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American frontier: The Chrisman Sisters on a claim in Goheen settlement on Lieban (Lillian) Creek, Custer County, 1886 Daughters of ranchman Joseph M. Chrisman, left to right: Harriet, Elizabeth, Lucie and Ruth.

The Butcher family arrived in Nebraska in time to experience the hard winter of 1880 to 1881. Blizzards often struck without warning, catching people out on the prairie. Those lucky enough to be home, like this family shown here in Cherry County, often brought their horses or cows into their sod homes so the animals would not freeze.

Wyatt Earp in 1923, age 75

by Gertrude Kasebier

On the Oregon Trail, heading west to the "land of promise." This photographer is unknown, but it was pioneers like these who, starting in 1841, crossed the Nebraska plains.

New Oldsmobile, Rock Creek Park, Washington, D.C

February 1939. "On U.S. 99 near Brawley, Imperial County, California. Homeless mother and youngest child of seven walking the highway from Phoenix, Arizona, where they picked cotton. Bound for San Diego, where the father hopes to get on relief 'because he once lived there.'" Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.

New Mexico Cowboys 1880s. What a cool photo.

women of the west

Pioneer Family

June 25, 1876: Battle of the Little Bighorn and death of Lt. Colonel George Armstrong Custer. photo: Custer Expedition, 1874: Bloody Knife (guide), General Custer, Private Noonen, and Colonel Ludlow, with grizzly killed by Custer; near Custer Peak (South Dakota); NYHS image #79125d.

... prairie pioneers ,1800s. I wonder if she ever questioned why she married that guy in the first place. Poor woman.

Love the old house

When slavery was legally abolished, the Slave Codes were rewritten as the Black Codes, a series of laws criminalizing legal activity for African Americans. Through the enforcement of these laws, acts such as standing in one area of town or walking at night, for example, became the criminal acts of “loitering” or “breaking curfew” for which African Americans were imprisoned.

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The Homestead Act of 1862. Families were allowed 160 acres for a small filing fee and 5 yrs of residency. 45% of all the land in Nebraska was given away by the federal government under these provisions.

Because their profession brought them into contact (literally) with many men, prostitutes were able to provide crucial testimony to frontier law enforcers. The courtroom statements of these women frequently helped convict the guilty & exonerate the innocent. The lasting benefit of all such testimony helped law enforcers overcome widespread skepticism of their ability to fairly dispense justice on the chaotic American frontier.

Nebraska pioneer family in front of sod house with cow on roof, 1886

"In 1906, a massive magnitude 7.9 earthquake ruptured the entire San Andreas Fault in Northern California." A tear in the earth.

Custer and his Calvary and Wagons crossing Dakota

1886 in Loup Valley, Nebr. A family poses with the wagon in which they live and travel daily during their pursuit of a homestead.