The Indian Wars in the West

download (3)  Today I would like to write about the Indian Wars in the West. I will share why the wars began, what were some of the major battle/wars, and what was the outcome.


Why did the wars begin? I do not hold to the conventional view which states the Indians were a peaceful people and the evil white men came and drove them out of the area. Sometimes the Indians would raid American settlements and kill hundred of men, women, and children. On the other hand, Americans weren’t always the good guys. After a massacre, the Army would raid Indian villages and kill everybody. As in most situations there are good guys and bad guys on both sides. Now what actually happened in the wars? Let’s take a look.


What were some of the major wars? A portion of the wars were fought in southwestern America; the tribes that lived there were the Navajo and the Apache. So the wars were known as the Navajo and the Apache Wars. The Apaches were led by download (1)Chief Geronimo. They were extremely tactical. They hid in caves and in the deserts, and then they would strike. If it weren’t for the Armies use of Apache scouts, the Apache War would have lasted much longer, and the Americans might have lost. The Nez Perce were a peaceful tribe living in Oregon. They tried to make peace with the government, but it didn’t work. Their leader Chief Joseph saw they had no chance. They tried to retreat to Canada, but they were defeated 50 miles from freedom. Finally, the most famous Indian battle took place in Montana in 1876. General Custer led his men against a very superior Sioux attack. Custer and all of his 250 men were killed. This battle has become known as ‘Custer’s Last Stand’.download (2)


What was the outcome of these wars? The Americans gained more and more land. The Indians were pushed farther and farther back. Soon the US would spread from coast to coast.



Samuel Duarte JM


Four Generals of the Civil War

Let’s look at the careers and character of four generals from the Civil War. We will study two from each side. The two Confederate Generals are Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson, and the two Union Generals are Ulysses S Grants and William Sherman.

Robert E. Lee was born January 19, 1807, in Virginia. In the summer of 1825 Lee entered West Point. He graduated in June 1829 as a beret second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers. In the Mexican-American War he became quite distinguished. In download (1)fact he even met Ulysses S. Grants in that war. Lee married Mary Curtis, the step great- granddaughter of George Washington, on June 30, 1831. In October of 1859 he led men to capture John Brown. When the Civil War started, Lee saw the damage that it would cause. He loved his country, but he felt he had a duty to fulfill to his native state, Virginia. He resigned from the U.S Army, and he and his horse Traveler joined the Confederate Army. After the war he taught at a war academy. He died on October 12, 1870. Lee was a devout Christian and a brave man. He hated slavery and wished it would cease. He was respected by people on both sides. Lee’s strategy of making risky and last minute decisions slowed the Union advances.


images (1)        Ulysses S. Grant was born on April 27, 1822, in Ohio. He joined West Point in 1839. He severed in the Mexican-American War. Grant married Julia Dent in 1848. He resigned from the Army in 1854, because of his drinking problem. For a while he faded form public eye, but as the Civil War started, he joined the Union Army. He led his men to victory in the battles of Fort Donelson and Fort Henry. He was very instrumental in the battles of Shiloh, Vicksburg and Chattanooga. After Chattanooga he was promoted to Commander and Chief of the Union Army. He met with Lee at Appomattox to end the war. He ran for President in 1868, and won. He ran again and won again when his first term was up. He died on July 23, 1885. His character was questionable. He was a great general and amazing strategist, but he never did get over his drinking problem. Lincoln admired Grant for his moves on the field of battle.


Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was born January 21, 1824, in Virginia. He entered West Point in 1842. Jackson then fought in the Mexican-American War. After the war he taught at Virginia Military Academy. In 1853 Jackson married Elinor Junkin, but she died a year later. He remarried in 1857, to Mary Morrison. When the Civil War started, he led a brigade to help fight with the Confederates. During the First Battle of Manassas, Barnard Elliott Bee Jr. rallied his men with the cry, “Look at Jackson download (2)standing like a stone wall, rally behind the Virginians!” The name stuck, and Jackson has been since known as ‘Stonewall’ Jackson. He was promoted to major general after the Battle of Manassas and led his ‘Stonewall’ brigade halfway around the world. At the Battle of Chancellorsville Jackson was wounded in the arm by friendly fire. He was moved to a nearby building where his arm was amputated. When Lee heard of Jackson’s amputation, he said, “Jackson may have lost his left arm, but I have lost my right.”  Jackson caught pneumonia, and on Sunday May 10, 1863, he died. His last words were, “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”  Of the four generals we have studied Jackson stands out as a man of unflinching character. A devout Presbyterian, he started a black children’s Sunday school at the church he attended. Theology was the only subject he liked to discuss.  On the battlefield he was very tactical. Waiting until the last minute to move, he kept the Union on their toes. Jackson was a man who stood stonewalled in everything he did.


download (3)William Sherman was born on February 8, 1820, in Ohio. He joined West Point in 1836. He fought in the Second Seminole War. Sherman married Ellen Ewing in 1850. He joined the Union Army in 1861. He was instrumental in the battles of Shiloh, Vicksburg, Chattanooga, and Atlanta. In 1864, he began his infamous march to the sea which ended in the capture of Savannah in December of 1864. After the war he became General of the Army in 1866. He died on February 14, 1891. Sherman promoted the idea of scorched earth, the process of burning everything in your path, on his march to the sea. He also used few or no supply lines but instead plundered the countryside.  His strategy was very incredible and even today we still remember him for ‘Sherman’s March to the Sea.’


These Generals were all born in the same country. Some of them even met. But they still fought against one another. This is why the Civil War has also been know as ‘The War of Brother against Brother.’



Samuel Duarte JM









A Small Business I Could Start

images What is a small business that I could start? In this essay I would like to share what the business is, why I chose it, and how I would do it.

What is it? It is a knife sharpening business. It would most likely be named Samuel’s Sharps. But I wouldn’t just do knives; I would also do axes and scissors.

Why did I choose the knife business? For one reason I have all the equipment and supplies. Also, since it is done by hand, I have a greater advantage over competitors who do it by machine. It is not that hard to learn or do. It is very enjoyable to me. The equipment is also very portable and could easily fit in a school bag. They even sell sharpening tools that hook on a key chain. I could even transport it to people’s homes if I needed to do that.

How would I do it? I would offer people in our church my services; then I would give them my business card and tell them to give it  to anyone they know who needs a sharp knife. I would take my customers knives home and sharpen them at my house and then take them back to them. I could also pass out cards to people and tell them about my business.

Knife sharpening is a very achievable business that I could do. It is also not that hard for me to do, and besides I have the stuff to do it. What is your business idea?


Samuel Duarte JM

The Texas Revolution

This week I learned about the Texas Revolution. I would like to share why did   the war began, what were two of the most important battles in the war, and what was the outcome.


download (1) Why did the war began? The area of Texas was starting to be lightly populated by some Americans. The Mexican government, who controlled the area, saw this as a good idea because the settlers could help fight the hostile Indians. But by 1830 the settlers were very well established in the land. In 1830 the Mexican President demanded that no more Americans be allowed into the area. The local Mexican government got upset at the President for meddling in their local politics. By 1834 the Mexican President Antonio López de Santa Anna was completely controlling the Mexican government and war was inevitable. In October of 1835 Santa Anna sent his brother-in-law General Cos to make sure that the rebellion was controlled. However, upon arriving he found more trouble. A Texan fort had borrowed a canon from a local Mexican fort, and the Texans were not giving it back. Therefore, Cos was unable to meet with the Texans. A small skirmish broke out, and three men were killed. War had begun.


download     The two most important battles were the Battle of the Alamo and the Battle of San Jacinto. The Alamo was a little Catholic mission near San Antonio. Only about 100 men were garrisoned in the fort. Santa Anna arrived on February 23, 1836, with 1,500 men. He was later reinforced with over 1,000 men making his total around 3,000. The siege and bombardment lasted until March because on March 6, 1836, the Mexican army attacked the Alamo. Although the Texans held their opponents for two assaults, they were overwhelmed on the third assault. The Mexican poured in, killing all the defenders. After the Alamo, Santa Anna download (3)moved north. As the neared they San Jacinto River, they stopped for a siesta. However, the Texan army led by Sam Houston had followed them. On April 20, 1836, at 4:00PM. the Texans attacked. They swarmed over the Mexican camp crying, “Remember the Alamo!” Six hundred and fifty Mexicans were killed compared to only eleven Texans. Santa Anna surrendered, and the war was over.



What was the outcome of the war? The Texans gained independence from Mexico. The Texas Revolution proved to the world that Americans can fight. It was a very important milestone in the growth and development of the United Sates.



The Texas Revolution is very important to study. We should be very thankful to the men who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.



Samuel Duarte JM

The Westward Expansion

Have you heard of the Westward Expansion? It was a time of great expansion westward in the history of the Untied States. Today let’s look at what was the reason for the Westward Expansion, the Westward Expansion itself, and the Trail of Tears.


What was the reason for the burst in expansion? Well, a widely held belief known as the Manifest Destiny stated that it was the settles right and obligation to expand. The Manifest Destiny also promoted the idea of pushing the Indians back. Before the idea had taken over, George Washington believed the Indians should be pursued to adopt English ideas and practices. But Washington’s idea lost to the Manifest Destiny.



downloadThe Westward Expansion was encouraged in 1803 with the Louisiana Purchase. Soon many families moved. They traveled in covered wagons usually with a group for protection. All the items they wanted or needed had to be packed in the wagon. But to move many people you need trails. Most of the trails started in Independence, Missouri. One famous and most popular trail was the Oregon Trail. Two Thousand miles later you would reach the Oregon Territory.



download (1).jpg The Trail of Tears was the movement of the Indians from their native homes further west.  Five tribes were moved the: Cherokee, Choctaw, Seminole, Creek, and Chickasaw. These tribes were adopting the Christian faith and American customs, but the settlers said they had to move. The Choctaw was the first to move. They moved form Mississippi west past the Arkansas Territory. One of their chiefs described the travel as “a trail of tears and death”. The Cherokee moved form the Appalachian Mountains to Oklahoma Territory. Of the 16,000 Cherokees moved, between 2,000 and 6,000 died. The Seminole’s fought the Army for seven years. They eventually moved. Some stayed and hid in the Everglades. The Creek Indians moved peaceably from Alabama west. The Chickasaw also moved peaceably; however they sold their land for $3,000,000.

The Westward Expansion was a main building block in the expansion of America. The U.S.A reached from sea to shining sea.


Samuel Duarte JM

The War of 1812


This week I was asked to give a summary of the War of 1812. I would like to share why the war began, what happened in the war, and what was the outcome.


Why did the war begin? After the American War for Independence, the British were very upset. They treated the nation as a little brother and not as an independent nation. They impressed American sailors into the British Navy to help them fight Napoleon. They also armed the Indians, so that the Americans would not expand. The British went so far as to restrict the Americans from trading with French, whom the Brits were fighting in the Napoleonic Wars. The Americans officially declared war on June 18, 18 12.


What happened in the War of 1812? The Americans army tried to conquer Canada; however their campaign was a failure. The American’s decided to seize the Great Lakes. At the Battle of Lake Erie, the Americans, led by Oliver Perry, defeated the English in a fierce battle. However ,they were never successful in taking Canada. The British Navy and the American Navy clashed many times in the war. Most notably was the USS Constitution victory over the HMS Guerriere.images (1)




In August of 1814 the British began their march on Washington D.C.

images (3)They reached the Capitol and set it on fire, thankfully the President had escaped. The next day, though, a great storm swept through the city and the fires were extinguished. The British moved on to the port city of Baltimore. However one thing stood in their way, a small fort named Fort McHenry. After bombing the fort, and inflicting very small damage, they decided to take the fort by land. The land attempt was a complete failure and Baltimore was safe. After many battles the British decided to make peace. On December 27, 1814 the Treaty of Ghent was signed, the British had surrendered. How ever before the news reached the Americans, the greatest battle was to take place. The British wanted to capture the rich port city of New Orleans. Andrew Jackson and his men stood in the British’s Way. At the Battle of New Orleans, the British lost 1,971 men compared to the Americans thirteen killed. The War of 1812 was




What was the outcome of the war? The land returned to Status quo ante bellum, as in the Seven Years War. This means the nations in the conflict lost nor gained any land. The Indians were pushed further and further back; they also lost all hope in driving the Americans back. At the Battle fort McHenry, Francis Scott Key wrote ‘The Star Spangled Banner’. the Americans came out at the top of the war and they put a stronger hold to becoming a very important countryimages (4)


The War of 1812 is interesting and fun to study. I hoped you’ve enjoyed this essay and have learned a lot.



Samuel Duarte JM



Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs



Today, I would like to tell you about one of the most innovative and wealthiest men of the 21st century. At the time of his death his net worth was over $10.2 billion. You have most certainly heard of him. In fact, if you have an iPhone in your pocket, an iPad next to you, or if you’re using an iMac then you are benefiting from this man. His name is Steve Jobs.


Jobs was born in 1955. His biological parents gave him up for adoption very early on. His adoptive parents lived in a small house outside of Los Altos, California. He didn’t do well in grade school. He loved to tinker with electronics. In 1968, he began high school. After high school, he went Reed College in Portland, Oregon. However he soon dropped out due to the college’s high pricing. In 1976 one of Steve Jobs friends, Steve Wozniak, invented the Apple I computer. From then on Apple took off. But after a disagreement with the CEO, Jobs left Apple and soon he got married.

However, Apple called Jobs back in 1997. Unfortunately, in 2003 Jobs was diagnosed with cancer. He did not, however, go the common ways of treating cancer. He went on a diet to try to starve the cancer. It looked as if it had worked. But sadly the cancer came back. On August 24, 2011, Jobs resigned from his job as Apple’s CEO. Finally on October 5,2011, he died in his home in Palo Alto, California.

Apple I


But what was the nature of Jobs business? Apple was designed to make better computers. As Apples Chief Designer has said, “Apple’s goal is not to make money but to make good products.” What are their products? Well, let’s take a look at the timeline of Apple products. AppleI was invented in 1976 and it was soon followed by AppleII in 1977. During the years 1981-1984, Apple was united with Microsoft. Penlite was Apples first try on a tablet, but it was soon pushed aside for Newton, a very old looking type of tablet. In 2006 Apple’s first laptop, the MacBook Pro, was produced. In 2007 the first iPhone came out. In 2008 both MacBook Air and I Mac were made. iPad was invented in 2011. On November 3, 2017 the new iPhone, iPhoneX, will come out.


How did Steve Jobs succeed? One of Jobs mottos was, ‘Do what you love’. This is key to everything in business. Jobs also believed in the strength of vision. When trying to get the then Pepsi President, John Sculley, to join him, Jobs asked, “Do you want to spend your life selling sugar water, or do you want to change the world?” Jobs also grasped the idea of perfecting on a small amount of products, instead of making lots of things at half of the capability. When he returned to Apple in 1997, he took the 350 products to only 10 products.


Steve Jobs was an amazing entrepreneur and a very hard worker. It is very interesting to learn about the man who put the phone in our pocket.


Samuel Duarte