The Personalities

"There is properly no History, only Biography."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

These notes are meant to be helpful in putting people, events, and places into historic context. Visitors
are encouraged to refer to more complete works for additional information on these individuals,
events and localities. The readings offered are suggested starting points for a more
complete understanding of the American West's rich historic past.

Hernan Cortes, 1484 - 1547
Conquistador - Conquered Tenochtitlan
Alvar Nunez Cabeza de Vaca, 1495* -1565*
Explorer
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, 1498*-1543
Claimed California for Spain
Francisco Vazquez de Coronado, 1510 - 1554
Explorer - Claimed Southwest for Spain
Sir Francis Drake, 1540* - 1596
Privateer Claimed California for England
Sebastian Rodriguez Cermenon, 1560*-1615*
Claimed California for Spain
Sebastian Vizcaino, 1548 -1627
Spanish Navigator
Eusebio Francisco Kino, 1645-1711
Jesuit Missionary
Father Juniperro Serra, 1713 - 1794
Founder of Alta California Missions
James Cook, 1728 - 1779
Early Explorer of the Pacific Ocean
Daniel Boone, 1734 - 1820
Explorer
Nathanael Greene, 1742 - 1786
Revolutionary General
John Paul Jones, 1747 - 1792
Revolutionary Naval Hero
George Rogers Clark, 1752 - 1818
Revolutionary General
Alexandr Baranov, 1747 - 1819
Manager Russian-American Fur Company
Henry Lee, 1756 - 1818
Revolutionary General
John Jacob Astor, 1763 - 1848
Fur Trader, Merchant, Real Estate Tycoon
Caleb Greenwood 1763* - 1850
Mountian Man, Guide
Andrew Jackson, 1767 - 1845
Seventh Preident of the United States
William Clark, 1770 - 1838
Explorer, Superintendent of Indian Affairs
Manuel Lisa, 1772 - 1820
President, Missouri Fur Company
Meriwether Lewis 1774 - 1809
Explorer
Thomas Hart Benton, 1782 - 1858
Early Missouri Senator
Hugh Glass, 1783* - 1833
Mountain Man, Fur Trapper
David "Davy" Crockett, 1786 - 1836
Frontiersman, Alamo Defender
Sam Houston 1793 - 1863
President of Texas
Jedediah Smith, 1794 - 1831
Mountain Man, Fur Trapper, Explorer
Stephen Watts Kearny 1794-1848
Military Governor of California
Peter Skeene Ogden, 1794 - 1854
Chief Factor Hudson Bay Company
Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, 1794 - 1876
President of Mexico
William A. Richardson, 1795-1856
Founder of Sausalito
James Knox Polk, 1795-1840
Eleventh President of the United States
William Brown Ide, 1796-1852
President of California
Saint Innocent of Alaska, 1797 - 1879
Russian Orthodox Missionary in Alaska
Robert Thomas Livermore 1799-1858
Early California Settler
Thomas Oliver Larkin, 1802 - 1858
American Consul in Mexican California
John August Sutter, 1803-1880
Founder of Sutter's Fort & Sacramento
William McKendree Gwin, 1805-1885
Supervised Writing of California Constitution
Robert E. Lee, 1807 - 1870
Commander, Army of Northern Virginia
Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo, 1807-1890
Founder of Sonoma
Christopher "Kit" Carson, 1809 - 1868
Fur Trapper - Explorer - Guide
Juan Bautista Alvarado, 1809 - 1882
Early Governor of California
James Wilson Marshall 1810-1885
Discovered Gold at Sutter's Mill
Count Agoston Haraszthy, 1812 - 1869
"Father of California Wine Making"
John Charles Fremont, 1813-1889
"The Pathfinder"
Allan Pinkerton, 1819 - 1884
"Private Eye"
Samuel Brannan, 1819 - 1889
Early San Francisco Settler
John Bidwell 1819-1900
Founder of Chico
David Colbreth Broderick, 1820-1859
Early Senator
William Tecumseh Sherman 1820-1891
Civil War General
George Hearst 1821 - 1891
Mining Magnate

 

Collis P. Huntington, 1821-1900
Railroad Mogul
Ulysses S. Grant, 1822-1885
Eighteenth President of the United States
Charles Crocker 1822-1888
Built the Central Pacific Railroad
Leland Stanford 1824-1893
Founder of Stanford University
Philip Crosthwaite, 1825-1903
Early San Diego Chief of Police
Joaquin Murietta, 1825* - 1853
Legendary Mother Lode Bandit
Theodore Dehone Judah, 1826-1863
Railroad Pioneer
Lucky Baldwin, 1828 - 1909
Mining Speculator
Charles Boles (Black Bart), 1829 -1888
Famous Highwayman
William Ralston, 1832 - 1875
Founder of the Bank of California
Philip Sheridan, 1833 - 1888
Civil War General
Tiburcio Vasquez, 1835-1875
Notorius California Bandit
George Armstrong Custer, 1839-1876
Indian Fighter
Nelson A. Miles, 1839 - 1925
Indian Fighter
William "Buffalo Bill" Cody, 1846 - 1917
Military Scout & Showman
Wyatt Earp, 1848 - 1929
Lawman, Vigilante, Gambler
Bat Masterson, 1853 - 1921
Frontier Gambler & Lawman
William Mulholland, 1855 - 1935
Constructed Owens Valley Aqueduct
John Joseph Pershing - 1860 - 1948
Commanding General AEF
Michael Maurice O'Shaughnessy, 1864-1934
Constructed Hetch Hetchy Dam
Robert LeRoy Parker, 1866 - 1908*
The outlaw known as Butch Cassidy
Ng Poon Chew, 1866-1931
Founder & Publisher of Chung Sai Yat Pao
Walter Edward Scott - 1872-1954
"Death Valley Scotty"
Francisco "Pancho" Villa - 1878-1923
Mexican Revolutionary
George "Blood & Guts" Patton - 1885-1945
Second World War Military Leader


* Dates marked with an asterisk are estimated.