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Old West

African American cowboyPossibly no time in American history and folklore has been portrayed as more adventurous and romantic than the Old West. With gallant cowboys, rotten scoundrels, and plenty of good bar brawls the Old West has been portrayed in movies and books as a rough and tumble paradise. In reality, life was hard in the Old West. Towns were small and struggled to be established. Settlers had to constantly battle this strange and uncertain land to survive. And cowboys spent month wearily herding cattle down trials that were poorly marked and often dangerous. People had little time or opportunity to live the glamorous, exciting life often portrayed in western movies. Use the links below to learn more about the Old West, and the pioneers that lived in it.

Cowboys

Cowtowns

Lawmen

Outlaws

Entry: Old West

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: December 1969

Date Modified: May 2012

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.