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Dark Journey [NOOK Book]

Overview

A region of such wealth and beauty as Upper California could not long be hidden from the eyes of restless Americans pressing steadily westward. In 1841 a party of men, women, and children set out from Missouri led by John Bidwell, the prince of California pioneers. Their trip to California across the plains and mountains, as revealed in the journal of their leaders, is a tribute to human courage, endurance, and faith. We knew only, Bidwell wrote, that California lay to the west. The Bidwell pioneers were followed...
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Dark Journey

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Overview

A region of such wealth and beauty as Upper California could not long be hidden from the eyes of restless Americans pressing steadily westward. In 1841 a party of men, women, and children set out from Missouri led by John Bidwell, the prince of California pioneers. Their trip to California across the plains and mountains, as revealed in the journal of their leaders, is a tribute to human courage, endurance, and faith. We knew only, Bidwell wrote, that California lay to the west. The Bidwell pioneers were followed by many other parties, including the Donner-Reed party. Caught in the Sierra Nevada mountains by the icy grip of an early winter, the Donner party built crude shelters and struggled to survive. Soup made of boiled leather and powdered bones became a luxury. Of the 79 persons who started, 34 died before an expedition out of California rescued the survivors. Allan Eckert s new book, Dark Journey, provides an accurate and comprehensive, yet dramatic, picture of the Donner-Reed Wagon Train s grim, harrowing odyssey from Illinois westward to California, beginning in the spring of 1846 and finally mercifully ending in the spring of the following year. It is the result of extended and intensive research through a multitude of original documents and contemporary accounts of this poignant chapter in American history. Dark Journey is fact, not fiction, The incidents described in this work actually occurred; the dates are historically accurate; the characters, regardless of how major or minor, actually lived the roles in which they are herein portrayed. In this volume, certain techniques normally associated with the novel form have been utilized to help provide continuity and narrative flow but never at the expense of historical accuracy. Where dialogue is used, it is actual quoted conversation from historical sources. Otherwise it is reconstructed from historically recorded interchanges between individuals but not written then as dialogue. In other instances, historical fact has been utilized in the form of conversation to maintain dramatic narrative pace but unfailingly in keeping with the character and fundamental perspective of the individual speaking the words.
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Editorial Reviews

John Trout
Dark Journey is a very insightful account of the Donner-Reed Party and their tragic trek west. Allan Eckert does a wonderful job integrating primary sources from journals and letters into his own narrative of the journey. Dark Journey is a great read for anyone interested in life on historic wagon trains, and also those interested in survival.
Robert Takemon
Eckerts masterful telling brings alive the Donner Party's 88 members and the fates of the eleven families and numerous single men who risked all, of whom just 51 survived. He enriches the compelling tale with vivid descriptions of the colorful characters, both in the party and among those they met: mountain men, native peoples both hostile and helpful, and more. This poignant and dramatic account provides a rigorously accurate and comprehensive telling of one of Americas great pioneer sagas.
Robert Tucker
Dark Journey is highly recommended for readers of adventure, history, and morbid curiosity. Allan Eckert is a superb writer whose books deserve great recognition for their excellence. I have yet to be disappointed with an Allan Eckert book. We are indebted to him for making history come alive.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940014013444
  • Publisher: Stuart, Jesse Foundation, The
  • Publication date: 2/10/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 334
  • Sales rank: 330,154
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Allan W. Eckert [January 30, 1931 — July 7, 2011] was an historian, naturalist, novelist, poet, screenwriter, and playwright. The author of forty published books prior to this one, he was nominated on seven separate occasions for the Pulitzer Prize in literature.
Eckert’s varied writing includes over 225 performed half-hour television scripts which he wrote for the renowned Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom series and for this writing he received, in 1970, an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in the category of Outstanding Program Achievement.
His widely-acclaimed series of historical narratives entitled The Winning of America consists of six volumes, including The Frontiersmen, Wilderness Empire, The Conquerors, The Wilderness War, Gateway to Empire, and Twilight of Empire. For this series Eckert was presented the Americanism Award by the Daniel Boone Foundation in 1985, and the governor of Kentucky, late in 1987, bestowed upon him the status of honorary resident of that state and conferred upon him its highest honor, commissioning him a bona fide Kentucky Colonel. In 1995, his book That Dark and Bloody River: Chronicles of the Ohio River Valley was named runner-up for the Spur Award of the Western Writers of America. In 1997, Eckert was recipient of the Writer of the Year Award bestowed for his entire body of work by the National Popular Culture Association.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 12, 2012

    Allen Eckert's books bring make me feel more like an observer wa

    Allen Eckert's books bring make me feel more like an observer watching things unfold around me. This, like several of his books, allows you to exercise all your senses. He is the best historical storyteller I have read in my 57 years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted March 21, 2013

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