Surviving the Oregon Trail, 1852
Author: Weldon Willis Rau
Publisher: Washington State University Press
Genre: History, Western Us
The 1852 overland migration was the largest on record, with numbers swelled by Oregon-bound settlers, as well as hordes of gold-seekers destined for California. It also was a year in which deadly cholera took a terrible toll in lives. Included here are firsthand accounts of this fateful year, including the words and thoughts of a young married couple, Mary Ann and Willis Boatman, released for the first time in book-length form.
In its immediacy, Surviving the Oregon Trail, 1852 opens a window to the travails of the overland journeyers--their stark camps, treacherous river fordings, and dishonest countrymen; the shimmering plains and mountain vastnesses; their trepidations at crossing ancient Indian lands; and the dark angel of death hovering over the wagon columns. But also found here are acts of valor, compassion, and kindness, and the hope for a new life in a new land at the end of the trail.