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Pioneers of the American West

More Lists: Explorers | Gunfighters | HeroesLawmen | Native Americans | Outlaws | Outlaw Gangs | Pioneers | Scoundrels | Soldiers | Trail Blazers & Cowboys ||Vigilantes | Women | Others

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The Pioneer

 The Pioneer, wood engraving by A.R. Waud, Harpers Weekly, January, 1868.

This image available for photographic prints  & downloads HERE!


Many of these pioneers were the first people to enter or settle a region on the American Frontier. From the moment that Christopher Columbus landed in 1492, all the way up to the 20th Century, ordinary people kept pushing the boundaries westward all the way to the Pacific Ocean and northward to Alaska.


These adventurous folks left civilization behind, following rivers, crossing great plains, and scaling mountains, in order to find new and better lives for themselves. Often, they faced hardships and dangers as they made their way through unknown territory, suffering from severe weather, Indian attacks, starvation, rugged terrain, and numerous other perils. 


Though there were literally thousands of these brave people, this list identifies some of the more notable figures in American History.



Frontier: A region just beyond or at the

 edge of a settled area.




  • Dr. Marcus WhitmanDr. Marcus Whitman (1802-1847) - Among the first American settlers in the West, Dr. Whitman and his wife, Narcissa, played an important role in opening the Oregon Trail, establishing the Whitman Mission in 1836. They were killed in what is known as the Whitman Massacre.


  • Narcissa Prentiss Whitman (1808-1847) - A missionary in the Oregon Country of what would become the state of Washington, she, along with Eliza Hart Spalding, was the first European-American woman to cross the Rocky Mountains in 1836.  Along with her husband, Dr. Marcus Whitman, they established the Whitman Mission near modern day Walla Walla, Washington.


  • Brigham Young  (1801-1877) - Leader of the Mormon movement to Utah, president of the church from 1847 to 1877, and the first governor of Utah. Young's legacy is varied, with praise for his many accomplishments and historical influence, as well as controversy, for a number of 19th century events, including the Mountain Meadows Massacre.


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From Legends' General Store

Old West Books from Legends' General StoreOld West Books - In Legends of America's style, we carry a wide collection of Old West books about the people, places, and events of the Wild West era. See cowboys, trails, lawmen, outlaws, cookbooks, ghost towns, Native Americans, and lots More!  AND, if you love Old West books, you might also want to take a look at our huge collection of Vintage Western Magazines. This is one of the largest collections of vintage Old West magazines on the whole web-wide world, if not the largest, and it's still growing.

Old West Books from Legends' General Store


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