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Creating Capabilities
Freedom's Delay
Arda Inhabited
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Harlots, Hussies, and Poor Unfortunate Women
Beside the Troubled Waters

Surviving the Oregon Trail, 1852Surviving the Oregon Trail, 1852

Weldon Willis Rau

Narrated by Todd Curless

Available from Audible

Book published by Washington State University Press

With numbers swelled by gold-seekers destined for California, the 1852 overland migration was the largest on record in a year when deadly cholera took a terrible toll on lives. Included here are firsthand accounts of this fateful year, including the words and thoughts of a young married couple, Mary Ann and Willis Boatman, released for the first time in book form.

In its immediacy, Surviving the Oregon Trail, 1852 opens a window to the travails of the emigrants—their stark camps, treacherous river crossings, and dishonest countrymen; the shimmering plains and vast mountains; their trepidation at crossing ancient Indian lands; and the dark angel of death hovering over the wagon columns. But also found here are acts of valor, compassion, and kindness, and the hope for a new life in a new land.

Weldon Willis Rau is a retired research geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey and the State of Washington. He is a great grandson of Puyallup pioneers Mary Ann and Willis Boatman, the principal figures in Surviving the Oregon Trail, 1852.


“Adds immeasurably to our understanding of the Oregon Trail experience.”

—Susan Badger Doyle, Oregon-California Trail Association

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University Press Audiobooks