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Timeline of the American Old West

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Title: Timeline of the American Old West  
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Language: English
Subject: Timeline of United States history (1860–99), Cache Valley, List of timelines
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Timeline of the American Old West

This timeline of the American Frontier, is a chronologically ordered list of significant events, births and deaths, associated with the period of westerly expansion of white settlers across northern continental America. The period after 1775 is sometimes referred to as the Wild West, referencing the largely lawless nature of much of the pattern of settlement which ensued immediately after the Louisiana Purchase opened the frontier west of the Mississippi river to settlers from the established colonies on the East coast.

Early exploration and development

Initial interest in the vast unexplored territory came through the fur trade, with trappers and hunters moving ahead of settlers.[1]:150 The early years were largely a period of scientific exploration and survey, such that by 1830 the rough outline of the entire West had been mapped to the Pacific Ocean.[1]:162

Year Date Event
1800 Mar 4 Thomas Jefferson takes office as the third President of the United States.
Oct 1 Under pressure from Napoléon Bonaparte, the Kingdom of Spain transfers its colony of Luisiana back to the French Republic with the secret Third Treaty of San Ildefonso.
1803 Apr 1 The United States and the French Republic sign the Louisiana Purchase Treaty.
Dec 20 France turns its colony of La Louisiane over to the United States.
1804 Aug 31 Start of the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore and chart the regions west of the Mississippi River.[2]
1806 Jul 15 A U.S. Army reconnaissance expedition under the command of Captain Zebulon Pike departs Fort Bellefontaine near Saint Louis in the Louisiana Territory.
1807 Feb 26 Spanish cavalrymen arrest the Pike expedition in the Spanish territory of Santa Fe de Nuevo México (now southern Colorado).
1810 Aug 1 Mexican priest Miguel Gregorio Antonio Ignacio Hidalgo y Costilla y Gallaga Mandarte Villaseñor proclaims the independence of Mexico from the Kingdom of Spain.
1819 Feb 22 The United States and Spain sign the Adams–Onís Treaty.
1821 Feb 22 The Adams–Onís Treaty takes effect defining the new border between the territory of Spain and the United States.
Aug 24 The Kingdom of Spain finally recognizes the independence of Mexico with the signing of the Treaty of Córdoba.
Sep 1 William Bucknell and a party of frontier traders leave New Franklin, Missouri bound for Santa Fe. The Bucknell route will become the Santa Fe Trail.


Year Date Event
1831 Mexico ratifies the Adams–Onís Treaty with the United States.
1832 Bonneville Expedition.
1833 spring Frontier trader William Bent establishes Bent's Fort on the north bank of the Arkansas River on the Santa Fe Trail.
1835 spring Frontier traders Louis Vasquez and Andrew Sublette establish Fort Vasquez on the South Platte River.
Oct 2 The Texian Revolt begins with the Battle of Gonzales.
1836 May 2 Texians (immigrants from the United States in the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas) declare the independence of the Republic of Texas from Mexico.
May 14 Texians force captured General Antonio de Padua María Severino López de Santa Anna y Pérez de Lebrón to sign the Treaties of Velasco recognizing the independence of the Republic of Texas. Mexico never ratifies these treaties.


Year Date Event
1845 Jun 1 John C. Frémont's 3rd expedition with 55 men & Kit Carson as guide left St. Louis to "map the source of the Arkansas River" but continued to the Sacramento Valley
Dec 19 The "Lash Law" banned Blacks from living in the Oregon Territory
Dec 29 The United States admits the Republic of Texas to the Union as the slave State of Texas. The boundaries of the state remain undefined.
1846 Apr 25 The first skirmish of the Mexican–American War.
May 13 The United States declares war on Mexico.
Aug 18 Troops under the command of Brigadier General Stephen W. Kearny seize the territorial capital of Santa Fe for the United States with little resistance.
Dec 27 An army of volunteers led by Colonel Alexander W. Doniphan wins a major battle in the Mexican-American War by occupying El Paso[3]
1847 Jan 19 Governor Charles Bent is assassinated and scalped during the Taos Revolt[4]
Jul 24 Brigham Young and his vanguard company of Mormons first arrive in the Salt Lake Valley.
1848 Jan 24 James W. Marshall discovers gold at Sutter's Mill near Coloma, California, precipitating the California Gold Rush.[5]


Year Date Event
1850 Jan 29 Responding to questions of how to accommodate slavery in a growing nation, Henry Clay proposes a series of measures to preserve the Union that come be called the Compromise of 1850
Feb Pinkerton Detective Agency founded[6]
Apr 4 City of Los Angeles incorporated
Apr 15 City of San Francisco incorporated
Jun 3 Five Cayuse tribesmen hanged in Oregon City for Whitman massacre[7]
Sep 9 California is admitted as the 31st U.S. state
Sep 9 New Mexico Territory is organized by order of the U.S. Congress
Sep 9 Utah Territory is organized by order of the U.S. Congress
Sep 27 Donation Land Claim Act to promote homestead settlement in the Oregon Territory
Sep 29 Millard Fillmore appoints Brigham Young first governor of Utah Territory
1851 Horace Greeley popularizes the saying "Go West, young man", though the phrase was originally written by Indiana newspaper writer John Soule in the Terre Haute Express in 1851
Western Union founded as The New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company
Jan 23 The flip of a coin determines whether a new city in Oregon is named after Boston, Massachusetts, or Portland, Maine, with Portland winning
Mar 27 Mariposa Battalion, led by James D. Savage are first reported non-natives to enter Yosemite Valley
Sep 17 Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851) signed with Sioux Indians
Nov 13 The Denny Party lands at Alki Point, the first settlers of what will become Seattle, Washington
1852 Mar 18 Wells Fargo company founded to provide express and banking services to California
Mar 20 Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriett Beecher Stowe published
May 1 Birth of Calamity Jane, frontierswoman (d. 1903)
Jun 29 Death of Henry Clay, US statesman and senator, key figure in Compromise of 1850
Jul 19 Birth of Commodore Perry Owens, lawman and gunfighter (d. 1919)
Nov 2 Franklin Pierce elected president
1853 Omaha City was founded in the Nebraska Territory.
1853 Feb 8 Washington Territory organized from portion of Oregon Territory
1853 Mar Levi Strauss arrives in San Francisco and opens store supplying goods and clothing to Gold Rush miners
1853 May 26 Birth of John Wesley Hardin, outlaw (d. 1895)
1853 Oct 26 Paiute Indians attack U.S. Army Captain John W. Gunnison and his party of 37 soldiers and railroad surveyors near Sevier Lake, Utah.
1853 Nov 24 Birth of Bat Masterson, gunfighter, lawman, journalist (d. 1921)
1853 Nov 28 Olympia, Washington designated capital of Washington Territory
1853 Dec 30 U.S. and Mexico agree to Gadsden Purchase giving U.S portions of Arizona and New Mexico
1854 Birth of Luke Short, gunfighter (d. 1893)
1854 Death of Chief Conquering Bear, Lakota Sioux
1854 Feb 13 Mexican troops force would be conqueror William Walker and his mercenary troops to retreat to Sonora
1854 Feb 14 Texas is linked by telegraph with the rest of the United States, when a connection between New Orleans and Marshall, Texas is completed
1854 May 24 Birth of John Riley Banister, law officer, cowboy, and Texas Ranger (d. 1918)
1854 May 30 Kansas-Nebraska Act becomes law, rescinding the Missouri Compromise of 1820 and creating Kansas Territory and Nebraska Territory. Provision that settlers will vote on slavery in the new territories leads to Bleeding Kansas violence beginning the next year
1854 Jun The Grand Excursion takes prominent Eastern United States inhabitants from Chicago, Illinois to Rock Island, Illinois by railroad, then up the Mississippi River to St. Paul, Minnesota by steamboat
1854 Jun 14 Birth of Dave Rudabaugh (Dirty Dave), outlaw (d. 1886)
1854 Jul 6 First statewide meeting of the Republican Party, formed in response to the Kansas-Nebraska Act, is held in Jackson, Michigan
1855 Jan 21 John Browning is born in Ogden, Utah
1858 May 11 Minnesota admitted as the 32nd U.S. state
1859 Feb 14 Oregon admitted as the 33rd U.S. state
1859 Nov 23 Accepted by many historians to be Billy the Kid's date of birth. It is also widely believed that he was born in New York City


Year Date Event
1860 Apr 14 The Pony Express arrived in Sacramento, California
1860 Nov 21 Tom Horn is born in Memphis, Missouri
1861 January 29 Kansas is admitted to the union as the 34th State. It's citizens vote it as a slave free state.
1861 February 28 Colorado is organized as a territory
1861 March Citizens of the New Mexico Territory secede and join the Confederate States of America
1861 March 2 Nevada is incorporated as U.S. Territory
1861 March 2 North Dakota is incorporated as a territory
1861 July 25 250 Confederate troops with the 2nd Texas Mounted Rifles, led by Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor, engage Union forces under Major Isaac Lynde at Mesilla, New Mexico, resulting in Lynde's troops retreating into the Organ Mountains, toward Fort Stanton. Lynde was relieved of duty after abandoning his post.
1862 February-April Confederate forces under Henry Hopkins Sibley and Thomas Green undertook what is widely regarded as one of the most ambitious military operations of the American Civil War, when they attempted to take over the Southwest. Their goals included seizing the Colorado gold fields and invading the Mexican states of Sonora, Chihuahua, and Lower California
1862 February 20-21 The Battle of Valverde
1862 March 26-28 The Battle of Glorieta Pass is fought in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains between Confederate cavalry forces and Union volunteers from Colorado and New Mexico
1862 March 30 The Battle of Stanwix Station is fought at a Butterfield Overland Mail Stagecoach stop 80 miles east of Yuma, Arizona, between Cpt. William P. Calloway of the California Column and Confederate 2nd Lt. John Swilling
1862 April 15 The Battle of Picacho Pass is fought between Union cavalry troopers with the 1st California Cavalry under Lt. James Barrett and a detachment of Arizona Confederates led by Sgt. Henry Holmes. It is the westernmost battle of the American Civil War, occurring 50 northwest of Tucson
1862 May 5 Confederate Sgt. Sam Ford and his men are ambushed by Apache warriors in the Dragoon Mountains near the present day towns of Benson and Dragoon, Arizona at the Battle of Dragoon Springs
1862 May 9 The Second Battle of Dragoon Springs is fought in retaliation for the deaths of the four Confederates killed at the Apache ambush four days earlier. Rebels under Capt. Sherod Hunter take back the cattle stolen by Cochise and his warriors and kill 5 Apaches
1862 July 15-16 140 Union troops from the California Column are ambushed by about 500 Apaches under Mangas Coloradas and Cochise at the Battle of Apache Pass in Arizona. This was one of the first battles in which the United States Army was able to use artillery against Indians.
1862 August 17 The Dakota War of 1862 begins when a Sioux hunting party slaughters five white settlers, and the tribal council decides to attack white settlements throughout the Minnesota River valley
1862 November 5 More than 300 Santee Sioux in Minnesota are sentenced to hang for the rape and murder of Anglo settlers
1863 January 1 Daniel Freeman submits the first claim under the Homestead Act for land near Beatrice, Nebraska
1863 January 29 Col. Patrick Edward Connor leads his troops to fight the Shoshone Indians in present-day Idaho, resulting in the Bear River Massacre
1863 February 24 Arizona organized as a territory
1863 March 3 Idaho organized as a territory
1863 August 21 Confederate guerilla fighters led by Capt. William Quantrill attack the pro-Union town of Lawrence, Kansas, resulting in the Lawrence Massacre. Quantrill claimed his motivation was revenge for the Union Sacking of Osceola
1864 January Col. Kit Carson accepts the surrender of most of the Navajo nation during the last two years of the bloody Navajo Wars.
1864 - John Bozeman leads a group of about 2,000 settlers across the Bozeman Trail, which he and John Jacobs had scouted the previous year.
1864 May 26 Montana organized as a territory
1864 July Confederate-sympathizing outlaw Jim Reynolds and his gang plundered and robbed settlements in the South Park Basin, claiming their mission was to loot the gold mines of the region to support the fledgling Confederacy.
1864 Oct 31 The U.S. Congress admits Nevada as the 36th state
1864 Nov 29 Colonel John Chivington and his volunteer militia massacre a Cheyenne village near Sand Creek in the Colorado territory
1865 May 12-13 The Battle of Palmito Ranch is fought in Texas, the last armed engagement of the American Civil War
1866 December 21 Capt. William J. Fetterman, are 2nd Cavalry and the 18th Infantry Regiment were ambushed and wiped out near Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming. A fort built the next year, Fort Fetterman, was named in his honor.
1866 February 13 Notorious outlaws Frank and Jesse James rob their first bank in Liberty, Missouri
1868 Nov 27 Battle of Washita River.
1869 May 19 Wyoming organized as a territory


Year Date Event
1870 Bret Harte's The Luck of Roaring Camp and Other Sketches, a collection of stories based on his years as a San Francisco journalist, is published.[8]
1870 William "Hurricane Bill" Martin, a notorious Kansas outlaw, begins rustling cattle southeast of Abilene before he and his gang are driven off by a posse from Marion.[9]
1870 Settling in the New Mexico Territory, gunfighter Robert Clay Allison purchases a ranch in Colfax County. During this time, Allison is reported to have killed as many as fifteen men in gunfights according to local newspapers.[10]
1870 With the growing railroad industry and cattle boom, buffalo hunters begin moving onto the Great Plains. In less than ten years, the buffalo population are vastly reduced in numbers and remain an endangered species for much of the next century.[8]
1870 The Utah territorial legislature, supported by Brigham Young, grants women the right to vote. Over the next several decades, this provides the Mormons with an added margin of political power.[8]
1870 African laborers are brought in by the Union Pacific in Wyoming and are paid $32.50 a month as opposed to $52.00 a month for American-born railroad workers. Hiring cheap foreign labor will become a common practice for the railroad and other companies during the late 19th century. In time, this will create resentment from American laborers throughout the western United States in the belief that Chinese immigrants are competing unfairly for jobs and will eventually lead to racial violence and labor unrest in years to come.[8]
1870 Jan Shortly after leaving office as Sheriff of Ellis County, Kansas, James "Wild Bill" Hickok travels to Missouri to visit friends and eventually he resumes his duties as a U.S. Marshal.[11]
1870 Spring With the emergence of Abilene as a major stopover for cattle ranchers, the town trustees unsuccessfully attempt to curb the violence brought by the beginning of the cattle season by passing a gun ordinance ban. This proves unenforceable as Texas cowboys made a habit of shooting up ordinance posters and tore down the city's first jailhouse. Although a posse was organized by local residents which successfully captures several of these cowboys, violence continues in the city until the appointment of "Bear River" Tom Smith as city marshal on Jun 4.[12]
1870 Jul 17-18 James Hickok is involved in a shootout with several members of the 7th Cavalry Regiment in Hays City after killing one trooper and wounding another.[11]
1870 Jul 17 Death of Jeremiah Lonergan, US 7th cavalry trooper[11]
1870 Jul 18 Death of John Kile, US 7th cavalry trooper[11]
1870 Nov Death of Thomas J. Smith, Abilene town marshal[11]
1871 John K. "King" Fisher is hired by settlers of the Pendencia River country, Dimmit County, as a hired gun to protect their livestock and other property. It is during this time that Fisher became known as a skilled gunfighter.[13]
1871 Jan 1 After a long illness, Captain John Barry is forced into retirement. While stationed at Fort Ord, Barry attempted to improve relations between the United States and the Apaches as well as encouraging the enlistment of scouts to combat against renegade Apaches.[13]
1871 Feb 16 John Younger kills Captain S.W. Nichols in a gunfight in Dallas, Texas.[14]
1871 Feb 23 While heading an Apache hunting force near present-day Clifton, Arizona, John M. Bullard is shot and killed while approaching a wounded Apache warrior.[13]
1871 Feb 28 "Handsome Jack" John Ledford, a former outlaw involved in counterfeiting and horse theft in Kansas and the Indian Territory turned hotel owner, is killed in a shootout between him and a group of U.S. Army soldiers led by army scout Lee Stewart and US Marshal Jack Bridges which claimed to have a warrant for his arrest. Although he had recently come under suspicion for his involvement in the robbery of a government wagon train in which several teamsters had been killed, later newspaper accounts claimed that Ledford had been murdered by Bridges due to a previous argument in which Bridges had threatened his life.[15]
1871 Mar 16 Death of Barboncito (Hastin Daagii), Navajo chieftain[13]
1871 Apr 15 Wild Bill Hickok succeeds "Bear River" Tom Smith as City Marshal for Abilene, Kansas and remains in that position until Dec 13.[16]
1871 Apr 28 In what becomes known as the Camp Grant Massacre, over 100 Apache women and children are killed by a mob of Mexicans and Papagos led by several Tucson businessman including D.A. Bennett and Sam Hughes. Bennett and several others are indicted in Dec, however all are acquitted.[13]
1871 May Professional gambler Phil Coe and gunfighter Ben Thompson open the Bull's Head Tavern and Gambling Saloon in Abilene, Kansas. The establishment becomes widely known for its large painting of a bull whose genitals are much larger than the rest of its body. Known as the "Shame of Abilene" by local townspeople, Marshal James Butler "Wild Bill" Hickok is asked to intervene. When the owners refuse to take down the painting, Hickok takes it upon himself to repaint parts of the picture. This results in a personal dispute with Coe eventually leading to a shootout on Oct 5 in which Hickok shot both Coe and Deputy Mike Williams. Coe would die from his wounds four days later.[17]
1871 Jun 14 Thomas Carson, reportedly a nephew of mountain man Kit Carson, is appointed to the Abilene police force under City Marshal "Wild Bill" Hickok. After an incident with gunfighter John Wesley Hardin over Hardin's insistence of wearing his gun in public, he was briefly hired as Deputy in Newton, Kansas before returning to Abilene in Nov. Along with Deputy John W. "Brocky Jack" Norton, the two were fired from the police force on Nov 27 after assaulting a local bartender.
1871 Jun 30 Shortly after robbing a nearby bank, Jesse James addresses a crowd at a political rally in Corydon, Iowa[14]
1871 Oct 5 Death of Mike Williams, Abilene deputy sheriff
1871 Oct 9 Death of Phil Coe, professional gambler
1871 Dec 5 Future rodeo star Bill Pickett is born near Austin, Texas.
1872 William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, as a scout for the U.S. 5th Cavalry Regiment, is awarded the Medal of Honor. Later that year, he appears on stage for the first time portraying himself in "Scouts of the Prairie".
1872 Ellsworth succeeds Abilene as the northern stopping point on the Old Texas cattle trail.
1872 Following the completion of the Santa Fe Railroad line across the border of the Colorado Territory, the use of the Santa Fe Trail begins to decline although Dodge City would remain a major cattle shipping town for the next decade. The Santa Fe Railroad would also complete a rail line at Wichita, Kansas causing a major population boom over the next several years.
1872 "Home on the Range", later adopted as the state song of Kansas, first appears in a poem "My Western Home" written by Dr. Brewster M. Higley. Following its publication, is it set to music by Daniel Kelley
1872 Jan 31 Author Zane Grey is born in Zanesville, Ohio.
1872 Mar 1 Yellowstone National Park is designated America's first national park by President Ulysses S. Grant
1873 Inventor Henry Rose first introduces barbed wire at a county fair in De Kalb, Illinois.
1874 Ham Anderson, a cousin of gunfighter Wes Hardin, is killed in a gunfight in Dodge City, Kansas
1874 Outlaws Ceberiano and Reymundo Aguilar are killed during the Harrold War of Lincoln County, New Mexico
1874 May 25 John Alexander, an outlaw and horse thief, is shot and killed by a mob in Belton, Texas while attempting to steal horses
1874 Jun 27 While occupying an old trading post, 28 hunters including a 21-year-old Bat Masterson are besieged and eventually drive off 700 Commanche warriors at the Second Battle of Adobe Walls
1875 Aug 8 Jermin Aguirre is killed near the San Augin Ranch in the New Mexico Territory
1876 After being wounded in the hip during a gunfight in Sweetwater, Texas, Bat Masterson agreed to become assistant city marshal of Dodge City
1876 Mar 17 After Sioux chieftains Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse refuse to comply with the Federal government's order to leave the Black Hills of the Dakota Territory, General George Crook attacks their forces, defeating them at the Battle of Powder River beginning the Great Sioux War
1876 Apr 19 Wyatt Earp is not rehired by the Wichita Police Department for beating up a candidate for county sheriff
1876 Jun 17 Crook's forces are forced to withdraw following his defeat by Crazy Horse at the Battle of Rosebud
1876 Jun 25 While leading an attack into a Sioux village, the U.S. 7th Cavalry Regiment under Brigadier General George Armstrong Custer is ambushed and wiped out by over 2,000 Sioux and Comanche warriors led by Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse at the Battle of Little Bighorn.[18]
1876 Aug 1 Colorado admitted as the 38th U.S. state.
1876 Aug 2 James "Wild Bill" Hickok is shot in the back of the head and killed by a drunk during a poker game in Deadwood, South Dakota. Hickok had supposedly been holding two pair of aces and eights at the time of his death, which has since been known to gamblers as the "dead man's hand".
1876 Sep 7 Several members of the James-Younger Gang, including Cole Younger, are captured after the failed robbery of the First National Bank leads to a gunfight with bank employees and local residents in Northfield, Minnesota
1877 Nez Perce War in Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming and Montana.
1877 Gunfights involving John Morco in Kansas.
1877 Gunfights involving John Higgins in New Mexico.
1877 Gunfights involving the Horrell Brothers in Texas.
1877 Aug 17 At 17 years old, Billy the Kid shoots his first man, Frank "Windy" Cahill, in self-defense, after Cahill wrestled him to the ground at a saloon in Fort Grant, Arizona. Cahill died the next day.
1878 Feb 18 Rancher John Tunstall is killed by a posse, whose members included gunman Charles Wolz, beginning the Lincoln County War
1878 Mar John Younger, a member of the Younger Gang, is killed by Pinkerton detectives Louis Lull and Jim Duckworth in St. Clair County, Missouri
1878 Jun 18 Nick Worthington, a well known outlaw throughout New Mexico and Colorado, is killed by residents of Cimarron, New Mexico and killing several men and stealing horses
1878 Jul 15-19 The 5-day Battle of Lincoln occurred in Lincoln, New Mexico
1878 Jul 19 Alexander McSween, a major character in the Lincoln County War and former partner of John Tunstall, is shot and killed during the Battle of Lincoln
1878 Jul 19 McSween gunman Francisco Zamora is killed in a gunbattle during the Lincoln County War
1879 Captain Marcus Reno, the highest-ranking officer to have survived the Battle of Little Big Horn, is brought before a general court-martial but is acquitted of cowardice
1879 Ike and Bill Clanton enlist William "Curley Bill" Brocius and Johnny Ringo as the Clanton's begin cattle rustling in the New Mexico and southern Arizona Territories
1879 Nov 4 Will Rogers is born on a ranch in Cherokee Indian territory in what is now Oklahoma


Year Date Event
1880 George Alford is sentenced to five years imprisonment for murdering a sheriff in Fort Worth, Texas
1880 Mar 2 James Allen kills James Moorehead after ordering eggs in a tavern in Las Vegas, New Mexico and, after escaping from prison for Mooreland's murder, is killed by a posse soon after
1880 Dec 19 Tom O'Folliard, best friend of Billy the Kid, is shot and killed by members of Pat Garrett's posse in Fort Sumner, New Mexico
1880 Dec 23 Charlie Bowdre, a member of Billy the Kid's gang, is shot and killed by members of Pat Garrett's posse at Stinking Springs, New Mexico
1880 Dec 24 Abran Baca kills A.M. Conklin in Socorro, New Mexico with several other outlaws, for which he is acquitted of the following year.
1881 Jul 14 Billy the Kid is shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett in Fort Sumner, New Mexico. He was buried the next day between his friends Tom O'Folliard and Charlie Bowdre in Fort Sumner's old military cemetery
1881 Oct 26 Arguably the West's most famous gunfight, the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, took place in Tombstone, Arizona, pitting the Earps and Doc Holliday against the Clantons, the McLaurys, and Billy Claiborne. After the smoke cleared, Frank and Tom McLaury and Billy Clanton were dead. Virgil and Morgan Earp, along with Holliday, were wounded.
1882 Mar 18 Morgan Earp, brother of famous lawman Wyatt Earp, is shot and killed while playing a game of pool in Tombstone, Arizona. His assassination was very possibly due to his involvement in the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.
1882 Mar 24 Outlaw William "Curley Bill" Brocius is shot and killed by Wyatt Earp at Iron Springs in Arizona.
1882 Apr 3 Jesse James murdered by Bob Ford[19]
1886 Jack Langrishe, a popular western entertainer, is elected justice in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho
1886 Feb 18 Dave Rudabaugh, a former member of Billy the Kid's Dodge City Gang, is reportedly captured and decapitated by townspeople after terrorizing the village of Parral, Mexico
1886 Mar 21 'The Big Fight' in Tascosa, Texas, where three ranch hands, ex-members of Pat Garrett's 'Home Rangers', are killed by rival ranch hands and assorted gunmen.[20]
1886 Jul 16 Death of Ned Buntline, writer
1886 Aug 7 Fort Fred Steele, used to protect railroads from local Native American tribes in the Wyoming Territory, is closed
1886 Aug 20 Fort Duchesne is officially opened by Major Frederick William Benteen in the Utah Territory
1886 Sep 4 Apache renegade Geronimo surrenders to forces under General Nelson Miles and taken into custody at Fort Grant[21]
1886 Dec 1 Brothers Jim and Rube Burrow rob their first train in Bellevue, Texas
1886 Nov 8 Doc Holliday dies from tuberculosis in Glenwood Springs, Colorado[22]
1887 Feb 8 Luke Short kills former Fort Worth Marshal Jim Courtright in a gunfight on the streets of Fort Worth, Texas. The shooting was ruled self-defense, since Courtright drew his pistol first.
1888 Dec 18 Richard Wetherill and his brother-in-law discover the Indian ruins of Mesa Verde in southwestern Colorado
1889 Feb 3 Belle Starr is murdered in Oklahoma[23]
1889 Nov 2 North Dakota and South Dakota are admitted as the 39th and 40th U.S. states
1889 Nov 8 Montana admitted as the 41st U.S. state
1889 Nov 11 Washington admitted as the 42nd U.S. state


Year Date Event
1890 Jul 3 Idaho is admitted to the Union as the 43rd State.
1890 Jul 10 Wyoming is admitted to the Union as the 44th State.
1890 Dec 29 The U.S. Cavalry kills 146 Sioux at Wounded Knee on the Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota
1893 Sep 8 Luke Short dies of dropsy in Geuda Springs, Kansas
1896 Jan 4 Utah is admitted to the Union as the 45th State.


Year Date Event
1903 Nov 20 Tom Horn, a legendary Old West figure who had previously served as a U.S. Cavalry Scout, Pinkerton detective, lawman and outlaw is hung in Cheyenne, Wyoming for the disputed July 18th, 1901 killing of 14-year old sheepherder Willie Nickell.
1905 Dec 30 Former Idaho Governor Frank Steunenberg is wounded by a bomb in his home in Caldwell, Idaho and dies a short time later.
1907 Nov 16 Oklahoma is admitted to the Union as the 46th State.
1908 Feb 29 Death of Pat Garrett, former New Mexico sheriff and killer of Billy the Kid
1909 Apr 19 Joseph Allen is hanged in Ada, Oklahoma for his involvement in a local feud
Nov 16 Oklahoma admitted as the 46th U.S. state
Nov 24 Outlaw Donaciano Aguilar is captured and sentenced to life imprisonment in New Mexico


Year Date Event
1912 Jan 6 New Mexico is admitted to the Union as the 47th State.
Feb 14 Arizona is admitted to the Union as the 48th State.
1916 Dec 5 The last stagecoach robbery in American history occurs at Jarbidge Canyon, Nevada, in which robbers Ben Kuhl, Ed Beck and William McGraw held up the U.S. Postal Service stagecoach, shot the driver, Fred Searcy, and stole $4,000 in cash. The three criminals were captured without incident at their cabin soon after.
1917 Jan 10 William F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody dies of kidney failure in Denver


Year Date Event
1929 Jan 13 Wyatt Earp dies of chronic cystitis at his home in Los Angeles

See also


  1. ^ a b Robert M. Utley, ed. (2003) The Story of The West DK Publishing, New York ISBN 0-7894-9660-7.
  2. ^ "The Lewis & Clark Expedition: A Western Adventure – A National Epic". 1998. Retrieved Sep 24, 2008. 
  3. ^ From MexicoThe National Era (Mar 4, 1847) Retrieved 3 May 2010
  4. ^ From New MexicoThe Yarmouth Herald (Apr 8, 1847) Retrieved 4 May 2010
  5. ^ First Found California GoldThe Deseret News (Feb 11, 1898) Retrieved 3 May 2010
  6. ^ Morn, Frank (1982). The Eye That Never Sleeps: A History of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-32086-0. p. 18
  7. ^ The Whitman Massacre Trial: A Verdict is Reached. Oregon State Archives. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
  8. ^ a b c d Public Broadcasting Service (2001). "New Perspectives on the West: Events in the West, 1870 to 1880". 
  9. ^ Rosa, Joseph G. Gunfighter: Man Or Myth?. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1969. (pg. 47)
  10. ^ Wexler, Bruce. The Wild, Wild West Of Louis L'amour: The Illustrated Guide to Cowboys, Indians, Gunslingers, Outlaws and Texas Rangers. Philadelphia: Running Press, 2005. (pg. 78) ISBN 0-7624-2357-9
  11. ^ a b c d e Rosa, Joseph G. Wild Bill Hickok, Gunfighter: An Account of Hickok's Gunfights. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003. (pg. 17) ISBN 0-8061-3535-2
  12. ^ Rosa, Joseph G. Gunfighter: Man Or Myth?. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1969. (pg. 196)
  13. ^ a b c d e Thrapp, Dan L. Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography: In Three Volumes, Volume I (A-F). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1988. ISBN 0-8032-9418-2
  14. ^ a b Wellman, Paul Iselin. A Dynasty of Western Outlaws. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986. ISBN 0-8032-9709-2
  15. ^ Wallis, Michael. Billy the Kid: The Endless Ride. New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2007. ISBN 0-393-06068-3
  16. ^ Patterson, Richard M. Historical Atlas of the Outlaw West. Boulder: Johnson Publishing Company, 1985. ISBN 0-933472-89-7
  17. ^ Kohn, George C. Dictionary of Culprits and Criminals. Metuchen, New Jersey: Scarecrow Press, 1986.
  18. ^ (General Terry's report)Headquarters, Departm't of DakotahThe Deseret News (Jul 8, 1876) Retrieved 6 May 2010
  19. ^ The outlaw Jesse James: His legend lives on 100 years laterThe Modesto Bee (Apr 4, 1982) Retrieved 3 May 2010
  20. ^
  21. ^ Capps, Benjamin (1975). The Great Chiefs. Time-Life Education. pp. 240. ISBN 978-0-316-84785-8
  22. ^ Poling, Dean (2010-01-01). Valdosta's most infamous resident - John Henry "Doc" Holliday. Valdosta Scene VI (1): 19-20.
  23. ^ Belle Starr, Sweetheart of OutlawsToledo Blade (Feb 19, 1954) Retrieved 6 May 2010

External links

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