News and Notes

A Newsletter for Faculty and Staff of Idaho State University

April 12, 2010 — Vol. 26 No. 15

The West before Lewis and Clark’ Topic of April 21 Presentation

Elliott West

Award-winning historian, author and teacher Elliott West will deliver the sixth annual Idaho Yesterdays Lecture “The West before Lewis and Clark: Three Lives” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, in Goranson Hall in the Idaho State University Fine Arts Building.

West’s free public presentation focuses on three persons whose experiences begin 125 years before the Lewis and Clark expedition: a young Frenchman on LaSalle's second expedition, an Osage man who visited Paris, and a New Mexican woman captured by Comanches who ends up in St. Louis. Several of West's books will be available for sale at the event.

Professor West is Alumni Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Arkansas. He is a noted authority on the American West, former president of the Western History Association, and author of numerous award-winning books. His most recent work, “The Last Indian War: The Nez Perce Story,” was published in 2009 by Oxford University Press as part of its highly-regarded series, Pivotal Moments in U.S. History.

“‘The Last Indian War’ is the most prominent major work to appear on a topic of Idaho history in quite some time, thus we are delighted to bring Dr. West to present this year’s Idaho Yesterdays Lecture,” said Kevin Marsh, editor of Idaho Yesterdays and ISU associate professor of history.

West is a prolific writer, having authored seven history books that are in print, more than 40 journal articles and a wide array of other writings.

His teaching awards are also numerous. He is one of three finalists for the Robert Foster Cherry Award, given to the best college teacher in the U.S. He was featured in the Wall Street Journal article "America's Top College Professor." He has also won a variety of teaching awards in Arkansas, including state professor of the year.

Idaho Yesterdays is the peer-reviewed journal of Idaho history. It was founded in 1957, and is edited by faculty in the ISU Department of History. The journal shifted to an online format in 2009, now available at

The event is made possible by the Idaho Humanities Council, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Department of History, the American Studies Program, and the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society at Idaho State University.