Trials of the Earth

Trials of the Earth

The True Story of A Pioneer Woman

Book - 2016
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"Near the end of her life, Mary Mann Hamilton (1866 - c.1936) was encouraged to record her experiences as a female pioneer. The result is the only known firsthand account of a remarkable woman thrust into the center of taming the American South-surviving floods, tornadoes, and fires; facing bears, panthers, and snakes; managing a boardinghouse in Arkansas that was home to an eccentric group of settlers; and running a logging camp in Mississippi that blazed a trail for development in the Mississippi Delta. All this she tackled-and diligently wrote about in secrecy, in a diary that not even her family knew she kept-while caring for her children, several of whom didn't survive the perils of pioneer life. The extreme hard work and tragedy Hamilton faced are eclipsed only by her emotional and physical strength; her unwavering faith in her husband, Frank, a mysterious Englishman; and her tenacious sense of adventure." --
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Company, 2016, ©1992
ISBN: 9780316341394
Branch Call Number: Biography B Ham


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Dec 18, 2016

Since it came so well reviewed I really tried to like it. I really tried to read it. Perhaps if she had not recorded nearly every second of every minute of her life I might have been able to. But she did, and I just couldn't.

Aug 25, 2016

This is not a diary, but the story of her life as she remembered it when she was elderly. Her detailed memories share a gift that she wanted documented for her descendants. Mary Mann Hamilton worked incredibly hard, with very little reward, and was often pregnant and/or had very young children to attend to at the same time. Her attitudes regarding the weakness of women, including herself, reflects the current attitudes of the time. She slaved under terrible circumstances, saved every penny she could, and watched her husband disappear for days at a time, often squandering her hard earned money. In the rare occasion she questioned him, he used his role as husband to quiet her, and she not only accepted it, but saw it as a sign of his strength. Like the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, this book represents a documentation of an American world long gone. Read it if you are interested in the history of American culture, information about American expansion, or in details about how pioneer settlers lived.


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