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9780060158361 Dust jacket notes: "A comprehensive and entertaining work that tells us how the Far West and plains states were settled in the latter half of the eighteenth century. With the passing of the California gold rush, interest shifted to the huge undeveloped interior of the Far West and Great Plains. Rich discoveries of silver and gold brought thousands of footloose and would-be miners and speculators into the Rockies and the desert mountains of Nevada and Utah. Denver and Salt Lake City boomed as major supply bases, and smaller communities, often short-lived, sprang up to provide provisions and recreation at a local level. This new population was notably restless and transient, always ready to pick up and go when it heard rumors of better opportunities elsewhere. It was of many ethnic groups and nationalities. The merchants and bankers constituted the stable element that led the fight to get connections to the new railroads, when it became apparent that the stagecoaches and picturesque white-topped freight wagons were pitted against competition that they could not meet. Driven by local pride, the merchant-banker group struggled to give its new towns the urban atmosphere of the eastern cities it was instinctively copying. The era covered in The Far West and the Great Plains in Transition was a time of rapid and extensive change, of frequently shifting fortunes, and of a search for an even brighter future by men and women who were sure it lay just ahead of them."