Saturday, May 30, 2015

Book Review: My Own Pioneers Volumes I, II & III

Embark on An Extraordinary Journey with My Own Pioneers!
Follow the fascinating true stories of one family through the Mormon pioneer era—stories that follow four generations and several of the author’s family lines as they and their fellow pioneers help shape the early history of the Mormon Church, the American West, and even Mexico.
This memorable journey is the culmination of fifteen years of painstaking research as the author, Kathryn J. Kappler, carefully reconstructs the pioneer struggles from before 1830 to 1918 using information from family journals, memoirs, histories and letters. Through this vivid true account, the author illuminates, in a highly readable way, the experiences of family members as they struggled on, through sacrifice, persecution and desperate circumstances, to open up the hostile Western deserts as they helped to establish a new religion. My Own Pioneers (in three volumes) paints an authentic picture, rich in detail and emotion, of the early Latter-day Saints who sacrificed everything for their new faith.
The first volume of My Own Pioneers tells how family members gave up their homes and fortunes to join a new church; how they journeyed among Indians on the frontier and sailed through nearly catastrophic ocean storms to preach in England; how they were driven from three states by mobs and mob wars, losing everything time after time; how dozens of family members were among the Mormon refugees who died in exile by the hundreds, of illness, starvation and exposure at the Missouri River; and how, despite everything, they joined the U.S. Army’s Mormon Battalion and marched down the Old Santa Fe Trail to the war with Mexico.
My thoughts:
This a great book! You don't even have to be a history buff to like this book.  It is a big book with over three hundred pages loaded with the Williams family's journey.  It is an easy read.  It was interesting to me looking at the black and pictures through out, it was if the were taking me on the journey with them.  This book will remain in my private home library.  Once you start reading this piece of history, it is hard to put it down.   
Volume II (Pioneering the West/Defending Zion, 1847-1880) continues the history by recounting the family’s involvement in the opening and colonization of the Great Basin. It recounts in detail the dangerous crossing of the plains in covered wagons and handcarts, and on foot; starting small settlements in remote regions while eating roots and rawhide to survive; fighting insect hordes and hostile Indians; explorations; facing off the U.S. Army; and even how the Mormons helped build the new railroad across the plains.

My thoughts:
Another great History book.  Having been to Zion several times on vacation, I felt a connection with the Pioneers while reading this.  They endured a lot of struggles including war with the Indians.  I liked the black and white in this Volume two of My Own Pioneers.  Once you have read Volume one, you will want to read this.  
Volume III (The Last Pioneers/Refuge in Mexico, 1876-1918) concludes the family history by explaining how polygamous family pioneers moved from Utah to settle Arizona and New Mexico; how the pioneers faced Indian and mob threats again in their new home; how, because of polygamy, the threat of imprisonment forced the settlers to flee into Mexico, where they battled Indians and the elements, adjusted to Mexican culture and citizenship, and prospered; how they were soon victims of the Mexican Revolution, caught between two marauding armies; and how they were finally forced back across the border as impoverished refugees in the very states they had once pioneered.
My Own Pioneers is an important work illuminating the legacy of the Mormon pioneers. It is a compilation of true chronological accounts through which their lives, their sacrifices, and their considerable accomplishments, despite terrible hardship, may be honored. With its extensive index, this book provides an excellent research tool for academics as well as history enthusiasts; and it uplifts every reader by showcasing the enduring strength and mighty faith of these pioneers.
My Own Pioneers
Volume I: Pioneering the Borders / The New Saints, 1830 - 1847
Volume II: Pioneering the West / Defending Zion, 1847 - 1880
Volume III: The Last Pioneers / Refuge in Mexico, 1876 - 1918
My thoughts:

Another great book!  I am so happy i had the opportunity to have read this volume of My Own Pioneers.  The author did a superb job gathering the information to tell this story of the Mormons and how they had to move to Mexico. I really found it sad to read of all the sadness the Mormans had to endure.  The black and white pictures throughout this book were interesting to see. Even to this day some of society still frown upon Polygamy.  It a Volume four was to come out, I will be first in line.  A really great read this is.