'A staggering amount of research has been done in assembling and editing this material...[This] book is a prized addition to our knowledge of the more obscure early trails leading to California' - "American Historical Review". Western history is all the richer thanks to LeRoy and Ann Hafen, who have assembled a fascinating array of diaries and memoirs of forty-niners who set out from Salt Lake City toward California's gold fields over the Old Spanish Trail. For many would-be gold miners, this dry, dangerous route was preferable to crossing the Sierra Nevada.The Donner party disaster was only three years old and fresh in the minds of many. In reality, the choice of the southern route did not ease travelers' efforts. The unremitting heat and lack of water killed more people and animals than the snows of the mountains. Jacob Stover's narrative provides fine descriptions of these challenges, especially the difficulty in transporting supplies. Of added interest is the journal of Henry Bigler, a former member of the Mormon Battalion, who was the first person to record Marshall's discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill. LeRoy R. Hafen and Ann W. Hafen collaborated on "The Joyous Journey: An Autobiography" and "Handcarts to Zion: The Story of a Unique Western Migration, 1856-1860" (also a Bison Book).
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Number of pages: 333
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
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