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In this activity, students read two primary documents from the early 1800s: a journal entry from the Lewis and Clark expedition and a Lakota Indian "winter count" calendar. Using an analysis worksheet, students identify key ideas and details from the documents, while also examining the craft and structure of each document. They draw upon both the…
American Horse (1840-1908) was an Oglala Lakota chief who participated in the Sioux Wars of the 1870s. He was also a "keeper," responsible for maintaining his band's "winter count," which had been passed down from his grandfather, to his father, to him. By 1879, American Horse was living on the Pine Ridge Reservation in present day South Dakota. At…

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Item Type: Artifact
Date: 1804

This worksheet helps students compare two historical documents, a journal entry from the Lewis and Clark expedition and excerpts from a Lakota Winter Count. The sections of the worksheet align to major sections of the Common Core reading standards: Key Ideas and Details; Craft and Structure; and Integration of Knowledge and Ideas.

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Item Type: Worksheet
Date: 2013

This background essay, adapted from a Smithsonian Institution online exhibit, provides information about the Winter Count calendars kept by many Lakota Indian bands.

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Item Type: Article/Essay
Date: 2005

In 1804, President Thomas Jefferson hired Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the vast territory of the Louisiana Purchase, recently acquired from France. Lewis and Clark followed the path of the Missouri and Columbia Rivers through eleven present-day states to the Pacific Ocean. Both Lewis and Clark, along with several other members of…

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Item Type: Diary/Letter
Date: 1804

A massive labor strike in 1877 shook the very foundations of American politics and society. Starting with a spontaneous railroad strike in West Virginia, the “Great Uprising” spread rapidly across the country. In many cities, entire working populations went out on strike. When state and federal troops fired on workers in several cities,…
Edward Curtis was a professional photographer of the American West. In 1906, the wealthy banker and art collector J.P. Morgan hired Curtis to produce a multi-volume series on Native Americans that would include essays, sound recordings, and 1500 photographs. The goal of the series was not simply to photograph Indians, but to document "one of the…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: Circa 1927

The U.S. Army and the Apache tribe (who called themselves N’ne, meaning “the people”) engaged in armed conflict in the U.S. Southwest from 1851 through 1886. On September 4, 1886, the famed Apache leader Geronimo (or Goyahkla) surrendered to U.S. Army forces on September 4, 1886 at Skeleton Canyon, Arizona. This photo shows Geronimo and his…

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Item Type: Photograph
Date: 1886

This essay discusses the impact of the transcontinental railroad on Native American life. It focuses on the role of buffalo hunters in the federal government's policy of Indian removal. This essay, and the related Iron Horse vs. the Buffalo activity, can be used as a companion to the 1877: The Grand Army of Starvationdocumentary.

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Item Type: Article/Essay
Date: 2005

Entrepreneur George A. Croffut published several tourist guides and manuals encouraging Americans to visit and settle in the West. His guides prominently featured the expanding railroad network as the best way to explore the vast territory beyond the Mississippi River. This text accompanied the original printing of the 1872 print "American…

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Item Type: Article/Essay
Date: 1873