James O. Pattie wrote this historic autobiography to tell tales of his life in the Old West with a group of settlers as they traversed the North American frontier in the early 19th century.
Pattie was a headstrong young man and archetypal pioneer facing many dangers inherent to such life. He would traverse the great Western plains, encounter Native Americans who were variously friendly, neutral or hostile, set up a successful sawmill business, and experience all the adventures and adversity peculiar to his era.
Rather than be split into chapters or otherwise, Pattie's recollections are told in one lengthy story. However, this edition contains an introduction from the editor, who personally summarizes and notes tha major factors which shaped the author's life. Unusually for men on the frontier, Pattie expresses devotion and worry for members of his family - the death of his father and mother are a source of emotional outpouring, as the young Mr. Pattie seeks to honor both.
Eventually Pattie opted to settle in Kentucky, where he finally published this diary of his life. Accessible and plain in style, it is in these pages that readers get to know the author and empathize with his nature. Although aspects are exaggerated for the sake of entertaining, the memoir on the whole offers readers a vivid and historically valuable account of life in the young United States.
It is thought that Pattie died just a few years after publishing this memoir, as an outbreak of deadly disease at the time ravaged Kentucky. The death toll was particularly high in his locality; after this tragic event, there is no evidence that James O. Pattie survived.