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C. K. Van Dam

Topics: American Old West, History, Women

Community: Sioux Falls

Program Types: Speakers Bureau, Virtual Program(s) | (605) 360-1222|

Women Tamed the Frontier
The Homestead Act of 1862 opened the frontier. The spark that became a historical novel was this: 12% of homesteaders were women – but 42% of women homesteaders proved their claims, while only 37% of men were successful. This presentation answers the “why” and the “how” of that statistic: how congressmen argued against including women in this legislation and what the Homestead Act required. Then, through interviews, letters home and journal entries of women pioneers, Van Dam provides a glimpse at their lives. Finally, once they were in Dakota Territory, how women impacted the frontier.