Heart of the Trail

Stories of Covered Wagon Women

Book Description

Updated and expanded for its twentieth anniversary—the beloved book that tells the stories of the women who traveled West.

In Heart of the Trail Mary Barmeyer O'Brien beautifully captures the triumphs and tribulations of women who crossed the American frontier by wagon during the great Western migration of the mid nineteenth century. While their stories are widely different, each of these remarkable women was inspiring, courageous, and resourceful. From the successes of mountaineer Julia Anna Archibald to the grueling trials of Mary Powers, these stories reflect the adventure and hardship experienced by the thousands of women who took to the trails. The legacy of their letters and diaries, most written on the trail, is a fascinating addition to understanding the history of the West.

Mary Barmeyer O'Brien’s books on the pioneer experience include The Promise of the West; Jeannette Rankin: Bright Star in the Big Sky; Outlasting the Trail: The Story of a Woman's Journey West; May: The Hard-Rock Life of Pioneer May Arkwright Hutton; and Across Death Valley. She lives in Polson, Montana.

About O'Brien, Mary Barmeyer

Mary Barmeyer O’Brien was born and raised in Missoula, Montana, and received a B.A. in Sociology from Linfield College in McMinnville, Oregon. She is the author of eight previous books about women’s history and pioneers on the overland trails, including The Promise of the West: Young Pioneers on the Overland Trails, Jeannette Rankin: Bright Star in the Big Sky, Across Death Valley: The Pioneer Life of Juliet Wells Brier; Outlasting the Trail: The Story of A Woman’s Journey West; and May: The Hard-Rock Life of Pioneer May Arkwright Hutton (all by TwoDot/Globe Pequot). Mary writes from her home in Polson, Montana, and enjoys hiking, camping, and reading. She and her husband, Dan, have three grown children.