West of Wichita: Settling the High Plains of Kansas, 1865-1890 / Edition 1

West of Wichita: Settling the High Plains of Kansas, 1865-1890 / Edition 1

by Craig Miner
     
 

This volume, which presents a "slice-of-life" on the Plains during its early settlement, adds rich detail to our understanding of the struggle for survival in a harsh landscape that tested the hardiest pioneer. Miner concentrates not only on the major economic events of the period—railroad building, Indian raids, the grasshopper invasion of 1874, the blizzard

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Overview

This volume, which presents a "slice-of-life" on the Plains during its early settlement, adds rich detail to our understanding of the struggle for survival in a harsh landscape that tested the hardiest pioneer. Miner concentrates not only on the major economic events of the period—railroad building, Indian raids, the grasshopper invasion of 1874, the blizzard of 1886—but also on the more personal experiences equally important: building sod houses, choosing crops, filing of claims, fighting varmints, and dealing with the deaths of children on the prairie.

"Magnificent. . . . A subtle and often moving account of pioneer life. . . . A truly splendid book."—Choice

"Regional history at its best. . . . Many of the traditional tales of early hardships—grasshopper plagues, Indian attacks, the stress of loneliness and isolation, drought, blizzards, prairie fires, and the unaccustomed hazards of nature—are retold with vigor and a sense of immediacy. These gritty tales of pioneer persistence and stubbornness are used to illustrate the region's cyclical history of hope and despair. . . . Not the least of Miner's talents is his engaging style. Images are alive, progression of the story lively, and the analysis convincing. This first-rate book is an important addition to the history of Kansas and, more broadly, to the study of western settlement."—American Historical Review

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780700603640
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Publication date:
05/28/1986
Series:
Kansas and the Region Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
312
Sales rank:
1,139,237
Product dimensions:
7.06(w) x 9.04(h) x 0.72(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction: On Regional History

1. The Blue Hills

2. Savages

3. The Steel Nile

4. "This Ocean of Bloom"

5. The Ravaging Hopper

6. Colonists

7. Sheepskin and Teakettles

8. At the Front

9. Dull Knife

10. The Weak Shall Flee

11. Heaven of Brass, Earth of Iron

12. Home

13. Abide with Me

14. Dam the Draws

15. Ties That Bind

16. Ravana Rhymes with Hosanna

17. Red-Haired Men in Silk Ties

18. Nature and Civilization in Western Kansas

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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