Twelve top western historians, including Kim Briggeman, Alexander C. McGregor, Keith C. Petersen, Don Popejoy, Ken Robison, Richard D. Scheuerman, Maj. Ryan Shaw, William Montana Bill Weikel, and J. William T. Youngs, have collaborated to produce this wide-ranging examination of the famed Mullan Road – the 624-mile military wagon road built between Fort Walla Walla, Washington Territory, and Fort Benton, in the future state of Montana.
The book, subtitled Carving a Passage through the Frontier Northwest, 1859-62, was edited by Paul D. McDermott, Ronald E. Grim, and Philip Mobley. Essays in Part 1 discuss John Mullan the man, his education, and his preparation for the massive undertaking he would lead between 1859 and 1862. In Part 2 the contributors trace the challenging experiences of Lt. Mullan and his crew during the road’s construction, section-by-section and season-by-season.
Finally, the writings in Part 3 examine specific aspects of the expedition, including survey methods used, maps and illustrations made, Mullan’s experiences with the Native Americans along the route, the economic impact of the road when completed, and even the precise yet lyrical language Mullan used in his official report.
Both an excellent resource for western history scholars and an absorbing chronicle for lay readers, The Mullan Road promises to inform, fascinate and inspire in equal measure.
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