Ben Cartwright is the patriarch of an all-male Nevada ranching family. Set during and after the Civil War, "Bonanza" is the story of life on the family's thousand-acre spread, known as the Ponderosa, near Virginia City. Ben has his three sons, each with a different (and deceased) mother. Serious eldest son Adam hopes to follow in his father's footsteps; middle son Hoss is a gentle giant -- physically strong, but sometimes naive; and youngest son Little Joe is the most impetuous and romantic of the offspring.
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