday of steamboating on the great river before the Civil War.
Belva A. Lockwood, a lawyer, is nominated for the Presidency
of the United States by the Equal Rights Party formed by a group of suffragettes.
Otto Mergenthaler patents his mechanical typesetter, which casts
and sets type for printing. Called the linotype machine, it revolutionizes
mass circulation newspaper production.
An American Indian tries to vote in an election in Omaha, Nebraska,
but a federal court rules in Elk v. Wilkins that the 14th Amendment does
not apply to Indians; a tribal member cannot simply become a citizen of
The US Bureau of Labor is created as part of the Department
of the Interior.
The cornerstone of the Statue of Liberty's pedestal at Bedloe's
Island in New York harbor is laid.
Mark Twain publishes The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,
a profound study of race relations and tolerance.
Cleveland is inaugurated§
as the twenty-second President of the United States.
Beef Prices crash as a result of the over-stocking of ranges
during the cattle boom of previous years.
Congress passes the Contract Labor Act, under which the immigration
of laborers under contract to work for the cost of passage is forbidden.
Exceptions are allowed for skilled, professional and domestic workers.
The largest lead source in the world at the Bunker Hill and
Sullivan Mines, is discovered in Kellogg, Idaho. The Sunshine silver mine
in Shoshone County is found at the same time.
Mark Twain publishes the first edition of Ulysses S. Grant's
personal memoirs. Grant, almost penniless, dies before the success of
his book, but his family receives nearly $500,000 from its sale.
The first "skyscraper" is completed; Chicago's Home Life Insurance
Building is made possible by the new us of all-iron frame construction.
A bomb is thrown at police dispersing a meeting of labor leaders
at Haymarket Square in Chicago. Eight policemen are killed and seventy
policemen as well as other participants are injured.
The American Federation of Labor is organized in Columbus, Ohio,
and Samuel Gompers becomes its first President.
The Apache Chief, Geronimo, is captured in Arizona by Federal
troops commanded by General Miles. The last major Indian War is ended.
The US Supreme Court invalidates a state railroad regulation
law, ruling that only Congress can control interstate commerce, in Wabash,
St. Louis & Pacific Railroad Company v. Illinois.
The great "die-up" of underfed cattle in overstocked ranges
during the disastrous winter of 1886-87 signals the end of the cattle
The Dawes Severalty Act§
provides for the division of Indian Lands among Indian families, with
160 acres granted per head of household. Intended as a way to make American
Indian people live in the style of Euro-American farmers, the act instead
breaks up the large Indian reservations, with surplus land going to white
settlers. Indians lose millions of acres of land.
The American Protective Association, a powerful anti-Catholic,
Pro-isolationist movement, is founded in Clinton, Iowa.
The free delivery of mail is provided in all communities with
a population of at least ten thousand.
George Eastman of Rochester, New York, patents the first successful
roll film for cameras.
President Cleveland signs a routine War Department order authorizing
the return to the South of captured Confederate battle flags. The protest
from Union veterans and Republican politicians is so great that Cleveland
cancels the order.
The first electric automobile designed by Philip W. Pratt is
demonstrated in Boston.
Congress authorizes a commission to mediate labor disputes between
interstate railroads and their workers.
The Department of Labor, without Cabinet status, is established.
First the Great Plains, then New York City and the East Coast
are paralyzed by a March blizzard which lasts thirty-six hours. Four hundred
Harrison is inaugurated§
as the twenty-third President of the United States.
The first Oklahoma land rush officially begins at noon, April
22, as more than twenty thousand people line up at the border for the
rush into unstaked territory. This and subsequent land rushes were made
possible by the Dawes Act of 1886§,
which reduced the acreage of Indian Lands.
Nellie Bly, a reporter for The New York World, sets out
on a round-the-word trip in an attempt to better the record of Jules Verne's
fictional journey in Around the World in Eighty Days. Bly is successful
when she reaches home in seventy-two days, six hours, eleven minutes and
North Dakota and South Dakota are admitted as the thirty-ninth
and fortieth states in the Union.
Montana is admitted as the forty-first state in the Union.
Washington is admitted as the forty-second state in the Union.
(124K): Territorial Growth 1890.
The Sherman Antitrust Act is the first federal legislation directed
at control of monopolies.
The Lakota chief Sitting Bull is killed by soldiers in South
Dakota during a US Army effort to curb the influence of the "Ghost Dance,"
a religious rite thought to be dangerous to the white population in the
The last armed conflict between the US Army and the Lakota Indians
takes place at Wounded Knee Creek. In the fight the Indians suffer over
200 dead (including 44 women and 18 children) and 51 known wounded. The
army has 25 killed and 39 wounded. Wounded Knee ends the long history
of the Indian wars.
Through the efforts of environmentalist John Muir, two million
acres in the Sierra Mountains behind the Yosemite Valley, as well as the
areas surrounding groves of giant Sequoia trees, are declared National
Parks by Congress and signed into law by President Harrison.
Idaho is admitted as the forty-third state in the Union.
Wyoming is admitted as the forty-fourth state in the Union.
As a territory it had given women the right to vote in 1869. It thus becomes
the first state in the US to grant women suffrage.
Eleventh Census: US population - 62,948,000. The census declares
that a frontier has ceased to exist in the US.
The political successes of the Farmer's Alliance, and the desperate
plight of farmers with crops at a no-profit stage, precipitate the formation
of the People's or Populist Party in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Nine hundred thousand acres of Indian land in Oklahoma are opened
for general settlement by a presidential proclamation.
The General Revision Act of 1891 provides for the repeal of
the Timber Culture and Pre-emption Acts and authorizes the President,
under the Forest Reserve Act, to create forest preserves "wholly or in
part covered with timber or undergrowth, whether of commercial value or
Over 1,200,000 acres of forest lands are set aside for federal
use in the Yellowstone region by Congress; President Harrison sets aside
14 other areas of forest land by proclamation.
The Office of the Superintendent of Immigration is created.
The Populist Party meets in Omaha, Nebraska and nominates James
B. Weaver of Iowa for the presidency.
The Crow Indian reservation in Montana, consisting of 1,800,000
acres, is opened to settlers by presidential proclamation.
The Cheyenne-Arapaho reservation of 3,000,000 acres is opened
The Geary Chinese Exclusion Act extends the exclusion of Chinese
laborers for another ten years.
Ellis Island in New York harbor becomes the primary receiving
station for immigrants.
Cleveland is inaugurated§
as the twenty-fourth President of the United States. Cleveland is the
only president to serve two non-consecutive terms.
The World's Columbian Exposition is dedicated in Chicago to
celebrate the 400th anniversary of the "discovery" of America. John Philip
Sousa's band provides the music. At the fair, a historian named Frederick
Jackson Turner proposes his "Frontier Thesis" about the settlement of
The Cherokee Strip between Kansas and Oklahoma is opened for
A financial panic is caused as the US gold reserve falls below
the safe minimum of $100,000,000.
A revolution in Hawaii deposes Queen Lili'uokalani. American
minister Stevens raises the American flag at Honolulu and lands US Marines;
the US establishes a protectorate over the islands. President Cleveland
apologizes for the invasion in a Special Message to Congress.
Henry Ford tests his first successful automobile.
The Pullman Palace Car Company reduces wages, and workers strike
amid violence and bloodshed. The American Railroad Union, led by Eugene
Debs, boycotts the servicing of Pullman cars as a sympathy gesture, causing
a general railroad strike which paralyzes fifty thousand miles of western
The US Supreme Court issues an injunction against the railroad
strikers, and President Cleveland orders US troops to Chicago on the constitutional
grounds that the strike interferes with the US mails and interstate commerce.
Jacob S. Coxey, at the head of an "army of the unemployed,"
marches from Ohio to Washington, DC to demonstrate for legislation toward
establishing emergency work projects. Coxey is arrested by Capitol guards
The first graduated income tax law is passed, and denounced
as "socialism, communism, devilism."
An immigration restriction league is organized, emphasizing
distinctions between "old" (northern and western European) and "new" (southern
and eastern European) immigrants.
The US Treasury buys $62,000,000 in gold from the banking houses
of Morgan and Belmont.
A revolt against Spanish rule breaks out in Cuba.
The song "America the Beautiful" is introduced.
Guglielmo Marconi invents the wireless telegraph.
Sears and Roebuck Company opens a mail-order business.
The Territory of Utah adopts a constitution calling for woman
Drawings by Charles Dana Gibson begin to appear in reproductions,
and "The Gibson Girl" becomes an American ideal.
At the Republican convention Marcus A. Hanna, a millionaire
Cleveland industrialist, engineers the nomination of William McKinley
for President. The Free-silver dominated Democrats and Populists nominate
William Jennings Bryan.
The US Supreme Court espouses the policy of "separate but equal"
facilities and accommodations for the races in Plessy v. Ferguson,
thus legitimating more than a decade of Southern "Jim Crow Laws" and leading
to nearly 60 years of legal segregation in America.
Gold is discovered in the Klondike River about three miles from
Dawson in the Yukon Territory of northwest Canada.
Henry Ford and his associates complete the assembly of the first
With Mormon religious dogma officially condemning polygamy,
Utah is admitted as the forty-fifth state in the Union.
A National Forest Commission of seven members tours forests
in the west for three months, and recommends adding 13 additional National
Forests to federal holdings. The commission's report identifies fire and
sheep as the chief destroyers of forests. President Cleveland proclaims
the recommended forests, despite and outcry from Congress.
McKinley is inaugurated§
as the twenty-fifth President of the United States.
A national monetary conference meets in Indianapolis, Indiana,
and endorses the existing (unofficially) gold standard.
News of the gold strike on the Klondike River reaches the US
and sets off the "Klondike Stampede."
A modern subway system is completed in Boston, Massachusetts.
The Forest Management Act, an anti-conservation measure signed
by President McKinley, turns the 13 National Forests proclaimed by President
Cleveland back to open public land.
The battleship USS Maine is blown up in Havana Harbor
in Cuba, with a loss of 260 American sailors. The battleship had arrived
to protect American residents and property during the Cuban Revolution
President McKinley asks for a Congressional resolution authorizing
the use of the US Army and Navy to force Spain to leave Cuba.
McKinley recognizes Cuban independence on April 11.
Spain declares war on the US on April 11.
In the "splendid little war" with Spain, the United States acquires
Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippine Islands, the start of a colonial
empire abroad. Many of the policies of the frontier, particularly those
applied to the American Indian people, are used in US relations with the
inhabitants of these newly-acquired areas.
Congress authorizes an Isthmian Canal Commission to study plans
for building an interoceanic canal in Central America.
The US attends a disarmament and arbitration conference with
twenty-five other nations at the Hague at the invitation of Czar Nicholas
II. A permanent Court of Arbitration is established. The US insists upon
its right to uphold the Monroe Doctrine when disputes involve the Western
Mount Rainier is established as a National Park.
John Dewey, an educator, revolutionizes American education with
the publication of The School and Society.
(124K): Territorial Growth 1900.
Germany, Russia, Britain, France, Italy, and Japan accept the
US "open door§" policy
in China, assuring commercial equality for all powers in the Chinese trade.
With encouragement of the Dowager Empress, the "Boxer Rebellion"
begins in China, a revolt against foreign intrusions in the internal affairs
of China. Peking is occupied, while foreign missionaries, thousands of
Chines Christians, and the German Minister to China are killed.
An international military expedition, including US troops, occupies
Peking, loots the city, rescues missionaries, and disperses the remnants
of the "Boxers."
Orville and Wilbur Wright fly their first full-scale glider
at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. It's "wing-warping" technique is the first
successful device built for lateral control of flight.
Twelfth census: US population - 75,995,000. New York is the
largest US city, with a population of 3,437,000. Life expectancy is 48
years for males, 51 years for females. Immigration to the US since 1820
has numbered 17,286,000 from Europe, 370,000 from Asia, 1,219,000 from
Canada and Latin America and 249,000 from all other places.
End of the History Wall
. 1820-1839 . 1840-1859
. 1860-1879 . 1880-1900
~~~ Responses Sought ~~~
Well, it's too late. And the owner men explained the workings
and thinkings of the monster that was stronger than they were. A man
can hold land if he can just eat and pay taxes; he can do that.
Yes, [said the tenant men,] he can do that until his crops
fail one day and he has to borrow money from the bank.
But-you see, a bank or a company can't do that, because those
creatures don't breathe air, don't eat side-meat. They breathe profits;
they eat the interest on money. If they don't get it, they die the way
you die without air, without side-meat. It is a sad thing, but it is
so. It is just so.
. . .
And at last the owner men came to the point. The tenant system
won't work anymore. One man on a tractor can take the place of twelve
or fourteen families. Pay him a wage and take all the crop. We have
to do it. We don't like to do it. But the monster's sick. Something's
happened to the monster.
. . .And now the [tenant] men stood up angrily. Grampa took
up the land, and he had to kill the Indians and drive them away. And
Pa was born here, and he killed weeds and snakes. Then a bad year came
and he had to borrow a little money. An' we was born here. There in
the door-our children born here. And Pa had to borrow money. The bank
owned the land then, but we stayed and we got a little bit of what we
We know that-all that. It's not us, it's the bank. A bank
isn't like a man. Or an owner with fifty thousand acres, he isn't like
a man either. That's the monster.
Sure, cried the tenant men, but its our land. We measured
it and broke it up. We were born on it, and we got killed on it, died
on it. Even if it's no good, it's working it, dying on it. That makes
ownership, not a paper with numbers on it.
We're sorry. It's not us. It's the monster. The bank isn't
like a man.
Yes, but the bank is only made of men.
No, you're wrong there-quite wrong there. The bank is something
else than men. It happens that every man in a bank hates what the bank
does, and yet the bank does it. The bank is something more than men,
I tell you. It's the monster. Men made it, but they can't control it.
. . .
But if we go, where'll we go? How'll we go? We got no money.
We're sorry, said the owner men. The bank, the fifty-thousand
acre owner can't be responsible. You're on land that isn't yours. Once
over the line maybe you can pick cotton in the fall. Maybe you can go
on relief. Why don't you go west to California? There's work there,
and it never gets cold. Why, you can reach out anywhere and pick an
orange. Why, there's always some kind of crop to work in. Why don't
you go there? And the owner men started their cars and rolled away.