Underground Railroad: Topic PageLoosely organized system for helping fugitive slaves escape to Canada or to areas of safety in free states. It was run by local groups of Northern abolitionists, both white and free blacks.
Making Freedom by R. J. M. BlackettThe 1850 Fugitive Slave Law, which mandated action to aid in the recovery of runaway slaves and denied fugitives legal rights if they were apprehended, quickly became a focal point in the debate over the future of slavery and the nature of the union. In Making Freedom, R. J. M. Blackett uses the experiences of escaped slaves and those who aided them to explore the inner workings of the Underground Railroad and the enforcement of the Fugitive Slave Law, while shedding light on the political effects of slave escape in southern states, border states, and the North.
Blackett highlights the lives of those who escaped, the impact of the fugitive slave cases, and the extent to which slaves planning to escape were aided by free blacks, fellow slaves, and outsiders who went south to entice them to escape. Using these stories of particular individuals, moments, and communities, Blackett shows how slave flight shaped national politics as the South witnessed slavery beginning to collapse and the North experienced a threat to its freedom.
Call Number: E450.B573 2013
Publication Date: 2013
Beyond the River by Ann HagedornBeyond the River brings to brilliant life the dramatic story of the forgotten heroes of the Ripley, Ohio, line of the Underground Railroad.The decades preceding the Civil War were rife with fierce sectarian violence along the borders between slave and free states. The Ohio River was one such border. Here in the river towns of Ohio and Kentucky, abolitionists and slave chasers confronted each other during the "war before the war." Slave masters and bounty hunters chased runaway slaves from Kentucky into Ohio, hoping to catch their quarry before the slaves disappeared on the underground path to freedom. In the river town of Ripley, the slave hunters inevitably confronted John Rankin and his determined, courageous colleagues.One of the early abolitionist leaders, Rankin began his career when he wrote a series of letters denouncing his brother's recent purchase of a slave in Virginia. The letters were collected and published as Letters on American Slavery and influenced William Lloyd Garrison, among others. Rankin, a Presbyterian minister and a farmer, bought property on a high hilltop overlooking Ripley and the Ohio River. His house was visible for miles into Kentucky, and he hung a lantern at night to help guide runaways. He and his fellow abolitionists, both black and white, formed the front line of freedom, and some of them paid a high price for it.In 1838, abolitionist John B. Mahan, a colleague of Rankin's, was lured into a trap and transported to Kentucky for one of the most celebrated trials of the era. Charged with breaking Kentucky laws, even though he had not been in the state for nearly twenty years, he was imprisoned in a windowless cell for three months, shackled at his wrists and ankles. At his trial, slaveholders tried in vain to identify and break the Ripley line "conductors."Another celebrated conductor on the Ripley line, John Parker, a former slave himself, was regarded as the most daring of the Ohio abolitionists. He made dozens of trips across the river into Kentucky to bring out slaves trying to escape, risking his life and his own freedom every time.Ann Hagedorn moved to Ripley from her home in New York City to research and write this book. Ripley's historic area is little changed from antebellum days, and Rankin's house still stands high on the hill behind the town. With this enthralling and compelling book, she has restored John Rankin and the Ohio abolitionists to their proper place in American history as heroes of the Underground Railroad.
Call Number: E450.H34 2002
Publication Date: 2003
Empire Express : building the first transcontinental railroad by David Haward Bain
Call Number: HE2751 .B35 1999
Publication Date: 1999-11-01
The Filth of Progress : Immigrants, Americans, and the Building of Canals and Railroads in the West by Ryan DearingerThe Filth of Progress explores the untold side of a well-known American story. For more than a century, accounts of progress in the West foregrounded the technological feats performed while canals and railroads were built and lionized the capitalists who financed the projects. This book salvages stories often omitted from the triumphant narrative of progress by focusing on the suffering and survival of the workers who were treated as outsiders. Ryan Dearinger examines the moving frontiers of canal and railroad construction workers in the tumultuous years of American expansion, from the completion of the Erie Canal in 1825 to the joining of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific railroads in 1869. He tells the story of the immigrants and Americans—the Irish, Chinese, Mormons, and native-born citizens—whose labor created the West's infrastructure and turned the nation's dreams of a continental empire into a reality. Dearinger reveals that canals and railroads were not static monuments to progress but moving spaces of conflict and contestation.
Publication Date: 2015-10-30
Iron Empires: robber barons, railroads, and the making of modern America by Michael HiltzikFrom Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Hiltzik, the epic tale of the clash for supremacy between America's railroad titans"
Call Number: HE2751 .H55 2020
Publication Date: 2020-08-11
Railroaded : the transcontinentals and the making of modern America by Richard White
Call Number: HE2751 .W45 2012
Publication Date: 2011-05-31
Railroads and the Character of America, 1820-1887 by James A. Ward
Daily Life on the Nineteenth Century American Frontier by Mary Ellen JonesThe nineteenth century American frontier comes alive for students and interested readers in this unique exploration of westward expansion. This study examines the daily lives of ordinary men and women who flooded into the Trans-Mississippi West in search of land, fortune, a fresh start, and a new identity. Their daily life was rarely easy. If they were to survive, they had to adapt to the land and modify every aspect of their lives, from housing to transportation, from education to defense, from food gathering and preparation to the establishment of rudimentary laws and social structures. They also had to adapt to the Native Americans already on the land--whether through acculturation, warfare, or coexistence.
Jones provides insight into the experiences that affected the daily lives of the diverse people who inhabited the American frontier: the Native Americans, trappers, explorers, ranchers, homesteaders, soldiers and townspeople. This fascinating book gives a sense of the extraordinary ordinariness of surviving, prospering, failing, and dying in a new land; and explores how these westering Americans inevitably displaced those already bound to the land by tradition, culture, and religion. A wealth of illustrations complement the text of this easy-to use reference.
Call Number: F596.J666 1998
Publication Date: 1998
Dodge City by Tom ClavinDodge City, Kansas, is a place of legend. The town that started as a small military site exploded with the coming of the railroad, cattle drives, eager miners, settlers, and various entrepreneurs passing through to populate the expanding West. Before long, Dodge City's streets were lined with saloons and brothels and its populace was thick with gunmen, horse thieves, and desperadoes of every sort. By the 1870s, Dodge City was known as the most violent and turbulent town in the West. Enter Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. Young and largely self-trained men, the lawmen led the effort that established frontier justice and the rule of law in the American West, and did it in the wickedest place in the United States. When they moved on, Wyatt to Tombstone and Bat to Colorado, a tamed Dodge was left in the hands of Jim Masterson. But before long Wyatt and Bat, each having had a lawman brother killed, returned to that threatened western Kansas town to team up to restore order again in what became known as the Dodge City War before riding off into the sunset. This is the true story of their friendship, romances, gunfights, and adventures, along with the remarkable cast of characters they encountered along the way (including Wild Bill Hickock, Jesse James, Doc Holliday, Buffalo Bill Cody, John Wesley Hardin, Billy the Kid, and Theodore Roosevelt).
Call Number: F689.D64 C53 2017
Publication Date: 2017
Empires, Nations, and Families by Anne F. HydeThe Louisiana Purchase in 1803 doubled the size of the new United States, promising not only land but prosperity for its citizens. But the West was not the virgin wilderness of common myth. America was a newcomer in a place already complicated by vying empires-Native and European. The author traces the network of multiethnic family associations which had formed the basis for the global fur trade for centuries.
Call Number: F596 .H93 2012
Publication Date: 2012
A Nation Rising by Kenneth C. DavisIn the dramatic period from 1800 through 1850, the United States emerged from its inauspicious beginning as a newborn nation, to a near-empire that spanned the continent. It was a time in which the "dream of our founders" spread in ways that few men of that Revolutionary Generation could possibly have imagined. And it was an era that led to the great, tragic conflagration that followed--the American Civil War. The narratives in this book each exemplify the "hidden history" of America, exploring a vastly more complex path to nationhood than the national myth of a destiny made manifest by visionary political leaders and fearless pioneers. Davis explores: Aaron Burr's 1807 trial; an 1813 Indian uprising; a mutiny aboard the slave ship Creole; the "Dade Massacre" and the start of the second Seminole War; the bloody "Bible Riots" in Philadelphia; and the story of Jessie Benton and Lt. John C. Frémont
Call Number: E339.D38 2010
Publication Date: 2010
Railroaded by Richard WhiteThe transcontinental railroads of the late nineteenth century were the first corporate behemoths. Their attempts to generate profits from proliferating debt sparked devastating panics in the U.S. economy. Their dependence on public largess drew them into the corridors of power, initiating new forms of corruption. Their operations rearranged space and time, and remade the landscape of the West. As wheel and rail, car and coal, they opened new worlds of work and ways of life. Their discriminatory rates sparked broad opposition and a new antimonopoly politics.With characteristic originality, range, and authority, Richard White shows the transcontinentals to be pivotal actors in the making of modern America. But the triumphal myths of the golden spike, robber barons larger than life, and an innovative capitalism all die here. Instead we have a new vision of the Gilded Age, often darkly funny, that shows history to be rooted in failure as well as success.
Call Number: HE2751 .W45 2012
Publication Date: 2011
The Spanish Redemption by Charles MontgomeryCharles Montgomery's compelling narrative traces the history of the upper Rio Grande's modern Spanish heritage, showing how Anglos and Hispanos sought to redefine the region's social character by glorifying its Spanish colonial past. This readable book demonstrates that northern New Mexico's twentieth-century Spanish heritage owes as much to the coming of the Santa Fe Railroad in 1880 as to the first Spanish colonial campaign of 1598. As the railroad brought capital and migrants into the region, Anglos posed an unprecedented challenge to Hispano wealth and political power. Yet unlike their counterparts in California and Texas, the Anglo newcomers could not wholly displace their Spanish-speaking rivals. Nor could they segregate themselves or the upper Rio Grande from the image, well-known throughout the Southwest, of the disreputable Mexican. Instead, prominent Anglos and Hispanos found common cause in transcending the region's Mexican character. Turning to colonial symbols of the conquistador, the Franciscan missionary, and the humble Spanish settler, they recast northern New Mexico and its people.
Publication Date: 2002
Throes of Democracy by Walter A. McDougallFrom its shocking curtain-raiser--the conflagration that consumed Lower Manhattan in 1835--to the climactic centennial year of 1876, with a corrupt, deadlocked presidential campaign (fought out in Florida), this sequel to Freedom Just Around the Corner carries the saga of the American people's continuous self-reinvention from the inauguration of President Andrew Jackson through the eras of Manifest Destiny, Civil War, and Reconstruction, America's first failed crusade to put "freedom on the march" through regime change and nation building. But, more than just a political history, this book presents the American epic as lived by Germans and Irish, Catholics and Jews, as well as people of British Protestant and African American stock; an epic in which Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, showman P. T. Barnum, and circus clown Dan Rice figure as prominently as Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, and Henry Ward Beecher; in which railroad management and land speculation prove as gripping as Indian wars.
Call Number: E338.M33 2008
Publication Date: 2008
The Tide of Empire by Michael Golay"With Broughton's expedition, the Americans and the British had posted competing claims to a vast expanse of the Pacific Northwest. The area in contention would encompass all of present Oregon and Washington and parts of Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, and British Columbia. Robert Gray, the dour Yankee trader, and William Broughton, the obscure British naval officer, nonentities both, sailed away from the misty coasts of the Columbia in 1792, never to return. They had no way of knowing, of course, how it would all end. But the breathtaking effrontery of their claims set in motion events of fateful consequence, touching off a half-century of trade and diplomatic rivalry, a flood of Euroamerican settlement, and the displacement and virtual destruction of the immemorial inhabitants of what the contestants would come to call the Oregon Country."
Call Number: F880.G65 2003
Publication Date: 2003
What Hath God Wrought by Daniel Walker HoweThe Oxford History of the United States is by far the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. In this Pulitzer prize-winning, critically acclaimed addition to the series, historian Daniel Walker Howe illuminates the period from the battle of New Orleans to the end of the Mexican-American War, an era when the United States expanded to the Pacific and won control over the richest part of the North American continent. A panoramic narrative, What Hath God Wrought portrays revolutionary improvements in transportation and communications that accelerated the extension of the American empire. Railroads, canals, newspapers, and the telegraph dramatically lowered travel times and spurred the spread of information. These innovations prompted the emergence of mass political parties and stimulated America's economic development from an overwhelmingly rural country to a diversified economy in which commerce and industry took their place alongside agriculture. In his story, the author weaves together political and military events with social, economic, and cultural history. Howe examines the rise of Andrew Jackson and his Democratic party, but contends that John Quincy Adams and other Whigs--advocates of public education and economic integration, defenders of the rights of Indians, women, and African-Americans--were the true prophets of America's future. In addition, Howe reveals the power of religion to shape many aspects of American life during this period, including slavery and antislavery, women's rights and other reform movements, politics, education, and literature. Howe's story of American expansion culminates in the bitterly controversial but brilliantly executed war waged against Mexico to gain California and Texas for the United States. Winner of the New-York Historical Society American History Book Prize Finalist, 2007 National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction The Oxford History of the United States The Oxford History of the United States is the most respected multi-volume history of our nation. The series includes three Pulitzer Prize winners, a New York Times bestseller, and winners of the Bancroft and Parkman Prizes. The Atlantic Monthly has praised it as'the most distinguished series in American historical scholarship,'a series that'synthesizes a generation's worth of historical inquiry and knowledge into one literally state-of-the-art book.'Conceived under the general editorship of C. Vann Woodward and Richard Hofstadter, and now under the editorship of David M. Kennedy, this renowned series blends social, political, economic, cultural, diplomatic, and military history into coherent and vividly written narrative.
Call Number: E338.H69 2009
Publication Date: 2009
Wicked Women by Chris EnssThis collection of short, action-filled stories of the Old West's most egregiously badly behaved female outlaws, gamblers, soiled doves, and other wicked women by award-winning Western history author Chris Enss offers a glimpse into Western Women's experience that's less sunbonnets and more six-shooters. During the late nineteenth century, while men were settling the new frontier and rushing off to the latest boom towns, women of easy virtue found wicked lives west of the Mississippi when they followed fortune hunters seeking gold and land in an unsettled territory. Prostitutes and female gamblers hoped to capitalize on the vices of the intrepid pioneers. Pulling together stories of ladies caught in the acts of mayhem, distraction, murder, and highway robbery, it will include famous names like Belle Starr and Big Nose Kate, as well as lesser known characters.
Call Number: HV6452.W47 E57 2015
Publication Date: 2015
William Walker's Wars by Scott Martelle"William Walker's Wars details the little-remembered history of the American man who, with the help of a privately assembled army, installed himself as president of Nicaragua in 1856"
Call Number: F1526.27.W3 M37 2019
Publication Date: 2018
The Women's West by Susan Armitage; Elizabeth JamesonThe American West looms large in popular imagination-a place where men were rugged and independent, violent and courageous. In this mythic West all the men were white, and the women were largely absent. The few female actors played supporting roles around the edges of the drama. Molded by the Victorian Cult of True Womanhood, they were passive, dependent, reluctant, and out of place. Men "won" the West. Women, against their better judgement, followed them to this "newly discovered" place and tried to re-create the amenities of the urban East.
Or so the myth goes. The Women's West challenges this picture as racist, sexist, and romantic and rejects the customary emphasis of traditional western history on the nineteenth-century frontier, discovered and defined by Anglo men. In its place The Women's West begins the construction of a new western history as complex and varied as the people who lived it.
This collection of twenty-one articles creates a multidimensional portrait of western women. The pioneer women presented here were actors in their own lives, not passive participants in their husbands' ventures. They were hardy seekers who came west, sometimes alone, in search of jobs, freedom, or land to homestead. They were political activists who worked tirelessly to win the right to vote and to hold political office. They adapted in practical ways to their own and their families' economic and personal needs in a new environment.
Blood and Thunder: The Epic Story of Kit Carson and the Conquest of the American West by Hampton SidesExamines America's westward expansion, describing the forcible subjugation of Native American tribes, including the fierce battles against the Navajo which ended with a brutal siege at Canyon de Chelly and the "Long Walk" migration.
Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David W. Blight"The definitive, dramatic biography of the most important African-American of the nineteenth century: Frederick Douglass, the escaped slave who became the greatest orator of his day and one of the leading abolitionists and writers of the era. As a young man Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) escaped from slavery in Baltimore, Maryland. He was fortunate to have been taught to read by his slave owner mistress, and he would go on to become one of the major literary figures of his time. He wrote three versions of his autobiography over the course of his lifetime and published his own newspaper. His very existence gave the lie to slave owners: with dignity and great intelligence he bore witness to the brutality of slavery. Initially mentored by William Lloyd Garrison, Douglass spoke widely, often to large crowds, using his own story to condemn slavery. He broke with Garrison to become a political abolitionist, a Republican, and eventually a Lincoln supporter. By the Civil War and during Reconstruction, Douglass became the most famed and widely traveled orator in the nation. He denounced the premature end of Reconstruction and the emerging Jim Crow era. In his unique and eloquent voice, written and spoken, Douglass was a fierce critic of the United States as well as a radical patriot. He sometimes argued politically with younger African-Americans, but he never forsook either the Republican party or the cause of black civil and political rights. In this remarkable biography, David Blight has drawn on new information held in a private collection that few other historians have consulted, as well as recently discovered issues of Douglass's newspapers. Blight tells the fascinating story of Douglass's two marriages and his complex extended family. Douglass was not only an astonishing man of words, but a thinker steeped in Biblical story and theology. There has not been a major biography of Douglass in a quarter century. David Blight's Frederick Douglass affords this important American the distinguished biography he deserves"-- "An acclaimed historian's definitive biography of the most important African-American figure of the 19th century, Frederick Douglass, who was to his century what Martin Luther King, Jr. was to the 20th century
Call Number: E449.D75 B55 2018
Publication Date: 2018
Alexander Hamilton by Ron ChernowRon Chernow tells the story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. Few figures in American history have been more hotly debated or more grossly misunderstood than Alexander Hamilton. Chernow's biography argues that the political and economic greatness of today's America is the result of Hamilton's countless sacrifices to champion ideas that were often wildly disputed during his time. Chernow here recounts Hamilton's turbulent life: an illegitimate, largely self-taught orphan from the Caribbean, he came out of nowhere to take America by storm, rising to become George Washington's aide-de-camp in the Continental Army, coauthoring The Federalist Papers, founding the Bank of New York, leading the Federalist Party, and becoming the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. Historians have long told the story of America's birth as the triumph of Jefferson's democratic ideals over the aristocratic intentions of Hamilton. Chernow presents an entirely different man, whose legendary ambitions were motivated not merely by self-interest but by passionate patriotism and a stubborn will to build the foundations of American prosperity and power. His is a Hamilton far more human than we've encountered before -- from his shame about his birth to his fiery aspirations, from his intimate relationships with childhood friends to his titanic feuds with Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Monroe, and Burr, and from his highly public affair with Maria Reynolds to his loving marriage to his loyal wife Eliza. And never before has there been a more vivid account of Hamilton's famous and mysterious death in a duel with Aaron Burr in July of 1804.
Call Number: E302.6.H2 C484 2004
Publication Date: 2005
John Hay Friends of Giants by Philip McFarlandNow, perhaps, only those enmeshed in 19th-century American history know his name; but when John Hay died in 1905, he was one of the most famous men in the world. And one of the most highly regarded. Abraham Lincoln's private secretary during the Civil War, thereafter as a popular poet, novelist, newspaper editor, highly esteemed historian and biographer, diplomat, businessman, and secretary of state until his death, Hay enjoyed remarkable success in public and private life. In John Hay, Friend of Giants, Philip McFarland presents both the intimate story of Hay's relationship with four prominent figures of his age and an insightful history of the United States from the 1850s to the turn of the century. Hay's life and extraordinary friendships provide a window into the politics, literature, society, and diplomacy of this remarkable era of American expansion.
Call Number: E664.H41 M34 2017
Publication Date: 2017
Wild Bill Hickok: The Man and His Myth by Joseph G. RosaEulogised and ostracised, James Butler Hickok was alternately labelled courageous, affable, and self-confident; cowardly, cold-blooded, and drunken; a fine specimen of manhood; an overdressed dandy with perfumed hair; an unequaled marksman; and a poor shot. Born in Illinois in 1837, he was shot dead in Deadwood only 39 years later. By then both famous and infamous, he was widely known as Wild Bill.
Call Number: F594.H62R68 1996
Publication Date: 1996
The Immortal Irishman (Thomas Francis Meagher) by Timothy Egan"From the National Book Award-winning and best-selling author Timothy Egan comes the epic story of one of the most fascinating and colorful Irishman in nineteenth-century America. The Irish-American story, with all its twists and triumphs, is told through the improbable life of one man. A dashing young orator during the Great Famine of the 1840s, in which a million of his Irish countrymen died, Thomas Francis Meagher led a failed uprising against British rule, for which he was banished to a Tasmanian prison colony. He escaped and six months later was heralded in the streets of New York--the revolutionary hero, back from the dead, at the dawn of the great Irish immigration to America. Meagher's rebirth in America included his leading the newly formed Irish Brigade from New York in many of the fiercest battles of the Civil War--Bull Run, Antietam, Fredericksburg. Twice shot from his horse while leading charges, left for dead in the Virginia mud, Meagher's dream was that Irish-American troops, seasoned by war, would return to Ireland and liberate their homeland from British rule. The hero's last chapter, as territorial governor of Montana, was a romantic quest for a true home in the far frontier. His death has long been a mystery to which Egan brings haunting, colorful new evidence."
Call Number: E467.1.M4 E33 2016
Publication Date: 2016
Commander and Builder of Western Forts (Henry Clay Merriam) by Jack Stokes BallardDuring his thirty-eight-year career as a military officer, Henry Clay Merriam received the Medal of Honor for his service in the Civil War, rose to prominence in the Western army, and exerted significant influence on the American West by establishing military posts, protecting rail lines, and maintaining an uneasy peace between settlers and Indians. Historian Jack Stokes Ballard’s new study of Merriam’s life and career sheds light on the experience of the western fort builders, whose impact on the US westward expansion, though less dramatic, was just as lasting as that of Indian fighters such as Custer and Sheridan. Further, Merriam’s lengthy period in command of black troops offers a study in leadership and important understandings about the conditions under which African Americans served on the Western frontier. During the course of his service, Merriam crisscrossed the country, from Brownsville, Texas, to the Pacific Northwest and Vancouver Barracks, serving in eastern Washington, California, and Denver. Drawing extensively on the many letters and records associated with Merriam’s long army career, Ballard presents his service in a wide range of settings, many of which have become the stuff of Western history: from conflict with Mexican revolutionaries on the Rio Grande to the miners’ riots in Coeur d’Alene. Ballard’s careful research provides a vivid picture of the military’s role in the westward expansion.
Publication Date: 2012
Harriet Tubman by Terry Bisson; Coretta Scott King (Introduction by); Nathan I. Huggins (Editor)Describes the life of the energetic abolitionist, including her origins as a slave in Maryland, her role as a "conductor" for the Underground Railroad, her service to the Union during the Civil War, and her role in establishing an old-age home for Afro-Americans.