Westward Movement - Most of these books will have been read in my Westward Movement
class. I will probably be adding a book or two every couple of weeks as I complete them.
Reid, John Phillip. Policing the Elephant: Crime, Punishment, and Social Behavior on the Overland Trail.
San Marino: Huntington Library, 1997. A fascinating, though at times repetitive, read. It discusses how people traveling to
the West viewed crime. People often think of the West as some lawless land but this book shows otherwise. People went to great
lengths to provide what they felt was justice. True, the institutions may not have had a perfect resemblance to the institutions
existing back east, but people reconstructed them as they thought they existed.
Ronda, James P. ed. Voyages of Discovery: Essays on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Helena: Montana
Historical Society Press, 1998. This book is a collection of essays on the Lewis and Clark Expedition. It also includes reproductions
of some original documents such as letters, journal entries, and newspaper items. Some of the essays are rather interesting,
and will give you some excellent analysis on the expedition.
Weeks, Philip. Farewell, My Nation: The American Indian and the United States in the Nineteenth Century.
2nd Ed. Wheeling: Harlan Davidson, 2001. A good but brief account of the relations between the US and the American Indians
in the 19th century. The fascinating thing is that it describes some of those who spoke out against the treatment of the Indians.
True, the number of these people was limited but people have often gone to the extreme that all Americans were sadistic butchers.
This account reminds us that while there were those whose cruelty is well documented, there were also those who spoke out.
In addition, the books shows that some of the problems came about because the two groups simply did not understand one another.