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Leaders' general helps to accompany each text-booTc in the For-
v/ard Mission Study Courses and special denominational helps may
be obtained by corresponding with the Secretary of your mission
board or society.










„.:t leath Street. ^ Ji


„ 824154^^


R 1918

CopVR/cflTj 1908, BY

Y,pOijq ^People's IVJissionahy Movement
•,^/.TKK United ^Xj-rt And Canada









Chapter page

Preface xi

I The Frontier— In the Making i

II Transforming the Desert 39

III The Giant Northwest 75

IV The West Between and Beyond 115

V The New Southwest 151

VI The American Indians and Some Other

Peoples 181

VII The West and the East 221


A Table Showing Original Territory and Addi-
tions to the United States in Area and

Population 255

B Land Area, Population, and Density of Popula-
tion for 1900 and 1906, by States and

Territories 256

C Vacant and Reserved Areas in the Western

Public Land States 257

D Irrigation Proj ects 258

E Text of the Present Irrigation Law 259

F Bibliography 265

Index : 281




Coming of the White Man, Statue, City

Park, Portland, Oregon Frontispiece

Lower Yellowstone Project, Montana 9

One of the Many Houses of Settlers Near Rupert,

Idaho 9

Physical Map of the United States 43

Raising Grapes in the Salt River Valley, Near

Mesa, Arizona 47

Date Tree in Salt River Valley, Near Mesa,

Arizona 47

Building Homes in Anticipation of the Opening

of Government Works, Arizona 57

Home Near Phoenix, Arizona, Showing What Irri-
gation Will Do for the Desert 57

Second Avenue and Cherry Street, Seattle,

Washington 79

Lumber Camp, Rainier, Oregon 93

The Richest Hill on Earth, Butte, Montana 93

The Pride of the Mormons — the Temple, Salt Lake

City, Utah 131

Truckee-Carson Project, Nevada 141

Pure-blooded Apache Laborers Constructing a

Road Through the Desert 141

Main Street of an Oklahoma Town, August Sixth. 165

Main Street of Same Town, August Sixteenth 165

Main Street of Same Town, November Sixth,

Same Year 165


X Illustrations


Blanket Indian Evangelistic Convention of Okla-
homa 201

Anglo-Japanese Training School, San Francisco,

California 209

Japanese Buddhist Mission and Pastor, San Fran-
cisco, California 209

Chinese Pastor and Family, Portland, Oregon 215

Choir of the Chinese Church, San Francisco,

California 215

Plymouth Congregational Church, Seattle, Wash-
ington 229

Mexican Home Mission Baptist Church, El Paso,

Texas 229

Baptist White Temple, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. 247

Map of the United States, Showing Territorial ^

Growth End


The last five years have given us a new
frontier. This book attempts to scan its out-
Hue and mark a few of its home missibnary
opportunities. The task is fragmentary and
incomplete, as sources of information are
meager. That conditions are unprecedented
and the missionary situation critical is evident.

While blazing the way, we have endeavored
to point out strategic positions and call atten-
tion to certain centers where multitudes are
gathering for a momentous world movement.

The Church will doubtless meet this situa-
tion by volunteer brigades and forced marches.

A reader of American History and Its Geo-
graphic Conditions, by Ellen Churchill Semple,
and The History of the Pacific Northwest, by
Joseph Schafer, also The Conquest of Arid
America, by William E. Smythe will readily
note my indebtedness in chapters one and two
to these books.

Much other information, because recent, has
been gathered from so wide a range of period-
icals as to make impracticable a specific ac-


xii A First Word

The Secretaries of the various Home Boards
have cooperated. The Editorial Committee
of the Young People's Missionary Movement
has contributed valuable suggestions, and Dr.
A. J. Kynett of Philadelphia has made avail-
able helpful literature.

Ward Platt.

Philadelphia, Pa., August 25, 1908.


At first the frontier was the Atlantic coast. It was
the frontier of Europe in a very real sense. Moving
westward, the frontier became more and more American.
As successive terminal moraines result from successive
glaciations, so each frontier leaves its traces behind it,
and when it becomes a settled area the region still
partakes of the frontier characteristics. Thus the
advance of the frontier has meant a steady movement
away from the influence of Europe, a steady growth
of independence on American lines. And to study
this advance, the men who grew up under these con-
ditions, and the political, economic, and social results
of it, is to study the really American part of our his-

— Turner

The world's scepter passed from Persia to Greece,
from Greece to Italy, from Italy to Great Britain, and
from Great Britain the scepter is to-day departing.
It is passing on to "Greater Britain," to our mighty
West, there to remain, for there is no farther West;
beyond is the Orient. Like the star in the East which
guided the three kings with their treasures westward
until at length it stood still over the cradle of the young
Christ, so the star of empire, rising in the East, has
ever beckoned the wealth and power of the nations
westward, until to-day it stands still over the cradle
of the young empire of the West, to which the nations
are bringing their offerings.

The West is to-day an infant, but shall one day be
a giant in each of whose limbs shall unite the strength
of many nations.

— Strong



World navigation and world history may Three stages
be divided into three stages : the Mediterranean Histo^i^
which stands for past history, the Atlantic
which means the present, and the Pacific which
holds the future. History was shifted from
the Mediterranean to the Atlantic in an attempt
to find an ocean route to the Orient.

Fundamental to the history of the United p*"[t7jnofthe
States is its location on the Atlantic opposite umted states
Europe, and a significant fact connected with
its future is its location on the Facife opposite
Asia.^ Our geographical position place? us in
the center of things both in relation to Europe
and the Orient. Our location is in the tem-
perate zone and fiom ocean to ocean.. Our
climate gives us an energetic population.. , Geo-
graphically and providentially we control the
western hemisphere. This, coujpled with the

^ Semple, American History and Its Geographic , Cpnditions,
91. This work has also suggestad severalof the views of the
bearing of geography upon our eaHy deve^'opment indicated
ill the ten or eleven pages which follow.

The Frontier

Our Western


fact that the United States was peopled by an
Anglo-Saxon race, determined our destiny.

Our area of three millions of square miles is
twice as great from east to west as from north
to south. This means a westward expansion.
Down our central valley not only sweep the
cold winds from the north, but up it also blow
the gentle breezes of the Gulf. The northern
Rockies, low and more narrow than farther
south, permit the passage of the Pacific winds
which bring warmth and moisture to Montana
and the Dakotas.

The position of the United States over
against that of China is strategic, because
China presents a future of possible productive-
ness on a large scale, more similar to that of
the UmteVSlkes than any other country of
the gicHe, l^ut China 'suif.ersi because she has
not /profited by her location and because of a
laqk of navigable rivers. Russia, is not a for-
mi;daWe 1 competitor of the United States be-
cause of her subarctic situation ' Japan makes
remarkable progress but lacks area and popula-
tion. Eri§"jish Pacific possesoions are too far
away from/the -center of power, which lies be-
tween the thirtieth and fortieth parallels of
north latitude.

In the Making 5

In the light of modern history we are able to ^f^.^j^fp "^"^
appreciate the immense importance of our
every accession of territory bordering on the
Pacific. Hawaii in its location is providential.
Our trade with the Orient steadily increases.
We are sure to dominate the Pacific and to
exert over the Orient a correspondingly great
infiuence. The importance of the development
of the West as a basis of this new world in-
fluence is apparent.

Search for

Hozv Explorations Were Directed

The most desirable section of the temperate
zone in North America is between the twenty- Passage
fifth and fiftieth degrees north latitude. In
this belt are located our chief Atlantic streams.
Providence led European navigators, by their
search for a northwest passage, to know much
about that portion of our country essential to
the development of the United States, and later
of the world at large. This search of the ex-
plorers resulted, not in the discovery of a pas-
sage, but of an immense supply of peltries ; and
thus the passion of the navigators was shifted,
as one has said, from passage to peltries.

This trade resulted in a most thorough ex-
ploration of our shores, rivers, and streams.

Effect of
Fur Trade




6 The Frontier

Thus, in early days, the fur-bearing animals
enticed men into intimate knowledge of our
country east of the Mississippi. The fur sup-
ply from the earlier discovered streams became
exhausted and made it necessary to push on
and discover other waters.

A mighty trough runs through the middle
of our continent from the Arctic Ocean to the
Gulf of Mexico. About midway it is met by
an eastward valley in which are the Great
Lakes. The rim separating these two valleys
is low and narrow and is near to the lakes.
The earlier explorers were obliged to carry
their canoes on this rim from but one to ten
miles to launch again on waters that run into
the Mississippi River. This geographical fact
greatly stimulated early explorations.

Mountains an
Early Factor

Natural Features

The Appalachian Mountains have had an
important influence on our history. This range
of mountains so compassed the original thir-
teen colonies that it welded them into a national
life. This made the American Revolution pos-
sible, and under God successful. But for these
mountain barriers, apart from dangers from
Indians, the colonists might have spread out

In the Making 7

so thinly as to have resulted in a national con-
sciousness so attenuated as to have made re-
sistance to Great Britain improbable. And yet
while this system of mountains offered for the
time being a convenient barrier to secure for
us this very important chapter of our history,
the average elevation of these ranges is only
three or four thousand feet. This, in the ful-
ness of time, did not stand in the way of an
overflow westward.

The only important gateway was through 0^^'^^^^^°''^"'
the Mohawk and Hudson valleys. This pass
was only about four hundred and forty-five feet
above sea-level. Easy trails led from the Mo-
hawk and the Genesee to the upper Allegheny
and thence to the Ohio and Mississippi. The
Hudson and Mohawk valleys held the key to
the early northwest even as the meeting of the
Allegheny and Monongahela commanded the
"gateway of the West."

Mountain or

Western Pioneer Advance

The people who early pushed westward and
those who came to settle In the whole stretch Democracy
pf the Appalachian Mountains formed a back-
woods democracy in contrast to the aristocratic
inhabitants of the plantation. Large farms


The Frontier



were not possible in the mountain regions and
the necessities common to these isolated com-
munities placed all on a common level and en-
gendered a resourceful and self-reliant spirit.
Thus was a people developed for the conquest
of the larger West.

In course of time these Appalachian settle-
ments overflowed into Tennessee and Ken-
tucky, covered great stretches of the Ohio
River country, and onward to the Mississippi.
Here was developed a new type of Americans,
"the sturdy, youthful American of the western
wilds." They became so separated by natural
barriers from the Atlantic coast states as to
make necessary something of a compacted life
for defense against the Indians, and for the
promotion of common interests inherent in
those early infant commonwealths.

The English pioneer, however, was distinct
from the French trader by his sedentary occu-
pation of the land. This meant permanent
occupancy, and foretold the future of the coun-
try as a whole. These more western communi-
ties came gradually to such a robust and self-
reliant development as to finally result in
pushing our national boundary line across the
Mississippi into Texas; and really forced our

! t:ie i;zw ':'ofk




In the Making 9

government, in the years following, into the
extension of its domain, step by step, to the

These western and other advancing settlers interest of

. Congress

kept Congress in a state of chronic anxiety.
Had not the United States secured from Napo-
leon the Louisiana Purchase, our own people
who had even then crossed the Mississippi in
great numbers might have formed a govern-
ment for themselves. In fact the East was
somewhat apprehensive concerning the west-
ward tide for fear a new commonwealth might
be formed and detach itself from the original
government. Even as late as the building of
the first transcontinental railroad, Congress
was influenced by the probability that unless
extensive land grants were made the builders of
the road to insure a connection between the
Pacific coast and the East, that whole rich west-
ern section might establish its own government.

Results of the Louisiana Purchase
Up to the time of the Louisiana Purchase continental

^ Expansion

we had been governed largely by the ocean. Followed
The colonies clustering along the Atlantic were pl'^lhass
dominated by it. This continued until the Re-
public was forty years old. Intercolonial com-

:iO The Frontier

munication was by sea. Thus we were a sea-
faring- people occupying the most advantageous
coast on the American continent, but now, with
our immense extension westward, there began
in 1830 a widespread movement of population
in that direction as far as to the 95th meridian.
It lingered there for many years. Our devel-
opment became continental as opposed to mari-
time. Our merchant marine began to decline,
and ever since we have been preeminently a
nation of the soil. Our expansion westward
began to be blocked out from 18 10 to 1820,
and that portion of our advance was not com-
pleted until 1840.
Advance For twcnty-five years after the war of 181 2

Along Rivers .

there was a large movement of our population
to the Mississippi Valley, which was aug-
mented by a tide of immigration that set in
from Europe at the close of the Napoleonic
wars. Steam navigation on lake and river was
then so well established as to facilitate this
movement. If one were to consult a map indi-
cating the advance of population at that time,
he might note bulges westward; these bulges
were in most cases along the courses of rivers.
In 1820 these protrusions began to look like
long fingers. Between these were many vacant

In the Makine ii


spots; but these were rough mountain ranges,
swamps, relatively barren country, or large
tracts held by Indian tribes. Between 1830
and 1840 these Indian lands were gradually
occupied and the tribes removed to the Indian

Historic Trails
By 1840 we had a narrow frontier zone ap- "^^^

Missouri and

proachmg the 95th meridian and the northern westward
boundary of the Missouri River, The advance
paused here, as this was the margin of the arid
belt and the eastern boundary of the Indian
Territory. But beyond this was a frontier of
arid land, snowy mountains, and dread desert
stretching away to the Pacific. Venturesome
souls were constantly pushing out and across
this mysterious region. Only one river in that
wide expanse, the Missouri, has sufficient flow
of water to become a considerable avenue of
travel. Thus this river determined the larger
immigration to the Northwest. Lewis and
Clark followed this course. At Independence
the Missouri makes a bend northwest. This
necessitated the beginning of the prairie trails
westward. In the valley of the Upper Rio
Grande there is a natural gateway through the
mountain barrier of the Rockies. This ac-


The Frontier

counts for the old city of Santa Fe, and that
early route from Independence to Santa Fe
was known as the Santa Fe Trail.

Santa Fe, because of its geographical loca-
tion, became the center of expansion to the
Pacific. The natural advance was by the route
of Kit Carson's famous ride in 1840, the Gila
Trail ending at San Diego, southern Califor-
nia, which country was soon brought into in-
tercourse with the United States. A more
northern route called the Spanish Trail led to
Los Angeles. Our restless population was also
turning to Oregon, a name covering the great

By 1840 the Oregon Trail started like the
Santa Fe Trail, from Independence, Missouri.
It traversed a distance of twenty-four hundred
miles and became a much traveled route. One
reason for this was that the soil of Missouii
was very productive and this inland country
afforded no outlet for a market. So congested
became the Missouri market that a farmer sold
*'a boat load of bacon and lard for a hundred
dollars and the Mississippi steamboats at times
found in bacon a hot and cheap fuel." Access
to the sea became a necessity. This meant
greatly augmented emigration to Oregon. The

In the Making 13

sufferings by these caravans crossing the desert

are difficult for us to comprehend, and yet these

intrepid frontier people pressed on by hundreds

and thousands. The qualities born of their

hardships were not among the least of their

desert cargoes.

By i8ss the Gadsden Purchase from Mexico Gadsden

extended our southwest border from the Gila Monroe

River to the southern watershed. In this addi- ^°'=^^^°«
tion ten millions of dollars were paid for forty-
five thousand acres of land almost entirely unfit
for occupation. But it was money well ex-
pended as it gave us a passageway to the Pacific
always open, along a low level, and never
blocked by snow. Our vast territory coupled
with our isolation from Europe incited to an
early dream of continental power. Out of this
grew the Monroe Doctrine.

Tacific Discovery
The story of the western frontier be2:ins Genesis of the

•' ^ . ° Western

first with explorations of the Pacific coast. Frontier
This was started by the Spaniards in 15 13, was
continued by various voyagers for a period
of two hundred and sixty-five years, and closed
with Captain Cook in his discovery of Cape
Prince of Wales.


The Frontier

It was in 15 13 that Balboa first beheld the
Pacific, and declared that by right of discovery
all its coast belonged to the King of Spain.
''Since the time of Columbus, Spain had been
searching among the West Indies and along the
Atlantic coast of Central and South America in
the hope of finding an open passage to the

The Spaniards, from a commercial stand-
point, were in great need of this looked-for
strait, and a search for the same began along
the Pacific coast. In 1523 Lake Nicaragua
was discovered and the Panama Canal project
suggested itself to the Spaniards.

In 1588 the English destroyed the Spanish
Armada. Spain was thus no longer feared,
and England, France, and Holland began to
colonize the new world.

Spain was now fearful that Great Britain
might be successful in her search for a north-
west passage and drive her off the Pacific;
hence the people of Mexico, helped by the
Spanish Government, made unusual exertions
for the safety of Spain. This involved an ex-
tensive plan for expansion northward. They
were to colonize, build forts, and bring the en-
tire region of upper California under Spanish

In the Making 15

rule. They planned to possess the shores of the
north Pacific. In addition was the project of
planting missions for Christianizing the
Indians. The first mission was founded at
San Diego in 1769. The romantic ruins of
these missions still remain in California. In
1776 England sent its great discoverer, Captain
Cook, to the Pacific to make further search for
a northwest passage. Although Cook never
returned to England, what seemed incidental
to his voyage was attended with momentous

As he pursued his way alons: the northwest vaiueofthe
coast, the Indians from time to time came to Discovered
the ship to exchange sea-otter and other skins
for trinkets from the white man. The sailors
themselves did not know the value of these
skins, but on their return home the ship touched
at Canton, China, and the unused furs, which
had cost the sailors not a sixpence sterling each,
brought as much as a hundred dollars apiece.
The crew was wild to return for another cargo.
This was not permitted. But instantly the at-
tention of the world was turned to the north-
west coast. In a few years men of every nation
were among the mariners who cruised along
that shore to trade with the Indians.


The Frontier

Ship Enters
the Columbia

of the




Several Boston merchants in 1787 fitted out
two small vessels, the Columbia and Lady
Washington, with cargoes of articles both
cheap and attractive to the Indians. The Co-
lumbia was commanded by Captain Gray. One
purchase was that of two hundred otter skins
for a chisel. Gray after disposing of his cargo
of skins in China returned to Boston with a
ship-load of tea by way of the Cape of Good
Hope, and thus was the first sailor under the
American flag to circumnavigate the globe.
Later, in 1791, in the Columbia, he returned to
the Pacific Coast, and on May 11, 1792, entered
the mouth of a river, latitude 46° 10', and
named it Columbia River in honor of his good
ship the Columbia.

Thus this incident of the fur trade resulted
in the discovery, by a representative of the
United States, of the Columbia River, up
which he sailed some thirty miles. Seventeen
years before this Spaniards had discovered the
bay at the mouth of the river and suspected its
existence but failed to enter it.

Four years before Gray's discovery of the
river an English trader noted the indentations
made by the river's mouth, and called it De-
ception Bay, and declared no river was there

In the Making 17

as laid down on the Spanish charts. In 1778
Captain Cook had passed up the coast without
knowing the presence of the river, and only
two weeks before Gray made his discovery
Captain Vancouver examined the opening but
thought it a small inlet or river not accessible
to "vessels of our burden." Thus by a very
narrow margin was the Columbia River and the
northwest province saved to the United States.

The Louisiana Purchase

The country west of the Mississippi River ^' p°^"^" jf °^ "
was supposed to be in the possession of Spain. Acquisition
The fact was, however, that Napoleon in 1800
had forced Spain to give back to France this
territory called Louisiana, a name covering
most of the country west of the Mississippi to
the Rocky Mountains.

When a little later the Americans learned of •^g^^^^^J'^^his
this change of ownership, great uneasiness was Territory for
felt among the western settlers. There was at states
this time probably a total of 325,000 white peo-
ple whose prospects were in the hands of the
power that controlled the Mississippi River.

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