A wild adventure on horseback, beyond the Mississippi River into America’s far west of 1832. Washington Irving, author of the “The Headless Horseman of Sleepy Hollow” and “Rip Van Winkle,” joins a group of inexperienced rangers, hunters and an assortment of colorful characters on a trip into the unsettled prairies. Their goal: meeting Native Americans, hunting buffalo and getting in trouble.Until 1803, when Irving was 20 years old, the western limit of the United States was the Mississippi river. With the Louisiana Purchase, the US gained 828,000 square miles of land, extending west from the Mississippi River to the Rocky Mountains and from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. It doubled the size of the United States.
A great deal of this new territory was prairie land, meadows with high grasses, as well as rivers and settlements. By 1832, this area was still rough country and was considered the Far West. It was Washington Irving’s intention to explore this new addition, which came into existence while he was a young man.
This idea was forming in his mind while he crossed the Atlantic, after living 17 years in Europe. On board ship, he made the acquaintance of the Swiss Count, Albert de Pourtales and an Englishman, Charles J. Latrobe.
After landing in the United States, the three became traveling companions, and, eventually, met Judge Henry L. Ellsworth of Connecticut. Ellsworth had just been appointed by President Andrew Jackson as a Commissioner, tasked with the removal of Native Americans from their homes to new lands set aside for them. The Judge invited the three companions to accompany him west and they accepted, resulting in this extraordinary adventure.
This is a recording of the 1832 publication with added sound effects and a new Afterward
Read by Andre Stojka
Andre Stojka, known for his rich characterizations and his creative interpretation of the written word, has been a major voice over actor for over 30 years. Some of his best known voices are the Owl in Disney’s Winnie the Pooh movies and videos, the voice of Ernie Keebler, the Keebler Cookie Elf, the King in Disney’s Cinderella videos and Starlight in the Rainbow Bright television series.