West / Immigration

Edgar Valverde

Helen Hunt Jackson

Helen Hunt Jackson, activist for Native American rights and author of Southern California's most enduring historical romance novel Ramona. She detailed the adverse effects of government actions in her history A Century of Dishonor (1881). A fiery and prolific writer, Jackson engaged in heated exchanges with federal officials over the injustices committed against American Indians. She exposed the government's violation of treaties with the American Indian tribes.

Morrill Act

The Morrill Act was signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on July 2, 1862. Officially titled "An Act Donating Public Lands to the Several States and Territories which may provide Colleges for the Benefit of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts." The Morrill Act provided each state with 30,000 acres of Federal land for each member in their Congressional delegation. The land was then sold by the states and the proceeds used to fund public colleges that focused on agriculture and the mechanical arts.
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Chief Joseph

Chief Joseph was a Nez Percé chief who, faced with settlement by whites of tribal lands in Oregon, led his followers in a dramatic effort to escape to Canada. When the United States attempted to force the Nez Percé to move to a reservation in 1877, he reluctantly agreed. Following the killing of a group of white settlers, tensions erupted again, and Chief Joseph tried to lead his people to Canada, in what is considered one of the great retreats in military history.

Pendleton Act

Following the assassination of President James A. Garfield by a disgruntled job seeker, Congress passed the Pendleton Act in January of 1883. The Pendleton Act provided that Federal Government jobs be awarded on the basis of merit and that Government employees be selected through competitive exams. The act also made it unlawful to fire or demote for political reasons employees who were covered by the law.
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