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Western History

With five major exploring expeditions west of the Mississippi, John C. Frémont redefined the country — with the help of his wife’s promotional skills.

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A historian looks at the distinctive Midwestern identity of Wilder and her "Little House on the Prairie" books.

Editor's Note: We were devastated to learn that John Miller, a longtime professor of history at South Dakota State University, passed away after submitting the following essay to American Heritage. Read more >>
Americans have always envisioned a West. When they won independence from England in 1783, the West lay just beyond the Appalachian Mountains, a West celebrated in the adventures of Daniel Boone. Then people began to thread through the Cumberland Gap to make new homes there. Read more >>

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