Full Caption: “Emigrant Party on the Road to California.” Frontispiece to California: Its Past History, Its Present Position, Its Future Prospects (London, 1850; F865.C14). Rare Book and Special Collections Division. Full Caption: “Emigrant Party on the Road to California.” Frontispiece to California: Its Past History, Its Present Position, Its Future Prospects (London, 1850; F865.C14). Rare Book and Special Collections Division.

An idealized image of the overland trail shows a level, graded pass through rugged mountains. Here the women's colorful dress closely resembles European clothing of the period. In the foreground, a woman cradles an infant in her arms; another holds her child's hand. Besides performing the many domestic chores that fell to them on the overland trail, women were the primary caregivers for their offspring, who had to be watched closely lest they be injured. The overland journals tell of children's deaths from snake bites, drownings, and falls under the wheels of the heavy wagons.

see caption below