Top positive review
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Bravery, Endurance, and American Spirit
on July 31, 2012
I just finished this book, and really loved it. The book devotes a chapter to each of a dozen or so women who filed claims on free land in Montana in the late 1800s to the 19-teens. They were required to live on the land and improve it (with crops, fencing and a house) for five years before getting the title to it. They were also required to be single, divorced, abandoned or otherwise heads of their households, as married women didn't qualify for land.
The book contains quite a few pictures of these tough women and their homesteads, and diary entries and letters from several of them. I am amazed that anybody could "prove up" a claim in that terribly dry, isolated place. The hunger, heat, cold, wind, sand, lack of water, crop failure, loss of livestock, lack of feminine companionship, and lack of medical care caused so many homesteaders to give up, and yet these women stayed and flourished.
If you enjoy books about the settling of the American West and the pioneer spirit, you will love this book!