Last updated: June 15, 2016
So Rugged and Mountainous;Blazing the Trails to Oregon and California, 1812-1848, by Will Bagley. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2010.
So Rugged and Mountainous; Blazing the Trails to Oregon and California, 1812-1848 is a large-scale work that tells the story of the American westward expansion movement of the early to mid-1800s. Author & historian Will Bagley uses a wealth of primary sources to create a panorama of stories to inform readers of the myriad of viewpoints regarding this monumental event. He also tells why and how this massive emigration began.
The author inserts quotations from all his sources throughout the volume, but says it was difficult to include all of them. He writes at the end of his prologue: "The history of America's overland wagon roads to Oregon and California is a dramatic record of sacrifice and suffering, endurance and failure, death and survival, and the small victories and great defeats that marked the lives of the people who followed the trails to new lives in the West: it is not only a great American epic but an enduring tribute to the human spirit."