Trail Blazer's Historical Fiction

Author: Edwin L. Sabin
Publisher: George W. Jacobs & Company
Dates: 1918–1920
Zebulon Pike
"Whether Sabin was contributing to the Trail Blazer series, published by J. B. Lippincott, or to the Great West and the Range and Trail series, issued by Crowell, his plots were ingenious and his research as meticulous as he could make it. He soon learned that historical investigation was much like stepping into quicksand—the more one struggled to find truth, the more one sank by the pull of endless problems and queries. He did the best he could, scouring the country for primary sources and hard evidence. Perhaps no author of juveniles of the day labored harder to base his work on facts, or what were believed to be facts."

The previous quote, from a short biography of Edwin L. Sabin's life, illlustrates what an outstanding historian he was. His historical fiction, as well as his regular history stories are rich in detail. The dialogue, of course, is sometimes made up, but even then, it abounds with authentic character and accents. Almost all of Sabin's most notable work refer to to the conquest and settlement of the American frontier, from the earliest colonial settlers in the east to the Cowboys and Indians of the West.

His Trail Blazer's Series exemplifies the best kind of historical fiction. The plot lines often feature a young lad who accompanies a famous historical character on his feets of daring do. In the process, a very engaging, as well as historically valuable story is told, and a great deal of information is absorbed effortlessly on the part of the reader. The subjects of the Trail Blazers feature many of the most famous heroes of the West, including Danial Boone, Davy Crocket, General Custer, Zebulon Pike, Sam Houston, Kit Carson, and many others.

Into Mexico with General Scott   by Edwin Sabin
This work of historical fiction follows the American Army under Winfield Scott during the Mexican-American War. The protagonist is a young man who joins the army and serves under second Lieutenant U. S. Grant. With the rest of the U.S. army, he participates in the landing of U. S. ships at Vera Cruz, and the march of 200 miles inland in order to capture the Capital city of Mexico and force a surrender. 141 credits

Opening the West with Lewis and Clark   by Edwin Sabin
The primary character in this story is a pioneer boy who tags along with the Lewis and Clark expedition. The main character was raised by Indians after his family is killed and so is able to help the party as a translator. He describes the characters, sites and events of the expedition with great detail and interest. Although the story is fictional it is based on meticulous research and presents many true-to-life incidents associated with the famous expedition. 114 credits

With Lieutenant Pike   by Edwin Sabin
This book tells the story of a boy, kidnapped by Indians as a youth, who joins the expedition of Lieutenant Pike as he travels down the Arkansas river towards the rocky mountains. During the expedition they travel to Colorado and discovered Pike's peak before becoming lost, and ending up in Spanish territory. Although the main character is fictional, most of the events depicted in the story are faithful to the real history of the Pike expedition. 114 credits

Gold Seekers of '49   by Edwin Sabin
This book follows the story of a young man who is lured to the territory of California during the gold rush of 1849. The first part the book covers his experience on a boat rounding the Cape of South America, and his introduction to the small town of San Francisco. His adventures in the gold fields themselves consume the second half of the book. Although the book is fiction, it accurately portrays the spirit of the California gold rush.134 credits

Adventures with Carson and Fremont   by Edwin Sabin
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On the Plains with Custer   by Edwin Sabin
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With Sam Houston in Texas   by Edwin Sabin
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David Crockett: Scout   by Edwin Sabin
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Buffalo Bill and the Overland Trail   by Edwin Sabin
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