Letters of a Woman Homesteader

Letters of a Woman Homesteader

Elinore Pruitt Stewart

Language: English

Pages: 108

ISBN: 1611040884

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

"Letters of a Woman Homesteader" is a frontier classic by Elinore Pruitt Stewart, a widowed young mother who accepted an offer to assist with a ranch in Wyoming. In Stewart's delightful collection of letters, she describes her homesteading experiences to her former employer, Mrs. Coney. Stewart's charming descriptions of work, travels, neighbors, animals, land and sky have an authentic feel. The West comes alive, and everyday life becomes captivating. Stewart's writing is clear, witty, and entertaining. Clear as a bell, concise yet comprehensive, replete with localisms and skillfully rendered frontier humor, it makes one want to toss the PC and reference library into the trash and move to some unspoiled wilderness. The 26 letters are brief and tell about her life on the ranch in the early 1900s. The author frequently and unnecessarily apologizes for being too wordy; she begs forgiveness for many "faults," like being forgetful, ungrateful, inconsistent and indifferent, all without apparent cause. On occasion, language reflects the racial prejudice of the time. Many times in "Letters of a Woman Homesteader" Stewart attempts to portray the culturally diverse characters she meets by writing their various dialects as they sound. After enjoying this book, readers will be equipped with a whole new view of not only life in the early 20th century but of the impact woman had on it.

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be happy again? Truly your friend, ELINORE RUPERT. June 16, 1910. MY DEAR FRIEND,— Your card just to hand. I wrote you some time ago telling you I had a confession to make and have had no letter since, so thought perhaps you were scared I had done something too bad to forgive. I am suffering just now from eye-strain and can't see to write long at a time, but I reckon I had better confess and get it done with. The thing I have done is to marry Mr. Stewart. It was such an inconsistent thing to

"beasties," should they need attention during the night. As I was preparing for bed, Aggie thrust her head into my room and announced that she would be up at three o'clock. I am not an early bird, so I thought I would let Aggie get her own breakfast, and I told her she would find everything in the pantry. As long as I was awake I could hear Archie and Aggie talking, but I could not imagine what about. I did n't know their habits so well as I came to later. Next morning the rumbling of their

sheltered little nook where they are able to raise many things. Upon a long shelf above the fire was an ugly old stone image, the bottom broken off and some plaster applied to make it set level. The ugly thing they had brought with them from some old ruined temple in Mexico. We were all so very tired that soon Carlota Juanita brought out an armful of the thickest, brightest rugs and spread them over the floor for us to sleep upon. The men retired to a lean-to room, where they slept, but not

away, made up the family. They seemed a happy, contented family, if one judged by appearance alone. After supper the children gathered around the table to prepare next day's lessons. They were bright little folks, but they mingled a great deal of talk with their studies and some of what they talked was family history. "Mamma," said Kittie, the largest of the little girls, "if Aunt Deb does buy a new coat and you get her old one, then can I have yours?" "I don't know," her mother replied; "I

if it had been mysilf I'd have been after raising a little hell here intirely." Our hostess was not offended, and there followed a long recital of earlier-day hard times that you would scarcely believe amy one could live through. It seems the first wife in such families is boss, and while they do not live in the same homes, still she can very materially affect the other's comfort. Mrs. O'Shaughnessy asked her if she had married again. She said, "No." "Then," said Mrs. O'Shaughnessy, "whose

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