Nineteenth-century History

History

Kit Carson

Kit Carson

No one person in the history of the American west played so many important roles in the shaping of this vast American landscape than Kit Carson. Despite his modest upbringing and the modest attitude he would carry with him throughout his life, the epic adventures he would lead in his lifetime would ...

Why I study history

In the month since the university has been out for the summer, I have to admit that I haven’t had much motivation to write any entries about history. I haven’t researched anything nor have I really read anything pertaining to history. I have finished a couple of Mark Twain books and a bo...
Who were the real cowboys? (Part 5)

Who were the real cowboys? (Part 5)

Life on the cattle trail in the late 19th century was often monotonous and boring, however, there were also times that were quite exciting and dangerous. Chief among the many dangers that the cowboys had to face on a regular basis were Indians, thieves and stampedes. Indian raids were certainly amon...

How Railroads took the ‘Wild’ out of the West

While I’m finishing up some other articles for History Rhymes (such as the 5th installment of the “Who were the real cowboys?” series…finally), I found a good article about how the railroads took the wild out of the wild west. It was a very interesting read actually about the...
Who were the real cowboys? (Part 4)

Who were the real cowboys? (Part 4)

In the late 19th century, the combination of high demand for beef in the eastern United States and the lack of railroads or really any kind of infrastructure in the west was the cause for a unique phenomenon west. The western ranchers in states such as Texas and Wyoming needed to find a way to...
Who were the real cowboys? (Part 3)

Who were the real cowboys? (Part 3)

The image of the American cowboy as we perceive it today was created in the 19th century, particularly in the postbellum period, or the period after the Civil War. After the war, many soldiers from both the Union and the Confederate sides had difficulties finding jobs in the east despite the South&#...
Who were the real cowboys? (Part 2)

Who were the real cowboys? (Part 2)

The history of the cowboy is a story that begins long ago. What we now think of as a uniquely American tradition is not solely American at all. Cowboy tradition first originated in mediæval Spain with the hacienda, or estate. The haciendas belonged to wealthy landowners and were generally, but not ...
Who were the real cowboys? (Part 1)

Who were the real cowboys? (Part 1)

“Always drink upstream from the herd.” That was the advice of just one of hundreds of anonymous cowboys of the 19th century. While many of us are familiar with romanticized cowboys such as those played by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood in western films, many of us do not know much about t...
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...

The Great Train Robbery

While doing research for another project of mine, I stumbled across a place in the American Memory collection from the Library of Congress where you can download the 1903 silent film, “The Great Train Robbery.” It’s a very interesting 12-minute silent film that shows how three robb...
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