Location: Halstead, Kansas, United States

This is my seventh year at Halstead which is also where I live with my wife and my soon to be two year old daughter.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Miner Chapter 3: How the Iron Must Burn

The third chapter of the book covers the spread of the railroad throughout Kansas along with the dealings of Native Americans, the establishment of universities and to a lesser degree the role of women and African-Americans in the state. While this is a lot of information, the key to it all resides in the economic progress that the railroad could potentially bring to the state. The potential of the railroad and the extension of pioneers to the western parts of the state led to some conflict with Native Americans who had control of the land. My classes could look at the contradicting views of Native Americans. Governor Samuel Crawford gives a very hostile and negative assessment while James Mead describes his interactions with the Indians in a much more positive light. Still, the main crux of the chapter revolves around the establishment of railroads in the state. My classes could look at the similarities between the importance of railroads in the second half of the 1800s and draw some comparisons to economic development today with meat packing, gambling and other potential business ventures. The final are that I found interesting and teachable was the approach that Kansas took to black and women’s suffrage. I am sure that some of my students would like to know about why the measures were voted down and some of the opinions about the idea from the time period.

Favorite Quotes From Chapter 3

“Railroad corporations, those artificial beings with no body to kick or should to damn”

“I have thought much on this matter but am too confounded poor to put into execution”

“Now before we can have 2,000 miles of RR we must begin somewhere and build one mile. And then another.”

“To see a man squatted on a quarter section in a cabin which would make a fair hogpen… waiting for someone to come along an buy out his ‘claim’ is enough to give a cheerful man the horrors.”


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