Death Valley has had its full share of books and articles, from the publication of W.L. Manly's Death Valley in '49 to the numerous later works, but with the exception of Manly's book all have dealt largely with the Valley itself. The heroic trek of the '49 parties, the first whites of record to enter the area, has been the subject of a chapter or two, rather than the main theme.
After twenty years of studying the available records of these pioneers in frequently has occurred to me that the importance of this tortuous journey from Salt Lake City to San Fernando Valley lay more in the heroism and bravery of the participants than in the details of the day-by-day stages and camps.
Frank Latta had this in mind in preparing this volume and his research had as its purpose the selection of the human episodes from the numerous available letters and records, most of which previously had been passed over by former writers, and to give credit to the almost neglected heroism and fortitude of Mrs. Brier and others who previously had received so little credit.
For this, if for no other reason, his book should prove of great interest in emphasizing the sturdy fortitude and dogged spirit of those early Americans who overcame seemingly unsurmountable obstacles in their efforts to build a new and great nation.
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