The Old West (05:17)
The Old West was a short period of time in America's history that is rich in legend, myth, and folklore. It is a time when men and women of tremendous fortitude and determination built a great nation.
Welcome to Legends of the American West (02:40)
The American West was a unique and dangerous place where many men lost their lives in the attempt to tame it. The movies often depict it in a romanticized way that does not accurately reflect the reality of the time.
Early American Settlements Westward (03:42)
Thousands of Americans moved West across the Great Plains to the Rockies in search of gold and silver in the Western mountains. With the outbreak of the Civil War, migration to the West slowed down as a divided nation fought a bloody and devastating conflict.
1869: Oklahoma Land Rush (04:53)
The Union Pacific Railroad was completed in 1869, connecting the East and West coasts of America. This led to a rapid expansion of the Western frontier, as well as the cattle business. The cowboy has become a legendary American hero, due to the romanticized image of his life.
Trail Heroism (05:59)
Frontiersmen were men who were attracted to the frontier in search of adventure. They were of every nationality and family background.
Frank James Joins a Southern Guerrilla Band (01:58)
Frank James joined a southern guerrilla band led by William Clarke Quantrill in the fall of 1862. Quantrill and his men were known for their brutal raids and murders in the border states and they raided.
Slaughter of Jesse James (10:24)
Jesse James was not responsible for every bank robbery in the area, but he and his gang were infamous for their many exploits. He was eventually captured and killed by law enforcement officials.
The Brothers Surrender (04:23)
The James Gang was a group of outlaws who robbed banks and trains in the 1800s. After the Northfield raid, the gang split up and Jesse James went into hiding. In 1882, Bob Ford shot Jesse James in the back of the head, and Jesse's wife was heartbroken.
Legend of Jesse James (03:11)
Jesse James died at the age of 35. His mother kept a constant vigil on his grave as she feared grave robbers would rob his grave. Thousands of people would visit his gravesite every year. The legend of Jesse James did not die with him.
The Facts About Billy the Kid (04:25)
Billy the Kid was born poor in a New York City tenement and grew up in the streets of Silver City, New Mexico. He began using the name Billy Bonney as an alias and roamed the Southwest engaging in petty theft. I
The Murphy Dolan Company (02:13)
LG Murphy was a powerful man who monopolized the mercantile business in the county through his store in Lincoln. He and his partner, JR Dolan, controlled the government contracts at the nearby Apache Indian Reservation and the military post of Fort Stanton. In short, the Murphy Dolan company had control of Lincoln's economy.
Billy the Kid and John Tunstall (06:17)
The Lincoln County War was a violent and bloody war that ensued between the Murphy Dolan forces and the Tunstall forces who called themselves the Regulators. Billy the Kid showed remarkable courage and coolness under fire and became a legend during this time.
Billy the Kid: Captured (06:13)
Billy the Kid was a notorious outlaw in the American West in the 1800s. He was wanted by the authorities for a number of crimes, and they eventually caught up to him. He was sentenced to hang, but he managed to escape and write the final chapter to his story.
Billy the Kid Becomes a Legend (03:09)
Billy the Kid was a mean little scoundrel who was known for his quick draw and shooting skills. He was killed at the age of 22, and his legend has continued to grow over the years.
The West's Most Disciplined Killer (02:56)
John Wesley Hardin, Ben Thompson, Clay Allison, and Dave Mather were all famous gunmen in the American West during the 1800s.
Old West Lawman Legend (06:12)
Wyatt Earp was a lawman in the Old West who was known for his ability to stand up to outlaws. He was also a violent man who would not hesitate to kill someone while trying to uphold the law.
Gunfight at the OK Corral (01:20)
The gunfight at the OK Corral was a shootout between the Earp brothers and the Clanton gang on October 26, 1881. The violence continued after the gunfight, with Virgil Earp being ambushed and Morgan Earp being killed. Wyatt Earp spent the next year of his life tracking down his brother's murderers.
Wyatt Earp (04:06)
The best thing that ever happened to Wyatt Earp was that he outlived his contemporaries and met a writer who wrote the biography that presented the Wyatt Earp that many people remember him by.
History of Native Americans Overlooked (06:45)
The Native Americans were systematically destroyed by the white man. Their history is often overlooked and not always included when looking at the history of the West.
Tribal Assimilation (02:00)
The American West was a time of great opportunity and adventure. Men and women of all races and origins helped shape the character of a nation.
Myths and Legends (04:48)
The Old West is a uniquely American saga that has captured the imagination of the world. It is a part of America's national heritage and is full of myths and legends.
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