Far from Home: Families of the Westward Journey

Overview

Lillian Schlissel is a professor emerita of English and American Studies at Brooklyn College–CUNY. She is the author of numerous books, including The Western Women's Reader (with Catherine Lavender) and Black Frontiers: A History of African American Heroes in the Old West. Byrd Gibbens is a professor of English at the University of New Mexico, Valencia campus, and the author of This Is a Strange Country: Letters of a Western Family 1880-1906.Elizabeth Hampsten is a professor of English at the University of North ...
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Overview

Lillian Schlissel is a professor emerita of English and American Studies at Brooklyn College–CUNY. She is the author of numerous books, including The Western Women's Reader (with Catherine Lavender) and Black Frontiers: A History of African American Heroes in the Old West. Byrd Gibbens is a professor of English at the University of New Mexico, Valencia campus, and the author of This Is a Strange Country: Letters of a Western Family 1880-1906.Elizabeth Hampsten is a professor of English at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and the author of Settlers' Children: Growing Up on the Great Plains.

Examines the human cost of the cross continental trek.

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Editorial Reviews

Booklist
An immensely readable book that peers closely into the lives of ordinary American frontier families."—Booklist
New Yorker
"The voices that emerge here eloquently tell [their] tale."—New Yorker
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
One of the enduring myths of the Westward movement is the happy ending: families that survived the arduous journey found a rewarding new life despite hardships. The authors examine the history of three migrant families--everyday people who lived on the Western frontier. Schlissel ( Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey ) tells the story of the Malicks, who emigrated to Oregon from Illinois in 1848. Gibbons writes about the Browns; they left Virginia after the Civil War to wander among the mining camps of Colorado and New Mexico. Hampstein follows the hard times of two German families from Russia--the Nehers and Martins, who came to North Dakota in 1909. Theirs is a story of appalling poverty, feelings of inferiority, lack of communication. These are sad, even tragic tales about women and family life on the frontier. In an afterword, Schlissel discusses mobility and family separation as part of our frontier heritage. A valuable contribution to both women's and Western history. Photos. (Mar.)
Library Journal
This book focuses on three frontier families--the Malicks in the Oregon Territory, the Browns in Colorado and New Mexico, and the Martin/Neher families in North Dakota. Each of the narratives, drawn from family letters and diaries from 1848 to 1909, realistically portrays how these families ``tested the frontier and were tested by it.'' While recent titles such as Sharon Niederman's A Quilt o f Words : Women's Diaries, Letters & Original Accounts of Life in the Southwest, 1860-1960 ( LJ 11/15/88) and Schlissel's own Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey (LJ 4/15/82) emphasize the women's role in the westward movement, this addresses the effects of the harsh frontier on the entire family unit. As a sociological study, this has value in U.S. history and sociology collections.-- Ellen Pine, Andover Elementary Sch., N.H.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780803292956
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/2002
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 1,028,608
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Lillian Schlissel is a professor emerita of English and American Studies at Brooklyn College–CUNY. She is the author of numerous books, including The Western Women's Reader (with Catherine Lavender) and Black Frontiers: A History of African American Heroes in the Old West. Byrd Gibbens is a professor of English at the University of New Mexico, Valencia campus, and the author of This Is a Strange Country: Letters of a Western Family 1880-1906.Elizabeth Hampsten is a professor of English at the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and the author of Settlers' Children: Growing Up on the Great Plains.
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Table of Contents

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction
1 The Malick Family in Oregon Territory, 1848-1867 3
2 Charles and Maggie Brown in Colorado and New Mexico, 1880-1930 107
3 The Nehers and the Martins in North Dakota, 1909-1911 175
4 Families and Frontiers: A Reading for Our Time 231
Photograph Acknowledgments 249
Index 251
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