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The Pioneer Camp of the Saints/Brown: The 1846 and 1847 Mormon Trail Journals of Thomas Bullock (Kingdom in the West, V. 1) Hardcover – January, 1997
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The journals themselves are a great insight into the travels of this company. Also, the notes Bagley assembled are great--full of relevant and useful information that greatly enriches the reading of this account. The only flaw is Bagley's own additions.
The first two chapters were written by him, as sort of a preface, and each chapter is prefaced by a few pages of his commentary. These writings detract greatly from the work, and are full of speculations presented as truth and seemingly oblivious to fact. As far as history is concerned, it has very little worth, being more a collection of his opinions than actual circumstance backed by evidence. There is no citation of sources, which further detracts from the credibility.
Overall, these journals are great, and the editing, superb. Just don't rely too much on what Bagley says about them. If you're interested in Mormon or Western history, these journals are worth a read. It won't detract at all from the experience if you skip the prefaces, though.
My understanding of Thomas Bullock and his work was broadened by Mr. Bagley's input before each journal and throughout the book in the form of additional paragraphs and footnotes. Within these pages I found several interesting tables and illustrations as well as a day-by-day recount of what happened on the various Mormon trails. Thomas speaks of the nature and wildlife he encounters as well as the day to day issues of the westward trek.
This book and these journals are a must for every history buff with interest in the development of Mormonism. We are fortunate to have such journals preserved to this day. Thank you Will Bagley and all who made this work available to us--the readers of the world.