This timeline of the American Old West, is a chronologically ordered list of significant events, births and deaths, associated with the period of westerly expansion of white settlers across northern continental America. This period is often referred to as the Wild West, referencing the largely lawless nature of much of the pattern of settlement which ensued immediately after the Louisiana Purchase opened the frontier west of the Mississippi river to settlers from the established colonies on the East coast.
Exploration and Discovery
Initial interest in the vast unexplored territory came through the fur trade, with trappers and hunters moving ahead of settlers. The early years were largely a period of scientific exploration and survey, such that by 1840 the rough outline of the entire West had been mapped to the Pacific Ocean.Robert M. Utley, ed. (2003) The Story of The West DK Publishing, New York ISBN 0-7894-9660-7.