western history

  • Scientists: The Unsung Heroes of the American West

    by Elliott West

    From animal husbandry to epidemiology, the work of scientists was critical to America's conquest of the west, while the region also provided critical evidence in the debate over Darwin's theory of natural selection. 

  • How 1880s Levi's Sold for $76K

    Among the period-correct details establishing the provenance of the pants was an inner tag proclaiming the garments were made with only "white labor" in the era of Chinese exclusion. 

  • What Slavery Looked Like in the West

    by Kevin Waite

    "Historians typically study Black and Native slavery as discrete systems. But America’s wealthiest slaveholders didn’t draw a fixed line."

  • Ammon Bundy's Ongoing Religious War

    by Betsy Gaines Quammen

    Ammon Bundy has been looking for another battle since the takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge. With a new administration promising increased regulation of public lands use, he may choose one soon. 

  • The Lie at the Heart of the Western

    New novels disrupt the stories of white heroism at the heart of the Western genre and grapple with the multiethnic, violent, and exploitative history of the continent. 

  • The Forgotten History of Wyoming’s Black Miners

    African Americans were an important, but largely forgotten, presence in the mining industry of the far west, a story that connects race, national expansion, and labor politics in the Gilded Age. 

  • Reckoning with Marcus Whitman and the Memorialization of Conquest

    by Cassandra Tate

    The same period that saw the public affirmation of the Confederate Lost Cause myth saw a proliferation of monuments that portrayed the conquest of the indigenous people of the west as virtuous pioneering. The case of Marcus Whitman shows a national reckoning is in order.

  • For 100 Years, El Monte Has Celebrated A Blatant Historical Falsehood. Why?

    by Romeo Guzmán

    The city of El Monte in southern California has embraced a false origin story--that the town was the end of the Santa Fe trail--to focus public history on white/anglo settlers and not the Native, Mexican, and Asian immigrant people who have also built the city.