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The american west

13.2 Mining and Ranching. The american west. “ My feet are sore, my heels are blistered, my legs sore and lame, my hands, neck, shoulders, sore and chafed from rope. But boys, don’t think I’m discouraged . . . There is a golden glimmer in the distance .” – Fred Dewey, Prospector.

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The american west

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  1. 13.2 Mining and Ranching The american west “My feet are sore, my heels are blistered, my legs sore and lame, my hands, neck, shoulders, sore and chafed from rope. But boys, don’t think I’m discouraged . . . There is a golden glimmer in the distance.” – Fred Dewey, Prospector

  2. Why was the destruction of the buffalo significant to the lives of Native Americans on the Plains? Why did Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce hope to reach Canada? Black Elk spoke of a “beautiful dream” which died at the Wounded Knee Massacre; in your opinion, what was that dream? Discussion Journal – Jogging your memory

  3. In 1849, mining strikes inspired thousands of American’s to “rush” to the West in search of fortune • With each new discovery, miners raced from one location to another in hopes of striking it rich • Idaho, Montana, the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory, Arizona, Cripple, Creek, Colorado, and – of course - California Striking gold and silver

  4. After the California Gold Rush was well underway, the first promising mining discovery occurred in 1858 in Colorado – prospectors found gold near Pike’s Peak • Thousands flocked to the area, most left disappointed • In 1859, prospectors found silver in the Carson River Valley of present-day Nevada • Thousands of miners rushed to the mines which became known as the Comstock Lode • Over the next twenty years, miners took about $500 million worth of silver. The comstock lode

  5. Occurred in Canada’s remote Yucatan Territory near the Alaskan border Led to the discovery of gold on the Alaskan side of the border as well Over 100,000 Americans stampeded to the Klondike in search of riches; however, getting to the Klondike was treacherous Canadian officials required miners bring enough provisions for a year – nearly a ton of goods! The klondike gold rush “Gold, Gold, Gold!” - The Seattle Post, 1897

  6. Mostly men • Came from all over the United States and, sometimes, from other nations • Mexico • England • Ireland • China • Etc. Who were these prospectors?

  7. As soon as gold was discovered, the regions would become swamped and mining camps would be set up Often, these mining camps were little more than groups of tents or hastily built shacks Most camps had no law enforcement Intense rivalries and competition led to frequent violence Mining camps

  8. Some of the sprawling mining camps turned into towns • As towns sprung up, more women and children came to join the men • The arrival of families often turned these “rough and tumble” communities into respectable communities • These early towns had: • Dirt streets • Wooden sidewalks • Hastily constructed buildings • Stores and saloons • Churches • Schools • Newspapers • Opera houses boomtowns Why do you think they were called “Boomtowns”?

  9. Types of mining Incorporization of mining • Placer mining – Minerals are found in loose sand and gravel • Hydraulic mining – Used water under high pressure to blast away dirt, exposing the minerals underneath • Hard-rock mining – Required cutting deep into solid rock to extract the ore • Miners became employees of mining companies rather than lone prospectors • They began to dig mine shafts, build tunnels, and drill for ore • This was extremely dangerous and resulted in many deaths • Miners began to organize unions to negotiate for better pay/working conditions which the corporation fought bitterly • This resulted in the deaths of at least thirty miners and the dissolution of the Western Federation of Miners (a union) The evolution of mining

  10. Because the buffalo had been hunted to near extinction, the lush prairie grasses were now open for their own form of lucrative“mining” • Cattle Ranching The cattle boom -the rise of another business . . .

  11. The first ranchers in the West were Spanish; and brought cattle to the New World from Spain in the 1500’s • The Spanish, and later the Mexicans, became adept at raising cattle under dry and difficult environmental conditions • These ranchers interbred Spanish and English cattle to develop a new breed that thrived on the Plains – the Texas Longhorn who were: • Hardy • Capable of traveling long distances without water • Able to live on grass alone • Immune to Texas fever; a disease which was deadly to other cattle breeds The origins of cattle ranching

  12. After the Civil War, cities in the East clamored for beef to feed their growing populations By 1866, a steer that might sell for as little as $4 in Texas could bring as much as $40 in the North Ranchers hired cowboys to drive the cattle to railheads, or towns with railroads, where the cattle could be shipped to meatpacking centers A growing demand for beef

  13. There were many different cattle trails that ran from “cattle country” to major rail centers • Chisholm Trail – began in San Antonio, ran through Fort Worth, and ended in Abilene/Ellsworth, KS • By 1861 as many as 600,000 cattle traveled along the Chisholm Trail in a single year • The drive usually lasted three months • About two-thirds of the cowboys on the trail were white teenage boys between the ages of 12-18, but substantial numbers of African-American and Hispanic young men worked as cowboys as well . . . even a few women – usually disguised as men – rode the trails as well. Cattle trails

  14. Cattle owners often had trouble keeping track of their herds on the open range This led to the invention of barbed wire and privately owned, enclosed cattle ranches spread quickly across the open plain “The Big Tie-Up” wooden fences Another “big” business

  15. Form groups of three or four Read and analyze songs from the period of western expansion Look for common themes Write your own song exploring the same or other similar themes from the section either from the perspective of the settlers or the Native Americans  Share  Activity -westward expansion: analyzing song lyrics

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