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Pioneer Days in the Early Southwest

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This pioneering work is about the traders, trappers, and explorers in the vast area that would become Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, New Mexico ... Show synopsis

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Reviews of Pioneer Days in the Early Southwest

Overall customer rating: 4.000
robinr42

good

by robinr42 on Aug 10, 2007

Of Grant Foreman's books I've read Advancing the Frontier, Indian Removal and Pioneer Days in the Early Southwest so far. He covers much of the same material in Advancing the Frontier and I would suggest that the two books be read together. Pioneer Days (1926) was written before Advancing the Frontier (1932) so Mr Foreman must have gotten access to more documents by the time he wrote Advancing the Frontier. Negative comments: 1. He organizes his materal by subject matter rather than by time period so you get information about Ft Gibson in one chapter and information about events occuring there in another. You get information about Sam Houston in one chapter and information about the indians he was living with in another. 2. He frequently brings up a person without any background information. There may be more information in another chapter or in another of his books. 3. He covers much of the same subjects in Pioneer Days as in Advancing the Frontier. Sometimes there's more detail in one book and sometimes in the other. 4. It's hard to keep up with the date. He may give a year and then give the month and day in subsequent pages so you have to have to review several pages to figure out what year he's in. 5. He doesn't spend much time in giving the reader a context for the event or person he's describing, the current historical framework for the event, the historical significance for the person so you have to either have to be familiar with the subject or look it up. Positive comments: 1. Mr Foreman presents his research pretty much as he found it, without much comment. It makes it a little hard to follow but you get the feeling you're looking over his shoulder as he discovers new documents. 2. There are a lot of quotations from contemporary observers and a lot of long detailed footnotes. The quotations give the material a vitality and freshness that makes the stories come alove for me. Many times I enjoyed the footnotes more than the information he chose to put in the text. 3. Mr Foreman has constructed his own maps with details of the period. There is a map in Pioneer Days descibing the journeys and trails referred to in the book that really helps to give a perspective to the narrative. There is a large map in Advancing the Frontier that folds out. It has a lot of detail describing the locations of trading posts, agencies, settlements. There also was an old map in Advancing the Frontier of Fort Arbuckle, describing the surrounding area the people who lived in the area, the spring, the fords, the roads. 4. The book is well indexed and referenced. I plan to work my way through all of Mr Foreman's books.

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