NORMAN D. BROWN, Editor
Westering Women and the Frontier Experience, 18oo-9z15. By Sandra
L. Myres. (Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1982.
Pp. xxii+365. Foreword, preface, illustrations, notes on sources,
acknowledgment of sources, notes, index. $19.95, cloth; $9.95,
Sandra L. Myres, professor of history at the University of Texas at
Arlington, has given us the first volume in the Histories of the Ameri-
can Frontier Series to be devoted to women. It is an important and
welcome contribution to the social history of women in the United
Carefully documented, Westering Women makes extensive use of
over 400 primary sources, including letters, diaries, journals and
reminiscences in twenty-seven archives across the West: Arizona, Cali-
fornia, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, Ne-
braska, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, and Washington.
The largest collection of materials cited is from the Barker Texas
History Center at the University of Texas, Austin (sixty-five), plus the
Texas slave narratives.
In a refreshing cross-cultural perspective, Myres looks at racism and
its effects on the frontier, as well as examples of friendship among
women of different ethnic groups. She includes wherever possible, and
based upon available material, information about black, Hispanic, and
native American women.
The book examines the myths and realities of frontier life; the per-
spectives of women before they set out on the overland trail and how
those perspectives were changed by their experiences; the overland
journey itself; women's work and homemaking; family and com-
munity life; and the struggle for political, legal, and economic changes.
One of the most interesting chapters deals with women as frontier
entrepreneurs, earning money by selling butter and eggs, making
vests and gloves for cowboys, running inns and boardinghouses, cook-
ing and laundering for single men, and writing articles and books.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 87, July 1983 - April, 1984. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117150/. Accessed April 16, 2014.