Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Frederick W. Adrian


The establishment of Fort Phil Kearny was an outstanding example of what Ray A. Bullington in his book, Westward Expansion, described as "a cost of blood, wealth, and human decency which will forever slain the annals of the American frontier." This was a result of weakness on the part of the administration, plus a lack of co-operation between the War Department and the Department of Indian Affairs. The conflict between these two departments have little guidance to any policy for the frontier. The administration changed policy from war with the Indian to peace and back again as easily as blowing grain. War factions and peace groups struggled for power over the administration. The immigrant, seeking gold or land, continually petitioned the government for protection from the Indian, whether he was deserving of it or not. The government, relenting to these pressures, sent the army in which the Civil War had instilled a spirit of fighting and restlessness.


A Thesis Presented to the Faculty of the Department of History University of Omaha In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts. Copyright 1957, John William Dennison

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