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Old Rail Fence Corners

Lucy Leavenworth Wilder Morris

Book Overview: 

Old Rail Fence Corners is an historical treasure trove containing the stories of the first significant waves of European-American settlers in the now state of Minnesota (United States of America). This book has direct accounts of mid-19th century lives and experiences on the frontier, recounted by the frontiersmen and women when many of them were in their mid-90s. A group of volunteer women -- the Book Committee -- sought to record these recollections before they were lost with the passing of these remarkable adventurers.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .My Indian com[Pg 52]panion and I would both have a gun. He would paddle the frail canoe. We would see the game. "Bang!" would go my gun. "Bang!" would go his. I would be loading while he was shooting. All game was plenty, plenty.

Well I remember the woodcock, long bill, big, big eyes—look at you so trustingly I never could shoot them.

There were such mighty flocks of ducks and geese in season that their flight would sound like a train of cars does now. Once I went deer hunting and saw six does. They turned their beautiful faces towards me and showed no fear. I could not shoot them.

I have seen strings of those Red River carts and many, many in a string, loaded with furs coming from Fort Garry or Pembina.

Mrs. James Pratt—1850.

My father moved to Minnesota Territory in '50. We lived with my uncle, Mr. Tuttle, who had a mill for some time on this side. He was living in a small house belonging to the government, but my fat. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Why on earth would any book club pick this as a monthly read for discussion????? Totally not worth the time to read or discuss unless the book club is specifically about history or some other intellectual/academic pursuit! Now if I were writing a thesis on Minnesota history there is a great deal...more

A friend loaned me this book because as Bob said . . . "I'd love it". Man was he right. It is not over edited and thus told in the language of the pioneers. The stories are interesting to say the least. I had to keep reminding myself that these events only took place just over 150 years ago. If y...more

4 stars (liked a lot)

Having lived for some time in The Twin Cities, I found this book of recollections of Minnesota pioneers living in the mid-19th-Century very interesting, especially because the accounts are first-hand and because of the presence of the Native Americans.  The pioneers' observat...more

GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOD !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOO...more

I'll really enjoyed it. a period in our history I think would be fascinating to experience with NO knowledge of the future. Native American people would peak in Windows and walk into homes without knocking, and you get a feel for how they were repressed. I may need to check out. more on the war.

I absolutely adore this book. In so many ways.

In the early 1900s, Lucy Morris and her friends realized that the people who had originally settled the Minnesota territory after the Louisiana Purchase in the 1850s-60s were now very old and dying off, and their stories of life on the frontier would...more

I read this for research rather than fun, and with that mindset this is a really neat book, with lots of little tidbits of information everywhere. It does seem disorganized at times, but the person who recommended it to me pointed out that it seems to have been organized based on a set of intervi...more

Happened across this at my local library. It is an outstanding collection of oral histories regarding the 1850's and 60's in Minnesota. It will come in very handy with my letter writing in the unit.

Thinking of becoming a history buff? This book could send you on your way--in a good way. The introduction is important to help you understand the way it's written and how it came to be. The book is written in the words of people who actually lived through Indian wars and traversing through the w...more

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