History with its boots on, as Will Bagley and Harold Schindler describe it, West from Fort Bridger also may be the classic history of the opening of western trails. In it, the words of the immigrants, compiled from original diaries, journals, maps,MoreHistory with its boots on, as Will Bagley and Harold Schindler describe it, West from Fort Bridger also may be the classic history of the opening of western trails.
In it, the words of the immigrants, compiled from original diaries, journals, maps, and letters, recount a half-decade of historic pioneer treks, including the dramatic ordeals of the 1816 parties (the most remembered of whom were the Donners and Reeds) who crossed the infamous Hastings Cutoff. With these texts woven together by expansive and detailed introductions and annotation, Dale Morgan and Roderic Korns told the story of a critical period in westward migration. In 1951, Morgan, well-established as perhaps the most diligent and successful researcher of the early history of the American Far West, was rapidly becoming also one of its most prolific and expressive authors and editors.
Korns himself had been a productive collector of historic sources and an avid trail historian. He died before the work Morgan had long urged him to write was written. Morgan used his own research as well as that of Korns to complete West from Fort Bridger, but gave all the credit, as a memorial, to his friend and colleague. Due to the small number of copies originally printed and to the passing of time, the book has long been out of print and hard to find, although its reputation has continued to grow.
In their revision of this landmark work, Bagley and Schindler have given Morgan the credit he deserves- have corrected and updated the original in accordance with Morgans own notes for a revision as well as other, more recent research and writing- and have included new information on Hastings, immigrant parties, John C. Fremonts 1845 crossing of the Salt Desert, the Salt Lake Cutoff, and other subjects.
With the approach of 150-year anniversaries of many of the events chronicled in West from Fort Bridger, readers, travelers, historians, and buffs can now consult the most historically accurate record of, and guide t