Weird History 20 Majestic Photos Of The American Wild West As Seen By The Outside World For The First Time  

Lisa A. Flowers
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List Rules Vote up the photos that most make you want to saddle up your horse and head West.

In the American push toward Manifest Destiny, the West represented – and continues to represent, for some – a perpetually vast, limitless, and epic adventure. And, though much of it has given way to gentrification, settlement, and "progress" over the years – blame the settlers and governmentally incentivized programs to exterminate the fauna (think buffalo) and people there – it's still very much present in all its exhilarating glory.

Photos of the Wild West have a special grandeur. From the California gold rush to the plains of Texas to harrowing gunfights and saloon brawls, the natural wonders of the old West never cease. And to imagine what the land, in all its dazzling natural diversity, must have looked like when the first photographers initially set eyes on it is, in itself, an exercise in awe. Thankfully, some of those photographers captured what they saw on film.

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Black Canyon, Mojave County, Arizona, 1871


Black Canyon, Mojave County, A... is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list 20 Majestic Photos Of The American Wild West As Seen By The Outside World For The First Time
Photo: Timothy O'Sullivan/via The Atlantic/ US Library of Congress/ No restrictions
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“Camp Beauty," Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona, 1873


“Camp Beauty," Canyon de C... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list 20 Majestic Photos Of The American Wild West As Seen By The Outside World For The First Time
Photo: US National Archives and Records Administration/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
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Inscription Rock, El Moro National Monument, 1873


Inscription Rock, El Moro Nati... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list 20 Majestic Photos Of The American Wild West As Seen By The Outside World For The First Time
Photo: Timothy O'Sullivan/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain
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Rancho de Taos Church, New Mexico


Rancho de Taos Church, New Mex... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list 20 Majestic Photos Of The American Wild West As Seen By The Outside World For The First Time
Photo: James M. Slack/Wikimedia Commons/Public Domain