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        Mythic Heroes of the West | Ken Burns America: The West

        View images of some of the mythic heroes of the American West, such as trapper, scout, and soldier Kit Carson; soldier, bison hunter, and showman William “Buffalo Bill” Cody; and the famed General George Custer, who died fighting Lakota and Cheyenne warriors at the Battle of Little Bighorn ("Custer's Last Stand") in the Montana Territory. The American West is filled with mythic stories of cowboys and western heroes, as well as strong, proud Native American cultures that flourished there for thousands of years before white men arrived. It was an unknown, wild region of the United States before Lewis & Clark’s Corps of Discovery explored it in the early 1800s. 

        Colonel Kit Carson, 1864 | Ken Burns America: The West

        Detail of portrait of Colonel Kit Carson, 1864. Source: Palace of the Governors Photo Archives Collection, New Mexico History Museum/DCA [Neg. No. 7151].

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        William F. ("Buffalo Bill") Cody, ca. 1888 | Ken Burns: The West

        Detail of cabinet card portrait of William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody, ca. 1888. Photo credit: Elliott & Fry, London. Source: Denver Public Library, digital Collections/Tanenbaum, 1953.

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        George Armstrong Custer | Ken Burns America: The West

        Detail of half-portrait of Maj. General George Armstrong Custer (1839-1876), in uniform, facing right. Source: Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division.

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