The Great West: A Treasury of Firsthand Accounts

Overview

From 1540 to the turn of the twentieth century, here are the real stories behind the legends by the explorers, American Indians, outlaws, lawmen, scouts, soldiers, frontiersmen, miners, fur traders, and cowboys who lived and witnessed them. Within these pages Lewis and Clark record their remarkable journey to the Pacific; Davy Crockett recounts his adventures in the wilderness; General George A. Custer writes about his scout Wild Bill Hickok; Two Moon gives his eyewitness account of the Battle of Little Big Horn;...

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Overview

From 1540 to the turn of the twentieth century, here are the real stories behind the legends by the explorers, American Indians, outlaws, lawmen, scouts, soldiers, frontiersmen, miners, fur traders, and cowboys who lived and witnessed them. Within these pages Lewis and Clark record their remarkable journey to the Pacific; Davy Crockett recounts his adventures in the wilderness; General George A. Custer writes about his scout Wild Bill Hickok; Two Moon gives his eyewitness account of the Battle of Little Big Horn; Pat F. Garrett tells how he killed Billy the Kid; J. D. Borthwick describes the Gold Rush; Mark Twain celebrates the Pony Express; and the voices of Coronado, Kit Carson, Buffalo Bill Cody, Geronimo, Calamity Jane, Washington Irving, Francis Parkman, Horace Greeley, John Muir, and many more convey their frontier experiences. With maps and nearly a hundred illustrations by Frederick Remington, George Catlin, Albert Bierstadt, and others, this unique anthology is a monumental mosaic of life, death, and glory in the American West.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This book includes more than 50 personal accounts of the settling of the West. These remembrances, which were first published in 1958, are divided into three sections: Pathfinders, which includes the likes of Lewis and Clark; Heroes and Villains such as Kit Carson and Buffalo Bill; and Observers like Washington Irving, Mark Twain, John Muir, Francis Parkman, and many others.
John Barkham
[The Great West] should find a large and appreciative audience. It is a fat grab bag of a book, crammed with action and adventure and as American as the tall corn.
Saturday Review
Robert R. Kirsch
Neider has widely chosen to use the words of the men and women who were actually involved in the events. They speak to us across the years and place us in direct contact with them and their times.
Los Angeles Times
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780306807619
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/1997
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 464
  • Product dimensions: 8.09 (w) x 9.98 (h) x 1.37 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Neider is a noted literary critic, editor, and novelist. His many books as editor include Washington Irving’s George Washington: A Biography, The Complete Humorous Sketches and Tales of Mark Twain, The Great West: A Treasury of Firsthand Accountsand The Complete Short Stories of Robert Louis Stevenson. The Complete Essays of Mark Twain, The Autobiography of Mark Twain. He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.

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Table of Contents

A Note on the Selections
Introduction
Pt. I Pathfinders
The Search for the Seven Cities 19
A Report from Monterey 29
Thomas Jefferson's Instructions to Meriwether Lewis 31
A Remarkable Journey to the Pacific 35
The Journey to Pike's Peak 71
An Overland Journey to California 86
A Visit to the San Gabriel Mission 90
The Adventures of Zenas Leonard 96
The Crossing of the Sierra Nevada 121
Pt. II Heroes and Villains
Adventures in the Wilderness 133
James Bridger, Mountain Man 149
Notice of a Runaway Apprentice 168
Kit Carson 168
A Brush with Crow Indians 169
Narrow Escapes 171
Adventures with Fremont 174
Wild Bill, My Scout 181
Interviewing Wild Bill 183
The Killing of Wild Bill 197
Indians! 201
Orders to General Custer 210
Report to General Sheridan 211
General Custer's Last Fight 212
Findings of a Court of Inquiry 217
General Carr on Buffalo Bill Cody 219
Robbed by Danites 221
Hard Times 227
A Buffalo Killing Match 233
Adventures Among the White Men 238
The Surrender of Sitting Bull 248
The Capture of Tiburcio Vasquez 263
Wanted: Jesse James 270
Some Exploits of the James Brothers 272
The Tragedy in Detail (Newspaper Account) 279
The Inquest (Newspaper Account) 282
The Life and Adventures of Calamity Jane 287
The Death Warrant of Billy the Kid 291
How I Killed Billy the Kid 292
The Body of Billy the Kid 300
Pt. III Observers
Adventures on the Prairie 303
Ashore in California 312
A Day with the Cow Column 318
A Buffalo Hunt 326
The Golden Gate 328
The Platte and the Desert 331
The Black Hills 338
The Diary of John Sutter 340
Looking for Gold 358
Miners' Law 365
Gold is Where You Find It 372
Western Characters 379
Portrait of a Desperado 384
The Pony Express 392
Virginia City Revisited 395
Hunting Big Redwoods 408
The Emigrant Train 426
The Yellowstone 435
The Round-Up 441
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