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The story of westward expansion in the United States is often told from the perspective of the men and women who crossed the Great Plains in search of a better life in the west. But a historian at Missouri University of Science and Technology is bringing to light the role settlers' animals played in the westward migration of the mid-1800s.
Dr. Diana L. Ahmad, an associate professor of history at Missouri S&T, discusses the relationship between pioneers and their stock -- mainly oxen, mules, horses and cattle -- in an essay published in the summer 2012 issue of the Great Plains Quarterly. She notes that the westward travelers' success depended greatly on their interactions with the animals.
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