The Oregon Trailby Francis Parkman
The series of minor
Francis Parkman set out west from St. Louis in order to see the prairie for himself and "to observe the Indian character". Along the way he encountered some "unexpected impediments" to this aim. In fact, Parkman's whole journey seems full of misadventures, which he describes with dry good humor and a charming ability to laugh at himself.
The series of minor disasters makes The Oregon Trail entertaining, but it is also a valuable narrative of life on the prairie and has some wonderfully detailed descriptions of Indian villages and customs. The author is clearly impressed with native sportsmanship, and brings the thrill of the hunt to life in vivid detail.
Parkman has a boundless fascination for all he sees, and seems to fall in love with the prairie itself over the course of the book. He transforms this enthusiasm into his descriptions, which often verge on the poetic.
Unlike many explorers of the West, Parkman is not hardedged, and while he is accurate, he is also somewhat romantic. This book is not saturated with the violence that characterizes much literature of this genre. His portraits of native people, while not always flattering, seem good-spirited.
This is not a scientific or anthropological treatise, but Parkman has a passion for these subjects which, coupled with his unique adventures, makes this a very appealing narrative.
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Francis Parkman set out West from St. Louis in order to see the prairie for himself and "to observe the Indian character". Along the way he encountered some "unexpected impediments". In fact, Parkman's whole journey seems to be one long misadventure, which he describes with dry good humor and a charming ability to laugh at himself. The series of minor disasters makes The Oregon Trail a very amusing story, but it is also a valuable narrative of life on the prairie and has some wonderfully detailed descriptions of Indian villages and customs.
The author is clearly impressed with native sportsmanship:
"A shaggy buffalo bull bounded out from a neighboring hollow, and close behind him came a slender Indian boy, riding without stirrups or saddle, and lashing his eager little horse to full speed. Yard after yard he drew closer to his gigantic victim, though the bull, with his short tail erect and his tongue lolling out a foot from his foaming jaws, was straining his unwieldy strength to the utmost. A moment more, and the boy was close alongside. It was our friend the Hail-Storm. He dropped the rein on his horse's neck, and jerked an arrow like lightning from the quiver at his shoulder."
Parkman has a boundless fascination for all he sees, and he seems to fall in love with the prairie itself over the course of the book. He transfers this enthusiasm into his descriptions, which often verge on the poetic:
"Emerging from the mud-holes of Westport, we pursued our way for some time along the narrow track, in the checkered sunshine and shadow of the woods, till at length, issuing into the broad light, we left behind us the farthest outskirts of the great forest, that once spread from the western plains to the shore of the Atlantic. Looking over an intervening belt of bushes, we saw the green, ocean-like expanse of the prairie, stretching swell beyond swell to the horizon."
Unlike many other explorers of the West, Parkman lacks hard-edged cynicism, and while he is generally accurate, he is also somewhat romantic. The Oregon Trail is not saturated with the violence that characterizes much literature of this genre, and, while his analyses of the people are not always flattering, they seem good-spirited:
"Kettles were hung over the fires, around which the squaws were gathered with their children, laughing and talking merrily. A circle of a different kind...was composed of the old men and warriors of repute, who sat together with their white buffalo robes drawn close around their shoulders; and as the pipe passed from hand to hand, their conversation had not a particle of the gravity and reserve usually ascribed to Indians. I sat down with them as usual. I had in my hand half a dozen [fireworks], which I had made one day when encamped upon Laramie Creek, with gunpowder and charcoal, and the leaves of 'Fremont's Expedition,' rolled round a stout lead pencil. I waited till I could get hold of the large piece of burning bois de vache which the Indians kept by them on the ground for lighting their pipes. With this I lighted all the fireworks at once, and tossed them whizzing and sputtering into the air, over the heads of the company. They all jumped up and ran off with yelps of astonishment and consternation. After a moment or two, they ventured to come back one by one, and some of the boldest, picking up the cases of burnt paper, examined them with eager curiosity to discover their mysterious secret. From that time forward I enjoyed great repute as a 'fire medicine.'
The Oregon Trail is not a scientific or anthropological treatise, but Parkman has a passion for these subjects that, coupled with his unique adventures, makes this a very appealing narrative.
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Meet the Author
Francis Parkman, Jr. (September 16 1823 - November 8 1893) was an American historian and novelist, best known for The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life.
HENRY CARL KIEFER was an American comic book artist, best known for his work on the early 'Classics Illustrated' issues. Kiefer studied at the Julian Atelier in Paris, France. After his studies, he began illustrating for pulp magazines. From the mid 1930 throughout the 1940s he has been working as a comic book artist through studio's like Chesler, Funnies Inc., Iger, Majestic Studios and Sangor. In 1935, Kiefer started illustrating for National/DC's 'Famous Poems Pictured', 'Just Suppose' and 'Wing Brady', while also drawing 'Oliver Twist' and 'James Watt' for Centaur and 'Sub Saunders' for Fox Comics.
By the early 1940s he was present in Fiction House comic books, drawing features like 'Parachute Patrol', 'Spurt Hammond' and especially 'Wambi'. He drew 'Liberty Lads' for Harvey Comics and 'Lion Boy' for Quality, while doing back-up comics like 'Old Cap Hawkins' Tales' and 'Fearless Fellers' for Novelty Comics. Kiefer was a regular on titles like 'Real Heroes' and 'True Comics' for Parents' Magazine Press.
From the mid 1940s he was present in Better's 'It Really Happended' and 'Real Life Comics', Consolidated's 'Key Comics' and 'Musical Key Series' and Eastern's 'Heroic Comics' and 'New Heroic Comics'. He illustrated 'The Arabian Nights' for Feature's Treasure Comics title, and also contributed to this company's 'Junior Rangers' title. He did Shakespeare adaptations for D.S. Publishing, 'Steel Fist' for Rural Home, and was present in EC's pre-Trend titles 'Crime Patrol', 'Gunfighter', 'Saddle Justice' and 'War Against Crime'.
From 1947 until 1953, Kiefer worked on Gilberton's 'Classics Illustrated' series, doing most of the artwork of the early issues. Kiefer adapted several literary classics to comic book format, including '20,000 Leagues under the Sea', 'Around the World in 80 Days', 'Jane Eyre', 'Sherlock Holmes' and 'A Christmas Carol'. Many of his issues were redrawn by other artists for the reprints, however. Kiefer's final comic book work included western stories for Youthful Magazines and crime features for Trojan Comics. He died in 1957.
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The app oregon trail is good i do not have this book