The Oregon Trail: The Complete Illustrated Edition, by Francis Parkman, is the best known work by the 19th century's most famous historian. It wasn't intended to be a book from the onset, and its pages comprise twenty-one installments that originally ran in The Knickerbocker, a New York City-based literary magazine, in 1849. The book was assembled two years after the first dispatch in the magazine. Brought back into the public eye for the first time in this handsome, fully illustrated edition, The Oregon Trail recreates the untamed West through the eyes of adventure-thirsty Parkman, who was a revered historian, a horticulturalist, and author.
Francis Parkman, a well-to-do man from Boston, traveled west in the late 1840s to Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and Kansas. The Oregon Trail covers his two months on the first third of the Oregon Trail and offers beautifully written profiles the American West in the days before the expansion of Eastern settlers into the Western United States. Passages about majestic mountains, wild buffalo herds, and roaring rivers make Parkman's work a classic travel and nature narrative.
In May 1846, Parkman arrived in Westport, Missouri, intent on visiting a Native American village along the newly established roads to the West. He had been traveling with his cousin Quincy Adams Shaw, eager to inspect what was left of the continent's native population. Parkman completes his sketches of the Oregon Trail with the quiet, throughtful words, On the next morning we left town, and after a fortnight of railroads and steamboat we saw once more the familiar features of home.
The Oregon Trail
The Complete Illustrated Edition