James Beckwourth. [Public domain; photographer unknown]

James Pierson Beckwith, better known as Jim Beckwourth following the publication of…

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…

Bollinger’s Mill. Photo by Carol M. Highsmith. [Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-highsm-65211]

A group of German-Swiss immigrants landed in Philadelphia in 1710 and settled in southeast…

Henry Marie Brackenridge. [State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory]

A lawyer, author, diplomat, and journalist in the early Federal and Jacksonian eras, Henry…

Robert Campbell. [Missouri Historical Society, St. Louis, Photographs and Prints Collection, N38642]

Robert Campbell’s lengthy life bridged the transition from fur trade to modern capitalistic…

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-…