A SON OF THE MIDDLE BORDER January twenty-second. Dear Mrs. LeCron: In the spring of 1898, after finishing my LIFE OF ULYSSES S. GRANT, I began to plan to go into the Klondike over the Telegraph Trail. One day in showing the maps of my route to William Dean Howells, I said, "I shall go in here and come out there," a trail of nearly twelve hundred miles through an almost unknown country. As I uttered this I suddenly realized that I was starting on a path holding many perils and that I might not come back. With this in mind, I began to dictate the story of my career up to that time. It was put in the third person but it was my story and the story of my people, the Garlands and the McClintocks. This manuscript, crude and hasty as it was, became the basis of A SON OF THE MIDDLE BORDER. It was the beginning of a four-volume autobiography which it has taken me fifteen years to write. As a typical mid-west settler I felt that the history of my family would be, in a sense, the chronicle of the era of settlement lying between 1840 and 1914. I designedly kept it intimate and personal, the joys and sorrows of a group of migrating families. Of the four books, Volume One, THE TRAIL MAKERS, is based upon my memory of the talk around a pioneer fireside. The other three volumes are as true as my own memory can make them. Hamlin Garland
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Hamlin Garland (1860-1940) was an American writer born in West Salem, Wisconsin. In short stories, verse, and novels, he vividly described the farm life of the Midwest. A Daughter of the Middle Border, the sequel to his autobiographical A Son of the Middle Border, won the Pulitzer Prize.
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