Nineteenth Century Timeline
The Museum of Westward Expansion charts the entire history of the 19th century American West, from the Louisiana Purchase to the closing of the frontier in 1890.
Click on a decade in the list below or at the bottom of each decade page to learn about the major events which shaped this incredible period, an era of major technological improvements, mass migrations, bitter conflicts, and epic exploration.
A broader timeline, with graphics, can also be viewed on the Lewis and Clark website, The Lewis and Clark Journey of Discovery.
Did You Know?
On September 10, 1804 on Cedar Island, in South Dakota, William Clark discovered the fossilized remains of the ribs, backbone and teeth of a plesiosaur. Plesiosaurs were animals who lived at the same time as the dinosaurs, but swam rather than walking on land. Clark thought it was a giant fish bone! More...