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As Far As The Eye Could Reach

Author: Phyllis S. Morgan
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806152990
Size: 22.20 MB
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Travelers and traders taking the Santa Fe Trail’s routes from Missouri to New Mexico wrote vivid eyewitness accounts of the diverse and abundant wildlife encountered as they crossed arid plains, high desert, and rugged mountains. Most astonishing to these observers were the incredible numbers of animals, many they had not seen before—buffalo, antelope (pronghorn), prairie dogs, roadrunners, mustangs, grizzlies, and others. They also wrote about the domesticated animals they brought with them, including oxen, mules, horses, and dogs. Their letters, diaries, and memoirs open a window onto an animal world on the plains seen by few people other than the Plains Indians who had lived there for thousands of years. Phyllis S. Morgan has gleaned accounts from numerous primary sources and assembled them into a delightfully informative narrative. She has also explored the lives of the various species, and in this book tells about their behaviors and characteristics, the social relations within and between species, their relationships with humans, and their contributions to the environment and humankind. With skillful prose and a keen eye for a priceless tale, Morgan reanimates the story of life on the Santa Fe Trail’s well-worn routes, and its sometimes violent intersection with human life. She provides a stirring view of the land and of the animals visible “as far as the eye could reach,” as more than one memoirist described. She also champions the many contributions animals made to the Trail’s success and to the opening of the American West.

Tom Jeffords

Author: Doug Hocking
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1493026380
Size: 58.55 MB
Format: PDF, Mobi
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The first full-length biography of the Western legend Tom Jeffords, immortalized by Jimmy Stewart in 1950’s Broken Arrow. This book tells the true story of a man who headed West drawn by the lure of the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush in 1858; made a life for himself over a decade as he scouted for the army, prospected, became a business man; then learned the Apache language and rode alone into Cochise’s camp in order to negotiate peaceful passage for his stagecoach company. In his search for the real story of Jeffords, Cochise, and the parts they played in mid-nineteenth century American history and politics, author Doug Hocking reveals that while the myths surrounding those events may have clouded the truth a bit, Jeffords was almost as brave and impressive as the legend had it.

Sapiens

Author: Yuval Noah Harari
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 0062316109
Size: 41.23 MB
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New York Times Bestseller A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us? Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

Down The Santa Fe Trail And Into Mexico

Author: Susan Shelby Magoffin
Publisher: U of Nebraska Press
ISBN: 9780803281165
Size: 25.16 MB
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In June 1846 Susan Shelby Magoffin, eighteen years old and a bride of less than eight months, set out with her husband, a veteran Santa Fe trader, on a trek from Independence, Missouri, through New Mexico and south to Chihuahua. Her travel journal was written at a crucial time, when the Mexican War was beginning and New Mexico was occupied by Stephen Watts Kearny and the Army of the West. Her journal describes the excitement, routine, and dangers of a successful merchant's wife. On the trail for fifteen months, moving from house to house and town to town, she became adept in Spanish and the lingo of traders, and wrote down in detail the customs and appearances of places she went. She gave birth to her first child during the journey and admitted, "This thing of marrying is not what it is cracked up to be." Valuable as a social and historical record of her encounters—she met Zachary Taylor and was agreeably disappointed to find him disheveled but kindly—her journal is equally important as a chronicle of her growing intelligence, experience, and strength, her lost illusions and her coming to terms with herself.

Changes In The Land

Author: William Cronon
Publisher: Hill and Wang
ISBN: 142992828X
Size: 53.55 MB
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Winner of the Francis Parkman Prize Changes in the Land offers an original and persuasive interpretation of the changing circumstances in New England's plant and animal communities that occurred with the shift from Indian to European dominance. With the tools of both historian and ecologist, Cronon constructs an interdisciplinary analysis of how the land and the people influenced one another, and how that complex web of relationships shaped New England's communities.

This Far Off Wild Land

Author: Lesley Wischmann
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
ISBN: 0806189339
Size: 15.30 MB
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In the mid-1800s, Andrew Dawson, self-exiled from his home in Scotland, joined the upper Missouri River fur trade and rose through the ranks of the American Fur Company. A headstrong young man, he had come to America at the age of twenty-four after being dismissed from his second job in two years. His poignant sense of isolation is evident throughout his letters home between 1844 and 1861. In This Far-Off Wild Land, Lesley Wischmann and Andrew Erskine Dawson—a relative of this colorful figure—couple an engaging biography of Dawson with thirty-seven of his previously unpublished letters from the American frontier. Three years after he landed in St. Louis, Dawson went up the Missouri in 1847 to what is now North Dakota and Montana, taking command of Fort Berthold, Fort Clark, and eventually Fort Benton, the premier fur trade post of the day. Fort Berthold and Fort Clark, where Dawson worked until 1854, remain two of the least documented American Fur Company posts. His letters infuse life, and occasional high drama, to the stories of these forgotten outposts. At Fort Benton, his insight in establishing commercial warehouses helped the company keep pace with the changing frontier. By the time Dawson returned to Scotland—after twenty years in what he labeled a far-off, wild land—he had risen to become the last “King of the Upper Missouri.” Thoughtfully annotated, Dawson’s letters, discovered only recently by his relatives, provide a rare glimpse into the lonely life of a fur trader in the 1840s and 1850s. Unlike the impersonal business correspondence that makes up most fur trade writings, Dawson’s letters are wonderfully human, suffused with raw emotion. Combining careful research with a compelling story, the authors flesh out the forces that shaped Dawson’s personality and the historical events he recorded.