Description : The 1862 Homestead Act played a central role in the creation of the modern West, but historians are just beginning explore the law's significance beyond a narrow reading of its success or failure as a policy. Settlers who ran for homesteads in the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1889, and in subsequent land runs in Oklahoma Territory, brought with them a "homesteading ideal," an elastic concept that celebrated the virtues of individual, small-scale landownership and promised the security of economic independence along with prosperity derived from market participation. Rarely precisely defined, the homesteading ideal proved flexible enough to unite Western settlers and Eastern reformers in a shared effort to subvert Indian claims to both land and distinct racial identities, despite their widely divergent interests in doing so. Oklahoma Indians lost a majority of their land in the decades between the Land Rush and the 1930s, but many of them also exploited the flexibility of the homesteading ideal to maintain distinct cultural identities, foiling the assimilationist goals of reformers. The homesteading ideal thus bound Indians, settlers, and reformers together in tense, reciprocal relationships even as each group tried to bend the ideal to serve their own interests. This dissertation focuses first on the boomers and settlers who brought the homesteading ideal to Oklahoma and second on relations between Indians and whites on the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation in western Oklahoma, where the frenzy for homesteading was particularly intense. In the 1860s, Elias C. Boudinot, a mixed-blood Cherokee, became one of the first advocates for ending Indian sovereignty in Indian Territory, allotting land to individual Indians, and welcoming white homesteaders. Beginning in the 1880s, white settlers used the homesteading ideal to delegitimize Indian land claims, organize Oklahoma's government, and transform what had been reserved as Indian Territory into the nation's forty-sixth state. On the Cheyenne and Arapaho reservation, Eastern reformers sponsored the efforts of John Seger, a career Indian Office field employee who established assimilation programs acceptable to many tribal members. Increasingly rigid application of land allotment policies, however, ultimately undid much of Seger's work and drove a wedge between Indians and whites.
Description : Winner of the 2006 Caroline Bancroft History Prize "Impressively researched and highly readable, Barbara Handy-Marchello's analysis of North Dakota farm women's roles will become the standard by which other works on the subject will be judged." Paula M. Nelson, author of The Prairie Winnows Out Its Own In Women of the Northern Plains, Barbara Handy-Marchello tells the stories of the unsung heroes of North Dakota's settlement era: the farm women. As the men struggled to raise and sell wheat, the women focused on barnyard labor--raising chickens and cows and selling eggs and butter--to feed and clothe their families and maintain their households through booms and busts. Handy-Marchello details the hopes and fears, the challenges and successes of these women--from the Great Dakota Boom of the 1870s and '80s to the impending depression and drought of the 1930s. Women of the frontier willingly faced drudgery and loneliness, cramped and unconventional living quarters, the threat of prairie fires and fierce blizzards, and the isolation of homesteads located miles from the nearest neighbor. Despite these daunting realities, Dakota farm women cultivated communities among their distant neighbors, shared food and shelter with travelers, developed varied income sources, and raised large families, always keeping in sight the ultimate goal: to provide the next generation with rich, workable land. Enlivened by interviews with pioneer families as well as diaries, memoirs, and other primary sources, Women of the Northern Plains uncovers the significant and changing roles of Dakota farm women who were true partners to their husbands, their efforts marking the difference between success and failure for their families. Barbara Handy-Marchello is a history professor at the University of North Dakota. She has written articles on rural women and is the co-author of A History of the NDSU Seedstocks Project. She lives near Fargo, North Dakota.
Description : A multidisciplinary and multifaceted approach is employed to identify principal ecosystems and natural resources in the U.S. Great Plains that are at risk and that should receive priority for protection. The authors are drawn from a variety of disciplines and approaches, their ideas being presented as a pooling or harvest, rather than as a consensus. The 25 chapters provide background and in-depth discussion of multiple issues/problems related to Great Plains stewardship for future generations. The status and trends of major resources of the Great Plains within an historical, ecological and management framework are categorized according to common goals across the disciplines and can be used to make recommendations for public policy, research and development, and institutions. The challenge for residents of the Great Plains is to merge multiple ecosystem concepts to improve the environment and to improve economic vitality.
Description : As a historian and as a novelist Mari Sandoz (1896?1966) stands in the front rank of western writers: in the words of John K. Hutchens, "no one in our time wrote better than the late Mari Sandoz did, or with more authority and grace, about as many aspects of the old West." This first full-length biography is particularly concerned to show the relationship between Sandoz's life and experiences and her writing. Drawing heavily on materials in the Mari Sandoz Collection at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln?correspondence to and from Sandoz, her research notes, and manuscripts?and on interviews with dozens of Sandoz's friends and acquaintances, the author not only establishes the facts of Sandoz's life but confirms her standing as a writer and historian.
Description : A Prize-winning MemoirDont Call Me Mother: Breaking the Chain of Mother-Daughter Abandonment I wanted to tell the secret stories that my great-grandmother Blanche whispered to me on summer nights in a featherbed in Iowa. I was eight and she was eighty Dont Call Me Mother is an inspiring chronicle of perseverance, healing, and the unquenchable power of forgiveness. Acclaimed author and therapist Linda Joy Myerss compelling, compassionate, and often heart-wrenching memoir shares the story of her mothers abandonment of her, part of a generations-long tradition in her family. Myers uncovers the layers of a painful secret she carried with her for years, transporting us on a journey that is both familiar and uncompromising in its honesty a journey into the inner heart of a home shattered by abandonment and undiagnosed manic-depressionand a quest for the fulfillment of a childhood dream for a peaceful and loving family.
Description : This book offers detailed empirical coverage of the syntax and semantics of Plains Cree, an Algonquian language of western Canada. It combines careful elicitation with corpus studies to provide the first systematic investigation of the two distinct verbal inflectional paradigms - independent and conjunct - in the language. The book argues that the independent order denotes an indexical clause type with familiar deictic properties, while the conjunct order is an anaphoric clause type whose reference is determined by rules of anaphoric dependence. Both syntactic and semantic considerations are examined: on the syntactic side, indexical clauses are shown to be restricted to a subset of matrix environments, and to exclude proforms that have clause-external antecedents or induce cross-clausal dependencies. Anaphoric clauses have an elsewhere distribution: they occur in both matrix and dependent contexts, and freely host and participate in cross-clausal dependencies. The semantic discussion focusses primarily on the context in which a proposition is evaluated: it shows that indexical clauses have absolute tense and a speaker origo, consistent with deixis on a speech act; anaphoric clauses, by contrast, use anaphoric dependencies to establish the evaluation context. Data from Plains Cree is compared to the matrix/subordinate system found in English, to the clause-chaining system of the Amele language of Papua New Guinea, and to Romance subjunctive clauses. The book also provides the first micro-typology of pronominal marking and initial change in Algonquian languages.
Description : The world of insects is one we only dimly understand. Yet from using arsenic, cobalt, and quicksilver to kill household infiltrators to employing the sophisticated tools of the Orkin Man, Americans have fought to eradicate the "bugs" they have learned to hate. Inspired by the still-revolutionary theories of Rachel Carson's Silent Spring, James E. McWilliams argues for a more harmonious and rational approach to our relationship with insects, one that does not harm our environment and, consequently, ourselves along the way. Beginning with the early techniques of colonial farmers and ending with the modern use of chemical insecticides, McWilliams deftly shows how America's war on insects mirrors its continual struggle with nature, economic development, technology, and federal regulation. He reveals a very American paradox: the men and women who settled and developed this country sought to control the environment and achieve certain economic goals; yet their methods of agricultural expansion undermined their efforts and linked them even closer to the inexorable realities of the insect world. As told from the perspective of the often flamboyant actors in the battle against insects, American Pests is a fascinating investigation into the attitudes, policies, and practices that continue to influence our behavior toward insects. Asking us to question, if not abandon, our reckless (and sometimes futile) attempts at insect control, McWilliams convincingly argues that insects, like people, have an inherent right to exist and that in our attempt to rid ourselves of insects, we compromise the balance of nature.