A majority of the pioneer settlers of Kansas migrated from cities in the eastern United States. A profound hardship to the newcomers was the lack of books. Women’s clubs quickly formed in many settlements, determined to re-create the literary culture left behind. Under the leadership of women’s club activist Lucy Johnston, a system of traveling libraries was developed in Kansas. Letters written to Johnston at the start of the program reveal the acute yearning for books on the prairies and the power of disenfranchised women to rally for a cause in turn-of-the-century Kansas.