Edited and with an Introduction by Rodman W. Paul Starting, her nostalgically remembered childhood on a Quaker farm on the Hudson River, Mary Hallock Foote tells the story of her training as an artist in the 1860s and of her marriage to a mining engineer whose jobs took the young couple west in the closing days of the frontier. She left the east, but not her career in book illustration. While moving from place to place with her husband, she also became a popular and widely published author, describing in her novels what it meant to be a woman in the American West during the late nineteenth century. Her story inspired the Pulitzer Prize-winning book Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner.
One of the first books that I remember reading, just after I had seen the actual tiny doll that Patty Reed secreted in her pocket. The story of the Donny Party as told from the point of view of this hidden friend is a wonderful introduction to Western history.