Although the roads were chartered in 1862, the work of construction was slow at first, and the last rail was not laid till May 10, 1869.
%492. The Silver Mines; New States and Territories.%—What the discovery of gold did for California and Denver, silver and the railroad did for the country east of the Sierras. In 1859 some gold seekers in what was then Utah discovered the rich silver mines on Mt. Davidson. Population rushed in, Virginia City sprang into existence, the territory of Nevada was formed in 1861, and in 1864 entered the Union as a state. In 1861 Colorado was made a territory, and what is now North and South Dakota and the land west of them to the Rocky Mountain divide became the territory of Dakota. Hardly was this done when gold was found in a gulch on the Jefferson Fork of the Missouri River. Bannock City, Virginia City, and Helena were laid out almost immediately, and in 1864 Montana was made a territory. In 1860 and 1862 precious metals were found in what was then eastern Washington; Lewiston, Idaho City, and the old Hudson Bay Company’s post of Fort Boise became thriving towns, and in 1863 the territory of Idaho was formed, with limits including what is now Montana and part of Wyoming. In 1863 Arizona was cut off from New Mexico, and in 1868 Wyoming was made a territory.
%493. Population in 1870.%—Thus in the decade from 1860 to 1870 gold, silver, and the Pacific Railroad gave value to the American Desert, brought two states (Nevada and Nebraska) into the Union, and caused the organization of six new territories. More than 1,000,000 people then lived along the line of the Union Pacific. Our total population in 1870 was 38,000,000.
1. What the discovery of gold did for California in 1849, it did for the “Great American Desert” in 1858.
2. The consequences were the founding of Denver, the establishment of a stagecoach line from the Missouri to Denver, the pony express to the Pacific; the overland coach; and the Pacific Railroad.
3. Gold, the railroad, and the silver mines led to the organization of Colorado, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming, and the admission of Nebraska and Nevada into the Union.
4. Other causes led to the organization of Arizona and Dakota.
New States (1860-1870).
West Virginia, 1863.
Total number of states in 1870, 37.
New Territories (1860-1870).
THE ECONOMIC STRUGGLE
POLITICS FROM 1868 TO 1880
%494. New Issues before the People.%—Five years had now passed since the surrender of Lee, and nine since the firing on Sumter. During these years the North, aroused and united by the efforts put forth to crush the Confederacy, had entered on a career of prosperity and development greater than ever enjoyed in the past. With this changed condition came new issues, some growing out of the results of the war, and some out of the development of the country.