The Oregon Trail ePUB · The Oregon MOBI :º

10 thoughts on “The Oregon Trail

  1. Graychin Graychin says:

    In my little book reviews I’m always coming back to this idea of sympathetic imagination Sympathetic imagination for me is the ability to put oneself in another person’s place to imaginatively enter into someone else’s mind and perspective Exercising sympathetic imagination means withholding judgment extending charity allowing – either by stepping forward or by not retreating – the gap that separates us from others to close at least a little bit It’s the stuff of cliché walking in another’s shoes seeing through another’s eyes etc but without it life and art are unbearable It’s not always easy Sometimes the effort is exhausting When it comes to the exercise of sympathetic imagination in reading it helps when the prose is pleasant and the story a good one Because characters can disappoint Francis Parkman’s autobiographical The Oregon Trail is a nice example of what I mean Fresh out of Harvard the young Parkman and his friend uincy Shaw set out in 1846 for the Great Plains From St Louis they move upriver with a revolving cast of emigrants trappers traders and wilderness guides At Fort Laramie in what’s now eastern Wyoming Parkman sets out with a band of Sioux for the Black Hills He lives with them hunts with them eats with them and smokes with them for two monthsParkman explains that he’s had a lifelong fascination with the Indians As an historian he would go on to spend most of his career analyzing the story of their relations with the French and British colonists In order to experience the life of aboriginal Americans in an uncivilized state he’s travelled halfway across the continent It’s remarkable then how little curiosity he exhibits To him the Sioux in whose company he’s living are for the most part unenlightened savages He frankly considers them stupid cruel stubborn backward He doesn’t ask or doesn’t think worth reporting much of what they have to say about the world and their place in it What does the universe look like to the Sioux in the summer of 1846 Parkman doesn’t explore the uestion deeply By the time he’s making his retreat to St Louis at summer’s end you get the idea that he’s sick to death of Indians and will cheer on their eventual genocideThat’s probably putting it too strongly but the fact is that Parkman’s sympathetic imagination utterly fails him And not only with regard to the Indians The white man preferably Anglo Saxon and Protestant he considers the paragon of creation The Indians he places lower; but lower still he explicitly states are most of the unlettered French Canadian mountain men the Mexicans with whom the United States has just entered into war and the Mormon “fanatics” on their way over the mountains where Parkman speculates they’ll try to forge a Californian empireThe perfect vermin of the earth for Parkman however isn’t human at all It’s the buffalo I’m not going to suggest that he owes the beasts the same debt of sympathy he owes his fellow man but his unrelenting campaign of bloodlust against the buffalo – especially on the return trip – gets hard to stomachHerman Melville reviewing the book a couple years after its publication gives Parkman a righteous chastisement for his lack of curiosity and fellow feeling Melville in his own masterpiece goes to some length especially considering the era to avoid the same pitfall His Tashtego and ueeueg are fully realized and fully sympathetic men eual heirs and possessors of earth and sea with Ishmael himselfHowever as Melville says once he’s put away the stick Parkman’s book is nonetheless successful wonderfully so full of fascinating observations of frontier and wilderness life hilarious and pitiful anecdotes and vignettes gritty character sketches and reportage Parkman is a good writer and the story he tells is utterly fresh and bracing Despite its flaws The Oregon Trail is a real “treasure” of American letters and history There’s less sympathy than we might have hoped for yes but thankfully there’s even less sentimentality In the end Parkman’s limitations don’t let us off the hook It becomes necessary for us to exercise our sympathetic imagination as readers for the benefit of Parkman who so freuently fails to exercise his own for the benefit of his subjects

  2. Claudia Claudia says:

    I was disappointed in this book I had highly anticipated reading this book for several years I had the impression it was about a journey from Missouri to Oregon or California on the Oregon Trail The author only traveled perhaps half of the trail and did not comment or even mention the iconic landmarks like Chimney Rock Or what it felt like to ride in a Conestoga Wagon Rather the author regaled us with reasons why the white man was so superior Indeed he ranked in order men of the prairie thusly 1 Whites 2 Indians 3 Mexicans Gave a biased snap shot of life on the prairie and demonstrated why there are no buffalo left they were all shot some for sport and trophies; some for food The Native Americans depended in them to live The book shows the beginning of the destruction of the prairie and the beginning of the displacement if the Native American

  3. Cliff Harrison Cliff Harrison says:

    This is an illustrated true story by Francis Parkman an American historian who takes you over the Oregon Trail breaking new frontier in the early American West Parkman went on a 2000 mile journey through the wilderness of the American West that would take him six months to reach the end of his trail Fort Laramie He wrote several historical books as a result of his journey including The Oregon TrailReaders should beware Parkman never went to Oregon as the title inspires His goal was to meet and study the Indians Coming West to meet the Indians is why he made the trip not to go to Oregon Fort Laramie was his destination and turn around point where he headed back East after his mission was complete The Oregon Trail is an easy to read young adult type book that reads like a Western novel complete with illustrations But it's not fiction it is the historical recording 23 year old Parkman a recent Harvard College student wrote during his journey from the East to the great American West A gifted writer who captured history as his wagon train travels across the Great Plains the American prairie through Indian land and buffalo ranges He was fascinated with the Native American people and that was his primary motivation factor in heading West into untested wilderness territory to meet these people and write about them Parkman's book makes a great read for anyone who wants to escape the modern world and venture into the wagon trails of the Old West where danger and risk are an hourly part of life and death Parkman wasn't only a historian he was a good writer who wrote good ol' stories It's a book that you don't want to close the back cover on you want it to keep on going Unfortunately it does not And the greatest let down to most people is the title was a bit deceiving since the wagon train that moved slowly up the Oregon Trail never arrived in Oregon Still it was a good read with a great little story

  4. Jay Jay says:

    This surprised me in a number of ways First the author doesn’t make it much farther down the Oregon Trail than Wyoming due to ill health running out of good weather and an opportunity to do some travelling with an Indian band Second the writing holds up well To me this read modernly than many of the books I’ve read from the turn of the century some 50 years later Parkman’s goal was to describe what he saw and did and he does this with vigor but not an overwhelming amount of Victorian era flourish And there was a good amount of humor especially on his return trip taking along an oafish “soldier” He writes about the Indian tribes but also of the fellow travelers of the trail the occasional soldiers the French trappers turned trail leaders that manage to keep his group mostly alive the bad guys and the good buffalo and uicksand You also got a good idea for Parkman’s personality – at times Parkman focuses on his illness at times he expounds on how races should be ranked I found the writing interesting but at times it felt a bit lengthy It became repetitive fording rivers killing buffalo and meeting up with people of uestionable intents On reflection there were so many ways Parkman and his fellow travelers narrowly escaped death that it is a wonder they returned That is the allure of this book to young adventurous types It reads like a recent Western with lots of action and lots of description I’ll be reading Parkman

  5. Thom Swennes Thom Swennes says:

    The title of this narrative is somewhat ambiguous as in the author’s own words the primary goal of this account is to relay the life and customs of the plains Indians One would imagine that the title would indicate that the author actually went to Oregon which he didn’t He undertook this westward trek in an attempt to satisfy his curiosity as at the time he couldn’t find reliable published references at the time This book was first published in 1849 and describes the sights difficulties and tribulations of a trip across the country to the Rocky Mountains Stories of hunting and fur traders spur the imagination and the reader can almost picture the unspoiled vista of endless forests and plains The amazingly descriptive accounts paint a vivid picture of proud Indian tribes at the zenith of their evolution He had little idea that most of the tribes he met and befriended would be extinct less than a century later The description of a prairie dog town that he observed would easily serve as an inspiration for Watership Down Even though he claimed an affinity for the buffalo this didn’t deter him from arbitrarily and indiscriminately killing them This book had a number of shortcomings but made up much with color Most people interested in this time would enjoy this book

  6. Heidi Burkhart Heidi Burkhart says:

    Parkman was not a great writer but did write what appears to be an accurate account of his experiences I mistakenly thought he was traveling with a wagon train on the trail but this is not so What disturbed me were the many blunders that occurred and the wanton slaughter of so many animals especially bison on their journey

  7. Numidica Numidica says:

    Very interesting in an 1846 kind of way I read it in college years ago

  8. Illiterate Illiterate says:

    Although Parkman presumably thinks the Indians are interesting he has little liking or empathy for them

  9. Dimitris Papastergiou Dimitris Papastergiou says:

    It was ok Almost rated 3 stars butThe Oregon Trail or Let's Shoot Some Buffalo or Indians Suck Whites RuleI really love the way Parkman describes a scene and for that and that only I'll read of his stuff and try something else too what made me not put 3 stars was that he was talking about shooting buffalo so much that at some point I was searching for a page in the damn book that didn't include the word buffalo like seriously we get it you shot and hunt buffalos for fun and food and whatever WE GET IT And also the constant hate on mexicans and indians that went along with the constant white men rule all and we're superior and with all of his fancy talking That's a bit excused cuz it's my personal pet peeve fancy talkers Every now and then he would think of something he said when something would happen and that something would be such an amazing thing to say at the moment like it's straight out of a fucking poem so no you're not convincing to me and I won't bite and I'll be cringing to your uotesAnyway so for all of that plus all the racism he gets one star off cuz it made me angry lots of times while reading The dude REALLY hates indians and he makes sure to talk about it lots of timesAs I explained in other books about those times I choose not to judge someone's book based on what it was like to live in times like these back then and whatnot but I choose to judge someone's book by what the person's like so if you're a racist like Twain or Parkman or whoever you're shitty and that's that for me because people who weren't fucking racists they too were alive back thenOh well it was ok I liked the theme and times I love the old west and the way he describes everything from the places to the tribes and whatnot he's writings are holding up great even though sometimes I kinda doubt that some things happened the way he says they did mostly cuz of what was happening Parkman should be dead like a handful of times from a buffalo to an accident happening or illness or whatever And that makes me wanna read of his stuff to really get into his books

  10. Mary Soderstrom Mary Soderstrom says:

    For this nebulous book about roads I'm working on I picked up American historian Francis Parkman's The Oregon Trail this week Myexperience this summer in what was the Oregon Territory started me think about the routes that settlers took going West and I wanted to refresh my memoryWhoops To my surprise I found that I'd not read Parkman's book although it has been sitting on my shelf for probably 20 years The historian was in his 20s when he set out with a friend in 1846 to travel across the continent He didn't make it to the Pacific but his account of his travels has all the exciting immediacy of the very best travel writing as well as the weight of an historical document His health never all that good was ruined on the trip Nevertheless despite the fact his illness several times rendered him blind so that he had to have documents read to him he went on to write a series of about New France and its relations with the British that have no peer in English and some would say not in French eitherThey areConspiracy of Pontiac 1851The Pioneers of France in the New World 1865The Jesuits in North America in the Seventeenth Century 1867La Salle and the Discovery of the Great West 1869The Old Régime in Canada 1874Count Frontenac and New France under Louis XIV 1877Montcalm and Wolfe 1884A Half Century of Conflict 1892But The Oregon Trail is in a different register There are moment when I gnashed my teeth about his snobbism but I was found myself being carried away just as I was by Darwin's The Voyage of the Beagle journals and Bruce Chatwin's uite different but similarly thought provoking The Songlines Great reading when Fall begins to settle down around us but wanderlust persists The book is available in several editions and also as an e book at Project Gutenberg

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The Oregon Trail [PDF / Epub] ★ The Oregon Trail By Francis Parkman – The Oregon Trail is the gripping account of Francis Parkman's journey west across North America in 1846 After crossing the Allegheny Mountains by coach and continuing by boat and wagon to Westport Mis The Oregon Trail is the gripping account of Francis Parkman's journey west across North America in After crossing the Allegheny Mountains by coach and continuing by boat and wagon to Westport Missouri he set out with three companions on a horseback journey that would ultimately take him over two thousand miles In the course of his travels Parkman encountered numerous Indians living among a Sioux tribe for a time as well as meeting traders trappers andemigrants searching for a new lifeHis detailed description of the journey set against the vast majesty of the The Oregon MOBI :º Great Plains has emerged through the generations as a classic narrative of one man's exploration of the American Wilderness It is a journey which has shaped our picture of mid nineteenth century America and which has influenced our perception of American civilization CONTENTSIntroduction I The Frontier II Breaking The Ice III Fort Leavenworth IV jumping Off V The big Blue VI The Platte And The Desert VII The Buffalo VIII Taking French Leave IX Scenes At Fort Laramie X The War parties XI Scenes At The Camp XII Ill luck XIII Hunting Indians XIV The Ogallallah Village XV The Hunting Camp XVI The Trappers XVII The Black Hills XVIII A Mountain Hunt XIX Passage Of The Mountains XX The Lonely Journey XXI The Pueblo And Bent's Fort XXII Tete Rouge The Volunteer XXIII Indian Alarms XXIV The Chase XXV The Buffalo camp XXVI Down The Arkansas XXVIII The Settlements This book published in has been reformatted for the Kindle and may contain an occasional defect from the original publication or from the reformatting.

  • Kindle Edition
  • 332 pages
  • The Oregon Trail
  • Francis Parkman
  • English
  • 20 October 2015

About the Author: Francis Parkman

Francis Parkman was an American historianHe is best known as author of The Oregon Trail Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life and his seven volume France and England in North America These works are still valued as historical sources and as literature He was also a leading horticulturist briefly a Professor of Horticulture at Harvard University and author of several books on the topic.