Covered Wagon Women, Volume 1: Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails, 1840-1849 (Paperback)

Covered Wagon Women, Volume 1: Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails, 1840-1849 Cover Image
By Kenneth L. Holmes (Editor), Anne M. Butler (Introduction by)
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The women who traveled west in covered wagons during the 1840s speak through these letters and diaries. Here are the voices of Tamsen Donner and young Virginia Reed, members of the ill-fated Donner party; Patty Sessions, the Mormon midwife who delivered five babies on the trail between Omaha and Salt Lake City; Rachel Fisher, who buried both her husband and her little girl before reaching Oregon. Still others make themselves heard, starting out from different places and recording details along the way, from the mundane to the soul-shattering and spirit-lifting.

About the Author

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. Anne M. Butler, a professor of history at Utah State University–Logan, is the author of Daughters of Joy, Sisters of Misery: Prostitutes in the American West. 

Praise For…

“The diaries and letters . . . throb with excitement, pain, and mind-boggling determination.”—Kliatt

“An outstanding collection of primary sources written by women moving west.”—Wagon Tracks

“Kenneth L. Holmes made the very wise editorial decision not to update, revise, or parenthetically correct the quirky and often fascinating prose of these nineteenth-century women. . . . The writing is rich with the sounds of common speech and jargon . . . and it should be a gold mine for students of everyday life.”—John Mack Faragher, Western Historical Quarterly

Covered Wagon Women is to be valued. . . . First, it brings together in a single edition a major collection of the diaries of overland women. . . . Second, this is probably the most perfectly documented edition a researcher will find.”—Lillian Schlissel, Pacific Historical Review

Product Details
ISBN: 9780803272774
ISBN-10: 0803272774
Publisher: Bison Books
Publication Date: September 1st, 1995
Pages: 280
Language: English
Series: Covered Wagon Women