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Bidwell, John (05 August 1819–04 April 1900), California pioneer, agriculturalist, and politician, was born on a farm in Chautauqua County, New York, the son of Abram Bidwell and Clarissa Griggs, farmers. The family moved to Pennsylvania and then Ohio. John was bookish, although he had only three winter months of schooling each year, at best. But he walked 300 miles to attend Kingsville Academy in 1836 and, after a year, was elected its principal. He returned home to teach, then went to Missouri to farm. There, a western trader told him of fertile California, a land of perpetual spring. So he helped organize a western emigration society....

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LeFlore, Greenwood (03 June 1800–31 August 1865), chief of the Choctaws, planter, and member of the Mississippi legislature, was born near the present site of the old state capitol in Jackson, Mississippi, the son of Louis LeFlore, a French Canadian who lived among the Choctaws as an agent and trader, and Rebecca Cravat, a young girl from an important Choctaw family. When Greenwood was twelve years old, Major John Donley, who handled mail along the Natchez Trace, took the boy to his home near Nashville, Tennessee, where he stayed for five years attending school. At seventeen Greenwood asked permission to marry Donley’s fifteen-year-old daughter, Rosa, but Donley did not consent to the marriage because they were too young. Greenwood and Rosa slipped away to a friend’s home to get married, and Greenwood thereafter took his bride home to Mississippi, where two children were born....