Diverse Peoples of the West


Group Name
What They Looked Like
Group Information
Mexicanos

Mexicanos were Spanish-speaking people who lived in the West in the mid-1800s before the white people arrived. 

They shared their culture and knowledge of cattle raising their foods, (such as tortillas) and building materials (adobe) with settlers.

After the war they became American citizens, but were not treated with respect by the Anglo settlers.
Forty-Niners

Forty-Niners were people (mostly men) who came from all over the world to California in 1849 in search of gold. 

They used a variety of techniques for finding gold.  Some used a wooden box on rockers called a cradle and others used a long, narrow box called a sluice to hunt for gold.

The gold rush made some people millionaires, but most of the Forty-Niners eventually went home no richer than before.
Chinese Immigrants

The Chinese immigrants came to the West from Asia in hopes of earning money to send back to their families and then return home themselves.

This group helped build the transcontinental railroad, the railroad that went from the east coast to the west coast.  They worked on mines that other miners had given up on. And, they worked as famers and fishermen and opened stores in the area.

The Chinese immigrants were treated badly because their culture was so different from that of Anglo settlers.  They were often accused of taking jobs of the white men (because they would work for less pay).  They were often chased out of towns or murdered.
Mormons

This is a religion founded by Joseph Smith.  He later was killed by a mob in Illinois.

The Mormons came west looking for religious freedom. They were forced to move many times because of their religious beliefs.

They were the first settlers to choose in the territory of Utah. They introduced dams and irrigation to the area, farming, and built the first city in the region.
Oregon Pioneers

Pioneers were men and women who loaded canvas-covered wagons and moved west looking for a better life. 

Some people traveled more than 2,000 miles over land to get to the west.  It was a hard life with a lot of work:

1. Men drive wagons and cattle, guarded them and find safe campsites, the women had to set up camps, cook, clean and care for the sick.

2.  Native Americans would sometimes attack the wagon trains.

3.  Many travelers would die on the trail from disease, bad water or food, or bad weather.

4.  River crossings were dangerous and very difficult.
Nez Perce

The Nez PercÚ were Native Americans who lived in the West (Oregon, Idaho, and Washington) before any other settlers arrived.

Their cheif was Cheif Joseph. When the Nez Perce were forced off their homeland because the U.S. government wanted their land for others settlers, Chief Joseph tried to lead his people to Canada.

They were caught before getting to Canada and forced to go live in Oklahoma on a reservation.  However, many died from disease or starvation.