Rebellious Native Americans were whipped or imprisoned, and mission Indians died at an alarming rate.
The labor regimen took a high toll on the patients.
The Native American population along the California coast went from 72,000 in 1769 to 18,000 in 1821.
Saving souls costs lives.
The Spanish missions fell into disuse after Mexican independence.
The planters who ruled over the Lower South were similar to the gentlemen who owned the largest ranches in the province.
When Mexico gained its independence in 1821, Spanish speaking Cali fornians staged ten revolts against Mexican governors.
John A. Sutter was a Swiss set tler who founded a colony of European emigrants.
Local Indians and whites from America and Europe built a fort eighteen feet tall to protect the settlers and their workshops at the junction of the American and Sacramento rivers.
Located at the end of the California Trail at the end of the Oregon Trail, Sutter's Fort was completed in 1843.
The wilderness empire was created by Sutter.
He put Indians to work making wool blankets and hats, cultivating vast acres of wheat and corn, and raising huge herds of cattle, sheep, hogs, and horses.
While he paid his Indian workers, he whipped, jailed, and even cut the throats of those who disobeyed his orders.
The American migrants learned to speak Spanish, often embraced Catholicism, won Mexican citizenship, found Spanish or Native American spouses, and participated in local politics.
The most tragic story of pioneers traveling to California was the party headed by George Donner, a prosperous sixty- two- year- old farmer.
In April 1846, a train of seventy- four other settlers and twenty- three wagons left Springfield, Illinois for the Oregon Trail.
The Great Salt Lake is depicted in the Utah engraving from the 1800s.
The group of inadequate pioneers struggled in the snow on a trail.
Discipline broke down as their challenges mounted.
One was mur dered for his gold, another was banished after killing a man in self-defense, and a third was left behind to die.
The Donner party had to backtrack and lose three weeks in the process.
The early September snow slowed their progress.
The desert leading to the Great Salt Lake was very dry.
They lost more than 100 oxen and had to abandon several wagons.
Time was their greatest loss.
The last barrier in the Sierra Nevada before the party could reach the capital was a two- week- long storm that trapped them in two separate camps.
Half of the pioneers were marooned by twenty feet of snow, with only enough food to last through the end of the month.
Seventeen of the strongest members decided to cross the pass on their own, but were trapped by more snow.
Eight more died of exposure and starvation after two turned back.
The pioneers killed two Indian guides and ate them.
Before he died, Bil y Graves told his daughters to eat his corpse.
The daughters saw no other choice after they were appalled at first.
Two other members of the party were eaten when they died.
Seven of the "Forlorn Hope" group made it to the valley.
The survivors boiled hides and bones after slaughtering and eating the last of the livestock.
When a rescue party reached them two months later, they discovered that thirteen people had died and cannibalism had become commonplace.
"Bodies of men, women, and children, with half the flesh torn from them, lay on every side," the newspaper reported.
The forty- seven survivors were led over the pass by the rescuers, but George Donner, too weak and distressed to walk, stayed behind to die.
His wife remained with him.
Hundreds of thousands of pioneers found the Far West irresistible despite the dangers of the overland crossing.
The most enthusiastic champion of American settle ment in Mexican California and the Far West was a junior army officer who became America's most famous explorer.
Born and raised in the South, Fremont developed a strong love for the outdoors.
He was commissioned a lieutenant in the U.S. Topographical Corps after attending the College of Charleston.
While becoming versed in geology, bot any, ornithology, and zoology, Fremont excelled at surveying, mapmaking, and woodcraft.
The daughter of a powerful Missouri senator was courted by Fremont in 1841.
As a result of his explorations in the Far West, John Charles Fremont became a national hero.
In 1842, a man who believed he was a man of God set out from Kansas City with two dozen soldiers to map the eastern half of the Oregon Trail.
They drew maps and collected plant and animal specimen.
Henry Wadsworth Long, the nation's most popular poet, said that "Fremont has touched my imagination" after reading about the expedition.
The South Pass section of the Oregon Trail is one of the more difficult parts of the trail to map.
After going down the Snake River to the Columbia River, the expedition would make its way south through the Sierra Nevada to Sutter's Fort.
The first group to cross the snow and ice covered Sierra Nevada in the winter was from Fremont.
Massive migrations to Utah, Oregon, and California were spurred by his report of the expedition and the maps it generated.
Fremont surprised his superior officers when he launched a military expedition on his own.
Sixty- two heavily armed sol diers, sailors, scientists, hunters, and frontiersmen were headed west from St. Louis on another mysterious expedition in August 1845.
In December, the explorers went down the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada and headed southward through the Central Valley of Mexican- controlled California.
The Mexican authorities were told that his men were civilians.
The United States intended to take control of California from Mex ico after receiving secret instructions from the President.
The Americans living there were ordered to organize a "spontaneous" uprising.
Mexican officials ordered Fremont to leave.
He came up with a way to return.
To cover his efforts to spark a revolution among the English speaking Californians, he resigned from the army so that he could become a private citizen.
The band of soldiers started stirring unrest.
The Republic of California was claimed by American settlers on June 14, 1846.
A version of the California state flag featuring a bear and star was hoisted by them.
On June 25, the soldiers and their leader marched into Sonoma.
When news of the Mexican- American War broke, California was in American control.
Texas, an area of rich soil, lush prairie grass, plentiful timber, and abundant wildlife, was the focus of the American passion for new western land.
The United States twice offered to buy Texas, but the Mexican government refused.
Mexicans were frightened and angry by the idea of Yankees on their soil.
Some 3,000 Anglo- Americans were living in Texas in 1823.
Some pioneers were captured in this 1850 photograph.
The Mexican government legalized American immigration if the settlers converted to Catholicism and did not bring slaves.
Americans who rushed to settle in Austin's Anglo "colony" in east Texas received 177 free acres and had access to thousands of acres of common pasture for ranching.
The Anglos were drawn to the fertile, inexpensive lands in the river valleys.
Some planters brought slaves with them despite the law against it.
The settlers were amazed by the abundance of food sources.
An American said that eastern Texas was alive with all kinds of game.
We only have to go a few miles into the swamp.
There were more buffalo than cattle.
The enslaved blacks were brought to grow and harvest cotton.
You know that the Anglo- Saxons are greedy for territory.
The Nordics have made their homes with us, but their hearts are with their native land.
We are always in civil wars and revolutions, we are weak, and they know it.
Texas may be taken from us by the United States.
Mexican officials banned further emigration from the United States in April 1830 because they were worried about the intentions of Americans living in Texas.
Americans who viewed Mexicans with contempt continued to come as illegal immigrants.
Texas is a slave country.
Tensions between Mexican leaders and Texians grew because of a changing political situation.
American settlers decided that the Mexican ruler had to go after Santa Anna imprisoned Austin for inciting rebellion.
Austin called for Texans to revolt after he was released from jail.
He wanted Texas to become an American territory promoting slavery and then become a new state.
Austin said so.
The outgunned Texas reb els were led by three colorful explorers with checkered pasts.
The "bowie knife" was used by Bowie, a ruthless slave trader and land speculator.
He claimed that he had never lost a fight.
He was shot twice, stabbed, and impaled by a sword before killing his opponent with his knife in his most famous brawl.
A million acres of land was owned by the man who migrated from Louisiana to Texas in the 19th century.
He married a Mexican woman, became a Mexican citizen, and learned Spanish, but a cholera epidemic killed his wife and two children, as well as his in- laws.
After hearing of the Texas Revolution, he joined the volunteer army and commanded the Texas volunteers in the Alamo.
The "regular army" soldiers were led by William Travis, a lawyer and teacher.
The legendary effort to defend the Alamo against the Mexican army was led by David Crockett, who was pictured fighting with his rifle over his head.
After leaving a failed marriage, a pregnant wife, a two- year- old son, and considerable debts in Alabama, he came to Texas, where he was rumored to have killed a man.
He promised to redeem himself by doing something great and honorable in Texas.
He refused to retreat from the Alamo.
The most famous American at the Alamo was David Crockett, a frontiersman who fought under Andrew Jackson and served in Congress as an anti- Jackson Whig.
After he arrived with his rifle, "Old Betsy," he learned that he would receive 4,000 acres for his service as a fighter.
He was assigned to the garrison at the Alamo.
The forty- nine- year- old was an expert at killing.
In the face of Santa Anna's growing power, the defenders of the Alamo shared a commitment to liberty.
Santa Anna demanded that the Alamo surrender.
The Mexican ultimatum was answered with cannon fire by the man who had taken over command.
The Mexicans launched a series of assaults against the outnumbered defenders.
The Mexicans suffered heavy losses for twelve days.
The rebellion became a war for Texan independence because of the ferocious fighting at the Alamo.
On March 2, 1836, delegates from all fifty- nine Texian towns met in the tiny vil age of Washington- on- the- Brazos, some 150 miles northeast of San Antonio.
They drafted a constitution for the new Republic of Texas after signing a declaration of independence.
The defenders of the Alamo were woken at four o'clock in the morning by the sound of Mexican bugles playing "Deguello".
The Battle of the Alamo was fought in the dark.
Santa Anna's men attacked from every direction.
They broke through the battered northwal on the third try after being twice forced back.
There was a bullet between the eyes.
In the end, all of the Texans who took the fight outside the Alamo were killed or wounded.
Seven Alamo defenders survived and were captured.
Santa Anna ordered them to kill each other.
The battle was over by dawn.
The survivors were a few women and children.
More than 600 Mexicans died as a result of the victory.
The Battle of the Alamo was a cry for revenge.
More than 300 Texians were murdered on Palm Sunday in 1836.
There was a desire for revenge after the fall of the Alamo.
After his father died, Houston moved with his mother and siblings to Tennessee.
Houston was grievously wounded in the fighting for Texas's independence.
He became a federal Indian agent, an attorney, a U.S. congressman, and a governor at the ripe age of thirty- four.
Houston became Jackson's surrogate son, leading many to believe that he might become the next president.
Houston was an eccentric ruffian who had a charming and violent temper.
He was chasing women.
After learning that William Stanbery, an anti- Jackson Ohio congressman, had questioned his integrity, Congressman Houston attacked him with a cane on a Washington, D.C. street.
Stanbery pulled a pistol, put it in Houston's stomach, and then shot it, only to have it go off.
Hous kicked Stanbery's groin after beating him about the head.
The Speaker of the House ordered Houston to be put on trial in Congress after Stanbery filed charges.
He was reprimanded and fined for assault.
There was controversy in Houston.
After only two years as gover norship of Tennessee, he resigned due to the fact that his beautiful, younger wife had left him after their wedding and returned to her father's plantation.
Houston didn't reveal the cause of the dispute, but his family accused him of dishonoring her.
There were wild rumors about what happened on Houston's wedding night.
Some claimed that Houston had been wounded in the Creek War and had been left scarred and impotent.
According to others, his bride confessed she was in love with someone else and only married him to please her family.
Houston wrote that his divorce had thrown him into an "agony of despair" over his "private afflictions" that ruined his political career and exiled him from Nashville society.
Hous ton decided that suicide was his only option.
An eagle swooped toward him as he was about to kill himself.
He was adopted by the Cherokee Nation after marrying a Cherokee woman.
Houston helped rival Indian tribes negotiate with the federal government.
He moved to Texas at Jackson's request.
He sent a secret report to the pres ident indicating that Texas was ripe for revolt from Mexico, which was in the middle of a civil war.
Houston joined the rebellion.
Sam Houston led his outnumbered troops on a long retreat to buy time while hoping that Santa Anna's army would make a mistake after learning of the Mexican vic tory at the Alamo.
The Mexican general let his guard down.
Houston's army of 900 screaming fighters caught Santa Anna's 1,600 troops napping near the San Jacinto River, about twenty five miles south east of the modern city of Houston.
The Mexicans were surprised.
General Santa Anna left his army leaderless that afternoon while he retreated to his tent with his mistress.
Houston's troops slaughtered fleeing Mexican soldiers for two hours after the battle ended.
Hundreds of Mexicans were killed and captured.
Eleven men were lost by the Texians.
Santa Anna was captured the next day.
He bought his freedom when he signed a treaty with the Republic of Texas that made the Rio Grande the southern bound ary with Mexico.
The Texas Revolution was done in seven weeks.
Sam Houston, the first president of the Lone Star Republic, legalized slavery, banned free blacks, and voted overwhelmingly for annexation to the United States in 1836.
Texas became involved in the dispute over slavery.
There were powerful reasons why Texas should be part of the Union.
Anti-slavery people disagreed.
Andrew Jackson wanted Texas to join the Union.
Adding Texas as a slave state would cause a fight between North and South that would endanger the election of Martin Van Buren, his successor.
Adding Texas to the Union would likely lead to a war with Mexico, which refused to recognize Santa Ana's granting of Texan independence.
Jackson delayed official recognition of the Republic of Texas until his last day in office.
During his single term as president, Van Buren avoided all talk of Texas annexation.
When William Henry Harrison succeeded Martin Van Buren as president in 1841, he was the oldest man and the first Whig to win the office.
The Whigs promoted federal government support for industrial development and economic growth, including high tariffs to deter foreign imports, and funding for roads, bridges, and canals.
Harrison was a military hero and won the election.
He did not take public stances on controver sial issues during the campaign.
Harrison served the shortest term of any president.
Vice President John Tyler became president on April 4, 1841, one month after he died of pneumonia.
John Quincy Adams was a former president.
The Kentucky senator wanted to dominate the new president.
Tyler wasn't willing to be dominated.
Clay was told to go back down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol and perform his duties after an argument in the White House.
At fifty- one, the youngest president to date, the tal, thin, slave- owning Virginian was a political mav erick.
He fathered the most children of any president.
He was a man of charm and stubbornness.
Tyler had supported the Jeffersonian commitment to states' rights, strict construction of the Constitution, and opposition to national banks.
He joined the Whigs after Jackson denounced South Carolina's attempt to overturn federal laws.
Tyler believed that South Carolina had the right to leave the nation.
He never embraced the Whigs.
Henry Clay's celebrated program of economic nationalism (the American System), which called for high tariffs, a national bank, and internal improvements, was opposed by the president.
Clay introduced a number of controversial resolutions when Congress met in a special session.
He called for the repeal of the Independent Trea sury Act and the creation of another Bank of the United States, as well as reviving the distribution program whereby the money generated by federal land sales was given to the states, and urged that tariffs be raised on imported goods to hamper foreign competitors
Clay might have avoided a nasty dispute with Tyler over financial issues, but for once he lost his instinct for compromise because of his obsessive quest to be president.
Clay's pet project, the new national bank, was vetoed by Tyler after he agreed to repeal the Independent Treasury Act.
He said that the president was left "solitary and alone" by the storm.
There were fistfights between Whigs and Dem ocrats in Congress.
Clay persuaded Tyler's entire cabinet to resign.
Clay and Tyler had been fighting for three years.
Tyler grew more stubborn.
He replaced the defectors in his cabinet with anti- Jackson Democrats who had become Whigs.
Tyler became a president without a party in 1842.
The economic depression began in the late 1830s.
Unemployment soared as businesses shut down and bank failures mounted.
Tyler refused to let the sputtering economy or an international crisis deter him from annexing more territory into the United States.
British authorities set 128 of them free after they sailed into Nassau.
In American history, it was the most successful slave revolt.
The incident mushroomed into an international crisis after Southerners were enraged.
The British refused to return the slaves as American property.
The United States might lose a war, but Tyler andWebster didn't risk it.
This upset the southern slaveholders.
"Tyler at the head of affairs and such an unprincipled and cowardice Sec.
were the things that James Henry Hammond lashed out at.
The British government decided to send Alexander Bar ing, Lord Ashburton, to meet with Webster, who believed that good relations with Britain were essential for the American economy.
The meetings produced a treaty that provided for joint naval patrols off Africa to fight the slave trade.
The northeastern U.S. boundary with British Canada was resolved by the treaty.
It didn't do anything to return the freed slaves.
England paid $110,000 to the slaves' former owners in the early 19th century.
The secretary of state resigned in May of 1843.
John Tyler wanted to annex the Republic of Texas when he was president.
Texas leaders have been frustrated that they have not been welcomed into the United States, so Tyler's efforts to recruit senators to approve an annexation treaty exhilarated them.
Sam Houston wanted to expand the Republic of Texas to the Pacific coast.
With little money, a rising debt, and continuing tensions with Mexico, this was mostly talk.
There was no infrastructure in the Lone Star Republic.
The rickety republic had two choices, one of which was annexing to the United States and the other being closer economic ties to Great Britain.
Texas offered 1,280 acres of land to each white family, attracting thousands of Americans.
The population of the capital of the Republic of Texas was less than a thousand.
President Tyler boarded the U.S.S.
with a group of 300 people.
Eight people, including the secretary of state and the secretary of the navy, were killed when one of the cannons on the ship exploded.
More than a dozen people were wounded.
Tyler, who was below deck at the time of the accident, rushed to see what had happened.