Mike Allen, Professor of Early American History and folklore, was born and raised in Ellensburg, Washington. After serving with the U. S. Marines in Vietnam, he worked for three years as a towboat deckhand and cook on the Mississippi River. He earned his BA, MA, and Ph.D. in early American history from, respectively, Central Washington State College, University of Montana, and University of Washington, Seattle. He has taught at Tennessee Technological University, Deep Springs College, Eastern Montana College, and, since 1990, at UW Tacoma. Mike Allen has published five books: Western Rivermen, 1763-1861 (1990); Frontiers of Western History (Edited, 1997); Rodeo Cowboys in the North American Imagination (1998); A Patriot's History of The United States (2004, with Larry Schweikart); and The Confederation Congress and the West, 1783-1787 (2007). He is currently writing a book entitled "Mississippi River Valley: The Course of American Civilization". Mike Allen is a founder and board member of both the Ellensburg Rodeo Hall of Fame and the Kittitas County Heritage Center Associaiton. He lives in Tacoma and Ellensburg with his three children, Jim, Davy, and Caroline. He likes to travel throughout North America and is an amateur magician.