Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey

Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey

Women s Diaries of the Westward Journey More than a quarter of a million Americans crossed the continental United States between and going west in one of the greatest migrations of modern times The frontiersmen have become an int

  • Title: Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey
  • Author: Lillian Schlissel Mary Clearman Blew
  • ISBN: 9780805211764
  • Page: 372
  • Format: Paperback
  • 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.ThrouMore 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.

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      Published :2019-08-13T15:27:20+00:00

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    Ever wonder why 19th-century American women who were reasonably comfortable in their lives would want to leave loved ones behind, perhaps forever, and endure the considerable dangers and hardships of the westward migration to Oregon or California? Well, they didn't want to--the author quotes their actual words to make the case that most went only because fathers or husbands insisted. Girls, most of whom married in their mid-teens, and their mothers really didn't have a choice. They also didn't g [...]

    After reading this great book I have so much admiration for these pioneer women. The whole giving birth on the way west experience is beyond comprehension for me but these were very tough women. If you're seeking more information about the westward migration this book is for you.

    I love books like this--excerpts from actual diaries of women who traveled to Oregon & California from the east. Plus, the editor had really done her research on these 94 women, to the extent of adding notes that made their difficult situations even more enlightening. For example, when Amelia Stewart White writes of having to climb out of the wagon to make it lighter and stumble for 3 miles through mud, over rocks, and being slapped by branches, she fails to mention that she is eight months [...]

    The title of this book is a bit of a misnomer. I got this book thinking it would be full of diaries from women making the journey westward. However, the first 3/4 of this book is a narrative from the author about the history of the trail and the wagon trains as a whole with only little snippets from women's diaries. Schlissel does include 3-4 actual diary entries in the back of the book, which I enjoyed, but I wish there were more. Still, I learned a lot I didn't know about the conditions the ov [...]

    Written more from an anthropological point-of-view than from a diaries themselves, this book makes many interesting observations about the motivations and situations of women who traveled in the overland journey, whether seeking gold in California, land in Oregon, or just moving toward what they hoped would be a better future. They were overwhelmingly young and their lives were made so difficult by the choice (often not theirs) to move and travel in this fashion. Interesting and informative.

    Just paged through it and read one of the diaries. Well laid out, great photographs and heartbreaking stories. It might take me a while to read this, but it is excellent information.

    A dry read (felt like I was reading it for an 8th grade book report), but I learned some interesting tidbits. Of particular interest is the attitude towards pregnancy. The women don't even mention the pregnancies in their diaries until the child is born. There seemed to be this weird cult of silence/denial around the dangers of giving birth. A diarist will comment about how a woman died and her baby is just two days old, but they would never come out and say a woman died of childbirth. A defense [...]

    How anyone made it across the Oregon Road or Overland Pass is still a mystery to me. These people were incredibly strong willed and determined especially the women. I liked the book, however I would have liked to have read more of the actual diary entries. If your expecting a book containing many diaries you will be dissapointed. The book only contains 4 diaries and the rest you will see small snippets from others explaining certain situation that everyone faced as they made this trek. Their wer [...]

    Purchased this in Oregon while on vacation, as we traveled over the mountains and through the passes which the pioneers risked their lives to cross. Lillian Schlissel not only collected hundreds of diaries written between the 1840s-1860s, but she compared and synthesized them to get a better understanding of what it was really like for the women who came west. The first half of the book is her analysis and observations, and the last half is 4 actual diaries of women who completed the journey. Lo [...]

    I picked this book up because I love reading about history (or Herstory in this case.) The women's diaries were very interesting, but less than half of the book is devoted to them. The first half reads like poorly organized notes for a college paper. I was surprised that it was written by a Professor Emerita. I had to force myself to keep reading until I got to the diaries. I did enjoy the diaries and glimpses into lives that I could only imagine. I know I would not have had the fortitude to mak [...]

    I found this book very interesting and very accessible - it reads like a novel.The first half of the book is a historical explanation and account of the westward journey from the point of view of women. The second half regroups a few diaries of the trail by women. There are also quite a lot of photographs, which I really enjoyed.I would definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the topic.

    I found this book really interesting. This is one of those periods in history that I love to read and learn about, especially from the female perspective. This book brought to life a lot of the struggles that were only experienced by women. I recommend it to any one who is interesting in women crossing the plains in hopes of a better life

    While much of this book is not directly from diaries, it effectively conveys the hardship and sacrifice women made to accompany their husbands west. Much has been written about the westward expansion in America, but very little from a woman's perspective. I found it interesting and inspiring.

    It seemed to me as though this book took what was written in the diaries of a few women who came West in wagons and then the author twisted what they said to fit into her preconceived idea of how she thought women would have acted. There were several things that she talks about that just don't fit with how women acted back then with modern takes on them, mostly in the childbirth area. She talks about how a woman had a child six-seven months into the journey and how she must have known she was ex [...]

    Though uncomfortably silent on the impact westward expansion had on the people already living there, I loved this book. First hand accounts of life on the prairie, carefully edited into a compelling and readable package (because, face it, most people's journals -- my own included -- can be kind of rubbish). A woman's experience of the west is vastly different from what we see in films, and this book is a good reminder that the next time you see John Wayne rock up to the farm house table, you bet [...]

    Good reading. Was interesting to hear from the pioneers themselves what was involved in going from city life out east to a great unknown frontier on the west coast (Oregon or California). The native Americans were more often helpful than murderous. They were willing to serve as guides, river portage help, and also wanted to trade food or leather items for whatever the travelers could part with. So much death along the trails! Many more died from cholera, smallpox or other diseases than anything [...]

    I really learned some things from this book. It's divided into two parts: a research and analysis part, and a sampling of actual diaries. I soaked up both parts, but the second part I related to better. I just got back from traveling all over the northern California and Oregon. It really puts these women's experiences in perspective! My assessment is that they were incredibly tough, and people today should try to take a frontier approach to many of life's problems. I recommended!

    A clear eyed look at the travails of the Oregon traila piece of history that can be romanticized but shouldn't be. The trail was harrowing with death, disease, drownings, some Indian attacks, loss of horses, oxen and cattle, storms, and difficult ascents and descents. Many women traveled with small children and many were also pregnant and gave birth on the trail or gave their lives giving birth.

    Written in a textbook form with end notes galore, this gives accounts of various women traveling west between 1840 and 1870. Piecing together the actions and thoughts from a smattering of notes is difficult, but the author seems to do a great job.

    I will be fair and rate this book with three stars. The three stars are for Professor Schlissel's thoughtful approach in guiding readers of women pioneers of the Gold Rush of the 1800s. Other than the historical facts, this book does not come across as creative or individualistic. As a woman hungry for good literature, I want to identify with the women who write the diaries or have a perspective on how other races of women survived the hardships of the journey from Fort Independence to Oregon an [...]

    This was actually the second time I've read this book, and I get something different out of it every time. I love the accounts of the trail, both written in the women's own hand and the summaries by the author. I think the summaries work in that they keep the book moving and theme-centered. This book makes us realize how far we've come in our comforts and thankful that I'm not washing clothes in a river and drying them on bushes or hanging them in a dirty conestoga wagon. Then there's the daily [...]

    I had read this book back in highschool, and thought I should revisit it. Wow. This book will certainly make one appreciate the day and times we live in. These families who made the westward journey by wagon train in the late 1840's- 1860's were some tough people who daily faced hardships and death. Most of the diaries that were featured in this book lost someone they loved to disease, accidents, drowning or Indian raids along the way. It's very sobering to read and made me realize what a pamper [...]

    I forget how this book came up in my radar, but when a bookswap finally delivered me my aged, battered, water-stained copy, I was a bit taken aback. I don't remember this book, I thought. Huh. That hardly stopped me from sitting down to immediately begin reading this, though. I damn near finished it in that one sitting.Histories, particularly well-written ones, tend to fascinate me. I've seen some reviews of this book that expressed displeasure in Schlissel's essays; they preferred the original [...]

    This is a very interesting look at life on the Oregon Trail from 1842 to 1866 focusing on the journey form the point of view of the women who made the trip. The book is non-fiction and pulls together common threads form hundreds of women's letters and diaries. The latter part of the book are reproductions of a number of actual diaries. One of the most surprising things I learned form this book is that women were expected to give birth on the side of the trail or in a wagon, and carry one with tr [...]

    Women's Diaries of the Westward Journey is an analysis of women's diaries chronicling the overland route taken by families to find their fortune in California. And I have to say that I think Lillian Schlissel has done a wonderful job. I picked this up at a library sale, not really expecting much but wanting to check it out anyway, and I was pleasantly surprised. Schlissel presents a solid and clear analysis of the diaries and gives the reader enough background information to really get into the [...]

    Wow! I ate this book up. What I learned? I learned about life on a wagon train, and, reading several journal entries from the men and women on the same wagon train I learned that the innate differences between men and women are so necessary for people to be able to survive. The men only talked about the weather, and the soil. Rarely did they mention other people on the wagon train. The women's journals were full of the people, the life, when someone got sick, who they were, if they diedd who too [...]

    An excellent book about the westward expansion of the new frontier told through the diaries of the wives and mothers who left comfortable lives behind as they joined their husbands to start new ones. Childbirth and motherhood are hard enough, but imagine how it was to experience these things on the trail.I first learned of this book while listening to a CD by 10,000 Maniacs. Natalie Merchant read a passage from it before singing the song "Gold Rush Brides," which I assume was inspired by Women's [...]

    Finished this book last week. Wow - This is a must read!• Vital historical record (what the title says)• Well-written.• Lots of little-known, mundane but interesting details. • The pioneer women showed colossal strength & courage in keeping their families together on what was a physically and emotionally grueling journey.When you read "within 12 days time, Amelia Knight would give birth to her eighth child. As [her] last diary entries are read, one must imagine her in the final days [...]

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