This State of Wonders: The Letters of an Iowa Frontier Family, 1858-1861 John Kent Folmar

ISBN: 9780877453413

Published: September 1st 1991

Paperback

186 pages


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This State of Wonders: The Letters of an Iowa Frontier Family, 1858-1861  by  John Kent Folmar

This State of Wonders: The Letters of an Iowa Frontier Family, 1858-1861 by John Kent Folmar
September 1st 1991 | Paperback | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, talking book, mp3, ZIP | 186 pages | ISBN: 9780877453413 | 4.43 Mb

When the John Hugh Williams family immigrated to Homer, Iowa, in the 1850s, they had six children, ranging in age from five to twenty. Suddenly land poor, in debt, and caught in the Panic of 57, they sent their eldest son, James, to Georgia to workMoreWhen the John Hugh Williams family immigrated to Homer, Iowa, in the 1850s, they had six children, ranging in age from five to twenty.

Suddenly land poor, in debt, and caught in the Panic of 57, they sent their eldest son, James, to Georgia to work and add to the family income.The seventy-five letters collected here represent the familys correspondence to their absent son and brother. From 1858 to 1861, James sisters, brothers, mother, and father wrote to him frequently, each with distinct views on their daily life and struggles.

While Mr. Williams wrote most often about money, farming, and moral advice (he was minister in the Church of New Jerusalem, as well as a merchant and farmer), Mrs. Williams commented on her daily chores, the familys health, the ever-important weather, and her leisure activities, including the contemporary journals and books she read, such as David Copperfield and Jane Eyre.

James sisters and brothers wrote about many concerns, from schoolwork and housework to games and family celebrations in nearby Webster City.As the letters continue, the affection for the absent James becomes more pronounced. And, as the years go by, the letters touch on more current national trends, including the Pikes Peak Gold Rush and the growing North/South crisis, on which James and his family strongly disagree.

James was never to return to Iowa but married and remained in the South, becoming a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate army.Complete with voices both young and old, male and female, This State of Wonders offers a wealth of information about the daily life of an ordinary family on the Iowa prairie. It is a book to be treasured by all Iowans interested in the early life of their state and by all historians looking for a complete portrait of family life on the midwestern frontier.



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