What life was like for youngsters who lived on the Great Plains in nineteenth-century frontier life. Chapters address a breadth of experiences and perceptions: why families came to the Great Plains and where they decided to settle; how families and communities were organized for education, work, and play; how health care, accidents, and mortality affected childhoods; and what children experienced outside the home. As much as possible, Ms. Holt lets the children speak for themselves. American Childhoods Series.
Marilyn Irvin Holt was born in southern Illinois, where her parents still maintain a farm. She studied at Eastern Illinois University and the University of Illinois at Springfield, and is a former editor for the Illinois State Historical Library and a former director of publications for the Kansas State Historical Society. She has also written Indian Orphanages; Linoleum, Better Babies and the Modern Farm Woman; and The Orphan Trains. She lives in Abilene, Kansas.
Part 1 Introduction Part 2 Perceptions and Expectations 9 Part 3 Travel and Settlement 33 Part 4 Family and Community 57 Part 5 Education and School Building 81 Part 6 The Work of Children 106 Part 7 Play and Leisure 128 Part 8 Matters of Life and Death 149 Part 9 Common Threads 171 Part 10 Notes 177 Part 11 A Note on Sources 205 Part 12 Index 211
This work is a welcome addition to the small but growing collection of scholarly books about children of the Western Frontier. Library Journal She continues to skillfully give readers valuable information on the roles played by children in the American West. -- Robert W. Richmond Thick with vivid details and personal accounts. -- Laurie Winn Carlson Well-researched...vivid. -- Gerald W. McFarland ...Meticulous, yet accessible...a terrific resource for research and curriculum support... Booklist A deeply researched book. The book provides an abundance of information about 19th century children's experiences on the Great Plains that is a valuable addition to historical knowledge. Recommended. CHOICE She provides plenty of historical background information while zeroing in on the subject at hand-how children were affected. -- Robin Farrell Edmunds Manhattan Mercury You will be amazed at the depth of frontier hardship, freedom and joy. Utica Source Holt's account of child life on the Plains is well written and beautifully illustrated. Nebraska History This type of cultural history provides a useful balance to the statistics and plans of academics and policy officials... The Region ...Provides plenty of historical background while zeroing in on the subject at hand-how children were affected. Foreword Reviews Every reader will find issues that resonate with his or her own experiences and interests... A clear success. Journal of Social History Holt...creates a vivid picture of what life was like for the children of the first European and African-American immigrants. The Dallas Morning News ...A worthwhile addition to the growing collection of literature about youngsters in the nineteenth-century American West. Great Plains Quarterly By restoring children to the saga of the plains, Holt does indeed broaden the perspective of place. -- Gail Didonato South Dakota History Holt's work is a well-written and compact study of an important topic in Western history. Journal of the West Holt carves out her own territory and brings her own insights...There is much to be commended in this book. North Dakota History: Journal Of The Northern Plains
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