Children of the West: Family Life on the Frontier
In search of land and a new life, couples created farms and ranches in the rugged frontier. The children of the West took after their rugged and individualistic parents―they grew up learning determination with their prayers. While families worried about wild animals and Indian raids, their greatest difficulty might be just growing enough food to eat and staying sheltered. Yet, there was fun to be had, from tumbling down haystacks to grasshopper races, or a tea party with corncob dolls. Large families bustled with chores and chastisement, and there was endless opportunity for mischief among siblings.
The West attracted people from all over America and from all over the world. Luchetti looks at the lives of the black Exodusters, the native Spanish who created wealthy rancheros, and the Chinese and Japanese who sought greater economic opportunities than they could find in their homeland. And many new settlers encountered the Indians, whose lives were disrupted by the mandate of Manifest Destiny. Brought into lively, and often painful, proximity, their stories were made even more poignant through the lives of their children.
Children of the West reveals the bygone lives of the families who populated the pioneer West, as described in their own words in letters, diaries, and journals. We come close to them through their worries and joys. The photographs draw us even closer, as we see the face of family life in the changing West.