Westward expansion

The Forgotten Heroes: The Story of the Buffalo Soldiers

By Clinton Cox

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Recounts the history of the 9th and 10th Cavalry regiments, comprised of African American soldiers recruited to open the West to settlers and whose deeds included escorting wagon trains, carrying mail, and fighting battles against Native Americans.

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Food and Recipes of the Westward Expansion

By George Erdosh

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"Looking closely at the environment, economics, eating habits, and favorite foods of our American forebears teaches us volumes about their world and ours. The 'gravy train' takes on new meaning as kids learn how the pioneers survived the long journey. Video games and television take a back seat as kids learn how to make a prospector's dinner of skillet bread and pork and beans."

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The American Way West

By Irene M. Franck and David M. Brownstone

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Traces the history of the following trade and travel routes: the Mohawk Trail, the Wilderness Road and other trans-Appalachian routes, the Mississippi Route, and the Santa Fe, Chihuahua, Oregon, and California Trails

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Homework Helper: The Plains Indians

Where Are the Great Plains?

The Great Plains are the part of North America east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the Mississippi River. The American states that are part of this region are Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas, and Wyoming. The land there is flat and includes prairie, steppe and grassland.

Who Are the Plains Indians?

There were many differently-named tribes who lived on the Great Plains when the Europeans came, but they mostly shared a common culture because of living in similar environments. The buffalo (bison) was a major source of food along with other game and cultivated crops. They also gathered wild fruits and vegetables. Nomadic (roaming) tribes lived in large teepees, often painted with religious symbols. Tribes that did not roam often lived in earthen or grass lodges and would grow crops.

Frederic Edwin Church and the National Landscape

By Franklin Kelly

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An analysis of Church's paintings between 1845 and 1860, culminating in his "Twilight in the Wilderness." The author posits that these paintings "address matters of pressing importance and interest to the American nation."

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The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

The Long Winter

The constant beating of the winds against the house, the roaring, shrieking, howling of the storm, made it hard even to think. It was possible only to wait for the storm to stop. All the time, while they ground wheat, twisted hay, kept the fire burning in the stove, and huddled over it to thaw their chapped, numb hands and their itching, burning, chilblained feet, and while they chewed and swallowed the coarse bread, they were all waiting until the storm stopped.

It did not stop during the third day or the third night. In the fourth morning it was still blowing fiercely.
“No sign of a letup,” Pa said when he came in from the stable. “This is the worst yet.”
 
On the television series Little House on the Prairie, the sun is almost always shining—not surprising since it was filmed in Simi Valley, California. On television, the weather was hardly ever a problem. The TV stories are usually about how people interact with each other. But in the books, the Ingalls family was up against much more than that mean Nellie Oleson. The Long Winter of 1880-1881 begins with family on their South Dakota homestead, bringing in the hay crop on a lazy August day when all seems well.