So rugged and mountainous Blazing the Oregon and California trails, 1812-1848

Will Bagley, 1950-

Book - 2010

"So rugged and mountainous is the first of a projected four-volume history, Overland West: the story of the Oregon and California Trails. This sweeping series describes how the 'Road across the Plains' transformed the American West and became an enduring part of its legacy. And by showing that overland emigration would not have been possible without the cooperation of Native peoples and tribes, it places American Indians at the center of trail history, not on its margins"--Book jacket.

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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor 978.02/Bagley Checked In
Norman : University of Oklahoma Press c2010.
Main Author
Will Bagley, 1950- (-)
Physical Description
xxii, 458 p. : ill., maps ; 27 cm
Includes bibliographical references (p. 409-439) and index.
  • List of Illustrations
  • Maps
  • Preface
  • Editorial Procedures
  • Prologue
  • Chapter 1. We Had to Travel through an Indian Country
  • Chapter 2. Difficulties Which Never Occurred to Their Minds: Fur Traders, Adventurers, and Visionaries
  • Chapter 3. The Stern Facts of Geography: Americans Head West, 1840 and 1841
  • Chapter 4. Jumping Off: Preparations, Provisions, and Partings
  • Chapter 5. You Damn Yankees Will Do Anything You Like: Opening Roads to the Pacific, 1842 and 1843
  • Chapter 6. The Restless Ones: The Swelling Tides of 1844 and 1845
  • Chapter 7. All Very Much the Same: Life on the Early Trails
  • Chapter 8. Grasping and Unscrupulous: Peace in Oregon, War in California, 1846
  • Chapter 9. A Wild Looking Set: Society on the Trails
  • Chapter 10. Tragedy in Oregon, Gold in California, and a City at the Great Salt Lake, 1847 and 1848
  • Acknowledgments
  • Selected Bibliography
  • Index
Review by Choice Review

Bagley, award-winning author of more than a dozen academic books on the western fur trade and the overland trails era, has provided another landmark study of the pioneer experience. First and foremost, he presents the story of the land itself, and explains how its topography and resources dictated the patterns of western travel and settlement. He likewise analyzes the transformation of Indian life in all the areas served by the Oregon and California trails between 1841 and 1848. Finally, in beautifully written prose, he records the great variety of personal experiences among the people who undertook the adventurous transcontinental journey. Bagley successfully blends the latest scholarly interpretations with an endless array of primary sources, often quoting the overlanders' most revealing words. As with John Unruh Jr.'s classic The Plains Across: The Overland Immigrants and the Trans-Mississippi West (CH, Sep'79), this new study is comprehensive, factually reliable, and supremely analytical. When the envisioned four-volume set is finally completed, it will represent the most significant addition to the already rich literature published in the last three decades. Enhanced with four 19th-century maps and 21 illustrations, this synthesis will spur further research by new generations of scholars. Summing Up: Essential. All levels/libraries. M. L. Tate University of Nebraska at Omaha

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.