I Don’t Want No Pardon (I’m a Good Old Rebel) Chorus: O, I’m a good old Rebel Now that’s just what I am And I don’t want no pardon For anything I done. I hates the Constitution This Great Republic too, I hate the Freedman’s Bureau In uniforms of blue; I hate the nasty eagle, With all its brag and fuss, The lyin’, thievin’ Yankees, I hate them worse and worse. Chorus: Three hundred thousand Yankees Is stiff in Southern dust; We got three hundred thousand Before they conquered us; They died of Southern Fever and Southern steel and shot I wish they was three million Instead of what we got. Chorus: I can’t take up my musket And fight them now no more, But I ain’t gonna love them, Now that is certain sure; And I don’t want no pardon For what I was and am, I won’t be reconstructed And I don’t care a damn.
Questions for Consideration: To what extent was late nineteenth- century Bozeman a reflection of these Reconstruction attitudes? Which vision for America was more pronounced in Bozeman between 1864 and 1889?
Lincoln, the Civil War, and Reconstruction profoundly impacted Montana and a fledgling community called Bozeman
The Long Term Impacts: Lincoln’s Trilogy--The Homestead Act, The Northern Pacific Charter, and the Morrill Act
The Short Term: Thousands flocked to Montana during the uncertain 1860s for good reason.
The violence and turmoil caused by the deadliest war in American history provided ample incentive for people to move West.
If the Civil War pushed people out of the East, gold simultaneously pulled thousands to Montana Bannack--1862 Virginia City--1863 Helena--1864
Some followed the Missouri River Pipeline to the Big Sky Country via steamboat.
Others traveled overland on the “Bloody” Bozeman Trail
Rapid growth and mineral wealth convinced President Lincoln to sign into law the bill creating Montana Territory on May 26, 1864.
The issue of Black suffrage nearly defeated the measure in Congress
In such a politically charged atmosphere, westward migrants usually brought their political sympathies with them.
Lester Willson and the Union League Union League leaders warned their members of “unpatriotic and designing men, nestling like venomous reptiles in all parts of our country,” who “strive without shame or scruple (no matter what means are resorted to) the ascendancy of civil power since their overwhelming defeat in the conflict of arms.” Lester Willson
“It is amusing how this little place is divided up into factions, that have nothing at all to do with each other. We run one end of the town, and Lamme and Black the other, while each store has its adherents. We have been having the best of the rivalry so far and we intend to keep it. I believe the other party has the most money, but we have the best generals, and the Missouri clique, of which the other party has been the leaders, is getting weaker every day, while we have all the intelligence and education on our side. The other stores are too weak to take an equal share in the fight, although one or two of them are doing their best; but we are distancing them all.” --Sept 28, 1872 Peter Koch
Even after the gold camps went bust, the free land--promised by Lincoln’s passage of the Homestead Act--continued to bring settlers west.
As the Civil War experienced its violent death throes in the East...... the Montana Post observed that the fertile Gallatin Valley was “fast being settled up with farmers, many of whom came to Montana as a better class of miners and, after quitting their original pursuits, secure 160 acres of land... and go to work in true farmer fashion.”
In the newly platted town of Bozeman, the Homestead Act was a godsend...