The Oregon Trail By Francis Parkman, Jr.















































































































































 - THE OREGON TRAIL

by Francis Parkman, Jr.



CONTENTS


I  THE FRONTIER

II  BREAKING THE ICE

III  FORT LEAVENWORTH

IV  JUMPING - Page 1
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THE OREGON TRAIL

By Francis Parkman, Jr.

CONTENTS

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 OGALLALLA VILLAGR

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

XXVII THE SETTLEMENTS

CHAPTER I

THE FRONTIER

Last spring, 1846, was a busy season in the City of St. Louis. Not only were emigrants from every part of the country preparing for the journey to Oregon and California, but an unusual number of traders were making ready their wagons and outfits for Santa Fe. Many of the emigrants, especially of those bound for California, were persons of wealth and standing. The hotels were crowded, and the gunsmiths and saddlers were kept constantly at work in providing arms and equipments for the different parties of travelers. Almost every day steamboats were leaving the levee and passing up the Missouri, crowded with passengers on their way to the frontier.

In one of these, the Radnor, since snagged and lost, my friend and relative, Quincy A. Shaw, and myself, left St. Louis on the 28th of April, on a tour of curiosity and amusement to the Rocky Mountains. The boat was loaded until the water broke alternately over her guards. Her upper deck was covered with large weapons 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, and not far distant a tent, together with a miscellaneous assortment of boxes and barrels. The whole equipage was far from prepossessing in its appearance; yet, such as it was, it was destined to a long and arduous journey, on which the persevering reader will accompany it.

The passengers on board the Radnor corresponded with her freight. In her cabin were Santa Fe traders, gamblers, speculators, and adventurers of various descriptions, and her steerage was crowded with Oregon emigrants, "mountain men," negroes, and a party of Kansas Indians, who had been on a visit to St. Louis.

Thus laden, the boat struggled upward for seven or eight days against the rapid current of the Missouri, grating upon snags, and hanging for two or three hours at a time upon sand-bars. We entered the mouth of the Missouri in a drizzling rain, but the weather soon became clear, and showed distinctly the broad and turbid river, with its eddies, its sand-bars, its ragged islands, and forest-covered shores.

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