This vivid and colorful chronicle of pioneering experience from the 1800s to the mid-20th century emerges from Virginia Stumbough’s priceless collection of family letters, diaries, scrapbooks, and albums and from her life-long habit of listening to family stories handed down by her elders.
A descendent of a prominent pioneer family tells fascinating stories about her family based on her priceless collection of letters, scrapbooks, mementoes, and photography albums, and on recollections told to her by her elders while she was growing up in the new state of Oklahoma.
The stories of remarkable individuals in this unusual family’s history bring alive the settling of the United States and its western frontier: . . . the Salem, Massachusetts doctor who saved a woman from the charge of witchcraft . . . the girl who was courted by General George Armstrong Custer . . . the Civil War soldier who just before dying of typhoid fever wrote poignant letters exposing the terrible conditions at the Confederate prison camp of Andersonville . . . the schoolteacher whose most famous pupil was future Olympic decathlon champion Jim Thorpe . . . the sheriff who single-handedly captured notorious outlaw Bill Doolin. . . .
Among the highlights is George Hawkins’s absorbing account of his boyhood and youth in Montreal and Vermont in the early 1800s and the family’s struggle onward to the west–a unique contribution to American history of the period. We are also privileged to read the touching letters written to his wife by one of George’s descendants, a young recruit who would never return from the Civil War to see the child born in his absence.