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Titled with artist’s description

According to the artist, “The painting, The Trail West shows an emigrant wagon train lumbering along the Oregon Trail. The man in the bowler hat and conventional clothing is a dude from the East who has decided to travel West in search of adventure or opportunity. These inexperienced travelers were advised to join an emigrant train on leaving Westport Landing or Kansas for safety when in Indian country. The Eastern dude is riding with the buckskin-clad guide who leads the caravan. The guide rode ahead of the caravan and kept a sharp watch for danger. It was his duty also to look for a good camping spot with wood and water as well as grass for the animals. The emigrant wagons were driven by the sober-faced men who walked alongside the oxen teams urging them on while the women and children rode in the wagon or occasionally walked alongside on a nice day. The stock belonging to the emigrants was driven to the rear of the train in what was called ‘the cow column’ attended by herders on horseback. The group in the picture has reached the flat prairie land of what is present day Western Nebraska. At this long distance from civilization, weariness began to take its toll. Endurance was at a low ebb. Wagons and equipment began to break down. The heavy loads of the wagons had to be lightened so that the teams could continue. Many cherished belongings had to be thrown out and left behind.”

Oklahoma Publishing Co., Oklahoma City, OK
Property from a Private Collection
Private Collection, HI

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