Into the West: miniseries timeline

Into the West: miniseries timeline 1825-1890
The miniseries begins in the 1820s and is told mainly through the third person narration of
Jacob Wheeler and Loved by the Buffalo. The plot follows the story of two families, one white
American, one Native American, as their lives become mingled through the momentous
events of American expansion. The story intertwines real and fictional characters and
events spanning the period of expansion of the United States in the American West, from
1825 to 1890.
Episode 3 – Dreams and Schemes
Main Characters:
Jethro Wheeler: Jacob’s brother
Thunder Heart Woman
Corn Flower: THW’s doughter with Jethro
Martin Jarrett: 49er
Abraham High Wolf Wheeler: Jacob’s son
David Wheeler: Jethro’s cousin
Margaret Light Shines Wheeler: Jacob’s daughter
Ethan Biggs: British immigrant photographer
Running Fox: chief
Dog Star: chief
Conquering Bear: chief
Samson Wheeler: cousin
Susannah: Samson’s wife
Clara: Samson’s daughter
Jacob Wheeler
Jacob Wheeler Jr.
Brings Horse: Dog Star’s Son
Sleeping Bear: Dog Star’s Surviving Son
Jethro and Thunder Heart Woman remain together in California and a daughter, Corn Flower, is born to them.
While working at the Wheeler ranch, now dubbed Rancho Paradiso, Jethro encounters a 49er named Martin
Jarrett who brings him the first news about the California gold rush. Jethro soon follows him
to the nearby American River to prospect for gold, although he returns home each night.
Jethro dreams of quick riches but all he finds are a few small grains. Undeterred, he begins to
spend more and more time looking for gold. Without Jethro's labor, the ranch begins to run
into difficulties, with essential repairs being left undone. Jethro also takes to drinking heavily
and becomes abusive towards Thunder Heart Woman and the children. After one too many arguments turn
violent, Abe High Wolf Wheeler decides to leave.
Jethro's nephew (although it is claimed in the movie that he is Jethro's cousin), David
Wheeler, arrives as a 49er and becomes Jethro's partner in prospecting for gold. Angered by
the successes of a group of Chinese immigrant miners, Jethro and David drive them off and
steal their claim. After finding a huge nugget of gold, Jethro and David argue over how they will
split their new fortune. After Jethro falls asleep, David steals the nugget and heads toward San
Francisco. Jethro follows him and the two exchange gun fire. As David tries to escape in a canoe,
the two struggle and both are drowned. To support her family, Thunder Heart Woman starts to sell
food and supplies to the miners.
Meanwhile, Margaret Light Shines Wheeler has taken a job in a guest house in San Francisco, but continues to
look for her father. Jacob remained with the army, but became disillusioned at the treatment of native
Into the West: miniseries timeline 1825-1890
Americans in Oregon and returned to trapping in the mountains in California. After spotting an army unit
sporting a Bear Flag, Margaret inquires if any of them know Jacob Wheeler. A sergeant tells her that Jacob is
among them and says he will lead her to him. When the two enter a barn, he tries to rape her. Margaret is saved
by Ethan Biggs, a British immigrant photographer. Margaret goes to work for Biggs and the two eventually fall
in love and marry.
While working in the photo studio, a local wheelwright tells Margaret a trapper in the mountains has fixed a
broken wagon wheel for some settlers. Certain that it's her father, Margaret convinces Biggs to
join her looking for the trapper's camp. When they find the camp, Jacob at first takes them for
thieves and nearly shoots them. Margaret shows him the wooden medicine wheel necklace and
he realizes that she is his daughter. Jacob then goes to Rancho Paradiso and is reunited with his
On the plains, white encroachment has become an undeniable problem for the tribes. Running
Fox and Dog Star join several other chiefs - including Conquering Bear - at the signing of the
Treaty of Fort Laramie (1851). All three agree that the peace is precarious but decide to give
the agreement a chance.
A little later, Loved by the Buffalo is visiting Conquering Bear's village. A
cow escapes from a passing Mormon wagon train and rampages through the village, causing
considerable damage. The villagers try to give the cow back to the settlers, but they become
frightened at the sight of the Indians and run away. The tribe decides to keep the cow as compensation for the
damage and butcher it. Soldiers soon come, demanding that the cow be returned and the "thief" be handed over.
Conquering Bear tries to explain the situation to the soldiers but his efforts are thwarted by a drunken scout who
mistranslates the negotiations. The soldiers then open fire on the village and the warriors fight back. Many are
killed on both sides, including Conquering Bear. (Note: this event is based on the August
1854 Grattan massacre.)
A few years later, another Wheeler cousin, Samson Wheeler has moved
his family to Lawrence, Kansas. He allies himself with the abolitionist
Jayhawkers during the days of "Bleeding Kansas" as tensions rise in the
months leading up to the Civil War. He tries to get his wife Susannah,
and children including daughter Clara to leave after border ruffian Bloody Bill Anderson
threatens the Jayhawkers, but they refuse. Lawrence is later attacked by Anderson's
bushwackers and Quantrill's Raiders. In the raid, Samson, Susannah, and two of their three
children are killed, leaving Clara as the only survivor. She then leaves Kansas to seek out her cousins in Omaha.
Jacob Wheeler's sons take different paths. Abe Wheeler has become a rider
for the Pony Express. Despite being an excellent rider, he loses his job
when the Pony Express is superseded by the telegraph. Jacob Wheeler, Jr.
also decides to leave the family ranch to strike out on his own. Leaving
California for the great plains, his knowledge of the Lakota language is
valuable to the army and he is hired as a scout.
Dog Star's son, Brings Horse is shot by an army sniper when he climbs a telegraph pole to
investigate the wires strung from the top. Sleeping Bear, Dog Star's surviving son, pledges revenge against the
whites for what they have done.