||Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group
Mary Barmeyer O'Brien
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Mary Rockwood Powers reluctantly left her comfortable life as a doctor's wife in Wisconsin in 1856, one of the many women whose destiny as a settler of the West was determined by her husband's wishes. Trading in her home for canvas roof and wheels, Mary, her husband, and their three children set out on the arduous trek westward to California. Shortly into their travels west, it became painfully obvious that Doctor Powers was simply not up to the task of making sure his family "outlasted the trail." Mary had to step in and become the head of the household with its canvas roof and wheels--leaving behind her ideals of femininity along with her beloved possessions. In Outlasting the Trail author Mary Barymeyer O'Brien uses the letters Mary Rockwood Powers wrote to her mother and sister back home as a stepping off point to further illuminate this remarkable woman's story. Based on the dramatic struggle a real family, this novel brings to life a fascinating slice of American history.