Nancy Bunge

ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS
"Reading a collection of letters can be a dicey experience, depending on how good a writer the person is and how carefully the editor fills in the gaps. 'Woman in the Wilderness' earns an A-plus on both counts."

RELIGION IN AMERICAN HISTORY
"Here's a very nice primary source book for your collection or for your university library, that adds much to the literature on nineteenth-century missionaries, especially female missionaries and white-Native interactions."

MINNESOTA HISTORY
"Letters among Harriet, her husband, family, and friends vividly portray the rigors of missionary life, the female sphere in which Harriet operated, the couple's different temperaments, and their efforts to aid the Ojibwe threatened with removal from their land."

MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW

5.0 out of 5 stars. An absorbing primary testimony of daily life in America well over a century ago. Highly recommended.

Woman in the Wilderness: Letters of Harriet Wood Wheeler, Missionary Wife, 1832-1892

Michigan State University Press, 2010

This book presents letters written to and from Harriet Wood Wheeler between 1832 and 1892 in a chronological sequence. The original transcription of the letters came to over 500 pages; so, they were heavily edited to make the manuscript readable. The collection provides first-person commentary on the challenges of pioneer life, the changing roles of women and the relationships between missionaries and the Ojibwe. Indeed, the letters provide a view of 19th century America from the perspective of one woman and her family.