Emigrants on the Overland Trail: The Wagon Trains of 1848

Emigrants on the Overland Trail: The Wagon Trains of 1848

by Michael E. LaSalle


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Presenting the "lost" year of the overland emigrants in 1848, this volume sheds light on the journey of the men, women, children, and the wagon trains that made the challenging trek from Missouri to Oregon and California. These primary sources, written by seven men and women diarists from different wagon companies, tell how settlers endured the tribulations of a five-month westward journey covering 2,000 miles. These intrepid souls include a young mother, a French priest, a college-educated teacher, and an ox driver. Subjected to the extremes of fear, failure, suffering, and hope, they persevered and finally triumphed.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935503958
Publisher: Truman State University Press
Publication date: 11/11/2011
Pages: 536
Sales rank: 843,502
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.30(d)

Table of Contents

Illustrations, Tables, and Maps viii

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction xiii

1 Just Five Months to Get There 1

2 St. Joseph, a Rising Star 14

3 Load the Wagons 22

4 The Talk Before the Walk 31

5 A Vast Green Sea 40

6 Indian Troubles 58

7 Independence, a Star in Decline 73

8 Through the Tallgrass Prairie 86

9 Black Beasts, Black Faces 110

10 Come, Come Ye Saints 136

11 The Babylon of the West 151

12 The Sweetness of the Sweetwater 193

13 Les Mauvaises Terres 226

14 The Great Trail Forked 261

15 Snaking Through Vulcan's Workshop 296

16 Glory, Hallelujah, I Shall Die a Rich Man Yet! 326

17 The Heavenly Scent of Oregon Pine 351

18 Time to Pay the Gatekeeper 388

19 The End of the Journey 429

20 Epilogue 458

Notes 469

Works Cited 487

Index 493

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