This book follows the life of Martha, a young girl from Missouri who travels to California by way of the Oregon trail. The story is told in the first person by a young lady who travels with her family in a covered wagon and relates the adventures encountered on the trail, including confrontations with Indians, night time travel over deserts and salt fields, hunting excursions, and difficulties with livestock and provisions.
The author of this series of stories for children has endeavored simply to show why and how the descendants of the early colonists fought their way through the wilderness in search of new homes. The several narratives deal with the struggles of those adventurous people who forced their way westward, ever westward, whether in hope of gain or in answer to "the call of the wild," and who, in so doing, wrote their names with their blood across this country of ours from the Ohio to the Columbia.
To excite in the hearts of the young people of this land a desire to know more regarding the building up of this great nation, and at the same time to entertain in such a manner as may stimulate to noble deeds, is the real aim of these stories. In them there is nothing of romance, but only a careful, truthful record of the part played by children in the great battles with those forces, human as well as natural, which, for so long a time, held a vast portion of this broad ,land against the advance of home seekers.
With the knowledge of what has been done by our own people in our own land, surely there is no reason why one should resort to fiction in order to depict scenes of heroism, daring, and sublime disregard of suffering in nearly every form.
Books Consulted in Writing
Martha of California
|BRYANT, EDWIN.: What I saw in California. D. Appleton & Co.|
|CLAMPITT, JOHN W.: Echoes from the Rocky Mountains. Belford, Clarke & Co.|
|CONNERLLY, WILLIAM ELSEY: Doniphan's Expedition. Pub. by the Author.|
|DEXTER, A. HERSEY: Early Days in California. Tribune-Republican Press.|
|DRAKE, SAMUEL ADAMS: The Making of the Great West. Charles Scribner's Sons.|
|FREMONT, J. C.: The Second Expedition. Washington.|
|KNOWER, DANIEL: The Days of a Forty-Niner. Weed, Par-sons Print. Co.|
|PAXSON, FREDERICK L.: The Last American Frontier. The Macmillan Company.|
|THORTON, J. QUINN: Oregon and California. Harper & Brothers.|
|WOODS, DANIEL B.: Sixteen Months at the Gold Diggings. Harper & Brothers.|