Before the great Land Rush of 1889, Oklahoma territory was an island of wildness, home to one of the last tracts of biologically diverse prairie. In the space of a quarter century, the territory had given over to fenced farmsteads, with even the racial diversity of its recent past simplified. In this book, Bonnie Lynn-Sherow describes how a thriving ecology was reduced by market agriculture. Examining three central Oklahoma counties with distinct populations - Kiowas, white settlers, and black settlers - she analyzes the effects of racism, economics, and politics on prairie landscapes while addressing the broader issues of settlement and agriculture on the environment. Drawing on a host of sources - oral histories, letters and journals, and agricultural and census records - Lynn-Sherow examines Oklahoma history from the Land Rush to statehood to show how each community viewed its land as a resource, what its members planted, how they cooperated, and whether they succeeded. Anglo settlers claimed the choice parcels, introduced mechanized farming, and planted corn and wheat; blacks tended to grow cotton on lands unsuited for its cultivation; and Kiowas strove to become pastoralists.