The photo you see before you is a photograph of the Dakota Territory, which is now North and South Dakota. The photo also shows General Custer’s men crossing the plains. If you don’t remember your history lessons back in school, General Custer was an officer of the United States Army during the Indian and Civil wars.
This photo was taken by W.H. Illingworth, who is a famous British photographer. In the 1860s and 1870s, Illingworth once accompanied an expedition to the Montana Territory, also through the black hills of the Dakotas.
The Native American Man that we see in the photo is named Maiman. He was a Mojave Native and worked as a guide-interpreter in the 19th century, especially during the 1870s in Colorado. Maiman had a regular named Timothy O’Sullivan, who was a photographer. He would help him find some of the best locations for taking beautiful photographs.
Unlike other photographers out there, O'Sullivan didn't like the thought of photographing native Americans in a studio. Instead, he liked to capture them in a very realistic way. Aside from many nature shots, he also liked taking many Civil War battlefields. Now, that’s a photographer with a lot of guts!
Billy the Kid
Now, we go to the old west’s favorite outlaw, Billy the Kid. Although he was the most well-known outlaw, he wasn't always named Billy the Kid. His real name was Henry McCarty. In case you were wondering why he became so famous, he was known for having killed at least 8 men at a young age, and was one of the notorious gunfighters during that time.
The Kid was originally born in New York City and later moved to New Mexico. This guy was already a rebel because he even fought in the Lincoln County War. Because of his many indiscretions, he was arrested and put in jail. Unfortunately, in an attempt to escape from jail, Sheriff Pat Garrett shot and killed him. He died at the age of 21, but his legacy did not end there. Rumor has it that he didn’t die in the gunfight, but over the next few decades, many people committed the same crimes and claimed to be Billy the Kid.
The old west was filled with ladies of the night and elite madams. In fact, some of them were so successful and popular among the crowd, that they ended up becoming millionaires. Despite the harsh conditions they had to endure, these women came from all parts of the world to do what they are known for.
Back then, women did not have normal names like what we have now. They gave themselves surprisingly poetic and different nicknames, which all depended on the region in which they originated. If they were from California, they would go by the name of “soiled doves” by the cowboys and “ladies of the line” or “sporting women.” Other nicknames given were “Doves of the roost,” “fallen frails,” “Nymphs du praire” and “Fallen angels.” Their names were certainly unique, and as we mentioned before, they are good at keeping their identity hidden!
Wheeler Survey Group
The happy-looking people in this photo were called the Wheeler Survey Group. These guys were led by Captain George Montague Wheeler, who was on an expedition to survey the Western United States. Their expedition led to the creation of topographic maps of the Southwest from 1869 to 1879.
Among the areas that they surveyed were named after Captain Wheeler: Wheeler Peak in New Mexico, Wheeler Peak in Nevada, and Wheeler Geologic Area in Colorado. If you really think about it, having three areas named after you is not a shabby deal at all! Good Job!