Narrative of the Adventures of Zenas Leonard

Narrative of the Adventures of Zenas Leonard

Narrative of the Adventures of Zenas Leonard

Narrative of the Adventures of Zenas Leonard

Excerpt

[This Introduction has been condensed from the Historical Introduction by Milo Milton Quaife in the Lakeside Classics edition of Narrative of the Adventures of Zenas Leonard.]

In the spring of 1831 a young Pennsylvanian, Zenas Leonard, embarked from St. Louis in a company of seventy men who had formed an expedition for the purpose of trapping furs and trading with the Indians in the Rocky Mountains. After four years of wandering which took him to the then strange land of Spanish California, he returned to his parental home in Clearfield, Pennsylvania, in the autumn of 1835, where he was greeted by his relatives as one returned from the dead. So great was the interest aroused in the recital of the wonders he had experienced that he finally became tired of repeating his story to succeeding groups of auditors, and to save himself the trouble of doing so, he wrote it out for publication in the local paper. For some reason it was published only in part at the time, but two or three years later the enterprising editor of the Clearfield Republican procured the manuscript, and in addition to printing it in his paper, issued it in book form in 1839.

The printing was crudely done (apparently the type used in the newspaper was utilized also for the book), but the narrative thus preserved is one of great human interest and of decided historical value. It was long . . .

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