Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Long Rifle by Stewart Edward White (1932)

Excellent; I'm getting a picture of the tide that swept over the continent, White's book is a wonderful "101" regarding the American expansion west into the Rockies. This is a story about the Mountain man; the Original Mountain Men of the Rockies. I am very happy to have found this and hope to move on to other White stories. It literally takes off from the D. Boone Bio. I finished prior to my workshop.

Like our hero Andy, the story leaves me a little sad.

So the Brits had the Northwest, the Mexicans had the Southwest, and the Americans had the middle, we all know how it turned out.

I guess if it wasn't land that was "free for the taking" it was beaver. And freely they took it, although not without hardship, but still free for the taking. We venerate these men for public and private reasons; what they did was hard and when they survived year after year doing it we are amazed and can only hope or wish we had that kind of fortitude.

So although this was written in the 1930s and I am devoted to the 1830s writers White seems to be from the earlier time. I have lost much interest in the "modern" writers and their sardonic views. 

I found a 1st Edition 3rd printing in Xenia Oh. at the stunning Blue Jacket Bookstore on my way to my Flintlock making workshop.

The inside covers outline some of their stops along the way.

White spent time in the wilderness of the early 1900's and seems to know his stuff. He provides many details about life in the mountains. He researched hundreds of early documents to achieve the level of historical accuracy he needed for this Historical Fiction.

A little of White's wisdom that I like:

"He did, however, gain by this experience the knowledge that things pass; and nothing is more quickly forgotten than discomfort"

"No administration can be over-set in prosperous times: no administration can stand in adversity: even miracles can loose the potency of novelty" 

"Andy was cursed by the necessity of taking the other mans view; he could not help it"

Only and older man can write with this wisdom-air.

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