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Excavating MemorySites of Remembering and Forgetting$
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Maria Theresia Starzmann and John R. Roby

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813061603

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813061603.001.0001

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Pioneer Mothers for the New Millennium

Pioneer Mothers for the New Millennium

(p.172) 8 Pioneer Mothers for the New Millennium
Excavating Memory

Cynthia Culver Prescott

University Press of Florida

During the 1920s and 1930s, communities across the United States erected heroic statues commemorating the arrival of white “civilization.” These statues celebrate “pioneer mothers” through a depiction of a young, white woman leading her children westward, armed only with a rifle or Bible. This widespread Pioneer Mother Movement faded in the postwar era, and many communities chose to forget their once- prominent statues. In recent years, however, new pioneer monuments have been erected in smaller western communities seeking to profit from their connection to the mythic Old West. These communities have embraced new pioneer-themed memorials that stray from the iconography that dominated twentieth-century monuments. Yet, by celebrating white settlers, these statues ultimately continue the silencing of native peoples.

Keywords:   Pioneer Mother, Old West, Settlers, Monuments, Silencing

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