Compelled to give up his position, he retreated, fighting a series of savage engagements the Seven Days' Battles. To the failure of the Peninsular campaign was added General John Pope's defeat in the second battle of Manassas. Pope was relieved, and once more Lincoln asked General McClellan to head the troops.
Under his leadership the battle of Antietam was fought and won. But when vain- glorious McClellan was hesitant to take up the pursuit of Lee, Lincoln dismissed him. The President would no longer keep a general who had "the slows. Burnside, the man whose side whiskers added a new word to our vocabulary. Burnside attacked Fredericksburg on December It was a mad attempt of a frontal charge.
The Confederates, who had had time to entrench themselves in the city, mowed down the attackers as a reaper levels cornstalks. By nightfall Burnside 's losses mounted to 12, men. In his tent the general buried his head in his hands, crying: "Oh! Oh, those men! Lincoln confided to a friend: "We are on the brink of destruction. It appears to me the Almighty is against us and I can hardly see a ray of hope. At first Lincoln was hesitant, but when Burnside and his officers began to fight among themselves, the President had no choice but to remove him.
In his stead he appointed General Joseph Hooker, an aggressive and brave officer, prone to boasting and bragging. At the battle of Chanccllorsvillc he suffered a disastrous defeat. Once more Lincoln had to make a change. He removed Hooker from his command on June 28, , and replaced him with General George Gordon Meade, "the old snapping turtle. The Union forced Lee to retreat into Virginia; never again could his Army cross the border. At about the same time General Grant captured Vicksburg, sealing off the Confederacy be- yond the Mississippi.
These two major victories turned the tide of the war for the Union. The committee for the ceremonies did not believe that Lincoln would be able to make the main oration, so he was asked only to make some "dedicatory remarks. But his words have re- mained alive and will last as long as the English language. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us.
On the far end of the left bench is General Meade, under whom the battle of Gettysburg was fought. It is the last day of "trench warfare" at Spotsylvania. The Union had been struggling for the last two weeks, suffering tremendous casualties. Since the opening of the Wilderness campaign, Grant had lost 55, men, almost as many as Lee's entire Army. But with bull- dog tenacity he pushed on.
His strategy was rudimentary to harass and attack Lee until the Confederacy was depleted. President Lincoln approved the general's plans and did not interfere with him. In him the President had at last found his general. At the beginning of September he occupied the city, re- quiring "that all the citizens and families resident in Atlanta should go away I resolved to make Atlanta a pure military garrison or depot, with no civil population to influence military measures.
Sherman's "bummers" lived on the land, looted, burned and destroyed property as they marched along. By December 22, , his army was at the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. And Lincoln thanked him: "Now, the undertaking being a success, the honor is all yours. Time was running out for the Confederate States. Since the opening of the Wilderness campaign, Grant had lost 55, men, almost as many as Lee's entire Army, But with bull- dog tenacity he pushed on.
Two months before the above photograph was taken, Congress had re- vived the rank of Lieutenant General of the Army, a rank held previously only by George Washington, and Lincoln conferred the title upon Grant. In him the President had at last found his general "He is my man and I am his until the end of the war," he said.
Only a rubble of stones and masonry remained of this beautiful city after its evacuation by the troops. After the Confederate government left the capital, orders were given to destroy the city's arsenals, warehouses, and bridges. General Robert E. Lee on April 9, , signs the surrender terms at Appomattox. General Grant is sitting at center table.
Great numbers of former slaves roamed the countryside, going from one place to the other, exhilarated by their new-found life. The end of the fighting was in sight. It had been a cruel war, with more than , casualties. The best of the young men lay in their graves. The Union was saved. Yet when the guns grew silent, new prob- lems arose puzzling, perplexing, and difficult ones. The foremost of these one which had to be answered immediately was how the two antagonistic sections could live in peace.
Lincoln told a Southerner: "I love the Southern people more than they love me. My desire is to restore the Union. I do not intend to hurt the hair of the head of a single man in the South if it can possibly be avoided. Richmond had fallen on April 3, the Confederacy surrendered on April 9. A day after Richmond's fall the unguarded President visited the captured Confederate capital. To General WcitzcPs question about the treatment of the conquered people, Lincoln answered: "If I were in your place, I'd let 'em up easy, let 'em up easy. And while he was listening to the comedy, Our American Cousin, John Wilkes Booth, a member of the celebrated theatrical family, shot him with a small derringer.
Then, jumping from the presidential box to the stage, the assassin shouted melodramatically: "The South is avenged! During the night Lincoln struggled with death; at A. Not until April 26 was his murderer discovered hiding in a Virginia barn. There he was cornered by soldiers and shot. The city was in deep mourning on that April 25, , when the remains of the President after having lain in state at the City Hall were taken to the funeral train, which was to carry him over a long and circuitous route to Springfield, Illinois.
Edith Carow, Roosevelt's second wife, who was a childhood friend of Theodore, remembered that she, too, went to watch the funeral from Cornelius Van Schaack Roosevelt's residence. But, frightened by all the black draperies on the streets, on the lampposts, and the houses, she began to cry. Whereupon the two boys, annoyed by the childish behavior, locked her up in a back room, and thus little Edith Kermit Carow never did see Lincoln's funeral. It was part of the rapidly changing America which was mov- ing away from an individualized, largely rural society to an urban and inter- dependent one.
The period after the war was an era of contrasts, and nowhere in the United States were these contrasts more marked than in the crowded streets surrounding the Roosevelt household. New York was a city of extreme wealth and wretched poverty, of high culture and sordid vice, of liberal philan- thropy and shocking greed. For all its showy splendor, New York offered its residents a life of consider- able discomfort and for those in the lower income brackets, great suffering.
The main thoroughfares suffered from congestion. At the close of the war New York had about 1 , hackney coaches, seven omnibus lines with vehicles, and no less than sixteen separate horse railway lines with some cars and 8, horses. Traffic moved at a snail's pace; fast and easy transportation was still a dream of the future, as was suburban development. The state of the streets was abominable. Some of them were paved with stone blocks, which gave carriage and horsecar riders a wretched, bumping ride, as debilitating to the vehicles as it was to the passengers' nerves.
Cobblestones, still in use, were equally uncomfortable and, like stone blocks, accumulated an odorous filth in their cracks. For New York's slum dwellers and there were more than , of them at the close of the Civil War urban living meant little but squalor, disease and poverty. The city's cellar population alone totaled some 20, persons; no- where else in the world did so many people live so closely together.
The tene- ments of the poor had no adequate heating; most of the buildings lacked sewer connections. Epidemics cholera, malaria, and others came with great regu- larity. The death toll from smallpox, typhoid, and scarlet fever reached startling proportions. For prosperous families, like the Roosevelts, life was not too bad.
But their homes were uncomfortable and were tastelessly furnished. Wax flowers and pot- ted plants particularly rubber plants were universal in well-appointed parlors, and blue glass windowpanes were considered not only beautiful, but also an antidote for rheumatism. A decorative whim at this time was the tying of huge satin ribbons around piano legs, while the rest of the piano would be smothered with draped scarves of Oriental design. Young ladies were proud of their plush autograph books, filled with poems and sentiments.
In the tempest of life, when you need an umbrella May it be upheld by a handsome young feller. Or a more daring member of the young set might offer: You ask me to write something original But I don't know where to begin, For there's nothing original in me, Excepting original sin. It became inevitable that the increasing urbanization and industrialization would bring new techniques to cope with the problems of congested living.
One of the most striking was the huge increase in the manufacture of ready-made clothing for everyday wear a revolutionary innovation. Another was the growth of the canned-food business and the establishment of large commercial bakeries. Lives of the housewives were made still easier by the new washing and sewing machines, both of which sold in enormous numbers. A development of the decade was the apartment house, called the "French flat," marking a radical departure in American urban living.
Until then, people with means had lived either in single residences or in rooming houses. The "French flat, 55 like similar apartments in Paris, offered the tenant a private and self-sufficient suite of rooms, with bath and kitchen and elevator service. But New York had many well-to-do. In , four years after the erection of the first apartment building, some 3, families were enjoying the new and improved way of life. The buildings of the city grew higher thanks to the developments in pas- senger elevators. While formerly a house with three or four stories was considered a tall one, now ten- and twelve-story buildings were erected the beginning of Manhattan's sky line.
In dress, as in most other things, the city set the pace, although Paris remained the original source of fashion. The crinoline skirt, popularized by Napoleon Hi's Empress Eug6nie, became standard wear in New York by the close of the Civil War, as did colored stockings, Empire bonnets, and gold dust sprinkled on the hair for formal occasions.
Men's clothing remained solemn and restrained, with dark 'suits universal for both daytime and evening wear. The ungainly stovepipe hat continued to crown men's heads at formal functions; and among the more prosperous, a crease in the trousers was looked down upon as evidence that the suit was ready-made. Men's furnishings for everyday wear included stiff-fronted shirts that buttoned in the back, "choker" collars, bow ties, and embroidered suspenders. For both men and women, nightgowns were standard bed wear, pajamas being considered the affectation of a small and effete minority. Long underwear was worn in all seasons.
In addition to his many other clothing accessories, the well-appointed male carried a handsome gold or silver jeweled toothpick on the end of his watch chain. Blue laws were numerous, Sunday was observed strictly, and the virtue of young women was protected by a strict code of proprieties. Among the middle class, even in the urban centers, drinking was often frowned upon. Wine was for ceremonial occasions only; hard liquors were not for consumption in the home, and cer- tainly not in mixed company. Divorces were still out of the ordinary in the divorce rate was less than one in 3, marriages.
The somberness of middle-class life was by no means all of urban America, for the new rich and the more frivolously fashionable sets saw to it that gaiety was not excluded from the daily round. Though many of the oldest New York families looked on with disdain, the theaters, music halls, and race tracks did a thriving business.
The opera drew large, glittering audiences of jeweled and ostentatiously dressed nouveaux. Abetted by the heavy influx of German immigrants, beer gardens sprang up all over New York. And the concert saloon a favorite target of moralists offered drinking, gay music, and the sight of attractive young ladies at a price which the customers could afford. The growth of urbanization brought with it the emergence of summer re- sorts, where prosperous families retreated during the hot weather. At New- port, Rhode Island, New Yorkers who found the hotel occupants too unselective began to build great villas that soon made that resort one of the most extrav- agant in the world.
To the south of New York, Long Branch, New Jersey, staked luxurious claims as a place of seaside recreation for fashionable society.
Naturally, only a small part of the population had the time or the money to enjoy resort life. The average worker had no vacations; even the idea of making Saturday a half holiday was not generally accepted by employers until nearly the close of the century. So most New Yorkers had to enjoy simpler pleasures close to home. In winter there was skating at Central Park, tobogganing on the huge slide at the old Polo Grounds on upper Fifth Avenue, and sleighing for every family that could afford to keep a horse.
At other seasons of the year rowing, archery, and bicycling were popular, while croquet became a tremendous fad at homes with the necessary lawn space. Baseball was still in its infancy, but already it was winning out over cricket as the national game. Among the city's numerous fraternal organizations, rifle teams were highly popular, the sport being pursued at boisterous Sunday outings in the country. New York, the bustling, fast-growing, hurriedly improving metropolis, was the background for Teedie's growing years. He was a city boy, through and through.
As he was not a strong child still suffering from asthma he was not able to play and roam around with other children. Thus he turned into a bookish boy. He read incessantly, a habit which he kept throughout his lifetime. He also had an "instinctive interest in natural history," and began to write a natural history of his own, "written down in blank books in simplified spelling, wholly unpremeditated and unscientific.
He had a yearning for nature and its mysteries, a fascination for the outdoors. On the first floor of the build- ing were the parlor and the library, both opening from the hall. The library had no windows and, as Theodore Roosevelt remembered it, "was available only at night. An avid reader, he became a nat- ural-history fan at an early age. That seal filled me with every possible feeling of ro- mance and adventure. I measured it, and I recall that, not having a tape measure, I had to do my best to get its girth with a folding pocket foot-rule, a difficult undertaking.
I had vague aspirations of in some way or another owning and preserving that seal, but they never got beyond the purely formless stage. I think, however, I did get the seal's skull, and with two of my cousins promptly started what we ambitiously called the 'Roosevelt Museum of Natural History. A large mass of poverty- stricken people were living in overcrowded and unhealthy tenement houses. The ships brought three to four hundred thousand immigrants mostly Irish and Germans to America each year. Their lot was not an enviable one. Work was hard, hours long, wages low, opportunities not so rosy and abundant as they had seemed from the other side of the ocean.
Yet the men came, at times with nothing more than a bundle on their backs and a hope for the future. Minstrel and variety shows usually drew large audi- ences mostly males. Some fifteen principal theaters competed for public favor. There were excellent stock companies and great stars. Tickets were not expensive. Orchestra stalls sold for one dollar, while fifty cents ad- mitted one to the parquet.
It was estimated that 8, horses were daily on the streets of New York, pulling railway cars. Traffic moved at snail's pace. The streets were slippery with filth, the poor pavement was a hazard for the animals. To stop the abuse given these horses, Henry Bergh or- ganized a society for the protection of animals. In he succeeded in hav- ing the first specific law passed against persons who "maliciously kill, maim, wound, injure, torture or cruelly beat any horse, The fashion- able females dressed like their Parisian counterparts, while the male of New York society imitated the upper class of England.
The "shoddy aristocracy" the newly rich who had gained affluence because of the war played a prominent part in the life of the city, trying by an ostentatious display of luxurious living, expensive clothes and jewels to gain recognition from the city's established social leaders.
Before he provided Manhattan with its chief mode of passenger transpor- tation, he was known as the builder of the Soo Canal. Only twenty-three years old, he con- ceived the idea of building a canal between Lake Superior and the other lakes. This one-mile canal made a thousand-mile waterway possible from Lake Superior right through to the Atlantic. Men of great importance believed that such an idea bordered on lunacy. Henry Clay declared that it was a pipe dream, "a project beyond the remotest settlement of the United States if not the moon," but Harvey could not be discouraged.
He sold the idea to a few hardheaded Yankee businessmen, and they made him the chief engineer of the company. Digging began in the summer of and went on during the freezing temper- atures of the winter months. The diggers rebelled, epidemics decimated their ranks. Yet Harvey drove them on. In two years the work was completed and the first boat went through the locks. The Soo Canal made the United States the first ironmaking country of the world. Ore from the Menominee, the Marquette, the Gogebic and Mesabi ranges could be transported to Pittsburgh, making iron, then steel, cheaper, which in turn helped to build America in a hurry a tremendous contribution for which Charles Harvey was greatly responsible.
It is strange that, in spite of these achievements, his name is hardly known today. The city was ugly, uncomfortable, and unhealthy, a breeding ground of malaria and other infectious diseases. It was badly paved. The New York Tribune lamented that gutters of the streets were "stopped up and were creamy with green stagnant matter that looked like vomit seasoned with giblets of rotten meat. More than half a million New Yorkers lived in 15, tenement houses.
In one block on Avenue B, near the 54 East River, fifty-two tenement houses were occupied by no less than 2, people. On the average, ten families lived in each house, but "some swarmed with two or three hundred persons. Originally Castle Garden was a fort, built in to defend New York. At that time its name was Fort Clinton. Conveyed to the federal gov- ernment in , it became a place where social functions were held.
Between and the garden was a clear- ing station for immigrants. The homes of the more well-to-do were large but un- comfortable. Ugly and elabo- rate pieces of furniture, heavy curtains and draperies made the rooms solemn and pomp- ous. With their bric-a-brac and sentimental groups of Rogers statuary, parlors often resembled cheap china shops rather than gracious rooms designed for family living.
The Germans and the Irish fought these laws as unfair. The for- mer were especially wrought up as they could not bring their families to the Biergartens on Sundays. Indignation meet- ings were held in bars, and speakers harangued against the rich, who could have liquor in their clubs and spacious homes while the unhappy poor had to get along without it. It took ten years of toil and almost ten million dollars before the barren and rocky wilderness of more than eight hundred acres between 59th and th streets was transformed into a beautiful pleasure park.
Here class barriers were down, here rich and poor alike were welcome. In the winter it was fashionable to skate on the pond, in summer to promenade on the Mall. One could watch the passing of the fast trotting horses drawing buggies, broughams, landaus. And if one's means were moderate, one could still rent an open dray and drive around the paths. In the warm months promenade concerts were given in the pagoda-like music pavilion, to which the wealthy came in carriages and listened from the terrace of the nearby Casino, where they could enjoy a meal at the same time. Others heard the concerts from benches, from rented canopied rustic chairs, or simply by sitting on the grass.
On occasion, the attendance at these concerts ran into astonishing figures. It was recorded that as many as forty or fifty thousand people were listening to the music. When this was the case the horsecar lines, which financed the venture, raked in a handsome profit on their musical investment. Prodigal in love ai friendships, she woi hearts of prominent among them Alex Dumas the elder an poet Swinburne. When The Black Crook, a musical extravaganza which exhibited the female form in close-fitting tights, turned into an enormous success, girl shows became the vogue.
Audiences filled Niblo's Theatre where The Black Crook was played for sixteen consecutive months during and The following year the English Lydia Thompson brought some British girls to New York, who were not only shapely but radi- antly blond. And this in a city of brunettes. The Lydia Thompson girls showed America that girls from the Old Country had everything the American girls had, and even a little bit more.
Overnight they became the toast of the town. The main topic of conversation in oyster houses, in clubs, and in offices was the dazzling blondes and their curves. The New York Times was alarmed. In its opinion the "whole blonde business" was a "licentious exhibition" which could only lead to the demoralization of the theater. The Lydia Thompson troupe were the first real show girls; they brought sex to the American stage a commodity which has shown its endurance and which has remained with us even to the present day.
He was too young to be aware of the tremendous political issues which were in ferment and which were fought out between President and Congress. These dark and tragic years brought new prosperity to the North, but poverty and humiliation to the South. The Radical Republicans in Congress were determined to punish the "conquered provinces. Though the era of reconstruction was short not more than a dozen years its evils and hatreds lingered on in the South for decades to come. On no man did the weight of Lincoln's passing fall more heavily than on Andrew Johnson, the Tennessee Democrat who had remained loyal to the Union and had been selected as the President's running mate in Johnson pledged to continue Lincoln's policies, to bind up the nation's wounds without hatred or vindictiveness.
But the Radical Republicans, a strong and influential group within the Republican party, wanted to use the South's defeat as a political weapon; they wanted Republican dominance over the Democrats. Headed by Thaddeus Stevens, they had been hostile to Lincoln; and when Lincoln died, they hoped that Johnson would more easily be bent to their will.
But Andrew Johnson's background was not that of a man who would readily yield to pressure. He was born in poverty, and his formal education was negli- gible. At an early age he moved from North Carolina to Tennessee, where he earned his living as a tailor. Fond of political debates, he sided with the Southern poor whites. He reflected their bitterness at the slaveholding aristoc- racy and at the Whig organization through which this class exercised political control. A driving ambition enabled him to compensate for his lack of formal schooling; while plying his trade, a hired man read to him for fifty cents a day.
Later, when he married, his wife taught him to read. It was inevitable that Johnson should have been drawn into politics, and it was not long before he became one of the most powerful Democrats in his state. The outbreak of the war found him in the Senate of the United States. Al- though in he supported Breckinridge, the secession candidate, he could not countenance the breaking up of the Union. He was now squarely behind Lincoln. He said: "I voted against him; I spoke against him; I spent my money to defeat him.
But I still love my country; I love the Constitution; I intend to insist on its guarantees. There and there alone I intend to plant myself, with the confident hope and belief that if the Union remains together, in less than four years the now triumphant party will be overthrown. His program of reconstruction differed little from that of his predecessor. It was a liberal plan aimed at bringing the Southern states back into the family quickly and without penalties.
It called for appointment of a provisional gov- ernor in each of the seceded states, a governor with power to call a constitu- tional convention. Once the delegates to these conventions had agreed to abolish slavery and invalidate their ordinances of secession, they were to be free to organize their states within the provisions of the federal Constitution. Johnson's plan specifically gave the states the privilege of deciding who could vote and who could not, although he added to this his recommendation that Negroes who were able to read and write or who owned property should be enfranchised along with whites.
These magnanimous terms, gratefully received in the South, aroused the fury of the Radical Republicans. For many Radicals, the first and foremost objective was to ensure Republican supremacy by giving the Negroes the ballot and keeping the "disloyal" Southern Democrats from the polls. The Radicals argued: "When the government decided that the Negro was fit to carry a gun to shoot rebels down, it thereby pledged itself irrevocably to give him the ballot to vote rebels down. The powerful Union League Club of New York, which had been instrumental in helping runaway slaves to find freedom before the war, now devoted itself to the suffrage cause, sending organizers among the Southern Negroes to kindle their hatred of their former masters and to stiffen their determination to win equal rights.
The Freedmen's Bureau, with offices throughout the South, tended to work toward the same end as it carried out its prescribed function of aiding the Negroes to adapt themselves to freedom. The South was alarmed by the demand for Negro suffrage. For more than two centuries the Negro had been a chattel, with a legal status scarcely above that of livestock. To accept him as a political equal with the implication of social equality as well was a frightening thought. Southerners knew that the great majority of Negroes were not yet ready for the rights of citizenship.
As slaves, most of them had been kept in a state of unlettered ignorance and were scarcely better equipped to vote intelligently than their forefathers who were brought to America from the jungles of Africa. Taking full advantage of President Johnson's proposals, most of the former Confederate states had organized under the terms of his plan by the end of , sending to Washington their representatives. In Congress the leader of Johnson's Radical opposition was Thaddeus Stevens, one of the most enigmatic characters in American history.
Lame from birth, he was a man of great brilliance and bitterness. He was born in poverty in Vermont, and early formed a deep hatred for aristocracy in all forms, but particularly in the form of the Southern slaveholders. To him the Civil War was an opportunity for crushing the hated class. An inveterate gambler, Stevens 62 made and lost two fortunes in the iron industry.
He lived with a mulatto house- keeper and never denied reports that she was his mistress. When the war closed, he was seventy-three years old and so infirm that he often attended sessions of Congress racked with pain. He appeared to have voluminous black hair, but once when an abolitionist woman asked for a lock of it, he smilingly removed his wig and handed it to her.
He kept his sardonic humor until the last. When, on his deathbed, a friend expressed concern over his appearance, Stevens coined the bon mot: "It is not my appearance but my disappearance that troubles me. His message, ably written by George Bancroft, the historian, presented the doctrine that the Confederate states had never ceased to exist as states but had been in a condition of legal suspension from which they should now be restored as quickly as possible. This argument ran headlong into Stevens' contention that the Confederate states had lost their legal status by seceding and must be considered for the present as conquered provinces without the protection of the federal Constitution a contention designed to answer Johnson's claim that he could not enforce Negro suffrage because the Constitution left voting questions up to the states.
Speaking in the House of Representatives, Stevens stated frankly: "I think there would always be enough Union men in the South, aided by the blacks, to divide the representation and thus continue Republican ascendancy. At first it looked as though the President might be able to stem the tide of the opposition, for when he vetoed a bill to extend and expand the powers of the Freedmen's Bureau, he was sustained by a small margin in the Senate.
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But his victory was short-lived. His subsequent veto of the Civil Rights Bill, which sought to guarantee equal privileges for Negroes, was not sustained. From then on, the Radicals were in the driver's seat. As the mid-term elections of were approaching, Johnson set out on a speaking tour in an effort to convince the country of the soundness of his policies. The trip was a failure. The election repudiated Johnson; it gave the Radicals the vote; they had comfortable majorities in both houses of Congress.
Stevens now was able to force through Congress a new reconstruction plan. Five military districts were set up in the South, each one placed under an Army general, and provision made for constitutional conventions to be con- ducted under Northern auspices. All Negroes were given the right to vote, but the vote was to be withheld from those whites who had been disloyal to the Union. And even after these conditions had been met, the state could be repre- sented in Congress only by such representatives as would swear that they had never voluntarily given aid to the Confederate cause.
These were harsh terms. When a Republican told Thaddeus Stevens that he was conscience-stricken over such measures, Stevens would have no such nonsense. He replied: 63 "Conscience! Tell your conscience to go to the devil, and follow the party line. It was the Tenure of Office Act which became the focal point for the increasingly strong Radical demand for Johnson's impeachment. Eleven counts were drawn up against Johnson, nine of them dealing with the Stanton removal, which, it was charged, violated the Tenure of Office Act.
The trial that followed was a political spectacle of first magni- tude, with bribes offered and votes canvassed as though in a party caucus. And when it was over, Johnson had escaped impeachment by a single vote. To keep the freedmen from following the political leadership of their former masters, the Radicals used all kinds of methods to wean the Negroes away from them. Representatives of the Union League promised them "forty acres and a mule. As the time arrived to register them as voters, the vast majority of former slaves had been convinced that their dreams for a better life could be realized only through the Republican party.
The constitutional conventions in the South were dominated by Negroes who comprised a majority of the voters in five of the ten states , by "carpet- baggers" and "scalawags. They quickly assumed the po- sitions of leadership. When the state constitutions prepared by these conven- tions were submitted to the voters, many of the whites stayed away from the polls.
But the Radicals drew the Negroes in such overwhelming numbers to the ballot box that they were able to get the majority ratification. The seven Southern states which were readmitted to the Union before the presi- dential election were all in the Republican column. But their potentialities were largely dissipated by the corrupt and incompetent officials who were placed in office by the first elections.
The highest elective posts went to carpetbaggers, and the lesser offices were distributed among scalawags and Negroes who were far from the best representatives of the freedmen. The new officialdom, moreover, was in a unique position to pursue policies of political irresponsibility, for most of them were men of little property and even less education.
Under these circumstances, it was natural enough that the new governments 64 tended toward confiscatory legislation and corrupt administration, producing an orgy of misgovernment. Tax rates rose steeply, at the very time when prop- erty owners were trying desperately to get back on their feet.
In such an atmosphere the presidential election of was held. That Grant would win the election was never in doubt. The electorate cared little that he knew nothing about public affairs, that he had only voted once in his life, that he was a poor speaker and not much of a thinker. And the people cared less that the Democratic candidate had all the qualifications for the high office, that Seymour was a profound student of politics, a polished orator, and an ex- perienced administrator. They wanted Grant and no arguments. The main issue of the campaign was reconstruction. The Republicans took a strong stand for the Reconstruction Acts, while the Democrats maintained that their opponents had "subjected 10 states, in the time of profound peace, to military despotism and Negro supremacy.
A campaign jingle reflected the feelings of many Southerners: To every Southern river shall Negro suffrage come, But not to fair New England, for that's too close to home. As expected, General Grant won the election. The harsh reconstruction program, continued under Grant's term, produced organized resistance in the South.
The Ku Klux Klan at first a harmless organization with no particular program became an instrument in the hand of Southerners who desired to discipline the Negroes and the carpetbaggers. By 1 atrocities against Negroes became frequent. Murders, whippings, and tortures were the order of the day, with gangs of white-robed Klansmen rid- ing the countryside at night to terrorize those whom they felt to be responsible for the South's degradation.
In the fall of the more responsible leaders of the Klan and the several similar organizations that had sprung up attempted to disband the lawless elements, but their efforts were unsuccessful. The Radical reconstruction policies fomented vigorous resistance in the South. The whites, determined to end military control of their government, began to organize themselves to best political advantage and to place increas- ing emphasis on nonviolent tactics to restore home rule.
In state after state the conservatives, operating through the Democratic party, regained control of the government, driving the carpetbaggers and scalawags into retirement. Their efforts were greatly aided by the split in the Republican ranks and by the fact that Northern leniency became greater as the Civil War hatreds were gradually soothed by time. When Theodore Roosevelt grew up, he learned what disastrous results the Radicals had reaped for the Republican party.
Instead of securing the South- ern and Negro vote, they had created a "Solid South," the main Democratic bastion for generations to come. Johnson set out from Wash? The Radicals organized demonstrations against him, hecklers roused his ire and goaded him into intemperate utterances; newspapers fought him, charging him with drunkenness, car- toonists ridiculed him mercilessly, as the artist Thomas Nast has done in this cartoon. Johnson's trip ended in dismal failure; the election upheld the Radicals, who carried both houses of Congress by great major- ities.
They now were given the man- date to carry out their harsh recon- struction policies in the South. Thomas, General U. The Re- construction Acts of gave the vote to the former slaves. They now had equal rights with the whites. They flocked to the registration offices, where officials of the military governments read to them their new privileges.
Southerners were enraged and humiliated. While the former slaves were given the suffrage, only those whites who were willing to swear that they had not voluntar- ily joined the Confederate Army were allowed to vote. In the state elections of the Negroes voted for the first time, outnumbering the whites.
The political campaign of the Radical Republicans made it certain that the new voters would cast their ballots for the Republican candi- dates. The freedmen listened to inflammatory speeches about their former masters, listened to promises of "forty acres and a mule. The re- sults of the elections were corrupt governments, enor- mous state debts, and a hostile white population.
That unhappy state, with a legislature made up largely of Negroes un- able to read or write, found itself milked dry by graft and extravagance. School funds were stolen; businesses had to make direct payments to public officials for permits and franchises; payrolls were padded. In the State House barroom the average daily consumption for a legis- lator was a gallon of liquor; some lawmakers staggered into the chamber, wholly drunk. The Ku Klux Klan, at first a harmless organization, turned into a vicious instrument in the hands of hood- lums who acquired control of many of the Klan's local branches.
Atrocities against Negroes, murders, whippings, and tortures became the order of the day. This and other vile, debasing, and brutal mis- deeds kept the Negroes and their allies in constant fear. The attor- ney who was later to defend the Klan declared that their outrages shocked humanity. In , ac- cording to a Southern newspaper, the Klan was being formed for action "wherever the insolent negro, the malignant white traitor to his race, and the infamous squatter" were plotting to make the South "utterly unfit for the residence of the decent white man.
By the Klan had absorbed "all the horse thieves, cutthroats, bushwhackers and outlaws of every description" and degenerated into a mob of lawless rioters. Seated, from left to right: Benjamin F. Standing: James F. Wilson, George S. Boutwell, and John A. It failed to impeach Johnson by a single vote. When the President removed Edwin Stan ton, the Secretary of War, from office without consulting the Senate, the hostile group of Radical Republicans instituted impeachment proceedings against Johnson.
Edwin Stanton, the Secretary of War and a close friend of the Radicals. When the President, challenging the constitution- ality of the Act, dismissed Stanton, the Radicals charged him with "high crimes and misdemeanors" and voted to impeach him. Nine of the eleven charges against Johnson were based on the Tenure of Office Act. The trial lasted from the middle of March till the middle of May , with the country watching in a high state of excitement.
To impeach the Presi- dent the Radicals needed a two-thirds vote. But their effort failed. In the decisive ballot seven Republican senators sided with the Democrats. Thaddeus Stevens muttered angrily: "The country is going to the devil. The entry dated "Sunday, Munday and Tuesday" is particularly revealing. The robins and catbirds nest I pushed from limbs with sticks. We knocked down two pair of birds nests but did not take them.
All of a sudden we saw high in the barn and with a wasps nest near it a swallows nest. We got it with a ladder. Nothing now happened till the 4th of September. Almost every day his entries contain some reference to natural history, his lifelong interest. The 4th of September was most exciting. When I went in there what was my surprise to see on wall, curtains and floor about fourty swallows. I caught most of them. The others got out. There are entries in the diary which foretell the vigorous life to which Theodore adhered as a grown man.
I will always have a ride of six miles before breakfast now," he wrote on August Whether he played store and "baby," whether he went to church, whether he "read, wrote or drew," whether he "did nothing," everything was put on paper with systematic care. And while the nation wrestled with the grave problem of reconstruction, while Congress started impeachment proceedings against the President, the Roosevelt children spent an idyllic summer at Barrytown, unaware of the momentous political decisions which faced the country.
Grant, the hero of the Civil War, became President in The country looked forward to good times and a decent administration. It attained neither. Under Grant's leadership public morality sank to a new low. Corruption and graft flourished. Though personally honest, the President could not check the misdeeds of his associates. Politicians and speculators abused his trusting nature. Gradually, a disillusioned electorate realized that a successful military man does not necessarily have the makings of a good President. They were to go to Europe so the children could see and learn at first hand about the Old World.
Roosevelt lived in voluntary exile. They had a lovely reunion, and Theodore visited his cousins' school. The only trouble was: "We had a nice time but met Jeff Davises son and some sharp words ensued. Zermatt, Andermatt, Lucerne, Zurich one gets tired listing the names of the places. The Roosevelts were sight-seers of the first order. Though there was plenty to watch and plenty to do, Teedie was not too happy. His diary reveals that "I have been homesick all the nights at Luzerne.
There they stayed put for a full month, enjoying life in the French capital. Six weeks there, a week in London, and a visit to Liverpool to say farewell to the Bullochs rounded out the trip. On May 14 they embarked on the Russia, and sailed home. Theodore closes his diary on an exultant pitch: "This morning we saw land of America and, swiftly coming on, passed Sandy Hook and went in to the bay. New York!!! During the trip Theodore recorded his experiences with methodical exactness.
On the voyage to Europe he noted that he was seasick and that he was home- sick. When the boat reached its destination the whole ship was in an up- roar except Teedie, who "read, entirely oblivious to what was going on. I am going to try to wake him up to observe what goes on and make him observe. Tussaud's; the hard-to-spell name was conveniently left out. There are entries in the diary like "I was verry sick last night," or "I had a miserable night," or "I was rubbed so hard on the chest this morning that the blood came out. In Switzerland he went for long walks, sometimes thirteen, sometimes nineteen and some- times even twenty miles a day to build up his body.
She lived next door to Grandfather Roosevelt on Fourteenth Street, and her parents were family friends. Theodore was fond of her, though it was his sister Corinne who be- came Edith's "churn. A few months later in Rome, after the birthday party for his brother Elliott, Theodore confided in his diary: "We then danced and when we had forfeits I was suddenly surprised by being kissed by Ellicse Van Schaick as the boy she loved best in the room.
In his diary he noted all the interest- ing things he saw, all the places he visited. He would have enjoyed the trip more if he had suffered less from recurrent asthma attacks. His elder sister, Bamie, wrote to her aunt: "Poor little Tedie is sick again with the asthma it was coming on all day yesterday, but in the evening he seemed a little better so Father went out before his return, however, Tedie had a very bad attack. Mother and I were very much worried about the poor little fellow and at last Mother gave him a strong cup of coffee, which failed as he could not sleep but sat in the parlor to have stories of when Mother was a little girl told him.
As it rained I did not go out untill the afternoon when I and Conie went out alone. In the eve- ning mama showed me the portrait of Eidieth Carow and her face stired up in me homesickness and longings for the past which will come again never, alack never. The times the "big people" went out that is, father, mother, and his elder sister, Ramie while Theodore, his brother Elliott, his sister Corinne "the little people" were left behind are recorded in minute detail.
The entries reveal a methodical, pedantic, orderly mind. In Paris the young diarist describes how "We annoyed not really the chambermaids and waiters and were chased by them. In Italy the Roosevelts visited "St. John the Baptists chapel where no woman was allowed to enter because Herrodeus had had his head cut off"; in France, "We went to Pere la Chais where we saw severel famous persons interred.
What will come? In another section of his diary he made careful notation of the promises which were given him on the trip and which had to be fulfilled when the family returned to America. He recorded these promises with great care, so they would not be forgotten. Thus, when Papa said Theodore would get "a verry good bow and arrow," or "a good big geogography," here they were noted in the diary. Similarly, Mama's promise "if possible a room for myself" and Papa's word about letting him know "the names of my forefathers" were put on paper; there could be no argument about the matter later.
Theodore would not take any chances. As New York grew too fast, neither housing accom- modations nor school facilities could keep pace with the population increase. School classes like the above Grammar School No. In there were schools in the city, with 3, teachers over 3, of them women , who taught , pupils.
A contemporary chronicler noted that the best students were the Jews, followed by the Germans, "whilst the Irish, with different traits, have produced from these schools bright speci- mens of what, with education, they may become. The third quarter of the nineteenth century brought a tremendous acceler- ation to the industrial revolution throughout the Western world, and nowhere did the revolution move more speedily than in the United States. Statistics cannot fully convey the greatest economic boom the country had ever seen, but they indicate the speed with which industrial expansion drove the nation forward.
In only 1. By the figure had reached 3 billions. In there were , manufacturing plants in the country. Ten years later there were , Steel production jumped from about 15, tons in to more than , tons in , while in the eight years following the war the na- tion's total railroad mileage increased per cent.
Of all the fabulous industrial success stories during the years following Appomattox, none were more remarkable than the growth of two relatively new products: steel and oil. The steel age had been born in England in through the genius of Henry Bessemer, but it did not get started in America until just after the war. Thereafter, the development of the new product was so fast that steel became as cheap as cast iron. During the early years of the industry, most of the output went into train rails, where its durability made it far superior to iron.
If for no other reason than this, steel's influence on Ameri- can expansion was predominant, since the huge crops of the Middle West and the manufactured goods of the Mississippi Valley could never have been car- ried without it. Oil, like steel, was an industry that grew up almost overnight. Before the war, crude oil had been used on a small scale as a lubricant, and on a some- what larger scale as a "cure-all" medicine to be used either externally or inter- nally for almost any ailment. The boom came, however, with the discovery that a cheap refining process could make the product into a practical source of illumination.
In addition to steel and oil, meat packing emerged as a major business in this postwar period, aided by the growth of cattle ranching, and improvements in rail transportation and refrigeration. The milling industry, superseding the old-fashioned gristmill, the manufacture of ready-made clothing in place of homemade garments yielded quick riches. Besides meat packing and milling, foundries sprang up in Iowa and Illinois; breweries in St. Louis and Milwaukee; a thriving watch industry in Elgin, Illinois; stockyards, farm machinery and railroad equipment production boomed in Chicago.
In the exciting drama of taming the Wild West the railroads played a major role. The westward advancement of the frontier settlements during the ten years following Lincoln's death was truly astonishing. Three wartime measures the Homestead Act, the Morrill Land-Grant Act, and a bill giving huge tracts to the Union Pacific had thrown extensive public lands open to settle- ment. Between and nearly 40, homesteads passed into the pos- session of settlers. Under the Morrill Act, each state in the Union received 30, acres per congressman to sell or rent for endowing colleges of agricul- ture and mechanics.
The railroads Union Pacific, Santa Fe, and Southern Pacific particularly were given mile land grants on each side of their tracks in territorial areas, and mile grants in the states. So great was the land distribution that by , when the last of the railroad grants was made, the government had given away nearly ,, acres an area three times the size of New England.
However, as the era of the civil rights movement manifested itself, the awakening interest in minority and revisionist history gained momentum. Carter, comp. Data from his dissertation would be enlarged into more disheartening and statistically damning detail in his book, The Sun Dance Religion: Power for the Powerless. Critchlow, played a far more honest and humanitarian role than did any of the early Mormons.
Sylvester, eds. Kathryn L. MacKay and Floyd A. It would not be until after seeing the high cost of fighting Indians that Brigham Young would become firmly convinced that it was always cheaper to placate, conciliate, and support Indians rather than to fight them, a policy that would fuel all of his subsequent responses to Indian aggression. Poll, ed. For example, J. George Washington Hill second row middle missionary to and champion of the Northwestern Shoshone. The s also found Brigham D. Madsen raising Mormon-Shoshone relations out of obscurity.
The expense of such a system will. In J. Huntington, Supt. Madsen, Shoshoni Frontier, 25, , , , See Isabel T. Stewart, personal communication, , in reference to his Ute Claims Case testimony. For more details see also, John A. Indian tradition claimed all had their throats cut, and one escapee was murdered later when he returned and boasted of it. Although Young urges his policies of conciliation and defense, he is also a rather two-faced conciliator who fights a supposedly secret war, offering honest amnesty while blatantly usurping the land, and authoring several disastrous strategies that end up perpetuating the cycle of hostilities and retaliation instead of ending them.
Peterson, Black Hawk War, , , Indian versions tell of a premeditated attack not a response to discovery on a sleeping camp in the Squaw Fight. They detail the brutality of the retaliation after Pipe Springs, and suggest the Indian prisoners in Circleville did not try to escape but were deliberately executed. Instead he implies that they might be more accurate. Yet he also demonstrates that errors exist in some accounts i.
This may be true of at least the Squaw Fight, for there is a striking uniformity of extant official and unofficial versions. Mae Parry, for example, is careful to validate her Shoshone versions of the Bear River Massacre by demonstrating how carefully survivors preserved their oral memories of this event. The militia imported from the north includes many young men who are little more than footloose, poorly outfitted, and disaffected hired guns.
See Albert R. Wilkinson who was intimately involved with writing the claims act considered by many to be a prelude to termination and whose firm handled the largest number of profitable Indian claims cases, including those of the Southern Paiute and the precedent-setting Ute claims, while ignoring other less-profitable Indian rights litigation. Compare similar arguments in Ramon A. Children on placement were fostered by Mormon families during the school year. The law firm that handled the majority of Indian claims cases was Mormon-dominated Wilkinson, Cragun, and Barker.
Most attorneys preferred the profitable claims cases. See Kenneth R. Philp, ed. On the other hand, Robert S. McPherson has remained a much less str ident cr itic of Mormon-Indian relations, and many of his own or coauthored works have focused less on Mormon-Indian than on white-Indian, IndianIndian, or Mor mon-gentile relations in which Indians were usually caught in the middle.
Most historians recognize that concern over budget deficits, dissatisfaction with the bloated and ineffective BIA, and an anti-communist shift in Washington also fanned the flames of termination. See Robert S. Larson and Charles S. They had found that, despite official rhetoric to the contrary, the ideal of Indian redemption had been overshadowed by the realities of a deliberate and calculated usurpation of Indian lands, creating a pattern of conquest, exploitation, and oppression that was simply a repetition of white-Indian relations elsewhere in the country.
He also suggested that because of these differing interpretations readers would need to decide for themselves how to view Mormon-Indian relations. Readers of history expect their historians to tell them what the events mean, for facts seldom speak for themselves, but achieve meaning only as they are interpreted by scientists and scholars. This is especially true for history, where scholars sift through evidence, picking and choosing what they believe is significant, and interpreting it though the lenses of their own paradigms and biases.
No historian can escape the influence of their own perspectives, including this writer; however, after thirty years of being pulled through the interpretive tides of revisionist opinions about Mormon-Indian relations, I would argue that, while spattered with injustice and abuse, the pattern of Mormon-Indian relations still differed to a significant degree from Indian relations elsewhere on the 60 Lyman, Indians and Outlaws, 59, 67, , esp.
Ironically, Lyman postscripts his offensively racist Outlaw of Navaho Mountain by expressing his warm regards for the Indian people, and noting that Posey was not bad at heart, just undisciplined and understandably resentful of white incursion. American frontiers, particularly during the first fifteen years of Mormon settlement. He did, however, urge federal intervention with its treaties and annuities, encouraged vocational retraining on Indian farms or individual employment, and urged members to be generous in giving handouts to the Indians.
To claim the territory, he planned to fling small settlements to distant parts where they would be highly vulnerable to attack, and would be linked by long stretches of equally vulnerable roads. And converting Indians to Mormonism and farming was obviously more difficult when they were killing each other. But hostilities were the exception. There is ample evidence to show that despite the intermittent and occasionally bloody conflict, an extraordinarily benign, symbiotic relationship did exist during the first years of Mormon-Indian contact, and as Peterson notes, the Utah Indian wars were generally fought between friends and acquaintances.
Indians camped near major settlements, usually moved freely within and around them, were well known and often friends; they traded fish or game for food, exchanged captive children for arms and livestock, ate at Mormon tables, and occasionally worked for farmers or simply begged or demanded handouts —which they usually received.
In , O. Madsen, Shoshoni Frontier, details many of the accusations of conspiracy, i. Mormons were also accused of masquerading as Indians and attacking emigrants themselves. Simply by moving into and establishing resource-intensive settlements on Indian land Mormons cast themselves into the role of villain. And as Mormons prospered, Indians died.
With mounting tensions, the disintegration of relations was inevitable. Gwinn H. In White River Utes laughed at farming Uintahs, called them women, and claimed the work was the responsibility of the white agency employees. See J. Critchlow to Commissioner F. Walker, Sept. Rank and file Mormons quickly grew frustrated when their idealistic vision of converting Indians overnight from savage nomads into civilized agrarians foundered, and grew resentful of the increasing burden of supporting a population of seemingly irresponsible beggars and thieves.
Exasperated Mormons grew hostile toward Indians who not only took their proferred food, but continued to resent them, steal from them, and on occasion fight them in brutal, retaliatory uprisings. See in Marvin K. Others like Sowiette, Sowoksobet, Kanosh, and Tabby avoided conflict and counseled peace. Christian morality itself. It is easy to subscribe to a theoretical and idealistic dream like that of peaceful coexistence with a traditional enemy, but the reality of putting such a dream into effect is much more difficult.
Fearful or angry settlements like Circleville, Nephi, Manti, and later Blanding, who had previously maintained friendly trading relations with their Indian neighbors were, in the heat of the moment, willing to imprison or execute Indians on the mere suspicion of their complicity in raids, or dispatch the local militia for Indian scalps, not because the Indians had committed any offense, but simply because they might commit them. Pratt, May 14, , p. Heath, , , and cf. Even Brigham Young could be goaded into intemperate decisions in the heat of passion, as he was when he angrily ordered the militia to pursue raiders who had the temerity to attack nearby at the very time he was preaching conciliation in Manti.
As stock also continued to disappear, patience grew thin. Rank and file members resented the time and effort it took to build defensive forts or consolidate herds. Commanders were court martialed for refusing to follow orders. Some even lied about Indian hostilities, or their role in them, in order to provoke sanguinary military action. Fort Utah and San Pete and Sevier settlers Many southern Utah saints dutifully tore down their settlements and consolidated at Parowan and Cedar City during the Walker War, while hundreds of their cattle were driven to an uncertain fate in Salt Lake City.
Many were like Benjamin Johnson of Santaquin, or Dudley Leavitt and Jacob Hamblin, who were willing to defend Indian friends—or prisoners—to the death. Even in the midst of rising hostilities some friendships endured, or like the Cache Valley Mormons, still some supplied food to Indian bands Col. Connor destroyed stores of Mormon-gifted grain following the Bear River massacre. While much Mormon charity was purely defensive feed rather than fight , not all was. Mormon missionaries and advocates continued to proselyte and work with Gosiute, Shoshone, and Ute farmers.
Reddick Allred stopped troops from wantonly killing a hunting party, and Warren Snow chastised looters after the Squaw Fight. Ivie for murdering a Pahvant elder after a Ute raid on Scipio. Some members of the militia protected Indian prisoners as did one man following the Pipe Springs attack, and Jacob Hamblin and Dudley Leavitt did during the expeditions against the Gosiute. Witnesses to Mormon killings wrote scathing denunciations, while others grew repentant in the wake of too-harsh actions.
Holt, These Red Cliffs of course describes ongoing, if cursory, gift-giving in the twentieth century. II, In James A. Ivie was restored to posthumous full fellowship in the church after Ivie family descendants lobbied the church presidency for it. Brown, and Nathan E. Tanner to [Florence] Rees, and Rees to L. Ivie November 21, and December 6, , Ms.
Neither did most Mormons revel in Indian dispossession or bloodshed, nor did they boast of it. Neither did most Utah settlers, even at the height of the Black Hawk hostilities, ever approach the blood-thirstiness of Californians who hunted Indians for sport, the settlers who had to be restrained by the army from slaughtering Indian refugees of the Rogue River War in Oregon, or the early New England, Virginia, or Carolina colonizers who enslaved or exterminated Indians indiscriminately. Carter, Our Pioneer Heritage, vol. Norton, , 90, , ; Robert M.
The Utes who fled to the reservation from the central Utah valleys during the Black Hawk War did so only to escape being caught in the crossfire, and while most remained in the dismal Uinta Basin, a few bands did return to settle again near Mormon communities. In some cases the church purchased land for Indian farms, or missionaries and bishops actively helped interested Indians to obtain deeded land or file for homesteads to avoid relocation.
A harried Brigham Young explored a variety of solutions to MormonIndian conflict. But despite mistakes, his overriding policy remained that of seeking peaceful solutions and proposing amnesty for combatants on both sides. A cycle of primitive, mutual retaliations ultimately spiraled Mormon-Indian relations downward, devolving for some into the very pattern of white-Indian relations they had. Peterson, Black Hawk War, But importantly, not all—and perhaps not even the majority—of either Mormons or Indians reverted to their primitive selves. There were wars, hostilities did flare, and the bitterness of dispossession— violent or otherwise—remained.
However, Mormon-Indian relations had, and in some cases continued, to differ from the frontier norm. We cannot completely dismiss as delusion and myth the perceptions of so many contemporary spokesmen from history—Mormon, Gentile, and Indian—that the Mormons were different from most Americans, and that for the most part their relations with the Indians were noticeably different from their gentile contemporaries.
For example, Brian Cannon and R. These histo- workers, like these Navajo shown ries present narratives that are more cohesive, working in the beet fields of the objective, and politically correct than the mid-century DUP collections, but inevitably LDS Sevier Stake Indians, Also see Ronald Walker and Dean C. Albert C. Antrei and Allen D. Coates, Christy, Metcalf, and others on the extensive Mormon-Indian relations in the area. Sinners mingled with saints in frontier Mormon settlements.
As the importance of the ceremony is largely symbolic and the sources are daunting, few scholars have had the time or inclination to approach it seriously. Most treatments of it appear in larger works on the transcontinental railroad and consist of uncritical renditions of traditional ideas, sometimes spiced with colorful yet dubious stories from railroad old timers. The exception is a pair of articles originally published in the s by Dr.
Bowman of the California State Archives. Almost a of the transcontinental railroad half-century later, it seems proper to take on May 10, It touched emotions deep in the American character. Ideas of national union, manifest destiny, mastery of nature, and technical prowess were all embodied in the mammoth undertaking that was reaching completion. The years of intense isolation from families and countrymen were about to end. When we stood for the first time on the iron-bound shores of the Pacific a generation ago and looked upon their desolate mountains, after a voyage of more than half a year, we thought in our hearts that the last tie that bound us to our native land was broken.
We did not dream that the tie that was to reunite us, and make this our native land forever, was then flourishing as a green bay tree in our woods. For him and thousands of Americans in the Far West—people who had journeyed far, endured great hardship, and 1 J. Due to the noise and crowding, few people at the ceremony could see and hear everything that occurred.
Press reports from correspondents in attendance are often contradictory. Additionally, many accounts left by oldtimers years later are embellished, show the influence of previously published accounts, and contain factual errors. A few may be total fabrication. III: Citizens of the East were excited by the completion of the transcontinental railroad, but westerners were profoundly affected.
It is no wonder that most of the planning and inspiration for the ceremony came from Californians. David Hewes was not an official of either railroad and did not attend the event, yet he did more to shape the ceremony than any other. Hewes, who was Mrs. A longtime Pacific Railroad booster, he was dismayed that so little was being done to celebrate its completion. This would be his contribution to the completion of the great railway. It weighed The casting sprue, described as a nugget, was left attached to its point.
This was eventually broken off and fashioned into souvenirs. He may have had a role in the creation of the laurel tie, but it was actually presented by Central Pacific 4. This report contains several transcripts of primary sources dealing with the Golden Spike Ceremony. Frank Marriott, publisher of the San Francisco Newsletter, jumped on the bandwagon and commissioned the creation of a second golden spike.
Newspapers described it as about five inches long and about nine and one-half ounces in weight. This month, May, Safford, the newly-appointed governor of Arizona, happened to be in California at the time and decided to contribute a ceremonial spike on behalf of his territory. This spike was made of iron and was beautifully embossed with gold and silver decoration. Not to be outdone, Nevadans contributed a solid silver spike to the proceedings.
This, too, was displayed in Sacramento and San Francisco before the ceremony. Vandenburg, Western Union personnel, and Major A. The idea grew and other cities were invited to announce the news the same way. Louis and other principal Atlantic cities, and it is intended, if possible, to 7. Officials of the two railroads had set Saturday, May 8, to be the date of the completion event.
As the trip to Promontory took more than two days, Governor Stanford and his companions left Sacramento the morning of May 5. As the special train departed around a. Also aboard were government railroad commissioners William Sherman, J. Haines, and F. Sanderson, Governor Anson P.
Safford of Arizona, Collector G. Hart, and prominent Sacramento citizens Edgar Mills, Dr. Stillman, and Dr. Lunch was served near Donner Lake. It was at this moment that a crew of Chinese lumbermen, who did not know there was an unscheduled training coming, dropped a massive 11 It limped down the Truckee Canyon, pulling its train into Wadsworth, Nevada, near sunset. In the days of the gold rush, this was arguably the worst section of the overland journey.
The water was poisonous and there was no forage for livestock. Some of the excursionists had been forty-niners and had traversed this country when the going was rough. As they sped along in relative comfort, they pointed out the places where their animals had died, where they had abandoned wagons, and where they had rammed the muzzles of their precious guns into the earth—left behind in a desperate struggle to survive. On this night, they retired to spring beds and slumbered across Nevada. Photographer Alfred A. Hart captured several views of Nevada stations and scenery as the trip progressed.
It was an uneventful day for the excursionists, but it was a violent day at Promontory.
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Hours later, on the morning of May 7, the. The pilot, sometimes called a cowcatcher, was an angled guard on the front of the locomotive whose purpose was to deflect obstacles blocking the track. The mid-nineteenth century was a time of civil unrest in many areas of China. Most notable was the Taiping Rebellion in the south, a fourteen-year struggle in which millions perished. Stanford party arrived at Promontory, fully expecting the completion ceremony would take place the following day.
The California excursionists were soon disappointed. The day was rainy, and the camp of Promontory offered few civilized amusements. According to Dr. Durant was being held hostage in Wyoming. The day before, Durant and UP director John Duff traveling eastbound had been waylaid by angry workers at Piedmont in southwestern Wyoming. When their demands were rebuffed, they surreptitiously uncoupled Dr. The incensed conductor demanded to know who had pulled the coupling pin, and his reply came from a pair of pistol-toting toughs who advised a rapid departure.
Seeing the merit in the suggestion, the conductor signaled his engineer and the train departed without the Union Pacific officials. Scouts were posted to raise an alert if troops approached, and the telegrapher was told he would be hanged if he wired for assistance. Leaders of the mob demanded that Durant send for the unpaid wages. If not, he would be taken to the mountains and fed nothing but salt horse and sagebrush. A troop train loaded with several companies of the Twenty-first US Infantry, en route for duty in California, was approaching.
Durant decided to avoid confrontation and arranged for the troop train to. Dillon to Stanford, May 7, , S. Reed telegrams , Levi O. There is some discussion among various authors as to which way Durant and Duff were traveling when they were taken hostage. While the article contains some factual errors, the Bulletin states that the men were eastbound.
In a letter to his wife the day of the affair, Dodge says the men were traveling east on a pleasure trip. The hostage standoff continued as the mob waited for its money. Union Pacific tracklayers completed track to the summit area in the late afternoon, and UP engine 66 rolled to within about one hundred feet of the Central Pacific rails. Its safety valve popped, sending steam rings high into the still air, and the nearby Central Pacific engine Whirlwind answered with its whistle. They had planned huge celebrations for May 8, and the cities were decorated and ready to go.
Central Pacific director Charles Crocker, in Sacramento, made assurances that as far as the Central Pacific was concerned, the last tie and spike of their road would be laid on schedule. The celebration committees notified the public that, in spite of the rumors, the parades and speeches would go on as planned.
They were soon on their way eastward, enjoying dramatic views of the Great Salt Lake and the snowcapped Wasatch Mountains. Photographer Hart captured several views, and lunch was prepared at Taylors Mills near the Weber River. Returning through Ogden, the group walked about a mile into town to a hotel where they were the guests of railroad contractor and Mormon Bishop Chauncey W.
Cannon at Fort Point and Alcatraz fired a salvo, steam whistles shrieked, and fire bells rang. A grand procession started around a. Mounted police and trumpeters led the parade, followed by Grand Marshall A. Nine divisions trailed behind including soldiers, bands, fire engines, ethnic associations, craft workers, and decorated wagons. Steam Paddy Company. Ransom money had been sent to satisfy their kidnappers.
An engine was dispatched to pick them up, and they arrived at the company headquarters in Echo City, Utah, at noontime on Saturday. The guests enjoyed roast beef, ham, oyster pie, two desserts, and champagne. The regimental band provided entertainment through the evening. Before the affair broke up, Durant offered his car to the ladies and suggested they all accompany him to the laying of the last rail on Monday.
Rising spring runoff in the lower end of Weber Canyon had rendered the bridge at Devils Gate impassable. Crews had been at work reinforcing the structure since the previous Wednesday. It was still not safe on Saturday, and westbound passengers had been forced to leave their cars and walk around the bridge in a driving rain. However, the water began to subside, and progress was made. At p. Sunday, the bridge was jacked up and cars began to cross. Union Pacific track crews broke ground on a turning wye and laid several hundred feet of track to connect with the Central Pacific.
Only a small gap in the rails was left unfinished. Samuel V. Geltz, an employee of the company for eight The mail matter was delivered to the Central Pacific Company, and with that dusty dilapidated old coach and team the old order of things passed away forever. The Jupiter pushed the Stanford special to a siding at Monument Point where the assemblage spent several pleasant hours along the shore of the great inland sea. The steward took his gun and managed to procure a number of game birds for dinner while Alfred Hart took pictures of the train and the landscape from various high points.
Lieutenant J. It almost makes me shudder to look! The cars were pushed down one by one and every one looked in silence as they were shoved slowly across. UP engineer Leonard Eicholtz recalled that the Durant excursion reached the construction camp at Blue Creek around daylight. At a. It was Monday, May 10, and the long delayed completion ceremony was just a few hours away. The train arrived at the summit some twenty minutes later.
A correspondent described the scene. Two engines are here. Russell of New York, one of three photographers present that day, began work around a. They show the mor ning Central Pacific mixed train backed to the gap between the rails where passengers, excursionists, and workers are Union Pacific Railroad construcgathered. Those traveling on had but a short tion workers dressed in walk from one train to the other. Photo by followed by two short work trains. Russell c. June They did not have long to wait. The Californians walked over to the palace car and offered greetings.
Durant was a fashion plate in velvet coat and necktie, Dillon and Duff looked like proud fathers about to give away the bride, and Chief Engineer Grenville Dodge was all business. After pleasantries were exchanged, Sacramento banker Edgar Mills and Dodge were delegated the job of working out the program.
This probably brought up the celebrants and invited guests from Ogden and Salt Lake City. West, and Apostle Franklin D. There has been speculation that the CP train in the foreground of these images was that of James Strobridge. Colonel F. Head, Ferramorz Little, R. Burton, General Patrick E. Conspicuously absent was Mormon President Brigham Young. Then a white crew of Union Pacific workers laid the rail on the north side of the gap, and a cleanly frocked Chinese crew laid the final rail for the Central. A few spikes were left to be driven near the junction point. Western Union Superintendent W.
Vandenburg supervised the men making the telegraphic connections. Shilling helped run wire to a specially prepared spike maul and iron spike. Fredericks and P. Kearny of Western Union. Except for San Francisco, most cities had dropped the idea of using the telegraph to fire cannon. There had been too many technical obstacles. Instead, they connected their fire alarm systems to the telegraph line so that fire bells would chime as the last spike was driven in Utah.
Edgar Mills and General Dodge had reached an impasse, and there was still no plan for the ceremony. The disagreement was over the question of who would drive the last spike. Stanford had turned the first shovelful of earth years before, and Mills felt strongly that he should drive the last spike.
Dodge apparently felt that this arrangement would not properly honor the Union Pacific. Mills and Dodge finally resolved the dispute minutes before noon. At the close of the event, there would be a last spike for each railroad, and they would be driven simultaneously. The telegraph crew completed the wiring of the last iron spike and the maul that would pound it. Other laborers prepared a bed for the laurel tie. Russell captured an image of workers gauging and adjusting the last rails.
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In the Ogden Standard, Shilling recounted his role as helping to connect the wires to the spike. He was not one of the three operators listed by The Chicago Tribune. Nevertheless, he claimed to have been at the key during the ceremony in subsequent discussions with historians Edwin Sabin and Levi O. These later claims are suspect. The Newsletter discusses this dispute and the compromise in detail.
Salt Lake photographer Charles Savage and Major Russell both posed the crowd and captured views of the last rail. Not to be outdone, Alfred Hart rearranged the crowd. Placing his camera in front of the Jupiter, he took two photographs showing the bed prepared for the laurel tie.
The formalities were about to begin, and General Jack Casement urged the crowd to move back so that more people might see. It was sixty-nine degrees on the shady side of the Central Pacific telegraph car. Jupiter, decorated with flags, faced the highly polished to frame the action. A large twenty-star American flag fluttered atop a nearby telegraph pole.
South of the rails was a small table where the telegrapher and his instrument were ready to keep the world informed. A few hundred people were present. Others were invited guests and excursionists from California, the East, and northern Utah. Some twenty women, mostly wives of railroad employees and military officers, were in attendance. Few Chinese workers seem to have been present, perhaps due to the recent violence at Camp Victory. There was just a small crew to level the gap between the engines and lay the last rail. It was a diverse group. While the various primary accounts generally agree on the elements of the ceremony, there is no consensus on the order of events.
The next message, received at , announced that the spike was about to be presented. With the driving of the last spikes factored The Daily Alta California, May 11, Standard time did not exist in Communities operated on their local sun time. The difference between Ogden and Washington, D. The laying of the laurel tie, which many accounts place after the presentation of spikes, must have occurred earlier. Indeed, most reports of the ceremony go right from the invocation to the presentation of spikes, yet the telegraphic reports indicate thirteen minutes elapsed between these events.
The placing of the laurel tie and the ceremonial laying of the last rail must have taken place during these thirteen minutes.
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This scenario is supported by a New York Times account which begins with the invocation, moves to the laying of the last rail, continues with the presentation of spikes and acceptance speeches, and concludes with the driving of the last spikes. He read the program of events and was followed by the Reverend Dr. John Todd of Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Todd, a reporter representing the Boston Congregationalist and the New York Evangelist, offered a lengthy opening prayer.
Hats off. Prayer is being offered. A few spikes on the last rail remained to be driven, and a final bolt had to be fastened to make the last rail joint. The task was assigned to United States railroad commissioners J. These gentlemen stepped forward, and to the amusement of the crowd, flailed away in the clumsiest fashion.
Haines, track wrench in hand, tightened the last bolt on the final fishplate. Reed, then brought up the laurel wood tie. With Reed on the south end of the tie and Strobridge on the north, they hefted it to the junction point and slid it into place. Four augur holes had been drilled into it to receive the four precious metal spikes. Bowman used similar reasoning in his interpretation of the ceremony but placed the installation of the laurel tie just prior to the beginning of the ceremony. Most accounts place this installation after the laying of the last rail.
Fishplates are metal plates used to bolt rail ends together. Army, and have got done praying. The spike is about to others gathered at Promontory be presented. Tritle from Nevada American continent. The final ceremonial spike was then offered to Durant by Governor Safford on behalf of the Arizona Territory.
The precious spikes were placed in the augur holes of the laurel tie and remained there through the rest of the ceremony. After gratefully acknowledging the gold and silver gifts that had been presented, his remarks took on a decidedly commercial tone. He looked to the not-toodistant future when, he prognosticated, three tracks would be necessary to handle the flow of freight and passengers across the continent.
Engines and cars would be light or heavy according to the speed required and the weight to be transported. Stanford returned home with the Hewes golden spike and the silver spike. It is likely he was presented these at the ceremony. The Arizona spike, which ended up with Sidney Dillon, and the second golden spike were likely presented to Durant. Its outstretched arm would point westward denoting the route across the continent. This is the way to India. Offering up a silver-plated spike maul, he made a short facetious speech repeatedly using forms of the word express.
It was the least memorable of the unmemorable speeches made that day. The signal will be three dots for the commencement of the blows. Stanford took up the maul that had been wired to the telegraph line and advanced to the south side of the track. One iron spike, adjacent to the precious spikes and laurel tie, remained to be driven on each side.
Anywhere from three to nine hammer blows were reported by different newspapers. In San Francisco the gun at Fort Point fired electrically as planned, and fire bells rang across the nation. Back at Promontory, the wire was disconnected from the CP spike, and several people were allowed to tap it. Construction superintendents Strobridge and Reed may have delivered the final blows. The crowd roared, and locomotive whistles screamed. Durant and Governor Stanford cordially greeted each other and shook hands.
The Chronicle mentions that Mr. Strobridge assisted Stanford to drive the spike. Reed likely did the same for Durant. Dodge once mentioned that the spikes were finally driven home by the chief engineers of the two roads, perhaps meaning the chief construction engineers Reed and Strobridge. President Ulysses transcontinental railroad. A large S. Grant and the Associated Press announcing the completion of the Pacific Railroad. Edgar crowd gathered to participate in Mills took advantage of a momentary lull to the centennial event.
Almost immediately, a congratulatory reply was received from prominent Californians in New York. A procession of dignitaries and invited guests were allowed to tap the golden spike. Then, their troop train having recently arrived, five companies and the band of the Twenty-first Infantry marched up to the strains of martial music. Strobridge introduced his longtime Chinese foreman and invited him to the table. The crowd rushed forward for souvenirs. Men slashed at the tie with knives, slicing off mementos. One knife blade broke out of its handle and flew across the tie, striking George Yates on the main artery of his wrist.
The cut bled profusely, and Yates passed out. A physician was found to dress the wound, and Yates recovered. New York Times, May 12, Perhaps fifteen or twenty minutes had passed since the driving of the spikes when, under the direction of the photographers, the special trains moved together so that the locomotive pilots touched. Engineer George Booth climbed out on the running board of the Jupiter and made his way to the front of the engine.
Engineer Sam Bradford of Engine did likewise. While the luminaries enjoyed champagne inside the private cars, workers swarmed over and around the locomotives as Andrew J. Russell posed his most famous image. Bradford and Booth stood on the engine pilots with arms outstretched, wine bottles in hand.
The two chief engineers, Samuel Montague and Grenville Dodge, stood in front shaking hands. Both Savage and Russell captured variants of this scene. The engineers then backed their trains to their previous locations. Some were facetious and others whimsical. The two Casement brothers vied with each other in fun making. Souvenir hunters continued to whittle away chunks of the last common tie, and it had to be replaced several times before the day was done. Around p. Three of the infantry companies were posed at parade rest between the engines while dignitaries stood in front of Engine The three photographers recorded this scene from different angles, most notably from the cab roofs of the two locomotives.
Sumptuous dinners were served to both groups. Perhaps to facilitate train movements, the specials moved a bit westward into Central Pacific territory. As the party wound down, a Union Pacific engine brought a special delivery for the Central Pacific. Six beautiful new first class passenger cars, built in Springfield, Massachusetts, were hauled to the summit area. They would soon be moving back along the line to work at Wahsatch. The evening of May 10, the officials of both companies rocked along the rails on their return journeys. For Durant, Dillon, and Duff, the celebration at Promontory had been a brief interlude.
Union Pacific was almost out of money, and the headache of dealing with unpaid contractors continued. The Stanford group was likely in higher spirits. Their train averaged twenty-one miles per hour, including stops, on the way west. Aboard the new cars were the first through passengers on the Pacific Railroad.
Lew H. Miller of Petaluma and William R. Cranna of San Francisco had left New York at p. In his charge were the silver spike maul, the laurel tie, the silver spike, and the Hewes golden spike. The silver spike, still in its rough original condition, was dropped off along the way so that it could be finished in Virginia City. Stanford kept the silver spike and maul but gave the golden spike back to its contributor, David Hewes.
From the nugget that had been broken off the spike, Hewes had a number of mementos fashioned. Several small golden spike watch charms were made for various individuals, and a number of gold rings were fashioned. The rings featured a piece of rose quartz representing the Central Pacific and a moss agate for the Union Pacific. Among the recipients were U. The golden spike rejoined these artifacts when Hewes donated his art collection to Stanford University in All three items remain there to this day. There it burned in the fire that followed the terrible earthquake.
The Daily Morning Examiner, 12 May It had been given to Dillon after the ceremony and had been passed down in his family. Only the fate of the second golden spike is still unknown. Evidence suggests it may have been given to General Dodge or Dr. Most would say it was poorly planned and executed. Only a few hundred people attended. As there was no stage or grandstand, few could hear or see what happened. Yet the ceremony was considered important in its own time, and it continues to have a powerful hold on the American mind. In its time, the building of the Pacific Railroad was thought to be the grandest industrial accomplishment of the age.
Public expectation demanded that its completion be honored and celebrated. That the dignitaries at Promontory were not up to the task mattered little. Private citizens had contributed golden and silver spikes as a tribute, and the clumsy officials and mediocre speeches could not detract from the glory of the accomplishment.
What mattered was that the efforts of the builders had been recognized and the railroad completed. The ceremony succeeded in spite of itself because the completion of the railroad touched Americans deeply. The Golden Spike Ceremony was, first of all, a celebration of what had been accomplished. Nowhere on earth had such a railroad been built. The technical obstacles in crossing the high mountains and vast deserts were enormous.
The logistical problems of building a railroad in a wilderness were staggering, and the tasks of funding and administration were nightmarish. That the line was finished years ahead of schedule added to the triumph. In a time when the United States sometimes felt itself inferior to European nations, the completion of the Pacific Railroad signaled the world that the Americans were a great and capable people. It was also a celebration of national union. Only a few years before, the building of the railroad had begun in the midst of the Civil War. Untold treasure and some , lives had been spent to reunify the country.
The Pacific Railroad was an accomplishment of the entire nation. Reporters at the ceremony remarked how all classes of people and all regions of the country were represented in the great work. The rails were an undeniable expression of the national union recently purchased with so much blood. No longer were the ties between the two coasts distant and tenuous. The states and territories had become in fact a contiguous continental republic. Rampton diffusion of interests and separation of gov- delivers a speech at the Centenernments in that section of country divided nial Celebration of the driving of from us by the Sierra Nevada and the Rocky the Golden Spike, May 10, , Mountains.
But this railway counteracts such natural tendency to disunion, and binds the Promontory Summit. States of the Atlantic and Pacific into one nation. It was thought that the Pacific Railroad would become the highway of nations, stimulating commerce and advancing civilization. Walt Whitman, in his poem Passage to India, saw it as part of a divine plan, bringing the world closer together and eventually ushering in a utopian age: Lo, soul!
The railroaders saw a more pragmatic future. In his speech at the ceremony, General Dodge saw the railway as the trade route to Asia sought by Columbus so long ago. The New York Times, May 11, Accessed May 6, The predicted trade with Asia did not materialize. While the builders could not foresee this, there were those with more vision who did. Reverend Dr. Vinton, in his New York sermon, compared the trains to the caravans of old, noting that where the caravans stopped, cities grew.
The wretched waste and windfall profits associated with the Credit Mobilier scandal tainted public opinion. Stanford and his Central Pacific partners were eventually among the most hated of the Gilded Age robber barons. The Pacific Railway became known more as a grand swindle than a grand accomplishment. It took decades for the tarnish to wear off.
The West developed, and people came to appreciate the importance of that first set of tracks across the continent. Old railroad pioneers like Grenville Dodge and Sidney Dillon were asked to share their reminiscences in print and in public. By the fiftieth anniversary in , the public was again ready to celebrate the completion of the transcontinental railroad.
In that year, Edwin Sabin published his excellent history Building the Pacific Railway, and Ogden, Utah, staged a grand parade and commemoration on May Since then, the ceremony has been recreated numerous times in books, articles, and cinema. Congress made the location of the event a national historic site in July , and its centennial re-enactment four years later garnered national attention. It continues as a common subject for authors and filmmakers.
Symbolic of greed, nobility, diversity, technical prowess, determination, and hard work, the Golden Spike Ceremony was a quintessentially American event. This program, begun in the early s by the U. Department of Agriculture USDA and intended to be a vocational training ground for rural children, focused on farming and housekeeping techniques. Many Utah 4-Hers came from geographically isolated and economically distressed communities that relied on hard labor for survival and looked for creative measures to satisfy social needs.
Likewise, children throughout Utah saw 4-H as a resource to enrich their lives; but that enrichment did not remain bound to a rural lifestyle. Holly Buck grew up in southern Idaho and received an M. During the Progressive Era of American history, thousands of individuals began to take note of the cultural upheaval that surrounded them, caused especially by industrialization, urbanization, and immigration.
Though the main focus of their efforts concerned the problems of the booming cities, many progressives became alarmed with a concomitant dilemma: the decline of the American countryside.