Immigration

Coal Mining Towns | Iowa Pathways

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Coal mines could be found in the south-central part of Iowa in the 1800s. In the 1850s, coal mining became an important industry. Many immigrants worked in the coal mines of Iowa.

Great States | North Dakota Culture

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North Dakota’s festivals and events celebrate the people and communities there. Learn more about these communities and what makes North Dakota a great place to be.

The Germans from Russia | Living and Working

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Learn how the Germans from Russia settled across America, but many found home in what came to be known as the German triangle which spanned across Manitoba and the Dakotas. The Germans were given land under the homestead act which led them away from living in villages, which they had grown accustomed to in the "old" country. Having to live so far from their neighbors caused isolation and many looked forward to visiting day. They were strong people who had inhabited land much like the land they had left, full of fierce winters, a place where "wind was always in the grass" and the fields were filled with stones.

Orphan Trains Bring Children to Midwestern Communities | West by Orphan Train

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A majority of the children who were resettled during the Orphan Train movement went to the Midwest. Some children were placed in homes on the Eastern Seaboard and others in the South and West. It is estimated that between six and ten thousand children were settled in Iowa, with many Midwestern states taking similar amounts. This segment from the West by Orphan Train documentary includes archival photography, historical re-enactments, and an interview with Amanda Wahlmeier, former Curator at the National Orphan Train Complex.

The Germans from Russia | Lifestyle in Russia and the Northern Prairies

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See how the Germans from Russia tried to establish the same kind of villages and lives they had back in Russia. Many of the villages were named after the first community leaders. Homes were built from sandstone, mud, and other materials indigenous to the area. Cellars were used everywhere to store vegetables until the next harvest. They tried to create "home" in America. It is said that American men do not cry, but men from the Germans from Russia background did, they cried for home. Their home-sickness caused a hole in their hearts.

Great States | Montana History

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Learn about Montana’s land and people from before the Gold Rush to modern day.

Prairie Churches | Expressions of Faith

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Learn about Vikur Lutheran Church in Mountain, North Dakota. A montage of northern plains churches illustrates NDSU History Professor Tom Isern’s assertion that we can learn from prairie churches about the people of the plains who built them.

Built on Agriculture - Selkirk Settlers | Scottish Highland Clearances

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Learn about the Selkirk Settlers who came to Manitoba from the north of Scotland. They were tenant farmers there, who were being displaced by their landlord, the Countess of Sutherland, in favour of sheep farming. The families were led by Lord Selkirk, a Scottish nobleman, who purchased a large area of land from Hudson's Bay Company.

Poverty and Homelessness Lead to the Orphan Train Movement | West by Orphan Train

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Many of the immigrants coming to New York in the mid-1800s were poor and could not adequately care for their families. Many children ended up on the street with no home. In 1849, New York’s chief of police decided to bring attention to the street children as the city simply did not have the infrastructure and services to deal with thousands of homeless children. This resulted in children being placed in orphanages and some eventually becoming Orphan Train riders. This segment from the West by Orphan Train documentary includes archival photographs and an interview with Renée Wendinger, historian, author and daughter of an Orphan Train rider.

Great States | Oregon History

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Learn about the history this land on the northwest coast where people first arrived 15,000 years ago. Find out about the changes that came after 1805, when explorers Lewis and Clark established Fort Clatsop, opening the land to newcomers who would help shape the state of Oregon into what we know today. 

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