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Historical Glossary

There are 149 entries in this glossary.
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Pacific Telegraph Act

(16 June 1860)    Congress financed construction of telegraph lines from Mo. to San Francisco. The first message, from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, was transmitted on 24 October 1861. The service put the Pony Express out of business.

Packers and Stockyards Act

(15 August 1921)    To ensure that farmers received fair prices for livestock, poultry, and dairy products, Congress forbade price manipulation and other unfair, monopolistic, or discriminatory practices in their purchase; it required stockyards and all marketing firms to register with the Department of Agriculture and report their prices, fees, and charges.

Paine, Thomas

(b. Thetford, Norfolk, England, 29 January 1737; d. New York, N.Y., 8 June 1809)    In 1774 Paine emigrated to Philadelphia and became a newspaperman. In January 1776, he published Common Sense, which made the most uncompromising argument for independence yet articulated in America. From 1776 to 1783, he was the unequaled propagandist of the Revolution and published his essays under the title of The Crisis. He served as a secretary for Congress and clerk of the Pa. assembly. Paine was imprisoned while trying to influence the French Revolution and in 1794 returned to the US, where he passed his life poor but honored on his Long Island farm.

Paiute campaigns

(1) In 1860 Southern Paiute Indians burned a Pony Express station on the California Trail and killed five whites near Pyramid Lake, Nev., while rescuing two girls being held there as concubines by miners. In an ambush at the Truckee Valley, Paiutes under Numaga killed 46 out of 105 miners sent to retaliate. In June Colonel Jack Hays led 800 Calif. and Nev. volunteers, dispersed his enemy at Pinnacle Mountain, and killed 25 Paiute warriors. Fighting ended late that summer when the army built Fort Churchill nearby.
(2) In early 1866, the northern Paiutes intensified raids against Idaho gold miners. In 40 skirmishes, the army and its Shoshoni Indian scouts reported killing 329 Paiutes, wounding 20, and capturing 225. Colonel George Crook negotiated peace in July 1868.

Paiute Indians

This group, speakers of one of the Uto-Aztecan languages, occupied the Great Basin between the Rockies and Sierra Nevadas. The Northern Paiutes of Idaho and Southeastern Oreg. were known as Snakes. The Paiutes may have numbered 7,500 in 1845. Several Paiute campaigns were fought. Paiutes now have a reservation in Utah, two in Oreg., and ten in Nev.