by Elliott West

If history is the story of what people have done, then American history began thousands of years ago, and by far most of it is that of Indian peoples and their ancestors before Europeans arrived. Historians, however, disagree over answers to fundamental questions about that long history. Some say the first migrations into the Americas from today’s Siberia happened twelve or thirteen thousand years ago, others say as early as twenty-five thousand years ago. That migration continued southward by land along both sides of the Rocky Mountains, according to some, while others lean toward a route down the Pacific coast, partly by boat.More »

Featured Primary Sources

Bartolomé de Las Casas debates the subjugation of the Indians, 1550

Creator: Bartolomé de Las Casas Curriculum Subjects: Art Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
The Landing of Henrick Hudson, based on a paint1857. (Gilder Lehrman Collection)

Landing of Henrick Hudson, 1609

Creator: Martin, Johnson & Co Curriculum Subjects: Geography Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+

Map of the New World, with European settlements and American Indian tribes, 1730

Creator: Matthew Seutter Curriculum Subjects: Geography Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13+
View All


Captives and Cousins: Slavery, Kinship, and Community in the Southwest Borderlands

Speaker(s): James F. Brooks Duration: 32 minutes 53 seconds

America before Columbus

Speaker(s): Charles C. Mann Duration: 44 minutes 27 seconds

Guns, Horses, and the Grass Revolution

Speaker(s): Elliott West Duration: 1 hour 12 minute
View All