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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Farm, Field and Fireside

A subject guide for use with the Farm, Field and Fireside collection of farm newspapers and periodicals.


In Farm, Field, and Fireside you will find material that documents the "opening up" of Indian lands for settlement by Americans. The journals for the most part adopt the perspective of westward moving settlers: Americans who want to move onto reserved Indian lands, and those already living there--sometimes legally, sometimes illegally. 

The kinds of documents you will find include, but are not limited to:

Search Strategies

Keep your keyword searches simple to begin with. For example: "Pine Ridge" instead of "Pine Ridge Reservation."

Try both specific searches and general. For example, names of people like "Red Cloud", or of legislation like "Kinkaid Bill", would be specific searches. For general searches, combine keywords like Indian* AND Homestead*, or Indian AND Allotment*.

Use the language of the time period you're researching. For example, keyword searches like savage* or "red men" OR "red man." Of course, you won't always be familiar with contemporary language, which is why it's helpful to keep a record of vocabulary as you discover it in the articles you read.

Try variant spellings and variant forms, For example, "red men" OR "redmen." Names of Indian tribes also appear in variant forms. For example, try both Sauk, Saukee, and Sac; both Fox and Outagami; and Ojibwa, Ojibway, Ojibwe, Ojibbeway, and Chippewa.

Build searches by combining different concepts. For example, if I'm studying the construction of roads through Indian lands, I'd combine words like road* AND reservation*, or road* AND indians, or trail AND reservation*. Be sure to experiment with different words for each concept, using general and specific terms.

For more search strategies and background information, see our guide Farm, Field and Fireside: Indian Lands.