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Charts the journey of those who followed the Oregon Trail in the first half of the nineteenth century, describes the obstacles and dangers they encountered, and discusses the Trail's eventual decline with the introduction of the cross-country railroad.
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Grade 5 Up-- Not so much an account of travel on the Oregon Trail--Independence to Oregon farmland--as a collection of notes about the Trail: problems, happenings, people who figured in its history. It's more a critical than an anecdotal or straight history, and what's missing is an organizing principle for the information. The splendid full-color reproduction of Albert Bierstadt's painting, "The Oregon Trail," on the wraparound jacket seduces one into a book illustrated with black-and-white photographs of paintings, places, people; but about half of these photographs are undated, and some are not located in a particular place. For example, after explaining about burial of the dead along the emigrant trail, and commenting that "Every trace of the deceased soon disappeared, including the grave marker," the opposing page carries a contradicting photo labeled: "Trailside graves, Nevada." As the Oregon Trail didn't go through Nevada--although some other trails did, and as the photo is of a pretty good looking small cemetery with intact markers, one must wonder when this photograph was taken--and precisely where. A better, but much different, account is When Pioneers Pushed West to Oregon (Gerrard, 1970; o.p.) by Elizabeth R. Montgomery. --George Gleason, Department of English, Southwest Missouri State University, Springfield
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Fisher, an accomplished master of illustrated histories ( The White House ; Ellis Island ), here focuses on this famous 2000-mile trail which stretched from the Missouri River to the mouth of the Columbia River in the Oregon Territory. For 20 years (the 1840s and '50s) countless "emigrants" traveled this arduous route in prairie schooners, seeking new lives in the West and the fulfillment of the nation's manifest destiny to control all of North America. Drawing on a variety of contemporary accounts, Fisher doesn't gloss over the conflicts with Native Americans, death by disease and accident, or the brutal forces of nature: "Many lost everything, including their lives." Carefully selected archival photos and engravings support the brisk narrative, but unfortunately the many notable paintings are (unlike the cover) reproduced in black and white. Ages 8-12.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Holiday House, 1990. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M0823408337
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