The Discovery of the Oregon Trail: Robert Stuart's Narratives of His Overland Trip Eastward from Astoria in 1812-13

The Discovery of the Oregon Trail: Robert Stuart's Narratives of His Overland Trip Eastward from Astoria in 1812-13

by Robert Stuart
     
 

Robert Stuart saw the American West a few years after Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and, like them, kept a journal of his epic experience. A partner in John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company, the Scotsman shipped for Oregon aboard the Tonquin in 1810 and helped found the ill-fated settlement of Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River. In 1812, facing… See more details below

Overview

Robert Stuart saw the American West a few years after Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and, like them, kept a journal of his epic experience. A partner in John Jacob Astor’s Pacific Fur Company, the Scotsman shipped for Oregon aboard the Tonquin in 1810 and helped found the ill-fated settlement of Astoria at the mouth of the Columbia River. In 1812, facing disaster, Stuart and six others slipped away from Astoria and headed east. His journal, edited and annotated by Philip Ashton Rollins, describes their hazardous 3,700-mile journey to St. Louis. Crossing the Rockies in winter, they faced death by cold, starvation, and hostile Indians. But they made history by discovering what came to be called the Oregon Trail, including South Pass, over which thousands of emigrants would travel west in mid-century. Besides Stuart’s narrative, this volume contains important material about Astoria and the fate of the Tonquin, as well as the harrowing account of Wilson Price Hunt, who headed a party of overlanders traveling east to join the Astorians.

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Editorial Reviews

New York Times
“A major contribution to Americana. . . . Not only has Mr. Rollins brought to light one of the most important and absorbing records of early Western exploration but . . . he has also presented an example of American historical research at its best. The volume is beyond praise.”—New York Times
American Historical Review
“One of the classics of the Overland Trail.”—American Historical Review
Books
“A feat of scholarship, of industry, patience, and integrity. . . . The literary charm of Stuart’s daily entries should not be overlooked. Stuart was keen-eyed and he could describe what he saw.”—Books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780803292345
Publisher:
University of Nebraska Press
Publication date:
05/28/1995
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
397
Product dimensions:
5.34(w) x 7.97(h) x 1.19(d)

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