Dreams, Myths, and Reality

William Thomas Allison, Susan Jipson Matt

Through the settlement of the West, by the Civil Battle and Gold Rush intervals, the typical Anglo family consisted of two or three bachelor farmers or miners. The nuclear Ingalls household from Little Home of the Prairie was much less typical than Bonanza’s Cartwright household with three boys, a father, and a male prepare dinner.

There have been exceptions. The Willamette Valley in Oregon was settled by conventional households who carved out a middle-class existence on small farms. In Utah Territory, much less fertile soil and extra fertile polygamous fathers produced households who struggled in opposition to poverty and isolation.

The primary People out West gravitated to present pockets of Spanish tradition in New Mexico and alongside the California coast–so a lot in order that in 1860 the U.S. census takers couldn’t find a single city in Idaho or Montana. They discovered solely twenty-three settlements in present-day Nevada. These areas had been nonetheless the area of frontiersmen, quickly to get replaced by prospectors and dust farmers.

On this anthology, a few of the most distinguished historians of the American West contemplate Utah’s place within the context of broad settlement patterns. Along with the displacement of warfare and the lure of treasured metals, immigration was influenced by a persistent idyllic dream of a brand new starting in faith, social buildings, and multi-culturalism.