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Into The Western Winds: Pioneer Boys Traveling The Overland Trails

by Mary Barmeyer O'Brien

This book chronicles the overland journeys of nine pioneer boys who went west by covered wagon in the mid-1800s. Taken from their letters, diaries, and later memoirs, these remarkable stories describe what it was like to be hungry enough to eat woodpeckers, brave enough to winter alone in the snowbound Sierra Nevada, cold enough to huddle beneath a sister's petticoat at night, and tough enough to push onward despite astounding odds. Trudging barefoot across hundreds of miles of harsh land, each of the boys selected for this collection found the resourcefulness to rise above the unusual circumstances of his overland journey. Whether traveling alone through the vast wilderness to bring food to his starving family like fourteen-year-old Octavius Pringle, struggling for days across Death Valley like six-year-old John Wells Brier, or boating the treacherous rapids of the Columbia River like young Jesse Applegate, each summoned the courage to help his family complete a remarkable trip west.

Jeannette Rankin: Bright Star in the Big Sky

by Mary Barmeyer O'Brien

This book chronicles the extraordinary life of Jeanette Rankin. The first woman ever elected to the U.S. Congress, Jeannette represented Montana for two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives. She was a leading advocate for both woman suffrage and world peace and was instrumented in securing the right for Montana women to vote. As the sole female member of the U.S. Congress in 1919, Jeanette was the only woman who voted to give all women in the United States the right to vote. After readers witness the vote that made Ms. Rankin most famous-her lone vote against U.S. entry into World War II-they turn to her youngest years in Missoula, Montana. The book continues to follow Jeannette's life from beginning to end, exposing her many courageous and remarkable accomplishments. Jeannette once said: "Wouldn't it be too bad if we left this world and hadn't done all we could for peace?" She herself had nothing to regret. Readers will be inspired by this magnificent portrait of her life.

Outlasting the Trail: The Story of a Woman's Journey West

by Mary Barmeyer O'Brien

When Mary Rockwood Powers left her comfortable home in Wisconsin in 1846 with her doctor husband and three children, she was a reluctant emigrant. Like many women of her time, her fate lay not in her hands but in those of her husband, and she was forced to leave behind home and family for the arduous overland trek on the Oregon Trail. Shortly into their travels west, it became painfully obvious that Doctor Powers was simply not up to the task of making sure his family "outlasted the trail" and Mary had to step in and become the head of the household with its canvas roof and wheels--leaving behind her ideals of femininity along with her beloved possessions. Beautifully told, this is a story that will wrench at the heart as the reader uncovers the trials behind this remarkable woman's journey west.

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