In Covered Wagon Women, Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails, 1840-1849, voices speak from beyond the grave, relaying the stories of women who traveled westward into the vast American wilderness through original diaries and letters.
The simple faith of pioneer women unmatched in their devotion to their families, resourcefulness, and for sheer gumption, is touching beyond measure. This book takes us on an inspirational journey through the human spirit.
Some of the stories in this book:
- Tabitha Brown crossed the vast prairie while in her 60’s, survived a bad cut-off, and went on to become a celebrated citizen of Oregon.
- Rachel Fischer Mills suffered devastating losses but endured with despite them.
- Tamsen Donner and Virginia Reed tell what it was like to be a member of the ill-fated Donner party.
These stories reveal a time when adventure, pathos, and honor walked beside covered wagons into a wild West. Considering the hardships these women faced and the crushing load of chores they had to perform, its amazing that they found any time to write at all. They seem to understand that they were part of a historic event that should be recorded for posterity.
Kudos to author Kenneth L. Holmes for his painstaking documentation and intriguing author notes. This compilation, the first in a series of 11 historical books, represent a life work carried out with sensitivity and respect. Well done.
Reading Covered Wagon Women, Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails, 1840-1849 gave me insights into what it was like to travel in a wagon train, the hardships emigrants faced, and the indomitable spirit of those who settled the American West. You can taste the trail dust, feel the hot sun beating down, and grieve over graves you find along the way.
If the other historical books in the Covered Wagon Women: Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails series are as laden with historical details as the first, they provide a priceless record of a time now gone forever. Reading all these books would be like walking back into the past to watch western emigration evolve through first-person accounts. I don’t know about you, but I’ll take that over a dry, dead history textbook any day.
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