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Vanished Arizona

Martha Summerhayes

Book Overview: 

This is the lively autobiography of Martha Summerhayes, the wife of an officer in the American Army. Here, she tells many stories about life and conditions in different camps and forts in which she lived with her expanding family, people along the way, and Journeys.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .The desert was new to me then. I had not read Pierre Loti's wonderful book, "Le Desert," and I did not see much to admire in the desolate waste lands through which we were travelling. I did not dream of the power of the desert, nor that I should ever long to see it again. But as I write, the longing possesses me, and the pictures then indelibly printed upon my mind, long forgotten amidst the scenes and events of half a lifetime, unfold themselves like a panorama before my vision and call me to come back, to look upon them once more.





CHAPTER VIII. LEARNING HOW TO SOLDIER

"The grasses failed, and then a mass Of dry red cactus ruled the land: The sun rose right above and fell, As falling molten from the skies, And no winged thing was seen to pass." Joaquin Miller.

We made fourteen miles the next day, and went into camp at a place called Freeze-wash, near some old silver mines. A bare and lonesome spot, where there was onl. . . Read More

Community Reviews

For we who live in AZ. this is pretty fascinating. It made me want to take a road trip to see all the places she lived as an army wife in the 1800's. Can you imagine sleeping outside in the summer because the tents and rude cabins were too hot and having to put hair around you to keep the snakes,...more

I will never complain about the heat down here again. Really enjoying this so far!

A great book! Could have trimmed that parts that were not about Arizona. Very strange how the author does not mention being pregnant. Great detail about life on the frontier.

This superbly entertaining account of the adventures of the wife of a lieutenant in the army is a fast and absorbing read. Summerhayes was raised in Nantucket and partly educated in Germany so imagine her shock when she follows her husband to Wyoming and then Arizona during the Apache wars of the...more

What a great addition to Western-American history! I cannot recommend this highly enough to those of you interested in the "life" part of the phrase "military life."

Mrs Summerhayes was married to a career officer in the Indian Wars-period Army, and was stationed in many different camps and forts...more

Wonderful description of life as an army wife in mid to late 1800s in Arizona. Gives a good sense of how little there was but what beauty surrounded them.

Not great writing but kudos for remembering and reflecting in such a detailed, valuable way and occasional moments of concise and spot on clarity of expression. As with all memoirs of this genre (female, white, prudish puritanical upbringing, heading west) the practicalities fraught with prudery...more

Okay, it's travel for me, non-fiction or history for Sandy. Fascinating if you like books that allow you to picture how people lived in other times. Hard to imagine surviving Arizona summers not only without air-conditioners, but with corsets and petticoats. Yikes.

I loved the stories of early Arizona, though I don't care for the author; too much complaining!

3.5, but Mrs. Summerhayes gets the "Beginner's Benefit."

Eye witness reporting of history is almost always better than second--and third--hand reporting. It's especially good when the reporter--Martha Summerhayes--puts enough of herself into her story that the reader gets to know her bents and inc...more

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