History and Opinion
By Phil Roberts
OBJECTIVE: This course will study Wyoming history, how it relates to the history of the West and the rest of America, and how it influences the present. Students will be expected to understand the main themes in the state’s history as well as to recognize the context in the wider national/international perspective. The lectures and readings will encourage further reading in Wyoming and Western history. This course satisfies the University Studies V1 requirement. Study of the Wyoming and United States Constitutions is an important part of the class.
This semester, each lecture will begin with a "contested account" from Wyoming history. Some will involve simple disputes over facts. For example, did Edison "invent" the light bulb on the shores of Battle Lake in Carbon County while on a fishing trip? Did Esther Morris host a tea party to promote woman's suffrage? Did the railroad or the ranchers control the politics in territorial Wyoming? Some can be resolved easily from the facts. But some opening questions will delve more deeply into motives that may have no simple or single answer. For example, how has meaning of equality evolved in the "Equality State"? Does everyone win in "boom times"? In the course of considering the historical evidence in each case, students will be expected to understand critical thinking skills and develop an ability to ask questions of both secondary and primary source materials.
For this class, students need to be aware of general chronology, provided through reading the assignments in New History of Wyoming. The chronological context is important because, in history, past actions influence later events. However, the readings will be organized by specific topics and not strictly chronological.
Obviously, the lectures will NOT duplicate the readings. There are no formal discussion sections for this class, but every other Thursday, students will meet with discussion leaders and not in the lecture classroom. Details will be announced. It is ESSENTIAL for students to attend the Tuesday and Thursday lectures. Occasionally, an unannounced quiz will be administered in lecture class. In a word, relentless attendance will be necessary in order to succeed in this class.
EXAMS, QUIZZES AND GRADED EXERCISES:
Total of 500 points is possible, calculated in the following way: One mid-term exam, 100 points; the final exam, 150 points; Constitution exam, 100 points; brief unannounced quizzes, 25 points; American Heritage Center research paper research project (requiring attendance at orientation sessions at the AHC), 75 points; discussion section participation and exercises, 50 points. Make-up mid-term and final exams will be given ONLY IF the student informs the professor and discussion leader before the exam is to be administered with a valid reason for missing the scheduled time. There will be no make-ups possible for any of the unannounced quizzes. Students are expected to be familiar with the university rules governing plagiarism and academic dishonesty, which will be enforced in this class. This applies to the AHC assignments as well as to the exams. The final exam for this class is scheduled for: Tues., May 9, 10:15 a.m-12:15 p.m. Exam will be in our regular classroom.
GRADING PROCEDURE: The final grade will be calculated on the 500 total "points" earned during the semester, tentatively based on the following scale: A: 450-500 points (90%-100%) B: 400-449 points (80%-89%) C: 350-399 points (70%-79%) D: 300-349 points (60%-69%) F: 299 or fewer. The grades in this course will not be “curved.” You will earn your own grade regardless of what others in the class may do. Everyone could earn the grade of “A,” but also the grade of “F.” Possible "extra credit" opportunities will be announced from time to time.
PLAGIARISM AND ACADEMIC DISHONESTY: Students are expected to know and understand the university’s policies on plagiarism and academic dishonesty. The university rules will be strictly enforced in this class. Academic honesty policy
Careful reading of THREE books will be required for this course as well as chapters and articles from two internet-based texts. One internet-only text actually contains a series of articles on main themes in Wyoming history. Titled Readings in Wyoming History, the work is a compilation of scholarly articles and, in most cases, containing footnote citations and well-developed historical arguments. Each article will require careful reading. These readings will be important to understand the various events in the state’s history and provide the thematic framework. The second internet-only text, A New History of Wyoming, will provide the chronological context and various primary documents important to the general topic. Therefore, together with the lectures, the internet readings will provide context and continuity. Each set of readings do NOT duplicate the other, nor will either of them duplicate materials discussed in the lectures. Successful completion of the class requires careful reading of the assigned books, the internet texts and good note-taking during lectures.
All three of the printed books were written for the popular audience and, consequently, are not difficult to read and are not excessively analytical. Nonetheless, reading of all three will require more than mere accumulation of bits of information. Students are expected to be able to identify the main themes in each book and follow the authors' arguments along with understanding how the events under consideration fit into the broader history of Wyoming.
Readings will be assigned from two other internet-only sites. One such site is Buffalo Bones: Stories from Wyoming's Past, a compilation of newspaper-length feature stories published over the past several decades. The second is the Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History. Articles assigned from these sites will be linked directly from the lecture modules to be appended to this site on a regular basis. In the course of the lectures, photographic images and maps will be emphasized.
WYOCAST: Outlines of lectures will NOT be posted. All students will be expected to attend and take notes, using WyoCast for general review or to check on items missed during the lecture. The student will be required to use WyoCast for the lecture on any day on which she/he has a university-sanctioned excuse. For access to Wyocast, go to WyoCast, go to the upper right of the page and Log in (using your university e-mail name and password) and then go to "Arts and Sciences" and click. Below you will find the link to "HISTORY" and below that, the link to "HIST 1251 Spring 2017." Be sure that you have the correct class and date because WyoCast recordings for earlier courses will NOT duplicate the current one.
John W. Davis, Wyoming Range War: The Infamous Invasion of Johnson County. (U of Oklahoma Press. 2010). The book is available in hard cover, paperback and Kindle. Any edition is OK.
Laura Gibson Smith, Almost Pioneers: One Couple’s Homesteading Adventures in the West. Ed. by John J. Fry. (Guilford, Conn.: Globe Pequot Press, 2013). Paper. ISBN: 978-0-76278439-4
Rodger McDaniel, Dying for Joe McCarthy's Sins: The Suicide of Wyoming Sen. Lester Hunt. (WordsWorth, 2013). ISBN-10: 0983027595 ISBN-13: 978-0983027591
REQUIRED WEB-BASED READINGS
Phil Roberts, A New History of Wyoming
Phil Roberts, editor. Readings in Wyoming History. (web edition), available entirely on the web.
Other editions in print are still available, but this online fifth edition contains a number of essays not included in earlier editions.
Phil Roberts, Buffalo Bones: Stories from Wyoming's Past (available only on the web)
Online Encyclopedia of Wyoming History is a website containing a number of significant articles about Wyoming history. Sponsored by the Wyoming State Historical Society, the site is edited by Casper historian Tom Rae.
OTHER REQUIRED READINGS:
Wyoming Constitution. (Available for purchase, but also on the web).
United States Constitution. (On the web from many reputable sites. Be sure that your copy also contains the Amendments).
Above are two blank county maps of Wyoming. Note that Yellowstone National Park is split between Park and Teton counties. From a good map of Wyoming, locate the names of each of the 23 counties. Next, locate the names of the county seat towns for the 23 counties. Then take a look at the main geographical features such as rivers and mountain ranges. A brief quiz based on this map will be held in class on Thursday, Feb. 9. You will be asked to identify specific features which will be numbered. You will put the name next to the number. For instance, say Question 1 asks: Where is Laramie County? You will put the number 1 in the proper spot (the bottom right county). I'll explain it more clearly on Tuesday. Have a great weekend!
Lectures and Assignments
Tues., Jan. 24: Introduction, Description of Course Requirements and Syllabus
Thurs., Jan. 26: Organizing Concepts in Wyoming History
Readings in Wyoming History, Introduction
Tues., Jan. 31: Wyoming's Native People
Online Encyclopedia: Trade Among Tribes: Commerce on the Plains Before Europeans Arrived
Thurs., Feb. 2: The Fur Trade
Lecture Topic: Who Came to the Rendezvous?
New History of Wyoming, Chapter 1, Original Residents and Early Explorers and Primary Document (Robert Stuart's Journal extract)
New History of Wyoming, Chap. 2. The Fur Trade and the Rendezvous System.
Tues., Feb. 7: Trails to Oregon, California, Utah and Montana
Lecture Topic: Did You Have to be Rich to Move West?
New History, Chap. 3: Wyoming as a Trail to Somewhere Else
Chap. 3, Documents 1, 2, 3, 4: Stansbury report; Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851; Treaty With the Eastern Shoshoni (1863); Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868
Thurs., Feb. 9: Coming of Rails: The Union Pacific Trains and Mines
Lecture Topic: The Railroads and Wyoming: Corporate Welfare or Ordinary Fraud?
New History, Chapter 4, Coming of Rails
Tues., Feb. 14: Wyoming's First Towns
Lecture Topic: Big Showdowns on Main Street: Law and Order v. Gunfights in Wyoming Towns
Chapter 4: Document 1: Samuel Bowles' Description of the Town of Benton, Wyoming, 1868;
Chapter 4: Document 2: Excerpts from History and Business Directory of Cheyenne, 1868
Chapter 4: Document 3: Cheyenne Gun Ordinance;
Chap. 4: Document 4: Selections from John Crowley’s Diary, 1868;
Thurs., Feb. 16:Wyoming's Tradition of Equal Rights and Evolution of "Equality" in Wyoming (Wyoming Constitution, Article 6)
Group 1 goes to the American Heritage Center
Lecture Topic: Did Women Gain the Vote in Wyoming Just so the Territory Could Become a State?
New History of Wyoming, Chap. 5: Establishing the Territory and Granting Women Equal Rights
Buffalo Bones: Stories from Wyoming's Past: The 1st Woman Juror
Readings in Wyoming History, Near Repeal of Women Suffrage
Tues., Feb. 21: The Open Range: Owned by All (Wyoming Constitution, Articles 18 & 21)
Lecture Topic: The Myth and Reality of "Rugged Individualism" in Cowboy Country
Group 2 goes to the American Heritage Center
Readings in Wyoming History, Cowboys Form a Health Cooperative
Online Encyclopedia: Rea, "Covering Cattle Kate: Newspapers and the Watson-Averell Lynching"
Thurs., Feb. 23: The Johnson County Invasion
Lecture Topic: Who Won the Johnson County War?
Group 3 goes to the American Heritage Center
Reading: Davis, Wyoming Range War: The Infamous Invasion of Johnson County (entire book)
Tues., Feb. 28: The Constitutions, Part I
Lecture Topic: Wyoming's Progressive/Radical Constitution
Reading: The Wyoming Constitution
The U. S. Constitution (read all amendments, too)
Reading: Online Encyclopedia: Wyoming Becomes a State: The Constitutional Convention and Statehood Debates of 1889 and 1890--and the Aftermath
Thurs., March 2: The Constitutions, Part II
Lecture Topic: Wyoming's Conservative/Reactionary Constitution
Readings in Wyoming History, The Contest for the Capital
Tues., March 7: Constitutions Exam.
Thurs., March 9: Economics, Society and Culture at the Beginning of the 20th Century
Lecture Topic: Did "Reform" Exist in Gilded Age Wyoming?
New History, Chap. 12: Into the 20th Century
New History, Lovejoy's Toy: Wyoming's First Car.
Buffalo Bones: Stories from Wyoming's Past: Wyoming's First License Plates
Readings in Wyoming History, School Bells and Winchesters
Online Encyclopedia: Tom Horn
Buffalo Bones: Stories from Wyoming's Past: Torrey's Roughriders
New History of Wyoming, Chap. 11: Conservation and National Parks
Online Encyclopedia: The Muries and Wilderness
Tues., March 14, Thurs., March 16: NO CLASS. SPRING BREAK.
Tues., March 21: Homesteading, Farming, Water and Public Lands
Lecture Topic: Who Owns the Public Lands and Why Should it Matter?
Online Encyclopedia: Dry Farming
Readings in Wyoming History, Evolution of Roads_
Manning, 100 Years on the Lincoln Highway, Wyoming PBS
New History, Chap. 13, Water and Irrigation
Online Encyclopedia: Town Founder and Irrigation Tycoon
Online Encyclopedia: Order Out of Chaos: Elwood Mead and Wyoming Water Law
Smith, Almost Pioneers (entire book).
Thurs., March 23: Mid-term Exam
Tues., March 28: World War I: Mobilization, Hysteria and Homefront Prohibition
Lecture Topic: Do Wyomingites Want Government to Regulate Social Norms?
Group 3 goes to the American Heritage Center
Readings in Wyoming History: The Prohibition Agency's First Case
Thurs., March 30: Drought and Depression in the 1920s
Lecture Topic: Can State Action Protect Against Economic Failure?
Group 4 goes to the American Heritage Center
New History, Chap. 14: The 1920s in Wyoming
Buffalo Bones: Stories from Wyoming's Past: Somewhere West of Laramie
Readings in Wyoming History, Give Them What They Want
Online Encyclopedia, Nellie Tayloe Ross
Tues., April 4: History of Wyoming Energy
Group 5 goes to the American Heritage Center
Lecture Topic: Who Really Pays the Severance Taxes?
New History of Wyoming, Chap. 7: Minerals in Territorial Wyoming
New History, Chap. 9: History of Wyoming Oil
Online Encyclopedia: Teapot Dome
Online Encyclopedia: Mineral Leasing Act of 1920
Online Encyclopedia: Oil Pipelines Across Wyoming
Thurs., April 6: The New Deal: Economic Development & Social Change
Group 6 goes to the American Heritage Center
Lecture Topic: "We Don't Like Their Rules, but We'll Take Their Money"
Online Encyclopedia: REA in Wyoming
Online Encyclopedia: History of the Blackwater Fire and the CCC
Online Encyclopedia: History of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)
Tues., April 11: World War II Years
"Letters Home," compiled and edited by Gail Eisenhauer. Ms. Eisenhauer will be today's guest speaker.
Readings in Wyoming History, O’Mahoney and Japanese Relocation
Thurs., April 13: Wyoming and the World: The Post-War Period
Lecture Topic: Do Internal/External "Immigrants" Change Wyoming Culture?
Readings in Wyoming History, The Textbook Controversy at the University of Wyoming
Readings in Wyoming History, Quest for Public Television
Readings in Wyoming History, Visions Beyond an Arrow of Fire
Online Encyclopedia: Wyoming's Nuclear Might: Warren AFB in the Cold War
Readings in Wyoming History, 'Mrs. Barriers' and the Crusade to Make Wyoming Public Buildings Accessible
Buffalo Bones: Stories from Wyoming's Past, Sleeping with the Nuclear Genie
Online Encyclopedia: Tracy McCraken, Newspaper Mogul
Tues., April 18: Diversity: Race and Ethnicity
For part of the class period today, we will be hearing from a special guest lecturer. Rodger McDaniel, author of the text we will have read by this date (Dying for Joe McCarthy's Sins), will be visiting with us about the book. Mr. McDaniel has consented to authographing copies of his book after class.
Readings in Wyoming History, Ethnicity in Wyoming
Readings in Wyoming History, The Wyoming Experience: Chinese in Wyoming
Online Encyclopedia: Empire, Wyoming
Readings in Wyoming History, My One Hobby
Readings in Wyoming History, Lovell's Mexican Colony
The New Yorker, Citizen Khan of Sheridan
Rodger McDaniel, Dying for Joe McCarthy's Sins: The Suicide of Wyoming Sen. Lester Hunt. (WordsWorth, 2013).
Online Encyclopedia: Matt Shepard legacy
Thurs., April 20: Civil Rights in Wyoming in the 1960s
Lecture Topic: Does Wyoming Deserve to Keep the Nickname the "Equality State"?
New History of Wyoming, Chap. 18: The 1960s
Readings in Wyoming History, The Emerging Civil Rights Movement
Online Encyclopedia: Mel Hamilton on the Black 14 Incident
Online Encyclopedia: Black 14
Online Encyclopedia: Teno Roncalio
Online Encyclopedia: James Reeb
Online Excyclopedia: Liz Byrd
Readings in Wyoming History, Reflecting Community: Case Studies of Three Wyoming Museums and the Impact of Each on the Community
Tues., April 25: The Severance Tax, Energy Booms and Busts, 1969-2017
Lecture Topic: Does Everyone Profit from a Boom? Does Everyone Lose in a Bust?
New History, Chap. 19: Boom and Bust Again: The 1970s
Readings in Wyoming History, Project Wagon Wheel: A Nuclear Plowshare for Wyoming
Online Encyclopedia: "Coal Slurry: An Idea that Came and Went"
Readings in Wyoming History, Home on the Range No More
Online Encyclopedia: Yellowstone Fires, 1988
Thurs., April 27: Wyoming in the 21st Century
Lecture Topic: Wyoming: Equality State? Cowboy State? Energy State?
Buffalo Bones: Stories from Wyoming’s Past: Equality State? Cowboy State?
Tues., May 2: Legends and Self-Image
Lecture Topic: Who is the cowboy on the license plate? Why might it matter?
New History, Chap. 10: Wyoming’s Self-Image
Online Encyclopedia, Kenny Sailors
Online Encyclopedia, Rulon Gardner
Online Encyclopedia, Tom Bell
Thurs., May 4: Wyoming's Quest for Diversification of the Economy
Lecture Topic: Do Wyomingites Really Want to Diversify?
Online Encyclopedia: Harnessing Wyoming's Wind.
FINAL EXAM: Tues., May 9, 10:15 a.m-12:15 p.m. No electronic devices are allowed and students are reminded to keep cell phones turned off during the exam. Exam will be in our regular classroom, CR 133.