If you've ever wondered what America was like when the white man first arrived, you should go there with Osborne Russell. A mere thirty years after Lewis and Clark were the first white men into the west, Osborne Russell answered an add to go west with a hunting expedition. This is his journal of hunting and trapping beaver in the Rocky Mountain regions of America.
The writer give beautiful descriptions of the landscape and events. It isn't hard for my imagination to picture the scenes he paints and to ride the wild frontier right along side. He learns to shoot, cook, and survive in the wilderness. He has many encounters with the natives, with two nearly costing his life.
The editor, Aubrey Haines, has gone through the journal and loaded it with footnotes further explaining where Mr. Russell is traveling. He has also produced maps showing the path of the trapper's journey. I found the maps very helpful in understanding where Mr. Russell is when he's into a long description. I even got out my current day maps and found the rivers and lakes he discusses so I could relate the trip to present day landmarks, states and highways.
The editor leaves the text of the journal "as-is" including spelling and geographical errors. He also adds more information regarding Russell before and after the era recorded in his journal.
A very good read for anybody interested in the true early American West.