Nineteenth-century History
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The Homestead Act of 1862

Today marks the 146th anniversary of the signing of The Homestead Act. Like The General Mining Act of 1872, The Homestead Act of 1862 was designed to encourage people to settle the west. By the time the act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on May 20, 1862, eleven southern states had ...

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

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...

Rocky Mountain Mining Towns: Idaho Springs, Colorado

There are few mining towns of the old west which are still operational. Most mining operations were shut down for a large variety of different reasons and the towns supporting them then slowly dried up and eventually became ghost towns. Idaho Springs, Colorado, however, is one of the few which are s...