Fouquet left France in 1868 at the age of 18 to avoid military service; his experiences over the next 65 years embodied the American Dream. On the voyage to America he began keeping a journal, a practice he continued for most of his life. These journals have been ably edited by his twin granddaughters, now in their 80s. Fouquet first went to western Kansas to work for an uncle, then struck out on his own. He was a freighter, ferryman, farmer, storekeeper, postmaster and, married to another French immigrant, Mathilde, father to seven children. In 1892 the family lost everything when their home and store burned, but within two months they had set up a tent store on the Cherokee Strip in Oklahoma, selling groceries, supplies and sandwiches to settlers. Later, Fouquet established a fruit farm near Chandler, Okla., where he grew prize-winning grapes and peaches. His is a remarkable story and a wonderful piece of Americana. Illustrated. (May)
This is a charming narrative of a French immigrant's life in the United States. Fouquet came to U.S. shores in 1868 as an 18-year-old eager for adventure, settling first in Kansas and eventually near Chandler, Oklahoma. In his 68 years in America, he experienced most of the trials of new pioneers: swindles by the railroad; Indian scares; bumper crops, then ruined harvests; frequent moves due to wildly fluctuating economic fortunes; the death in infancy of three of his 12 children. Throughout, his optimism seldom flagged. A few famous names slip into the story, but this is first and foremost a fine example of an average pioneer's narrative. It was compiled and edited by two of Fouquet's granddaughters, who also added about 20 pages of 20th-century family history to let the reader know how the kids turned out. Libraries from the south Plains and those interested in pioneering and the American West will find this a worthy purchase.-- Patrick J. Brunet, Univ. of Wisconsin-La Crosse Lib.
The journal begun by Fouquet in 1868 when he left France to come to the US, and continued after his arrival, spanning the settlement of Kansas in the late 1860s (with the attendant Indian wars and the near- extermination of the buffalo), the Oklahoma land rush, and the growth of the area around Chandler, Oklahoma in the early 1900s. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)