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1 MAP: Iowa and Eastern Nebraska: 1864

Black and white map, printed on 18" x 24" paper., Reproduction map of original
Issued by A.J. Johnson in 1864, this maps shows both counties and townships in Iowa. The 32 eastern most counties in Nebraska are depicted, as well as Indian reservations, roads, trails, and small settlements in both areas.
Price: 7.95 USD



2 MAP: Iowa: 1873/74

Black and white map, printed on 18" x 24" paper., Reproduction map of original
A faithful reproduction of Asher and Adams' original 1873/74 lithograph, this map depicts the state during a time of rapid expansion, showing railway lines, cities, towns, county lines, and other important features.
Price: 7.95 USD



3 MAP: Iowa: 1880/81

Black and white map, printed on 18" x 24" paper., Reproduction map of original
With an inset view of Des Moines, this map from our Centennial collection is useful for locating counties, numbered townships, and the numerous small towns and villages throughout the state. Railways are also identified.
Price: 7.95 USD



4 This State of Wonders: The Letters of An Iowa Frontier Family, 1858-1861
edited by John Kent Folmar.
186 pages, 7 photos, 3 maps, paperback, University of Iowa Press
When the John Hugh Williams family immigrated to Homer, Iowa, in the 1850s, they had six children, ranging in age from five to twenty. Suddenly land poor, in debt, and caught in the Panic of '57, they sent their eldest son, James, to Georgia to work and add to the family income.
The seventy-five letters collected here represent the family's correspondence to their absent son and brother. From 1858 to 1861, James' sisters, brothers, mother, and father wrote to him frequently, each with distinct views on their daily life and struggles. While Mr. Williams wrote most often about money, farming, and moral advice (he was minister in the Church of New Jerusalem, as well as a merchant and farmer), Mrs. Williams commented on her daily chores, the family's health, the ever-important weather, and her leisure activities, including the contemporary journals and books she read, such as David Copperfield and Jane Eyre. James' sisters and brothers wrote about many concerns, from schoolwork and housework to games and family celebrations in nearby Webster City.
As the letters continue, the affection for the absent James becomes more pronounced. And, as the years go by, the letters touch on more current national trends, including the Pikes Peak Gold Rush and the growing North/South crisis, on which James and his family strongly disagree. James was never to return to Iowa but married and remained in the South, becoming a lieutenant colonel in the Confederate army.
Complete with voices both young and old, male and female, This State of Wonders offers a wealth of information about the daily life of an ordinary family on the Iowa prairie. It is a book to be treasured by all Iowans interested in the early life of their state and by all historians looking for a complete portrait of family life on the midwestern frontier.

"This fascinating collection of 75 letters, written by members of the John Hugh Williams family to son and brother James Madison Williams, provides intimate glimpses into frontier life....Through the letters readers share the uncertainties of the Iowa climate, the importance of education (both formal schooling and the considerable access to newspapers and literary works), the shared New Church (Swedenborgian) religious faith, the concern for a daughter's health, the sense of isolation, and the pain of separation from a loved family member....a worthwhile collection, judiciously edited and with a solid interpretative foreword and epilogue."—Choice

"The letters not only recount problems arising from drought, prairie fires, harsh winters, and 'the want of refined and decent society,' but also reveal the family's reactions to the mid-century depression, the discovery of gold at Pikes Peak, and the impending civil war. Further, the recording of prosaic day-to-day experiences provides a rare picture of the daily concerns of women and children on the frontier."—Western Historical Quarterly

"After reading both the letters and the notes, one has a good sense of a substantial frontier family and its concerns and values as well as of its place in the community."—Pacific Historical Review
Price: 19.95 USD

Boy Life on the Prairie, Hamlin Garland Introduction by B. R. McElderry Jr.

5 Boy Life on the Prairie
Hamlin Garland Introduction by B. R. McElderry Jr.
432 pages, Illus., paperback, University of Nebraska Press
In Boy Life on the Prairie, Hamlin Garland's aim was "to tell directly and specifically what it was like to grow up in northeast Iowa in the years just after the Civil War. It may be safely said that no one else has given so clear and informative an account. . . . Ploughing, harvesting, and husking corn could be bitter toil for a boy, and this he makes us see. But this was not the whole of a boy's life. The coming of spring, the games at school, and the Fourth of July were islands of delight."-from the Introduction by B. R. McElderry Jr.
Price: 31.00 USD



6 History of Spirit Lake Massacre!
Lorenzo Porter Lee
(1857), 2005, 5½x8½, paper, 50 pp, Heritage Books
As indicated by the title, this event caused quite a sensation. The Gardiner family had moved from Seneca, New York, to the lovely little settlement of Spirit Lake on the Iowa frontier. Local Indians, apparently feeling deprived of provisions, descended upton the settlement, killing the men and children, and capturing fourteen-year-old Abigail and three other women. She endured a terrifying ordeal of brutality and hardship on her six-week journey to the Sioux village where she was sold to another tribe, who in turn took her to Minnesota for ransom. Lorenzo Porter Lee had just arrived in St. Paul at the time fourteen-year-old Abbie Gardiner was delivered by the Indians to Governor Samuel Medary of the Territory of Minnesota. Colonel Lee was commissioned by Governor Medary to accompany Abbie to Fort Dodge with the hope of finding her sister, Eliza. It was while he was with Abbie on this trip that Colonel Lee learned and set down many of the lurid details she related to him. A classic captivity account.
Price: 6.25 USD

The Follinglo Dog Book: A Norwegian Pioneer Story from Iowa, Peder Gustav Tjernagel, Foreword by Wayne Franklin, Afterword by Peter Tjernagel Harstad

7 The Follinglo Dog Book: A Norwegian Pioneer Story from Iowa
Peder Gustav Tjernagel, Foreword by Wayne Franklin, Afterword by Peter Tjernagel Harstad
256 pp, 32 photos, 1999, paperback, University of Iowa Press
The Follinglo Dog Book both is and is not about dogs. The dogs are certainly here: from Milla to Chip the Third, we encounter a procession of heroic if often unfortunate creatures who, along with their immigrant masters, led a hard life on the nineteenth-century American frontier. However, if you pick up this book thinking it will offer a heartwarming read about canine experiences, you will find yourself reinformed by the way it unfolds.
Instead, these are the stories of a Norwegian pioneer family that came in 1860 to settle the Iowa prairie on a homestead called Follinglo Farm in Story County, Iowa. In the Tjernagels' experience one may read a chronicle of the state, the region, and the nation. Arriving in Iowa in what was still the age of wooden equipment and animal power, the Tjernagels witnessed each successive revolution on the land. They built homes and barns, cultivated the land, and encountered every manner of natural disaster from prairie fires to blizzards. Through all the struggles and setbacks, Peder Gustav Tjernagel's stories sparkle with boyhood pranks and adventures, in which the family dogs frequently play a role.
Readers will discover a wonderful cast of Norwegian relatives and neighbors, including a Herculean uncle, Store Per (Big Pete), who could lift a cow by its horns; a mysterious aunt, Stora Fastero (Big Sister), whose arrival signaled that a baby was soon to be born; and Elling Eilson, the walking Lutheran apostle. And, of course, there are the dogs who shepherd, protect, and even baby-sit the residents of Follinglo Farm.

About Author
Peder Gustav Tjernagel (1864-1932) recorded these stories in pencil on a school notepad in 1909. The manuscript was later edited and typed by relatives who self-published the book as a family record. In his foreword to The Follinglo Dog Book, Wayne Franklin, professor of English at Northeastern University, places the book in its historical context and addresses our changing attitudes toward the humane treatment of house pets since the nineteenth century. Peter Tjernagel Harstad, Tjernagel's grandson and director of the Indiana Historical Society, provides an afterword to this edition.

“The Follinglo Dog Book is the stuff of legend and saga, the founding myth of the family that explains who they are and how they were created. It can also be read, of course, as the history of an actual Norwegian family transplanted to the fertile fields of central Iowa. But it is more than that. It puts in writing those tales, told around Thanksgiving and Christmas tables for generations, that have given Tjernagels and Follinglos their sense of identity and their place in the world. Through diligence and perseverance, they claimed the land and made it theirs. Hence, land and legend are both glues that bind the generations together.”—Tom Morain, State Historical Society of Iowa
Price: 19.95 USD


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