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Drifting West: The Calamities of James White and Charles Baker

Drifting West: The Calamities of James White and Charles Baker

by Virginia McConnell Simmons

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

Where does history leave off and folklore begin? Simmons implicitly provides one answer to this question as she relates the story of James White, who emerged from the Colorado River at Callville, NV, in 1867 as the sole survivor of a prospecting expedition led by Charles Baker into the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. White claimed to be the first person to float through the Grand Canyon. Simmons shows how White's recollections were expanded and embellished by others until it was impossible to separate fact from fiction and notes that White himself changed significant parts of his story in later years. White's story was disputed almost as soon as it appeared, and Simmons objectively covers the controversies surrounding his claims, which persist to this day, demonstrating that White's story can neither be proved nor disproved. She also traces some of White's and Baker's movements, thus giving us a glimpse into the lives of two of the many drifters who roamed the West during the mid-19th century. Recommended for collections on Colorado history, the West, and folklore.
—Stephen H. Peters

Product Details

Univeristy Press of Colorado
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Product dimensions:
6.54(w) x 9.26(h) x 0.82(d)

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