Historical Accounts of American History

 

Symbolical Centenary Chart

Symbolical Centenary Chart

“The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice.” — Mark Twain.

Here, you will find excerpts and full articles from historical newspapers, periodicals, and books, written in the late 1800s and early 20th century. Read the words of those who actually witnessed the frontier, its hardships, successes, from those who are well-known such as soldiers and Presidents, to the ordinary pioneer traveling in wagons, on horses, and trains across the vast west.

Adventures and Tragedies on the Overland Trail – By Randall Parrish, book excerpt, The Great Plains: The Romance of Western American Exploration, Warfare, and Settlement, 1527-1870; 1907.

Adventures on the Bozeman Trail – By Grace Raymond Hebard and Earl Alonzo Brininstool, book excerpt, The Bozeman Trail: Historical Accounts of the Blazing of the Overland Routes Into the Northwest, 1922.

The Ashtabula, Ohio Railroad Disaster – The most terrible railroad disaster in U.S. History, newspaper accounts of the great train wreck.

The American Cowboy – By Jun Joseph Nimmo, Harper’s Magazine, November 1886.

American Horse – A Shrewd Sioux Chief – By Charles A. Eastman, book excerpt, Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains, 1918.

The Ark on Superstition Mountains – By Charles M. Skinner, book excerpt,  Myths and Legends of Our Own Land, 1896.

The Arikara Tribe – Indians With Horns – By Frederick Webb Hodge, book excerpt, Handbook of American Indians, 1906.

Bad Men of the Indian Nations – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

Bad Men of Texas– By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

Banshee of the Bad Lands – By Charles M. Skinner, book excerpt, Myths and Legends of Our Own Land, 1896.

Dodge City Kansas 1875

Dodge City, circa 1875

The Beginnings of Dodge City – By Robert M. Wright, book excerpt, Dodge City, The Cowboy Capital and the Great Southwest, 1913.

Beginning of Settlement in the American West – By Randall Parrish, book excerpt, The Great Plains: The Romance of Western American Exploration, Warfare, and Settlement, 1527-1870; 1907.

Ben Thompson and Other Noted Gunmen – By Bat Masterson, who wrote a series of articles for Human Life magazine in 1907 and 1908.

Bill Booth – A Notorious Slayer – By James M. Enochs, handwritten account, 1800’s

Bill Bradley, Gambler and Gentleman By John A. Hill and Jasper Ewing Brady, book excerpt, Danger Signals, first published in 1898.

Billy the Kid – A Fatal Shot in the Dark by Pat Garrett – By Pat Garrett, book excerpt from The Authentic Life of Billy The Kid, 1882.

Bill Tilghman – Thirty Years a Lawman – By Bat Masterson, who wrote a series of articles for Human Life magazine in 1907 and 1908.

Blackbeard – The Fiercest Pirate of Them All – by Hugh F. Franklin, 1960

Blue Field, Arizona & An Indian Scrimmage – By John A. Hill and Jasper Ewing Brady, book excerpt, Danger Signals, first published in 1898.

Boone Helm – Murderer, Cannibal & Thief –  By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

Border Towns of the American West – By Robert M. Wright, book excerpt, Dodge City, The Cowboy Capital and the Great Southwest, 1913.

Buffalo Hunting With Teddy Roosevelt – By Theodore Roosevelt, book excerpt, Hunting the Grisly and Other Sketches; 1893.

Building Along The Santa Fe Trail – By John Moody, book excerpt, The Railroad Builders, A Chronicle of the Welding of the States, 1919.

Burning of Osceola – Newspaper Accounts – Actual accounts of the Burning of Osceola.

Camel Caravans of the American Deserts – By James M. Guinn, book excerpt, American Deserts was included in Pioneers of Los Angeles County, 1901.

The Cattle Kings – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Passing of the Frontier, A Chronicle of the Old West, 1918.

The Cattle Trails – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Passing of the Frontier, A Chronicle of the Old West, 1918.

Cattle Trail

Cattle Trail

Cattle Trails of the Prairie – By Charles Moreau Harger, Scribner’s Magazine, June 1892.

Chief Gall – An Aggressive Sioux Leader – By Charles A. Eastman, book excerpt, Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains, 1918.

Chief Joseph – Leader of the Nez Perce and a True American – By Charles A. Eastman, book excerpt, Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains, 1918.

Cochise, Arizona Train Robbery – By James Harvey McClintock, book excerpt, Arizona: The Youngest State, 1913.

Cowboys on the American Frontier – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Passing of the Frontier, A Chronicle of the Old West, 1918.

A Century of Railroad Building – By John Moody, book excerpt, The Railroad Builders, A Chronicle of the Welding of the States, 1919.

City of the Saints – By John Muir, book excerpt, Steep Trails, 1918.

Combatants of the Civil War – By William Charles Henry Wood, book excerpt, 1921.

Coming of the Argonauts – By Zoeth Skinner Eldredge, book excerpt, The Beginnings of San Francisco From the Expedition of Anza, 1912.

Completion of the Railroad – By William Francis Bailey, book excerpt, The Story of the First Trans-Continental Railroad: Its Projectors, Construction and History, 1906.

Crazy Horse – A Sacred Hero – By Charles A. Eastman, book excerpt, Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains, 1918.

Dalton Raid in Coffeyville, Kansas – Newspaper accounts of the Dalton Gang attempted robbery in Coffeyville.

Death Scenes of Desperadoes – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

Desert Outlaws  – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

The Desperado of the Plains – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

The Discovery Of Gold In California – By John A. Sutter, Hutchings’ California Magazine in November 1857.

Doc Hollliday

Doc Holliday

Doc Holliday – By Bat Masterson, who wrote a series of articles for Human Life magazine in 1907 and 1908.

Dodge City, Kansas Historical Accounts – From miscellaneous newspapers, actual testimonies, letters, and book excerpts.

Dodge – A Story of the Old Hell-raising Trail’s End Where the Colt Was King – By By William MacLeod Raine in 1925

Dull Knife – Northern Cheyenne Chief – By Charles A. Eastman, book excerpt, Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains, 1918.

Early History of the Pelican State – by James S. Zacharie, New Orleans News Company, 1885

The First Homestead – By Addison Erwin Sheldon, book excerpt,  History and Stories of Nebraska, 1913.

First Train Robbery On The Pacific Coast – Excerpt from the Third Biennial Report of the Nevada Historical Society, 1913.

The Frontier In History – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Passing of the Frontier, A Chronicle of the Old West, 1918.

Frontier Wars – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

Ghosts Of The National Capitol – By the Philadelphia Press, 1898.

The Governor’s Right Eye –  By Charles M. Skinner, book excerpt,  Myths and Legends of Our Own Land, 1896.

Gunplay Maxwell – Various newspaper accounts of gunfighter/outlaw Gunplay Maxwell’s exploits in Utah.

Harlots of the Barbary Coast – By Herbert Asbury, book excerpt, The Barbary Coast: An Informal History of the San Francisco Underworld, 1933.

Hell-Raising Dodge – By William MacLeod Raine, article, Dodge – A Story of the Old Hell-raising Trail’s End Where the Colt Was King, 1925.

Heroines on the Plains – By William Worthington Fowler, book excerpt, Woman On The American Frontier: A Valuable And Authentic History, 1877.

Heroines in the Rocky Mountains – By William Worthington Fowler, book excerpt, Woman On The American Frontier: A Valuable And Authentic History, 1877.

Heroines of the Southwest – By William Worthington Fowler, book excerpt, Woman On The American Frontier: A Valuable And Authentic History, 1877.

The Imitation Desperado – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

Trapper’s Last Shot by T.D. Booth

In a Trapper’s Bivouac – By Colonel Henry Inman and William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, book excerpt, The Old Santa Fe Trail, 1898.

Incidents of the Fur Trade– By Randall Parrish, book excerpt, The Great Plains: The Romance of Western American Exploration, Warfare, and Settlement, 1527-1870; 1907.

Indian Terrors on the Santa Fe Trail – By Colonel Henry Inman, excerpted from the book, The Old Santa Fe Trail, 1897.

Indian Troubles During Construction of the Railroad – By William Francis Bailey, book excerpt, The Story of the First Trans-Continental Railroad:  Its Projectors, Construction and History, 1906.

Indian Shamans & Priests – by Frederick Webb Hodge, 1906.

The Indian Wars – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Passing of the Frontier, A Chronicle of the Old West, 1918.

The Invasion of Oklahoma – By James Cox, book excerpt, My Native Land, 1903.

John Heath & the Bisbee Massacre – Newspaper accounts and witness testimony.

Joseph Slade – Hanged By Vigilantes – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

The Land of the Desperado – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

Knights of the Lash: Old Time Stage Drivers of the West Coast – By Major Ben C. Truman in 1898.

Lawrence Massacre – By Reverend Richard Cordley, based on a letter written in 1863.

The Legend Of Devil’s Point – By Bret Harte, book excerpt, The Luck of the Roaring Camp and other Tales, 1871.

Linking the Oceans By Railroad – By John Moody, book excerpt, The Railroad Builders, A Chronicle of the Welding of the States, 1919.

Little Crow – Leader of the Santee Uprising – By Charles A. Eastman, book excerpt, Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains, 1918.

The Little Monitor and the Merrimac – By Charles Martin in 1862 – included in Albert Bushnell Hart’s The Romance of the Civil War, published in 1896.

Little Wolf – Courageous Leader of the Cheyennes – By Charles A. Eastman, book excerpt, Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains, 1918.

Lost Treasure in Southern Colorado in 1910 – Artist Frederick M. DuMond tells a story of finding Native American treasures in southern Colorado, only to never find it again. Historic text, submitted by author Richard Panofsky, DuMond’s great-grandson.

Loving’s Bend – By Edgar Beecher Bronson, book excerpt, The Red-Blooded Heroes of the Frontier, 1910.

Luke Short

Luke Short

Luke Short – A Dandy Gunfighter – By Bat Masterson, who wrote a series of articles for Human Life magazine in 1907 and 1908.

Maxwell Ranch on the Santa Fe Trail – By Colonel Henry Inman, excerpted from the book, The Old Santa Fe Trail, , 1897.

Medicine Men & Healing Practices – By Frederick Webb Hodge, book excerpt, Handbook of American Indians, 1906

The Men That Tamed the Cowtowns – By Arthur Chapman, 1905

Mines of Idaho & Montana – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Passing of the Frontier, A Chronicle of the Old West, 1918.

Modern Bad Men – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

Mormon Joe – The Robber – By John A. Hill and Jasper Ewing Brady, book excerpt, Danger Signals, first published in 1898.

Mountain Meadows Massacre, T.B.H. Stenhouse, 1873

Mountain Meadows Massacre, T.B.H. Stenhouse, 1873

Mountain Meadows Massacre – Several historic accounts, including

A Midnight Adventure in Nevada – By Major Benjamin Cummings Truman, excerpted from the book Occidental Sketches, San Francisco News Co., 1881.

The Mines – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Passing of the Frontier, A Chronicle of the Old West, 1918.

Mushroom Towns of the American West – By Randall Parrish, book excerpt, The Great Plains: The Romance of Western American Exploration, Warfare, and Settlement, 1527-1870; 1907.

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp

My Friend Wyatt Earp – By Bat Masterson, who wrote a series of articles for Human Life magazine in 1907 and 1908.

The Mysterious Signal – By Cy Warmann, book excerpt, The Last Spike And Other Railroad Stories, 1906

Native American Medicine Men & Healing Practices – by Frederick Webb Hodge, 1906

Nevada Mining Tales – Historical text written in 1891 by William Daugherty, for the Reno Evening Gazette. Includes a number of stories including Alva Gould – Discoverer of the Gould & Curry Mine, Celebrating the Fourth in Boom Towns, Honest Miner To a Poker-Playing Politician, Old Tom – A Typical Mining Camp Character, and more.

A Nice Gang Of Assassins – Newspaper account of the Lee Gang arrested and arriving at Fort Smith, Arkansas, 1885.

Old Fort Atkinson – By Addison Erwin Sheldon, book excerpt,  History and Stories of Nebraska, 1913.

The Old-Time Miners – By Charles Carroll Goodwin, book excerpt, As I Remember Them, 1913.

Mushroom Towns of the American West – By Randall Parrish, book excerpt, The Great Plains: The Romance of Western American Exploration, Warfare, and Settlement, 1527-1870; 1907.

My Friend Wyatt Earp – By Bat Masterson, who wrote a series of articles for Human Life magazine in 1907 and 1908.

The Mysterious Signal – By Cy Warmann, book excerpt, The Last Spike And Other Railroad Stories, 1906

Native American Medicine Men & Healing Practices – by Frederick Webb Hodge, 1906

Nevada Mining Tales – Historical text written in 1891 by William Daugherty, for the Reno Evening Gazette. Includes a number of stories including Alva Gould – Discoverer of the Gould & Curry Mine, Celebrating the Fourth in Boom Towns, Honest Miner To a Poker-Playing Politician, Old Tom – A Typical Mining Camp Character, and more.

A Nice Gang Of Assassins – Newspaper account of the Lee Gang arrested and arriving at Fort Smith, Arkansas, 1885.

Old Fort Atkinson – By Addison Erwin Sheldon, book excerpt,  History and Stories of Nebraska, 1913.

Civil War Reenactment at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Civil War Reenactment at Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Soldiering Begins in the American West – By Edward Sylvester Ellis, book excerpt, The Indian Wars of the United States, 1892.

Some American Riders – By Colonel Theodore Ayrault Dodge, Harper’s Magazine, July 1891.

Some Freaks of Fate – By John A. Hill and Jasper Ewing Brady, book excerpt, Danger Signals, first published in 1898.

Some Remarkable Women in Pennsylvania & Kentucky – By William Worthington Fowler, 1877.

Spotted Tail – Warrior, Chief & Negotiator – By Charles A. Eastman, book excerpt, Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains, 1918.

St. Louis Area Legends & Folklore – By Charles M. Skinner, book excerpt,  Myths, and Legends of Our Own Land, 1896.

The Stevens County War – By Emerson Hough, book excerpt, The Story of the Outlaw; A Study of the Western Desperado, 1907.

Storied Waters of Oregon – By Charles M. Skinner, book excerpt,  Myths and Legends of Our Own Land, 1896.

The Story of Russian Bill – New York Times, 1883.

Struggle For Possession of the West – The First Emigrants – By Randall Parrish, book excerpt, The Great Plains: The Romance of Western American Exploration, Warfare, and Settlement, 1527-1870; 1907.

Tales of the Overland Stage in Nevada – Historical text written in 1891 by William Daugherty, for the Reno Evening Gazette. Includes a number of stories.

Tales of the Santa Fe Trail – By Colonel Henry Inman, book excerpt, The Old Santa Fe Trail, 1898.

Tombstone, Arizona Historical Accounts – From miscellaneous newspapers, actual testimonies, letters, and book excerpts.

Tom Cypher’s Phantom Engine – By the Seattle Press-Times, January 10, 1892.

Trading Posts and Their Stories – By Colonel Henry Inman and William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody, book excerpt, The Old Santa Fe Trail, 1898.

Train Robbers of Arizona – By James Harvey McClintock, book excerpt, Arizona: The Youngest State, 1913.

Triggerfingeritis – By Edgar Beecher Bronson, book excerpt, The Red-Blooded Heroes of the Frontier, 1910.

Trappers, Traders & Pathfinders – By Randall Parrish, book excerpt, The Great Plains: The Romance of Western American Exploration, Warfare, and Settlement, 1527-1870; 1907.

The Valenzuela Gang – By James Harvey McClintock, book excerpt, Arizona: The Youngest State, 1913.

Vigilantes and Bad Men of Arizona – By James Harvey McClintock, book excerpt, Arizona: The Youngest State, 1913.

Vigilantes of California, Idaho, & Montana – By John W. Clampitt, who wrote this article for Harper’s Monthly Magazine, Volume 83, Issue 495, August 1891

Wild Bill – By George Ward Nichols, Harper’s Monthly Magazine, February 1867.

Woman As A Pioneer – By William Worthington Fowler, book excerpt, Woman On The American Frontier: A Valuable And Authentic History, 1877.

Women in the Army – By William Worthington Fowler, book excerpt, Woman On The American Frontier: A Valuable And Authentic History, 1877.

Women in the Homestead – By William Worthington Fowler, book excerpt, Woman On The American Frontier: A Valuable And Authentic History, 1877.

The Yellowstone Tragedy – By Charles M. Skinner, book excerpt,  Myths, and Legends of Our Own Land, 1896.

Yankee Doodle, A.M. Williard, 1776.

Yankee Doodle, A.M. Williard, 1776.

Note: These historic texts are generally not verbatim, as we have taken the liberty of correcting errors, such as misspellings, dates, incorrect names, etc., as well as making format changes, and in some cases, replacing archaic words, in order to make the text more readable to the modern reader. We have also replaced a number of offensive terms. Additionally, some articles have been truncated.

Compiled and edited by Kathy Weiser/Legends of America, updated November 2019.

Also See:

American History

American History Photo Galleries

Documenting American History

Who’s Who in American History

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