That headline is not a typographical or grammar error. Let me explain.
I recently returned from visiting Tucson, Arizona and picked up a magazine of the Western Writers of America. It included an article, “Women who wrote the west,” that spotlighted women writers who wrote about going west during the experience — not later when details may have been lost or romanticized the way the stories of vacations leave out the less pleasant details like how I touched a prickly pear and ended up with thorns in my fingers …
Instead of writings about women living in Missouri, or books about women living in Missouri written later, I’m looking for writings by Missouri women who wrote about living in our state during the time period they wrote about.
Do you know of any such writings? Have you read historic writings written contemporarily during a time period in another location insightful? Hit me up in the comments below.
I know there are lots of books ABOUT the women at that time period. And there are the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder but certainly there must be other women who wrote contemporarily about life in Missouri, in Boone County or Columbia during the 1800s or early 1900s.
I think it is from such writings that we can get a true feel for life as it was then and not as it was recorded, imagined or romanticized about. And certainly, a woman’s perspective would be different than a man’s experience, especially from 1821 to the 1900s.
Why do I think this? In my research on historic homes, I came across the writings of Winterton Curtis, who arrived in Columbia in 1901. He wrote some autobiographical notes which were published in the Columbia Missourian from April 2-20 in 1957 collected as a booklet titled, “A Damned-Yankee Professor in Little Dixie.” In it he describes small details such as how when he first arrived, stones would be placed across the streets during the winter because the streets were so muddy or how when he built his house near Stewart Road, they planted trees in the area that was once a former corn field to provide quick shade. Note, you can read the little booklet by going to this website and searching for Winterton Curtis.
I would have never known that the Old Southwest had been a cornfield without these contemporary reminiscences, though I might have guessed.
Again, if you know of any writings by women written from 1821 to 1950, I’d love to learn more about those works.