OldWest.org is on a mission to preserve and share stories of the people, places and legends of the American West so its history lives on for future generations. Our shelves are lined with American West history books and journals, but we know these aren’t always accessible or engaging for the casual reader – so we’re here to mix things up.
Like vintage Old West magazines of the past, we’re interested in sharing the well-known tales of larger-than-life characters like Wes Hardin, Quanah Parker, Nat Love, Laura Bullion and Tom Horn. But we’re just as interested in retelling the lesser-known stories of the people and places of the West, the tales of men and women like Tom Jeffords, who befriended Cochise during Arizona’s Apache and Yavapai Wars, or Patty Sessions, who braved the Oregon Trail in the late 1840s.
We’re committed to accuracy, fairness and sharing perspectives from people and cultures that have been historically ignored or misrepresented in Old West history. The fact that a quarter of cowboys may have been black, for example, is hardly noted in the movies and books we’ve all grown up with. Needless to say, we’re glad to see Nat Love and Co. get their own movie.
We strive for accuracy, though we’re also aware of the limitations and biases of many historical accounts, and acknowledge that in some cases there’s no clear answers for many of the West’s most famous – and infamous – narratives. In these cases we do our best to present numerous views to allow the reader to make his or her own judgments.
Finally, we’re passionate enthusiasts of American West history: the good, the bad and the ugly. The West represents – and represented – different things to different people, and we’re committed to sharing as many of those viewpoints as possible so future generations can learn from this engaging period of history.