A Tour on the Prairies: An Account of Thirty Days in Deep Indian Country

A Tour on the Prairies: An Account of Thirty Days in Deep Indian Country

by Washington Irving
     
 

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In 1832, Washington Irving, America’s first literary superstar, returned to the United States after seventeen years abroad and swiftly set out to explore Pawnee country—the wild uncharted territory deep in the young nation’s interior. It was a part of the country few white men had set foot in and even fewer had written about it—and certainly…  See more details below

Overview

In 1832, Washington Irving, America’s first literary superstar, returned to the United States after seventeen years abroad and swiftly set out to explore Pawnee country—the wild uncharted territory deep in the young nation’s interior. It was a part of the country few white men had set foot in and even fewer had written about it—and certainly none as famous as Irving.

Owing to a chance encounter on a steamboat with the newly appointed Indian Commissioner, and embracing an opportunity to silence critics who had begun to doubt his patriotism (after so much time abroad), Irving finds himself sleeping under the stars, traversing hostile plains, and venturing blindly into the unknown. He discovers a certain kind of tranquility in the open air and relishes the traditions and culture of the Pawnee. Irving kept a daily account of his excursion into what is now Oklahoma, and upon his return home, spun this fabulously entertaining and groundbreaking work. With unparalleled descriptions of the natural terrain—a land of giant flowing rivers and endless golden plains—and vivid depictions of the lives in Native Americans, A Tour on the Prairies stands as a classic portrait of what life was like out West before chronic warfare left the plains and the population decimated. Irving’s book became a huge success when it was originally published and quickly silenced critics who questioned his affection for his homeland.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781628735543
Publisher:
Skyhorse Publishing
Publication date:
11/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
176
File size:
2 MB

Read an Excerpt


proper to his age and incident to his character, had taken quite a fancy to him. Nothing would suit but he must have the young Osage as a companion and squire in his expedition into the wilderness. The youth was easily tempted, and, with the prospect of a safe range over the buffalo prairies and the promise of a new blanket, he turned his bridle, left the swamp and the encampment of his friends behind him, and set off to follow the Count in his wanderings in quest of the Osage hunters. Such is the glorious independence of man in a savage state. This youth, with his rifle, his blanket, and his horse, was ready at a moment's warning to rove the world; he carried all his worldly effects with him, and in the absence of artificial wants possessed the great secret of personal freedom. We of society are slaves, not so much to others as to ourselves ; our superfluities are the chains that bind us, impeding every movement of our bodies and thwarting every impulse of our souls. Such, at least, were my speculations at the time, though I am not sure but that they took their tone from the enthusiasm of the young Count, who seemed more enchanted than ever with the wild chivalry of the prairies, and talked of putting on the Indian dress and adopting the Indian habits ''during the time he hoped to pass with the Osages. CHAPTER VI. TRAIL OF THE OSAGE HUNTERS DEPARTURE OF THE COUNT AND HIS PARTY A DESERTED WAR-CAMP A VAGRANT DOG—THE ENCAMPMENT. In the course of the morning the trail we were pursuing was crossed by another, which struck off through the forest to the yest in a direct course for the Arkansas River. Beatte, our half-breed, after considering it for a moment, pronounced it the trailof the Osage hunters, and that it must lead to the place where they had forded the river...

Meet the Author

Washington Irving was an American author, essayist, biographer, and diplomat. He was born in 1783 in Manhattan, New York, to Scottish English immigrants and spent much of his adult life in Europe as the US ambassador to Spain. He is best known for his short stories “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” and is widely considered America’s first bestselling author. He died in 1859.

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