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Scenes and Adventures in the Semi-Alpine Region of the Ozark Mountains of Missouri and Arkansas   By: (1793-1864)

Book cover

First Page:

[Illustration: POTOSI alias Mine à Burlon .]

SCENES

AND

ADVENTURES

IN THE

Semi Alpine Region

OF THE

OZARK MOUNTAINS OF MISSOURI

AND ARKANSAS,

WHICH WERE FIRST TRAVERSED BY DE SOTO, IN 1541.

BY HENRY ROWE SCHOOLCRAFT.

PHILADELPHIA: LIPPINCOTT, GRAMBO & CO. 1853.

Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year 1853, by

HENRY ROWE SCHOOLCRAFT,

in the Office of the Clerk of the District Court for the District of Columbia.

Dedication.

~~~~~~~~~~~

To the Memory

OF

DE WITT CLINTON,

LATE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, &C. &C. &C.,

AN EARLY FRIEND, DURING THE YEARS DEVOTED TO THESE EXCURSIONS INTO THE GREAT AREA OF THE WEST;

A MAN WHO WAS EMINENT IN VARIOUS WALKS OF LIFE;

WHO, BY HIS EXALTED FORECAST, WISE COUNSELS, AND STEADY POLICY, CONTRIBUTED TO THE HIGHEST BENEFITS AND RENOWN OF HIS NATIVE STATE;

THESE RECORDS OF INCIDENTS OF EXPLORATORY TRAVEL, ARE DEDICATED WITH THE SINCEREST SENTIMENTS OF RESPECT AND REGARD FOR HIS CHARACTER AND NAME, WHICH I EVER ENTERTAINED FOR HIM WHILE LIVING, AND CONTINUE TO CHERISH NOW THAT HE IS DEAD.

HENRY R. SCHOOLCRAFT.

PREFACE.

These early adventures in the Ozarks comprehend my first exploratory effort in the great area of the West. To traverse the plains and mountain elevations west of the Mississippi, which had once echoed the tramp of the squadrons of De Soto to range over hills, and through rugged defiles, which he had once searched in the hope of finding mines of gold and silver rivalling those of Mexico and Peru; and this, too, coming as a climax to the panorama of a long, long journey from the East constituted an attainment of youthful exultation and self felicitation, which might have been forgotten with its termination. But the incidents are perceived to have had a value of a different kind. They supply the first attempt to trace the track of the Spanish cavaliers west of the Mississippi. The name of De Soto is inseparably connected with the territorial area of Missouri and Arkansas, which he was the first European to penetrate, and in the latter of which he died.

Four and thirty years have passed away, since the travels here brought to view, were terminated. They comprise a period of exciting and startling events in our history, social and political. With the occupancy of Oregon, the annexation of Texas, the discoveries in California, and the acquisition of New Mexico, the very ends of the Union appear to have been turned about. And the lone scenes and adventures of a man on a then remote frontier, may be thought to have lost their interest. But they are believed to possess a more permanent character. It is the first and only attempt to identify De Soto's march west of the Mississippi; and it recalls reminiscences of scenes and observations which belong to the history of the discovery and settlement of the country.

Little, it is conceived, need be said, to enable the reader to determine the author's position on the frontiers of Missouri and Arkansas in 1818. He had passed the summer and fall of that year in investigating the geological structure and mineral resources of the lead mine district of Missouri. He had discovered the isolated primitive tract on the sources of the St. Francis and Grand rivers the "Coligoa" of the Spanish adventurer and he felt a strong impulse to explore the regions west of it, to determine the extent of this formation, and fix its geological relations between the primitive ranges of the Alleghany and Rocky mountains.

Reports represented it as an alpine tract, abounding in picturesque valleys and caves, and replete with varied mineral resources, but difficult to penetrate on account of the hostile character of the Osage and Pawnee Indians. He recrossed the Mississippi to the American bottom of Illinois, to lay his plan before a friend and fellow traveller in an earlier part of his explorations, Mr... Continue reading book >>




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