Time Line of the Old West

Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, Fanny Palmer, Courier and Ives, 1868

Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, Fanny Palmer, Courier and Ives, 1868

Although the “Wild West” is a time period generally defined from 1865 to 1895, there are many events that shaped the American West as a region from ancient times up to 1916.  This is our time line of the American West.

Jump to: Pre 1700  – 1700-1800  –  1800-1850  –  1850-1900’s

50,000-5000 B.C.

  • Paleo-Siberians migrate to North America from Asia via the Bering Strait land bridge.

1500 B.C.-1000 A.D.

1492

1540

1541

  • Francisco Vasquez de Coronado is the first white man to visit pueblos in New Mexico
  • Coronado’s party crosses the Arkansas River and goes as far as the present-day Kansas/Nebraska Border.

1542

  • Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo lands at San Diego, California.

1548

  • Captain James Cook, seeking the Northwest Passage, charts part of the Oregon coastline.

1549

  • Francis Drake claims California for Britain

1560 – 1570

1598 

  • Juan de Onate establishes San Gabriel in New Mexico.

1608

  • John Smith published his account of the New World, urging more colonists to follow.

1610

  • Don Pedro de Peralta founds Santa Fe, New Mexico.

1621

  • On March 22, the first colonial treaty with Native Americans was signed between Massasoit, Chief of the Wampanoag, and English pilgrims on behalf of King James I at Strawberry Hill, Massachusetts.
  • On June 18, the first duel in America reportedly took place in the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts.

1641

  • On December 1, Massachusetts became the first colony to legalize slavery

1680

  • Northern New Mexico Pueblo Indians, outraged by atrocities committed by Spanish explorers and colonists, resist in the Pueblo Revolt. Many settlers are killed and the rest are driven south.

1682

  • The Spanish establish the first permanent settlement in Texas at Ysleta, near present day El Paso.

1685

  • A short-lived French colony is founded at Matagorda Bay, Texas

1692-94

  • Diego de Vargas re-conquers New Mexico.

1706 

  • Juan de Ulibarri claims Colorado for Spain.

1743

  • Louis-Joseph and Francois Verendrye explore South Dakota, seeking a water route to the Pacific Ocean.

1763

Daniel Boone protects his family

Daniel Boone protects his family

1769

  • The Spanish build Mission Basilica San Diego de Alcala, the first California mission.
  • Daniel Boone discovers the Cumberland Gap.

1775

1776

1781

1783

  • Britain recognizes American independence.

Jump to: Pre 1700  – 1700-1800  –  1800-1850  –  1850-1900’s

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