Home  »  Volume XVII: American LATER NATIONAL LITERATURE: PART II  »  § 7. The Oregon Trail

The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21). rn VOLUME XVII. Later National Literature, Part II.

XIV. Travellers and Explorers, 1846–1900

§ 7. The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail, bearing far to the north, through South Pass and down Snake River, was extended to the Columbia and thence around south to California, but, before the “Days of ’49,” although Ogden, Jedediah Smith, and Frèmont had dared the mid-passage across the Great Basin, there was no real route directly to the rich, inviting mission settlements of the Franciscan friars: settlements that were a world unto themselves delightfully described by Alfred Robinson in Life in California During a Residence of Several Years in that Territory, Etc. By an American (1846). And in Two Years Before the Mast (1840) R.H. Dana has some interesting chapters on this primitive California paradise. The historical side is presented by Fr. Zephyrin Englehardt in an extensive work, The Missions and Missionaries of California (1911).