Diaries from the Bozeman Trail
edited by Susan Badger Doyle
On May 14, 1866, Perry Burgess summed up the expectations and hopes of countless westering Americans when he wrote in his diary: "packed up and started on our journey toward the land of gold." Here are stories of the prospectors, freighters, wives, and merchants who, like Burgess, traveled the Bozeman Trail in search of fortune, adventure, or a new life. A shortcut from the Platte River Road to the Montana goldfields, the Bozeman Trail was relatively short in length—less than five hundred miles—yet it has the enduring distinction of being the last great overland emigrant trail in the American West. Encounter the trail as it was experienced by seven travelers: the leader of a company of Michigan men who traveled with one of the first groups to cross it; a new bride traveling with her husband; two young men—a store clerk and a typesetter—for whom the trip was a thoroughly enjoyable adventure; a prospector out to make his fortune in the West; a sober Civil War veteran concerned about the possibility of Indian attack; and the supervisor of a freight train who found time to write despite his heavy responsibilities. Join their journey through these annotated diaries, and discover the dangers and pleasures, frustrations and joys of travel on the Bozeman Trail.
272 pages, illus., maps, paper, ISBN 978-0-917298-98-1, $19.95