Best of Covered Wagon Women, Volume 2: Emigrant Girls on the Overland Trails

Overview


The diaries and letters of women on the overland trails in the mid- to late nineteenth century are treasured documents. These eleven selections drawn from the multivolume Covered Wagon Women series present the best first-person trail accounts penned by women in their teens who traveled west between 1846 and 1898. Ranging in age from eleven to nineteen, unmarried and without children of their own, these diarists had experiences different from those of older women who carried ...
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Best of Covered Wagon Women: Emigrant Girls on the Overland Trails

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Overview


The diaries and letters of women on the overland trails in the mid- to late nineteenth century are treasured documents. These eleven selections drawn from the multivolume Covered Wagon Women series present the best first-person trail accounts penned by women in their teens who traveled west between 1846 and 1898. Ranging in age from eleven to nineteen, unmarried and without children of their own, these diarists had experiences different from those of older women who carried heavier responsibilities with them on the trail.

These letters and diaries reflect both the unique perspective of youthful optimism and the experiences common among all female emigrants. The young women write of friendship and family, trail hardships, and explorations such as visits to Indian gravesites. Some like Sallie Hester even write of enjoying the company of men, and many speculate about marriage prospects. Domestic roles did not define the girls’ trail experience; only the four oldest in this collection recorded helping with chores. As they journey through Indian lands, these writers show that even their youth did not prevent them from holding notions of white racial superiority.

Two of the selections are newly published, having appeared only in limited-distribution collector’s editions of the original series. For all readers captivated by the first Best of Covered Wagon Women collection, this new volume’s focus on youthful travelers adds a fresh perspective to life on the trail.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806141046
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 5/21/2010
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 703,497
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Kenneth L. Holmes (1914–95) was Professor of History at Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University) in Monmouth. He edited and compiled the eleven volumes of the Covered Wagon Women series.

Melody M. Miyamoto is Professor of History at Collin College, McKinney, Texas. Her articles have appeared in Overland Journal and the Journal of Documentary Editing and in the Encyclopedia of Immigration and Migration in the American West.

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