Here is the history of the various routes to California --commonly known as the California Trail -- explored through the primary sources -- diaries, letters, reminiscences of the emigrants themselves. George Stewart has written the epic tale of how the chief trails were opened up for group migration through the years from 1841 to 1851. All the problems are recorded -- ways of travel, food, hunting, water, terrain, Indians etc. This is a year by year record of the progress made, the ways opened, the failures and tragedies, the near successes and achievements. The book will be immensely valuable as a reference work, and for those who like their history well annotated. It is good reading.