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Immigration / Migration
African Americans on the Western Frontier by During the last half of the nineteenth century, several thousand African Americans moved to the American western frontier. Before the Civil War, some went west to California as slaves of gold miners and to Utah as slaves of Mormons. Later, free black men joined the U.S. Army and served in frontier outposts while others were hired on as cowboys on western ranches and cattle trails. Once Reconstruction ended in the South, discrimination and segregation caused more African Americans to seek better opportunities elsewhere where prejudice was less evident. The significant role played by African Americans in the settlement and development of the West has largely been ignored and neglected until now. African Americans on the Western Frontier remedies that historic neglect with fifteen essays that explore the contributions that African American men and women made to the western frontier-as miners, homesteaders, town builders, entrepreneurs, and as ordinary, civic-minded citizens. This rich and diverse story of the African American western experience during the frontier era is for scholars and students of western history as well as anyone interested in African American history, and is an important work for all Americans to read.
Publication Date: 2001-01-15
Immigrants to the Far West: Historical Identities and Experiences by This book is a collection of essays showcasing cutting-edge research and innovative approaches that a new generation of scholars is bringing to the study of immigration in the American West. Often overlooked in general studies of immigration, the western United States has been and is an important destination for immigrants. The unique combination of ethnicities and races in the West, combined with political and economic peculiarities, has given the region an immigration narrative that departs significantly from that of the East and Midwest. This volume explores facets of this narrative with case studies that reveal how immigration in the American West has influenced the region's development culturally, economically, socially, and politically. Contributors offer historical narrative and theory to illuminate factors that have galvanized immigration and the ways that agency, cultural resources, institutions, and societal attitudes have shaped immigrant experiences. With chapters written by scholars from multiple fields, the book's interdisciplinary framework will make it of interest to readers from a variety of backgrounds.
Publication Date: 2015-03-31
In Pursuit of Gold: Chinese American Miners and Merchants in the American West by Both a history of an overlooked community and a well-rounded reassessment of prevailing assumptions about Chinese miners in the American West, In Pursuit of Gold brings to life in rich detail the world of turn-of-the-century mining towns in the Northwest. Sue Fawn Chung meticulously recreates the lives of Chinese immigrants, miners, merchants, and others who populated these towns and interacted amicably with their white and Native American neighbors, defying the common perception of nineteenth-century Chinese communities as insular enclaves subject to increasing prejudice and violence. While most research has focused on Chinese miners in California, this book is the first extensive study of Chinese experiences in the towns of John Day in Oregon and Tuscarora, Island Mountain, and Gold Creek in Nevada. Chung illustrates the relationships between miners and merchants within the communities and in the larger context of immigration, arguing that the leaders of the Chinese and non-Chinese communities worked together to create economic interdependence and to short-circuit many of the hostilities and tensions that plagued other mining towns. Peppered with fascinating details about these communities from the intricacies of Chinese gambling games to the techniques of hydraulic mining, In Pursuit of Gold draws on a wealth of historical materials, including immigration records, census manuscripts, legal documents, newspapers, memoirs, and manuscript collections. Chung supplements this historical research with invaluable first-hand observations of artifacts that she experienced in archaeological digs and restoration efforts at several of the sites of the former booming mining towns. In clear, analytical prose, Chung expertly characterizes the movement of Chinese miners into Oregon and Nevada, the heyday of their mining efforts in the region, and the decline of the communities due to changes in the mining industry. Highlighting the positive experiences and friendships many of the immigrants had in these relatively isolated mining communities, In Pursuit of Gold also suggests comparisons with the Chinese diaspora in other locations such as British Columbia and South Africa.
Publication Date: 2011-08-03
Nikkei in the Interior West: Japanese Immigration and Community Building, 1882–1945 by Eric Walz's Nikkei in the Interior West tells the story of more than twelve thousand Japanese immigrants who settled in the interior West--Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah. They came inland not as fugitives forced to relocate after Pearl Harbor but arrived decades before World War II as workers searching for a job or as picture brides looking to join husbands they had never met. nbsp; nbsp; Despite being isolated from their native country and the support of larger settlements on the West Coast, these immigrants formed ethnic associations, language schools, and religious institutions. They also experienced persecution and discrimination during World War II in dramatically different ways than the often-studied immigrants living along the Pacific Coast.nbsp; Even though they struggled with discrimination, these interior communities grew both in size and in permanence to become an integral part of the American West. Using oral histories, journal entries, newspaper accounts, organization records, and local histories, Nikkei in the Interior West explores the conditions in Japan that led to emigration, the immigration process, the factors that drew immigrants to the interior, the cultural negotiation that led to ethnic development, and the effects of World War II. Examining not only the formation and impact of these Japanese communities but also their interaction with others in the region, Walz demonstrates how these communities connect with the broader Japanese diaspora. nbsp;
Publication Date: 2012-05-01
The Opium Debate and Chinese Exclusion Laws in the Nineteenth-century American West by America's current struggle with drug addiction is not the nation's first. In the mid-nineteenth century, opium-smoking was decried as a major social and public health problem, especially in the West. Although China faced its own epidemic of opium addiction, only a very small minority of Chinese immigrants in America were actually involved in the opium business. It was in Anglo communities that the use of opium soon spread and this growing use was deemed a threat to the nation's entrepreneurial spirit and to its growing importance as a world economic and military power. The Opium Debate and Chinese Exclusion Laws examines how the spread of opium-smoking fueled racism and created demands for the removal of the Chinese from American life. This meticulously researched study of the nineteenth-century drug-abuse crisis reveals the ways moral crusaders liked their anti-opium rhetoric to already active demands for Chinese exclusion. Until this time, anti-Chinese propaganda had been dominated by protests against the economic and political impact of Chinese workers and the alleged role of Chinese women as prostitutes. The use of the drug by Anglos added another reason for demonizing Chinese immigrants. Ahmad describes the disparities between Anglo-American perceptions of Chinese immigrants and the somber realities of these people's lives, especially the role that opium-smoking came to play in the Anglo-American community, mostly among middle-and upper-class women. The book offers a brilliant analysis of the evolution of the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, plus important insights into the social history of the nineteenth-century West, the culture of American Victorianism, and the rhetoric of racismin American politics.
Publication Date: 2011-03-01
Law & Order
Alcohol and Opium in the Old West : use, abuse, and influence by This book explores the role and influence of drink and drugs (primarily opium) in the Old West, which for this book is considered to be America west of the Mississippi from the California gold rush of the 1840s to the closing of the Western Frontier in roughly 1900. This period was the first time in American history that heavy drinking and drug abuse became a major social concern. Drinking was considered to be an accepted pursuit for men at the time. Smoking opium was considered to be deviant and associated with groups on the fringes of mainstream society, but opium use and addiction by women was commonplace. This book presents the background of both substances and how their use spread across the West, at first for medicinal purposes--but how overuse and abuse led to the Temperance Movement and eventually to National Prohibition. This book reports the historical reality of alcohol and opium use in the Old West without bias.
Call Number: Available for request via PALShare or ILL
Publication Date: 2013-10-07
Gunfighter Nation : the myth of the frontier in twentieth-century America by Gunfighter Nation completes Richard Slotkin’s trilogy, begun in Regeneration Through Violence and continued in Fatal Environment, on the myth of the American frontier. Slotkin examines an impressive array of sources - fiction, Hollywood westerns, and the writings of Hollywood figures and Washington leaders - to show how the racialist theory of Anglo-Saxon ascendance and superiority (embodied in Theodore Roosevelt’s The Winning of the West), rather than Frederick Jackson Turner’s thesis of the closing of the frontier, exerted the most influence in popular culture and government policy making in the twentieth century. He argues that Roosevelt’s view of the frontier myth provided the justification for most of America’s expansionist policies, from Roosevelt’s own Rough Riders to Kennedy’s counterinsurgency and Johnson’s war in Vietnam.
Call Number: Available for request via PALShare and ILL
Publication Date: 1998-04-15
Law and Order in Buffalo Bill's Country: Legal Culture and Community on the Great Plains, 1867-1910 by Celebrated accounts of lawless towns that relied on the extra-legal justice of armed citizens and hired gunmen are part of the enduring cultural legacy of the American West. This image of the frontier has been fueled for more than a century by historians--both amateur and academic--and by various popular images. In the twenty-first century, Great Plains communities continue to perpetuate this image with tourist attractions and events that pay homage to their "lawless" past. But these romanticized depictions of the violent frontier do not accurately portray the legal culture of most early Great Plains communities. Law and Order in Buffalo Bill's Country is a case study of law and legal culture in Lincoln County, Nebraska, during the nineteenth century. Mark R. Ellis argues that nascent nineteenth-century Great Plains communities shared an understanding of the law that allowed for the immediate implementation of legal institutions such as courts, jails, and law enforcement. A common legal culture, imported from New England and the Midwest, influenced frontier communities to uphold traditions of law and order even in the "wild and wooly" frontier community of North Platte, Nebraska. This study is one of the first to examine legal institutions on the Great Plains. By setting aside the issue of a violent frontier West and focusing instead on community building and legal institutions, this study presents a very different image of the frontier-era Great Plains.
Publication Date: 2009-07-01
Making the White Man's West: whiteness and the creation of the American West by The West, especially the Intermountain states, ranks among the whitest places in America, but this fact obscures the more complicated history of racial diversity in the region. In Making the White Man's West, author Jason E. Pierce argues that since the time of the Louisiana Purchase, the American West has been a racially contested space. Using a nuanced theory of historical "whiteness," he examines why and how Anglo-Americans dominated the region for a 120-year period. In the early nineteenth century, critics like Zebulon Pike and Washington Irving viewed the West as a "dumping ground" for free blacks and Native Americans, a place where they could be segregated from the white communities east of the Mississippi River. But as immigrant populations and industrialization took hold in the East, white Americans began to view the West as a "refuge for real whites." The West had the most diverse population in the nation with substantial numbers of American Indians, Hispanics, and Asians, but Anglo-Americans could control these mostly disenfranchised peoples and enjoy the privileges of power while celebrating their presence as providing a unique regional character. From this came the belief in a White Man's West, a place ideally suited for "real" Americans in the face of changing world. The first comprehensive study to examine the construction of white racial identity in the West, Making the White Man's West shows how these two visions of the West--as a racially diverse holding cell and a white refuge--shaped the history of the region and influenced a variety of contemporary social issues in the West today.
Publication Date: 2016-01-15
The Montana Vigilantes, 1863-1870 : gold, guns, and gallows by Historians and novelists alike have described the vigilantism that took root in the gold-mining communities of Montana in the mid-1860s, but Mark C. Dillon is the first to examine the subject through the prism of American legal history, considering the state of criminal justice and law enforcement in the western territories and also trial procedures, gubernatorial politics, legislative enactments, and constitutional rights. Using newspaper articles, diaries, letters, biographies, invoices, and books that speak to the compelling history of Montana's vigilantism in the 1860s, Dillon examines the conduct of the vigilantes in the context of the due process norms of the time. He implicates the influence of lawyers and judges who, like their non-lawyer counterparts, shaped history during the rush to earn fortunes in gold. Dillon's perspective as a state Supreme Court justice and legal historian uniquely illuminates the intersection of territorial politics, constitutional issues, corrupt law enforcement, and the basic need of citizenry for social order. This readable and well-directed analysis of the social and legal context that contributed to the rise of Montana vigilante groups will be of interest to scholars and general readers interested in Western history, law, and criminal justice for years to come.
Publication Date: 2013-10-15
Peacekeeping on the Plains by Historians have written on "Bleeding Kansas" and on the frontier army as a constabulary force, but little scholarship exists on how the army performed its peacekeeping operations in the 1850s. In Peacekeeping on the Plains, Tony R. Mullis is one of the first scholars to detail the military concerns associated with peace enforcement in Kansas and the trans-Missouri West. Between 1854 and 1856, the Franklin Pierce administration called upon the U.S. Army to conduct a series of peace operations in the newly formed Kansas and Nebraska territories. The army responded to the president's call by successfully completing a mission against the Lakota Sioux in 1855 and by aiding civil authorities in the imposition of peace among competing factions in Kansas during 1856. Although these police duties were not always popular with the soldiers that conducted them, the purpose behind them remained constant--the maintenance of peace, order, and security. Given Americans' misgivings about a standing army and their limited expectations for it as a domestic peacekeeper, its use in this fashion during the 1850s was a delicate proposition. By drawing on diverse sources, including official army correspondence, personal papers of key military and political leaders, and local accounts of army activities, Mullis shows how peace operations were conducted by the U.S. Army long before the second half of the twentieth century. He alsopresents a thorough analysis of the professional dilemmas confronted by army officers, as well as the delicate command and control issues associated with the different types of peace operations. Mullis's assessment of the army's peacekeeping efforts in the mid-1850s offers a full understanding of the constraints and frustrations involved. Many of the dilemmas faced by the army in Kansas parallel those encountered in various spots around the globe today. Peacekeeping on the Plains will provide any reader with a better insight into the nuances of peace operations in the 1850s and assist military historians in their understanding of these activities as they relate to the twenty-first century.
Publication Date: 2004-07-22
The Western Peace Officer: a legacy of law and order by This is a well-written, documented, scholarly, and readable account of the bringing and maintaining of law and order to the land west of the Mississippi River. It is of interest to the historian, sociologist, and political scientist as well as the general reader. Police dockets, newspaper reports, and court records to were researched to ascertain a clear picture of who the peace officers were and what problems they had to solve. The book contains an outstanding bibliography, which ranges from archival materials to personal interviews, reflecting the depth of Prassel's research. Frank Richard Prassel, an attorney and former college professor, is the author of The Great American Outlaw: A Legacy of Fact and Fiction, also published by the University of Oklahoma Press.
Call Number: Available for request via PALShare and ILL
Publication Date: 1980-01-01