Publisher: New York: Doubleday & Co
Length: 544 pages
About: Gold-rush father and son adventure
Style: 1st person
The lively story of a 13-year-old boy's adventures on a journey across America in 1849. It details the journey of Jaimie and his father from Kentucky to gold-rush California. The novel alternates
between Jaimie describing his journey by wagon train to California with commentary by his father, a Scottish doctor with an effervescent personality whose judgment is often clouded by his weakness
for gambling and strong drink. The novel contains, in graphic detail, some intense Native American customs, especially rite of passage.
:..I was reading it here and there so as to shut out the sound of the voices, but it was an uphill job being a sort of championship long-winded poem by a man named Milton, though if any of the
lines ended in rhymes I failed to locate them, about a group of angels that talked all the time and couldn’t make up their minds whether to settle` down in heaven or in the other place.
ABOUT a year's supply of exciting episodes for a weekly television show like "Wagon Train" could be taken from this novel, a top-quality tale of the trail to California's gold fields and grassy
valleys in 1849.
New York Times, Lewis Nordyke, 16th March 1958
Not so good:
The Travels of Jamie McPheeters is firmly based on professional skill; the only pity is that its author did not aim higher. A lengthy biography proves that he read the background of his tale,
which describes the overland journey to California in 1849, but he has not bothered to make up his own mind. Were the Red Indians noble savages or lousy drunken submen?
Times Literary Supplement 24th April 1959
About the author
Taylor was born in Carbondale, 24 September 1912, Illinois and attended Southern Illinois Universityfor one year, which now houses his papers. He graduated from University of Illinois with a
Bachelor of Arts in 1933. From 1942 to 1946, Taylor served in the United States Navy during World War II. During his service, he wrote numerous stories and Adrift in a Boneyard as an extended fiction
about survivors of a disaster. In 1949, The Saturday Evening Post commissioned a series of biographical sketches of W. C. Fields. He continued to write biographies, including one of Winston
Churchill, as well as fiction. He died 30 September 1998