Buffalo soldiers were members of African American calvalry regiments of the US Army who served in the American West between 1867 and 1896. Buffalo soldiers were charged with escorting and protecting trains and western settlers on the frontier from American Indians as well as outlaws. They often clashed with Indians of the Plains and Southwest and took part in nearly 200 engagements. They earned the repuation of brave and disciplined members of the Army.
The American Protective Association was formed as a secret anti-Catholic organization in 1887. Using propaganda and rumor-mongering, the APA aimed to restrict Catholic immigration into the United States and to prevent Catholics from holding office. At its 1896 peak, the organization had 2.5 million members.
The American Federation of Labor was established by a group of trade unions after the Chicago Haymarket Square riot in 1866. Aiming to organize skilled craft workers, the AFL used boycotts and strikes as negotiation tactics. Samuel Gompers served as the organization’s first president.
The Interstate Commerce Commission, formed by the Interstate Commerce Act of 1887, was the first federal regulatory commission. The Commission was tasked with regulating railroads and preventing rate discrimination.
The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company was chartered in 1859 and was a major force in the settlement of the American Southwest. The main line of the railway to Colorado was finished in 1872, but it was extended throughout the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. At its peak, the rail ran more than 13,000 miles in track.
The Central Pacific Railroad was established in 1861 by the “Big Four”—Leland Standford, Collis P. Huntingon, Charles Crocker, and Mark Hopkins. The Central Pacific was part of the first transcontinental rail line, though its progress was often slow. Chinese immigrants were largely responsible for building the rail, which began in Sacramento, California, and reached east until it met the Union Pacific Railroad in Promontory Summit, Utah, in May 1869 to complete the transcontinental line.