The longest graveyard in the world - mythology versus reality on the American westward trails

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McIntyre, Chantelle
Issue Date
BA (Hons) Arts
Dublin Business School
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For my Final Year Project, my aim was to get beyond the old stories and glories of the Wild West in America to get a better understanding the real people behind the myths; good and bad. As part of my research, I employed a great many secondary sources some of whom were unbiased while other fell on the side of aggrandising to get a good view of how historians have viewed the events that occurred during the 19th century along the westward trails. I also made use of letters and diaries that were written during the journeys as these are the most important when it would come to unveiling the harsh reality of the journey. I aim to delve deeper into the history that occurred along the trails, history that has often been ignored in favour of stories about dusty frontier towns and gunslingers. The majority of the people who trekked into the west were not cowboys or adventurers but ordinary men, women and children and it is their story I want to tell.