Richard Francis Burton and Samuel Langhorne Clemens Crossed the Great Plains

Richard Francis Burton and Samuel Langhorne Clemens Crossed the Great Plains

These two explorers crossed the Great Plains of North America one year apart, Burton in 1860 and Clemens in 1861. I have clipped large sections of Burton's book, "The City of the Saints, and Across the Rocky Mountains to California" for my web site project "Mark Twain's Geography" as Burton visited the same Overland Coach stations as did Clemens. Mark Twain, in "Roughing It", is very sparse in his descriptions of the stations and mentions only a few by name. Burton, on the other hand, is prolific in his descriptions and provides a detailed itinerary of the trip. I have used a copy of Burton's book found in Google Books stamped Harvard University Library. It contains a stamp "July 1 1914 Charles Elliott Perkins Memorial Collection". The copyright is New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, Franklin Square 1862.

As the purpose of my project is to present the geography of the places Twain visited and discussed, inclusion of Burton's detailed material is appropriate. Burton's observations are astute but his analysis of the people, particularly the Native Americans, would today be out of favor as he was a Victorian Occidentalist and even includes a bit of phrenology

Both Clemens and Burton rode the Overland Stage all the way to Carson City though their course varied for the last few stations. I have finished my initial version of a page for their route over the Great Plains, from St. Joseph to Fort Laramie. There is a separate page for Burton's stops at Sir Richard Burton: Crossing the Great Plains

This is my own project and is not associated with any institutions or organizations.