Promise: Bozeman’s Trail to Destiny

Nov 15th, 2006 | By | Category: 18-2: Traditional Wisdom Our Strength, Media Reviews

PROMISE COVERby Serle L. Chapman
Pavey Western Publishing (2004)
Park City, UT
214 pages — ISBN 0-9528607-1
Hardcover $49.95

Review by Philippina Halstead

Photographer and author Serle Chapman tells the turbulent history of the Bozeman Trail through historical fiction, archival resources (diaries, profiles, military history, and photographs), and both Native and non-Native accounts.

Included are discussions by regional historians and oral histories told by the descendants of Indian leaders involved in what was called Red Cloud’s War or the Holy Road War.

Lavishly interspersed throughout the book are Chapman’s contemporary photographs of people, places, historical markers, fauna, and flora — all related to the trail. For this reviewer, a map of the Bozeman Trail would have made a useful addition to the book.

This book is not academic history, but it provides the reader with a new awareness. It brings together several different points of view about the consequences of the controversial Bozeman Trail and the diverse recollections about the Fetterman Battle (the Hundred Soldiers Killed Fight).

Philippina Halstead is a freelance writer and artist in Atlantic City, WY.

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