The Oregon Trail: Sketches of Prairie and Rocky-Mountain Life

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Little, Brown, 1900 - Frontier and pioneer life - 479 pages

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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 17 - The prairies had been his school ; he could neither read nor write, but he had a natural refinement and delicacy of mind, such as is very rarely found even in women. His manly face was a perfect mirror of uprightness, simplicity, and kindness of heart ; he had, moreover, a keen perception of character, and a tact that would preserve him from flagrant error in any society.
Page 10 - ... an insane hope of a better condition in life, or a desire of shaking off restraints of law and society, or mere restlessness, certain it is that multitudes bitterly repent the journey, and, after they have reached the land of promise, are happy enough to escape from it.
Page xiv - 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 120 - We were met at the gate, but by no means cordially welcomed. Indeed, we seemed objects of some distrust and suspicion, until Henry Chatillon explained that we were not traders, and we, in confirmation, handed to the bourgeois a letter of introduction from his principals. He took it, turned it upside down, and tried hard to read it; but his literary attainments not being adequate to the task, he applied for relief to the clerk, a sleek, smiling Frenchman, named Monthalon.
Page 237 - The squaw spread a buffalo-robe for us in the guest's place at the head of the lodge. Our saddles were brought in, and scarcely were we seated upon them before the place was thronged with Indians, who came crowding in to see us.
Page 319 - ... 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 3 - Her upper deck was covered with large wagons of a peculiar form, for the Santa Fe trade, and her hold was crammed with goods for the same destination. There were also the equipments and provisions of a party of Oregon emigrants, a band of mules and horses, piles of saddles and harness, and a multitude of nondescript articles, indispensable on the prairies. Almost hidden in this medley, one might have seen a small French cart, of the sort very appropriately called a "mule-killer" beyond the frontiers,...
Page 405 - ... one vast host of buffalo. The outskirts of the herd were within a quarter of a mile. In many parts they were crowded so densely together that in the distance their rounded backs presented a surface of uniform blackness...
Page 247 - The shaggy horses were patiently standing while the lodge-poles were lashed to their sides, and the baggage piled upon their backs. The dogs, with tongues lolling out, lay lazily panting, and waiting for the time of departure. Each warrior sat on the ground by the decaying embers of his fire, unmoved amid the confusion, holding in his hand the long trail-rope of his horse. As their preparations were completed, each family moved off the ground. The crowd was rapidly melting away. I could see them...
Page 411 - I distinguished the white covering of the cart and the little black specks of horsemen before and behind it. Drawing near, I recognized Shaw's elegant tunic, the red flannel shirt, conspicuous far off. I overtook the party, and asked him what success he had had. 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...

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