Covered Wagon Women, Volume 3
Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails, 1851
Kenneth L. Holmes
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Imprint: Bison Books
eBook ISBN: 9780803280861
The wagon trains to California greatly decreased in 1851 as reports
of deadly cholera on the trail the year before and strikeouts in
gold prospecting became known. Those who did go west—about 2,160
men and 1,440 women—tended toward Oregon's rich Willamette Valley
because of a new federal land law that awarded a husband and wife a
full section. Volume 3 of Covered Wagon Women contains the diaries
and letters of six Oregon-bound women, as well as the journal of an
English Mormon woman who described her experience all the way from
Liverpool to Salt Lake City. The words of these pioneer women
convey their exhilaration, courage, exhaustion, and terror in
traveling so far into the unknown.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kenneth L. Holmes was a professor of history at Western Oregon State College. He edited and compiled Covered Wagon Women, drawing on archives and private sources.
Susan H. Armitage is a professor of history at Washington State University, author of many books about women in the West, and the former faculty editor of Frontiers.