Three Western Narratives

Front Cover
Library of America, 2004 - History - 998 pages
America's first internationally acclaimed author, Washington Irving established his fame with tales of the Hudson Valley in the days of Dutch rule, and then spent seventeen years in Europe mining the Old World for stories. When he finally returned to the United States, he embarked on a trilogy of books on the American West that would prove decisive in molding his compatriots' conception of the Great Plains, the Rocky Mountains, and the Pacific Northwest. The Library of America presents this Western trilogy in its third volume of Irving's work.

Irving's own encounter with the West came in 1832 when he accompanied the Commissioner of Indian Affairs on a month-long journey to what is now eastern Oklahoma. His account of that trip, A Tour on the Prairies (1835), described wild landscape, rugged inhabitants, and dramatic chases and hunts with an eye for romantic sublimity and a keen appreciation of the frontiersman's "secret of personal freedom."

After the success of his first western book, Irving undertook to write the history of John Jacob Astor's ultimately failed attempt to establish a fur-trading empire in the Northwest. In Astoria (1836), he created a sweeping epic of exploration, commercial enterprise, and "contest for dominion on the shores of the Pacific," drawing on Astor's rich archive of materials and enlivening it with his flair for vigorous storytelling.

In The Adventures of Captain Bonneville (1837), Irving focused on a single memorable figure--an army officer and fur trader who may also have been an American spy tracking British ambitions in the far country--to reveal the flavor of frontier life in the Rockies and beyond.

LIBRARY OF AMERICA is an independent nonprofit cultural organization founded in 1979 to preserve our nation's literary heritage by publishing, and keeping permanently in print, America's best and most significant writing. The Library of America series includes more than 300 volumes to date, authoritative editions that average 1,000 pages in length, feature cloth covers, sewn bindings, and ribbon markers, and are printed on premium acid-free paper that will last for centuries.
 

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Three western narratives

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The author's name immediately conjures visions of headless riders and long-sleeping hunters, but in his day Irving was a noted travel writer. This latest offering from the Library of America collects ... Read full review

Contents

INTRODUCTION
7
The Pawnee hunting groundsTravelling
13
An Indian agencyRiflemenOsages
20
Trail of the Osage huntersDeparture
29
The honey camp
38
Amusements in the campConsultations
44
Breaking up the encampmentPicturesque
49
THE CAMP OF THE GLEN Camp gossip
57
Departure from Fort OsageModes
643
Wide prairiesVegetable productions
650
An alarmCrow IndiansTheir appear
656
Blackfeet in the Horse PrairieSearch after
699
A winter camp in the wildernessMedley
709
Story of Kosato the renegade Blackfoot
719
A bunt after huntersHungry times
727
Misadventures of Matthieu and
735

Deer shootingLife on the prairies
63
A sick campThe marchThe disabled
73
A grand prairieCliff CastleBuffalo
82
THE CAMP OF THE WILD HORSE Hunters
90
The alarm camp
98
Beaver damBuffalo and horse
105
buffalosWild turkeysFall of a buffalo bull
109
Fording of the North ForkDreary
116
A secret expeditionDeer bleating
127
A comrade lostA search for the camp
138
A republic of prairie dogs
145
Old Creek encampmentScarcity
154
OR ANECDOTES OF AN ENTERPRIZE
163
INTRODUCTION
179
Rise of the Mackinaw CompanyAttempts
194
INTRODUCTORY NOTICE
629
State of the fur trade of the Rocky Moun
635
Departure from Green River valley
774
Adventures of the party of tenThe
782
A retrograde moveChannel of
794
Nez PercÚsThe captains attempt at healing
838
Scenery of the WayleewayA substi
846
Fort WallabWallahIts comman
854
The difficult mountainA smoke
866
Plan of the Salt Lake expedition
875
CreekGrand RondFine pasturesPerplexities
918
Scarcity in the campRefusal of supplies
928
A festive winterConversion of
935
A rendezvous at Wind RiverCam
944
APPENDIX Mr Wyeth and the trade of the Far West 851
954
Chronology
959
Note on the Texts
984
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Best known for such classic tales as "Rip Van Wrinkle" and "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow," Washington Irving, (1783-1859) was America's first internationally recognized man of letters.

James P. Ronda, volume editor, is retired H.G. Barnard Professor in Western History at the University of Tulsa and the author of Jefferson's West: A Journey with Lewis and Clark and Astoria and Empire.