Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman

Mary Mann Hamilton

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Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman

Trials of the Earth The True Story of a Pioneer Woman The astonishing first person account of a Mississippi pioneer woman struggling to survive protect her family and make a home in the early American South Near the end of her life Mary Mann Hamilton

  • Title: Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman
  • Author: Mary Mann Hamilton
  • ISBN: 9780316341394
  • Page: 225
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The astonishing first person account of a Mississippi pioneer woman struggling to survive, protect her family and make a home in the early American South.Near the end of her life, Mary Mann Hamilton 1866 1936 began recording her experiences in the backwoods of the Mississippi Delta The result is this astonishing first person account of a pioneer woman who braved gruelinThe astonishing first person account of a Mississippi pioneer woman struggling to survive, protect her family and make a home in the early American South.Near the end of her life, Mary Mann Hamilton 1866 1936 began recording her experiences in the backwoods of the Mississippi Delta The result is this astonishing first person account of a pioneer woman who braved grueling work, profound tragedy, and a pitiless wilderness she and her family faced floods, tornadoes, fires, bears, panthers, and snakes to protect her home in the early American South.An early draft of Trials of the Earth was submitted to a writers competition sponsored by Little, Brown in 1933 It didn t win, and we almost lost the chance to bring this raw, vivid narrative to readers Eighty three years later, in partnership with Mary Mann Hamilton s descendants, we re proud to share this irreplaceable piece of American history Written in spare, rich prose, Trials of the Earth is a precious record of one woman s extraordinary endurance and courage that will resonate with readers of history and fiction alike.

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      Posted by:Mary Mann Hamilton
      Published :2019-01-25T13:10:49+00:00

    One thought on “Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman

    1. Diane S ☔ on said:

      Mary Hamilton is a truly remarkable woman, not well known, not famous but remarkable all the same. So glad her story has at last been published. One of the first women to homestead in the Mississippi Delta, was there when the Parchment prison system was started. My goodness but this woman lived what seems like many lives. Worked to incredibly hard, first feeding many in the camps, then the fields, bore seven children, though all did not live, picked, built, canned, sewed, anything to insure the [...]

    2. Heidi The Hippie Reader on said:

      Trials of the Earth is Mary Mann Hamilton's memoir about her hardscrabble life in America during the late 1800's.She uses period speech to illuminate a life of struggle and hard work. If certain anachronistic and racially insensitive terms bother you, especially the casual use of the N-word, you may want to chose another memoir. It was shocking but I kept reminding myself that Mary was a product of her times.On top of the constant struggle of putting food on the table and keeping a roof over her [...]

    3. Howard on said:

      One of my favorite novels of last year – or any year, for that matter – was "The Tall Woman" by Wilma Dykeman. Set in the Appalachians in North Carolina it is the story of one woman’s struggle to cope with the trials and tribulations of a pioneer woman during the Civil War and its aftermath.Recently, I finished "Trials of the Earth" about another pioneer woman and I was struck by the similarities between the two stories. However, there is one big difference: "Trials of the Earth" is not fi [...]

    4. Diane Barnes on said:

      This book is not one of those lyrical, beautifully written family sagas. It is more of a I was there, this is what I saw and heard, this is what happened kind of book. Still, it is beautiful for that very reason. Mary Mann married at 18 to Frank Hamilton, an English man running from something in his past. He never told her what or why. They married in Arkansas and moved to the Mississippi Delta region in the late 1800's. Hard work and deprivation was a given, as was saying good-bye to people and [...]

    5. Chrissie on said:

      My reaction to this book is somewhere between liking it and thinking it was OK. I will explain why. I am glad the book has been published, now 83 years after its conception and through the efforts of the author's descendants. Its value lies in providing a record of the author's memories as a female pioneer in Arkansas and on the Mississippi Delta in the late 1800s. She was born in 1866. Her life illustrates not just her incredibly hard life but also the lives of other women of that time and plac [...]

    6. Jeanette on said:

      This is the caliber of book that I appreciate the most, and I'm grateful for my GR friends, two especially, who lead me to this non-fiction of Mary Hamilton recounting her married years in the late 19th and earliest 20th centuries. She marries from circumstance, and her life for 30 years follows from circumstance. Her husband is described to every inch of grabbing the essence of his spirit, mind, and every emotive peculiarity. From Arkansas hill backs to Mississippi Delta flats and back. Regardl [...]

    7. ``Laurie Henderson on said:

      I read this book over 15 years ago so my memory is a little vague about some parts of it but I do remember being enthralled by Mary Mann Hamilton's true account of pioneer life in the Mississippi Delta.Before the Delta became famous for its fertile, cotton growing soil it was a dense wooded forest that took several years to clear. The Hamilton's were of humble means and hoped to improve their life by moving to the delta where Mr. Hamilton worked felling the huge trees. Mrs. Hamilton brings all t [...]

    8. Molly on said:

      I don't think I would have chosen this book on my own but I heard a review of it on Fresh Air and I knew I had to read it. Maureen Corrigan's article describes it better than I ever could: npr/2016/08/15/4868880I listened to the audiobook version and it was very good. Mary's grit and determination made an impression on me, and her plain-spoken yet eloquently-told life story is sure to linger in my thoughts for quite some time.

    9. Bonnie on said:

      I realize this is autobiographical, but it was a bit too far out there for me. Reading about the hardships and life as a pioneer was interesting, but it seemed to cross over to ridiculousness the number of times this family cycled between wealth and neediness. Never being able to make sound decisions to break the cycle. Most unbelievable was the dialog from the children who acted clairvoyant the majority of the time. It is staggering to learn how people lived during these times, but this book st [...]

    10. Judi on said:

      Trials of the Earth is the story of a remarkable woman who was a pioneer and early settler in the south. Encouraged to write this book as she neared the end of her life, Mary Mann Hamilton shares with the reader her story of survival through the deaths of children, floods, tornadoes, and all of the pain and hardship that a woman would deal with during that time. Also, throughout the book, is the thread of who her husband really is, where did he come from, and why don't he ever discuss it. This i [...]

    11. Jo on said:

      An entertaining, unique read that left me wanting several things, the first being a simple map. Easily rectified by pulling one up online, but, still Next: images, which seem to be strangely lacking online, considering the enormous interest in the book. Finally (and foremost), a solution to the mystery surrounding Frank's background. As with maps and images, the internet is swarming with geneaology sites, so I'm left wondering why readers aren't given details on what may have been discovered re [...]

    12. Susan Johnson on said:

      A memoir about a woman who lived a tough life at the end of the nineteenth century. She had and lost a lot of babies. She helped support her alcoholic husband by cooking for lots of men in boarding houses. I liked this part as my grandmother was a cook at a boarding house in the oil fields after her first husband died. This woman worked her fingers to the bone and dealt with a lot of tragedy. I am glad I live when I do now. Life is so much easier.

    13. Gigi on said:

      Trials of the Earth is a true account of one of the first settlers of the Mississippi Delta. Mary Hamilton says she thinks she is the first white woman to cross the Sunflower River. Her recollections of this difficult yet fascinating period of history are as detailed as they are honest. If you enjoyed These Is My Words, you will love a nonfiction version of that book. I grew up in the Delta and often played along the banks of the Sunflower River even though I was forbidden to do so. Reading Hami [...]

    14. Marika on said:

      Mary Mann Hamilton (1866-c.1936) was encouraged to write down her memories of being a female pioneer in the Mississippi Delta. She writes in her own voice about a life that modern day readers have no concept of, and might even find a bit fabricated but it's all true. From a manuscript that surfaced more than a half century after it was written, this book has been published before (1992, 2013) but is just now getting the attention that it deserves. Mary writes about living in Arkansas in the earl [...]

    15. Skyqueen on said:

      Totally mesmerizing! One scene was SO gripping, my heart nearly stopped!!! It STILL does when I think about it! The 'translators' did a remarkable job of taking the raw script into a flowing narrative without losing the naturalness or uniqueness of place and time. Absolutely puts you in the early pioneer hardships of weather, adequate food, shelter, and never-ending, universal crimejust basic survival to the exclusion of much leisure or down time. Death from a myriad of freak occurrences always [...]

    16. Elizabeth Lee on said:

      This woman's story impressed so many different things upon me. Perseverance thru grief, grueling work, and hardship after hardship while trying to carve out a life and home in the wild Mississippi Delta. An excellent storyteller.

    17. Laura King on said:

      Gave me a lot of perspective on my own life. A good, fast, and fun read.

    18. Charles on said:

      St. Paul says in Second Thessalonians (or as Donald Trump would have it, “Two Thessalonians”), “if any would not work, neither should he eat.” This seems old-fashioned, even unfair to some. But not so long ago, what St. Paul said was literally true for most Americans, and merely an accepted fact of life, not an imposition by society. “Trials Of The Earth” is a vivid reminder of that time, and a chronicle of human strength and self-reliance in response.“Trials Of The Earth” is qui [...]

    19. April Kelcy on said:

      I have always had an interest in the women's accounts of settling across America and so was interested to see this title cross my path. The challenges and hardships of being a wife and mother in those early days are depicted well but without complaint. There's an interesting humorous story at just the right place in the book, but all in all it leans more to the serious. Between the lines one can also get a sense of how business was done and how undeveloped areas of the south transitioned into co [...]

    20. Melanie Smith on said:

      I was born and raised in Clarksdale, Mississippi and when my mom told me about this book I could not wait to read it. I am usually a cozy mystery fan with a little historical fiction thrown in. After reading two chapters of the book, I knew it was going to be one of my favorites. My aunt still resides in Dublin, Mississippi. I purchased this book for myself, my mom and my aunt. Reading about the places that I grew up around was so exciting and to learn and read about the woman that was part of p [...]

    21. April on said:

      Trials of the Earth: The True Story of a Pioneer Woman: Mary Mann HamiltonThis auto-biography of a woman's life in the late 19th early 20th century. What a wonderful account to pass on for her family, and their generosity in sharing it with the public at large. It isn't a feel good everything was wonderful kind of story. It recounts events that happened, happy, sad, frightening , and many other emotions as well. This woman never had a home of her own, yet turned any place they lived into a home. [...]

    22. Iva on said:

      Perfect title for an imperfect book. What new tragedy could befall this family? How could people work so hard and have so little? The book allows us to see the family moving along, and not letting deaths, illness or other tragedy stop them. Hamilton never lets us forget that her British husband had a mysterious past, and apparently no ancestors have discovered what it was. She keeps us engaged with a steady stream of prose; there is no humor, just reportage of a long life of work--childrearing, [...]

    23. Ellen on said:

      Mary Mann Hamilton was a woman of great fortitude. She survived floods, rough living conditions, the deaths of two children, a husband that was often ill and often absent, and managed to maintain a positive attitude. She never complained about her life, but wrote it out in a somewhat matter of fact way. She did add dialogue and detailed descriptions. The only complaint I have is that she left out dates and the ages of the children throughout a great deal of the story. It was often hard to pictur [...]

    24. Jamie Leake on said:

      I had a little trouble getting into this book at the start. There are a lot of names and places and I admittedly did not do a great job keeping straight while I read. It is incredible that these stories are true (truth is stranger than fiction, for realz!!) Also pretty amazing how much she remembered about the events in her life so many years later. I didn't love some of the transitions from place to place and from one event to the next, but overall I really enjoyed hearing about this woman's in [...]

    25. Bonniebotsford on said:

      This book is just nothing but fabulous. Set in (vaguely) 1900 Mississippi delta, this hard-working woman relates the daily struggles she experienced raising her family and living in a harsh environment. She made the clothes, cleaned the house, watched the children, grew and preserved their food, and she had boarders. Boarders who required breakfast and dinner with pie every day. Oh, and there were 90 of them, and she was 20 years old! This story is remarkable. I just bought 4 copies to give as g [...]

    26. Anne Poole on said:

      This is such an interesting book. Her life and hardships and the stories that accompany it are unbelievable. If I could have given this book 3.5 stars I would have for these reasons: it needs indices, including maps of the various camps and areas she moves around, family tree, and maybe a dictionary for some of her old fashioned words and phrases. Also, as this was written in her own words it was a bit difficult to understand at times. That said, I think this should be required reading for Ameri [...]

    27. Karen Oury on said:

      Trials of the Earth: The true story of a Pioneer WomanThis Mary Ann Hamilton is a remnant of a bygone era. A woman of true grit, loyal to the core of her being, to her husband and children. A hard working woman of faith and values, who pushes on thru hardships & death. A "can do" , rise above woman that her descendants can be very proudto claim as their ancestor who helped pave the way. A good read that shows todays women how easy we have it.

    28. EJ Johnson on said:

      An amazing tale of an extremely hard working pioneer woman--wife, mother, laundress, seamstress, milk maid, fisherman, farmer, neighbor, nurse. Not a politically correct version of today but a book written before the middle of the last century about the late 1800s, early 1900s in Arkansas and Mississippi; so be warned of racial terms.

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