The Oregon trail: sketches of prairie and Rocky-mountain life

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User Review  - Othemts - LibraryThing

This narrative describes 23-year-old Parkman's travels west in with fellow Boston Brahmin Quincy Adams Shaw. Together they travel with settlers adventurers through the future states of of Nebraska ... Read full review

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User Review  - MrsLee - LibraryThing

Written in 1847, this is an eye witness account of the prairie and the natives who lived there. Unlike our romantic view of native life, this is somewhat disdainful, and yet he admires them in a way ... Read full review

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Page x - The wild cavalcade that defiled with me down the gorges of the Black Hills, with its paint and war-plumes, fluttering trophies and savage embroidery, bows, arrows, lances, and shields, will never be seen again.
Page 258 - ... arts of a man of gallantry. He wore his red blanket dashingly over his left shoulder, painted his cheeks every day with vermilion, and hung pendants of shells in his ears. If I observed aright, he met with very good success in his new pursuits ; still the Hail-Storm had much to accomplish before he attained the full standing of a warrior. Gallantly as he began to bear himself...
Page 192 - He greeted me with a guttural " How, cola ! " I requested Reynal to tell him that Raymond and I were come to live with him. The Big Crow gave another low exclamation.
Page 89 - Warriors, women, and children swarmed like bees; hundreds of dogs, of all sizes and colors, ran restlessly about ; and, close at hand, the wide shallow stream was alive with boys, girls, and young squaws, splashing, screaming, and laughing in the water.
Page 336 - He had assailed a fat cow, shot her with two bullets, and mortally wounded her. But neither of us was prepared for the chase that afternoon, and Shaw, like myself, had no spare bullets in his pouch; so he abandoned the disabled animal to Henry Chatillon, who followed, despatched her with his rifle, and loaded his horse with the meat.
Page 198 - But I had enough tobacco to give them all a small piece. They might smoke it and see how much better it was than the tobacco which they got from the traders.
Page 26 - Back from the solitary world Which lay around, behind, before. What booted it to traverse o'er Plain, forest, river ? Man nor brute, Nor dint of hoof, nor print of foot, Lay in the wild luxuriant soil ; No sign of travel, none of toil ; The very air was mute ; And not an insect's shrill small horn, Nor matin bird's new voice was borne From herb nor thicket.
Page 2 - With all these changes, the water is so charged with mud and sand that, in spring, it is perfectly opaque, and in a few minutes deposits a sediment an inch thick in the bottom of a tumbler. The river was now high; but when we descended in the autumn it was fallen very low, and all the secrets of its treacherous shallows were exposed to view.
Page 74 - ... herd. The buffalo now broke into several small bodies, scampering over the hills in different directions, and I lost sight of Shaw; neither of us knew where the other had gone. Old Pontiac ran like a frantic elephant up hill and down hill, his ponderous hoofs striking the prairie like sledge-hammers. He showed a curious mixture of eagerness and terror, straining to overtake the panic-stricken herd, but constantly recoiling in dismay as we drew near. The fugitives, indeed, offered no very attractive...
Page 296 - About noon on that day we reached Cherry Creek. Here was a great abundance of wild-cherries, plums, gooseberries, and currants. The stream, however, like most of the others which we passed, was dried up with the heat, and we had to dig holes in the sand to find water for ourselves and our horses. Two days after we left the banks of the creek which we had been following for some time, and began to cross the high dividing ridge which separates the waters of the Platte from those of the Arkansas. The...

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