June Banner

June’s banner depicts a different sort of train–a wagon train of settlers, bound for points West across the sweeping prairies, soaring mountains, and desolate deserts of an America yet untamed and uncivilized.

Walt Whitman wrote a poem about them called “Pioneers! O Pioneers!” Here’s a sample:

Come my tan-faced children,

Follow well in order, get your weapons ready,
Have you your pistols? have you your sharp-edged axes?
Pioneers! O pioneers!

For we cannot tarry here,
We must march my darlings, we must bear the brunt of danger,
We the youthful sinewy races, all the rest on us depend,
Pioneers! O pioneers!

Read the whole thing.

Like all other trains featured here, this wagon train chock-full of a young country’s hopes and dreams runs on subjective time, which has a whole new meaning when you’ve been trudging along the Oregon Trail for a few months.

The original image is a painting by Nick Eggenhofer and can be found in the online collection of the Campbell County Public Library (which serves the cities of Gillette and Wright, Wyoming), along with many other beautiful visions of the Old West.

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