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Life In The 1850's Essay

2656 words - 11 pages

Life in the 1850's

In 1850, Scandinavian gold miners in California formed the first ski clubs in the

United States. On June 2nd, a series of fires destroyed several million dollars worth of

property in San Francisco. In 1851, Cornelius Vanderbilt established a steam ship route

from New York to California. In 1852, Congress established the Oregon territory. A

year later, a San Francisco club introduced the Irish sport of hurling into the United

States. That same year a yellow fever epidemic killed 5,000 people in New Orleans. In

1854, the Kansas Nebraska Act opened the Kansas and Nebraska territories to popular

sovereignty on the issue of slavery. In 1855, violence erupted over the expansion of

slavery in "Bleeding Kansas." In 1856, Mormon leaders furnished handcarts to

immigrants who intended to cross the plains. On May 24, John Brown and his son killed

5 proslavery men at Pottamatomie Creek in Kansas. In 1857, U.S. troops were sent to

Utah to put down a Mormon rebellion. An expedition led by Albert Sidney Johnston and

guided by James Bridger explored the Yellowstone river valley. In 1858, John

Butterfield opened an overland stage route. On May 2nd, marathon horse riding became

the craze in California. John Powers rode 150 miles on a racetrack in 6 hours, 43

minutes, and 31 seconds; he used 25 mustangs and won $5,000. On May 11th,

Minnesota entered the United States as the 32nd state. In 1859, mining operations

increased in Nevada and Colorado. That same year painter Albert Bierstadt traveled

through the Rocky Mountains. On February 14th, Oregon entered the Union as the 33rd

state. During the 1850's the Western movement was still strong. During the trip women

didn't want to wear their traditional dresses so they wore their bloomers instead. In the

late 1850's, dogfights were growing in the south, in New Orleans and Kentucky.

(Chronicle of America; American Eras; Encarta Encyclopedia;

In 1850, the gunfighter Benjamin F. Thompson established a reputation for

himself by participating in at least 14 shootouts over the next three decades. California

passed the Foreign Miners Tax. As a result of the population explosion after the Gold

Rush, a wave of violence hit California. In one fifteen-month span in Los Angeles 44

homicides occurred. As a part of the Compromise of 1850, Congress passed the Fugitive

Slave Act in September. On July 23, 1851, members of the Sioux nation signed the

Treaty of Traverse des Sioux, ceding to the U.S. government much of their land in Iowa

and Minnesota. In 1853, the U.S. and Mexico negotiated the Gadsden Purchase, whereby

the former received 29,644 square miles of territory (the southernmost areas of present-

day Arizona and New Mexico) for $15 million. The purchase established the final

boundaries of the continental U.S. and provided the...

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