Depictions of the American west in literature, art and film perpetuate romantic stereotypes of the pioneers--the gold-crazed '49er, the intrepid sodbuster. While ennobling the woodsman, the farmwife and the lawman, this tunnel vision of American history has shortchanged the whaler, the assayer, the innkeeper and the inventor. The westward advance of the trailblazers created demand for a gamut of unsung adventurers--surveyors, financiers, politicians, surgeons, entertainers, grocers and midwives--who built communities and businesses in the wilderness amid clashes with Indians, epidemics, floods, droughts and outlawry. Chronicling the worthy deeds, ethnicities, languages and lifestyles of ordinary people who survived a stirring period in American history, this book provides biographical information for hundreds of individual pioneers on the North American frontier, from the Mississippi River Valley as far west as Alaska. Appendices list pioneers by state or country of departure, destination, ethnicity, religion and occupation. A chronology of pioneer achievements places them in perspective.
Settlers of the American West
McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
The Lives of 231 Notable Pioneers