Rude Pursuits and Rugged Peaks


Schoolcraft’s Ozark Journal, 1818-1819
With an Introduction, Maps, and Appendix by Milton D. Rafferty
978-1-55728-466-2 (paper)
January 1996


Add to Cart


In the winter of 1818, Henry Rowe Schoolcraft set out from Potosi, Missouri, to document lead mines in the interior of the Ozarks, then a wilderness of near-virgin forests, limestone cliffs, prairies, and oak savannahs. Intending only to make his fortune by publishing an account of the area’s mineral resources, he became the first skilled observer to witness and record frontier life in the Ozarks.

The journal kept by Schoolcraft as he traveled ninety days in the rugged terrain of southern Missouri and northern Arkansas was originally published in 1821 and has become an essential record of Ozark territorial society and natural history documenting some of the earliest American settlers in the region, the power and beauty of many lost portions of the White River, the majesty of the open prairies, and the wealth of wildlife once found in the Ozarks.

“Finally the Christopher Columbus of the Ozarks has his masterpiece published in a form anyone can afford and enjoy. Many aspects make this the most important book ever written on the Ozarks.”
—Sandy Primm, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Best of all, the new edition contains numerous photographs showing present views of the route Schoolcraft traveled (including the Whitewater lands!), as well as maps, a meticulous appendix with Schoolcraft’s itinerary in relation to modern reference maps and an excellent preface and introduction by Milton Rafferty.”
—Donald Harrington, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

“But mostly, the book recalls a country that was—simply was—and will never be again except through the pages of history.”
The Joplin Globe

You may also like…