The presence of water, mainly rivers, contributed to the locations of early pioneer settlements in the Nebraska Territory from 1855 to 1866. In Pioneer Settlement of Nebraska Territory, author Charles Howard Richardson presents the findings from a study conducted about factors that influenced Nebraska’s early development. Pioneer Settlement of Nebraska Territory explores the classification, distribution, and characteristics of both the populated and rural areas during this ten-year time period. With charts and illustrations included, Richardson describes how the settlers at major Missouri River towns depended on outfitting westbound emigrants for their livelihood. He also describes how the outlying territory, generally unoccupied, was confined to the lower reaches of tributary streams, where surface water was available throughout the year. Focusing on the eastern third of the territory, roughly 24,000 square miles, Richardson shows that early imports and exports were shipped by means of Missouri River boats between St. Louis and Omaha, and that the East-to-West transportation links consisted mainly of overland wagon roads because there were no navigable rivers in this pre-railroad period. Pioneer Settlement of Nebraska Territory provides insight into Nebraska’s earliest development.