History as Literature | March 01, 1990

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Diaries kept by women taking part in the pioneer westward movement of 1840-1870 were often sent back east to be used as guides by family members intending to make the same journey. Surviving until the late twentieth century, they became guides by which we can understand in sometimes poignant, sometimes monotonous detail, the lives of families caught up in a momentous period of American history.

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