front cover of Above the Clearwater
Above the Clearwater
Living on Stolen Land
Bette Lynch Husted
Oregon State University Press, 2004

Like her father before her, Bette Husted grew up on stolen land. The bench land above the Clearwater River in north-central Idaho had been a home for the Nez Perce Indians until the Dawes Act opened their reservation to settlement in 1895. As a child on the family homestead, Husted felt the presence of the Nez Perce: "But they were always just out of sight, like a smoky shadow behind me that I couldn't quite turn around quickly enough to catch."

Above the Clearwater chronicles her family's history on the land, revealing their joys and sorrows, their triumphs and tragedies. In a series of graceful and moving essays, Husted traces this intimate history, from her Cold War childhood to her struggles as a parent and finally to her life as a woman and teacher in the rural West. Her family's stories echo those of countless other families in the American West: the conflicts with guns, the struggles over land ownership and water rights, the isolation of women, the separations by race and class, the family secrets of mental illness and suicide.

With a powerful, poetic voice, Husted illuminates the tangled relationship between the history of a particular place and the history of the families who inhabit that place over time. As Above the Clearwater explores one family's search for a home on land taken from its original inhabitants, it quietly asks all readers to examine their own homes in the same light.


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At the Hearth of the Crossed Races
A French-Indian Community in Nineteenth-Century Oregon, 1812-1859
Melinda Marie Jetté
Oregon State University Press, 2015
Despite the force of Oregon’s founding mythology, the Willamette Valley was not an empty Eden awaiting settlement by hardy American pioneers. Rather, it was, as Melinda Jetté explores in At the Hearth of the Crossed Races, one of the earliest sites of extensive intercultural contact in the Pacific Northwest.

Jetté’s study focuses on the “hearth” of this contact: French Prairie, so named for the French-Indian families who resettled the homeland of the Ahantchuyuk Kalapuyans. Although these families sought a middle course in their relations with their various neighbors, their presence ultimately contributed to the Anglo-American colonization of the region. By establishing farming and husbandry operations in the valley, the French-Indian settlers enhanced the Willamette Valley’s appeal as a destination of choice for the Anglo-Americans who later emigrated to the Pacific Northwest via the Oregon Trail.

Upon these emigrants’ arrival, the social space for the people of the “crossed races” diminished considerably, as the Anglo-Americans instituted a system of settler colonialism based on racial exclusion. Like their Native kin, the French-Indian families pursued various strategies to navigate the changing times and Jetté’s study of French Prairie takes on the relationships among all three: the French-Indian families, the indigenous peoples, and the Anglo-American settlers.  

With At the Hearth of the Crossed Races, Jetté delivers a social history that deepens our understanding of the Oregon Country in the nineteenth century. This history of French Prairie provides a window into the multi-racial history of the Pacific Northwest and offers an alternative vision of early Oregon in the lives of the biracial French-Indian families whose community challenged notions of white supremacy, racial separation, and social exclusion.

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Bachelor Bess
The Homesteading Letters of Elizabeth Corey, 1909-1919
Philip L. Gerber
University of Iowa Press, 1990

In July 1909 twenty-one-year-old Elizabeth Corey left her Iowa farm to stake her claim to a South Dakota homestead. Over the next ten years, as she continued her schoolteaching career and carved out a home for herself in this inhospitable territory, she sent a steady stream of letters to her family back in Iowa. From the edge of modern America, Bess wrote long, gossipy accounts—"our own continuing adventure story," according to her brother Paul—of frontier life on the high plains west of the Missouri River. Irrepressible, independent-minded, and evidently fearless, the self-styled Bachelor Bess gives us a firsthand, almost daily account of her homesteading adventures. We can all stake a claim in her energetic letters.


front cover of The Brothers Robidoux and the Opening of the American West
The Brothers Robidoux and the Opening of the American West
Robert J. Willoughby
University of Missouri Press, 2012
Written in a unique biographical format, Robert Willoughby interweaves the stories of six brothers who shaped the American trans-Mississippi West during the first five decades of the nineteenth century. After migrating from French Canada to St. Louis, the brothers Robidoux—Joseph, Francois, Antoine, Louis, Michel, and Isadore—and their father, Joseph, became significant members in the business, fur trading, and land speculation communities, frequently interacting with upper-class members of the French society.

Upon coming of age, the brothers followed their father into the fur business and American Indian trade. The oldest of the six, Joseph, led the group on an expedition up the Missouri River as Lewis and Clark had once done, designating a path of trade sites along their journey until they reached their destination at present-day Omaha, Nebraska. Eventually the younger brothers set out on their own westward expedition in the mid 1820s, reaching both Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Joseph eventually became a town founder in northwest Missouri near Blacksnake Creek. Antoine and Louis traveled as far as California, finally settling in Santa Fe where they became prominent citizens. As a trapper and trader, Michel endured many hardships and close calls during his journey across the West. Francois and Isadore made their home in New Mexico, maintaining a close relationship with Joseph in Missouri.

Though frequently under contract by others, the brothers did their best work when allowed to freelance and make their own rules. The brothers would ultimately pass on their prosperous legacy of ranging, exploring, trading, and town-building to a new generation of settlers. As the nature of the fur trade changed, so did the brothers’ business model. They began focusing on outfitting western migrants, town folk, and farmers. Their practices made each of them wealthy; however, they all died poor.

To understand the opening of the American West, one must first know about men like the brothers Robidoux. Their lives are the framework for stories about the American frontier. By using primary sources located at the Missouri Historical Society, the Mexican Archives of New Mexico, and the Huntington Library, as well as contemporary accounts written by those who knew them, Willoughby has now told the Robidouxs’ story.

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Buckeye Rovers in the Gold Rush
An Edition of Two Diaries
H. Lee Scamehorn
Ohio University Press, 1989

When “California Fever” raced through southeastern Ohio in the spring of 1849, a number of residents of Athens County organized a cooperative venture for traveling overland to the mines. Known as the “Buckeye Rovers,” the company began its trip westward in early April. The Buckeye Rovers, along with thousands who traveled the overland route to California, endured numerous hardships and the seemingly constant threat of attacks from hostile Indians. On reaching their destination, the Ohioans discovered that rich deposits of gold were extremely rare, and that except for a few lucky fortune–seekers, mining required hard physical labor and yielded small rewards. They persisted nonetheless and most of the company returned to Athens in late 1851 or early 1852 with modest fortunes.

The arduous experiences of the overland trek were recorded by two Buckeye Rover diarists. The more compete account was compiled by John Banks. He wrote effusively while on the trail and throughout his stay of more than two years in the gold regions. J. Elza Armstrong, by contrast, was brief, even laconic, and his journal ended upon reaching California. The contrast between the two brings into focus the divergent personalities who were drawn to California by the lure of gold.

A nine–month segment of Bank’s diary, from February to November, 1851, had been missing at the time the story of the Buckeye Rovers was first published in 1965. This revised and enlarged edition contains the complete diaries. They offer valuable record of the Buckeyes’ adventures from the time they left home until the time they departed California for the return trip to Ohio.


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The Ohio State University Press, 2003

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The Chickasaw Rancher, Revised Edition
Neil R. Johnson
University Press of Colorado, 2001
First published in 1960, Neil R. Johnson's The Chickasaw Rancher, Revised Edition, tells the story of Montford T. Johnson and the first white settlement of Oklahoma. Abandoned by his father after his mother's death and then left on his own following his grandmother's passing in 1868, Johnson became the owner of a piece of land in the northern part of the Chickasaw Nation in what is now Oklahoma.

The Chickasaw Rancher follows Montford T. Johnson's family and friends for the next thirty-two years. Neil R. Johnson describes the work, the ranch parties, cattle rustling, gun fights, tornadoes, the run of 1889, the hard deaths of many along the way, and the rise, fall, and revival of the Chickasaw Nation.

This revised edition of The Chickasaw Rancher, edited by C. Neil Kingsley, Neil R. Johnson's grandson, is the perfect addition to any reader's collection of the history of the American West.


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Crooked Past
The History of a Frontier Mining Camp
Terrence Cole
University of Alaska Press, 1991
The crookedest street in Fairbanks, an Alaskan sourdough once said, is rightly named for town founder E. T. Barnette. Crooked Past, Terrence Cole's lively history of Fairbanks examines one of Alaska's most notorious con men. Barnette, a footloose fortune hunter who had served time in an Oregon penitentiary, came north during the Klondike gold rush of 1897-1898. He struck it rich after founding the city of Fairbanks in the early 1900s. Yet less than ten years later he was run out of the territory and allegedly disappeared in Mexico, becoming the most hated man in the town he founded and fled.

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Dangerous Subjects
James D. Saules and the Rise of Black Exclusion in Oregon
Kenneth R. Coleman
Oregon State University Press, 2017
Dangerous Subjects describes the life and times of James D. Saules, a black sailor who was shipwrecked off the coast of Oregon and settled there in 1841. Before landing in Oregon, Saules traveled the world as a whaleman in the South Pacific and later as a crew member of the United States Exploring Expedition. Saules resided in the Pacific Northwest for just two years before a major wave of Anglo-American immigrants arrived in covered wagons.
In Oregon, Saules encountered a multiethnic population already transformed by colonialism—in particular, the fur industry and Protestant missionaries. Once the Oregon Trail emigrants began arriving in large numbers, in 1843, Saules had to adapt to a new reality in which Anglo-American settlers persistently sought to marginalize and exclude black residents from the region. Unlike Saules, who adapted and thrived in Oregon’s multiethnic milieu, the settler colonists sought to remake Oregon as a white man’s country. They used race as shorthand to determine which previous inhabitants would be included and which would be excluded. Saules inspired and later had to contend with a web of black exclusion laws designed to deny black people citizenship, mobility, and land.
In Dangerous Subjects, Kenneth Coleman sheds light on a neglected chapter in Oregon’s history. His book will be welcomed by scholars in the fields of western history and ethnic studies, as well as general readers interested in early Oregon and its history of racial exclusion.

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The Daring Trader
Jacob Smith in the Michigan Territory, 1802-1825
Kim Crawford
Michigan State University Press, 2012

A fur trader in the Michigan Territory and confidant of both the U.S. government and local Indian tribes, Jacob Smith could have stepped out of a James Fenimore Cooper novel. Controversial, mysterious, and bold during his lifetime, in death Smith has not, until now, received the attention he deserves as a pivotal figure in Michigan’s American period and the War of 1812. This is the exciting and unlikely story of a man at the frontier’s edge, whose missions during both war and peace laid the groundwork for Michigan to accommodate settlers and farmers moving west. The book investigates Smith’s many pursuits, including his role as an advisor to the Indians, from whom the federal government would gradually gain millions of acres of land, due in large part to Smith’s work as an agent of influence. Crawford paints a colorful portrait of a complicated man during a dynamic period of change in Michigan’s history.


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De León, a Tejano Family History
By Ana Carolina Castillo Crimm
University of Texas Press, 2003

Winner, Presidio La Bahia Award, 2004
San Antonio Conservation Society Citation, 2005

La familia de León was one of the foundation stones on which Texas was built. Martín de León and his wife Patricia de la Garza left a comfortable life in Mexico for the hardships and uncertainties of the Texas frontier in 1801. Together, they established family ranches in South Texas and, in 1824, the town of Victoria and the de León colony on the Guadalupe River (along with Stephen F. Austin's colony, the only completely successful colonization effort in Texas). They and their descendents survived and prospered under four governments, as the society in which they lived evolved from autocratic to republican and the economy from which they drew their livelihood changed from one of mercantile control to one characterized by capitalistic investments.

Combining the storytelling flair of a novelist with a scholar's concern for the facts, Ana Carolina Castillo Crimm here recounts the history of three generations of the de León family. She follows Martín and Patricia from their beginnings in Mexico through the establishment of the family ranches in Texas and the founding of the de León colony and the town of Victoria. Then she details how, after Martín's death in 1834, Patricia and her children endured the Texas Revolution, exile in New Orleans and Mexico, expropriation of their lands, and, after returning to Texas, years of legal battles to regain their property. Representative of the experiences of many Tejanos whose stories have yet to be written, the history of the de León family is the story of the Tejano settlers of Texas.


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Dead in Their Tracks
Crossing America’s Desert Borderlands in the New Era
John Annerino
University of Arizona Press, 2009
Alarmed by breaking news reports of thirteen men, women, and children who died of thirst on American soil—and twenty-two other human beings saved by Border Patrol rescue teams—John Annerino left the cool pines of his mountain retreat and journeyed into one of the most inhospitable places on earth, the heart of the 4,100-square-mile “empty quarter” that straddles the desolate corner of southwest Arizona and northwest Sonora, Mexico.

During the Sonoran Desert’s glorious and brutal summer season Annerino, a photojournalist, author, and explorer, watched four border crossers step off a bus and nonchalantly head into the American no-man’s land. On assignment for Newsweek, Annerino did more than just watch on that blistering August day. He joined them on their ultramarathon, life-or-death quest to find work to feed their families, amid temperatures so hot your parched throat burns from breathing and drinking water is the ultimate treasure.
As their water dwindled and the heat punished them, Annerino and the desperate men continued marching fifty miles in twenty-four hours and managed to survive their harrowing journey across the deadliest migrant trail in North America, El Camino del Diablo, “The Road of the Devil.” Driven by the mounting death toll, John returned again and again to the sun-scorched despoblado (uninhabited lands)—where hidden bighorn sheep water tanks glowed like diamonds—to document the lives, struggles, and heartbreaking remains of those who continue to disappear and perish in a region that’s claimed the lives of more than 9,700 men, women, and children.
Following the historic paths of indigenous Hia Ced O’odham (People of the Sand), Spanish missionary explorer Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino, and California-bound Forty-Niners, Annerino’s journeys on foot, crisscrossed the alluring yet treacherous desert trails of the El Camino del Diablo, Hohokam shell trail, and O’odham salt trails where hundreds of gambusinos (Mexican miners) and Euro-American pioneers succumbed during the 1850s.
As the migrants kept coming, the deaths kept mounting, and Annerino kept returning. He crossed celebrated Sonoran Desert sanctuaries—Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Cabeza Prieta National Wildlife Refuge, Barry M. Goldwater Range, sacred ancestral lands of the Tohono O’odham—that had become lost horizons, killing grounds, graveyards, and deadly smuggling corridors that also claimed the lives of National Park rangers and Border Patrol agents. John Annerino’s mission was to save someone, anyone, everyone—when he could find them.
Dead in Their Tracks is the saga of a merciless despoblado in the Great Southwest, of desperate yet hopeful migrants and refugees who keep staggering north. It is the story of ranchers, locals, and Border Patrol trackers who’ve saved countless lives, and heavily armed smugglers who haunt an inhospitable, if beautiful, wilderness that remains off the radar for journalists and news organizations that dare not set foot in the American desert waiting to welcome them on its terms.

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Drifting West
V Simmons
University Press of Colorado, 2007

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Ella Elgar Bird Dumont
An Autobiography of a West Texas Pioneer
Edited by Tommy J. Boley
University of Texas Press, 1988

A crack shot, expert skinner and tanner, seamstress, sculptor, and later writer—a list that only hints at her intelligence and abilities—Ella Elgar Bird Dumont was one of those remarkable women who helped tame the Texas frontier. First married at sixteen to a Texas Ranger, she followed her husband to Comanche Indian country in King County, where they lived in a tepee while participating in the final slaughter of the buffalo. Living off the land until the frontier was opened for ranching, Ella and Tom Bird typified the Old West ideals of self-sufficiency and generosity, with a hesitancy to complain about the hard life in the late 1800s.

Yet, in one important way, Ella Dumont was unsuited for life on the frontier. Endowed with an instinctive desire and ability to carve and sculpt, she was largely prevented from pursuing her talents by the responsibilities of marriage and frontier life and later, widowhood with two small children. Even though her second marriage, to Auguste Dumont, made life more comfortable, the realities of her existence still prevented the fulfillment of her artistic longings.

Ella Bird Dumont’s memoir is rich with details of the frontier era in Texas, when Indian depredations were still a danger for isolated settlers, where animals ranged close enough to provide dinner and a new pair of gloves, and where sheer existence depended on skill, luck, and the kindness of strangers. The vividness and poignancy of her life, coupled with the wealth of historical material in the editor’s exhaustive notes, make this Texas pioneer’s autobiography a very special book.


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Emma Lee
Juanita Brooks
Utah State University Press, 1975

Now in its eighth printing, Emma Lee is the classic biography of one of John D. Lee's plural wives. Emma experienced the best and worst of polygamy and came as near to the Mountain Meadows Massacre as anyone could without participating firsthand.


front cover of The Evolution of a State, or, Recollections of Old Texas Days
The Evolution of a State, or, Recollections of Old Texas Days
By Noah Smithwick
University of Texas Press, 1983

"I was but a boy in my nineteenth year, and in for adventure when I started out from Hopkinsville, Kentucky, with all my worldly possessions, consisting of a few dollars in money, a change of clothes, and a gun, of course, to seek my fortune in this lazy man's paradise."

Noah Smithwick was an old man, blind and near his ninetieth year, when his daughter recorded these words. He had stayed on in "paradise"—Texas—from 1827 to 1861, when his opposition to secession took him to California. The Evolution of a State is his story of these "old Texas days."

A blacksmith and a tobacco smuggler, Noah Smithwick made weapons for the Battle of Concepción, and he fought in that battle. With Hensley's company, he chased the Mexican army south of the Rio Grande after the Battle of San Jacinto. Twice he served with the Texas Rangers. In quieter times, he was a postmaster and justice of the peace in little Webber's Prairie.

Eyewitness to so much Texas history, Smithwick recounts his life and adventures in a simple, straightforward style, with a wry sense of humor. His keen memory for detail—what the people wore, what they ate, how they worked and played— vividly evokes the sights, sounds, and smells of the frontier.

First published in part by the Dallas Morning News, Smithwick's recollections gained such popularity that they were published in book form, as The Evolution of a State, in 1900. This new edition of a Texas classic makes widely available for the first time in many years this "best of all books dealing with life in early Texas."


front cover of Explorers and Settlers of Spanish Texas
Explorers and Settlers of Spanish Texas
By Donald E. Chipman and Harriett Denise Joseph
University of Texas Press, 2001

In Notable Men and Women of Spanish Texas, Donald Chipman and Harriett Joseph combined dramatic, real-life incidents, biographical sketches, and historical background to reveal the real human beings behind the legendary figures who discovered, explored, and settled Spanish Texas from 1528 to 1821. Drawing from their earlier book and adapting the language and subject matter to the reading level and interests of middle and high school students, the authors here present the men and women of Spanish Texas for young adult readers and their teachers.

These biographies demonstrate how much we have in common with our early forebears. Profiled in this book are:

  • Alvar Núñez Cabeza de Vaca: Ragged Castaway
  • Francisco Vázquez de Coronado: Golden Conquistador
  • María de Agreda: Lady in Blue
  • Alonso de León: Texas Pathfinder
  • Domingo Terán de los Ríos / Francisco Hidalgo: Angry Governor and Man with a Mission
  • Louis St. Denis / Manuela Sánchez: Cavalier and His Bride
  • Antonio Margil de Jesús: God's Donkey
  • Marqués de San Miguel de Aguayo: Chicken War Redeemer
  • Felipe de Rábago y Terán: Sinful Captain
  • José de Escandón y Elguera: Father of South Texas
  • Athanase de Mézières: Troubled Indian Agent
  • Domingo Cabello: Comanche Peacemaker
  • Marqués de Rubí / Antonio Gil Ibarvo: Harsh Inspector and Father of East Texas
  • Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara / Joaquín de Arredondo: Rebel Captain and Vengeful Royalist
  • Women in Colonial Texas: Pioneer Settlers
  • Women and the Law: Rights and Responsibilities

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The Federalist Frontier
Settler Politics in the Old Northwest, 1783-1840
Kristopher Maulden
University of Missouri Press, 2023
The Federalist Frontier traces the development of Federalist policies and the Federalist Party in the first three states of the Northwest Territory—Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois—from the nation’s first years until the rise of the Second Party System in the 1820s and 1830s. Relying on government records, private correspondence, and newspapers, Kristopher Maulden argues that Federalists originated many of the policies and institutions that helped the young United States government take a leading role in the American people’s expansion and settlement westward across the Appalachians. It was primarily they who placed the U.S. Army at the fore of the white westward movement, created and executed the institutions to survey and sell public lands, and advocated for transportation projects to aid commerce and further migration into the region. Ultimately, the relationship between government and settlers evolved as citizens raised their expectations of what the federal government should provide, and the region embraced transportation infrastructure and innovation in public education.
Historians of early American politics will have a chance to read about Federalists in the Northwest, and they will see the early American state in action in fighting Indians, shaping settler understandings of space and social advancement, and influencing political ideals among the citizens. For historians of the early American West, Maulden’s work demonstrates that the origins of state-led expansion reach much further back in time than generally understood.

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The Follinglo Dog Book
A Norwegian Pioneer Story from Iowa
Peder Gustav Tjernagel
University of Iowa Press, 1999

The Follinglo Dog Book both is and is not about dogs. The dogs are certainly here: from Milla to Chip the Third, we encounter a procession of heroic if often unfortunate creatures who, along with their immigrant masters, led a hard life on the nineteenth-century American frontier. However, if you pick up this book thinking it will offer a heartwarming read about canine experiences, you will find yourself reinformed by the way it unfolds.

Instead, these are the stories of a Norwegian pioneer family that came in 1860 to settle the Iowa prairie on a homestead called Follinglo Farm in Story County, Iowa. In the Tjernagels' experience one may read a chronicle of the state, the region, and the nation. Arriving in Iowa in what was still the age of wooden equipment and animal power, the Tjernagels witnessed each successive revolution on the land. They built homes and barns, cultivated the land, and encountered every manner of natural disaster from prairie fires to blizzards. Through all the struggles and setbacks, Peder Gustav Tjernagel's stories sparkle with boyhood pranks and adventures, in which the family dogs frequently play a role.

Readers will discover a wonderful cast of Norwegian relatives and neighbors, including a Herculean uncle, Store Per (Big Pete), who could lift a cow by its horns; a mysterious aunt, Stora Fastero (Big Sister), whose arrival signaled that a baby was soon to be born; and Elling Eilson, the walking Lutheran apostle. And, of course, there are the dogs who shepherd, protect, and even baby-sit the residents of Follinglo Farm.


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Francois Vallé and His World
Upper Louisiana before Lewis and Clark
Carl J. Ekberg
University of Missouri Press, 2002

Winner of the Kemper & Leila Williams Prize in Louisiana History for excellence in historical scholarship for the year 2002, awarded by The Historic New Orleans Collection, The Louisiana Historical Association.

In François Vallé and His World, Carl Ekberg provides a fascinating biography of François Vallé (1716–1783), placing him within the context of his place and time. Vallé, who was born in Beauport, Canada, immigrated to Upper Louisiana (the Illinois Country) as a penniless common laborer sometime during the early 1740s. Engaged in agriculture, lead mining, and the Indian trade, he ultimately became the wealthiest and most powerful individual in Upper Louisiana, although he never learned to read or write.
Ekberg focuses on Upper Louisiana in colonial times, long before Lewis and Clark arrived in the Mississippi River valley and before American sovereignty had reached the eastern bank of the Mississippi. He vividly captures the ambience of life in the eighteenth-century frontier agricultural society that Vallé inhabited, shedding new light on the French and Spanish colonial regimes in Louisiana and on the Mississippi River frontier before the Americans arrived.
Based entirely on primary source documents—wills and testaments, parish registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials, and Spanish administrative correspondence—found in archives ranging from St. Louis and Ste. Genevieve to New Orleans and Seville, François Vallé and His World traces not only the life of François Vallé and the lives of his immediate family members, but also the lives of his slaves. In doing so, it provides a portrait of Missouri’s very first black families, something that has never before been attempted. Ekberg also analyzes how the illiterate Vallé became the richest person in all of Upper Louisiana, and how he rose in the sociopolitical hierarchy to become an important servant of the Spanish monarchy.
François Vallé and His World provides a useful corrective to the fallacious notion that Missouri’s history began with the arrival of Lewis and Clark at the turn of the nineteenth century. Anyone with an interest in colonial history or the history of the Mississippi River valley will find this book of great value.

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Frigid Embrace
Politics, Economics, and Environment in Alaska
Stephen Haycox
Oregon State University Press, 2002

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From Knights to Pioneers
One German Family in Westphalia and Missouri
Anita M. Mallinckrodt
Southern Illinois University Press, 1994

Anita M. Mallinckrodt traces the 750-year history of the Mallinckrodt family from its earliest documented beginnings in thirteenth-century Westphalia (in the Dortmund area) through immigration to Missouri in 1831 and beyond.

In part 1, Mallinckrodt tells the story of some of her family’s leading personalities in order to explicate the history and society of medieval and early modern Germany: the life and times of knight Ludwig (c. 1241) and crusader Gerd (c. 1450–1504); the 1451 and 1492 adventures of the mercenary knight Hermann and his son Wilhelm; the 1594 feuding of the noble brothers Dietrich and Hermann, which led to a double murder; the liberal Dortmund publisher Arnold’s struggles in the early 1800s to establish freedom of the press and to free Westphalian farmers from serfdom; and the wealthy, aristocratic Sister Pauline (b. 1817), founder of the Sisters of Charity and recently beatified for her efforts on behalf of the poor and blind children of her day.

In parts 2 and 3, Mallinckrodt focuses on the first of her forebears to immigrate to the New World—Julius and Emil in 1831, followed by Conrad, Hermann, August, Helene, Sophie, and Luise in 1838—and their immediate families and descendants in Missouri. These early pioneers cleared the forests, built schools and churches, supported German-language periodicals, and founded social and cultural organizations that would benefit later waves of immigrants. In the 1860s, they participated in their adopted country’s Civil War and held strong views toward slavery and the Union. Mallinckrodt ends her family’s history with the deaths of the Dortmund pioneers in the 1890s.

But From Knights to Pioneers is much more than a single family’s history. The experiences Mallinckrodt relates reflect those of many German families who left their mark on centuries of history and of many midwestern families transplanted from the Old World. Especially interesting is the continuity between the old and new ways of life—entries on genealogical tables need not end with the comment "immigrated to the USA," for immigrants often wrote notable chapters of family history that deserve recognition in their old homelands. Similarly, knowledge of pre-immigration history is essential for those Americans whose traditions surely did not begin, as oral history often suggests, with the fact that "great-grandfather arrived in the Midwest from Germany in 1831." Thus the purpose of this book is to set a family’s immigration chapter against its European background, without passing judgment on the cultural influence of outstanding individuals in the United States or of German immigration per se.

Drawing on her extensive research in both Europe and the United States, Mallinckrodt presents an exceptionally detailed picture of the social and political contexts of each of her subjects. The richness of her exposition of both the Old World background and the lives of the immigrants to the New World offers important insights into aspects of European and American history.


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Frontier Swashbuckler
The Life and Legend of John Smith T
Dick Steward
University of Missouri Press, 2000

Few frontiersmen in the late eighteenth century and early nineteenth century epitomized the reckless energies of the West and the lust for adventure as did John Smith T—pioneer, gunfighter, entrepreneur, militia colonel, miner, judge, and folk hero. In this fascinating biography, Dick Steward traces the colorful Smith T's life from his early days in Virginia through his young adulthood. He then describes Smith T's remarkable career in the wilds of Missouri and his armed raids to gain land from Indians, Spaniards, and others.

Born into the fifth generation of Virginia gentry, young Smith first made his name on the Tennessee frontier. It was there that he added the "T" to his name to distinguish his land titles and other enterprises from those of the hosts of other John Smiths. By the late 1790s he owned or laid claim to more than a quarter million acres in Tennessee and northern Alabama.

In 1797, Smith T moved to Missouri, then a Spanish territory, and sought to gain control of its lead-mining district by displacing the most powerful American in the region, Moses Austin. He acquired such public positions as judge of the court of common pleas, commissioner of weights and levies, and lieutenant colonel of the militia, which enabled him to mount a spirited assault on Austin's virtual monopoly of the lead mines. Although neither side emerged a winner from that ten-year-old conflict, it was during this period that Smith T's fame as a gunfighter and duelist spread across the West. Known as the most dangerous man in Missouri, he was said to have killed fourteen men in duels.

Smith T was also recognized by many for his good works. He donated land for churches and schools and was generous to the poor and downtrodden. He epitomized the opening of the West, helping to build towns, roads, and canals and organizing trading expeditions.

Even though Smith T was one of the most notorious characters in Missouri history, by the late nineteenth century he had all but disappeared from the annals of western history. Frontier Swashbuckler seeks to rescue both the man and the legend from historical obscurity. At the same time, it provides valuable insights into the economic, political, and social dynamics of early Missouri frontier history.


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Gender and Generation on the Far Western Frontier
Cynthia Culver Prescott
University of Arizona Press, 2007
As her family traveled the Oregon Trail in 1852, Mary Ellen Todd taught herself to crack the ox whip. Though gender roles often blurred on the trail, families quickly tried to re-establish separate roles for men and women once they had staked their claims. For Mary Ellen Todd, who found a “secret joy in having the power to set things moving,” this meant trading in the ox whip for the more feminine butter churn.

In Gender and Generation on the Far Western Frontier, Cynthia Culver Prescott expertly explores the shifting gender roles and ideologies that countless Anglo-American settlers struggled with in Oregon’s Willamette Valley between 1845 and 1900. Drawing on traditional social history sources as well as divorce records, married women’s property records, period photographs, and material culture, Prescott reveals that Oregon settlers pursued a moving target of middle-class identity in the second half of the nineteenth century.

Prescott traces long-term ideological changes, arguing that favorable farming conditions enabled Oregon families to progress from accepting flexible frontier roles to participating in a national consumer culture in only one generation. As settlers’ children came of age, participation in this new culture of consumption and refined leisure became the marker of the middle class. Middle-class culture shifted from the first generation’s emphasis on genteel behavior to a newer genteel consumption.

This absorbing volume reveals the shifting boundaries of traditional women’s spheres, the complicated relationships between fathers and sons, and the second generation’s struggle to balance their parents’ ideology with a changing national sense of class consciousness.

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Glory Hunter
A Biography of Patric Edward Connor
Brigham Madsen
University of Utah Press, 1990

The life of Patrick Edward Connor serves as a half-century slice of western American history. After leaving New York City, where he had arrived at the age of twelve as a poor Irish immigrant, the nineteen-year-old youth joined the U.S. Army in 1839. He fought in the war with Mexico and then joined the gold rush in California until marrying and settling down in Stockton in 1854.

The Civil War found him volunteering again, this time as colonel of California troops sent to the Utah Territory to protect the mail lines from Indian attacks. Bitterly anti-Mormon, Connor spent the war years alternately engaging in a war of words with Brigham Young or in fighting Indians in northern Utah and present-day Wyoming. After the Civil War, ex-Major General Connor began mining operations in Utah and Nevada, ventures that went from boom to bust. He spent his final years in straitened financial circumstances.

Patrick Edward Connor was a “Man of the West,” possessing both its prejudices and its democratic, independent spirit. His greatest success lay as a military leader, and he would have agreed that he was made for war, not peace. He left an imprint on the history of the American West, remembered as the founder of Fort Douglas, as the “first gentile in Utah,” the “father of Utah mining,” and the “father of the Liberal Party in Utah.”



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Gone to the Swamp
Raw Materials for the Good Life in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta
Robert Leslie Smith
University of Alabama Press, 2008

To make a living here, one had to be capable, confident, clever and inventive, know a lot about survival, be able to fashion and repair tools, navigate a boat, fell a tree, treat a snakebite, make a meal from whatever was handy without asking too many questions about it, and get along with folks.

This fascinating and instructive book is the careful and unpretentious account of a man who was artful in all the skills needed to survive and raise a family in an area where most people would be lost or helpless. Smith’s story is an important record of a way of life beginning to disappear, a loss not fully yet realized. We are lucky to have a work that is both instructive and warm-hearted and that preserves so much hard-won knowledge.


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Grit and Gold
The Death Valley Jayhawkers of 1849
Jean Johnson
University of Nevada Press, 2018
No other Western settlement story is more famous than the Donner Party’s ill-fated journey through the Sierra Nevada Mountains. But a few years later and several hundred miles south, another group faced a similar situation just as perilous. Scrupulously researched and documented, Grit and Gold tells the story of the Death Valley Jayhawkers of 1849 and the young men who traveled by wagon and foot from Iowa to the California gold rush.  The Jayhawkers’ journey took them through the then uncharted and unnamed hottest, driest, lowest spot in the continent—now aptly known as Death Valley.

After leaving Salt Lake City to break a road south to the Pacific Coast that would eliminate crossing the snowy Sierra Nevada, the party veered off the Old Spanish Trail in southern Utah to follow a mountaineer’s map portraying a bogus trail that claimed to cut months and hundreds of miles off their route to the gold country. With winter coming, however, they found themselves hopelessly lost in the mountains and dry valleys of southern Nevada and California.  Abandoning everything but the shirts on their backs and the few oxen that became their pitiful meals, they turned their dreams of gold to hopes of survival.

Utilizing William Lorton’s 1849 diary of the trek from Illinois to southern Utah, the reminiscences of the Jayhawkers themselves, the keen memory of famed pioneer William Lewis Manly, and the almost daily diary of Sheldon Young, Johnson paints a lively but accurate portrait of guts, grit, and determination.

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Happily Sometimes After
Discovering Stories from Twelve Generations of an American Family
Andie Tucher
University of Massachusetts Press, 2014
For more than four hundred years, members of the author's family have been telling stories about their American lives. They have told of impassioned elopements and heart-breaking kidnaps, of hairbreadth escapes and shocking murders, of bigamists, changelings, patriots, Indians, fires, floods, and how the great-grandmother of Chief Justice John Marshall married the pirate Blackbeard by mistake.

In this beautifully written work, Andie Tucher considers family stories as another way to look at history, neither from the top down nor the bottom up but from the inside out. She explores not just what happened—everywhere from Jamestown to Boonesborough, from the bloody field at Chickamauga to the metropolis of the Gilded Age—but also what the storytellers thought or wished or hoped or feared happened. She offers insights into what they valued, what they lost, how they judged their own lives and found meaning in them. The narrative touches on sorrow, recompense, love, pain, and the persistent tension between hope and disappointment in a nation that by making the pursuit of happiness thinkable also made unhappiness regrettable.

Based on extensive research in archives, local history societies, and family-history sources as well as conversations and correspondence, Happily Sometimes After offers an intimate and unusual perspective on how ordinary people used stories to imagine the world they wished for, and what those stories reveal about their relationships with the world they actually had.

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Hard Road West
History and Geology along the Gold Rush Trail
Keith Heyer Meldahl
University of Chicago Press, 2007
In 1848 news of the discovery of gold in California triggered an enormous wave of emigration toward the Pacific. Lured by the promise of riches, thousands of settlers left behind the forests, rain, and fertile soil of the eastern United States in favor of the rough-hewn lands of the American West. The dramatic terrain they struggled to cross is so familiar to us now that it is hard to imagine how frightening—even godforsaken—its sheer rock faces and barren deserts seemed to our forebears.
Hard Road West brings their perspective vividly to life, weaving together the epic overland journey of the covered wagon trains and the compelling story of the landscape they encountered. Taking readers along the 2,000-mile California Trail, Keith Meldahl uses the diaries and letters of the settlers themselves—as well as the countless hours he has spent following the trail—to reveal how the geology and geography of the West directly affected our nation’s westward expansion. He guides us through a corrugated landscape of sawtooth mountains, following the meager streams that served as lifelines through an arid land, all the way to California itself, where colliding tectonic plates created breathtaking scenery and planted the gold that lured travelers west in the first place.
“Alternates seamlessly between vivid accounts of the 19th-century journey and lucid explanations of the geological events that shaped the landscape traveled. . . . The reader comes away with both an appreciation for the arduous cross-continental wagon journey and an understanding of the events that created such a vast and difficult landscape.”—Library Journal
“[Meldahl] draws on his professional knowledge to explain the geology of the West, showing how centuries of geological activity had a direct effect on the routes taken by the travelers. . . . Meldahl provides a novel account of the largest overland migration since the Crusades.”—Science News

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History Of Louisa Barnes Pratt
George S Ellsworth
Utah State University Press, 1998

Volume 3, Life Writings of Frontier Women series, ed. Maureen Ursenbach Beecher

In her memoir, and 1870s revision of her journal and diary, Louisa Barnes Pratt tells of childhood in Massachusetts and Canada during the War of 1812, and independent career as a teacher and seamstress in New England, and her marriage to the Boston seaman Addison Pratt.

Converting to the LDS Church, the Pratts moved to Nauvoo, Illinois, from where Brigham Young sent Addison on the first of the long missions to the Society Islands that would leave Louisa on her own. As a sole available parent, she hauled her children west to Winter Quarters, to Utah in 1848, to California, and, in Addison's wake, to Tahiti in 1850.

The Pratts joined the Mormon colony at San Bernardino, California. When in 1858 a federal army's march on Utah led to the colonists' recall, Addision—alienated from the Mormon Church after long absences—chose not to go. Mostly separated thereafter (Addison died in 1872), Louisa settled in Beaver, Utah, where she campaigned for women's rights, contributed to the Woman's Exponent, and depended on her own means, as she had much of her life, until her death in 1880.


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Homesteader's Portfolio
Alice D. Pratt
Oregon State University Press, 1993

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Immigrant Women in the Settlement of Missouri
Robyn Burnett & Ken Luebbering
University of Missouri Press, 2005
Robyn Burnett and Ken Luebbering first looked at how immigration has affected Missouri’s cultural landscape in their popular book German Settlement in Missouri: New Land, Old Ways. Now they tell the stories of women from all across Europe who left the Old World for Missouri. Drawing heavily on the women’s own stories, Immigrant Women in the Settlement of Missouri illustrates common elements of their lives without minimizing the diversity and complexity of each individual’s experience.
The book begins with descriptions culled from diaries, letters, and memoirs documenting preparations for the journey, the perilous Atlantic crossing, and the sometimes equally long and arduous trip from the port of entry to Missouri. Burnett and Luebbering go on to examine how women, once in Missouri, coped with the problems of daily life in an unfamiliar and occasionally hostile environment. Whether it was the hardships of the frontier, the harsh realities of urban life, childbirth, the deaths of family members, isolation, or prejudice, their new lives brought numerous challenges. Many found success and contentment, as well, and the book also documents their joys and triumphs: physical survival, economic prosperity, thriving families, friendships, and community celebrations.

Because it examines the lives of women from many social classes and ethnic backgrounds, Immigrant Women in the Settlement of Missouri does much to explain the rich cultural diversity Missouri enjoys today. The photographs and narratives relating to Czech, French, German, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, and Polish life will remind descendants of immigrants that many customs and traditions they grew up practicing have roots in their home countries and will also promote understanding of the customs of other cultures. In addition to the ethnic and class differences that affected these women’s lives, the book also notes the impact of the various eras in which they lived, their education, the circumstances of their migrations, and their destinations across Missouri.

With their engaging and straightforward narrative, Burnett and Luebbering take the reader chronologically through the history of the state from the colonial period to the Civil War and industrialization. Like all Missouri Heritage Readers, this one is presented in an accessible format with abundant illustrations, and it is sure to please both general readers and those engaged in immigrant and women’s studies.

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Interpreters with Lewis and Clark
The Story of Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau
W. Dale Nelson
University of North Texas Press, 2003

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Juana Briones of Nineteenth-Century California
Jeanne Farr McDonnell
University of Arizona Press, 2008
Juana Briones de Miranda lived an unusual life, which is wonderfully recounted in this highly accessible biography. She was one of the first residents of what is now San Francisco, then named Yerba Buena (Good Herb), reportedly after a medicinal tea she concocted. She was among the few women in California of her time to own property in her own name, and she proved to be a skilled farmer, rancher, and businesswoman. In retelling her life story, Jeanne Farr McDonnell also retells the history of nineteenth-century California from the unique perspective of this surprising woman.

Juana Briones was born in 1802 and spent her early youth in Santa Cruz, a community of retired soldiers who had helped found Spanish California, Native Americans, and settlers from Mexico. In 1820, she married a cavalryman at the San Francisco Presidio, Apolinario Miranda. She raised her seven surviving sons and daughters and adopted an orphaned Native American girl. Drawing on knowledge she gained about herbal medicine and other cures from her family and Native Americans, she became a highly respected curandera, or healer.

Juana set up a second home and dairy at the base of then Loma Alta, now Telegraph Hill, the first house in that area. After gaining a church-sanctioned separation from her abusive husband, she expanded her farming and cattle business in 1844 by purchasing a 4,400-acre ranch, where she built her house, located in the present city of Palo Alto. She successfully managed her extensive business interests until her death in 1889. Juana Briones witnessed extraordinary changes during her lifetime. In this fascinating book, readers will see California’s history in a new and revelatory light.

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Kibbutz Buchenwald
Survivors and Pioneers
Baumel, Judith T
Rutgers University Press, 1997

Kibbutz Buchenwald is the story of a nightmare that became a dream and a dream that became a reality. Emerging from the depths of the liberated concentration camp Buchenwald in the spring of 1945, a group of sixteen gaunt and battered young men organized and formed Kibbutz Buchenwald, the first agricultural collective in postwar Germany designed to prepare Jews for emigation to Palestine. What caused a handful of survivors to take their fate into their own hands within days of their liberation, at a time when most survivors were passively awaiting orders from the occupying forces? From what wellsprings did they draw the physical and emotional strength to begin life anew as Zionist pioneers in a world which had turned upside down?

Judith Baumel's moving account of this courageous group is divided into two parts. Part One, entitled "The Dream," examines the kibbutz from its creation in Germany until the departure of the founding group for Palestine in the summer of 1945. Part Two, "The Reality," follows the members of Kibbutz Buchenwald into Palestine, where they eventually established their own independent settlement in 1948. This settlement exists as Kibbutz Netzer Sereni today.

Drawing from the diaries of the kibbutz's founding members, Baumel provides a detailed account of an incredible story and places the central narrative in the larger contexts of communal living, European politics after the war, and the link between European Jewry and Israeli postwar nationhood. An afterword, "Where Are They Now," briefly describes the later life of each of the original kibbutz members.


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Land and Desire in Early Zionism
Boaz Neumann
Brandeis University Press, 2011
This innovative study examines the responses of early-twentieth-century pioneers to “the Land” of Palestine. Early Zionist historiography portrayed these young settlers as heroic; later, more critical studies by the “new” historians and sociologists focused on their failures and shortcomings. Neumann argues for something else that historians have yet to identify—desire. Desire for the Land and a visceral identification with it begin to explain the pioneer experience and its impact on Israeli history and collective memory, as well as on Israelis’ abiding connection to the Land of Israel. His close readings of archival documents, memoirs, diaries, poetry, and prose of the period develop new understandings—many of them utterly surprising—of the Zionist enterprise. For Neumann, the Zionist revolution was an existential revolution: for the pioneers, to be in the Land of Israel was to be!

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Letters from a Young Emigrant in Manitoba
Ronald A. Wells
University of Manitoba Press, 1981

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The Life and Adventures of Colonel David Crockett of West Tennessee
Michael A. Lofaro
University of Tennessee Press, 2020
The legendary Davy Crockett arose simultaneously with the emergence of the historical Crockett as a public figure, and once established, the man and the myth were forevermore entangled. The present work, his Life and Adventures (1833), ushered in a series of biographical and autobiographical books that thrust Crockett fully onto the national and international scene. This work, quickly retitled Sketches and Eccentricities, was the most outlandish. Its purported author, J. S. French, mixed two nineteenth-century genres of storytelling—the Humor of the Old Southwest and the sketch—all presented within a historical framework to create an early version of the King of the Wild Frontier. The Crockett encountered here is the marksman who can shoot an elk from 140 yards with his beloved rifle, Betsy, grin the bark off a tree knot, and choose bows and arrows as weapons when challenged to a duel by a fellow congressman. Within a year, Crockett disavowed this book, preferring his autobiography—Narrative of the Life of David Crockett, of the State of Tennessee—but this rollicking story, often bouncing along from tall tale, hunting anecdote, faux moral tale, to humorous pratfall, became a major source for the later biographical writings and a later cultural industry that swept up newspapers, books, political propaganda, plays, and films—and almost every way in which a frontier figure could appear in popular culture. And, while Crockett’s image was a source of entertainment and humor, it also pointed toward something far more serious: after his death at the Alamo it presented Americans with a fictional Frontier hero who progressively embodied their views on topics as varied as manliness, manifest destiny, and even white supremacy. However, the Crockett of Sketches—canny, adaptable, intelligent but not educated, hilarious—was above all a perfect reflection of the aspirations, interests, and beliefs of Jacksonian-era Americans 

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Life in Prairie Land
Eliza W. Farnham
University of Illinois Press, 1988
Combining descriptive travel writing, autobiography, and the depth of the extended essay, Life in Prairie Land--back in print in this new edition--is a classic account of everyday life in early Illinois. Eliza Farnham, a New Yorker who would become one of the leading feminists of her time, describes the nearly five years she spent living in the prairie land of Tazewell County.
Life in Prairie Land is a complex portrait of the midwestern wilderness during the 1830s--beautiful and ugly, beneficent and threatening. Farnham's vivid recreation of her experiences on the Illinois frontier offers a realistic depiction of the harsh pioneer lifestyle as well as a romantic view of an Edenic landscape.
Life in Prairie Land includes descriptions of Farnham's encounters with early settlers and Native Americans, her eye-opening experiences with birth and death, the flora and fauna that surrounded her, and the developing towns she passed through in her travels. Farnham's years on the Illinois frontier showed her the possibilities of a less restrictive society and planted the seeds that would later grow into firmly held and eloquently expressed views on women's equality.

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The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin
Voices of Early Settlers
Michael E. Stevens
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2018
From the mid-1830s through the 1850s, more than a half million people settled in Wisconsin. While traveling in ships and wagons, establishing homes, and forming new communities, these men, women, and children recorded their experiences in letters, diaries, and newspaper articles. In their own words, they revealed their fears, joys, frustrations, and hopes for life in this new place. 

The Making of Pioneer Wisconsin provides a unique and intimate glimpse into the lives of these early settlers, as they describe what it felt like to be a teenager in a wagon heading west or an isolated young wife living far from her friends and family. Woven together with context provided by historian Michael E. Stevens, these first-person accounts form a fascinating narrative that deepens our ability to understand and empathize with Wisconsin’s early pioneers. 

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Massacre at Cavett's Station
Frontier Tennessee during the Cherokee Wars
Charles H. Faulkner
University of Tennessee Press, 2013
In the late 1700s, as white settlers spilled across the Appalachian Mountains, claiming Cherokee and Creek lands for their own, tensions between Native Americans and pioneers reached a boiling point. Land disputes stemming from the 1791 Treaty of Holston went unresolved, and Knoxville settlers attacked a Cherokee negotiating party led by Chief Hanging Maw resulting in the wounding of the chief and his wife and the death of several Indians. In retaliation, on September 25, 1793, nearly one thousand Cherokee and Creek warriors descended undetected on Knoxville to destroy this frontier town. However, feeling they had been discovered, the Indians focused their rage on Cavett’s Station, a fortified farmstead of Alexander Cavett and his family located in what is now west Knox County. Violating a truce, the war party murdered thirteen men, women, and children, ensuring the story’s status in Tennessee lore.
            In Massacre at Cavett’s Station, noted archaeologist and Tennessee historian Charles Faulkner reveals the true story of the massacre and its aftermath, separating historical fact from pervasive legend. In doing so, Faulkner focuses on the interplay of such early Tennessee stalwarts as John Sevier, James White, and William Blount, and the role each played in the white settlement of east Tennessee while drawing the ire of the Cherokee who continued to lose their homeland in questionable treaties. That enmity produced some of history’s notable Cherokee war chiefs including Doublehead, Dragging Canoe, and the notorious Bob Benge, born to a European trader and Cherokee mother, whose red hair and command of English gave him a distinct double identity. But this conflict between the Cherokee and the settlers also produced peace-seeking chiefs such as Hanging Maw and Corn Tassel who helped broker peace on the Tennessee frontier by the end of the 18th century.  After only three decades of peaceful co-existence with their white neighbors, the now democratic Cherokee Nation was betrayed and lost the remainder of their homeland in the Trail of Tears.        
Faulkner combines careful historical research with meticulous archaeological excavations conducted in developed areas of the west Knoxville suburbs to illuminate what happened on that fateful day in 1793. As a result, he answers significant questions about the massacre and seeks to discover the genealogy of the Cavetts and if any family members survived the attack. This book is an important contribution to the study of frontier history and a long-overdue analysis of one of East Tennessee’s well-known legends.

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A Mind of Her Own
Helen Connor Laird and Family, 1888–1982
Helen L. Laird
University of Wisconsin Press, 2006

A Mind of Her Own:  Helen Connor Laird and Family 1888–1982 captures the public achievement and private pain of a remarkable Wisconsin woman and her family, whose interests and influence extended well beyond the borders of the state. Spanning almost a century, the history speaks to the way we were and are: a stridently materialistic nation with a deep and persistent spiritual component.


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A Missouri Railroad Pioneer
The Life of Louis Houck
Joel P. Rhodes
University of Missouri Press, 2013

Lawyer and journalist, entrepreneur and philanthropist, Louis Houck is often called the “Father of Southeast Missouri” because he brought the railroad to the region and opened this backwater area to industrialization and modernization. Although Houck’s name is little known today outside Missouri, Joel Rhodes shows how his story has relevance for both the state and the nation.

Rhodes presents a more complete picture of Houck than has ever been available: reviewing his life from his German immigrant roots, considering his career from both social and political perspectives, and grounding the story in both state and national history. He especially tells how, from 1880 to the 1920s, this self-taught railroader constructed a network of five hundred miles of track through the wilderness of wetlands known as “Swampeast Missouri”—and how these “Houck Roads” provided a boost for population, agriculture, lumbering, and commerce that transformed Cape Girardeau and the surrounding area.

Rhodes discusses how Houck fits into the era of economic individualism—a time when men with little formal training shaped modern industry—and also gives voice to Houck’s critics and shows that he was not always an easy man to work with. In telling the story of his railroading enterprise, Rhodes chronicles Houck’s battle with the Jay Gould railroad empire and offers key insight into the development of America’s railway system, from the cutthroat practices of ruthless entrepreneurs to the often-comic ineptness of start-up rail lines.

More than simply a biography of a business entrepreneur, the book tells how Houck not only developed the region economically but also followed the lead of Andrew Carnegie by making art, culture, and formal education available to all social classes. Houck also served for thirty-six years as president of the Board of Regents of Southeast Missouri State Teacher’s College, and as a self-taught historian he wrote the first comprehensive accounts of Missouri’s territorial period.

A Missouri Railroad Pioneer chronicles a multifaceted career that transformed a region. Solidly researched, this lively narrative also offers an entertaining read for anyone interested in Missouri history.


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Murder in Their Hearts
The Fall Creek Massacre
David Thomas Murphy
Indiana Historical Society Press, 2010
In March 1824 a group of angry and intoxicated settlers brutally murdered nine Indians camped along a tributary of Fall Creek. The carnage was recounted in lurid detail in the contemporary press, and the events that followed sparked a national sensation. Murder in Their Hearts: The Fall Creek Massacre tells that, although violence between settlers and Native Americans was not unusual during the early nineteenth century, in this particular incident the white men responsible for the murders were singled out and hunted down, brought to trial, convicted by a jury of their neighbors, and, for the first time under American law, sentenced to death and executed for the murder of Native Americans.

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Nathan Boone and the American Frontier
R. Douglas Hurt
University of Missouri Press, 2000

Celebrated as one of America's frontier heroes, Daniel Boone left a legacy that made the Boone name almost synonymous with frontier settlement. Nathan Boone, the youngest of Daniel's sons, played a vital role in American pioneering, following in much the same steps as his famous father. In Nathan Boone and the American Frontier, R. Douglas Hurt presents for the first time the life of this important frontiersman.

Based on primary collections, newspaper articles, government documents, and secondary sources, this well-crafted biography begins with Nathan's childhood in present-day Kentucky and Virginia and then follows his family's move to Missouri. Hurt traces Boone's early activities as a hunter, trapper, and surveyor, as well as his leadership of a company of rangers during the War of 1812. After the war, Boone returned to survey work. In 1831, he organized another company of rangers for the Black Hawk War and returned to military life, making it his career. The remainder of the book recounts Boone's activities with the army in Iowa and the Indian Territory, where he was the first Boone to gain notice outside Missouri or Kentucky. Even today his work is recognized in the form of state parks, buildings, and place-names.

Although Nathan Boone was an important figure, he lived much of his life in the shadow of his father. R. Douglas Hurt, however, makes a strong case for Nathan's contribution to the larger context of life in the American backcountry, especially the execution of military and Indian policy and the settlement of the frontier.

By recognizing the significant role that Nathan Boone played, Nathan Boone and the American Frontier also provides the recognition due the many unheralded frontiersmen who helped settle the West. Anyone with an interest in the history of Missouri, the frontier, or the Boone name will find this book informative and compelling.


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The Overland Journey From Utah To California
Wagon Travel From The City Of Saints To The City Of Angels
Edward Leo Lyman
University of Nevada Press, 2008
<br> The wagon trail between Salt Lake City and Los Angeles is one of the most important but least-known elements of nineteenth-century western migration, favored because it could be used for travel and freighting year-round. It was, however, arguably the most difficult route that pioneers traveled with any consistency in the entire history of the country, leapfrogging from one sometimes dubious desert watering place to the next and offering few havens for the sick, weary, or unfortunate. <br> This book is the first history of the complete Southern Route and of the people who developed and used it. Based on extensive research, including many early travelers’ accounts, the book discusses the exploration and development of the Old Spanish Trail. Lyman’s discussions of relations between the Mormons and the Native American peoples of the region and of the Mountain Meadows Massacre offer fresh and important analyses of these vital aspects of the westward movement.<br> <br>

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Parson Henry Renfro
Free Thinking on the Texas Frontier
By William C. Griggs
University of Texas Press, 1994

The years following the Texas Revolution held even more turbulent events as diverse droves of pioneers crossed the Sabine and Red Rivers to start new lives in Texas. Early Texas society contended with religious issues, family life in a rugged environment, and the Civil War. This cultural history was clearly reflected in the life of frontier preacher Henry C. Renfro.

Migrating to Texas in 1851, Renfro enrolled in the fledgling Baylor University and became a Baptist preacher. Eventually disillusioned with Baptist orthodoxy, Renfro was disenfranchised on charges of infidelity as he embraced the ideals of the Free Thought Movement, inspired by the writings of men such as Thomas Paine, Spinoza, and Robert Ingersoll.

Renfro's Civil War experience was no less unusual. Serving as both soldier and chaplain, Renfro left a valuable legacy of insight into the conflict, captured in a wealth of correspondence that is in itself significant.

Drawing on a vast body of letters, speeches, sermons, and oral histories that had never before been available, this chronological narrative of "The Parson's" life describes significant changes in Texas from 1850 to 1900, especially the volatile formation and growth of Baptist churches in North Central Texas. William Griggs' study yields numerous new details about the Free Thought Movement and depicts public reaction to sectarian leaders in nineteenth-century Texas.

The author also describes the developing Central Texas region known as the Cross Timbers, including the personal dynamics between a frontier family and its patriarch and encompassing such issues as property conflicts, divorce, and family reconciliation. This work unlocks an enlightening, engaging scene from Texas history.


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The Pioneers
James Fenimore Cooper
Harvard University Press, 2011
With The Pioneers (1823), Cooper initiated his series of elegiac romances of frontier life and introduced the world to Natty Bumppo (or Leather-stocking). Set in 1793 in New York State, the novel depicts an aging Leather-stocking negotiating his way in a restlessly expanding society. In his introduction, Robert Daly argues for the novel’s increasing relevance: we live in a similarly complex society as Cooper’s frontier world, faced with the same questions about the limits of individualism, the need for voluntary cooperation, and stewardship of the environment. The John Harvard Library edition reproduces the authoritative text of The Pioneers in the The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper, published by the State University of New York Press.

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Pioneers and Caretakers
A Study of Nine American Women Novelists
Louis Auchincloss
University of Minnesota Press, 1965
Pioneers and Caretakers was first published in 1965.In a series of stimulating and highly readable essays, Mr. Auchincloss discusses the work of nine American women novelists in whom he finds a unity of common tradition. As the title of the book implies, Mr. Auchincloss regards these novelists as caretakers of our culture and, at the same time, as literary pioneers. The writers he discusses are Sarah Orne Jewett, Edith Wharton, Ellen Glasgow, Willa Cather, Elizabeth Madox Roberts, Katherine Anne Porter, Jean Stafford, Carson McCullers, and Mary McCarthy.In explaining his thesis Mr. Auchincloss writes: “In the migrations of tribes the women were responsible for the packing and preservation of the household goods. They have always been the true conservatives, the caretakers of the culture. But because in our nation we have to go back so few decades to get to the Indians, the functions of the caretaker and of the pioneer have become curiously blended. To preserve a bit of the American tradition, one has to preserve a bit of the frontier.“A notable thing about our women writers is that they have struck a more affirmative note than the men. Their darkness is not as dark as that of Dreiser or Lewis or Faulkner or O’Neill, which is not to say that they see America less clearly, but that they see it more discriminatingly. They have a sharper sense of their stake in the national heritage, and they are always at work to preserve it. They never destroy; they never want the clean sweep. They are conservatives who are always trying to conserve.”

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Pioneers in Popular Culture Studies
Ray B. Browne
University of Wisconsin Press, 1999
The Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association found a fixed canon and revolutionized the study of the humanities and social sciences in the United States and around the world by making that canon fluid. The full ramifications of this revolt against traditional academia not finished nor fully understood. This is a record of the goals and accomplishments of the pioneers in this field. The essays recall the barriers that the first pop culture scholars faced and tracks their achievements.

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Pioneers Of Change In Ethiopia
The Reformist Intellectuals of the Early Twentieth Century
Bahru Zewde
Ohio University Press, 2002

In this exciting new study, Bahru Zewde, one of the foremost historians of modern Ethiopia, has constructed a collective biography of a remarkable group of men and women in a formative period of their country’s history. Ethiopia’s political independence at the end of the nineteenth century put this new African state in a position to determine its own levels of engagement with the West. Ethiopians went to study in universities around the world. They returned with the skills of their education acquired in Europe and America, and at home began to lay the foundations of a new literature and political philosophy. Pioneers of Change in Ethiopia describes the role of these men and women of ideas in the social and political transformation of the young nation and later in the administration of Haile Selassie.


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Pioneers Of Ecological Humanism
Brian Morris
Black Rose Books, 2017
“Brian Morris blazed a lot of trails. He is a scholar of genuine daring and great humanity, and his work deserves to be read and debated for a very long time to come." —David Graeber, author ofDebt: The First 5,000 Years In our world of ecological catastrophe and social crisis, some roundly condemn modern civilisation as the source of our Promethean predicament. What can follow is a rejection of humanism, science and the City and a turn to either nostalgic primitivism or esoteric spirituality. But do we really need to flee the city for the woods in order to build a free society? In this triple intellectual biography, Brian Morris lucidly discusses three intellectual giants who made an enormous, though often overlooked, contribution to modern ecology: Lewis Mumford, René Dubos, and Murray Bookchin. Morris argues that they have forged a third way beyond both industrialism and anti-modernism: ecological humanism (also known as social ecology), a tradition that embraces both ecological realities and the ethical and cultural wealth of humanism. In examining their thought, Professor Morris paves the way for fresh debate on ecology, charting an optimistic vision for the profound reharmonisation of nature and culture as well as the ecological, egalitarian and democratic transformation of our cities and society. Essential reading for anyone with an interest or active role in ecology or philosophy and their associated disciplines, Pioneers of Ecological Humanism is written in a clear and refreshingly direct style that will appeal to academics, activists, and armchair ecologists alike. Leaving school at the age of fifteen, Brian Morris had a varied career: foundry worker, seaman, and tea-planter in Malawi, before becoming a university teacher. Now Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at Goldsmiths College, University of London, he is the author of numerous articles and books on ethnobotany, religion and symbolism, hunter-gatherer societies and concepts of the individual. His books include Richard Jefferies and the Ecological Vision (2006), Religion and Anthropology: A Critical Introduction (2006), Insects and Human Life (2004) and Kropotkin: The Politics of Community (2004). Black Rose Books is also the publisher of his Bakunin: The Philosophy of Freedom (1993) and the forthcoming Anarchist Miscellany. Pioneers of Ecological Humanism is essential reading for anyone concerned with these issues. Conversant with the history of ideas, Morris places Bookchin especially in a context that has eluded other authors who have treated his work. His writing style is lucid and accessible.Highly recommended. – Janet Biehl, author, partner of Murray Bookchin 275 pages, Bibliography and Index Paperback ISBN: 978-1-55164-607-7 Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-55164-609-1 eBook ISBN: 978-1-55164-611-4 Table of Contents Preface Ecological Humanism: An Introduction Part 1: Lewis Mumford and Organic Humanism 1. The Radical Scholar 2. Lewis Mumford: The Formative Years 3. Technics and Civilisation 4. The Culture of Cities 5. Western Culture and its Transformation: The Rise of Mechanistic Philosophy 6. The Insurgence of Romanticism and Utilitarian Philosophy 7. Mumford's Organic Philosohpy 8. The Renewal of Life Part 2 René Duos and Ecological Humanism 9. René Dubos and the Celebration of Life 10. The Living World and Human Nature 11. Sociocultural Evolution and the Human Personality 12. The Ecology of Health and Disease 13. The Theology of the Earth 14. Humanized Landscapes 15. The Wooing of the Earth 16. Science and Holism Part 3 The Social Ecology of Murray Bookchin 17. Bookchin's Life and Work 18. The Environmental Crisis and Eco-Anarchism 19. Toward an Ecological Society 20. The Concept of Ecological Society 21. The Deep Ecology Movement 22. Deep Ecology, Biocentrism and Misanthropy 23. Neo-Malthusianism and the Politics of Deep Ecology 24. The Philosophy of Social Ecology 25. In Defence of the Enlightenment Bibliography Index

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Pioneers of Ecological Restoration
The People and Legacy of the University of Wisconsin Arboretum
Franklin E. Court
University of Wisconsin Press, 2012

Internationally renowned for its pioneering role in the ecological restoration of tallgrass prairies, savannas, forests, and wetlands, the University of Wisconsin Arboretum contains the world’s oldest and most diverse restored ecological communities. A site for land restoration research, public environmental education, and enjoyment by nature lovers, the arboretum remains a vibrant treasure in the heart of Madison’s urban environment.
    Pioneers of Ecological Restoration chronicles the history of the arboretum and the people who created, shaped, and sustained it up to the present. Although the arboretum was established by the University of Wisconsin in 1932, author Franklin E. Court begins his history in 1910 with John Nolen, the famous landscape architect who was invited to create plans for the city of Madison, the university campus, and Wisconsin state parks. Drawing extensive details from archives and interviews, Court follows decades of collaborative work related to the arboretum’s lands, including the early efforts of Madison philanthropists and businessmen Michael Olbrich, Paul E. Stark, and Joseph W. “Bud” Jackson.
    With labor from the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s Depression, University of Wisconsin scientists began establishing both a traditional horticultural collection of trees and plants and a completely new, visionary approach to recreate native ecosystems. Hundreds of dedicated scientists and staff have carried forward the arboretum’s mission in the decades since, among them G. William Longenecker, Aldo Leopold, John T. Curtis, Rosemary Fleming, Virginia Kline, and William R. Jordan III.
    This archival record of the arboretum’s history provides rare insights into how the mission of healing and restoring the land gradually shaped the arboretum’s future and its global reputation; how philosophical conflicts, campus politics, changing priorities, and the encroaching city have affected the arboretum over the decades; and how early aspirations (some still unrealized) have continued to motivate the work of this extraordinary institution.


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The Pioneers of Judicial Behavior
Nancy Maveety, Editor
University of Michigan Press, 2002
In The Pioneers of Judicial Behavior, prominent political scientists critically examine the contributions to the field of public law of the pioneering scholars of judicial behavior: C. Hermann Pritchett, Glendon Schubert, S. Sidney Ulmer, Harold J. Spaeth, Joseph Tanenhaus, Beverly Blair Cook, Walter F. Murphy, J. Woodward Howard, David J. Danelski, David Rohde, Edward S. Corwin, Alpheus Thomas Mason, Robert G. McCloskey, Robert A. Dahl, and Martin Shapiro.
Unlike past studies that have traced the emergence and growth of the field of judicial studies, The Pioneers of Judicial Behavior accounts for the emergence and exploration of three current theoretical approaches to the study of judicial behavior--attitudinal, strategic, and historical-institutionalist--and shows how the research of these foundational scholars has contributed to contemporary debates about how to conceptualize judges as policy makers. Chapters utilize correspondence of and interviews with some early scholars, and provide a format to connect the concerns and controversies of the first political scientists of law and courts to contemporary challenges and methodological debates among today's judicial scholars. The volume's purpose in looking back is to look forward: to contribute to an ecumenical research agenda on judicial decision making, and, ultimately, to the generation of a unified, general theory of judicial behavior.
The Pioneers of Judicial Behavior will be of interest to graduate students in the law and courts field, political scientists interested in the philosophy of social science and the history of the discipline, legal practitioners and researchers, and political commentators interested in academic theorizing about public policy making.
Nancy L. Maveety is Associate Professor of Political Science, Tulane University.

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Pioneers of the Blues Revival
Steve Cushing
University of Illinois Press, 2018
Steve Cushing, the award-winning host of the nationally syndicated public radio staple Blues Before Sunrise, has spent more than thirty years observing and participating in the Chicago blues scene. In the expanded second edition of Pioneers of the Blues Revival, Cushing adds new interviewees to the roster of prominent white researchers and enthusiasts whose advocacy spearheaded the blues' crossover into the mainstream starting in the 1960s. Rare interview material with experts like Mack McCormick supplements dialogues with Paul Garon, Gayle Dean Wardlow, Paul Oliver, Sam Charters, and others in renewing lively debates and providing first-hand accounts of the era and movement. Throughout, the participants chronicle lifetimes spent loving, finding, collecting, reissuing, and producing records. They also recount relationships with essential blues musicians like Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Skip James, and Bukka White—connections that allowed the two races to learn how to talk to each other in a still-segregated world.

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Pioneers of the Blues Revival
Steve Cushing
University of Illinois Press, 2014
Steve Cushing, the award-winning host of the nationally syndicated public radio staple Blues before Sunrise, has spent over thirty years observing and participating in the Chicago blues scene. In Pioneers of the Blues Revival, he interviews many of the prominent white researchers and enthusiasts whose advocacy spearheaded the blues' crossover into the mainstream starting in the 1960s.
Opinionated and territorial, the American, British, and French interviewees provide fascinating first-hand accounts of the era and movement. Experts including Paul Oliver, Gayle Dean Wardlow, Sam Charters, Ray Flerledge, Paul Oliver, Richard K. Spottswood, and Pete Whelan chronicle in their own words their obsessive early efforts at cataloging blues recordings and retrace lifetimes spent loving, finding, collecting, reissuing, and producing records. They and nearly a dozen others recount relationships with blues musicians, including the discoveries of prewar bluesmen Mississippi John Hurt, Son House, Skip James, and Bukka White, and the reintroduction of these musicians and many others to new generations of listeners. The accounts describe fieldwork in the South, renew lively debates, and tell of rehearsals in Muddy Waters's basement and randomly finding Lightning Hopkins's guitar in a pawn shop.
Blues scholar Barry Lee Pearson provides a critical and historical framework for the interviews in an introduction.

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Pioneers, Peddlers, and Tsadikim
The Story of Jews in Colorado
Ida Libert Uchill
University Press of Colorado, 2000
First published in 1957, Pioneers, Peddlers, & Tsadikim, the original history of the Jewish people in Colorado, is now back in a revised and updated edition with twenty-one new illustrations. Containing a new preface and a comprehensive chronology covering more than 140 years, Pioneers, Peddlers, & Tsadikim is a definitive volume for both the scholar of Jewish/Colorado history and the casual reader alike.

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A President, a Church and Trails West
Competing Histories in Independence, Missouri
Jon E. Taylor
University of Missouri Press, 2008

Over the past century, three nationally significant histories have vied for space and place in Independence, Missouri. Independence was declared Zion by Joseph Smith, served as a gathering and provisioning point for trails west, and was called home by President Harry S. Truman for sixty-four years. Historian Jon E. Taylor has integrated research from newspapers, public documents, oral histories, and private papers to detail how the community has preserved and remembered these various legacies.

Truman’s legacy would appear to have been secured in Independence via three significant designations—his presidential library opened there in 1957, his neighborhood was designated a national historic landmark in 1972, and his home was declared a national historic site in 1982. However, Taylor argues that Truman’s seeming dominance in the community’s memory is in fact endangered by competition from the other aspects of the town’s historical heritage.

Taylor considers the role Mormon history has played in the city's history and chronicles how the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints returned to Independence to fulfill Joseph Smith's dream of creating Zion in the city, a situation that impacted neighborhoods near the Truman home.  Taylor also examines the city's fascination with the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trails, detailing how that history was lost and remembered and is now immortalized on the Independence square and in the National Frontier Trails Museum.

In the 1980s, the city council reduced the size of the Truman Heritage District, created to maintain Truman’s association with his neighborhood, after church opposition. At the same time, city officials pushed to make Independence a major tourist destination, a move largely dependent upon the city capitalizing on its association with Truman. These inconsistent policies and incongruous goals have led to innumerable changes in the landscape Truman enjoyed during his legendary morning walks.

 A President, a Church, and Trails West chronicles one city’s struggle to preserve its history and the built environment. Taylor places the role of preservation in Independence not only within the larger context of preservation in the United States but also within the context of American environmental history. This volume is sure to appeal to anyone interested in public history, historic preservation, history and memory, and local history.


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Recollections of Early Texas
Memoirs of John Holland Jenkins
Edited by John Holmes Jenkins III
University of Texas Press, 1958

“[These reminiscences] light up for whoever will read the earliest days of early English-speaking Texas.” —J. Frank Dobie, from the foreword

A firsthand account of pioneer life in east Texas.


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The Reminiscences of George Strother Gaines
Pioneer and Statesman of Early Alabama and Mississippi, 1805–1843
George Strother Gaines
University of Alabama Press, 1998

Provides a fascinating glimpse into the early history of the Mississippi-Alabama Territory and antebellum Alabama

The two sections of the Reminiscences of George Strother Gaines form one of the most important primary sources on the early history of Alabama and Mississippi. The Reminiscences cover the years 1805 to 1843, during which time Gaines served as assistant factor and then factor of the Choctaw trading house (1805-18), cashier of Tombeckbee Bank in St. Stephens (1818-22), a merchant in Demopolis (1822-32), and finally a banker and merchant in Mobile (1832-43). In addition, Gaines played a key role in Indian-white relations during the Creek War of 1813-14, served a two-year term in the Alabama Senate (1825-27), led a Choctaw exploring party to the new Choctaw lands in the West following the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek (1830-31), and served as the superintendent for Choctaw removal (1831-32).

Gaines dictated his Reminiscences in 1871 at the age of eighty-seven. Part of the Reminiscences, referred to as the "first series," was originally published in five issues of the Mobile Register in June-July 1872 as "Notes on the Early Days of South Alabama." Nearly a century later, the first series and the previously unpublished second series, "Reminiscences of Early Times in Mississippi Territory," were published in a 1964 issue of the Alabama Historical Quarterly as "Gaines' Reminiscences."

In this first book-length edition of the Reminiscences, James Pate has provided an extensive biographical introduction, notes, illustrations, maps, and appendixes to aid the general reader and the scholar. The appendixes include additional unpublished primary materials-including interviews conducted by Albert James Pickett in 1847 and 1848 that provide further information about this important early pioneer and statesman.


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Rip Ford’s Texas
By John Salmon Ford
University of Texas Press, 1963

The Republic of Texas was still in its first exultation over independence when John Salmon "Rip" Ford arrived from South Carolina in June of 1836. Ford stayed to participate in virtually every major event in Texas history during the next sixty years. Doctor, lawyer, surveyor, newspaper reporter, elected representative, and above all, soldier and Indian fighter, Ford sat down in his old age to record the events of the turbulent years through which he had lived. Stephen Oates has edited Ford's memoirs to produce a clear and vigorous personal history of Texas.


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The Saints and the State
The Mormon Troubles in Illinois
James Simeone
Ohio University Press, 2021

A compelling history of the 1846 Mormon expulsion from Illinois that exemplifies the limits of American democracy and religious tolerance.

When members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (known as Mormons) settled in Illinois in 1839, they had been persecuted for their beliefs from Ohio to Missouri. Illinoisans viewed themselves as religiously tolerant egalitarians and initially welcomed the Mormons to their state. However, non-Mormon locals who valued competitive individualism perceived the saints‘ western Illinois settlement, Nauvoo, as a theocracy with too much political power. Amid escalating tensions in 1844, anti-Mormon vigilantes assassinated church founder Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. Two years later, the state expelled the saints. Illinois rejected the Mormons not for their religion, but rather for their effort to create a self-governing state in Nauvoo.

Mormons put the essential aspirations of American liberal democracy to the test in Illinois. The saints’ inward group focus and their decision to live together in Nauvoo highlight the challenges strong group consciousness and attachment pose to democratic governance. The Saints and the State narrates this tragic story as an epic failure of governance and shows how the conflicting demands of fairness to the Mormons and accountability to Illinois’s majority became incompatible.


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The Santa Fe Trail in Missouri
Mary Collins Barile
University of Missouri Press, 2010
For nineteenth-century travelers, the Santa Fe Trail was an indispensable route stretching from Missouri to New Mexico and beyond, and the section called “The Missouri Trail”—from St. Louis to Westport—offered migrating Americans their first sense of the West with its promise of adventure. The truth was, any easterner who wanted to reach Santa Fe had to first travel the width of Missouri.
This book offers an easy-to-read introduction to Missouri’s chunk of Santa Fe Trail, providing an account of the trail’s historical and cultural significance. Mary Collins Barile tells how the route evolved, stitched together from Indian paths, trappers’ traces, and wagon roads, and how the experience of traveling the Santa Fe Trail varied even within Missouri.
The book highlights the origin and development of the trail, telling how nearly a dozen Missouri towns claimed the trail: originally Franklin, from which the first wagon trains set out in 1821, then others as the trailhead moved west. It also offers a brief description of what travelers could expect to find in frontier Missouri, where cooks could choose from a variety of meats, including hogs fed on forest acorns and game such as deer, squirrels, bear, and possum, and reminds readers of the risks of western travel. Injury or illness could be fatal; getting a doctor might take hours or even days.
Here, too, are portraits of early Franklin, which was surprisingly well supplied with manufactured “boughten” goods, and Boonslick, then the near edge of the Far West. Entertainment took the form of music, practical jokes, and fighting, the last of which was said to be as common as the ague and a great deal more fun—at least from the fighters’ point of view. Readers will also encounter some of the major people associated with the trail, such as William Becknell, Mike Fink, and Hanna Cole, with quotes that bring the era to life. A glossary provides useful information about contemporary trail vocabulary, and illustrations relating to the period enliven the text.
The book is easy and informative reading for general readers interested in westward expansion. It incorporates history and folklore in a way that makes these resources accessible to all Missourians and anyone visiting historic sites along the trail.

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Searching for Fannie Quigley
A Wilderness Life in the Shadow of Mount McKinley
Jane G. Haigh
Ohio University Press, 2007

At the age of 27, Fannie Sedlacek left her Bohemian homestead in Nebraska to join the gold rush to the Klondike. From the Klondike to the Tanana, Fannie continued north, finally settling in Katishna near Mount McKinley. This woman, later known as Fannie Quigley, became a prospector who staked her own claims and a cook who ran a roadhouse. She hunted and trapped and thrived for nearly forty years in an environment that others found unbearable.

Her wilderness lifestyle inspired many of those who met her to record their impressions of this self-sufficient woman, who died in 1944. To many of the 700,000 annual visitors to Denali National Park she is a symbol of the enduring spirit of the original pioneers.

Searching for Fannie Quigley: A Wilderness Life in the Shadow of Mount McKinley goes beyond the mere biographical facts of this unique woman’s journey. It also tells historian Jane G. Haigh’s own story of tracking and tracing the many paths that Fannie Quigley’s intriguing life took. Uncovering remote clues, digging through archives, and listening to oral accounts from a wide array of sources, Haigh has fashioned this rich lode into a compelling narrative.

In Searching for Fannie Quigley, Haigh separates fact from fiction to reveal the true story of this highly mythologized pioneer woman.


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Settling Ohio
First Peoples and Beyond
Timothy G. Anderson
Ohio University Press, 2023

Scholars working in archaeology, education, history, geography, and politics tell a nuanced story about the people and dynamics that reshaped this region and determined who would control it.

The Ohio Valley possesses some of the most resource-rich terrain in the world. Its settlement by humans was thus consequential not only for shaping the geographic and cultural landscape of the region but also for forming the United States and the future of world history.

Settling Ohio begins with an overview of the first people who inhabited the region, who built civilizations that moved massive amounts of earth and left an archaeological record that drew the interest of subsequent settlers and continues to intrigue scholars. It highlights how, in the eighteenth century, Native Americans who migrated from the East and North interacted with Europeans to develop impressive trading networks and how they navigated complicated wars and sought to preserve national identities in the face of violent attempts to remove them from their lands.

The book situates the traditional story of Ohio settlement, including the Northwest Ordinance, the dealings of the Ohio Company of Associates, and early road building, into a far richer story of contested spaces, competing visions of nationhood, and complicated relations with Indian peoples. By so doing, the contributors provide valuable new insights into how chaotic and contingent early national politics and frontier development truly were. Chapters highlighting the role of apple-growing culture, education, African American settlers, and the diverse migration flows into Ohio from the East and Europe further demonstrate the complex multiethnic composition of Ohio’s early settlements and the tensions that resulted.

A final theme of this volume is the desirability of working to recover the often-forgotten history of non-White peoples displaced by the processes of settler colonialism that has been, until recently, undervalued in the scholarship.


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Success Depends on the Animals
Emigrants, Livestock, and Wild Animals on the Overland Trails, 1840–1869
Diana L. Ahmad
University of Nevada Press, 2016

Between 1840 and 1869, thousands of people crossed the American continent looking for a new life in the West. Success Depends on the Animals explores the relationships and encounters that these emigrants had with animals, both wild and domestic, as they traveled the Overland Trail. In the longest migration of people in history, the overlanders were accompanied by thousands of work animals such as horses, oxen, mules, and cattle. These travelers also brought dogs and other companion animals, and along the way confronted unknown wild animals.

Ahmad’s study is the first to explore how these emigrants became dependent upon the animals that traveled with them, and how, for some, this dependence influenced a new way of thinking about the human-animal bond. The pioneers learned how to work with the animals and take care of them while on the move. Many had never ridden a horse before, let alone hitched oxen to a wagon. Due to the close working relationship that the emigrants were forced to have with these animals, many befriended the domestic beasts of burden, even attributing human characteristics to them.

Drawing on primary sources such as journals, diaries, and newspaper accounts, Ahmad explores how these new experiences influenced fresh ideas about the role of animals in pioneer life. Scholars and students of western history and animal studies will find this a fascinating and distinctive analysis of an understudied topic.


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The Sutton-Taylor Feud
The Deadliest Blood Feud in Texas
Chuck Parsons
University of North Texas Press, 2009

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A Tenderfoot in Colorado
Richard Baxter Townshend
University Press of Colorado, 1968
Now back in print, A Tenderfoot in Colorado is R. B. Townshend's classic account of his time in the wild frontier territory known as Colorado. Townshend arrived in the Rockies in 1869, fresh from Cambridge, England, with $300 in his pockets.

He found friends among some of Colorado's more colorful characters, people who taught him much about life on the frontier. Jake Chisolm taught him how to shoot after rescuing him from two men preparing to skin him at poker. Wild Bill of Colorado taught him the meaning of "the drop" and warned him against wearing a gun in town unless he wanted trouble. Capturing the Western vernacular more accurately than any other writer, Townshend includes vivid details of life in the West, where he killed a buffalo, prospected for gold, and was present for the official government conference with the Ute Indians after gold was discovered on their lands.


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The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett
Oregon Pioneer and First Governor of California
R. Gregory Nokes
Oregon State University Press, 2018
Few people in the nineteenth-century American West could boast the achievements of Peter Burnett. He helped organize the first major wagon train to the Oregon Country. He served on Oregon’s first elected government and was Oregon’s first supreme court judge. He opened a wagon road from Oregon to California. He worked with the young John Sutter to develop the new city of Sacramento. Within a year of arriving in California, voters overwhelmingly elected him as the first US governor. He also won appointment to the California Supreme Court.

It was one heck of a resume. Yet with the exception of the wagon road to California, in none of these roles was Burnett considered successful or well remembered. Indeed, he resigned from many of his most important positions, including the governorship, where he was widely perceived a failure.

Burnett’s weakness was that he refused to take advice from others. He insisted on marching to his own drum, even when it led to some terrible decisions. A former slaveholder, he could never seem to get beyond his single-minded goal of banning blacks and other minorities from the West.

The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett is the first full-length biography of this complicated character. Historians, scholars, and general readers with an interest in Western history will welcome R. Gregory Nokes’ accessible and deeply researched account.

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Twenty Miles From A Match
Homesteading In Western Nevada
Sarah E. Olds
University of Nevada Press, 1978
Twenty Miles From a Match, originally published in 1978, is the autobiography of an indomitable woman and her family’s twenty years of adventures and misadventures in a desert wilderness. In 1908, a venturesome woman named Sarah Olds packed up her brood and went homesteading in the deserts north of Reno, west of Sutcliffe on Pyramid Lake. Her ailing husband said, welcoming her to their new home, "There, old lady. There’s your home, and it’s damn near in the heart of Egypt." Olds tells of the hardships, frustrations, poverty, and other tribulations her family suffered from shortly after the turn of the century until well into the Great Depression. Through it all, however, runs a thread of humor, cheerfulness, and the ability to laugh at adversity. The foreword is by her daughter, Leslie Olds Zurfluh, the fourth of Sarah and A. J. Olds's six children.

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The Unknown Travels and Dubious Pursuits of William Clark
Jo Ann Trogdon
University of Missouri Press, 2015
In 1798—more than five years before he led the epic western journey that would make him and Meriwether Lewis national heroes—William Clark set off by flatboat from his Louisville, Kentucky home with a cargo of tobacco and furs to sell downriver in Spanish New Orleans. He also carried with him a leather-trimmed journal to record his travels and notes on his activities.

In this vivid history, Jo Ann Trogdon reveals William Clark’s highly questionable activities during the years before his famous journey west of the Mississippi. Delving into the details of Clark’s diary and ledger entries, Trogdon investigates evidence linking Clark to a series of plots—often called the Spanish Conspiracy—in which corrupt officials sought to line their pockets with Spanish money and to separate Kentucky from the United States. The Unknown Travels and Dubious Pursuits of William Clark gives readers a more complex portrait of the American icon than has been previously written.


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Wapiti Wilderness
Margaret Murie
University Press of Colorado, 1985
For over thirty-seven years, Margaret and Olaus Murie made their home in the mountainous wilderness of the Tetons, where Olaus Murie conducted his famous studies of the American elk, the wapiti. Through these years their home was almost a nature-conservation shrine to thousands of Americans interested in the out-of-doors, in animals, in nature in general. Wapiti Wilderness, begun by Mrs. Murie as a sequel to her Two in the Far North, which told of the Muries' life and expeditions in Alaska, became a book written by both the Muries.

In alternate chapters, Olaus tells of his work as a field biologist for the old U.S. Bureau of Biological Survey and recounts stories of his studies of the elk and the other great animals of the West. And Mrs. Murie, from her side, describes their life together, on the trail, in the various camps, and nature adventures in that wilderness in all seasons. The book is replete with stories of Jackson Hole people, "pioneer poets," and the wild creatures that made their way into the Murie household. Olaus Murie's evocative pen-and-ink drawings illuminate each chapter, and four pages of photographs help complete the picture of what life was like in the wapiti wilderness.


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The White Indian Boy
and its sequel The Return of the White Indian Boy
Elijah Nicholas Wilson and Charles A. Wilson
University of Utah Press, 1985
First published in 1910, The White Indian Boy quickly became a western classic. Readers fascinated by real-life 'cowboys and Indians' thrilled to Nick Wilson’s frontier exploits, as he recounted running away to live with the Shoshone in his early teens, riding for the Pony Express, and helping settle Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The volume was so popular that Wilson’s son Charles was compelled to write a second book, The Return of the White Indian, which picks up in 1895 where the first memoir ends, telling the adventures of Nick Wilson’s later life.
These books, published here as a single volume, are testaments to a unique time and place in American history. Because he had a heart for adventure and unusual proficiency with Native American languages, Wilson’s life became an historical canvas on which was painted both the exploration and the closing of a frontier, as he went from childhood among the Shoshone to work as an interpreter for the U.S. government on Indian reservations in Wyoming and Idaho in his later years. This volume includes new introductory material, a family tree, and a background of Indian-white relations in Jackson Hole. Packed with amazing details about life in the Old West, Wilson’s colorful escapades are once again available to a new generation of readers.

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Winter Quarters
Maurine Ward
Utah State University Press, 2002

Volume 1, Life Writings of Frontier Women series, edited by Maureen Ursenbach Beecher

Mary Richard's journals and letters record a young woman's rare, but richly detailed view of life in the temporary Mormon pioneer communities in Iowa.


front cover of A Woman's Story of Pioneer Illinois
A Woman's Story of Pioneer Illinois
Christiana Holmes Tillson
Southern Illinois University Press, 1995

Christiana and John Tillson moved from Massachusetts to central Illinois in 1822. Upon arriving in Montgomery County near what would soon be Hillsboro, they set up a general store and real estate business and began to raise a family.

A half century later, Christiana Tillson wrote about her early days in Illinois in a memoir published by R. R. Donnelley in 1919. In it she describes her husband’s rise to wealth through the speculative land boom during the 1820s and 1830s and his loss of fortune when the land business went bust after the Specie Circular was issued in 1836.

The Tillsons lived quite ordinary lives in extraordinary times, notes Kay J. Carr, introducing this edition. Their views and sensibilities, Carr says, might seem strange to us, but they were entirely normal to people in the early nineteenth century. Thus Tillson’s memoir provides vignettes of ordinary nineteenth-century American life.


front cover of The Worlds of William Penn
The Worlds of William Penn
Murphy, Andrew R
Rutgers University Press, 2019
William Penn was an instrumental and controversial figure in the early modern transatlantic world, known both as a leader in the movement for religious toleration in England and as a founder of two American colonies, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. As such, his career was marked by controversy and contention in both England and America. This volume looks at William Penn with fresh eyes, bringing together scholars from a range of disciplines to assess his multifaceted life and career. Contributors analyze the worlds that shaped Penn and the worlds that he shaped: Irish, English, American, Quaker, and imperial. The eighteen chapters in The Worlds of William Penn shed critical new light on Penn’s life and legacy, examining his early and often-overlooked time in Ireland; the literary, political, and theological legacies of his public career during the Restoration and after the 1688 Revolution; his role as proprietor of Pennsylvania; his religious leadership in the Quaker movement, and as a loyal lieutenant to George Fox, and his important role in the broader British imperial project. Coinciding with the 300th anniversary of Penn’s death the time is right for this examination of Penn’s importance both in his own time and to the ongoing campaign for political and religious liberty

front cover of Yankees in Michigan
Yankees in Michigan
Brian C. Wilson
Michigan State University Press, 2008

As Brian C. Wilson describes them in this highly readable and entertaining book, Yankees—defined by their shared culture and sense of identity—had a number of distinctive traits and sought to impose their ideas across the state of Michigan.
     After the ethnic label of "Yankee" fell out of use, the offspring of Yankees appropriated the term "Midwesterner." So fused did the identities of Yankee and Midwesterner become that understanding the larger story of America's Midwestern regional identity begins with the Yankees in Michigan.



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