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Days on the Road: Crossing the Plains in 1865: The Diary of Sarah Raymond Herndon Paperback – April 1, 2003


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Days on the Road: Crossing the Plains in 1865: The Diary of Sarah Raymond Herndon + Hearts West: True Stories Of Mail-Order Brides On The Frontier + Pioneer Women: Voices from the Kansas Frontier
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: TwoDot; First Edition edition (April 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0762725818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0762725816
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #160,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

In May 1865, just as the battles of the Civil War had finally come to an end, twenty-four-year-old Sarah Raymond mounted her beloved pony and headed west with her mother and two younger brothers. Traveling by wagon train over the Great Plains toward the Rocky Mountains, the Raymonds had no certain idea of where they would settle, but they were determined to leave war-torn Missouri behind them and to start a new life. Sarah's diary, written beside campfires and in spare moments on the long journey, provides a unique first-person account of life on the trail. Here detailed recording of each day's activities and adventures provides a rare glimpse into the private lives and hardships endured by the many pioneer women who traveled west with their families, but whose names and experiences have been lost to time. Originally published in 1902, Days on the Road: Crossing the Plains in 1865 is an inspiring tale of a truly remarkable young woman and a tribute to all the emigrants who made their way west.

About the Author

Sarah Raymond Herndon left her home in Missouri in May 1865 and traveled west in the company of her mother, younger brothers, and fellow emigrants, finally arriving in Virginia City, Montana Territory, at the height of the Gold Rush boom in that rough frontier town. She spent the rest of her life in Montana, and published the story of her western journey in 1900. Mary Barmeyer O'Brien is the author of Heart of the Trail, Into the Western Winds, Toward the Setting Sun, and Bright Star in the Big Sky, a biography of Montana's Jeannette Rankin. She lives in Polson, Montana.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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See all 27 customer reviews
The descriptions were vivid and the scenery explained as if you were there.
Marcia S Klaas
This is a very good book, I have a rule to read two chapters a sitting so as to make my books last longer, this one I could NOT put down.
K.Stanford
Just read the book and enjoy the true story of this woman's journey to the West.
mericat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By L. Robinson on September 15, 2006
Format: Paperback
I found this diary charming and informative. Having always had a fascination with the time period and wagon trains, I couldn't put this book down. By the end of the book, I was saddened by the fact that Sarah didn't continue recording her life in Montana. I felt as if I had known her personally and was touched by the whole accounting of her travels.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Nana on November 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
I enjoy reading personal accounts of history much more than I do the second hand reports of historians or the embellished tales of fiction writers so this is my type of book. The author did have a very cheerful attitude and seemed to make the trip west much more enjoyable than it may have been in reality but it was her personal take on it and we shouldn't second guess or be critical of that. She was there and it is her account and we have to accept it as that.

One note however. There is a introduction written to the book that is quite long and about 1/3 of the way through it I realized it was more of a summary than an intro. It would have been better placed at the back of the book. I stopped reading it because I didn't want to be told what the book was about before I read it. I suggest others do likewise. They should have included a spoiler alert. After I finished the book I returned to the introduction and enjoyed the recap.

The book does leave you wanting to know a bit more about the rest of the authors life but I guess that what we have imaginations for.
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on July 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Enhanced with a Foreword by Mary Barmeyer O'Brien, Days On The Road: Crossing The Plains In 1865 is the personal diary of Sarah Raymond Herndon, a young pioneer woman who, as the dust from the Civil War settled, left the battle-scarred state of Missouri with her family and traveled overland to the Rocky Mountains in search of a new place to live and a new life to build. Sarah's daily insights, her depictions of life on the trail, her descriptions of the hardships, the triumphs, and the evocations of her memories, combine to form a vivid and accurate image of pioneer life through the words of a pioneer who headed west to escape the ravages of the American Civil War to start her life anew. Days On The Road is a welcome and strongly recommended addition to 19th Century American Studies reading lists and history collections.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Christina Blair on November 9, 2006
Format: Paperback
This diary is well written and thoughtful. The detail is really vivid.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Diane Wilson on December 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
I liked this book. Nice descriptions. Interesting how she viewed her travels throughout the west. You could really imagine the places. I like the map. I was able to refer to it as she traversed the Midwest on her journey.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Reader On The Open Range on April 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
EXCELLENT! Educated woman with wisdom as well. Well written. Wish she'd shared more, but what she did share is well worth the reading. First person, original writings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rocky Mountain High on February 19, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been reading several primary and secondary sources about women who traveled the Overland Trail to either Oregon, California, Santa Fe, or Montana. Usually, these women were uprooted from established homes. They traveled with children and were often pregnant or gave birth while on the trail. This seemed to intensify the hardships. Sarah Herndon was not married, and though she traveled with her widowed mother and a couple of brothers, they began their journey with a much different attitude. They were glad to leave their current situation to start a new life, and by their journey's end, were as healthy or healthier than when they left.Sarah also rode her horse most of the way so she was not battered and bruised from being slung around on a wagon, nor footsore from walking much of the way. She made friends and became a great help to her other traveling companions. Though I don't read these types of books for enjoyment, but for research, I found the information to be helpful.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kristi L. Brewer on May 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
truly an inspiring story. much better then your typical 'little house on the prairie'. easy read, Ive read at least 3 times.
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