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Nearly a mile straight down and only a step from - Glacier Point (N.W.), Yosemite, California 

c. 1893-1904

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Yellowstone National Park, by Frank Jay Haynes

c. 1881-1889

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Seth Kinman 

c. 1864 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"The greatest of all the Sioux in my time, or in any time for that matter, was that wonderful old fighting man, Sitting Bull, whose life will some day be written by a historian who can really give him his due. 

Sitting Bull it was who stirred the Indians to the uprising whose climax was the massacre of the Little Big Horn and the destruction of Custer's command. 

For months before this uprising he had been going to and fro among the Sioux and their allies urging a revolt against the encroaching white man. It was easy at that time for the Indians to secure rifles. The Canadian-French traders to the north were only too glad to trade them these weapons for the splendid supplies of furs which the Indians had gathered. Many of these rifles were of excellent construction, and on a number of occasions we discovered to our cost that they outranged the army carbines with which we were equipped. 

After the Custer massacre the frontier became decidedly unsafe for Sitting Bull and the chiefs who were associated with him, and he quietly withdrew to Canada, where he was for the time being safe from pursuit. 

There he stayed till his followers began leaving him and returning to their reservations in the United States. Soon he had only a remnant of his followers and his immediate family to keep him company. Warily he began negotiating for immunity, and when he was fully assured that if he would use his influence to quiet his people and keep them from the warpath his life would be spared, he consented to return. 

He had been lonely and unhappy in Canada. An accomplished orator and a man with a gift of leadership, he had pined for audiences to sway and for men to do his bidding. He felt sure that these would be restored to him once he came back among his people. As to his pledges, I have no doubt that he fully intended to live up to them. He carried in his head all the treaties that had been made between his people and the white men, and could recite their minutest details, together with the dates of their making and the names of the men who had signed for both sides. 

But he was a stickler for the rights of his race, and he devoted far more thought to the trend of events than did most of his brothers. 

Here was his case, as he often presented it to 

''The White Man has taken most of our land. He has paid us nothing for it. He has destroyed or driven away the game that was our meat. In 1868 he arranged to build through the Indians’ land a road on which ran iron horses that ate wood and breathed fire and smoke. We agreed. This road was only as wide as a man could stretch his arms. But the White Man had taken from the Indians the land for twenty miles on both sides of it. This land he had sold for money to people in the East. It was taken from the Indians. But the Indians got nothing for it. 

''The iron horse brought from the East men and women and children, who took the land from the Indians and drove out the game. They built fires, and the fires spread and burned the prairie grass on which the buffalo fed. Also it destroyed the pasturage for the ponies of the Indians. Soon the friends of the first White Men came and took more land. Then cities arose and always the White Man's lands were extended and the Indians pushed farther and farther away from the country that the Great Father had given them and that had always been theirs. 

''When treaties were broken and the Indians trespassed on the rights of the White Man, my chiefs and I were always here to adjust the White Man's wrongs. 

''When treaties were broken and the Indians’ rights were infringed, no one could find the white chiefs. They were somewhere back toward the rising sun. There was no one to give us justice. New chiefs of the White Men came to supplant the old chiefs. They knew nothing of our wrongs and laughed at us. 

"When the Sioux left Minnesota and went beyond the Big Muddy the white chiefs promised them they would never again be disturbed. Then they followed us across the river, and when we asked for lands they gave us each a prairie chicken's flight four ways (a hundred and sixty acres); this they gave us, who once had all the land there was, and whose habit is to roam as far as a horse can carry us and then continue our journey till we have had our fill of wandering. 

"We are not as many as the White Man. But we know that this land is our land. And while we live and can fight, we will fight for it. If the White Man does not want us to fight, why does he take our land? If we come and build our lodges on the White Man's land, the White Man drives us away or kills us. Have we not the same right as the White Man?" 

From: An autobiography of Buffalo Bill (Colonel W.F. Cody), published in 1920
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Sitting Bull & Buffalo Bill in 1885
via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A crystal clear cabinet card of Annie Oakley 

Looks like a double barrel shotgun leaning on the far right of that prize table 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Royal Gorge in Colorado 

- 1885

by William Henry Jackson via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Breakfast ready

- 1905

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Judge Roy Bean trying a horse thief in Langtry, Texas 

- 1900

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Doc Holliday was born on August 14th, 1851 in Griffin, Georgia.

At the age of 20 he became a Doctor of Dental Surgery, but eventually moved out west and took up gambling after suffering from consumption.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Buffalo Bill Cody on horseback c. 1914

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Navajo Church Rock near Fort Wingate, McKinley County, New Mexico

c. 1871-1878

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Down the Granite Gorge of the Colorado (1200 ft. deep) from Pyrites Point - Grand Canyon, Arizona 

- early 1900s

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Postcard of Buffalo Bill & Sitting Bull with other Native Americans 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Group of tourists, with Yosemite Falls as backdrop.

c. 1866-1870

Image: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "Group of tourists, with Yosemite Falls as backdrop." New York Public Library Digital Collections. Accessed August 21, 2020.
Public domain
Harrell's Camp. Brown's Park, Wyoming, 1871 
3 covered wagons, 5 men mounted on horses

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Buffalo Bill Cody 

- 1903

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Monument Canyon De Chelly, Arizona. Hillers photo. A man is standing beside a two-horse wagon in center foreground, maybe Major Powell. Two wagons with five men and three men and horses near center left side of photo. A large white mule with a man seated on ground a few feet in front of it near the center right of photo.”

c. 1871 - 1878

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Dodge City Peace Commission

- 1883

Bat Masterson is shown standing in the top row second from right. Wyatt Earp is shown seated in the bottom row second from left.

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Colorado views - Manitou and vicinity

c. late 1800s

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
William F. Cody - "Buffalo Bill"

c. 1870

via The J. Paul Getty Museum, no known restrictions
"Cowboys of Arizona - roused by a scout”

- 1882

by W. W. Rogers from a sketch by Frederic Remington 
via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Construction camp of the Central Pacific Railroad in Utah

- 1869

via Alamy
Silverton Railroad 

early 1900s

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
United States Soldiers In Camp On The Plains, Narrating Stories Of Adventure.

- 1871

via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Men, women and children sitting in an open rail car, Wild Goose Railroad, Nome, Alaska, 

- between 1901 and 1911

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The Fall of the Cowboy

- 1895

Painting by Frederic Remington via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Crossing of the Line at Tecalote Creek, New Mexico, north of Anton Chico, 775 miles west of Missouri River”

c. 1867-1868

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The northern wall of the Grand Cañon

c. 1872-1875

via Digital Commonwealth Massachusetts Collections Online, no known restrictions
Olive Oatman c. 1860 

After her parents and most of her immediate Oatman family members were killed in a massacre by Native Americans, she and her younger sister Mary Ann were held captive. The sisters believed that their brother, Lorenzo also died. 
Mary Ann perished in the desert during their captivity, but Olive survived.

Incredibly Olive was reunited with her brother Lorenzo...

"Language was not made to give utterance to the feelings that rise and swell, and throb through the human bosom upon such a meeting as this. For five years they had not looked in each other's eyes; the last image of that brother pressed upon the eye and memory of his affectionate sister, was one that could only make any reference to it in her mind, one of painful, torturing horror. She had seen him when (as she supposed) life had departed, dragged in the most inhuman manner to one side one of a whole family who had been butchered before her eyes. The last remembrance of that sister by her brother, was of her wailings and heart-rending sighs over the massacre of the rest of her family, and her consignment to a barbarous captivity or torturing death. She was grown to womanhood; she was changed, but despite the written traces of her out-door life and barbarous treatment left upon her appearance and person, he could read the assuring evidences of her family identity. They met they wept they embraced each other in the tenderest manner, heart throbbed to heart, and pulse beat to pulse ; but for nearly one hour not one word could either speak! 

The past ! the chequered past ! with its bright and 
its dark, its sorrow and its joy, rested upon that hour of speechless joy. The season of bright childhood their mutual toils and anxieties of nearly one year, while traveling over that gloomy way that horrid night of massacre, with its wailing and praying, mingled with fiendish whooping and yelling, remembered in connection with its rude separation, the five years of tears...”

From: Captivity of the Oatman girls: being an interesting narrative of life among the Mohave Indians: containing also an interesting account of the massacre of the Oatman family in 1851; the narrow escape of Lorenzo D. Oatman; the capture of Olive A. and Mary A. Oatman by Royal B. Stratton, published in 1857
Source says not in copyright 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Model of Western pony-express mail carrier, Post Office exhibit, United States Government Building, Alaska-Yukon-Pacific-Exposition, Seattle, Washington, 1909”

Image by Frank H. Nowell via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Buffalo Bill and members of his Wild West show cast in Italy 

- 1890

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Colonel W. F. Cody
"Buffalo Bill”

c. 1887

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Buffalo Bill with others at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"CHRISTOPHER CARSON, whose renown as Kit 
Carson has reached almost every ear in the country, was born in Madison county, Kentucky, on the 24th of December, 1809. Large portions of Kentucky then consisted of an almost pathless wilderness, with magnificent forests, free from underbrush, alive with game, and with luxuriant meadows along the river banks, inviting the settler's cabin and the plough. 

There were then many Indians traversing those 
wilds. The fearless emigrants, who ventured to rear their huts in such solitudes, found it necessary ever to be prepared for an attack. 

But very little reliance could be placed even in 
the friendly protestations of the vagabond savages, ever prowling about, and almost as devoid of intelligence or conscience, as the wolves which at midnight were heard howling around the settler's door. The family of Mr. Carson occupied a log cabin, which was bullet-proof, with portholes through which their rifles could command every approach. Women and children were alike taught the use of the rifle, that in case of an attack by any blood-thirsty gang, the whole family might resolve itself into a military garrison. Not a tree or stump was left, within musket shot of the house, behind which an Indian could secrete himself. 

Almost of necessity, under these circumstances, 
any bright, active boy would become a skillful marks man. A small garden was cultivated where corn, beans and a few other vegetables were raised, but the main subsistence of the family consisted of the game with which forest, meadow and lake were stored. The settler usually reared his cabin upon the banks of some stream alive with fishes. There were no schools to take up the time of the boys ; no books to read. Wild geese, ducks and other water fowl, sported upon the bosom of the river or the lake, whose waters no paddle wheel or even keel disturbed. Wild turkeys, quails, and pigeons at times, swept the air like clouds. And then there was the intense excitement of occasionally bringing down a deer, and even of shooting a ferocious grizzly bear or wolf or catamount. The romance of the sea creates a Robinson Crusoe. The still greater romance of the forest creates a Kit Carson. It often makes even an old man's blood thrill in his veins, to contemplate the wild and wondrous adventures, which this majestic continent opened to the pioneers of half a century ago. 

Gradually, in Kentucky, the Indians disappeared, 
either dying off, or pursuing their game in the unexplored realms nearer the setting sun. Emigrants, from the East, in large numbers entered the State. Game, both in forest and meadow, became scarce ; and the father of Kit Carson, finding settlers crowding him, actually rearing their huts within two or three miles of his cabin, abandoned his home to find more room in the still more distant West. 

Christopher was then the youngest child, a babe 
but one year old. The wilderness, west of them, was almost unexplored. But Mr. Carson, at his blazing fireside, had heard from the Indians, and occasionally from some adventurous white hunter, glowing accounts of the magnificent prairies, rivers, lakes and forests of the far West, reposing in the solitude and the silence which had reigned there since the dawn of the creation. 

There were no roads through the wilderness. 
The guide of the emigrants was the setting sun. 
Occasionally they could take advantage of some 
Indian trail, trodden hard by the moccasined feet of the natives, in single file, through countless generations. Through such a country, the father of Kit Carson commenced a journey of several hundred miles, with his wife and three or four children, Kit being an infant in arms. Unfortunately we are not informed of any of the particulars of this journey. But we know, from numerous other cases, what was its general character. 

It must have occupied two or three weeks. All 
the family went on foot, making about fifteen miles a day. They probably had two pack horses, laden with pots and kettles, and a few other essential household and farming utensils. Early in the afternoon Mr. Carson would begin to look about for a suitable place of encampment for the night. He would find, if possible, the picturesque banks of some running stream, where there was grass for his horses, and a forest growth to furnish him with wood for his cabin and for fire. If the weather were pleasant, with the prospect of a serene and cloudless night, a very slight protection would be reared, and the weary family, with a buffalo robe spread on the soft grass for a blanket, would sleep far more sweetly in the open air, than most millionaires sleep in tapestried halls and upon beds of down. 

If clouds were gathering and menacing winds 
were wailing through the tree-tops, the vigorous arm of Mr. Carson, with his sharp axe, would, in an hour, rear a camp which could bid defiance to any ordinary storm. The roof would be so thatched, with bark and long grass, as to be quite impenetrable by the rain. Buffalo robes, and a few of the soft and fragrant branches of the hemlock tree, would create a couch which a prince might envy. Perhaps, as they came along, they had shot a turkey or a brace of ducks, or a deer, from whose fat haunches they have cut the tenderest venison. Any one could step out with his rifle and soon return with a supper. 

While Mr. Carson, with his eldest son, was build 
ing the camp, the eldest girl would hold the baby, 
and Mrs. Carson would cook such a repast of dainty viands, as, when we consider the appetites, Delmonico never furnished. It was life in the "Adirondacks” with the additional advantage that those who were enjoying it, were inured to fatigue, and could have no sense of discomfort, from the absence of conveniences to which they were accustomed.”

From: Christopher Carson: familiarly known as Kit Carson, by John S.C. Abbott, published in 1874
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Kit Carson in uniform via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Annie Oakley in the 1890s

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Photo of Acoma Pueblo in New Mexico in 1934

Buildings were first constructed here around the year 1100

Image via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
"Red" Saunders, of Three Circle fame, saddling a bronco

- 1906

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Miner at work underground: Virginia City, Nevada

- 1867

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Grand Canyon near the Little Colorado River in 1872 

Civil War Veteran Almon H. Thompson standing in the foreground 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"The Lookout” 

c. 1900

by German-American artist Albert Bierstadt via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On January 26th, 1915 Rocky Mountain National Park was established by Congress.

Image: Long's Peak, Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado by Ansel Adams via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Logging railway with a wagon being pulled by 8 horses in California 

c. 1902

from California Historical Society via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Annie Oakley shooting with one hand while her other hand is on her hip

- 1892 

via Alamy
Annie Oakley while on tour with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West 

c. 1894

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Maj. Gen. George A. Custer in 1865

Did you know that Custer received over 700 demerits at West Point?  He finished last in his class.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
View of a woman (and a man in the background) look at an arriving stage coach at Yellowstone National Park 

c. late 1880s 

by T. W. Ingersoll via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"After Bill's complete recovery he returned to the states and volunteered his services to Gen. Curtis, who had command of the army in Missouri, as a scout and spy. He was enrolled in the early part of 1863, and at once sent upon a dangerous mission. Gen. Price was preparing to enter Missouri, and it became very necessary for Gen. Curtis to have reliable information of the intentions of the Confederate General. Bill went to Kansas City, where he was furnished a horse, and allowed to exercise his judgment in reaching the enemy's lines. Accordingly, he rode through Kansas and the Indian Territory in order to reach Arkansas from the south. He assumed the name of Bill Barnes, and enlisted in a regiment of mounted rangers at a small town south of Little Rock. The regiment was attached to Price's command, and shortly afterwards he was made one of Price's orderlies. This gave him all the facilities desired to obtain information, which he managed, in many ways, to communicate to Gen. Curtis. In 1864 Price began his retreat from Missouri and made his last stand by forming a junction with Shelby on Sugar creek, about twenty miles below Newtonia, in McDonald county. Gen. Curtis had, by forced marches, reached the creek at nearly the same time, and both forces were preparing for battle. It was now time for Bill to leave the Confederates, but no opportunity was presented. A river, or creek, lay between the two armies, and any effort to cross would certainly be detected. 

On the 23d of October, and the day Bill formed the intention of making a bold effort to cross the lines, Gen. Price directed him to carry orders to Gen. Shelby instructing him where and when to make the attack on Curtis, and how to conduct the movement. This instruction made matters worse for Bill, and he determined to take the chances of life or death in evading the Confederate army and placing the orders in Gen. Curtis' hands. He rode furiously back and lost no time in challenging a bragadocio sergeant to ride with him, for a wager, nearest the enemy's lines. The sergeant tried to back out, but the boys began to hoot him so that their respective horses were wagered as to who could cross the open space and ride down to the creek. The two started off on a dash and soon the bullets from the Union forces were whistling around them. Bill kept as far from his partner as possible, and made his horse rear and plunge in order to attract the attention of the Union forces. They rode down to the creek together, when the Union men discovered Bill and shouted to him. This aroused the suspicion of the sargeant, who attempted to draw his pistol, but Bill's eye was on him, and in a flash a ball went crashing through his brain. Bill grabbed the bit of the dead sergeant's horse and plunged into the stream, which at the time was considerably swollen. The Confederates now saw what was up, and although the Union forces commenced a brisk fire, the Confederates seemed determined to kill Bill, the bullets falling around him like hail; but he managed to reach the opposite shore with his own and the dead sergeant's horse without receiving any injury. Bill was taken into Gen. Curtis' tent and afterwards publicly thanked for his daring and valuable services.”

From: Life and marvelous adventures of Wild Bill, the scout by James William Buel, published in 1880
Source says not in copyright 

Image: James B. "Wild Bill” Hickok c. 1860s via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Arizona Prospectors, Tombstone"

- sometime between 1879-1912

by American photographer Mollie Fly via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A photo of horse trader and scout Jeremiah Potts
His mother was Native American and his father was of Scottish descent.

Jeremiah was born in Montana and his Native American name was Ky-yo-kosi or Bear Child

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Wagon on a ferry crossing the upper Colorado River at Lee's Ferry, Grand Canyon

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The Rescue 

U.S. Cavalry rescuing a wounded Lieutenant Colonel in the West c. 1868

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A photograph of a church turned hospital that was used after the Massacre at Wounded Knee, South Dakota which took place on December 29th, 1890.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Arizona pioneer Ja Hu Stafford with his wife and their two little girls 

c. 1890 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Grand Canyon of the Colorado River

- 1883

by William Henry Jackson via J. Paul Getty Museum, not in copyright
A photo of Annie Oakley from 1926 when she was 66 years old.
This image is believed to be the last photo taken of Annie during the final year of her life. 

Image via Alamy
Scene showing horse drawn wagons entering the town of Deadwood, South Dakota at approximately 4:43pm

c. 1870s

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On today's date July 26th, 1863: General, U.S. Senator, Governor of Tennessee, President of The Republic of Texas and Governor of the State of Texas, Sam Houston died from pneumonia in the Steamboat House at the age of 70 in Huntsville, TX.

Here is a fascinating video about his life:

Photo: Sam Houston in 1861 by Mathew Brady [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"Group, with tame elk, at ranch on Clear Creek, Kansas, 498 miles west of St. Louis, Mo.”

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Across the Continent on the Kansas Pacific Railway

c. 1868

Image shows members of the U.S. Army along with a family of European descent among a group of Mohave Indians 

Image via Wikimedia Commons, from Boston Public Library CC-BY-2.0
Wyatt Earp’s .44 caliber Schofield 

Believed to be the gun that was used by Wyatt during the Gunfight at The OK Corral on October 26th, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona.

Image by David from Washington, D.C. via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY SA 2.0
The man on the left?  
David G. Burnet who was the Interim President of The Republic of Texas in 1836.

The man on the right?
Sam Houston who replaced David G. Burnet and became President of The Republic of Texas on October 22nd, 1836.

Images via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Buffalo Bill seated, holding a rifle 

c. 1870-1880

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions 
Eaton, E. L., photographer. Buffalo Bill before he mounted for the Grand Start / E. L. Eaton, photographer, Omaha, Nebraska. , . [187] Photograph.
"$1,250,000 gold bullion, Miners and Merchant’s Bank in Nome, Alaska - June 10th, 1906”

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Interior of a homesteader’s claim shack in Quinn, South Dakota 

c. 1905 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Annie Oakley with her gun

c. 1890s

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Cabinet card of Wild West Show stars Pawnee Bill and Philadelphia born May Lillie about 3 years after they were married 

- Taken in York, Pennsylvania in 1889

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Scene inside a Morenci, Arizona saloon of men playing faro 

- 1895

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On July 10, 1890 Wyoming became the 44th state 

Image: Construction workers on the military road, from Fort Washakie to Buffalo Fork near the Continental Divide, drive their wagonload of equipment up the summit of To-Gwo-Tee Pass in Wyoming in the late 1890s
via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Indian viewing railroad from top of Palisades. 435 miles from Sacramento”

c. 1865-1869

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Wild Bill, Texas Jack Omohundro, and Buffalo Bill Cody

- 1873

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"The value of the new weapon is at length universally acknowledged, and the name of Samuel Colt is now more widely known throughout the world than that of any other living American inventor. 

The young lad who left Hartford with no capital but 
his active brain, and willing hands, has returned in the prime of his manhood to the place where he was born, and where the ashes of his ancestors repose, and has founded an establishment which is an honor to him, and an ornament to the place of his nativity. 

However great the credit to be awarded Col. Colt, it 
is evident he could not accomplish that which he is 
now doing, without the assistance of the large number of intelligent and ingenious mechanics, who are daily engaged in his service, and of the beautiful processes of labor-saving machinery, managed by men whose minds can appreciate, as well as control, the forces which they direct. 

Indeed the whole history of the "repeating arms," from the time when first shaped in the "fertile work-shop" of the inventor's brain, until this moment, when so many wonderful instrumentalities are engaged in forming each part, furnishes a proud illustration of inventive genius, and mechanical skill. 

When I pass through the spacious factory where the celebrated "Revolvers" are made, — when I look upon the large number of capable mechanics, thoroughly versed in the duties of their calling, and when I examine the various machines, each so well adapted to the purposes for which it was framed, and each bearing the stamp of intellect, and, as it were, instinct with thought, the whole impresses me with the same sense of exaltation that I experience, when listening to the words of some majestic poem, or the strains of some magnificent musical composition.”

American inventor Samuel Colt was born on July 19th, 1814 in Hartford, Connecticut.

From: Proceedings at the dedication of Charter Oak hall upon the south meadow grounds of Col. Samuel Colt, published in 1856
No known restrictions 

Image: Samuel Colt c. 1855 via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Men in a tavern in Southern California

c. 1890 - 1900

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Camp of surverying party at Russel's Tank, Arizona, on eastern slope of Laja Range, 1,271 miles from Missouri River.

c. 1867 - 1868

by Alexander Gardner via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"Her daily duty." Cow with seven small boys on her back poses in front of schoolhouse in Okanogan, Washington State. 

- 1907

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Texas South-Eastern Railroad Engine #4, freight car, caboose and 12 cars of pine logs

c. 1907

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Miss Blanche Lamonte with her students in front of her school in Hecla, Montana.

c. 1893

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Near the base of Old Shiprock in New Mexico 

- 1914

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Old sheep herder, Sheridan County, Montana

- 1937

via NYPL Digital Collections, public domain
Hot Pursuit 

by American artist Charles Schreyvogel, public domain
Construction of Union Pacific Railroad bridges in the Green River Valley, Citadel Rock in the background 

- 1868

by Andrew J. Russell via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
“At this time the great civil war had overshadowed everything else, and the adjoining borders of Missouri and Kansas had become the theater of a truly direful conflict. Men of nerve and cunning were in great demand, for murder, under the color of justifiable war, was beginning to point its shivering finger at every highway where the blood of men had quenched the thirst of the earth. Bill accepted the position, though not under enlistment, and directly thereafter he was ordered to conduct a provision train from the Fort to Sedalia, Missouri. On the third day after their departure, a few miles inside the Missouri line, the train was suddenly attacked by a company of Confederates under Capt. Blunt, who, owing to the almost unexampled cowardice of the men under Bill — though numbering scarcely more than one dozen — captured the outfit without meeting any resistance! However, while the Confederates easily made prisoners of his men, Bill refused to surrender, and single-handed opened fire. Being well mounted, he turned his horse toward Kansas City, followed by fifty of the enemy. The chase continued for several miles, with a rapid exchange of shots, in which flying encounter Bill killed four of his pursuers and escaped himself without injury. Col. Jennison had a considerable force under him at Kansas City, and Bill, reporting the circumstances of the capture of his train, two companies were hastily mounted and sent out to recover the property. Bill accompanied the soldiers, and by fast riding the Confederates were struck within fifteen miles of the place where the first attack was made. A charge was at once ordered, at the head of which rode Wild Bill, who, considering the fact of his new commission, felt that he had been dishonored by the loss of his first charge. The fight was a short and decisive one, for the Confederates, being taken by surprise, in return, speedily scattered and thus let their new acquisition again fall into the possession of the Union troops. Bill was very much elated over the result, and in triumph conducted the train into Sedalia and immediately afterward offered his services to Gen. Samuel R. Curtis, who was acting under orders of Gen. Halleck, and who continued him in the position to which Gen. Fremont had appointed him, until the spring of 1863.”

From: Heroes of the plains by James William Buel, published in 1883
Source says not in copyright.

American soldier Wild Bill Hickok was born on May 27th, 1837 in Homer, LaSalle County, Illinois.

Image: Wild Bill Hickok via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
On August 25th, 1823 the trapper Hugh Glass encounters a Grizzly Bear...

"Adventures of Hugh Glass

The king of wild beasts of the Rocky Mountains is the grizzly bear. While seldom encountered today excepting in the remotest and most inaccessible fastnesses of the Rockies, this monarch of the wilderness a century ago was the one animal which hunters and trappers considered really dangerous. Grizzlies were called by the earlier explorers "white bear," and many were the narrow escapes related by members of the Lewis and Clark party and other frontiersmen who were attacked by monsters of this species and threatened with death in a terrible form. There were few among the mountain men who had not had disastrous experiences with them at one time or another. 

The grizzly bear is distinguished from other species of bear by a number of marked characteristics, such as facial profile, shape of anterior claws, color of hair and its lack of ability to climb trees. The color varies greatly, but there is 
usually enough white hair in its fur to give it a grayish color. In size the grizzly averages about six feet in length from nose to tail tip, although they have often been found nine feet, and some have measured as much as fourteen feet in length. A grizzly usually weights about five hundred pounds, but of course the larger specimens weigh much more. It is not only a most powerful brute, but is extremely tenacious of life. The male has the reputation of not being pugnacious, rarely attacking a man without provocation, and even when wounded often attempting to escape until brought to bay. The female, when her cubs are small, is savage and dangerous always. Either sex of the grizzly, when thoroughly roused, shows terrible rage and strength. Hunters have often noticed that when struck by a bullet, a grizzly will start instantly in the direction from which it comes without waiting to see its enemy. 

The most notable story of an encounter between a white man and a grizzly was that of Hugh Glass. Possibly this true tale, which was one of the most sensational happenings of the frontier a hundred years ago (*now nearly 200 years ago), has survived in the annals of the fur days because of the amazing facts involved in it that have to do with treachery and a man's grim fight to live to be revenged. 

Glass was born in Pennsylvania, but nothing is known of his life before he enlisted with the second Ashley-Henry expedition to the Rocky Mountains in 1823 and was wounded in a fight with the Aricaras on the Missouri river. He was then called an "old man," and was one of the best marksmen and hunters in the party. Under Major Andrew Henry a party set out to trap beaver and explore the Yellowstone river, and Glass was detailed as hunter, an extremely important duty. One morning he was in advance of the party, forcing his way through a thicket, when he suddenly came upon a monster female grizzly bear that rose and attacked him before he had time to "set his trigger" or even turn to fly. The bear seized him by the throat and lifted him from the ground. Then hurling him down, the ferocious beast tore off a mouthful of his flesh and lumbered to her cubs, which were close by. Glass now tried to escape, but the bear, followed by her cubs, attacked him again. Seizing him by the shoulder she crunched his hands and arms between her teeth. 

Glass was in a terrible condition and had given himself up for dead when a companion, detailed also as a hunter, appeared and shot at one of the cubs. The other, a half-grown bear, drove him into the water, where he stood waist deep and killed his pursuer with a shot. Just then the main body of trappers arrived, having heard cries for help. A dozen guns cracked and the mother bear fell dead over the prostrate Glass. It was found that he was still alive, but in an apparently hopeless condition. His whole body was mangled, he could not stand and suffered excruciating pain. No surgical aid could be given and it was impossible to move him. 

Delay of the party in this hostile Indian country might mean disaster to all, and a lengthy council was held to determine what course to take. Finally Major Henry induced two men by a reward of eighty-two dollars to remain with Glass until he should expire, as not the slightest hope for his life was entertained. These men stayed with Glass for five days, when, despairing of his recovery and yet seeing no prospects of his immediate death, cruelly abandoned him, taking with them his rifle and all his accoutrements, so that he was left without any means of defense, subsistence or shelter. The pair then set out on the trail of Major Henry's party and when they overtook them reported that Glass had died of his wounds and that they had buried him in the best manner possible. They showed his belongings and their story was not doubted by any one. 

But Glass was not dead, and although almost entirely helpless, he managed to drag himself to a nearby spring, over which hung buffalo berry bushes and a few branches containing wild cherries. When he realized the treachery of his companions he did not despair, but grimly determined to live to search them out and kill them. With the utmost effort he managed to pick enough berries and cherries to keep from starving. Gradually he nursed back his strength until he at first could crawl and then walk. His plan was a sufficiently desperate one, but offered the only chance for life. It was to strike out for Fort Kiowa, a trading post on the Missouri a hundred miles away. With hardly strength enough to drag one leg after the other, with no provisions or means of obtaining any, in a hostile Indian country, he started. Upheld only by the deep-set purpose of living to hunt out the men who had deserted him, he made mile after painful mile. 

One evening he came upon a pack of wolves that had surrounded a buffalo calf and were attacking it. Glass waited until it was dead, and then shouted and brandished a stick, frightening the animals away. He had no knife and no fire, but he managed to tear off enough meat from the calf to make a meal, and eating sparingly, it gave him strength. When he felt able to go forward, he took as much meat as he could carry, and finally, after hardships and distress incredible, reached Fort Kiowa, where he rested for a few days. Before he was again in fit condition to travel, and with some of his wounds still in bad shape, he had an opportunity to join a party of trappers bound for the Yellowstone and seized it eagerly. He was willing to retrace his steps into the wilderness to the west on the chance of meeting Henry's party and the intended victims of his revenge. 

Again fate played a strange trick. When the party were nearing the Mandan villages on the Missouri, Glass decided that he could save some time by going overland across a big bend in the river to Tilton's Fort, a trading post. Still possessed of the one overwhelming desire for revenge, he struck out alone. By doing so he saved his life once more, for the next day the Aricara Indians attacked the party he had left and killed every man. 

As Glass near Tilton's Fort, he saw two female Native Americans in the brush and recognized them as Arickarees. He tried to hide, but too late, for the women had seen him and at once notified their men, who started after him. Still feeble from his injuries, he made little speed, and just as the Indian warriors were coming within gunshot of him and he had given himself up for lost again, he was overjoyed and astonished to see two mounted Indians of the friendly Mandan tribe riding toward him. They seized him and carried him to the fort. The same night he set out once more up the river. After traveling alone for thirty-eight days he 
at length arrived at Henry's Fort, near the mouth of the Big Horn river, on the Yellowstone. The amazement that his appearance occasioned may be imagined, as it was thought he was dead and had been in his grave for weeks. He was bitterly disappointed to find that the two men who had deserted him had left for Fort Atkinson, on the Missouri river near the present site of Omaha. Still intent on revenge he accepted service as a messenger to carry a dispatch to Fort Atkinson, and with four men left Henry's fort on the Yellowstone, February 28, 1824. 

The route followed by Glass lay eastward into Powder river valley; thence southward and across into the valley of the Platte. Here they made boats of buffalo skin and floated down the river until they came suddenly and with much dismay upon an Arickaree band. The Indians pretended friendship and signed to the white men to come ashore. They had little alternative, so after landing they went to the chief's lodge, where they were welcomed and the pipe was passed. While they were smoking they saw squaws carrying off their weapons and other effects. They feared treachery and jumped to their feet, rushed from the tepee. Glass saw two of his companions overtaken and killed, but luckily there was some heavy brush nearby and into this he plunged. It afforded an admirable hiding place, and he crawled further and further into the scrub until the shouts of the Indians looking for him grew fainter. 

Again he found himself alone in the wilderness, but this time not in such desperate straits as he had been on the first occasion, for he had with him his knife and flint and steel. Once more he turned his steps toward Fort Kiowa, four hundred miles away. The buffalo calves at this season were very young, and as they were plentiful he had all the meat he needed, for it was comparatively easy to catch them. In fifteen days he reached the Fort. At the first opportunity he left with a keelboat party bound down the river and reached Fort Atkinson in June. Here he found one of his faithless comrades, who had enlisted in the army. The other had gone and he never heard of him again. 

Glass at first meditated killing the man, but after a talk with the commanding officer, he was persuaded that to do so meant immediate trial and death for himself. Martial law in the Indian country was swift and certain. The officer called in the man whom Glass sought and the latter nearly fainted when he saw in the flesh one whose bones he supposed were scattered over the prairie hundreds of miles away in the Upper Missouri country. Glass expressed his feeling of contempt for the man who had left him to die, but on being given a complete new outfit of rifle, ammunition and other necessaries, he relinquished his plan of revenge. Shortly afterward he left again for the fur country to the west. 

Little is known of Glass' later life. The records of the American Fur Company show that he was at Fort Union, at the mouth of the Yellowstone, in 1830, and was for a time employed as hunter for the fort. The bluffs across the river from the site of the post are known to this day as Glass's Bluffs. His death was described by Prince Maximilian of Wied, a visitor at Fort Union in the winter of 1832-33, as follows: 

"Old Glass with two companions had gone to Fort Cass to hunt bear on the Yellowstone, and as they were crossing the river on the ice all three were shot and scalped by a war party of thirty Arickarees." 

From: Back-trailing on the old frontiers, published in 1922
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Hugh Glass and the Grizzly - newspaper illustration via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A daguerreotype of Thomas Forsyth, mountain spy and guide... c. 1847
He served as a member of the Missouri volunteers during the Mexican-American War.

His father, Thomas Forsyth Sr. was a U.S. Indian agent who negotiated the freedom of American captives who were held by Native American tribes in the early 1800s

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Riverboat captain Grant Marsh piloted the Far West in 1876 which was the vessel that transported injured U.S. cavalrymen who survived the Battle of Little Big Horn. 

Images of Grant Marsh and The Far West steamboat via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Tallyho Coaching - Sioux City party Coaching at the Great Hot Springs of Dakota

- 1889

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
"It was early in the spring of fifty, when Kit Carson, Jim Bridger, and myself met at Bent's Fort which was on the head waters, of the Arkansas river. Bridger and I had just got in from our winter's trapping ground and had disposed of our furs to a very good advantage; Carson had just returned from a trip back east. Carson said to Bridger, "now Jim I'll tell you what I want you to do, I want you and Will, meaning me, to go over to Fort Kerny and escort emigrants across to California this season, for the gold excitement back in the eastern states is something wonderful, and there will be thousands of emigrants going to the gold fields of California, and they do not know the danger they will have to contend with, and you two men can save thousands of lives this summer by going to Fort Kerney and meeting the emigrants there and escorting them through. Now boys, you must understand that this undertaking is no child's play. In doing this apparently many times you will seem to take your lives in your own hands, for the Indians will be worse on the plains this year than they ever have been. At the present time there is no protection for the emigrant from the time they get twenty five miles west of Fort Kerny, until they cross the Sierra Nevada mountains, and there are to be so many renegades from justice from Illinois and Missouri that it is going to be fearful this season, for the renegade is really worse in some respects than the Indian.”

From: Capt. W. F. Drannan, chief of scouts: as pilot to emigrant and government trains, across the plains of the wild West of fifty years ago by William F. Drannan, published in 1910
Source says not in copyright 

Image: Jim Bridger via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
A stagecoach on Main Street in Ferndale, California 

- July 4th, 1889

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Harry Yount c. 1873 

Yount was an American Civil War Veteran and was employed at Yellowstone National Park about 8 years after the park was founded. He is considered to be an early national park ranger long before the position was officially created in 1959.

Image via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Daguerreotype of three American railroad workers on a crank handcar 

c. 1850-1860

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Overhanging Rock, Glacier Point

- 1901

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Employees of the Japanese American Fertilizing and Fisheries company, Lummi Island in Washington State 

c. 1910 

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Daguerreotype of Texas Ranger James Buckner "Buck" Barry

c. 1853

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Winter On The Plains : A Terrible Experience In The Teeth Of A "Norther."

c. 1880s

via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Residence of Brigham Young, Nauvoo, Ill.

On February 10th, 1846 Brigham Young and other Mormon pioneers depart Nauvoo, Illinois and begin their westbound journey.

Image c. 1860-1920 via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
Cactus, Arizona - Cereus Giganteus

c. 1880s

via J. Paul Getty Museum, no known restrictions
Shoshone Falls, Snake River, Idaho.

- 1874

via Library of Congress, no known restrictions
Wells Fargo & Co. Express

via NYPL Digital Collections, no known restrictions
"The Pony-Express Rider”

- Cover art from Beadle’s Pocket Library, 1891

via NYPL Digital Collections, public domain
A great photo that always amazes...

"East and West Shaking Hands at Laying Last Rail"

The connection of the Central Pacific & Union Pacific Railroads that completed the first transcontinental railroad in The United States 

- 1869

by Andrew J. Russell via Wikimedia Commons, public domain
The Covered Wagon of the Great Western Migration in Loup Valley, Nebraska 

- 1866

via Wikimedia Commons, public domain