Uncommon Common Women: Ordinary Lives of the West

By Anne M. Butler; Ona Siporin | Go to book overview

1
Women of the Prairies

When W. H. D. Koerner "Madonna of the Prairie" first appeared in 1922, it represented a nostalgia grounded in the American imagination, rather than the realities of nineteenth century pioneer life. The gentle, yet determined features of a young woman, whose Conestoga wagon framed her serenity with a canvas halo, captured what many Americans believed of women who made the long overland trek to unknown western regions. This pioneer image offered a comforting national memory for those who think of women only as "gentle tamers," or stoic, longsuffering "civilizers." For the many Americans who trace their ancestors to the overland migration and point to maternal ancestors by name, these images of courageous pioneer women offer both personal and national visions of courage. The stories of these true-to-life American women run through the whole fabric

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Uncommon Common Women: Ordinary Lives of the West
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface viii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Women of the Prairies 5
  • 2 - Immigrant Women 35
  • 3 - Indigenous Women 53
  • 4 - Women of the Schoolhouse 67
  • 5 - Women of the Criminal World 89
  • 6 - Women of the Fort and the City 105
  • 7 - Work, Grief, and Joy 111
  • Suggested Readings 127
  • Photo Credits 133
  • About the Authors 138
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