The stories seem simple—they left, they traveled, they settled—yet the restless westering impulse of Americans created one of the most enduring figures in our frontier pantheon: the hardy pioneer persevering against all odds. Undeterred by storms, ruthless bandits, towering mountains, and raging epidemics, the women in these volumes suggest why the pioneer represented the highest ideals and aspirations of a young nation. In this concluding volume of the Covered Wagon Women series, we see the final animal-powered overland migrations that were even then yielding to railroad travel and, in a few short years, to the automobile. The diaries and letters resonate with the vigor and spirit that made possible the settling and community-building of the American West.
Kenneth L. Holmes was a professor of history at Western Oregon State College. He edited and compiled Covered Wagon Women, drawing on archives and private sources.
Katherine Morrissey is an associate professor of history at the University of Arizona and the author of Mental Territories: Mapping the Inland Empire.
"This is a work to capture the heart as well as the historical mind. . . . Well worth reading."—Journal of the West