The Colonel's Lady on the Western Frontier: The Correspondence of Alice Kirk Grierson

Shirley Anne Leckie, Editor, Alice K. Grierson, Author University of Nebraska Press $17.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-8032-7929-2
The remarkably resilient wife of a commanding officer in the U.S. Army, Grierson spent some 20 years (1866-1888) in remote military outposts on the western frontier. She writes frankly and intelligently, with minimal complaints, about hardships she experiences as an Army dependent--moving from one makeshift dwelling to the next; making 22-hour journeys by stagecoach to visit relatives; coping on her own while her husband fights against the Plains Indians; and raising seven children, three of whom die in their youth. Though she seems satisfied with her role as a wife and mother, the letters to her husband express support for equal rights for women, particularly at home. She emphasizes that she wants to exercise greater control over the frequency of marital relations and conception. Leckie's well-researched commentary provides an engrossing, detailed look at aspects of American social history, including the maltreatment of black enlisted men by white officers and their wives. Leckie is the co-author of Unlikely Warriors: General Benjamin H. Grierson and His Family. Illustrations not seen by PW. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 08/01/1989
Release date: 08/01/1989
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