Nineteenth-century History

View from Ray house

View from the Ray House…

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Death and the Navajos

Death and the Navajos

The Navajos struck fear into every person living in the American southwest since the first Spanish settlements until the American conquest of the southwest in the mid-nineteenth century. Their raids on the small villages and towns of present day New Mexico and Arizona were constant and were always d...
Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: Bannack, Montana

Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: Bannack, Montana

The first part of the new series about mining towns in the Rocky Mountains will begin with Bannack, Montana. Nothing, but a ghost town now, Bannack was the site of a major gold discovery in 1862. The town was founded the same year as a result of the discovery and is named after the local...
The Battle of the Washita

The Battle of the Washita

Last Friday I gave a talk about the Battle of the Washita to a group of undergraduate students and because of that I thought I would create a post here about this particularly interesting battle. The Battle of the Washita was a battle that took place in the morning of November 27, 1868. The Seventh....
Emperor Norton I – Emperor of the United States

Emperor Norton I – Emperor of the United States

Joshua A. Norton is a little known figure in American history. He was the first and only self-declared emperor of the United States of America. He styled himself as His Majesty, Emperor Norton I. Most of his contemporaries understandably branded him as crazy, unstable and as having gone off the deep...