Old West History Archives

Santee Sioux Hanging

Execution of 38 Santee Sioux IndiansFor almost 50 years the Santee Sioux, located in Minnesota, were mistreated by almost everyone with whom they came into contact. First, white settlers invaded the Minnesota Valley where they traditionally lived. With pressure both from settlers and the army, they relocated to a reservation. On the reservation they came under the authority of corrupt Indian Agents. The agents demanded a kickback on all the rations they distributed. When the Sioux realized they couldn’t live on what was left of the rations and refused to give them the normal kickback, the agents withheld all food distribution. On the verge of starvation, the Indians sought help. But no one came to their aid.
Reaching the limits of endurance, the Santee Sioux left the reservation, and started killing settlers and taking women and children as hostages. It was called the “Minnesota Uprising,” and was part of the battles that affected the area for much of the last half of the 1800’s. The army took off after the Sioux, and underestimating their fighting ability, 13 soldiers were killed, with another 45 wounded. Finally, General Sibley, with a large force of soldiers defeated the Sioux, forcing most of the Indians to surrender, and recovering the hostages.
The captured Sioux were tried. The abuse piled upon the Indians was not a factor in the trial. And on November 5, 1862, 300 Santee Sioux were found guilty of raping and murdering white settlers. They were all sentenced to be hanged.
But the mass hanging didn’t take place… because President Abraham Lincoln heard about the trial and the conditions that caused their crimes, and commuted the sentences of 262 of the Sioux. But in December 38 of the leaders were hanged in mass.

Camillo Orlando Hanks and Barbed Wire

Barbed WireBarbed wire had encircled the cattle. So, cowboys weren’t needed to ride the line, making sure cattle didn’t wander away. The railroads had been built down to Texas, so cattle drives weren’t necessary anymore. And many of the large ranches were being purchased by eastern conglomerates looking for a quick return for their money, or the ranches were simply broken up. So, many cowboys had to look for other means of employment.
           
One such cowboy was Camillo Orlando Hanks, also known as Deaf Charley. Deaf Charley was born in Texas in 1863. As a young man, he cowboyed, accompanying a herd of cattle up to Montana and stayed on several years until he could no longer find work. So Deaf Charley decided to take up another profession… that of a train robber. Unfortunately, he didn’t do too well at that profession, and he was captured. In 1892, he was sentenced to ten years in the pen.                 
Getting out in April of 1901, within three months he had hooked up with Butch Cassidy and the Hole-in-the-Wall Gang. In spite of his hearing loss, Deaf Charley’s job was keeping an eye on the train passengers while Butch, Sundance and the others stole their possessions. The gang got about $30,000 in bank notes from a train robbery in Montana. Wishing to spend his share of the money elsewhere, Deaf Charley went down to San Antonio, Texas. On October 22, 1902, Deaf Charley was in a saloon in San Antonio when the local law, Pink Taylor, confronted him. Guns were drawn, a shot was fired, and Deaf Charley was no more.           

Hop Alley Riot

Hop Alley RiotAs the West entered into the 1880’s there was a tremendous amount of prejudice against the Chinese who had been brought to the West to build the railroad. Ten years earlier Denver, Colorado had encouraged the Chinese to come there in the hopes of relieving the labor shortage conditions. Because of the access to drugs in the Chinese district, cowboys would often visit there. The main area of this district was appropriately called Hop Alley.
           
Although by 1880 there were less than 300 predominately male Chinese in Denver, The Rocky Mountain News maintained that because of their ever growing numbers, “white men would starve and women would be forced into prostitution.”  
 
On the evening of October 30, 1880 some drunken cowboys assaulted a Chinese. Another Chinese man in the process of defending his friend fired a shot from his gun, hitting no one. But, like that “telephone game” you played as a kid, it was no time before the story had mutated to “a Hop Alley resident had killed a white man.”
 
Mobs gathered. Windows were shattered, and many queues were clipped from Chinese heads. One group lynched an elderly man. Unfortunately, no one was held accountable for the tragedies.
 
However, as with all tragedies, there were bright spots of heroism. Desperado Jim Moon was in a Chinese laundry retrieving some shirts when a mob came in with the objective of lynching the owner of the laundry. Pulling his pistol, Moon yelled at the crowd, “If you kill Wong, who will do my laundry?”
 
Moon was credited with not only saving Wong, but also an additional 14 other Chinese hiding in the back.           

As the West entered into the 1880’s there was a tremendous amount of prejudice against the Chinese who had been brought to the West to build the railroad. Ten years earlier Denver, Colorado had encouraged the Chinese to come there in the hopes of relieving the labor shortage conditions. 

           
Although by 1880 there were less than 300 predominately male Chinese in Denver, The Rocky Mountain News maintained that because of their ever growing numbers, “white men would starve and women would be forced into prostitution.”  
               
Because of the access to drugs in the Chinese district, cowboys would often visit there. The main area of this district was appropriately called “Hop Alley.”
 
On the evening of October 30, 1880 some drunken cowboys assaulted a Chinese. Another Chinese man in the process of defending his friend fired a shot from his gun, hitting no one. But, like that “telephone game” you played as a kid, it was no time before the story had mutated to “a Hop Alley resident had killed a white man.”
 
Mobs gathered. Windows were shattered, and many queues were clipped from Chinese heads. One group lynched an elderly man. Unfortunately, no one was held accountable for the tragedies.
 
However, as with all tragedies, there were bright spots of heroism. Desperado Jim Moon was in a Chinese laundry retrieving some shirts when a mob came in with the objective of lynching the owner of the laundry. Pulling his pistol, Moon yelled at the crowd, “If you kill Wong, who will do my laundry?”
 
Moon was credited with not only saving Wong, but also an additional 14 other Chinese hiding in the back.           
 

As the West entered into the 1880’s there was a tremendous amount of prejudice against the Chinese who had been brought to the West to build the railroad. Ten years earlier Denver, Colorado had encouraged the Chinese to come there in the hopes of relieving the labor shortage conditions. 

           
Although by 1880 there were less than 300 predominately male Chinese in Denver, The Rocky Mountain News maintained that because of their ever growing numbers, “white men would starve and women would be forced into prostitution.”  
               
Because of the access to drugs in the Chinese district, cowboys would often visit there. The main area of this district was appropriately called “Hop Alley.”
 
On the evening of October 30, 1880 some drunken cowboys assaulted a Chinese. Another Chinese man in the process of defending his friend fired a shot from his gun, hitting no one. But, like that “telephone game” you played as a kid, it was no time before the story had mutated to “a Hop Alley resident had killed a white man.”
 
Mobs gathered. Windows were shattered, and many queues were clipped from Chinese heads. One group lynched an elderly man. Unfortunately, no one was held accountable for the tragedies.
 
However, as with all tragedies, there were bright spots of heroism. Desperado Jim Moon was in a Chinese laundry retrieving some shirts when a mob came in with the objective of lynching the owner of the laundry. Pulling his pistol, Moon yelled at the crowd, “If you kill Wong, who will do my laundry?”
 
Moon was credited with not only saving Wong, but also an additional 14 other Chinese hiding in the back.           

Natural Gas is Giving Out

The Supply Cannot Be Depended Upon, and Must Be Abandoned

April 30, 1892, Bee, Sacramento, California – The days of natural gas are numbered.  There is surprising unanimity among the mining engineers on this point.  They agree that more gas can be found, and that wells may continue to flow to some extent, but they say that experience has proven that the supply cannot be depended upon for manufacturing or for heating purposes.  The amount of natural gas reached its maximum two years ago.  It has fallen off each year since, notwithstanding the large number of new wells bored.

natural gas drillingSaid a Pittsburg engineer:  “We have had a pretty bad time this winter in Pittsburg.  The flow has given out repeatedly just at the time, perhaps, when most needed.  People who had no coal in their houses have had the gas go out on them in some of the very coldest weather.  Manufacturers who depended on gas for fuel have had to shut down, business has been deranged, and home life has been made miserable.  Some people are still boring wells and trying to keep up a supply by tapping places, but with only partial success.  One after another the wells give out.  When they cease flowing the only thing to be done is to turn the valve and leave them alone.  Sometimes a well will start up again and flow gas after it has been idle for some time, but all the same to reach a state of exhaustion sooner or later.  Manufacturers are going back to coal again, and householders are agreeing that it will not do to depend upon natural gas.  One thing has been made certain, the theory that this manufacture of gas is going on fast enough to supply the flow is all wrong. It is a slow process.   We have already bored holes enough to overtask Nature.”

Eighth Grade Exam

Below is the actual final exam for the Salina, Kansas eighth grade in 1895.  Could you pass the test?

GRAMMAR (Time, one hour)

  1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
  2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
  3. Define Verse, Stanza and Paragraph.
  4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay, and run.
  5. Define Case. Illustrate each Case.
  6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation.

7 through 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

ARITHMETIC (Time, 1.25 hours)

  1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.
  2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?
  3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 Ibs., what is it worth at 50 cents/bushel, deducting 1050 Ibs. for tare?
  4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school for seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?
  5. Find cost of 6720 Ibs. of coal at $6.00 per ton.
  6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.
  7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $20 per meter?
  8. Find the bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.
  9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods?
  10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt.

U.S. HISTORY (Time, 45 minutes)

  1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided.
  2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus.
  3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.
  4. Show the territorial growth of the United States.
  5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas.
  6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.
  7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton, Bell, Lincoln, Penn, and Howe?
  8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, and 1865.

ORTHOGRAPHY (Time, one hour)

  1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, and syllabication?
  2. What are the elementary sounds? How are they classified?
  3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, and linguals?
  4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u’.
  5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e’. Name two exceptions under each rule.
  6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.
  7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup
  8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.
  9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.
  10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication.

GEOGRAPHY (Time, one hour)

  1. What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?
  2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas?
  3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?
  4. Describe the mountains of North America.
  5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia, Odessa, Denver, Manitoba, Hecla, Yukon, St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco.
  6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S.
  7. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each.
  8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?
  9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.
  10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.
 Page 1 of 41  1  2  3  4  5 » ...  Last »