Michael Quinn: Michael Quinn (1846-1934) is the protagonist, a child of the Irish Potato Famine, a child laborer in the textile mills of Lancashire, England and Lawrence, Massachusetts. He joins the Irish Revolutionary Brotherhood and participates in the 1866 invasion of Canada. He becomes a bullwhacker (freighter) on the Western plains, hauling supplies to mining camps and military forts, and railroad ties to the construction sites of the transcontinental railroad. As freighting by wagons and oxen is replaced by railroads, Michael becomes an open-range cattleman in the Dakota territory. There he encounters conflict and reconciliation with the Lakota Sioux nation in the aftermath of the massacre at Wounded Knee.
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