Early in his youth, this Boston-born historian was infected with what he called (in language offensive to today's readers) "Injuns on the brain." For the rest of his life, he dedicated himself to writing what he had called at the age of 18 "a history of the American forest." In 1846, following the completion of his studies at Harvard College, he set out in company with a cousin on an expedition from St. Louis over the Oregon Trail to Fort Laramie, Wyoming, a journey that brought him into close contact with the Lakota Indians. Back in Boston, he turned the journal that he had kept on the trail into a series of sketches that were published in the Knickerbocker Magazine and afterwards as a book, The California and Oregon Trail, Being Sketches of Prairie and Rocky Mountain Life (1849), now better known by the abbreviated title of a later revised edition, The Oregon Trail. By this time, Parkman had well underway the historical work that would occupy him during the rest of his life, an account of the French and English in North America, the first installment of which was his History of the Conspiracy of Pontiac and the War of the North American Tribes against the English Colonies, published in 1851.
William Taylor is a novelist who specializes in writing fiction for children between ten and fifteen He is from New Zealand. Taylor's books include Knitwits and Numbskulls and feature problems and situations that can be overwhelming when one is between childhood and the teenage years. Taylor also wrote Fast Times at Greenhill High, a story set in the environment of a typical high school. He won the Library and Information Association of New Zealand's Esther Glenn Award for most distinguished contribution to New Zealand Literature for children and young people in 1991 for Agnes the Sheep. Taylor was also the 1998-1999 Chair of the Central District Branch of the New Zealand Society of Authors.