American Consequences - May 2020


And others there didn’t want the eye of law enforcement looking down on them. So as much as the Wild West was viewed for its opportunity, it also became known as a land of thieves, hucksters, snake-oil salesmen, and outlaws. Still, people kept going west for a reason. While there was risk, there was phenomenal opportunity, too... • If you could protect your claim to a gold or silver mine, you could become another George Hearst, a Missouri farm boy turned gold, silver, and copper mining tycoon.

In 1880, nearly half of the territory of the United States of America was an ungoverned free-for-all. You could make it rich. You could lose the shirt off your back. You could die trying. Nine out of 10 Americans lived either east of the Mississippi River or in a state bordering it, or in the states along the Pacific coast. The Plains states and Mountain West region were populated with people looking to make a name for themselves in a land not already picked over by society. Others moved to the region looking to be as far away from society as possible.


May 2020

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