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By Edith Gelles

“Fascinating...Gelles has supplied a balanced portrait, and her mastery of the period’s concerns and historical past is clear on each web page. Her therapy of the family... [is] written with figuring out and sensitivity... however it is her power as a feminist historian that makes her therapy of Abigail the main gripping... masterful and captivating.”
Washington Times

“A landmark... Well-organized and expertly composed, the publication is a magnificent addition to the nation’s written history.”
Oklahoma urban Oklahoman

Readers who loved Doris Kearns Goodwin’s No traditional Time, Cokie Roberts’s Founding Mothers, and David McCullough’s John Adams will love “this eminently readable… fascinating and delicate, but candid and unflinching joint biography” (Daniel Walker Howe, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer of What Hath God Wrought: The Transformation of the US, 1815-1848) of America’s unique “power couple”: Abigail and John Adams.

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They and their horses would dominate life on the northern plains for the next century. 36 lords of the northern plains chapter three Explorers and Fur Traders, 1730–1800 T he Virginians were just beginning to settle the Shenandoah Valley, and no Europeans had yet crossed the Appalachians to visit Kentucky or Tennessee when the first Frenchman, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, the sieur de la Vérendrye, ventured onto the northern plains. Born in Three Rivers, a fur trade entrepot on the St. Lawrence River, Vérendrye had served in the French army — both in Canada and in France — during the conflict with England known in the American colonies as Queen Anne’s War (1701–13).

The houses, about twenty by thirty feet in size, were built around upright posts, with slender poles serving as walls. We do not know whether the walls were finished with mud and moss or with buffalo hides. Most villages were surrounded by a shallow ditch and a log palisade for defense. By the end of the fifteenth century the Mandans had abandoned their villages in present-day South Dakota and had settled on a fifty-mile stretch of the Missouri River in present-day North Dakota. They were probably forced out by the bellicose Arikaras, who were advancing northward from the central plains.

The Dakotas, armed only with bows and arrows, suffered a series of deadly losses. Gradually over the next half century, they retired from the piney woodlands of the upper Mississippi and joined the southern Council Fires in the prairie grasslands of the Minnesota River Valley. The arrival of the newcomers, now identified as Yankton Sioux, tended to push the southern group, or Teton Sioux, farther westward. The Tetons moved northwest to the headwaters of the Minnesota River. ” That branch of the tribe would continue to lead the westward movement.

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