The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail On April Francis Parkman left Saint Louis on his first expedition west The Oregon Trail documents his adventures in the wilderness sheds light on America s westward expansion and celebrate

  • Title: The Oregon Trail
  • Author: Francis Parkman
  • ISBN: 9780140390421
  • Page: 448
  • Format: Paperback
  • On April 28, 1846, Francis Parkman left Saint Louis on his first expedition west The Oregon Trail documents his adventures in the wilderness, sheds light on America s westward expansion, and celebrates the American spirit.

    One thought on “The Oregon Trail”

    1. In my little book reviews I’m always coming back to this idea of sympathetic imagination. Sympathetic imagination, for me, is the ability to put oneself in another person’s place, to imaginatively enter into someone else’s mind and perspective. Exercising sympathetic imagination means withholding judgment, extending charity, allowing – either by stepping forward or by not retreating – the gap that separates us from others to close at least a little bit. It’s the stuff of cliché (wal [...]

    2. I was disappointed in this book. I had highly anticipated reading this book for several years. I had the impression it was about a journey from Missouri to Oregon or California on the Oregon Trail. The author only traveled perhaps half of the trail and did not comment or even mention the iconic landmarks like Chimney Rock. Or what it felt like to ride in a Conestoga Wagon. Rather the author regaled us with reasons why the "white" man was so superior. Indeed he ranked in order men of the prairie [...]

    3. This surprised me in a number of ways. First, the author doesn’t make it much farther down the Oregon Trail than Wyoming due to ill health, running out of good weather, and an opportunity to do some travelling with an Indian band. Second, the writing holds up well. To me this read more modernly than many of the books I’ve read from the turn of the century, some 50 years later. Parkman’s goal was to describe what he saw and did, and he does this with vigor but not an overwhelming amount of [...]

    4. This is an illustrated true story by Francis Parkman, an American historian who takes you over the Oregon Trail breaking new frontier in the early American West. Parkman went on a 2,000 mile journey through the wilderness of the American West that would take him six months to reach the end of his trail, Fort Laramie. He wrote several historical books as a result of his journey, including "The Oregon Trail".Readers should beware, Parkman never went to Oregon as the title inspires. His goal was to [...]

    5. The title of this narrative is somewhat ambiguous as in the author’s own words the primary goal of this account is to relay the life and customs of the plains Indians. One would imagine that the title would indicate that the author actually went to Oregon, which he didn’t. He undertook this westward trek in an attempt to satisfy his curiosity as at the time he couldn’t find reliable published references at the time. This book was first published in 1849 and describes the sights, difficulti [...]

    6. An American classic, this is Parkman's personal account of the summer he spent travelling on the Northern Plains, during part of which he lived and hunted Buffalo with a tribe of Oglala Sioux. The book is invaluable for the vivid descriptions of the west. Parkman was on the Plains at a particularly significant moment in American history. He was there in 1846, the first year of the war with Mexico - at a time when troops of regular soldiers and volunteer militia were moving south, riding towards [...]

    7. Thoughts.Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but while reading the book, I forgot why Parkman was in the wilderness in the first place. His purposes are often buried within his prose, so I often asked myself questions like "why is he staying with this tribe?", "Why is he killing this random buffalo?", "Where is he even going?"Disappointingly and misleadingly by the title, Parkman did not travel the length of the Oregon Trail. As a privileged college-educated WASP, he visited the trail because he wa [...]

    8. I began this book because I would like to participate in a reenactment of journeying on the Oregon Trail someday. I completed it because I needed to read a history for my library's summer reading program. Parkman's writing style is elegant. It was eye opening to hear a contemporary's view of Native Americans, emigrants (those journeying West), and Mormons in an unvarnished primary source. Though I couldn't condone any of his racial views, or his dispassionate accounts of dogs killed for the stew [...]

    9. For this nebulous book about roads I'm working on, I picked up American historian Francis Parkman's The Oregon Trail this week. Myexperience this summer in what was the Oregon Territory started me think about the routes that settlers took going West, and I wanted to refresh my memory.Whoops! To my surprise I found that I'd not read Parkman's book, although it has been sitting on my shelf for probably 20 years. The historian was in his 20s when he set out with a friend in 1846 to travel across th [...]

    10. Parkman's book is often cited by historians as a first-hand story of the western frontier at the time of the Mexican-American War (1846-47). It is colorful and includes historic characters whose path he and his traveling partner would cross, including the Donner Party (though this wagon train wouldn't become led by the Donners until after Parkman met them) and Gen. Steven Kearney, who he met at Fort Leavenworth. Kearney would then become famous (and get the promotion to general) for his march on [...]

    11. In 1846 the author traveled on the Oregon Trail as far as Fort Laramie where he then spent many weeks with some of the friendly Indian tribes in the area, the Dakota, the Ogala. He describes buffalo hunts, Indian traditions, the terrible terrain, the food, the lack of water, the many hostile Indian groups that liked nothing better than to kill whites when they found them. Almost all the things a person would wonder about living in the time period. There is some early mention of the “dreaded Mo [...]

    12. Francis Parkman Jr.'s travelogue of the Wild West evokes a time and a place very well. The reader gets a very real sense of what it was like to live with various tribes, participate in buffalo hunts, meet up with wagon trains of emigrants, etc. What is missing is any real journalistic probing of what is going on and what it may mean for those who would follow in his footsteps. Obviously, the author never intended to write anything of the sort, but as a witness to a country in the midst of cultur [...]

    13. Francis Parkman writes with incredible style in these memoirs about his "tour of curiosity and amusement to the Rocky Mountains." He wanted to learn about the Indians, to "live in the midst of them, and become, as it were, one of them." He spent weeks among the Ogallala, and even though he suffered from dysentery he embraced every adventure that came his way. His descriptions included vivid word pictures like "cacti were hanging like reptiles at the edges of every ravine." I particularly enjoyed [...]

    14. There are apparently several versions of this story in existence as the author made multiple revisions over the next 40 years after its initial publication. The edition I read is the first published version which retains material that the author later removed. Most of the removed passages are politically incorrect, though it seems that's not why he removed them.Although the author believes almost everyone to be his inferior, the story is quite entertaining and laugh-out-loud funny in parts preci [...]

    15. A very strange mix of a book indeed. The pundits are right - the prose is marvellous, the descriptions riveting, the images produced are magnificent portraits of an age long gone. But what a git of a writer! Probably the only truly racist book I've ever read, and quite startling in his portrayal of the indigenous people of the continent. Francis Parkman really does think he comes from a different species to the north American natives. I shall not attempt to expand on his treatment, in the text, [...]

    16. This book was cool as far as people going out exploring the frontier and hanging out with Indians. It gave me a lot of mixed emotions as far as thinking they were awesome men out in the saddle, wondering where the hardy men are like this today, and hearing about Indian ways of life. But then they'd talk about how stupid the Indians were and go out and kill a dozen buffalo just for the fun of it because they were "too ugly to live" and I'd hate them. Plus the title is a little miss leading since [...]

    17. I don't know much about Francis Parkman - New England upper crust. I suppose he would like you if you were one as well. The guy goes west and all is ugliness to him. The ugliness unfortunately is being spoiled by all the ugly people moving west and dispossessing the ugly natives. He helped by killing as many ugly buffalo as possible. He also saw a lot of ugly mountains. Oh, as he tells you over and over - he is sick all the time. He is disturbed by all the other sick people - they are ugly and u [...]

    18. For some reason I had the impression that this was some scholarly study of the mass migration of Americans from the midwest to Oregon country in the mid 1800's. But it's not. It is more of a "what I did on my summer vacation" essay. In 1846 at the age of 23 Parkman and his friend Shaw went from St Louis to Ft Laramie, Wyoming more or less on a whim. They had various adventures with frontiersmen, Indians, and buffalo, and then came home.Paints a good picture of the Great Plains before they were s [...]

    19. 2015 416 pagesIf you are a history reader, this book is for you. There are documented journal entries from prior trail riders, detailed descriptions of the passing country side, crossing bridges, water ways, prairies and then there are the mules.This book is very detailed. Down side is it can become a little laborious for the reader as well the driver of the wagon. He fell asleep frequently from boredom. Faced broken wheels, lost or less defined trail markings and yet was greeted generously by p [...]

    20. An informative and illustrative narrative of a fascinating part of American history though Parkman's observations can be a bit dry and he didn't seem to be very aware of the significance of his undertaking. Also the casually racist passages like this - "The human race in this part of the world is separated into three divisions, arranged in the order of their merits: white men, Indians, and Mexicans; to the latter of whom the honorable title of 'whites' is by no means conceded" - don't have much [...]

    21. In 1846 the author spent 5 months on the Oregon Trail between Missouri and the Rocky Mountains. This book tells of his adventures in a very descriptive and detailed fashion. You can learn how they lived on the prairie finding food, clothing, and shelter at this time. It is very informative on how the Indians lived as he stayed in their camps for many nights and days. You can learn how they hunted buffalo and what they did with them after killing them. I was surprised that the style was very easy [...]

    22. This is an utterly absorbing account of life as a frontiersman. While Parkman did have a tendency to stereotype, it should be noted that this is the concern of a modern readership with modern sensibilities. Read historically, it gives valuable insights into the thinking of an influential man of his times. As a narrative, the book is one of the best of its kind.

    23. I don't often read non-fiction history novels, but something about this one caught my attention and I picked up a copy. While mundane and boring at first, once it picks up speed it's a powerful, invigorating tale of the hardships of pioneer life, the close-knit people throughout, and the natural beauty of the Western United States.

    24. I bought this by accident, looking for a first-hand account from an emigrant on the Oregon Trail. This is not that book. But I read it anyway.The first thing to understand is that this book was written by a Harvard-educated bon vivant from Boston's upper echelon. Parkman's trip along the Oregon Trail was basically his version of the modern privileged young adult's European trek. The second thing to understand is that Parkman took his trek nearly over 170 years ago. He has the worldview and preju [...]

    25. "Pur-sioux-ing Exotica"In the 1970s, British university graduates could take a year off and make their way across Europe, through Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, overland to India. It was "breaking away", "a testing of self", "seeing the world", "the search for the other" or maybe just drugs and a hippie vibe. In 1846, a Harvard graduate certainly didn't have such an option, but still he could choose not to travel across to Europe for the usual Grand Tour. The 20th century European trave [...]

    26. I expected an epic western adventure within the almost 500 pages of this classic piece of American literature. Not. Though there are some beautiful passages Parkman was able to craft, largely it's a frat boy's Spring Break trip. Parkman disparages everyone he meets during his 6 month journey that only touched a small portion of the Oregon Trail. (In no way did he travel the Oregon Trail from end to end and barely did he traverse the beginning.) His immaturity and bias colored every page. By the [...]

    27. Incredible writing. Sure, he doesn't traverse the entire length of the trail, and the amount of buffalo slaughtered without harvesting the meat is disconcerting, but what an incredible storyteller! You can smell the prairie, the singed hair off of the dogs thrown on the fire (yes, they eat dogs), and you can feel the dampness of the grass. Truly, I have never had such an immersive experience reading a book- where I could completely imagine the discomfort of wearing wet leather after a downpour, [...]

    28. True story of the adventures of the author heading west in 1846. Different from other books, because Parkman’s goal was not to settle in Oregon or even California. He wanted to see the Rockies, hang out with Indians and have adventures. The book reads like a journal to me. He definitely met some colorful characters on the trip & managed to find some Native Americans who weren’t totally fed up yet with white men that let him live & travel with them. More verbose than I would have like [...]

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