The government allowed only one homesteader per

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particularly loath to marry once they had become property owners. The government allowed only one homesteader per family, so if a woman married a man who had also staked a claim, she would likely lose her land and all that she had worked so hard to establish. Molly was not against marrying again, but she had no interest in courting any time soon. Besides, the idea of country life was so enticing that it added to her certainty about coming here. She dreamed of the small garden she would tend, carefully coaxing delicious herbs and fat vegetables from the soil. She envisioned full fruit trees dotted along the hillside and beautiful vines of honeysuckle and snapdragon, their delicate tendrils curling around fences and trellises. In the fall, she and her sister would can their fruits and vegetables so as to enjoy warm, hearty stews and sweet jams all winter long. Molly was confident that this beautiful, natural world would provide for all their needs if they worked hard. Molly strapped on her leather boots and rolled up her sleeves. The sun was rising high, and she could feel the sweat trickling down the back of her neck. There was much to do to prepare for tomorrow. The race for land would be chaotic, with horsemen and wagons and even some folks on foot all jostling for position. Molly and her sister would have to stand their ground, but they were ready, knowing that with strength and determination, they could build the kind of life that was attainable through perseverance in following their dreams.
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