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Life in the 1850s

In 1850, Scandinavian gold miners in California formed the first ski clubs in the On June 2nd, a series of fires destroyed several million dollars worth of property in San Francisco. In 1851, Cornelius Vanderbilt established a steam ship route from New York to California. In 1852, Congress established the Oregon territory. A year later, a San Francisco club introduced the Irish sport of hurling into the United States. That same year a yellow fever epidemic killed 5,000 people in New Orleans. In 1854, the Kansas Nebraska Act opened the Kansas and Nebraska territories to popular sovereignty on the issue of slavery. In 1855, violence erupted over the expansion of slavery in “Bleeding Kansas.” In 1856, Mormon leaders furnished handcarts to immigrants who intended to cross the plains. On May 24, John Brown and his son killed 5 proslavery men at Pottamatomie Creek in Kansas. In 1857, U.S. troops were sent to Utah to put down a Mormon rebellion. An expedition led by Albert Sidney Johnston and guided by James Bridger explored the Yellowstone river valley. In 1858, John Butterfield opened an overland stage route. On May 2nd, marathon horse riding became the craze in California. John Powers rode 150 miles on a racetrack in 6 hours, 43 minutes, and 31 seconds; he used 25 mustangs and won $5,000. On May 11th, Minnesota entered the United States as the 32nd state. In 1859, mining operations increased in Nevada and Colorado. That same year painter Albert Bierstadt traveled through the Rocky Mountains. On February 14th, Oregon entered the Union as the 33rd state. During the 1850’s the Western movement was still strong. During the trip women didn’t want to wear their traditional dresses so they wore their bloomers instead. In the late 1850’s, dogfights were growing in the south, in New Orleans and Kentucky. (Chronicle of America; American Eras; Encarta Encyclopedia; In 1850, the ...

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