Kickin' Down Route 66 :: June - October, 1997

Subject: A little history, if you will. Part Ia
Date: Sun, 07 Sep 1997 19:12:28 -0700

23:55 Meramec Caverns; Stanton, Missouri :: 6 SEP 97

Text of the History Wall Timeline
Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
St. Louis, Missouri

1800-1819 . 1820-1839 . 1840-1859 . 1860-1879 . 1880-1900

[abridged...and expanded]

[Navigational Note: The '§' character always leads to online historical documents.]


map (341K): Admission of States and Territorial Acquistion.
map (775K): Exploration and settlement 1800-1819.
map (84K): Territorial Growth 1800.

The Land Act of 1800 divides the Northwest Territory, creating the Indiana Territory out of the western section. It also provides for a liberal credit system on the purchase of federal lands, and a reduction in the minimum amount of land offered for sale to one section (640 acres), at $2 per acre.

By secret treaty, Spain cedes the Louisiana Territory to France.

Gouging, a frontier sport, reaches the peak of its popularity in the Ohio Valley. The ultimate goal of the sport is to gouge out an opponent's eye with the thumbnail.

Second census: US population - 5,309,000.


Thomas Jefferson§ is inaugurated§ as the third President of the United States in the first presidential inauguration to be held in Washington, D.C.

Johnny Appleseed (real name John Chapman) arrives in Licking County, Ohio with a bag of apple seeds.


The "right of deposit" for Americans is withdrawn by the Spanish in New Orleans. The American pioneers west of the Appalachians are greatly alarmed by this move, since New Orleans is the only port through which they can sell their products profitably. The move prompts President Jefferson§ to begin negotiations for the purchase of New Olreans, which culminate in the Louisiana Purchase.

Federal law prohibits the sale of liquor to American Indians.


map (194K): Westward Expansion and Exploration 1803-1807.

France sells Louisiana§ to the United States for 15,000,000. This first territorial expansion of the US west of the Mississippi totals 828,000 square miles.

Army officers Lewis and Clark§ are chosen by President Jefferson to lead an expedition from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean, for the purpose of discovering a direct water route across the continent and to keep records of the natural resources of the new land, with the aim of establishing an American presence in the northwest through trade and settlement.

Resumption of war between England and France disrupts the trans-Atlantic trade and emigration from continental Europe to the U.S. becomes virtually impossible.

Ohio§ is admitted as the 17th state in the Union.


The expedition of Lewis and Clark sets out from Camp Wood, near St. Louis, Missouri, on May 14.

The Louisiana Territory Act§, which divides the new territory and provides a territorial government, gives the first official notice of the intention of the US to move Indians living east of the Mississippi River to the west of the river.

The Land Act of 1804 reduces the minimum cash payment for Western lands from $2.00 per acre to $1.64 per acre and permits a minimum purchase of one quarter section (160 acres).

Baptiste LaLande is sent by William Morrison from St. Louis to open trade with the Spanish in Santa Fe. LaLande finds his way there, and likes the area so much that he decides to stay.


Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated§ for his second term.

The Michigan section of the Indiana Territory is organized as the Michigan Territory. The District of Louisiana becomes the Louisiana Territory.

Fort Bellefontaine is established by soldiers of the regular army at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers north of St. Louis, Missouri, thus extending United States control into the West.

Lt. Zebulon Pike heads a government expedition to find the source of the Mississippi River.

Lewis and Clark reach the Pacific Ocean on November 18, 1805.

Antoine Larocque explores the valley of the Yellowstone River and winters with the Mandans.

Simon Fraser travels across the Canadian Rockies to the Pacific.


Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis on September 23; their expedition has established an overland route to the Pacific Ocean.

Zebulon Pike heads an expedition to the headwaters of the Arkansas River and into Spanish Territory beyond. Pike evaluates the Great Plains as "unfit for white settlement." Pike is captured by the Spanish and later evicted from Spanish territory.

Thomas Freeman heads a government expedition and produces the first accurate map of the lower Red River.

Congress enacts an embargo against Great Britain to protest the seizure of American ships and the impressment of American sailors.

Aaron Burr's alleged "conspiracy" to establish an independent state from land controlled by Spain collapses with his arrest on charges of treason; he is later acquitted.

The office of Superintendent of Indian Trade is established in the War Department to administer federal Indian trading houses, called "factories".


Reports by Lewis and Clark of the richness of beaver and otter in the trans-Mississippi west lead to the formation of the Rocky Mountain fur trade by trappers and traders.

Manuel Lisa, a St. Louis trader, leads an expedition of 42 men up the Missouri and Yellowstone rivers to the beaver-rich heart of the Crow nation. Lisa builds a trading post at the mouth of the Bighorn River.

President Jefferson orders British warships to leave US territorial waters in retaliation for the attack on the US frigate Chesapeake by the British frigate Leopard off the coast of Virginia.

Congress passes an act§ prohibiting the African slave trade and the importation of slaves into any place within the jurisdiction of the United States after January 1, 1808.

Robert Fulton's steamboat Clermont makes its first run to Albany from New York in about 30 hours, inaugurating the era of successful steamboat navigation on a commercial basis.

David Thompson ascends the Columbia River to its source at Lake Windermere, and sets up the first trading post west of the Rocky Mountains.


John Jacob Astor charters the American Fur Company to compete with the British fur trade in Canada.

Napoleon issues the Bayonne decree, seizing all US shipping in European ports. Ten million dollars in US goods and ships are confiscated.

The African slave trade, prohibited by act of Congress in 1807, persists. In 1808 the sale of unneeded slaves within the US from agriculturally poor areas to fertile areas has become more profitable than soil cultivation.


James Madison§ is inaugurated§ as the fourth President of the United States.

In the Treaty of Fort Wayne, General William Henry Harrison obtains 2.5 million acres from American Indians in Ohio and Indiana. [umm, the treaty and its supplement are both dated in 1810--the history wall seems in error here.]

The Illinois Territory is formed.

The first successful sea voyage by steamboat is made by John Stevens' Phoenix, which sails from New York City to Philadelphia.

Thomas Nuttal§, a natural scientist, explores the Missouri River beyond the Mandan villages.

Meriwether Lewis dies while traveling to Washington, DC on the Natchez Trace. A dispute arises as to whether he was murdered or committed suicide.

The Missouri Fur company is chartered§ by the Chouteau family.


map (122K): Territorial Growth 1810.

An uprising of Americans against Spanish rule results in the capture of the Spanish fort at Baton Rouge in West Florida and the proclamation of the Republic of West Florida. President Madison annexes West Florida, and announces its military absorption into the Orleans Territory on the grounds of the consent of local authority.

Nicholas Appert describes a system for food preservation by canning, using glass jars.

Tecumseh, Chief of the Shawnees§, organizes the defensive confederacy of Indian tribes of the Northwestern frontier§. The confederacy is actively supported by the Canadian Governor and British fur traders.

Third census§: US population - 7,239,000


The Wilson Price Hunt§ expedition travels to the west coast for John Jacob Astor's Pacific Fur Company. They make the second great American overland crossing after Lewis and Clark. The group discovers Union Pass at the north end of the Wind River Mountains and establishes Fort Astoria, a fur trading post, at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Congressional elections bring western "war hawks" to Congress: Henry Clay of Kentucky and John C. Calhoun of South Carolina advocate strong nationalist policies, including US expansion through the conquest of Canada.

President Madison's Annual Message to Congress requests preparations for national defense.

Tecumseh's brother, Tenskwatawa ("The Prophet"), is defeated by William Harrison in the Battle of Tippecanoe.

Ft. Ross is built by Russia 80 miles north of San Francisco as a center for fur trading operations in North America.

The side-wheeler, New Orleans, the first steamboat to be built west of the Appalachians, is built in Pittsburgh, initiating steamboat navigation in the west.


Congress declares war§ against Great Britain.

White settlers are driven out of the Lake Michigan region by American Indians during the Fort Dearborn massacres.

The term "Uncle Sam" is introduced. Samuel Wilson, a meat-packer in Troy, New York, is called "Uncle" Sam to distinguish him from a younger Samuel Wilson from the same town. Soldiers begin to call Wilson's meat "Uncle Sam's" because of the stamp "U.S." on provision boxes.

The War of 1812 brings immigration to the United States to a complete halt.

The General Land Office is created, and duties previously handled by the Secretary of the Treasury are delegated to a Land Commissioner and his appointed Surveyors General.

Louisiana is admitted as the eighteenth state in the Union. It is the first state to be admitted to the Union west of the Mississippi.


James Madison is inaugurated§ for his second term.

"We have met the enemy and they are ours: two ships, two brigs, one schooner, and one sloop." Captain Oliver Hazard Perry defeats and captures the British fleet on Lake Erie.

Tecumseh, chief of the Shawnees, is killed in the Battle of the Thames in Ontario, Canada. General William Henry Harrison's victory there signals the collapse of Indian confederacy in the Northwest.

John Jacob Astor's bid for a fur empire crumbles before British traders and as a result of the War of 1812. Fort Astoria is abandoned at gunpoint, as the Americans sell out to the British Northwest Company, which renames the post Fort George.

Zebulon Pike is killed leading US troops in an attack on York, the Capitol of Upper Canada. American forces burn York.

The US captures the Spanish fort at Mobile and occupies West Florida, the western half of which had been annexed in 1810.

President Madison requests an embargo against New York and New England merchants who are trading with the enemy. Congress passes the measure over strong opposition. Frontier trade with the enemy persists.


Napoleon is defeated by the British under the Duke of Wellington. Wellington's British forces arrive in the United States by the summer.

Washington, DC is burned by the British.

Francis Scott Key's "The Star Spangled Banner" is written during the bombardment of Baltimore's Fort McHenry by the British.

A decisive American victory is won in the Battle of Plattsburgh on Lake Champlain.

The Treaty of Ghent§ ends the War of 1812.

The first steam-powered warship, Demologos, designed and constructed by Robert Fulton, is launched in New York harbor.

At the end of the Creek War in the Southeast, Andrew Jackson strips the Creeks of their land in Mississippi Territory.


Troops under Andrew Jackson defeat British forces in the Battle of New Orleans before word of the Treaty of Ghent§ reaches the US.

At Portage Des Sioux, at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, treaties of peace and friendship are signed with American Indian tribes (§, §, §) . The treaties terminate resistance in the Old Northwest and enable rapid settlement of the area.

Peace brings renewed western expansion into the Mississippi Valley, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico.

Congress declares war against Algiers. A treaty is concluded four months later, stipulating that no more payments of tribute will be demanded by the Dey of Algiers, and that all Americans reduced to slavery will be released without ransom.

American railroading begins as John Stevens of Hoboken, New Jersey is issued the first railroad charter in America. Stevens builds a small circular track on his land, and runs a steam engine of his own invention on it by 1825.


A law assisting American fur traders§ in their efforts to exclude the British from US land is passed by Congress.

Indiana is admitted as the nineteenth state in the Union.


James Monroe is inaugurated§ as the fifth President of the United States.

The Rush-Bagot Agreement§, limiting naval power on the Great Lakes, is signed by Great Britain and the United States.

Henry [Rowe] Schoolcraft, a geologist and ethnologist, makes pioneer studies of North American Indians in his exploration of the Missouri and Arkansas Rivers.

Construction of the Erie Canal is authorized by the New York legislature. The canal, linking Albany on the Hudson River with Buffalo on Lake Erie, will become a significant artery in the westward movement of Americans from the East Coast.

Alabama Territory is formed.

Mississippi is admitted as the twentieth state of the Union.


The Cabinet, Senate, and House condemn General Andrew Jackson's occupation of St. Marks and Pensacola in Spanish-held East Florida. Jackson executes two British subjects accused of aiding the hostile Seminoles. Popular approval, however, prevents punishment of Jackson.

Secretary of State John Quincy Adams, asserting that Jackson's campaign is for the defense of US interests, sends an ultimatum to the Spanish government: either control hostile Indians or cede Florida to the US.

The US/Canadian border is fixed at the forty-ninth parallel between Lake-of-the-woods and the crest of the Rocky Mountains. The Oregon boundary question is left open for later settlement, and a treaty§ allows joint occupation of Oregon by the US and Great Britain.

Thirteen stripes on the US flag are made constant by law. Upon admission of each new state to the Union, a star will be added to the flag.

The black-ball line of sailing packets begins regular Liverpool-to-NY service§. Liverpool becomes the main port of embarkation for Irish, British, German, and Norwegian immigrants.

Illinois is admitted as the twenty-first state in the Union.


The Adams-Onis Treaty provides for the cession of East Florida to the US, and defines the western borders of the Louisiana Purchase.

A financial panic, particularly affecting the southern and western states, is caused by the collapse of credit on purchases of western lands.

The US Supreme Court, in McCulloch vs. Maryland, expresses a nationalist doctrine of "implied powers." This doctrine holds that if the "end" is legitimate and the "means" are not prohibited by the letter and spirit of the Constitution, the means are Constitutional.

Jethrow Wood of New York develops a cast-iron three piece plow with interchangeable parts.

John Hall invents an improved breechloading rifle.

Congress authorizes an annual sum of $10,000 as a "civilization fund" to teach agriculture, reading, writing and arithmetic to American Indian people, in hopes that they will adopt the ways of white society.

Arkansas Territory is formed.

Alabama is admitted as the twenty-second state in the Union.

1800-1819 . 1820-1839 . 1840-1859 . 1860-1879 . 1880-1900

~~~ Responses Sought ~~~


History is nothing more than a tableau
of crimes and misfortunes.

  graphical element Voltaire
L'Ingenu (1767)


The world's history is the world's judgement.

  graphical element Friedrich von Schiller
'Resignation' (1786)