Francis Parkman (1823-1893) traveled over the old Oregon trail westward from St. Louis in 1846 and wrote an account of it The California and Oregon Trail (1849) and many other works. In two respects Francis Parkman was exceptionally fortunate. He chose a theme of the closest interest to his countrymen - the colonization of the American continent and the wars for its possession - and he lived through fifty years of toil to complete the great historical series which he designed when but a youth a college. The main attraction of the subject lies in his picturesque, manly character, his inspiring example of fortitude and perseverance, and his training and achievements as historian. Poor eyesight and poor health did not hinder his search for and love of history and education. Among writers who have bestowed the highest praise upon his writings are such names as James Russell Lowell, Dr. John Fiske, President Charles W. Eliot of Harvard University, George William Curtis, Edward Eggleston, W. D. Howells, James Schouler, and Dr. Conan Doyle, as well as many prominent critics in the United States, in Canada, and in England. A bibliography of Francis Parkman's writings is included in this indexed edition of his biography.