The West Essay

Submitted By polarisman52
Words: 687
Pages: 3

The picture above is the picture I chose for Quiz 1 on the movement of Americans to the West. In this picture you can see men picking up dead bodies and throwing them onto a horse drawn wagon. These bodies are dead Indian’s who have been massacred as a result of being overtaken by Americans settling the West. In the background, you can see other men on horses watching these men continue to load up all of the dead corpses from the invasion, or massacre. The caption in the lower right corner says, “Gathering up the dead of the battle field at Wounded Knee S.D.” This told me something that I didn’t know from first glimpse, this is in South Dakota at the battle field of Wounded Knee. This particular picture of the men picking up dead Indian corpses shows how many Indians were massacred during the expansion of the West during the 1890’s. According to Foner’s Voices of Freedom, Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce Indians, says that their tribe was forced to leave Oklahoma in one incident because they were trying to escape to Canada to avoid continuing conflicts with settlers encroaching on their lands. This shows how Indians were treated terribly and forced out of the homelands during this expansion and settling of the Frontier. Chief Joseph says, “For a short time we lived quietly. But this could not last....They stole a great deal of horses from us…they drove off a great many of our cattle.” (Foner, pg. 29) Chief Joseph makes a few comments here on how disgusted he was with the way his tribe was treated by men traveling through the Indians homeland to settle the west. Cattle were being driven off of the Indian land, and many horses were being stolen which left the Indians with a lot of hatred and hard feeling toward the settlers. Due to all of this mistreatment and cowardness showed toward the Indians many battles, fights, and massacres broke out, such as the Battle at Wounded Knee South Dakota. Indians lands were stolen from them in order to make this expansion to the west possible leading to all of these battles between the Indians and the Americans moving west. In my opinion if I was a person trying to settle in the West and had no clue about the land and any knowledge of the west at all, I would buddy-up with the Indians and treat them nicely and receive help from them. I feel that the settlers went about this piece of history in the wrong way and were a little greedy.