"From boyhood," wrote Francis Parkman, "I had a taste for the woods and the Indians." His lifelong fascination with these American subjects are brilliantly recorded in "The Oregon Trail" and "The Conspiracy of Pontiac," his two earliest works. Parkman began his travels to the northern wilderness during his student years at Harvard in the 1840s, then went west after graduation. His first and most famous book, "The Oregon Trail," is a vivid account of his adventures on the open frontier and his encounters with Plains Indians in their last era of free, nomadic life. "The Conspiracy of Pontiac and the Indian War after the Conquest of Canada," Parkman's first historical work, portrays the fierce conflict that erupted along the Great Lakes in the aftermath of the Seven Years' War and chronicles the defeats in which both the eastern Indians and their forest "received their final doom."