The Saluda and Sultana

February 27, 2024

The Saluda had been sunk, raised, patched and put into service on the Missouri River. Captain Belt said he was going to make it up the river or blow it up, and that’s what happened. The Sultana was taking released Union prisoners of war North. A greedy captain was paid by how many passengers he could crowd onto the Sultana. 1195 passengers died as a result of a boiler explosion.

The Steamboat “Imperial”

February 20, 2024

John Napton took a chance on the Imperial to get home from Fort Benton. A miserable voyage, constantly getting stuck on sand bars, no pilot, food with worms and passengers having to get out into the river to pull the boat off sand bars. He joined other passengers to finish the voyage in a salvaged Mackinaw.

British Chroniclers

February 13, 2024

Sir Richard Burton thought the military would appreciate the help of genuine British soldier. He wrote of his experiences which helped entice his fellow countrymen to immigrate and invest in the cattle industry. Wealthy Englishwomen soon adapted to the western way of life.

The European Writers

February 6, 2024

Visitors from Europe wrote of their adventures in the west, which prompted many to immigrate. The Earl of Dunraven wrote a book, others kept journals of the weather, the food and clothing to impress friends back home. Sir Richard Burton offered instructions on the art of gunslinging.

The Publishers

January 30, 2024

Publishers and their equipment met with some danger. Presses dumped in rivers. Publishers dodging cannon balls, kidnapped, thrown into jail, tarred and feathered and nearly hung by disgruntled readers. Desperate for news, some made up outrageous stories, such as the famed, "Wampus Cat."

Greeley and Richardson

January 23, 2024

Easterners needed someone they could trust to tell them what they could expect in the West. New York Times journalist Horace Greeley was the expert. His famous words, “Go West, young man, go West” inspired many to leave their homes for the vast unknown.


January 16, 2024

A steamboat could make $80,000 for the cargo and passengers going to Fort Benton in the Montana gold fields. Life was hard for the deck hands and crew. There was danger at every turn, of 700 steamboats, 300 were destroyed by snags, explosions and sand bars.

The Kiowa Tribe - Part 2

January 9, 2024

Chief Little Mountain was chosen to lead the Kiowas. The military held peace talks which lasted a decade until the gold rushes brought thousands across their lands. Another treaty further reduced their land. Was there to be peace or war?

The Kiowas

January 2, 2024

Islandman was the chief of the KIowas. He failed to protect his tribe after a brutal battle with the Osage. The tribe had a unique method for choosing a new leader. Little Mountain became the chief for the next 33 years.

Christmas Stories

December 19, 2023

The Christmas Truce, personal stories and more.