66 photos
Westward Ho

Between the California Gold Rush and the Civil War, Americans, in growing numbers filled the Mississippi River Valley, the southwest territories, and the new states of Kansas and Nebraska. During the war, gold and silver discoveries drew prospectors—and later settlers—into Oregon, Colorado, Nevada, Idaho, and Montana. But, the most rapid migration occurred after the Civil War.

One factor in encouraging settlers to move west was the Homestead Act, passed in 1862, which allowed settlers to claim 160 acres of land for free. Another important factor was completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869 which led to much more rapid Western migration.

Westward expansion had serious consequences for Native Americans since continental expansion implicitly meant the occupation and annexation of their lands. The United States continued the European practice of recognizing only limited land rights of indigenous peoples and sought to expand into the west through the nominally legal purchase of Native American land in treaties. In many cases, these treaties were negotiated and signed by tribal members who didn't have the authority to do so, and in some cases, by signers who lacked knowledge of what they were signing. Despite the legality of a treaty, once one was signed, the government often used force to move the Indians from their homelands.

10th Infantry

10th Infantry

1886 Wagon

1886 Wagon

Across the continent, 1868

Across the continent, 1868

Alaska Camping 1899

Alaska Camping 1899

American frontier life, 1862

American frontier life, 1862

American Progress, 1872

American Progress, 1872

Army Train Crossing Plains, 1858

Army Train Crossing Plains, 1858

Beach, ND - Farm, 1936

Beach, ND - Farm, 1936

Boomers entering Oklahoma Territory, 1905

Boomers entering Oklahoma Territory, 1905

Bull Train

Bull Train

California Bound, 1850

California Bound, 1850

Circled Wagons, 1869

Circled Wagons, 1869

Conestoga Freight Wagon

Conestoga Freight Wagon

Covered Wagon in Nebraska, 1886

Covered Wagon in Nebraska, 1886

Emigrants crossing the plains, 1869

Emigrants crossing the plains, 1869

Emigrants heading West, 1880

Emigrants heading West, 1880

Freight Team, 1905

Freight Team, 1905

Freighter, 1904

Freighter, 1904

Frontier Scout, 1885

Frontier Scout, 1885

Gold Fever, 1891

Gold Fever, 1891

Guestbook for Westward Ho
Wendy Sells(non-registered)
with the pictures of the old west the painters for the builders should have had some colors on the houses. from Wendy Sells