The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West

The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West

The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West

The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West

Excerpt

Each age writes the history of the past anew with reference to the conditions uppermost in its own time. . . .

The aim of history, then, is to know the elements of the present by understanding what came into the present from the past. For the present is simply the developing past, the past the undeveloped present. . . . The antiquarian strives to bring back the past for the sake of the past; the historian strives to show the present to itself by revealing its origin from the past. The goal of the antiquarian is the dead past; the goal of the historian is the living present.

-- Frederick Jackson Turner, 1891

In 1883 NANNIE ALDERSON married, left her home in Virginia, and traveled to her new life on a ranch in Montana. Reminiscing about those years, Mrs. Alderson noted a particular feature of Montana cuisine and landscape. "Everyone in the country lived out of cans," she said, "and you would see a great

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