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Did the West offer women a place to grow, providing opportunities for more equitable social relationships, greater political rights, and economic independence? The answer is found in this unique blend of more than 90 primary documents, in which the women's own words tell the story, combined with 11 selected essays by noted historian Glenda Riley. A number of themes pervade the articles and documents presented here. The selections discuss stereotypes of western women, the ethnic and racial backgrounds of western women, women's migration experiences, female migrants' relations with Native Americans, and women's contributions inside and outside the home as the West was settled.