History Archive Icon

History Archive

Wild West

Wild West Collection

History Archive - Wild West Collection

The Wild West or the American Frontier was one of the most iconic and culturally significant periods of American history. From the deserts to the mountains to the plains, the lawless nature of the region along with the archetypal cowboys, Indians and outlaws has spawned countless movies, videogames and books and despite its brevity is still celebrated today.

This brief period in history occurred after the end of the Civil War in 1865 until around 1895 when the fledgling United States rapidly developed across the entire continent. According to one John L. O'Sullivan the goal was to;

"overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions".

While there was some settlement out West prior to the Civil War with groups such as gold miners, the Mormons and others, American governmental jurisdiction did not really extend there and most of these places were not even states yet. These vast unexplored territories included Colorado, Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Nevada, and California.

The lawless nature of the region provided a prime attraction for criminals fleeing the authorities in the United States to the East and as the crimes mounted the government was forced to respond by sending law enforcement to the region forming police organizations that exist to this day including the United States Marshalls. However, the American West was also home to many other law-abiding immigrant nationalities including Germans, Irish, Italians, Swedes, Norwegians, Finns, Chinese, Russians, and Slovakians who were seeking new opportunities in the vast untamed lands.

All of this made for prime movie and print material which started to be produced right after the period had ended in the early 20th century. The actor Bronco Billy Anderson is usually credited as the first cowboy icon. His 1903 silent black-and-white film The Great Train Robbery set the pattern for Western movies to come. Later icons would include people like John Wayne and more.

References:

United States Magazine and Democratic Review (July-August 1845)

Available Books

Book Title Date
Wild West - Pencil Sketches of Colorado Pencil Sketches of Colorado 1866
Wild West - North American Indians Vol. 1 North American Indians Vol. 1 1926
Wild West - North American Indians Vol. 2 North American Indians Vol. 2 1926
Wild West - Sketches in North America and the Oregon Territory Sketches in North America and the Oregon Territory 1848
Wild West - Mountains and Molehills Mountains and Molehills 1855
Wild West - Heroes of the Plains Heroes of the Plains 1881
Wild West - Journey from the Mississippi Vol. 1 Journey from the Mississippi Vol. 1 1858
Wild West - Journey from the Mississippi Vol. 2 Journey from the Mississippi Vol. 2 1858
Wild West - Catlin's Indian Portfolio Catlin's Indian Portfolio 1844
Wild West - Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Text] Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Text] 1882
Wild West - Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] 1882
Wild West - The Great Southwest The Great Southwest 1919
Wild West - Report of the Exploring Expedition from Santa Fe Report of the Exploring Expedition from Santa Fe 1876
Wild West - Voyage Pittoresque dans les Grands Deserts du Nouveau Monde Voyage Pittoresque dans les Grands Deserts du Nouveau Monde 1862
Wild West - Utah, the Land of Blossoming Valleys Utah, the Land of Blossoming Valleys 1922
Wild West - The Black Hills The Black Hills 1876
Wild West - Prince Izon; a Romance of the Grand Canyon Prince Izon; a Romance of the Grand Canyon 1910
Wild West - Illustrated Notes of an Expedition through Mexico and California Illustrated Notes of an Expedition through Mexico and California 1852
Wild West - Report Upon the Colorado River of the West Report Upon the Colorado River of the West 1861
Wild West - Tagebuch einer Reise vom Mississippi Tagebuch einer Reise vom Mississippi 1858
Wild West - Three Wonderlands of the American West Three Wonderlands of the American West 1912
Wild West - Pencil Sketches of Montana Pencil Sketches of Montana 1868
Wild West - Gems of Rocky Mountain Scenery Gems of Rocky Mountain Scenery 1869
Wild West - Interesting Narrative: Being a Journal of the Flight of Alfred E. Mathews Interesting Narrative: Being a Journal of the Flight of Alfred E. Mathews 1861
Wild West - Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah Exploration and Survey of the Valley of the Great Salt Lake of Utah 1852
Wild West - Yosemite Illustrated in Colors Yosemite Illustrated in Colors 1890
Wild West - Yellowstone National Park : in Water Colors Yellowstone National Park : in Water Colors 1880
Wild West - The Wonders of Geyserland The Wonders of Geyserland 1913
Wild West - The Romance of the Colorado River The Romance of the Colorado River 1902
Wild West - A Canyon Voyage A Canyon Voyage 1908
Wild West - Map of the United States and Yerritories Map of the United States and Yerritories 1868
Wild West - Seven Years' Residence in the Great Deserts of North America Vol. 1 Seven Years' Residence in the Great Deserts of North America Vol. 1 1860
Wild West - Seven Years' Residence in the Great Deserts of North America Vol. 2 Seven Years' Residence in the Great Deserts of North America Vol. 2 1860
Wild West - The Border Outlaws The Border Outlaws 1881
Wild West - The Border Bandits The Border Bandits 1881
Wild West - The Marvellous Country : or, Three Years in Arizona and New Mexico The Marvellous Country : or, Three Years in Arizona and New Mexico 1873
Wild West - Eldorado; or, Adventures in the Path of Empire Eldorado; or, Adventures in the Path of Empire 1850
Wild West - California: Its Past History; Its Present Position; Its Future Prospects California: Its Past History; Its Present Position; Its Future Prospects 1850
Wild West - Drawings by Frederic Remington Drawings by Frederic Remington 1897
Wild West - Reisen in die Felsengebirge Nord-Amerikas Reisen in die Felsengebirge Nord-Amerikas 1861
Wild West - Geronimo's Story of His Life Geronimo's Story of His Life 1906
Wild West - Notes of a Military Reconnaissance Notes of a Military Reconnaissance 1848
Wild West - The Great West The Great West 1859
Wild West - The Loyal West in the Times of the Rebellion The Loyal West in the Times of the Rebellion 1865

Images

Image Name
Fig. 200
Fig. 59
Cliff Dwellings, La Sal National Forest
A Sun Fisher
Fig. 190
The Pagosa and San Juan River, Looking Easterly
Hot Springs - three miles from the City
Jupiter Terrace, Yellowstone Park
Fig. 237
Mirror Lake, Yosemite Valley
From Harney's Peak Looking South-East
Fig. 50
Title Page
Book Display [II]
Yosemite Valley, California, General View from Artist's Point
The Snowy Range near Trinidad, Colorado
The Great White Throne, Zion Canyon
Fig. 206
Fig. 232
Fig. 260
Fig. 295
Fig. 94
Part of Western Slope of Promontory Range
Laying Irrigation Pipes, Powell National Forest
Fig. 77
Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone Park
The Well in the Desert
A Glacial Lake in the Wasatch Range
Front Cover
Zion Canyon
Fig. 122
Salt Beds, Great Salt Lake
Idaho - A Mirage on the Plains
Fig. 255
Fig. 163
Great Falls of the Missouri
Fig. 239
Fig. 216
Her Calf
Morning, Grand Canyon
Spanish Arastra on Clear Creek
Satisfying the Demands of Justice - The Head
California Joe Attacked by a Panther
Vue de la Vallee Walahmette
"Vermont" and "Wawona," Mariposa Grove, California
Fig. 217
Views looking east and south from Mt. Trumbull
Figs. 273, 274, 275
Fig. 89
Mystic Maze of the Mojave Indians near Needles, California
Fort Bridger
Fig. 121
Horse Market Sonora
"Medicine Man" By Cyrus E. Dallin
Ambushing the Indians
Fig. 152
Fig. 234
Fig. 218
Road Through Golden Gate Canyon, Yellowstone Park
Fig. 49
Fig. 56
The Twilight of the Indian
Scotch Hearths
Fig. 191
Gulch Mining, Colorado Gulch
Nez Perce Indian
Figs. 154, 155, 156
The Alvarado, Albuquerque, New Mexico
Front Cover
Fig. 250
Fig. 16
Forsythe's Fight on the Republican River - 1868 - The Charge of Roman Nose
Solitude
Mt. Rainier - Tacoma Reflected in Spanaway Lake
Title Page
Stand of Engelmann Spruce, Uinta National Forest
Dying Buffalo Bull in a Snow Drift
Ruins of Stone Houses Cliffs, Labyrinth Canyon.
Lac de la Pyramide
The Petrified Forest in the Valley of the Rio Seco
Plants: Strepanthus Crassicaulis, Plate I
The Inner Gorge, Grand Canyon
Tolte Gorge, Colorado
Fig. 127
Map of the Reconnoissance of the Country between the Valley of the Great Salt Lake and the Missouri River, at Fort Leavenworth
Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley
Mirage on the Desert, Arizona
Fig. 219
Fig. 280
Entrance Hall, Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone Park
The Night Watch
Title Page
Fig. 254
Fig. 96
Looking up the Toroweap from Vulcan's Throne I
A Passing Shower, Canyon of the Yellowstone

Maps

Map Name
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Map of the Uinkaret Plateau [South Half] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Map of the Uinkaret Plateau [Composite] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau [Composite] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geological Map of the Western Part of Plateau Province (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map Showing the Kanab, Paria and Marble Canon Platforms (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau. [Part II. North-Eastern Sheet] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Map of the Uinkaret Plateau [North Half] (1882)
California: Its Past History; Its Present Position; Its Future Prospects - Map of Western North America (1850)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - A Chart Shewing the Moves of the Mandan and the Place of Their Extinction (1926)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Colorado Plateau and San Francisco Mountains (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Mesozoic Terraces of the Grand Canon District (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau. [Part I. North-Western Sheet] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Sketch Map ... showing the Faults of the Grand Canon District. (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau. [Part IV. South-Eastern Sheet] (1882)
Report of the Exploring Expedition from Santa Fe - Map of Exploration and Surveys in New Mexico and Utah (1876)
North American Indians Vol. 2 - United States Indian Frontier in 1840 (1926)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map of the Southern Part of the Kaibab Plateau. [Part III. South-Western Sheet] (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic Map Showing the South-Western Portion of the Mesozoic Terraces (1882)
Tertiary History of the Grand Canon [Atlas] - Geologic map sheets XX-XXIII [Composite] (1882)
Map of the United States and Yerritories - Map of the United States and Territories (1868)
North American Indians Vol. 1 - Outline Map of the Indian Localities in 1833 (1926)

Regions

View All Regions
History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Golden Age of Piracy Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo
History of Humanity - Mafia History Logo