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…

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…

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…

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Henri Peyroux de Ia Coudrenière was born in France around 1743, the son of Marguerite-…

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John Hardeman, best remembered for the botanical showplace he created on the banks of the…

Francis White Cloud. Portrait by George Catlin, circa 1844–1845. [Courtesy of the National Gallery of Art]

The Ioways did not live in what is now Missouri for much of the historical era.…

An artist’s depiction of Fort San Carlos. Constructed under orders from Fernando de Leyba, it played a crucial role in stopping the British attack on St. Louis in 1780. [Walter B. Stevens, ed., History of St. Louis the Fourth City, 1764–1909, vol. 1 (1909)]

Controversy swirled around Upper Louisiana’s third lieutenant governor in life and in death…

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Regis (Registre) Loisel was born near Montreal, Canada, in about 1773, and at an early age…

Mo-Hon-Go (Sacred Sun), an Osage woman, and her child. [State Historical Society of Missouri, Image Collection, 021180]

The most powerful tribal group in the early history of Missouri was referred to as the Wah-…

Manuel Pérez. [Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, Objects Collection, X04268]

Manuel Pérez, Spanish lieutenant governor in St. Louis from 1787 to 1792, was born in…