Front Matter A Change of Homes "Joe Bowers" The Reasons for Moving Mother's Anxiety How we were to Travel Our Movable Home Leaving Ashley Eben Jordan On the Road Eben's Predictions What about California The First Encampment Night in Camp The Town of Independence Kansas Indians Looking into the Future A Stormy Day A Lack of Fuel Making Camp in a Storm A Thunderstorm Another Company of Pikers The Stock Stray Away An Indian Village I Weary with Traveling Eben's Boasts Suffering with Thirst In Search of Water Quenching Our Thirst Making Butter A Kansas Ferry At Soldier Creek Bread Making Prairie Peas Eben as a Hunter A Herd of Buffaloes Excitement in the Camp A Feast of Buffalo Meat Curing the Meat A Wash Day Uncomfortable Traveling Ellen's Advice Indians and Mosquitoes Prairie Dogs Colonel Russell's Mishap Chimney Rock At Fort Laramie Cooking in a Fireplace Trappers, Hunters, Indians On the Trail Once More Independence Rock Arrival at Fort Bridger Toward California At Bear River The Coming of Winter Utah Indians A Dangerous Trail Sunflower Seeds and Antelope A Forest Fire The Great Salt Lake Eben as a Fisherman Grasshopper Jam A Deserted Village The Great Salt Desert A Dangerous Journey Bread and Coffee Making Breaking Camp at Midnight Approaching the Salt Desert A Plain of Salt Like A Sea of Frozen Milk Salt Dust A Bitter Disappointment Coffee instead of Water A Spring of Sweet Water The Oasis Searching for Water The Beautiful Valley Snake Indians A Scarcity of Food Springs of Hot Water In the Land of Plenty The Truckee River The Sacramento Valley The Mission of San Jose Our Home in California

Martha of California - James Otis

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.

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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.


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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.