54-40 or Fight (Illustrated)

54-40 or Fight (Illustrated)

by Emerson Hough


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54-40 or Fight is part romance and part history. It is the fictionalized story of the Oregon trail migrations and some of the characters - with women playing a primary role - who changed the course of history. It was published in 1909 by the A. L. Burt Company, in New York City. Despite being published a century ago, the writing feels fresh and the characters are vividly portrayed. Emerson Hough's tale offers an inside view of a critical period of North American history at the end of the U.S. Civil War. The title refers to the Oregon Dispute, important in geopolitical diplomacy between the British Empire and the new American Republic. In 1844 the U.S. Democratic Party, appealing to expansionist sentiment, asserted that the U.S. had a claim to the entire Oregon Country up to the southern border of Alaska, which was at parallel 54°40 north.

The story revolves around deals and arguments as America's President James Polk tries to enforce US claims on land north and south of its borders, balancing American expansion into the Texas/Mexican territories with the US hold on the Pacific coast. In 1844 the U.S. Democratic Party, appealing to expansionist sentiment, asserted that the U.S. had a claim to the entire Oregon Country, and the term "54-40 or Fight" came to be born.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781987008098
Publisher: Barnes & Noble Press
Publication date: 11/01/2018
Series: Classic Historical Fiction , #1
Pages: 356
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.79(d)

About the Author

Emerson Hough (1857–1923) was an American author best known for writing western stories and historical novels.

Hough was born in Newton, Iowa on June 28, 1857. He was in Newton High School's first graduating class of three in 1875. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a bachelor's degree in philosophy in 1880 and later studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1882. His first article, "Far From The Madding Crowd," was published in Forest and Stream in 1882.

In 1902, Hough began his association with Bobbs-Merrill Company (then Bowen-Merrill), which published his first best-seller, Mississippi Bubble. Hough began a trilogy on America when he published 54-40 or Fight in 1909, dedicated to Theodore Roosevelt. He dedicated the second volume, Purchase Price, to U.S. Senator Albert Beveridge of Indiana in 1910 and the third, John Rawn, to Woodrow Wilson in 1912. He nevertheless campaigned for Theodore Roosevelt, candidate of the Bull Moose Party, in the 1912 presidential election.

His other notable works included Story of the Cowboy, "which received a high recommendation from President Theodore Roosevelt," Way of the West, Singing Mouse Stories, and The Passing of the Frontier. Among his historical novels, The Magnificent Adventure in 1916 was set at the time of the Louisiana Purchase and the Lewis and Clark Expedition and told, said one reviewer, "a good stirring tale."

He married Charlotte Chesebro of Chicago in 1897 and made that city his home. During World War I, he served as a Captain with the Intelligence Service. He died in Evanston, Illinois, on April 30, 1923, a week after seeing the Chicago premiere of the movie The Covered Wagon, based on his 1922 book. Covered Wagon was his biggest best-selling novel since Mississippi Bubble in 1902. "North of 36", another Hough novel, later became a popular silent film as well, "making him one of the first Western authors to enter into the motion picture industry." He is buried in Galesburg, Illinois.

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54-40 Or Fight 2.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Full of action, adventure, and history. Great read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago