American West and Native Americans

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Quackery: A Brief History of Quack Medicines & Peddlers

Quackery refers to unproven or fraudulent medical practices, often through the sale or application of “quack medicines”. The word “quack” derives from the archaic Dutch word “quacksalver,” meaning “boaster who applies a...

What is Manifest Destiny?

Manifest Destiny refers to the attitude in America during the 1800’s when pioneers settled the country and believed that the U.S. was destined to stretch across the whole continent, from the one coast to the other. The phrase was used by politicians at the time...
Five Thanksgiving Facts that your History Teacher Left Out

Five Thanksgiving Facts that your History Teacher Left Out

Most Americans are familiar with the magic of Thanksgiving. A holiday associated with family reunions, football, Black Friday sales, turkeys, pumpkin pies, pilgrims, and Indians. However, not many are aware of its somewhat grimmer origins. Typically, what we are...

What was the Oregon Trail?

The Oregon Trail (also known as the Oregon-California trial) was a 2,200 mile route stretching from Missouri to Oregon that was travelled by the early Wild West pioneers in the 1800s. The trail was the only way for settlers to reach the West Coast via land and over...

Reasons for Westward Expansion

Ever since the first pioneers settled in the United States at the East , the country has been expanding westward. When President Thomas Jefferson bought the Louisiana territory from the French government in 1803, it doubled the size of the existing United States....
Lost Treasures of the American West

Lost Treasures of the American West

The old American West was a wild place. It was an era full of cowboys, gunslingers, outlaws, and wars. The European settlers driving the expansion into the west faced many hardships. They had to force their way to the Pacific Ocean by driving the Native Americans away...

American West Timeline

Date Summary Event 6th April 1830 Mormons founded Joseph Smith founded the Mormon religion. Smith claimed that, after seeing a vision of an angel called Moroni, he discovered some hidden gold plates bearing inscriptions. The translation of the inscriptions was...

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American West – The Cattle Industry

Beginnings   The Europeans who first settled in America at the end of the 15th century had brought longhorn cattle with them. By the early 19th century cattle ranches were common in Mexico. At that time Mexico included what was to become Texas. The longhorn...

American West – Mountain Men

  The life of the mountain man was hard and tough. Living in the wild, he was in constant danger from starvation, dehydration, freezing cold, burning heat, wild animals and Indians. The fashion for wearing fur hats in the early nineteenth century meant that there...

American West – The California Gold Rush

  In the early 1840s, California was a distant outpost that few Americans had seen. John Sutter (left) was a Swiss emigrant who had come to California in 1839 with the idea of building a vast empire. At the end of 1847, Sutter sent a group of men, including James...
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