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In acquiring, preparing, and distributing public land to private ownership, the federal government generally followed the system set forth by the Land Ordinance of Federal exploration and scientific teams would undertake reconnaissance of the land and determine Native American habitation.
Through treaties, the land titles would be ceded by the resident tribes. Townships would be formed from the lots and sold at public auction.
As part of public policy, the government would award public land to certain groups such as veterans, through the use of "land script".
As a counter to land speculators, farmers formed "claims clubs" to enable them to buy larger tracts than the acre 0. In , Congress passed three important bills that transformed the land system.
The Homestead Act granted acres 0. The only cost was a modest filing fee. The law was especially important in the settling of the Plains states.
Many took a free homestead and others purchased their land from railroads at low rates. The Pacific Railroad Act of provided for the land needed to build the transcontinental railroad.
The land was given the railroads alternated with government-owned tracts saved for free distribution to homesteaders. Railroads had up to five years to sell or mortgage their land, after tracks were laid, after which unsold land could be purchased by anyone.
Often railroads sold some of their government acquired land to homesteaders immediately to encourage settlement and the growth of markets the railroads would then be able to serve.
Nebraska railroads in the s were strong boosters of lands along their routes. They sent agents to Germany and Scandinavia with package deals that included cheap transportation for the family as well as its furniture and farm tools, and they offered long-term credit at low rates.
Boosterism succeeded in attracting adventurous American and European families to Nebraska , helping them purchase land grant parcels on good terms.
The selling price depended on such factors as soil quality, water, and distance from the railroad. The Morrill Act of provided land grants to states to begin colleges of agriculture and mechanical arts engineering.
Black colleges became eligible for these land grants in The Act succeeded in its goals to open new universities and make farming more scientific and profitable.
In the s government-sponsored surveys to chart the remaining unexplored regions of the West, and to plan possible routes for a transcontinental railroad.
Much of this work was undertaken by the Corps of Engineers , Corps of Topographical Engineers , and Bureau of Explorations and Surveys, and became known as "The Great Reconnaissance".
Regionalism animated debates in Congress regarding the choice of a northern, central, or southern route. Engineering requirements for the rail route were an adequate supply of water and wood, and as nearly-level route as possible, given the weak locomotives of the era.
In the s, proposals to build a transcontinental failed because of Congressional disputes over slavery. With the secession of the Confederate states in , the modernizers in the Republican party took over Congress and wanted a line to link to California.
Private companies were to build and operate the line. Construction would be done by unskilled laborers who would live in temporary camps along the way.
Immigrants from China and Ireland did most of the construction work. Theodore Judah , the chief engineer of the Central Pacific surveyed the route from San Francisco east.
Judah's tireless lobbying efforts in Washington were largely responsible for the passage of the Pacific Railroad Act , which authorized construction of both the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific which built west from Omaha.
The line was completed in May Coast-to-coast passenger travel in 8 days now replaced wagon trains or sea voyages that took 6 to 10 months and cost much more.
The road was built with mortgages from New York, Boston, and London, backed by land grants. There were no federal cash subsidies, But there was a loan to the Central Pacific that was eventually repaid at six percent interest.
The federal government offered land-grants in a checkerboard pattern. The railroad sold every-other square, with the government opening its half to homesteaders.
Local and state governments also aided the financing. Most of the manual laborers on the Central Pacific were new arrivals from China. He concludes that senior officials quickly realized the high degree of cleanliness and reliability of the Chinese.
Ong explores whether or not the Chinese Railroad Workers were exploited by the railroad, with whites in better positions.
He finds the railroad set different wage rates for whites and Chinese and used the latter in the more menial and dangerous jobs, such as the handling and the pouring of nitroglycerin.
Building the railroad required six main activities: surveying the route, blasting a right of way, building tunnels and bridges, clearing and laying the roadbed, laying the ties and rails, and maintaining and supplying the crews with food and tools.
The work was highly physical, using horse-drawn plows and scrapers, and manual picks, axes, sledgehammers, and handcarts.
A few steam-driven machines, such as shovels, were used. For blasting, they used black powder. Six transcontinental railroads were built in the Gilded Age plus two in Canada ; they opened up the West to farmers and ranchers.
All but the Great Northern of James J. Hill relied on land grants. The financial stories were often complex. For example, the Northern Pacific received its major land grant in Financier Jay Cooke — was in charge until when he went bankrupt.
Federal courts, however, kept bankrupt railroads in operation. In Henry Villard — took over and finally completed the line to Seattle.
But the line went bankrupt in the Panic of and Hill took it over. He then merged several lines with financing from J. Morgan , but President Theodore Roosevelt broke them up in In the first year of operation, —70, , passengers made the long trip.
Settlers were encouraged with promotions to come West on free scouting trips to buy railroad land on easy terms spread over several years.
The railroads had "Immigration Bureaus" which advertised package low-cost deals including passage and land on easy terms for farmers in Germany and Scandinavia.
The prairies, they were promised, did not mean backbreaking toil because "settling on the prairie which is ready for the plow is different from plunging into a region covered with timber".
All manufacturers benefited from the lower costs of transportation and the much larger radius of business.
White concludes with a mixed verdict. The transcontinentals did open up the West to settlement, brought in many thousands of high-tech, highly paid workers and managers, created thousands of towns and cities, oriented the nation onto an east-west axis, and proved highly valuable for the nation as a whole.
On the other hand, too many were built, and they were built too far ahead of actual demand. The result was a bubble that left heavy losses to investors and led to poor management practices.
By contrast, as White notes, the lines in the Midwest and East supported by a very large population base, fostered farming, industry, and mining while generating steady profits and receiving few government benefits.
After the Civil War , many from the East Coast and Europe were lured west by reports from relatives and by extensive advertising campaigns promising "the Best Prairie Lands", "Low Prices", "Large Discounts For Cash", and "Better Terms Than Ever!
The new railroads provided the opportunity for migrants to go out and take a look, with special family tickets, the cost of which could be applied to land purchases offered by the railroads.
Farming the plains was indeed more difficult than back east. Water management was more critical, lightning fires were more prevalent, the weather was more extreme, rainfall was less predictable.
The fearful stayed home. The actual migrants looked beyond fears of the unknown. Their chief motivation to move west was to find a better economic life than the one they had.
Farmers sought larger, cheaper, and more fertile land; merchants and tradesmen sought new customers and new leadership opportunities.
Laborers wanted higher paying work and better conditions. As settlers move West, they have to face challenges along the way, such as the lack of wood for housing, bad weather like blizzards and droughts, and fearsome tornadoes.
One of the greatest plagues that hit the homesteaders was the Locust Plague which devastated the Great Plains. On April 22, over , settlers and cattlemen known as "boomers"  lined up at the border, and when the army's guns and bugles giving the signal, began a mad dash to stake their claims in the Land Run of A witness wrote, "The horsemen had the best of it from the start.
It was a fine race for a few minutes, but soon the riders began to spread out like a fan, and by the time they reached the horizon they were scattered about as far as the eye could see".
In the same manner, millions of acres of additional land were opened up and settled in the following four years.
Indian wars have occurred throughout the United States though the conflicts are generally separated into two categories; the Indian wars east of the Mississippi River and the Indian wars west of the Mississippi.
Bureau of the Census provided an estimate of deaths:. The Indian wars under the government of the United States have been more than 40 in number.
They have cost the lives of about 19, white men, women and children, including those killed in individual combats, and the lives of about 30, Indians.
The actual number of killed and wounded Indians must be very much higher than the given Fifty percent additional would be a safe estimate Historian Russell Thornton estimates that from to , the Indian population declined from , to as few as , The depopulation was principally caused by disease as well as warfare.
Many tribes in Texas, such as the Karankawan , Akokisa , Bidui and others, were extinguished due to conflicts with settlers.
Government, and the Doolittle Committee was formed to investigate the causes as well as provide recommendations for preserving the population.
The expansion of migration into the Southeastern United States in the s to the s forced the federal government to deal with the "Indian question".
The Indians were under federal control but were independent of state governments. State legislatures and state judges had no authority on their lands, and the states demanded control.
Politically the new Democratic Party of President Andrew Jackson demanded the removal of the Indians out of the southeastern states to new lands in the west, while the Whig Party and the Protestant churches were opposed to removal.
The Jacksonian Democracy proved irresistible, as it won the presidential elections of , , and By the "Indian Removal policy" began, to implement the act of Congress signed by Andrew Jackson in Many historians have sharply attacked Jackson.
The forced march of about twenty tribes included the "Five Civilized Tribes" Creek , Choctaw , Cherokee , Chickasaw , and Seminole.
To motivate Natives reluctant to move, the federal government also promised rifles, blankets, tobacco, and cash. By the Cherokee, the last Indian nation in the South, had signed the removal treaty and relocated to Oklahoma.
All the tribes were given new land in the " Indian Territory " which later became Oklahoma. Of the approximate 70, Indians removed, about 18, died from disease, starvation, and exposure on the route.
The impact of the removals was severe. The transplanted tribes had considerable difficulty adapting to their new surroundings and sometimes clashed with the tribes native to the area.
The only way for an Indian to remain and avoid removal was to accept the federal offer of acres 2. However, many Natives who took the offer were defrauded by "ravenous speculators" who stole their claims and sold their land to whites.
Of the five tribes, the Seminole offered the most resistance, hiding out in the Florida swamps and waging a war which cost the U.
Indian warriors in the West, using their traditional style of limited, battle-oriented warfare, confronted the U. The Indians emphasized bravery in combat while the Army put its emphasis not so much on individual combat as on building networks of forts, developing a logistics system, and using the telegraph and railroads to coordinate and concentrate its forces.
Plains Indian intertribal warfare bore no resemblance to the "modern" warfare practiced by the Americans along European lines, using its vast advantages in population and resources.
Many tribes avoided warfare and others supported the U. The tribes hostile to the government continued to pursue their traditional brand of fighting and, therefore, were unable to have any permanent success against the Army.
Indian wars were fought throughout the western regions, with more conflicts in the states bordering Mexico than in the interior states.
Arizona ranked highest, with known battles fought within the state's boundaries between Americans and the Natives. Arizona ranked highest in war deaths, with 4, killed, including soldiers, civilians, and Native Americans.
That was more than twice as many as occurred in Texas, the second-highest-ranking state. Most of the deaths in Arizona were caused by the Apache.
Michno also says that fifty-one percent of the Indian war battles between and took place in Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico, as well as thirty-seven percent of the casualties in the county west of the Mississippi River.
One of the deadliest Indian wars fought was the Snake War in —, which was conducted by a confederacy of Northern Paiute , Bannock and Shoshone Native Americans, called the "Snake Indians" against the United States Army in the states of Oregon, Nevada, California, and Idaho which ran along the Snake River.
Indians included in this group attacked and harassed emigrant parties and miners crossing the Snake River Valley, which resulted in further retaliation of the white settlements and the intervention of the United States army.
The war resulted in a total of 1, men who have been killed, wounded, and captured from both sides. Unlike other Indian Wars, the Snake War has widely forgotten in United States history due to having only limited coverage of the war.
The Colorado War fought by Cheyenne , Arapaho and Sioux, was fought in the territories of Colorado to Nebraska. The conflict was fought in — while the American Civil War was still ongoing.
Caused by dissolution between the Natives and the white settlers in the region, the war was infamous for the atrocities done between the two parties.
White militias destroyed Native villages and killed Indian women and children such as the bloody Sand Creek massacre , and the Indians also raided ranches, farms and killed white families such as the American Ranch massacre and Raid on Godfrey Ranch.
In the Apache Wars , Colonel Christopher "Kit" Carson forced the Mescalero Apache onto a reservation in In —, Carson used a scorched earth policy in the Navajo Campaign , burning Navajo fields and homes, and capturing or killing their livestock.
He was aided by other Indian tribes with long-standing enmity toward the Navajos, chiefly the Utes. The Apaches under his command conducted ambushes on US cavalries and forts, such as their attack on Cibecue Creek , while also raiding upon prominent farms and ranches, such as their infamous attack on the Empire Ranch that killed three cowboys.
During the Comanche Campaign , the Red River War was fought in —75 in response to the Comanche's dwindling food supply of buffalo, as well as the refusal of a few bands to be inducted in reservations.
The war finally ended with a final confrontation between the Comanches and the U. Cavalry in Palo Duro Canyon. The last Comanche war chief, Quanah Parker , surrendered in June , which would finally end the wars fought by Texans and Indians.
Red Cloud's War was led by the Lakota chief Red Cloud against the military who were erecting forts along the Bozeman Trail. It was the most successful campaign against the U.
By the Treaty of Fort Laramie , the U. With 53 Modoc warriors, Captain Jack held off 1, men of the U. Army for 7 months.
Captain Jack killed Edward Canby. Numbering only warriors, the Nez Perce "battled some 2, American regulars and volunteers of different military units, together with their Indian auxiliaries of many tribes, in a total of eighteen engagements, including four major battles and at least four fiercely contested skirmishes.
The Great Sioux War of was conducted by the Lakota under Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse. The conflict began after repeated violations of the Treaty of Fort Laramie once gold was discovered in the hills.
One of its famous battles was the Battle of the Little Bighorn , in which combined Sioux and Cheyenne forces defeated the 7th Cavalry, led by General George Armstrong Custer.
The end of the major Indian wars came at the Wounded Knee massacre on December 29, , where the 7th Cavalry attempted to disarm a Sioux man and precipitated an engagement in which about Sioux men, women, and children were killed.
Only thirteen days before, Sitting Bull had been killed with his son Crow Foot in a gun battle with a group of Indian police that had been sent by the American government to arrest him.
Army soldiers and Native Americans though occurred in the Battle of Bear Valley on January 9, As the frontier moved westward, the establishment of U.
They served as bases for troops at or near strategic areas, particularly for counteracting the Indian presence. For example, Fort Bowie protected Apache Pass in southern Arizona along the mail route between Tucson and El Paso and was used to launch attacks against Cochise and Geronimo.
Fort Laramie and Fort Kearny helped protect immigrants crossing the Great Plains and a series of posts in California protected miners.
Forts were constructed to launch attacks against the Sioux. As Indian reservations sprang up, the military set up forts to protect them. Forts also guarded the Union Pacific and other rail lines.
Other important forts were Fort Sill , Oklahoma, Fort Smith , Arkansas, Fort Snelling , Minnesota, Fort Union , New Mexico, Fort Worth , Texas, and Fort Walla Walla in Washington.
Fort Omaha , Nebraska, was home to the Department of the Platte , and was responsible for outfitting most Western posts for more than 20 years after its founding in the late s.
Fort Huachuca in Arizona was also originally a frontier post and is still in use by the United States Army.
Settlers on their way overland to Oregon and California became targets of Indian threats. Robert L. Munkres read 66 diaries of parties traveling the Oregon Trail between and to estimate the actual dangers they faced from Indian attacks in Nebraska and Wyoming.
The vast majority of diarists reported no armed attacks at all. However many did report harassment by Indians who begged or demanded tolls, and stole horses and cattle.
A second treaty secured safe passage along the Santa Fe Trail for wagon trains. In return, the tribes would receive, for ten years, annual compensation for damages caused by migrants.
In the Far West settlers began to occupy land in Oregon and California before the federal government secured title from the native tribes, causing considerable friction.
In Utah, the Mormons also moved in before federal ownership was obtained. A new policy of establishing reservations came gradually into shape after the boundaries of the "Indian Territory" began to be ignored.
In providing for Indian reservations, Congress and the Office of Indian Affairs hoped to de-tribalize Native Americans and prepare them for integration with the rest of American society, the "ultimate incorporation into the great body of our citizen population".
Influential pioneer towns included Omaha , Nebraska City , and St. American attitudes towards Indians during this period ranged from malevolence "the only good Indian is a dead Indian" to misdirected humanitarianism Indians live in "inferior" societies and by assimilation into white society they can be redeemed to somewhat realistic Native Americans and settlers could co-exist in separate but equal societies, dividing up the remaining western land.
Conflicts erupted in the s, resulting in various Indian wars. Such as in the case of Oliver Loving , they would sometimes attack cowboys and their cattle if ever caught crossing in the borders of their land.
However, the relationship between cowboys and Native Americans were more mutual than they are portrayed, and the former would occasionally pay a fine of 10 cents per cow for the latter to allow them to travel through their land.
After the Civil War, as the volunteer armies disbanded, the regular army cavalry regiments increased in number from six to ten, among them Custer's U.
The black units, along with others both cavalry and infantry , collectively became known as the Buffalo Soldiers.
According to Robert M. Utley :. The frontier army was a conventional military force trying to control, by conventional military methods, a people that did not behave like conventional enemies and, indeed, quite often were not enemies at all.
This is the most difficult of all military assignments, whether in Africa, Asia, or the American West. Westerners were proud of their leadership in the movement for democracy and equality, a major theme for Frederick Jackson Turner.
The new states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, and Ohio were more democratic than the parent states back East in terms of politics and society.
By the West, especially California and Oregon, led the Progressive movement. Scholars have examined the social history of the west in search of the American character.
The history of Kansas , argued historian Carl L. Becker a century ago, reflects American ideals. He wrote: "The Kansas spirit is the American spirit double distilled.
It is a new grafted product of American individualism, American idealism, American intolerance. Kansas is America in microcosm. Scholars have compared the emergence of democracy in America with other countries, regarding the frontier experience.
The American frontiersmen relied on individual effort, in the context of very large quantities of unsettled land with weak external enemies.
Israel by contrast, operated in a very small geographical zone, surrounded by more powerful neighbors. The Jewish pioneer was not building an individual or family enterprise, but was a conscious participant in nation-building, with a high priority on collective and cooperative planned settlements.
The Israeli pioneers brought in American experts on irrigation and agriculture to provide technical advice. However, they rejected the American frontier model in favor of a European model that supported their political and security concerns.
The cities played an essential role in the development of the frontier, as transportation hubs, financial and communications centers, and providers of merchandise, services, and entertainment.
They then shipped the cattle out and cattle drives became short-distance affairs. However, the passenger trains were often the targets of armed gangs.
Denver's economy before had been rooted in mining; it then grew by expanding its role in railroads, wholesale trade, manufacturing, food processing, and servicing the growing agricultural and ranching hinterland.
Denver had always attracted miners, workers, whores, and travelers. Saloons and gambling dens sprung up overnight. The city fathers boasted of its fine theaters, and especially the Tabor Grand Opera House built in Denver gained regional notoriety with its range of bawdy houses, from the sumptuous quarters of renowned madams to the squalid "cribs" located a few blocks away.
Business was good; visitors spent lavishly, then left town. As long as madams conducted their business discreetly, and "crib girls" did not advertise their availability too crudely, authorities took their bribes and looked the other way.
Occasional cleanups and crack downs satisfied the demands for reform. With its giant mountain of copper, Butte, Montana , was the largest, richest, and rowdiest mining camp on the frontier.
It was an ethnic stronghold, with the Irish Catholics in control of politics and of the best jobs at the leading mining corporation Anaconda Copper.
Ring argues that the library was originally a mechanism of social control, "an antidote to the miners' proclivity for drinking, whoring, and gambling".
It was also designed to promote middle-class values and to convince Easterners that Butte was a cultivated city. European immigrants often built communities of similar religious and ethnic backgrounds.
For example, many Finns went to Minnesota and Michigan, Swedes and Norwegians to Minnesota and the Dakotas, Irish to railroad centers along the transcontinental lines, Volga Germans to North Dakota, and German Jews to Portland, Oregon.
African Americans moved West as soldiers, as well as cowboys, farmhands, saloon workers, cooks, and outlaws. The Buffalo Soldiers were soldiers in the all-black 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments, and 24th and 25th Infantry Regiments of the U.
They had white officers and served in numerous western forts. About 4, blacks came to California in Gold Rush days.
In , after the end of Reconstruction in the South, several thousand Freedmen moved from Southern states to Kansas.
Known as the Exodusters , they were lured by the prospect of good, cheap Homestead Law land and better treatment. The all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas , which was founded in , was an organized settlement that predates the Exodusters but is often associated with them.
The California Gold Rush included thousands of Mexican and Chinese arrivals. Chinese migrants, many of whom were impoverished peasants, provided the major part of the workforce for the building of the Central Pacific portion of the transcontinental railroad.
Most of them went home by when the railroad was finished. The Chinese were generally forced into self-sufficient "Chinatowns" in cities such as San Francisco , Portland , and Seattle.
By the s, however, Chinatowns had become clean, safe and attractive tourist destinations. The first Japanese arrived in the U.
Japanese were recruited to work on plantations in Hawaii, beginning in By the late 19th Century, more Japanese emigrated to Hawaii and the American mainland.
The Issei, or first-generation Japanese immigrants, were not allowed to become U. This did not change until the passage of the Immigration and Nationality Act of , known as the McCarran-Walter Act, which allowed Japanese immigrants to become naturalized U.
There were , Japanese Americans in the U. The great majority of Hispanics who had been living in the former territories of New Spain remained and became American citizens in The 10, or so Californios lived in southern California and after were overshadowed by the hundreds of thousands of arrivals from the east.
Those in New Mexico dominated towns and villages that changed little until well into the 20th century. New arrivals from Mexico arrived, especially after the Revolution of terrorized thousands of villages all across Mexico.
Most refugees went to Texas or California, and soon poor barrios appeared in many border towns. Early on there was a criminal element as well.
The California "Robin Hood", Joaquin Murieta , led a gang in the s which burned houses, killed miners, and robbed stagecoaches.
In Texas, Juan Cortina led a year campaign against Anglos and the Texas Rangers , starting around On the Great Plains very few single men attempted to operate a farm or ranch; farmers clearly understood the need for a hard-working wife, and numerous children, to handle the many chores, including child-rearing, feeding, and clothing the family, managing the housework, and feeding the hired hands.
After a generation or so, women increasingly left the fields, thus redefining their roles within the family. New conveniences such as sewing and washing machines encouraged women to turn to domestic roles.
The scientific housekeeping movement, promoted across the land by the media and government extension agents, as well as county fairs which featured achievements in home cookery and canning, advice columns for women in the farm papers, and home economics courses in the schools all contributed to this trend.
Although the eastern image of farm life on the prairies emphasizes the isolation of the lonely farmer and farm life, in reality, rural folk created a rich social life for themselves.
They often sponsored activities that combined work, food, and entertainment such as barn raisings , corn huskings, quilting bees,  Grange meetings ,  church activities, and school functions.
The womenfolk organized shared meals and potluck events, as well as extended visits between families. Childhood on the American frontier is contested territory.
One group of scholars, following the lead of novelists Willa Cather and Laura Ingalls Wilder , argue the rural environment was beneficial to the child's upbringing.
Historians Katherine Harris  and Elliott West  write that rural upbringing allowed children to break loose from urban hierarchies of age and gender, promoted family interdependence, and at the end produced children who were more self-reliant, mobile, adaptable, responsible, independent and more in touch with nature than their urban or eastern counterparts.
On the other hand, historians Elizabeth Hampsten  and Lillian Schlissel  offer a grim portrait of loneliness, privation, abuse, and demanding physical labor from an early age.
Riney-Kehrberg takes a middle position. Entrepreneurs set up shops and businesses to cater to the miners. World-famous were the houses of prostitution found in every mining camp worldwide.
Chinese women were frequently sold by their families and taken to the camps as prostitutes; they had to send their earnings back to the family in China.
She nursed victims of an influenza epidemic; this gave her acceptance in the community and the support of the sheriff. The townspeople were shocked when she was murdered in ; they gave her a lavish funeral and speedily tried and hanged her assailant.
It was not uncommon for bordellos in Western towns to operate openly, without the stigma of East Coast cities.
Gambling and prostitution were central to life in these western towns, and only later — as the female population increased, reformers moved in, and other civilizing influences arrived — did prostitution become less blatant and less common.
Whenever a new settlement or mining camp started one of the first buildings or tents erected would be a gambling hall. As the population grew, gambling halls were typically the largest and most ornately decorated buildings in any town and often housed a bar, stage for entertainment, and hotel rooms for guests.
These establishments were a driving force behind the local economy and many towns measured their prosperity by the number of gambling halls and professional gamblers they had.
Towns that were friendly to gambling were typically known to sports as "wide-awake" or "wide-open". The cowboys had been accumulating their wages and postponing their pleasures until they finally arrived in town with money to wager.
Abilene , Dodge City , Wichita , Omaha , and Kansas City all had an atmosphere that was convivial to gaming. Such an atmosphere also invited trouble and such towns also developed reputations as lawless and dangerous places.
Historian Waddy W. Moore uses court records to show that on the sparsely settled Arkansas frontier lawlessness was common.
He distinguished two types of crimes: unprofessional dueling , crimes of drunkenness, selling whiskey to the Indians, cutting trees on federal land and professional rustling , highway robbery , counterfeiting.
Bandits, typically in groups of two or three, rarely attacked stagecoaches with a guard carrying a sawed-off, double-barreled shotgun; it proved less risky to rob teamsters, people on foot, and solitary horsemen,  while bank robberies themselves were harder to pull off due to the security of the establishment.
When criminals were convicted, the punishment was severe. Law enforcement emphasized maintaining stability more than armed combat, focusing on drunkenness, disarming cowboys who violated gun-control edicts and dealing with flagrant breaches of gambling and prostitution ordinances.
Dykstra argues that the violent image of the cattle towns in film and fiction is largely a myth. The real Dodge City, he says, was the headquarters for the buffalo-hide trade of the Southern Plains and one of the West's principal cattle towns, a sale and shipping point for cattle arriving from Texas.
He states there is a "second Dodge City" that belongs to the popular imagination and thrives as a cultural metaphor for violence, chaos, and depravity.
A contemporary eyewitness of Hays City, Kansas, paints a vivid image of this cattle town:. Hays City by lamplight was remarkably lively, but not very moral.
The streets blazed with a reflection from saloons, and a glance within showed floors crowded with dancers, the gaily dressed women striving to hide with ribbons and paint the terrible lines which that grim artist, Dissipation, loves to draw upon such faces To the music of violins and the stamping of feet the dance went on, and we saw in the giddy maze old men who must have been pirouetting on the very edge of their graves.
It has been acknowledged that the popular portrayal of Dodge City in film and fiction carries a note of truth, however, as gun crime was rampant in the city before the establishment of a local government.
Soon after the city's residents officially established their first municipal government, however, a law banning concealed firearms was enacted and crime was reduced soon afterward.
Similar laws were passed in other frontier towns to reduce the rate of gun crime as well. As UCLA law professor Adam Wrinkler noted:. Carrying of guns within the city limits of a frontier town was generally prohibited.
Laws barring people from carrying weapons were commonplace, from Dodge City to Tombstone. When Dodge City residents first formed their municipal government, one of the very first laws enacted was a ban on concealed carry.
The ban was soon after expanded to open carry, too. The Hollywood image of the gunslinger marching through town with two Colts on his hips is just that — a Hollywood image, created for its dramatic effect.
Tombstone, Arizona , was a turbulent mining town that flourished longer than most, from to In the newly arrived Earp brothers bought shares in the Vizina mine, water rights, and gambling concessions, but Virgil , Wyatt , and Morgan Earp obtained positions at different times as federal and local lawmen.
After more than a year of threats and feuding, they, along with Doc Holliday , killed three outlaws in the Gunfight at the O.
Corral , the most famous gunfight of the Old West. In the aftermath, Virgil Earp was maimed in an ambush, and Morgan Earp was assassinated while playing billiards.
Wyatt and others, including his brothers James Earp and Warren Earp , pursued those they believed responsible in an extra-legal vendetta and warrants were issued for their arrest in the murder of Frank Stilwell.
The Cochise County Cowboys were one of the first organized crime syndicates in the United States, and their demise came at the hands of Wyatt Earp.
Western story tellers and film makers featured the gunfight in many Western productions. Hollywood celebrated Earp's Tombstone days with John Ford's My Darling Clementine , John Sturges's Gunfight at the O.
Corral and Hour of the Gun , Frank Perry's Doc , George Cosmatos's Tombstone , and Lawrence Kasdan's Wyatt Earp They solidified Earp's modern reputation as the Old West's deadliest gunman.
The major type of banditry was conducted by the infamous outlaws of the West, including Jesse James , Billy the Kid , the Dalton Gang , Black Bart , Butch Cassidy , Sundance Kid and the Butch Cassidy's Wild Bunch and hundreds of others who preyed on banks, trains, stagecoaches, and in some cases even armed government transports such as the Wham Paymaster Robbery and the Skeleton Canyon Robbery.
Many were misfits and drifters who roamed the West avoiding the law. In rural areas Joaquin Murieta , Jack Powers , Augustine Chacon and other bandits terrorized the state.
When outlaw gangs were near, towns would occasionally raise a posse to drive them out or capture them. Seeing that the need to combat the bandits was a growing business opportunity, Allan Pinkerton ordered his National Detective Agency, founded in , to open branches in the West, and they got into the business of pursuing and capturing outlaws.
Banditry was a major issue in California after , as thousands of young men detached from family or community moved into a land with few law enforcement mechanisms.
To combat this, the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance was established to give drumhead trials and death sentences to well-known offenders.
As such, other earlier settlements created their private agencies to protect communities due to the lack of peace-keeping establishments. Similar vigilance committees also existed in Texas, and their main objective was to stamp out lawlessness and rid communities of desperadoes and rustlers.
Criminals caught by these vigilance committees were treated cruelly; often hung or shot without any form of trial.
Civilians also took arms to defend themselves in the Old West, sometimes siding with lawmen Coffeyville Bank Robbery , or siding with outlaws Battle of Ingalls.
In the Post-Civil War frontier, over whites, 34 blacks, and 75 others were victims of lynching. Historian Michael J. Pfeifer writes, "Contrary to the popular understanding, early territorial lynching did not flow from an absence or distance of law enforcement but rather from the social instability of early communities and their contest for property, status, and the definition of social order.
The names and exploits of Western gunslingers took a major role in American folklore, fiction and film. Their guns and costumes became children's toys for make-believe shootouts.
The most notable and well-known took place in Arizona, New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. Actual gunfights in the Old West were more episodic than being a common thing, but when gunfights did occur, the cause for each varied.
Although mostly romanticized, there were instances of "quick draw" that did occur though rarely, such as Wild Bill Hickok — Davis Tutt shootout and Luke Short-Jim Courtright Duel.
Range wars were infamous armed conflicts that took place in the "open range" of the American frontier. The subject of these conflicts was the control of lands freely used for farming and cattle grazing which gave the conflict its name.
Other conflicts over land and territory were also fought such as the Regulator—Moderator War , Cortina Troubles , Las Cuevas War and the Bandit War.
Feuds involving families and bloodlines also occurred much in the frontier. These wars include the Lincoln County War , Tutt—Everett War , Flynn—Doran feud , Early—Hasley feud , Brooks-Baxter War , Sutton—Taylor feud , Horrell Brothers feud, Brooks—McFarland Feud , Reese—Townsend feud and the Earp Vendetta Ride.
The end of the bison herds opened up millions of acres for cattle ranching. After the Civil War, Texas ranchers raised large herds of longhorn cattle.
So once fattened, the ranchers and their cowboys drove the herds north along the Western, Chisholm, and Shawnee trails. The cattle were shipped to Chicago, St.
Louis, and points east for slaughter and consumption in the fast-growing cities. The Chisholm Trail , laid out by cattleman Joseph McCoy along an old trail marked by Jesse Chisholm, was the major artery of cattle commerce, carrying over 1.
The long drives were treacherous, especially crossing water such as the Brazos and the Red River and when they had to fend off Indians and rustlers looking to make off with their cattle.
By the s and s, cattle ranches expanded further north into new grazing grounds and replaced the bison herds in Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Nebraska, and the Dakota territory, using the rails to ship to both coasts.
Many of the largest ranches were owned by Scottish and English financiers. The single largest cattle ranch in the entire West was owned by American John W.
Iliff, "cattle king of the Plains", operating in Colorado and Wyoming. Though less hardy and more disease-prone, these breeds produced better-tasting beef and matured faster.
The funding for the cattle industry came largely from British sources, as the European investors engaged in a speculative extravaganza—a "bubble".
Graham concludes the mania was founded on genuine opportunity, as well as "exaggeration, gullibility, inadequate communications, dishonesty, and incompetence".
A severe winter engulfed the plains toward the end of and well into , locking the prairie grass under ice and crusted snow which starving herds could not penetrate.
The British lost most of their money—as did eastern investors like Theodore Roosevelt , but their investments did create a large industry that continues to cycle through boom and bust periods.
On a much smaller scale, sheep grazing was locally popular; sheep were easier to feed and needed less water.
However, Americans did not eat mutton. As farmers moved in open range cattle ranching came to an end and was replaced by barbed wire spreads where water, breeding, feeding, and grazing could be controlled.
This led to "fence wars" which erupted over disputes about water rights. Central to the myth and the reality of the West is the American cowboy.
His real-life was a hard one and revolved around two annual roundups, spring and fall, the subsequent drives to market, and the time off in the cattle towns spending his hard-earned money on food, clothing, gambling, and prostitution.
During winter, many cowboys hired themselves out to ranches near the cattle towns, where they repaired and maintained equipment and buildings. Working the cattle was not just a routine job but also a lifestyle that exulted in the freedom of the wide unsettled outdoors on horseback.
Many of the cowboys were veterans of the Civil War; a diverse group, they included Blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, and immigrants from many lands.
Chaps, the heavy protective leather trousers worn by cowboys, got their name from the Spanish "chaparreras", and the lariat, or rope, was derived from "la reata".
All the distinct clothing of the cowboy—boots, saddles, hats, pants, chaps , slickers, bandannas , gloves, and collar-less shirts—were practical and adaptable, designed for protection and comfort.
The cowboy hat quickly developed the capability, even in the early years, to identify its wearer as someone associated with the West; it came to symbolize the frontier.
Before a drive, a cowboy's duties included riding out on the range and bringing together the scattered cattle.
The best cattle would be selected, roped, and branded, and most male cattle were castrated. The cattle also needed to be dehorned and examined and treated for infections.
On the long drives, the cowboys had to keep the cattle moving and in line. The cattle had to be watched day and night as they were prone to stampedes and straying.
While camping every night, cowboys would often sing to their herd to keep them calm. It was grueling, dusty work, with just a few minutes of relaxation before and at the end of a long day.
On the trail, drinking, gambling, and brawling were often prohibited and fined, and sometimes cursing as well. It was monotonous and boring work, with food to match: bacon, beans, bread, coffee, dried fruit, and potatoes.
Anchoring the booming cattle industry of the s and s were the cattle towns in Kansas and Missouri. Like the mining towns in California and Nevada, cattle towns such as Abilene , Dodge City , and Ellsworth experienced a short period of boom and bust lasting about five years.
The cattle towns would spring up as land speculators would rush in ahead of a proposed rail line and build a town and the supporting services attractive to the cattlemen and the cowboys.
If the railroads complied, the new grazing ground and supporting town would secure the cattle trade. However, unlike the mining towns which in many cases became ghost towns and ceased to exist after the ore played out, cattle towns often evolved from cattle to farming and continued after the grazing lands were exhausted.
The concern with the protection of the environment became a new issue in the late 19th century, pitting different interests.
On the one side were the lumber and coal companies who called for maximum exploitation of natural resources to maximize jobs, economic growth, and their own profit.
In the center were the conservationists , led by Theodore Roosevelt and his coalition of outdoorsmen, sportsmen, bird watchers, and scientists.
They wanted to reduce waste; emphasized the value of natural beauty for tourism and ample wildlife for hunters; and argued that careful management would not only enhance these goals but also increase the long-term economic benefits to society by planned harvesting and environmental protections.
Roosevelt worked his entire career to put the issue high on the national agenda. He was deeply committed to conserving natural resources.
Roosevelt set aside more Federal land, national parks , and nature preserves than all of his predecessors combined. Conservation means development as much as it does protection.
I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us.
The third element, smallest at first but growing rapidly after , were the environmentalists who honored nature for its own sake, and rejected the goal of maximizing human benefits.
Their leader was John Muir — , a widely read author and naturalist and pioneer advocate of preservation of wilderness for its own sake, and founder of the Sierra Club.
Muir, based in California, in started organizing support to preserve the sequoias in the Yosemite Valley ; Congress did pass the Yosemite National Park bill In President Grover Cleveland created thirteen protected forests but lumber interests had Congress cancel the move.
Muir, taking the persona of an Old Testament prophet,  crusaded against the lumberman, portraying it as a contest "between landscape righteousness and the devil".
However, Muir broke with Roosevelt and especially President William Howard Taft on the Hetch Hetchy dam, which was built in the Yosemite National Park to supply water to San Francisco.
Biographer Donald Worster says, "Saving the American soul from a total surrender to materialism was the cause for which he fought. The rise of the cattle industry and the cowboy is directly tied to the demise of the huge herds of bison —usually called the "buffalo".
Loss of habitat, disease, and over-hunting steadily reduced the herds through the 19th century to the point of near extinction. Conservationists founded the American Bison Society in ; it lobbied Congress to establish public bison herds.
Several national parks in the U. The exploration, settlement, exploitation, and conflicts of the "American Old West" form a unique tapestry of events, which has been celebrated by Americans and foreigners alike—in art, music, dance, novels, magazines, short stories, poetry, theater, video games, movies, radio, television, song, and oral tradition—which continues in the modern era.
Religious themes have inspired many environmentalists as they contemplate the pristine West before the frontiersmen violated its spirituality.
The Frontier Thesis of historian Frederick Jackson Turner , proclaimed in ,  established the main lines of historiography which fashioned scholarship for three or four generations and appeared in the textbooks used by practically all American students.
The mythologizing of the West began with minstrel shows and popular music in the s. During the same period, P. Barnum presented Indian chiefs, dances, and other Wild West exhibits in his museums.
However, large scale awareness took off when the dime novel appeared in , the first being Malaeska, the Indian Wife of the White Hunter. Millions of copies and thousands of titles were sold.
The novels relied on a series of predictable literary formulas appealing to mass tastes and were often written in as little as a few days. The most successful of all dime novels was Edward S.
Ellis' Seth Jones Ned Buntline 's stories glamorized Buffalo Bill Cody , and Edward L. Wheeler created " Deadwood Dick " and "Hurricane Nell" while featuring Calamity Jane.
Buffalo Bill Cody was the most effective popularizer of the Old West in the U. He presented the first "Wild West" show in , featuring a recreation of famous battles especially Custer's Last Stand , expert marksmanship, and dramatic demonstrations of horsemanship by cowboys and Indians, as well as sure-shooting Annie Oakley.
CBS had a wall-to-wall lease on the lot starting in May , and produced Gunsmoke and Rawhide there, as well as Gilligan's Island. Beginning in , MTM Enterprises headed by actress Mary Tyler Moore and her then-husband, Grant Tinker became the Studio Center's primary tenant.
In the mids the western streets and sets were replaced with new sound stages and urban facades, including the New York streets seen in Seinfeld.
In the lagoon set that was originally constructed for Gilligan's Island was paved over to create a parking lot. Among iconic locations used for filming were Bronson Canyon "Night of the Returning Dead" S02E05 and Vasquez Rocks "Night of the Cadre" S02E For the pilot episode, "The Night of the Inferno", the producers used Sierra Railroad No.
Footage of this train, with a 5 replacing the 3 on its number plate, was shot in Jamestown, California. Best known for its role as the Hooterville Cannonball in the CBS series Petticoat Junction , Sierra No.
It was built by the Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works in Paterson, New Jersey. When The Wild Wild West went into series production, however, an entirely different train was employed.
The locomotive, a named the Inyo, was built in by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Philadelphia. The Inyo, as well as the express car and the passenger car, originally served the Virginia and Truckee Railroad in Nevada.
The Inyo appears in numerous films including High, Wide, and Handsome , Union Pacific , The Marx Brothers ' Go West , Meet Me in St.
Louis , , Red River , Disney 's The Great Locomotive Chase and McLintock! For The Wild Wild West , Inyo's original number plate was temporarily changed from No.
Footage of the Inyo in motion and idling was shot around Menifee, California , and reused in virtually every episode stock footage of Sierra No.
These trains were used only for exterior shots. The luxurious interior of the passenger car was constructed on Stage 6 at CBS Studio Center.
The train interior was also used in at least one episode of Gunsmoke "Death Train," aired January 27, , and in at least two episodes of The Big Valley "Last Train to the Fair," aired April 27, , and "Days of Wrath," aired January 8, All three series were filmed at CBS Studio Center and shared other exterior and interior sets.
Additionally, the train interior was used for an episode of Get Smart "The King Lives? After her run on The Wild Wild West , the Inyo participated in the Golden Spike Centennial at Promontory, Utah, in The following year it appeared as a replica of the Central Pacific's "Jupiter" locomotive at the Golden Spike National Historical Site.
The State of Nevada purchased the Inyo in ; it was restored to vintage, including a wider smoke stack and a new pilot cow catcher without a drop coupler.
The Inyo is still operational and displayed at the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Carson City. The express car No. Built in at the Mason Machine Works in Taunton, Massachusetts , it was later renamed The William Mason in honor of its manufacturer.
For its role as "The Wanderer" in the film, the engine was sent to the steam shops at the Strasburg Rail Road for restoration and repainting.
Both the Inyo and The William Mason appeared in the Disney film The Great Locomotive Chase The Wild Wild West featured numerous, often anachronistic, gadgets.
Some were recurring devices, such as West's sleeve gun or a breakaway derringer hidden in his left and right boot heels.
Others appeared in only a single episode. The main title theme was written by Richard Markowitz , who previously composed the theme for the TV series The Rebel.
He was brought in after the producers rejected two attempts by film composer Dimitri Tiomkin. In an interview by Susan Kesler for her book, The Wild Wild West: The Series included in the first season DVD boxed set, Markowitz recalled that the original Tiomkin theme "was very, kind of, traditional, it just seemed wrong.
That took it away from the serious kind of thing that Tiomkin was trying to do What I did essentially was write two themes: the rhythmic, contemporary theme, Fender bass and brushes, that vamp, for the cartoon effects and for West's getting himself out of trouble, and the heraldic western outdoor theme over that, so that the two worked together.
Session musicians who played on the theme were Tommy Morgan harmonica ; Bud Shank , Ronnie Lang , Plas Johnson , and Gene Cipriano woodwinds ; Vince DeRosa and Henry Sigismonti French Horns ; Uan Rasey , Ollie Mitchell , and Tony Terran trumpets ; Dick Nash , Lloyd Ulyate, Chauncey Welsch, Kenny Shroyer trombones.
Tommy Tedesco and Bill Pitman guitars ; Carol Kaye Fender bass ; Joe Porcaro brushes ; Gene Estes, Larry Bunker , and Emil Richards timpani, percussion.
Markowitz, however, was never credited for his theme in any episode; it is believed [ by whom? Markowitz did receive "music composed and conducted by" credits for episodes he'd scored such as "The Night of the Bars of Hell" and "The Night of the Raven" or where he supplied the majority of tracked-in cues for example in "The Night of the Grand Emir" and "The Night of the Gypsy Peril".
He finally received "theme by" credit on both of the TV movies, which were scored by Jeff Alexander rather than Markowitz few personnel from the series were involved with the TV movies.
The animated title sequence was another unique element of the series. Created by Michael Garrison Productions and DePatie-Freleng Enterprises, it was directed by Isadore "Friz" Freleng and animated by Ken Mundie,  who designed the titles for the film The Great Race and the TV series Secret Agent , Rawhide , and Death Valley Days.
The screen was divided into four corner panels abutting a narrow central panel that contained a cartoon "hero". In the three seasons shot in color, the overall backdrop was an abstracted wash of the flag of the United States , with the upper left panel colored blue and the others containing horizontal red stripes.
This teaser part of the show was incorporated into The History Channel 's Wild West Tech —5. Each episode had four acts.
At the end of each act, the scene, usually a cliffhanger moment, would freeze, and a sketch or photograph of the scene faded in to replace the cartoon art in one of the four corner panels.
The style of freeze-frame art changed over the course of the series. In all first-season episodes other than the pilot, the panels were live-action stills made to evoke 19th-century engravings.
In season two the first in color the scenes dissolved to tinted stills; from "The Night of the Flying Pie Plate" on, however, the panels were home to Warhol -like serigraphs of the freeze-frames.
The end credits were displayed over each episode's unique mosaic of scenes. In the final season, however, a generic design was used under the end credits.
Curiously, in this design, the bank robber is unconscious, the cardsharp has no card and the lady is on the ground, but the sixshooter in the upper left-hand panel has returned.
The freeze-frame graphics were shot at a facility called Format Animation. During the first season, the series title "The Wild Wild West" was set in the font Barnum,  which resembles the newer font P.
In subsequent seasons, the title appeared in a hand-drawn version of the font Dolphin which resembles newer fonts called Zebrawood, Circus, and Rodeo Clown.
Robert Conrad's name was also set in this font. Ross Martin's name was set in the font Bracelet which resembles newer fonts named Tuscan Ornate and Romantiques.
All episode titles, writer and director credits, guest cast and crew credits were set in Barnum. During commercial breaks, the title "The Wild Wild West" also appeared in Barnum.
The series is generally set during the presidency of Ulysses S. Grant from —77; occasional episodes indicate a more precise date:. Some episodes were considered violent for their time and that, rather than low ratings ultimately was the series' downfall.
In addition to gunplay, there were usually two fight sequences per episode. These were choreographed by Whitey Hughes and Conrad, and performed by Conrad and a stock company of stuntmen , including Red West , Dick Cangey and Bob Herron who doubled for Ross Martin.
After Conrad suffered a concussion falling from a chandelier in "The Night of the Fugitives," the network insisted that he defer to a stunt double.
His chair on the set was newly inscribed: "Robert Conrad, ex-stuntman, retired by CBS, Jan. Often, George would start a stunt, such as a high fall or a dive through a window, then land behind boxes or off camera where Conrad was hidden and waiting to seamlessly complete the action.
This common stunt technique, known by filmmakers as "The Texas Switch",  was often used by Ross Martin and his double, Bob Herron.
It was hazardous work. Hughes recalled, "We had a lot of crashes. We used to say, 'Roll the cameras and call the ambulances!
Robert Conrad: 6-inch fracture of the skull, high temporal concussion, partial paralysis. Ross Martin: broken leg. A broken skull for Red West.
Broken leg for Jimmy George. Broken arm for Jack Skelly. And Michael Dunn: head injury and a spinal sprain. He did his own stunts.
And on and on. As a result of the April assassination of Martin Luther King and the June assassination of Robert F. Kennedy , President Johnson created the National Commission on the Causes and Prevention of Violence.
One of the questions it tackled was if violence on television, including graphic news coverage of the Vietnam War, was a contributing factor to violence in American society.
The television networks, anticipating these allegations, moved to curtail violence on their entertainment programs before the September start of the television season.
However, despite a CBS mandate to tone down the mayhem, "The Night of the Egyptian Queen" aired November 15, contains perhaps the series' most ferocious barroom brawl.
A later memo attached to the shooting script of "The Night of Miguelito's Revenge" aired December 13, reads: "Note to Directors: The producer respectfully asks that no violent acts be shot which are not depicted in the script or discussed beforehand.
Most particularly stay away from gratuitous ad-libs, such as slaps, pointing of firearms or other weapons at characters especially in close quarters , kicks and the use of furniture and other objects in fight scenes.
James West rarely wears a gun in these episodes, and rather than the usual fisticuffs, fight sequences involved tossing, tackling or body blocking the villains.
In December , executives from ABC, CBS and NBC appeared before the President's Commission. The most caustic of the commissioners, Rep.
Hale Boggs D-Louisiana , decried what he called "the Saturday morning theme of children's cartoon shows" that permit "the good guy to do anything in the name of justice.
Three months later, in March , Sen. John O. Pastore D-Rhode Island called the same network presidents before his Senate communications subcommittee for a public scolding on the same subject.
Congress's concern was shared by the public: in a nationwide poll, Additionally, the National Association for Better Broadcasting NABB , in a report eventually issued in November , rated The Wild Wild West "as one of the most violent series on television.
After being excoriated by the two committees, networks scrambled to expunge violence from their programming.
The Wild Wild West received its cancellation notice in mid-February, even before Pastore's committee convened.
CBS killed 'The Wild, Wild West' despite high ratings because of criticism. It was seen by the network as a gesture of good intentions.
Conrad denounced Pastore for many years but in other interviews he admitted that it probably was time to cancel the series because he felt that he and the stunt men were pushing their luck.
He also believed the role had hurt his craft. I jumped off roofs and spent all my time with the stuntmen instead of other actors.
I thought that's what the role demanded. That role had no dimension other than what it was—a caricature of a performance. It was a comic strip character.
The series was shown in the United Kingdom on the ITV network starting 5 May It was reasonably popular but has not been seen on British terrestrial television since the early s.
In the summer of , CBS reran several episodes of The Wild Wild West on Mondays at 10 p. These episodes were "The Night of the Bleak Island" aired July 6 ; "The Night of the Big Blackmail" July 13 ; "The Night of the Kraken" July 20 ; "The Night of the Diva" July 27 ; "The Night of the Simian Terror" August 3 ; "The Night of the Bubbling Death" August 11 ; "The Night of the Returning Dead" August 17 ; "The Night of the Falcon" August 24 ; "The Night of the Underground Terror" August 31 ; and "The Night of the Sedgewick Curse" September 7.
Curiously, none of these featured the most frequent and popular villain, Dr. TV critic Lawrence Laurent wrote, "The return of Wild Wild West even for a summer re-run isn't surprising.
CBS-TV was never really very eager to cancel this series, since over a four-year run that began in the Wild Wild West had been a solid winner in the ratings.
Cancellation came mainly because CBS officials were concerned about the criticism over televised violence and to a lesser degree because Robert Conrad had grown slightly weary of the role of James West.
Ever since last fall's ratings started rolling in, CBS has wished that it had kept Wild Wild West.
None of the replacements have done nearly as well and, as a result, all of the Friday programs suffered. That fall, CBS put the program into syndication , giving it new life on local stations across the country.
This further antagonized the anti-violence lobby, since the program was now broadcast weekdays and often after school.
One group, The Foundation to Improve Television FIT , filed a suit on November 12, , to prevent WTOP in Washington, D.
The suit said the series "contains fictionalized violence and horror harmful to the mental health and well-being of minor children", and should not air before 9 pm.
WTOP's vice president and general manager, John R. Corporan, was quoted as saying, "Since programs directed specifically at children are broadcast in the late afternoon by three other TV stations, it is our purpose to counter-program with programming not directed specifically at children.
Sirica , who later presided over the trial of the Watergate burglars and ordered US President Richard Nixon to turn over White House recordings, dismissed the lawsuit in January , referring FIT to take their complaint to the FCC.
Court of Appeals upheld the district court decision dismissing the suit on the grounds that FIT had not exhausted the administrative remedies available to them.
By then, WTOP had stopped broadcasting the series altogether. In October the Los Angeles-based National Association for Better Broadcasting NABB reached a landmark agreement with KTTV , a local station, to purge 42 violent cartoon programs, including Mighty Mouse , Magilla Gorilla , Speed Racer , and Gigantor.
This list included The Wild Wild West, The Avengers , Batman , Man from UNCLE , Roy Rogers , Wanted Dead or Alive , and The Lone Ranger. In Los Angeles, such shows opened with a cautionary announcement: "Parents — we wish to advise that because of violence or other possible harmful elements, certain portions of the following program may not be suitable for young children.
By then The Wild Wild West was running on 99 local stations. By the spring of the original series was still carried on 74 local stations.
In the late s the series was still seen on local stations in Boston, Hartford, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles, among other cities. Significantly, WGN Chicago , which carried the show at 10 a.
In , The Wild Wild West began running on Saturdays at 10 a. The series was dropped from WGN soon after. Hallmark Channel aired the series in as part of its slate of Saturday afternoon Westerns but dropped it after only a few weeks.
While the series became scarce on television, each season was released on DVD, beginning with season one in and concluding with the final season early in see below.
In it was announced that the series was being prepped for Blu-ray. In The Wild Wild West returned to MeTV on Saturday afternoons.
On January 1, , MeTV began running the series weekday afternoons again, starting with second season color episodes.
It also airs in the United Kingdom as of on the Horror Channel on Sky channel , Virgin channel , Freeview channel 70 and Freesat channel The first season of The Wild Wild West was released on DVD in North America on June 6, by CBS Home Entertainment distributed by Paramount Home Entertainment.
Although it was touted as a special 40th anniversary edition, it appeared 41 years after the show's debut. Robert Conrad recorded audio introductions for all 28 first-season episodes, plus a commentary track for the pilot.
The set also featured audio interviews by Susan Kesler for her book, The Wild Wild West: The Series , and s era footage of Conrad and Martin on a daytime talk show.
The second season was released on DVD on March 20, ; the third season was released on November 20, ; and the fourth and final season was released on March 18, None of the later season sets contained bonus material.
A disc complete series set was released on November 4, On May 12, , CBS Home Entertainment released a repackaged version of the complete series set, at a lower price, but did not include the bonus disc that was part of the original complete series set.
The French set, released by TF1 Video, includes many of the extras on the US season one set, and many others. All of the episodes are presented in English with French subtitles, and several episode titles differ in translation from the original English titles.
For example, "The Night of the Gypsy Peril", "The Night of the Simian Terror" and "The Night of Jack O'Diamonds" respectively translate as "The Night of the White Elephant", "The Night of the Beast" and "The Night of the Thoroughbred".
Both TV movies are included as extras, but only in French-dubbed versions. The set also features a interview with Robert Conrad at the Mirande Country Music Festival in France.
Warner Bros. Mel Gibson was cast as James West, with Richard Donner set to direct from a screenplay by Shane Black. Donner had directed three episodes of the original series.
In , as the film was still being developed with other directors, writers and stars, Gilbert Ralston, who wrote the TV pilot, sued Warner Bros.
Ralston died in before his suit was settled; however, Warner Bros. In , a theatrical feature-length film co-produced and directed by Barry Sonnenfeld was released as Wild Wild West without the definite article used in the series title.
Loosely based on the original series, the film re-imagined James West as a black man played by Will Smith , and Artemus Gordon played by Kevin Kline was portrayed as egotistical and bitterly competitive with West.
Significant changes were also made to Dr. Loveless played by Kenneth Branagh. No longer a dwarf, he was portrayed as a legless double amputee confined to a steam-powered wheelchair similar to that employed by the villain in the episode "The Night of the Brain".
Loveless, whose first name was changed from Miguelito to Arliss, was a bitter Southerner who sought revenge on the North after the American Civil War.
Robert Conrad was reportedly offered a cameo as President Grant but turned it down when the producers wanted him to read for the part.
He was outspoken in his criticism of the film, which was now a comedic showcase for Will Smith with little in common with the original series.
He was not opposed to casting a black actor as Jim West: "The African-American casting of that role is probably and should not be an issue," Conrad said.
I appreciate his popularity. However, I'd prefer an actor with more athletic prowess. He's a good comedian but just not my choice to play my role.
Best would be a Wesley Snipes body with a Denzel Washington head. I said, 'Why are we going in this direction. Why not just play James West black without explaining it?
Loveless, and he was by far the best villain on the show," Conrad said. He also had a long-standing feud with producer Jon Peters.
Conrad later took special delight in accepting the Golden Raspberry Awards for the film in It was awarded Worst Picture , Worst Director , Worst Screenplay , Worst Original Song for the song " Wild Wild West " by Smith and Worst Screen Couple.
In , Will Smith apologized publicly to Conrad while doing promotion for Seven Pounds :. I made a mistake on Wild Wild West. That could have been better.
No, it's funny because I could never understand why Robert Conrad was so upset with Wild Wild West. And now I get it. It's like, 'That's my baby!
I put my blood, sweat and tears into that! Conrad for that because I didn't realize. I was young and immature.
So much pain and joy went into [my series] The Fresh Prince that my greatest desire would be that it's left alone.
In , Arnett Press published The Wild Wild West: The Series by Susan E. In ,Epic Press published a new novel by Joseph Covino, Jr, paying tribute to the series with a novel faithful in both style and spirit, Night of the Nobility Cult: A Wild, Wild Western.
In , Millennium Publications produced a four-part comic book series "The Night of the Iron Tyrants" scripted by Mark Ellis with art by Darryl Banks.
A sequel to the TV series, it involved Dr. Loveless in a conspiracy to assassinate President Grant and the President of Brazil and put the Knights of the Golden Circle into power.
The characters of Voltaire and Antoinette were prominent here, despite their respective early departures from Dr. Loveless' side in the original program.
A review from the Mile High Comics site states: "This mini-series perfectly captures the fun mixture of western and spy action that marked the ground-breaking s TV series.
When Robert Conrad hosted Saturday Night Live on NBC January 23, , he appeared in a parody of The Wild Wild West.
President Lincoln states his famous quip that, if General U. Grant is a drunk, he should send whatever he's drinking to his other less successful generals.
Lincoln dispatches West and Gordon Joe Piscopo to find out what Grant drinks. They discover that Grant is held captive by Velvet Jones Eddie Murphy.
On July 11, , La-La Land Records released a limited edition 4-disc set of music from the series, featuring Richard Markowitz's theme, episode scores by Markowitz, Robert Drasnin, Dave Grusin, Richard Shores, Harry Geller, Walter Scharf, Jack Pleis and Fred Steiner, and Dimitri Tiomkin's unused theme music.
As with many television series, The Wild Wild West had several merchandise tie-ins during its run. These are listed below.
On October 5, , Entertainment Weekly reported that Ron Moore and Naren Shankar were developing a remake of The Wild Wild West for television,  but the project apparently stalled.
In December , Moore told Wired that " Wild Wild West and Star Trek were two of my great loves.· Bardzo dziki Zachód () Wild Wild West - Dwaj zaufani agenci prezydenta Granta usiłują pokrzyżować plany szalonego konstruktora machin bojowych, doktora catherine-hart.coms: 75K. · Wild West Online to gra MMO przeznaczona na platformę PC. Tytuł został wyprodukowany przez nowe studio Games, w którym zatrudnienie znaleźli doświadczeni deweloperzy, pracujący. Premiera Wild West Online jest zaplanowana na grudzień roku. Wcześniej deweloperzy planują przeprowadzić zamknięte testy alpha, a następnie zakrojone na szerszą skalę testy beta. Na ten moment docelową platformą Wild West Online jest Windows, chociaż producenci ze świeżo upieczonego Games rozważają również premierę na.