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El Centro's Time Machine: 1877

Outline of Class Discussion

Step into El Centro's Internet Time Machine. The year is 1877...
  • President Ulysses and Julia Grant leave office and Rutherford B. and Lucy Hayes become the new President and First Lady. The election of 1876 was similar to the election of 2000.
  • About 200,000 of Longhorn Cattle will be moved from Texas to northern markets on "Long Drives" in 1877.
  • William "Boss" Tweed, the first city boss in the U.S., is in jail for his New York City crimes committed by his "Tweed Ring".
  • Marx and Engels are popular authors as socialism, communism, and other radical ideas spread.
  • Despite the spread of radicalism, many Americans are happy. John D. Rockefeller will make 45 million dollars this year.
  • Other Americans, however will continue to suffer through the Panic of 1873 with twenty percent unemployment in many cities.
  • Brigham Young, leader of the Mormons, dies.
  • On the other hand, Mark Twain is still around and a popular author although his 1876 publication, Tom Sawyer, has not quite caught the public's attention yet.
  • Whether political or not, joining clubs reaches fad proportions including Moose, Elks, and many woman's clubs. One new organization in 1877 will be the American Humane Association founded in Cleveland for the protection of both animals and children from abuse and neglect.
  • One reason for this joining phenomenon is the availability of labor saving devices and better communications such as those invented by Thomas Edison including his 1877 invention, the phonograph. But, his inventions will not be the only new developments in 1877.
  • George Baldwin Selden produces the first sketch of an automobile in 1877.
  • And, Alexander Graham Bell demonstrates his invention, the telephone, patented in 1876.
  • We can't overlook the teenager Chester Greenwood who invents ear muffs in 1877.
  • And, then there is Emile Berliner who invents the microphone.
  • The mysteries of space are also being revealed when the moons of mars are discovered by Asaph Hall.
  • There are many "firsts" in 1877 including the First Wimbleton tennis match.
  • And, the Metropolitan Museum of Art opens in New York City.
  • Meanwhile, in the U.S., the First Flag Day was celebrated with our 37 star flag that became a 38 star flag in 1877 with the addition of Colorado.
  • And, the first Egg Roll was held at the Whitehouse in Washington D.C. during Easter.
  • Another first developed at West Point when Henry O. Flipper became the first African-American to graduate from that institution.
  • Other African-Americans, so-called Exodusters were also trying to find a better life by going West.
  • With the end of Reconstruction in 1877, violence is becoming more a part of African-American experiences, but 1877 is a violent year for most Americans including Tejanos who were involved in the Salt War of El Paso or San Elarzio Salt War.
  • Laborers also faced violence in the Great Railway Strike of 1877, the most violent in U.S. history and the first use of U.S. troops to stop a labor action.
  • Meanwhile, the secretive organization of Irish coal miners, the Molly Maguires, are being tried, convicted, and executed for their alleged activities in the coal mining fields of Pennsylvania despite the fact that the only evidence was provided by a Pinkerton's spy.
  • Criminals also will create havoc in 1877 including Belle Starr, the "bandit queen," who moved out of Dallas in 1876.
  • In 1877, Billy the Kid commits his first murder during the Lincoln County War in New Mexico.
  • Dallas has its problems with Sam Bass who robs the Mesquite train in 1877. At the same time in 1877, Texas murderer John Wesley Hardin is arrested and convicted of murdering a sheriff.
  • To combat crime, cowtowns hire lawmen like Wyatt Earp
  • Americans seem less concerned about other forms of violence such as attacks on Chinese immigrants in California who are accused of destroying American society and threatening virtuous white women and children with their opium dens. San Francisco has already become the first government in the U.S. to outlaw drugs, specifically opium, and in 1877, becomes the first to pass a zoning law in the U.S. to restrict Chinese laundries. Violence erupts in what was referred to Kearneyism. (Another photo)
  • Many Americans welcome violence against Indians and celebrate the surrender of Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce Indians in 1877. Also that year, many Americans were happy to hear about the death of Crazy Horse who had been an American Indian leader at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876.
  • Texans, however, experience decreasing violence along the Mexican border with Porfirio Diaz as President since he wants to improve U.S./Mexico relations and the federal government sends troops to pursue bandits into Mexico.
  • Other world violence does not concern Americans who basically will ignore fighting in South Africa between Dutch Boers & Zulus as Europe partitions Africa. The British use this as an opportunity to take over although neither the Dutch nor the Zulus wanted that outcome. This is about the time of European partitioning of Africa that had also created the Belgian Congo in 1876.
  • And, who cares if the Russo-Turkish War ends with the creation of the sovereign nation of Serbia?
  • There is a lighter side to 1877. Women's fashions were changing. Meanwhile, bicycling becomes a fad despite the awkwardness of the contraption. And, you might see these dances.
  • In Texas, dancing was controversial among some who preferred the popular Sacred Harp music.
Other 1877 Links:

I.  Our semester is defined by the catalog as 1877 to the present
 A.  Occasionally we will have to back-up to understand the events
  of the late 19th century
 B.  But let's set the mood by stepping back into time - to 1877
 C.  Step into my time machine - be sure to tell me what you see, too

II.  In 1877...
 A.  Ullyses S. Grant left the presidency and Rutherford B. Hayes was
  inaugurated with First Lady Lucy Hayes.

  1.  Porfirio Diaz was President of Mexico

 B.  200,000 Texas longhorn went to Dodge City, Kansas,  on
  "Long Drives"

 C.  First city boss in U.S., William "Boss" Tweed, was in jail in NYC
  for stealing millions

 D.  Socialism & other radical ideas were gaining support

 E.  Joining clubs, groups and organizations reached fad proportions

  1.  Included women's clubs, Elks, Moose, Knights of Columbus,
   Masonic Lodges
  2.  American Humane Society founded in 1877 in Cleveland

 F.  Also in 1877, the leader of the Mormon Church, Brigham Young,

 G.  For reading you might choose The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
  by Mark Twain, published 1876, while the hit tune of the day
  was "Frankie and Johnnie" and popular dances included
  the waltz, polka and galop

 H.  Thomas invented the phonograph while George Baldwin Selden
  drew the first sketch of an automobile, and the first public
  telephone was installed in the U.S; Chesterm Greenwood
  invented ear muffs, and Emile Berliner the microphone;
  moons of Mars were discovered

 I.  The first Wimbleton held in England


 J.  First flag day celebrated in U.S. - 37 star flag - and first Egg Roll at
  the Whitehouse

 K.  Metropolitan Museum of Art opened in NYC and the first department
  stores opened by John Wanamaker in Philadelphia

 L.  Many African-Americans head West as Exodusters while Henry O.
  Flippen became the first African-American to graduate from West

 M.  Violence erupted in New Mexico's Lincoln County, in El Paso's Salt
  War, between labor and management during Great Railway Strike
  of 1877 and the Molly Maguire murder trial, and in racial conflicts
  especially in the South against African-Americans and in the West
  against the Chinese.

 N.  Wars against Indians continued, too, but the Nez Perce and their
  leader Chief Joseph surrendered

 O.  Wyatt Earp was lawman in Dodge City

 P.  Billy the Kid committed his first known murder and Sam Bass robbed
  the Mesquite train.

 Q.  Porfirio Diaz was President of Mexico
 R.  In Eastern Europe, the Russo-Turkish War ended with creation of
  the sovereign nation of Serbia
 S.  In Africa, European partitioning had begun, the Belgian
  Congo created in 1876 while in South Africa the Dutch
  Boers (i.e. "farmers" in Dutch) battled the Zulu people
  for control

 T.  Meanwhile, John D. Rockefeller's Standard Oil made $45
  million profit while at the same time most Americans
  were still suffering through the Panic of 1873 known
  as the "Long Depression" - 20% unemployment,
  wages declining, lasted to 1878

 U.  First zoning law passed in U.S. - regulate Chinese laundries in
  San Francisco


 V.  It was a time of change - especially in Dallas and Texas

1.  In times of change not unusual to see different reactions to
   that change.

  2.  In Texas we find a lot of denial; living in the past

  3.  Signs of this included:

   a.  1876 constitution revealed effort to hold on to the
    "Old Texas"

    (1)  favored rural, farmers
    (2)  emphasis on property ownership
    (3)  elimination of remnants of Reconstruction,
     decreased funding for education,  no
     protections for ex-slaves

   b.  In Texas, it had become something of an honor to
    be identified as an ex-Confederate, especially
    if running for public office

   c.  Though slaves gone, segregation spread; future of
    African-Americans in Texas uncertain in 1877

   d.  The future was also uncertain for Tejanos; many Texans
    were still fighting the Mexican War that had actually
    ended in 1848; violence and discrimination continued
    in 1877

  5.  There were some new things in Texas that Texans embraced

   a.  They liked the image of cowboys that cattle drives

    (1)  Brought good times to cowtowns like Ft. Worth

    b.  Texans also liked the railroads

    (1)  Dallas 1872; Ft. Worth 1876

   c.  Did not like all the results, though - brought crime

    (1)  1876 some 3,000 fugitives in Texas
    (2)  100,000 horses stolen 1875-8
    (3)  But Ft. Worth thrived in these conditions - part of
     today's downtown was known as "Hell's Half

  6.  Dallas also thrived but in a different way - more involved in
   the business environment stimulated by the Industrial

   a.  In 1877, Dallas was settling down

   b.  Most infamous had left like Belle Starr and Doc
    Holiday had left town in 1876

    (1)  BELLE STARR, the bandit queen
     (a)  born Myra Maybelle Shirley in
      Carthage, Mo., 1848
     (b)  an educated middle-class child,
      family hit hard times after Civil
      War and moved from Missouri
      to Texas (Scyene)
     (c)  she was bitter, life of "little rich girl"
     (d)  became involved with various
      criminal types such as
      bank robber Thomas Younger
     (e)  married James C. Cole 1866
     (f) had daughter "Pearl" or Rosie Lee
     (g)  Cole got involved with criminal
      Cherokee by name of Tom Starr
     (h)  fled to California in 1869
     (i)  had second child, James in 1871
     (j)  she returned to Texas, left kids with
      parents, met Cole in Oklahoma,
      moved back to Texas
     (k)  Reed killed
     (l)  married Sam Starr in 1880, 3/4 Cherokee,
      moved to Arkansas
     (m)  1882 arrested, convicted larceny,
      served 9 months
     (n)  1886 arrested again & she surrendered,
      Sam on the run; she found not guilty
     (o)  Starr killed
     (p)  took up with Jack Sevier (a.k.a. Jack
      Spaniard), half Cherokee, hanged
     (q)  took up with Creek Indian Jim Judy
      (a.k.a. Jim Starr)
     (r)  Pearl became prostitute, Belle did not
      approve & even tried to get Pearl's
      daughter, Flossie
     (s)  Belle murdered mysteriously while
      on horse
     (t)  Epithet - "Shed not for her the bitter
      tear, Nor give the heart to vain
      regret, 'Tis but the casket that
      lies here, The gem that fills it
      sparkles yet." died 1889, two
      days before 41st birthday

    (2)  DOC HOLIDAY came to Texas for climate due
     to t.b., began practicing medicine but
     couldn't due to illness; turned to gambling
     (a) lst violent confrontation in Dallas with
      saloonkeeper, Jan. 2, 1875;
     (b) then killed a prominent citizen, fled
     (c) became Faro dealer in Jacksboro near
      Ft. Richardson; killed soldier so fled to
      Colorado, Wyoming, N. Mexico and
      back to Texas
     (d) at Ft. Griffin, Texas, met "Big Nose" Kate
      Elder, a prostitute/dancehall girl;
      tumultuous relationship
     (e) also met WYATT EARP - legendary
      lawman of Dodge City, Kansas
      in 1870s
     (f) fled to Dodge City after killing another man
     (g)  helped Earp in a confrontation, became
      friends but continued to move around
     (h)  with Earp in 1881 at Gunfight at OK Corral,
      Tombstone, Arizona; no conviction
     (i)  died in 1887, Glenwood Springs, Co.

   c.  But, they had been replaced by a new breed of criminal -
    the train robbers

    (1)  in 1877, the talk of Dallas was the big
     Mesquite train robbery by Sam Bass
     (a)  illiterate, orphaned at 13, would up in
      Denton as cowpoke, herded cattle
      to Kansas & took pay to Deadwood
      where he lost it; began robbing
    (2)  but by 1878, he too had been killed at
     Round Rock, Tx, by lawmen

  8.  Dallas was a bustling city, and by 1890, the biggest
   city in Texas only to be surpassed by Houston and San
   Antonio in 1900

  9.  May show clip of "The Pioneer Spirit"

a. The Industrial Revolution was having a big impact on Dallas
b. Economic class more evident with opening of "poor farm" near Hutchins in 1870s
c. Trinity River Navigation Co. brough steamships to Dallas in 1890s
d. Commerce St. had a toll bridge
e. Railroads, fire engines, and first Texas city with phone - Here in the Sanger Brothers Department Store to Sander estate (Dept. Store now El Centro College)
f. Water ysstem began in 1881
g. Electric lights came in 1883
h. State Fair organized 1887
i. Oak Cliff founded 1887 - merged with Dallas in 1889
j. 1888 Dallas Hams Baseball and first skyscraper (N. Texas Bldg.)
k. Electric cars replaced mule drawn trolleys
l. 1891 football game - Dallas beat Ft. Worth
m. 1897 first movies

10. But in other ways, Dallas and Texas stuck in the past

To Lecture 2: The South

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