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Documents of Freedom have been a beacon to the world for over 200 years. They are driving forces in the westward exploration. They protect all men and their families' right to freedom of worship, choice, descent and speech. They guarantee the pursuit of happiness, liberty and justice for all. They are the corner stone of raw courage, mercy and the greatness of this country. May God forbid, these documents ever be tarnished or destroyed or so shall be the beacon of freedom to the world.
Mountain men, trappers and fur traders were true self motivated explorers who believed in the magic of their dreams. A dream of finding a secret hidden beautiful mountain valley with magnificent rivers and streams. Wild life so bountiful prime beaver rush to your feet saying take me, Mr. Trapper, take me. Suddenly awakened to calm stillness. A moment passes, a thought presses. Who is watching the horses? Looking to the distant ridge line embarrassment overwhelms your composure. You helplessly watch your horses led away by a band of Indians. The dawning light comes on bright. IT was your turn to watch the horses.
Go west young man go west The foundation of freedom is afforded that you may pursue you dreams. Guard with your very being that you not be led astray, by false thoughts, granting debt to you from country or fellow man. Make your own way in life, opportunity abounds you. Go west young man, develop the strengths of freedom, build opportunities and others will join you. Look to the Lord for guidance and strength and you will do well my son. May God be with you always. Go west young man go west.
United States Cavalry and the Indians The U.S. Army, the long arm of the United States Government had a job to do. Monitor and promote the orderly expansion of the West. The U.S. Cavalry was the army unit of choice in the west. The Indians' resistance to being a conquered people and their later reluctance to being prisoners on reservations presented many problems to the westward expansion. Problems the Cavalry took in an aggressive stride to solve.
Great Gateway to the West A gathering jumping off place where wagons were being built and plenty of advice being given. Corrals full of horses and mules attended by Honest John, also selling tack, harness and hand drawn maps leading to your greatest expectations. Pioneers, trappers, explorers, gold miners and opportunists of every kind, all gathering supplies and information to assist in their journeys Pioneers and Frontiersmen of the West were mostly folks from simple lives. They just woke up one day and said enough is enough. The next day with drive and determination on a prayer, they were moving west. Some folks had no specific destination in mind. The feeling was they would recognize their new home when they found it and many did.
Gunslingers, Lawmen, and Outlaws The characters in this story have characteristics in common. They are opportunists. They all chose to live by the gun, survive or die by it. Some were interchangeable and switched professions. At times the closest lawman is an after-fact. The west can be a cruel. Beware the after-fact could be the hanging tree.
Trails Mountain Passes and Forts were the highways of the American west. Mostly narrow pathways through every kind of desolate river crossing, high mountain passes where most of the year is winter, deserts with terrain and hardships one can only imagine. Along the way every kind of disease, snake, wolves, coyotes, grizzly bears, Indians and outlaws. The forts offered little protection, a few supplies and news hard to come by.
Women Who Tamed the West, many on the wagon trains. Wagons were so overloaded that only the youngest children rode. When these Women say they walked from the Mississippi river to the Pacific coast. They mean walked. They got up every morning, cooked the meals, tended family needs, gave birth to new children. They watered the horses, fought Indians, nursed the wounded, buried their dead and kept their families direction on course. A few other women helped tamed the west.
Stagecoach Lines and The Pony Express emerged as the first reliable passenger and mail transport in the west. Quickly domineering the market with surprisingly trustworthy and dependable service. The Pony Express riders pressed into the wild west handing off the mail rider to rider. This chain of riders were usually orphans with no family because of the immense danger.
Concord Stagecoaches with six fine horses in a full run along a narrow mountain road became a romantic symbol of the west remembered today. The stagecoach lines became the secure couriers of passengers, mail and gold. Stagecoach lines rapidly branched out to fill the needs of the west.
Railroads Expanding the West created a race for wealth. Receiving from the government every other section of land several sections deep and benefits, including mineral rights on both sides of their road bed as reward for laying track. As in most stories of this kind it seems it's appropriate to sacrifice a few rights and lives for the good of the many. The good these railroads have done for this country is immense, possibly incalculable. The few were many thousands or more of lives sacrificed needlessly for the race to put down the silver ribbons.
Alamo Remember the Alamo! The Cradle of Texas Liberty. The Alamo has become a shrine to the meaning of American freedom and independence. The ultimate sacrifice of giving one's life for his country was demonstrated here through 183 men the most famous being William Travis, Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett. The battle cry, "Remember the Alamo" led the way not only for Texas independence but for the westward expansion of the United States and the American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
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