Surviving the Oregon Trail 1852

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Overview

"With numbers swelled by Oregon-bound settlers and gold-seekers destined for California, the 1852 overland migration was the largest on record in a year when deadly cholera took a terrible toll in lives. Included here are firsthand accounts of this fateful year, including the words and thoughts of a young married couple, Mary Ann and Willis Boatman, released for the first time in book-length form." "In its immediacy, Surviving the Oregon Trail, 1852 opens a window to the travails of the emigrants - their stark camps, treacherous river crossings,
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Overview

"With numbers swelled by Oregon-bound settlers and gold-seekers destined for California, the 1852 overland migration was the largest on record in a year when deadly cholera took a terrible toll in lives. Included here are firsthand accounts of this fateful year, including the words and thoughts of a young married couple, Mary Ann and Willis Boatman, released for the first time in book-length form." "In its immediacy, Surviving the Oregon Trail, 1852 opens a window to the travails of the emigrants - their stark camps, treacherous river crossings, and dishonest countrymen; the shimmering plains and mountain vastnesses; their trepidation at crossing ancient Indian lands; and the dark angel of death hovering over the wagon columns. But also found here are acts of valor, compassion, and kindness, and the hope for a new life in a new land at the end of the trail."--BOOK JACKET.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780874222388
  • Publisher: Washington State University Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 685,231
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Introduction 1
Chapter 1 Leaving Home 9
Chapter 2 Across the Wide Missouri 23
Chapter 3 Cholera 39
Chapter 4 Platte River Valley 61
Chapter 5 On to Fort Laramie 73
Chapter 6 Child's Cutoff 87
Chapter 7 Sweetwater Valley 101
Chapter 8 Sublette Cutoff 119
Chapter 9 Bear River to Fort Hall 137
Chapter 10 Along the Snake 147
Chapter 11 Blue Mountains 169
Chapter 12 At Last The Dalles 187
Chapter 13 Final Effort 199
Chapter 14 Pioneering 211
Bibliography 227
Index 235
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2004

    Wonderful historical, human and geologic account of the Oregon Trail

    I've been searching for books like this one that give the human side to the history of the Oregon Trail. The author has done a wonderful job of weaving together the diaries/journals of his relatives and those of others who made the journey to Oregon in 1852 by wagon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2001

    Westward to Oregon

    Weldon Willis Rau¿s new book, 'Surviving the Oregon Trail, 1852', has been published by the University of Washington Press. Much of his work is based on the notes left by Weldon¿s great grandparents, Willis and Mary Ann Boatman, Rau puts forth a fascinating story of the wagon trip west from Illinois to Oregon Territory in the mid-nineteenth century. 1852 was a year that saw the Oregon trail filled with people trekking westward, seeking a new life in the far west. Preparation for the trip was a major undertaking. Most people did not intend ever to return to their homes east of the Mississippi. They had to take along with them essentially all the supplies they would need. Their wagons started out heavily loaded. There were no supermarkets along the way. Those supply posts that did exist were rudimentary. The pioneering Boatman family, in addition to the newlyweds Wills and Mary Ann, included Willis¿s brother and Mary Ann¿s brother, Crossing the Missouri at the site of present-day Omaha, the Boatmans followed the Platte and the North Platte westward toward Wyoming. Sickness was the great affliction along the those river banks. Many of the westward travellers died, particularly of cholera. Along the way. Mary Ann Boatman¿s young brother was among those lost to disease. In Wyoming and Idaho were streams to ford or ferry, steep slopes to climb and descend, and scenic wonders new to folks from Illinois. Water and grazing for the draft oxen were often scarce. Dust spun up by the wagon wheels and the animal hooves choked all the travelers in various places. In Oregon the great gorge of the Columbia was a traverse not equalled elsewhere on earth. During the gorge trip Willis Boatman¿s brother, John, died, leaving Willis and a pregnant Mary Ann as the only family members to complete the trek. The two arrived in Portland exhausted and nearly broke. Weldon Rau tells this story with manifest respect for his pioneer ancestors. He has explored nearly the whole route his great grandparents travelled. And his explanations of the geology that formed these Oregon Trail lands adds greatly to the reader¿s undertanding and wonder. This book is an excellent read for anyone interested in American history.

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