Anna Tuthill Symmes Harrison
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American Grit: A Woman's Letters from the Ohio Frontier (University Press of Kentucky).

A collection of letters by a woman about life on the Ohio frontier.

Anna Briggs Bentley came from a prominent Maryland Quaker family. Her father was a scientist, surveyor and farmer, well acquainted with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. But hard times fell on the tobacco farmers of Sandy Spring, Maryland, and in 1826 Anna and her husband and six children emigrated west to join the Quaker community around Salem, Ohio. Afraid of being forgotten by her family in Sandy Spring, Anna wrote home to them for the next 50 years, describing in colorful detail her daily life creating a farm on the frontier.

Written with great humor and a natural talent for storytelling, Anna Bentley's letters are a treasure of domestic detail, from the tragic deaths of children to the challenge of feeding 43 people on trestle tables at a house-raising.

While rarely venturing far from home, Anna felt the personal repercussions of historic events. When the Hicksite Quaker schism struck her community, dividing neighbor from neighbor, she boldly confronted church elders who came to her house to rebuke her. Later, she wrote about her relatives' deep involvement in the abolition movement. As her children matured, they, too, engaged in social activism of various kinds, from the women's rights movement to Radical Reconstruction in the post-Civil War South.

With Anna's powers of description and her ability to live in the moment, her letters are valuable additions to women's history. Attached is the web link from the University Press of Kentucky with more information about American Grit.

American Grit Website - University Press of Kentucky                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

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