Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey

Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey


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More than a quarter of a million Americans crossed the continental United States between 1840 and 1870, going west in one of the greatest migrations of modern times. The frontiersmen have become an integral part of our history and folklore, but the Westering experiences of American women are equally central to an accurate picture of what life was like on the frontier.

Through the diaries, letters, and reminiscences of women who participated in this migration, Women’s Diaries of the Westward Journey gives us primary source material on the lives of these women, who kept campfires burning with buffalo chips and dried weeds, gave birth to and cared for children along primitive and dangerous roads, drove teams of oxen, picked berries, milked cows, and cooked meals in the middle of a wilderness that was a far cry from the homes they had left back east. Still (and often under the disapproving eyes of their husbands) they found time to write brave letters home or to jot a few weary lines at night into the diaries that continue to enthrall us.

In her new foreword, Professor Mary Clearman Blew explores the enduring fascination with this subject among both historians and the general public, and places Schlissel’s groundbreaking work into an intriguing historical and cultural context.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780805211764
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/06/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 125,485
Product dimensions: 6.04(w) x 10.62(h) x 0.82(d)

About the Author

Lillian Schlissel is Professor Emerita at Brooklyn College. She is the coeditor of Far from Home: Families of the Westward Journey and of The Western Women’s Reader. She lives in New York City.

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Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A truly wonderful book, filled with person to person 'true life' accounts of their trials and tribulations. I truly felt as if I rode in their wagon too! I experienced their happiness, sorrow, weariness, excitement and fear. It was some journey. I cannot wait to go on the next one...
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a must-read for anyone interested in what life was like for the women who made this incredible journey. Faced with innumerable obstacles and hardships, these brave and stong-willed women were fiercely determined to make the best of what life had thrown at them. A truly inspiring story that will make you appreciate even the tiniest luxuries in life today.
nnnnnn More than 1 year ago
A great inside view of those brave pioneers that crossed the US. I loved this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago