From Publishers Weekly
Grant was 76 when he dictated his memoirs to Clothild Bruneau Grant, the last in his fairly long line of wives. Meikle has ably edited the manuscript down to focus on his life in the 1850s and '60s, when Grant galloped across the western Montana frontier, making a name for himself as an early pioneer and trader. The chapters are no more than a few pages long each, giving readers a memoir that doesn't waste words on flowery description or bog down in introspection. "I hope it may be a warning against the indiscretions of youth, which you will see in this book have been the cause of many failures," wrote Clothild. Grant's eyewitness accounts of frontier life, from a stage overturning to the hanging of highwaymen, the Mormon rising of 1857 and the discovery of gold, give readers an absorbing glimpse into his rough-and-ready times. Grant's voice is distinctive: alternately lively, compassionate, angry and fearful. Grant writes tenderly of the death of one wife: "My little Quarra, when I heard of her death my first thought was the great loss our children sustained. She had been such a good mother. My own loss I realized more and more as time passed." But he is often, perhaps inadvertently, humorous. When Grant writes about Brigham Young, he speaks well of the Mormons, their industrious ways and peaceful city of Salt Lake. "They invited me to join their church. I did not object to having the wives, but I objected to giving the tenth of my horses to the church, so I did not join." Illustrations not seen by PW.
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