CHAPTER 5

PIONEERS: FORGING AHEAD

                  The more you go to your limits, the more your limits will expand.

—ROBIN SHARMA

The great Mississippi River—flowing south to the Gulf of Mexico a thousand miles west of the eastern seaboard of the United States—was the edge of civilization in the early 1800s. To the east of the river lay civilized lands; to the west: nothing, from the European perspective, a vast blank space on the map. Into this uncharted territory strode the pioneers and the frontiersmen. Some of these rugged individuals sought to stake a claim in the homestead free-for-all. Others prospected for treasure and riches—or trekked into the void in pursuit of religious freedom. The first, and perhaps the greatest, frontiersmen, ...

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