Family Life on the Trail West

What was it like for the women and children on the wagon trains on the epic treks across mid-19th-century America? Elliott West draws on diaries and letters in this portrait of their hopes, fears, trials and tragedies.

At the trail's end, most recognised that they had completed both a trip and a testing, a passage both of geography and character. It was now time to look ahead. 'Tomorrow our long march will be ended,' Mollie Sanford wrote on the eve of arrival. 'I am thankful we are alive. I ought to think more of this than other affairs.'

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