Tales of the Frontier: From Lewis and Clark to the Last Roundup

Tales of the Frontier: From Lewis and Clark to the Last Roundup

Tales of the Frontier: From Lewis and Clark to the Last Roundup

Tales of the Frontier: From Lewis and Clark to the Last Roundup

Excerpt

During the past thirty years while gathering data for my books on the social history of the frontier, I have now and then found a story which appealed to me and have jotted down the source for future reference, thinking that it was good enough to share with others. When the idea of issuing these stories in book form took root and I saw that certain activities on the frontier were unrepresented, I began to hunt for specific stories which would help to round out the picture of conditions on the frontier during the century covered.

Naturally a story is often unique or exceptional rather than typical; that is what makes it worth the telling. The reader then should not necessarily think of the happenings recounted here as routine. To do so would be to gain a misconception of typical daily frontier life. The stories are specimens of what could and did happen on occasion as a result of conditions which normally obtain on the frontier.

Some of the stories are condensations of much longer accounts. Some are told practically in the words of the source. In no case has any fictional material been added or revision made which has changed the spirit contrary to the facts. The names used are those of the actual persons.

The stories are all true or at least have been told as true. No attempt has been made to go behind the scenes to discover whether the narrator was telling the truth, but obviously erroneous details have been brought into accord with historical fact. Some of these tales are old classics. Some are comparatively unknown, having been gleaned from original sources such as old journals or reminiscences written by historically obscure persons.

As far as possible almost every type of occupation or activity on the frontier is represented. These stories have been tried out on my students for the past three decades in an attempt to make the frontier live in the classroom. It is my hope that this volume may not only bring enjoyment to the reader but may at the same time help him to better appreciate our American heritage.

Everett Dick . . .

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