The Oregon Trail: An American Saga

Paperback | November 30, 2005

byDavid Dary

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In today's world of jet airplanes and smooth highways, it is nearly impossible to imagine the hardships faced by the thousands of people who headed west along the great Oregon Trail. In this detailed and engaging account, historian David Dary recounts the full saga of the trail's history,from its creation in the early 1800's, to its peak during the '49 Gold Rush, its rapid decline following the completion of the transcontinental railroad, and finally, its revival as a modern day historical treasure. Dary introduces us to the pioneers: trailblazers, fur-traders, and missionaries, who made the first journeys to Oregon County, an internationally disputed territory comprising present-day Washington, Oregon, and California. We learn of the road's steadily increasing popularity, as economic problemsor the promise of adventure and wealth lead thousands of homesteaders, gold-rushers, and entrepreneurs to pile their hopes and dreams into wagons and head west. Using journals and letters, as well as company and expedition reports, public records and newspaper stories, Dary takes us inside the dayto day experiences of the travelers, as they risked ruin at every step from disease, weather, and human deceit. Trail. Through Dary's expert and comprehensive history, we learn how the events of the day turned a small trickle of pioneering men and women into the greatest mass migration in American history.

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From the Publisher

In today's world of jet airplanes and smooth highways, it is nearly impossible to imagine the hardships faced by the thousands of people who headed west along the great Oregon Trail. In this detailed and engaging account, historian David Dary recounts the full saga of the trail's history,from its creation in the early 1800's, to its p...

From the Jacket

A major one-volume history of the Oregon Trail from its earliest beginnings to the present, by a prize-winning historian of the American West. Starting with an overview of Oregon Country in the early 1800s, a vast area then the object of international rivalry among Spain, Britain, Russia, and the United States, David Dary gives us the ...

David Dary is Professor Emeritus of Journalism at the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of ten previous books on the West, including Cowboy Culture and The Santa Fe Trail. He is the recipient of several awards, including the Owen Wister Award for lifetime achievement from the Western Writers of America.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:432 pages, 5.98 × 9.21 × 1.42 inPublished:November 30, 2005Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195224000

ISBN - 13:9780195224009

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"Dary eschews embellishment and hews to fact, permitting readers an unadorned but palpably realistic rendition of what traveling the trail was like."--Booklist (Starred Review)