Nineteenth-century History
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The Homestead Act of 1862

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 ...
The Johnson County War

The Johnson County War

The Johnson County War has gone down in history as one of many Wild West legends about range wars. Some accounts claim various famous gun slingers like Jesse James were involved, however, this was certainly not the case. The real range war occurred in April 1892 and was the result of tensions, brewi...
George Custer on the Origins of the Indians

George Custer on the Origins of the Indians

It is really quite amazing to read through some of the theories produced during the 19th century about the origin of the Native Americans. As I talked about in my last post, I am currently reading the memoirs of George Custer about his life on the plains and his personal experiences with the Indians...
Life in Nineteenth Century Mining Towns

Life in Nineteenth Century Mining Towns

One of my biggest fascinations with the Old West is with what life in a Rocky Mountain mining town in nineteenth century would have been like. It would have been a life full of filth, rough characters and hard work combined with drinking, fighting and gambling as pastimes. Of course these are stereo...