Across America on an Emigrant Train [SCM]

by Jim Murphy Author

Follows a journey made in 1879 by the young writer Robert Louis Stevenson. Murphy interweaves Stevenson's words with a lively history of the building of the transcontinental railroad. Contains 85 archival photographs and illustrations.

Additional Details

Resource Type
Print Status
In Print
Suggested Grades
7th - 9th
Geographical Setting
United States
Historical Setting
1879 - 1879


  • 1 The Journey Begins
  • 2 All Aboard!
  • 3 Aboard the Emigrant Train
  • 4 Into the Wild West
  • 5 Across the High Sierras
  • 6 In the Good Country
  • 7 A Final Word

User Reviews

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Watch for Author's Interpretive Wording

Reviewed by Parent/Teacher

The photos, illustrations, and diary excerpts from Stevenson are wonderful at painting the picture of the west during the late 1800s. One word to the wise, however: the author does include some interesting historical information that adds to the content, but he is not satisfied to simply present the facts and let the reader do the interpreting. Murphy likes to slip in his own interpretive wording that could sway the reader to a preconceived opinion. For example, under an interesting photo of a Union Pacific railroad station, the caption tells us that the clerks in the photo "look downright suspicious as they stare into the camera."

So enjoy the great historical story and living comments from Stevenson, and be ready to use the author's wording as a "side lesson" on persuasion in writing.

Interesting but...

Reviewed by Parent/Teacher

There is a comment about Stevenson's affair with the married lady which basically says it was looked upon as sinful in those if it is not wrong to have extramarital affairs today!

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