French artist Louis-Leopold Boilly’s rendering of members of an Osage traveling party in Europe, including Big Soldier (at right). [Smithsonian Institution, National Portrait Gallery, object # S/NPG.2011.5]

Big Soldier, a Little Osage war leader, was probably born in 1773 in a village near the…

Frederic L. Billon. [Billon, Annals of St. Louis in Its Territorial Days from 1804 to 1821 (St. Louis: Nixon-Jones Printing Co., 1888), frontispiece]

Frederic L. Billon’s amateur antiquarian pursuits in the mid-nineteenth century resulted in…

 Morris Birkbeck. [Morris Birkbeck and George Flower, History of the English Settlement in Edwards County, Illinois (Chicago: Fergus Printing Co., 1882)]

An early pioneer-farming expert and author, Morris Birkbeck exerted an enormous influence…

Daniel Bissell. [Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, Photographs and Prints Collection, Portraits, N38584]

The builder and commandant of Fort Bellefontaine, General Daniel Bissell served with…

William C. Carr. Portrait by George Caleb Bingham. [Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas, 1970.156]

William C. Carr, one of the first attorneys to practice law in Missouri, was born in…

Joseph Charless. [Thomas J. Scharf, History of St. Louis City and County, vol. 2, 1883]

Joseph Charless, the first printer in St. Louis and father of journalism west of the…

Francois M. Guyol de Guiran created this portrait of Marie Therese Bourgeois Chouteau, the “founding mother” of St. Louis, in 1810. [Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, MHS Objects Collection, 1950-084-0002]

Marie Thérèse Bourgeois Chouteau was born in New Orleans on January 14, 1733, but she was…

Portrait of William Clark by Charles Willson Peale, c. 1807–1809. [Courtesy of the Independence National Historical Park]

William Clark, the celebrated explorer who joined Meriwether Lewis

Painting titled Cler-mónt, First Chief of the Tribe, by George Catlin, 1834. [Smithsonian American Art Museum, SAAM-1985.66.29_1]

Following the death of Clermont (Gra-Mon or “Arrow-Going-Home”) in 1796, his son, also…

Jeffrey Deroine (second from right) with Ioways. [State Historical Society of Missouri, Robert Wright Photograph Collection, P0011]

Jeffrey Deroine (pronounced Der-oh-NAY…