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…

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

1.	This lithograph depicts Sister Rose Philippine Duchesne late in life. No known photographs of Sister Duchesne are known to exist.

Rose Philippine Duchesne, a French pioneer missionary on the American frontier, was born on…

Aerial of Fort Osage

Established in 1808 under the superintendence of William Clark, Fort Osage served as a US military outpost and a…

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

Samuel Hawken. [Missouri Historical Society, Prints and Photographs Division, N38641]

Christian Hawken, a respected gunsmith of Hagerstown, Maryland, taught his six sons and…

Edward Hempstead. [Louis Houck, A History of Missouri from the Earliest Explorations and Settlements until the Admission of the State into the Union, vol. 3 (Chicago: R. R. Donnelley & Sons, 1908), p. 2]

Edward Hempstead, a prominent early Missouri attorney and politician, was born in New…