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Mojave Indian Ethnography & Ethnohistory

Military and Pioneer Period

Sitgreaves Expedition - 1850

    The United States acquired the Southwest from Mexico by treaty in 1848, but this transfer of ownership was not meaningful at the time to the Mojave, who had not considered their territory to be owned by Mexico. From their point of view, it had belonged to them and continued to be their property. The citizens of the U.S., however, urgently demanded that ...

Whipple Expedition - 1854

    The Whipple Expedition, a large scientific expedition led by Lt. Amiel Weeks Whipple, Brevet Lt. J. C. Ives, and 2nd Lt. D. S. Stanley, which was the next official expedition to come through, was more fortunate in that the years 1852-1853 preceding their trip had been bountiful in the desert, and that the expedition was better equipped than its predecessors to begin with. It was to leave a ...

Beale Expedition - 1857

    The facts gathered by the Whipple Expedition showed that a railroad to the Pacific Ocean along the 35th parallel was feasible. The first step toward building the railroad was building a wagon road along which people and supplies could be moved. An expedition under the leadership of Edward Fitzgerald Beale, ...

Rose-Bailey Wagon Train - 1858

    Too impatient to wait for the new road to be completed, two wagon trains of emigrants left Santa Fe in 1858 to try it out, one headed by L. R. Rose, and following it another led by Gillum Bailey. One member of the Bailey train, John Udell, who had had previous experience traveling in the west, opposed the choice of route, but was overruled. The trains' leaders unfortunately hired as guide a man who had guided both Whipple's and Beale's expeditions ...

Hoffman Establishes Fort Mohave- 1859

    Hoffman reported that the route he had taken across the Mojave Desert was too difficult to send troops through in larger numbers. General Clarke followed his advice and sent him to Fort Yuma to organize incoming troops and establish a supply line, preparatory to establishing a post at the place from which Beale had crossed the Mojave in 1857. Hoffman, whose report of his encounter at Beaver Lake was interpreted by ...
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Military in the Mojave Desert

In 1850, southwestern territory was annexed by the U.S. Army, the beginning of military encroachment on the region. New transportation routes were critical to an expanding nation, and a wagon trail was opened. ...

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