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Johnathan (John) Gneisenau Neihardt (January 8, 1881 – November 24, 1973) was an American author of poetry and prose, an amateur historian and ethnographer, and a philosopher of the Great Plains. Born at the end of the American settlement of the Plains, his attention was nevertheless drawn to the experiences and memories of those who had been a part of the European migration as well as the American Indian cultures they displaced. He travelled down the Missouri River by open boat, visited with old trappers, became familiar with a number of Indian communities, and did extensive research throughout the Plains and Rocky Mountains. He then wrote to preserve these memories from the pioneer past in books that range across a broad variety of styles, from travelogues to epic poetry to extended narration of the dreams of a shaman. In 1921 the Nebraska Legislature elected him as the state's poet laureate, a title he held for fifty-two years until his death.. American author of poetry and prose an amateur historian and ethnographer and a philosopher of the Great Plains
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