Stout-Hearted Seven: Orphaned on the Oregon Trail (Young Voyageur)
Neta Lohnes Frazier's story of the seven Sager children and their travails on
the Western frontier in a new, illustrated edition.
An almost incredible true tale of tragedy, persistence, and youthful courage on the
Western frontier. Based on an account written by one of the survivors, the story still
has the power to astonish readers.
In 1844, the Sager family set off on the Oregon Trail, a dangerous and adventurefilled
journey. Tragically, the parents succumbed to fever on the way, orphaning the
children - the youngest just three months old. Cared for by other families in the
wagon train, the children were eventually brought to Whitman Mission at the site of
what would become Walla Walla, Washington.
There, the children were adopted by missionaries Marcus and Narcissa Whitman and
settled into frontier life until, three years later, in the midst of a measles epidemic,
the mission was attacked by Cayuse Indians.
The Whitmans and two of the Sager children were killed in the ensuing massacre, and
the other five children, now orphaned a second time, were captured and held hostage
by the Cayuse. One died of illness just days after the murders, but the surviving four
sisters were eventually ransomed.
A decade later, the eldest sister, Caroline, described her experiences in a manuscript
that provided the basis for Frazier's remarkable book, a classic of frontier literature.
Children today will be amazed at the strength of the Sager children in the face of
tragedy and hardship.