Even as the transcontinental railroad brought the new country together, it brought change to the world of Native Americans. The tracks ran through a number of tribal territories, bringing into conflict cultures that held very different views of the land and how it might be used and lived on. The painting The First Train, by Herbert Schuyler, depicts three Indians pointing past their encampment at a train in the far distance. The railroad also brought an increasing number of European Americans west. One consequence of this influx was the depletion of the buffalo herds, a major food source for Plains Indians. European Americans would often shoot buffalo for sport from the train; by 1880, the buffalo were mostly gone and Plains Indians had been gathered onto reservations. Millions of acres of open grassland were being settled by the people moving west. Eventually, much of this land became the farmland that fed a growing nation. Hope this helped!
How were white settlers affected by the building of railroads in the Indian Territory?