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Independence! (Wagons West, #1)
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Independence! (Wagons West #1)

3.98 of 5 stars 3.98  ·  rating details  ·  2,655 ratings  ·  61 reviews
The year is 1837. The American West is untamed, uncivilized, and largely unclaimed. U.S. President Andrew Jackson, in a race with the British and Russians, sends a wagon train of would-be settlers into the uncharted Oregon territory, led by his close friend, mountain man and veteran Sam Brentwood. Teaming up with trail hand Whip Holt, widow Claudia Humphries, and a colorfu ...more
Audio CD, Abridged
Published September 1st 2009 by Brilliance Corporation (first published January 1st 1979)
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Laura
Just arrived from USA through BM.

This is the first book of a series of 24 books written by Dana Fuller Ross, the pen name for James Reasoner. This author wrote 5 more huge series based on American historical fiction.

Concerning the Wagons West series, this first book is enough for me since we can guess what will happen in the next 23 books.

Connie
I read the first nine books in HS and have had them in boxes for years. I found them about a month ago and remembered how I had enjoyed them and since it had been so long, thought it would be like reading new books. And it is, sort of, after I start reading then I start remembering, some what ;-)

Oh, and there are 24 books in the Wagon's West series, not nine, ha I thought I had them all. Not sure if I will finish all, seems overwhelming.

I really loved reading Independence again, the characters
...more
Brick ONeil
The first book in this multi-book series was bought for me decades ago from a little used book store in a tiny town. After that first book, I was hooked, going on to read all 34 books in the series. The characters feel like old family friends, you follow them from the first wagon train to populate Oregon and their lives. There were many authors using the pseudonym "Dana Fuller Ross" but they all kept the themes, plots and style the same. You actually care about the characters, what happens to th ...more
Lela
I originally read this book series as a teenager and I decided to re-read them now that I'm 40. It took me forever to remember the author name or even the series beyond "Wyoming."

It's mostly as I remember it. A little bit Western, a little bit romance, and lot of pioneer gumption. I was so in love with Whip and Cathy; still am. :)

I believe I read the entire series before. Not sure if I'll make it through all of them again, but I'm going to see where it takes me...
Ellie
I love books about the west - both American and Canadian. Indepence! is the first book in a long series about eastern Americans moving into the lands beyond the Mississippi. An enjoyable read, fast and mostly historically accurate. The characters are too many to get a good handle on each in one book. I hope to see more character development as the series goes along.
Nan
i read a bunch of the books from this series a long time ago and while i don't remember the writing style as being anything special, they stand out in my memory as books that made the pioneer experience come to life and become more real to me.
Virginia Markhart
So great to visit with an old friend. I first read this book back in the 980's when the series was a rage. Loved it then, and love it now.

In the first book, the wagon train leaves from the east and heads toward Independence Missouri. Sam Brentwood is the leader appointed by President Andrew Jackson. Early pioneers include Claudia Humphreys (who marries Sam Brentwood when the wagon reach Independence), her sister and brother in law Cathy and Otto Van Ayl (Otto dies in an attack by a gang of felon
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Tami
I usually try to avoid reading series for a couple of reasons. One, I'm afraid I'll lose interest or become disappointed somewhere down the line, thereby discrediting the original passion that I had for the initial book. Another reason is, I just hate the thought of waiting and waiting and waiting for a new installment only to find that, for whatever reason, the author can't or won't be writing more of the series. I stumbled across what I thought was a relatively new series and since it was writ ...more
Fran
This is the beginning of a big series of books, telling a story about people who settled the west and then went on to settle other areas, and serve our country in its early days. The struggles and triumphs in this book are well written, with an infusion of American history and how areas were settled, and some of the challenges between the "New Americans" and the "Old Americans" and how there were good relations and bad relations involved in the settling of America. The reading is wonderful and I ...more
Mike
May 14, 2014 Mike rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: historical fiction buffs
Recommended to Mike by: read a long time ago
First in a series of historical fiction about the pioneers who worked their way west from the East Coast during the early years of the United States.

This book tells the tale of the beginnings of the journey from the East Coast to Independence, which was at that time (1837) the westernmost civilized area. It is not easy as there are folks out there from Russia and England who wanted nothing more than to claim the land in Oregon as their own and would stop at nothing to stop the wagon train.

Great
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Beverly
Loved this series! What a fun way to get perspective on American history. The books are written so you feel you are right there with the characters, experiencing what they are. Naturally there is the family plot to follow as well. Very well written. By the time I finished the first book, I couldn't wait to delve into the next.
C.
Interesting start to the series.Lots of characters,but easy to follow.

There are 24 books in this series,and I do not plan to read that many!However there are several that I do want to read.

I enjoyed this first book,except for the ridiculous part about the prairie dog pup!Since adult PDs only weigh 1-3 lbs. there is no way anyone would be carrying a pup in their arms,since it would be more like a handful,not an armful,sheesh!

Next one I plan to read is Oregon.I realize I will not be keeping the ch
...more
Kevinbozzi
Read all of this series when I was in middle school. Loved these books! Fictional but also somewhat historically correct in terms of when states were added to the union. I am currently re-reading them which has brought back memories of my childhood.
Kaarin
I enjoyed this book on CD. The narrator is quite good. I look forward to reading the next book in the series. The story follows the creation of the wagon train to Oregon and follows their path as far as Independence, Missouri. It includes some intrigue from Russian and British saboteurs--a point which I wonder if is really historically accurate--I certainly had never heard of it. The romantic relationships are very predictable and feel stereotypical of the 1970s--when this book was written. They ...more
Tina Milledge
Couldn't have been that good because it sent me to sleep, which was a welcome outcome :)
Jolene
Despite the fact that the cover reminds me of some romance-saga (and I had every expectation that this would be overwrought with ridiculousness) I was actually quite entertained by this book. I have a fascination with Westward expansion, so I thought I'd give it a go. I'm not quite sure about the accuracy of all the information. I'd be curious to look some of it us to see if it is in reality based on historical accuracies. There was a bit of romance, but well placed and not overdone to ruin the ...more
Victoria Beagle
Read all of Wagons West Series
Sandy
Had a good time starting the series
Marci LeHew
Great book! Can't wait to read the next one.
Sandy
Audiobook: I read this series about 20 years ago and liked it then. Decided to listen to them again and share this series with John. I'm lovin that he is lovin the audiobooks! This book started out a little slow, but it was laying the base for the whole series. By the second half I couldn't wait until the next book in the series! For those of you who are interested in the west and how it all started, this series is for you! Even though it is fiction, I'm sure it's based somewhat on fact.
Rene
I started reading this series while in high school. I picked it up at our small library and once I had finished all the ones the library had I would beg to go to Denver so I could buy the next one. The series continued through my graduation, starting college, meeting my husband, and starting our family. It instilled in me a love for historical fiction. Over the years my copies of the books have disappeared but I plan on checking them out from the library and reading them again.
Mandy Pinoteau
Started off slow, but once it picked up I enjoyed the story and the characters.
Patty Marion
I ran across this book in a used book store and picked it up because I love westerns. Turns out it is the first of a dozen or so books Ross wrote about the settling of the mid and western states. The books can be read as stand alones but they do follow the same few families across the country so if you have the luxury of reading them in order, do. Am now having trouble finding some of them since some are out of print. Good western fare!
Melissa
Ross fills her books with interesting characters, action and history. There are about a million books in the Wagons West series. I don't think I"ll read them back to back as there are too many other books on my "to read" list, but they will be great fillers when I need something completely fun.

I had no idea how the Oregon Trail began and it is fascinating to read about the people who became such brave pioneers.
Aldafan
I'm a bit late in finding this series but I really enjoyed this book and look forward to the next one. I love American history. I am amazed at the courage folks showed in venturing off into the unknown with all their possessions in a covered wagon. It's a pretty easy read but still, interesting to be reminding of the importance we put on material possessions now.
Kellyanne
I fell in love with these books as a kid.. I know a young girl liking westerns isn't exactly common but I LOVED westerns ever since I visited the ponderosa ranch that my dad took me to.. It's where our great uncle acted in the show bonanza.. So maybe it's in my blood! Lol. Anywho.. I loved this series so much!! I'm rereading it ALL!!
Darcie
I liked this book, but I kept wondering really could all this happen to ONE wagon train? This is a series and I was thinking I wanted to know what happened to a couple of the characters. :) You know I am a sucker for reading the whole series. Our library doesn't have it so I will have to look for it at the 1/2 price book store. :)
Erin
Apr 05, 2009 Erin rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Erin by: my uncle, long long ago
I think I was in high school when one of my uncles recommended this series to me. I loved it then, and when I found the books in a closet last week, I had to pick up the first installment and read a bit. Now I'm on Book 3. I love the recounting of what day-to-day existence might be like on a wagon train headed out west.
Janice
A good, light read to revisit, hopefully based on some historic accuracy. I like the whole pioneer/wagon train thing. Maybe I should read some non-fiction about this period sometime. Years ago, I read this whole serious, which seriously declined as the volumes went on. I don't think I'll read anymore this time.
Monica
Sep 13, 2007 Monica rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jr. Highers? Wow maybe younger...no
I started in Jr. high with this series, instead of Daneille Steel, so It was good for history and evloving my reading skills and intrest. I read some of them now and get bored your basic kinda small smut like whatever book and series.
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110739
Pen name for James Reasoner.

American author James Reasoner specializes in historical military novels, westerns, and mysteries. He also writes under the pseudonyms "Mike Jameson", "Hank Mitchum" and "Dana Fuller Ross." He has written more than 40 novels. His spouse, Livia Washburn Reasoner, is also a prolific writer of westerns, mysteries, and romances. The Reasoners were each raised in Texas, and
...more
More about Dana Fuller Ross...

Other Books in the Series

Wagons West (1 - 10 of 24 books)
  • Nebraska! (Wagons West, #2)
  • Wyoming! (Wagons West, #3)
  • Oregon! (Wagons West, #4)
  • Texas! (Wagons West, #5)
  • California! (Wagons West, #6)
  • Colorado! (Wagons West, #7)
  • Nevada! (Wagons West, #8)
  • Washington! (Wagons West, #9)
  • Montana! (Wagons West, #10)
  • Dakota! (Wagons West, #11)
Oregon! (Wagons West, #4) Nebraska! (Wagons West, #2) Wyoming! (Wagons West, #3) Texas! (Wagons West, #5) California! (Wagons West, #6)

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