Pioneer Women, Voices From the Kansas Frontier

Pioneer Women, Voices From the Kansas Frontier

by Joanna L. Stratton

Overview: From a rediscovered collection of priceless autobiographical accounts written by hundreds of pioneer women, Joanna Stratton has made a remarkable and widely celebrated book. Never before has there been such a detailed record of women's courage, such a living portrait of the women who civilized the American frontier. Here are their stories: wilderness mothers, schoolmarms, Indian squaws, immigrants, homesteaders, and circuit riders. Their personal recollections of prairie fires, locust plagues, cowboy shootouts, Indian raids, and blizzards on the plains vividly reveal the drama, danger and excitement of the pioneer experience.

These were women of relentless determination, whose tenacity helped them to conquer loneliness and privation. Their work was the work of survival, it demanded as much from them as from their men and at last that partnership has been recognized. "These voices are haunting" (New York Times Book Review), and they reveal the special heroism and industriousness of pioneer women as never before.

Sharon Weiss (05/30/18): Joanna Stratton came upon a treasure trove of first person accounts from Kansas pioneer women her grandmother had collected when cleaning out her grandmother's attic. The Harvard educated author compiled this collection of pioneer remembrances into a fascinating account of homesteading in Kansas in the mid-1800s. The brave women often left established homes in the East to venture to a barren land and live in a sod house with dirt floors until a more permanent residence could be constructed. The women recount dealing with prairie fires, cattle drives, famine, pestilence, Indian attacks and even delivery children by themselves. It make present day life seem like a piece of cake.
Rating: *****

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