graduated income tax
A method of taxation that taxes income at low rates for low incomes and gradually higher rates for higher incomes. Congress first enacted this policy during the Civil War, repealed it after the war, and enacted it again in 1894, but it was declared unconstitutional. In 1913, the Sixteenth Amendment empowered Congress to tax income.
Chief of the Nez Perce Indians who, after a long campaign, finally surrendered to General Nelson A. Miles and U.S. troops in 1877. The Nez Perce were then sent to reservations in Oklahoma.
The Indian policy adopted by the U.S. government in the late ninetieth century. Indians were persuaded to accept defined limits to their hunting ground. This enabled the government to negotiate with each tribe separately-a strategy of divide and conquer.
In 1866, a tribe of Ogala Sioux under chief Red Cloud, provoked by the building of the Bozeman Trail through their hunting ground in southern Montana, wiped out a U.S. army unit commanded by Captain W.J. Fetterman.
Grand Army of the Republic
Organization founded by former Union soldiers after the Civil War. It lobbied Congress for aid and pensions for former Union soldiers. It was also a powerful lobbying influence within the Republican party.
A member of the "Big Four" of the Central Pacific Railroad, he managed the construction crews who pushed through the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Booker T. Washington
A former slave who founded Tuskegee Institute in Alabama in 1881. He believed blacks could advance by their own efforts and white help, and by accommodating to white prejudice. Whites considered him a "reasonable" spokesman of Black Interests in America.
Apache chief captured in 1886. This helped bring a close to the late ninetieth-century suppression of Indian resistance to white migration into the Trans-Mississippi West.
Plessy v. Ferguson
In 1896, the Supreme Court rules that racially segregated places of public accommodation (like schools) were unconstitutional if they were of equal quality. This "separate but equal" doctrine became the legal foundation of segregation in the Jim Crow South.
waving the bloody shirt
A campaign tactic used by post-Civil War Republicans to remind northern voters that the Confederates were Democrats. The device was used to divert attention away from the competence of candidates and from serious issues. It was also used to appeal to black voters in the South.
Nelson A. Miles
A noted Indian fighter who criticized the Sand Creek massacre of helpless Cheyenne Indians as a foul and unjustifiable crime.
A black laborer in Georgia who killed his boss in self-defense in 1899. He was seized by a white mob and chained to a tree and tortured. While still alive, he was doused with kerosene and set on fire. A crowd watched in horror "with unfeigning satisfaction." This was a flagrant example of southern lynchings of blacks at the turn of the twentieth century.
Grand Duke Alexis
A Russian nobleman who conducted a gigantic buffalo hunt from 1872-1872. He hired William F. Cody to assist in the slaughter.
John Wesley Powell
Director of the United States Geological Survey who categorized western lands into irrigable, timber, and pasturage uses. Though he had lost an arm in the Civil War, he navigated the Colorado River rapids of the Grand Canyon.
One method used by southern states to deprive blacks of the vote despite the Fifteenth Amendment. Voters were required to pay a tax when they went to the polls. Most blacks and many poor whites could not or chose not to pay the tax, thus they could not vote.
Practice by which Indian tribal lands were split into individual land allotments. Provisions were made for Indian education and eventual citizenship. The law led to corruption, exploitation, and the weakening of Indian tribal culture. It was reversed in 1934.
An Illinois cattle dealer who established Abilene, Kansas, as the railhead of the long drive on the Chisholm Trail erin south Texas in 1867.
Location in southern Montana where in June, 1876, Colonel George A. Custer and all his men were killed (Custer's Last Stand) by Sioux Indians in battle.
The prospector who gave his name to the Comstock Lode in Nevada. He received only $10,000 for his share of the Ophir vein, the richest concentration of gold and silver ever found.
Name given to the accomodationist plan outlined in a speech by black leader Booker T. Washington in 1895. He urged blacks to concentrate on learning useful skills. He viewed black self-help and self-improvement, not agitation over segregation, and racial discrimination, as the surest way to social and economic advancement.
A phrase which means literally "to let alone." It is commonly used to refer to a policy of no governmental interference in the economy or one's personal pursuit of material wealth. In practice, it opposes governmental regulation, but has no quarrel with government promotion of, or aid to economic development.
Sand Creek Massacre
Also known as the Chivington Massacre, this event occurred in Colorado in 1864. A party of state militia commanded by John Chivington annihilated a Cheyenne Indian community in an unprovoked, vicious, and bloodthirsty raid.
An agreement with China that provided more cheap "coolie" labor for U.S. railroad construction. It doubled the annual influx of Chinese immigrants between 1868 and 1882.
A Union general in the Civil War and an Indian fighter who once remarked that "the only good Indians I ever saw were dead." He later expressed remorse over the fate of the Plains tribes.
Natural scientist Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was thought by some to apply to business and social relationships. The "fittest" business or individual would succeed if left unrestricted. This theory promoted the values of competition and individualism.
Region in South Dakota where gold was discovered. Despite the fact that the land was designated an Indian Reservation, whites invaded the lands and drove the Indians on a warpath. This culminated in "Custer's Last Stand" at the Battle of Little Bighorn.
A near legendary Texas cattleman. With the aide of his partner, Oliver Loving, he drive 2,000 head in a great arc west to the New Mexico Territory and then north to Colorado.
Mark Twain's label for the post-Civil War decades. The term refers to a facade of proper and civilized behavior covering waste, corruption, and individual greed in late ninetieth-centuray America.