Today the term preservation usually refers to the protection of historical resources and landmarks, but in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries “preservationists” were those who promoted the permanent protection of natural resources and lands. Preservationists like John Muir, who founded the Sierra Club and influenced Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation efforts, worked to protect areas of natural land from human disturbance or development.
Crédit Mobilier was an American finance and construction company established to build the Union Pacific Railroad. It was embroiled in scandal, however, when a corrupt deal between the company and members of Congress was exposed in 1872. The company had received the lucrative railroad contract after selling shares far below market value to Congressional Republicans.
Chief Joseph (ca. 1840–1904) was the Nez Perce leader who in 1877 attempted to lead his people on a three-month march from their homes in the Wallowa Valley in Oregon to Canada pursued by the US Army. He eventually surrendered upon being promised that the Nez Perce could return to Idaho. The federal government broke its promise, however, and the Nez Perce were removed to Indian Territory in Kansas and Oklahoma.
Crazy Horse (1849–1877) was a Lakota leader who battled white settlement in the Black Hills of Dakota. In 1876, Crazy Horse fought at Little Bighorn, the battle initiated by American Lieutenant Colonel George Custer. In 1877, he was killed while resisting capture and imprisonment.
Grover Cleveland (1837–1908) was the first Democratic president elected after the Civil War and the only person ever to be elected to non-consecutive terms in office (in 1884 and 1892). A bachelor when he was elected to his first term, he became the first president to be married in the White House when he wed Frances Folsom, a former ward twenty-seven years his junior. He also became the first president to have children while in office. When confronted with the charge that he had fathered a child out of wedlock, Cleveland immediately...