The Myth of Manifest Destiny
Not everyone in the nineteenth century was on board with expanding the territory of the US from coast to coast.
A Fistful of Data: Information and the Cattle Industry
Beef barons needed cowboys less and bookkeepers more as the nineteenth century wore on.
How Annie Oakley Defined the Cinema Cowgirl
“Little Sure Shot” was famous for her precision, athleticism, and trademark femininity.
The Dinosaur Bone Wars
1877 was a banner year for American dinosaurs: three major finds in the West turned the region into a "paleontologist's El Dorado."
Yes, Women Participated in the Gold Rush
“Conventional wisdom tells us that the gold rush was a male undertaking,” writes the historian Glenda Riley. But women were there, too.
The Downfall of the American Cowboy
As the need for ranch workers has dwindled, the iconic status of cowboys has continued to grow.
The Civilian Solution to Bank Robberies
The surprising story of the vigilantes who took it upon themselves to catch bank robbers in the 1920s and 30s.
Go West, You Nervous Men
The "Rest Cure" for women is notorious. But the "West Cure" for men, though little known today, is a fundamental part of American mythology.
How Frontier Nuns Challenged Gender Norms
Scholars Carol K. Coburn and Martha Smith write that nuns were an important part of westward expansion—and in Colorado, nuns quickly learned how to use their gender to their advantage.
A Feminist Reading of The Long Winter
In The Long Winter, often praised as Laura Ingalls Wilder’s greatest novel, the villain may be not the snow, but oppressive gender roles.