Women on the Oregon Trail 1840-1860

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Alexa Feuchtenberger

Women on the Oregon Trail 1840-1860

ISBN 978-3-8621-090-3, 214 S., 96 Abb., 1 interaktive Karte, € 29,50 (CD-ROM, 2008)

(Lighthouse Unlimited, Bd. 134)

This thesis is written for translators and English language learners, but also for other readers who are interested in gaining knowledge about United States history in general and about the epic overland emigration in particular. The purpose of this thesis is to describe life on the Oregon Trail, keeping a special focus on women’s role. This includes an analysis of both typically female trail tasks and of women’s personal perception of the transcontinental journey. The study covers the period between approximately 1840 and 1860, that is, the antebellum overland emigration years, coinciding with Oregon’s pre-statehood era. To introduce the reader to the topic and to provide the necessary background information, the first chapters offer information on the beginning of American westward expansion and on the development of the American frontier in general. In addition, the reader learns about the typical life led by the predominant group of Oregon-bound overland emigrants, that is, Midwestern farm families, prior to the move west. Here again, the main focus lies on women’s status, allowing for a subsequent comparison of their traditional and of their trail-side role.