Covered Wagon Women
Diaries and Letters from the West 1840–1890
Covered Wagon Women Series
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: The Arthur H. Clark Company
276 Pages | 6 x 9 | 6 b&w illus., 1 map
These letters and diaries reflect both the unique perspective of youthful optimism and the experiences common among all female emigrants. The young women write of friendship and family, trail hardships, and explorations such as visits to Indian gravesites. Some like Sallie Hester even write of enjoying the company of men, and many speculate about marriage prospects. Domestic roles did not define the girls’ trail experience; only the four oldest in this collection recorded helping with chores. As they journey through Indian lands, these writers show that even their youth did not prevent them from holding notions of white racial superiority.
Two of the selections are newly published, having appeared only in limited-distribution collector’s editions of the original series. For all readers captivated by the first Best of Covered Wagon Women collection, this new volume’s focus on youthful travelers adds a fresh perspective to life on the trail.