Washington Irving: A Tour on the Prairies

A Trek Across the American Frontier

Tour on the Prairies by Washington Irving

In autumn 1832, author Washington Irving embarked on a month-long journey through Indian Territory in what is now Oklahoma. We would like to invite you along on the intrepid adventure he took with his motley crew. Your tour guide, Julia Brady Ratliff, will direct you along the path and sights as we follow Irving’s footsteps. With direct quotes from Irving and his crew, we will revisit the experiences he wrote about in his book, A Tour on the Prairies. Perhaps you will see some of the same plants, insects, trees and animals, prairies and forests. Imagine the accounts from the book come alive as you travel around modern day Oklahoma. Washington Irving saw a West that has disappeared forever, yet one that still exists. What will you find on your pilgrimage when you embark on A 21st Century Tour on the Prairies?


A 21st Century Tour on the Prairies

Introduction — Who was Washington Irving? Why did he come west? What was it like in Oklahoma in 1832?

Stage 1 — Fort Gibson to Bixby

Stage 2Bixby to Sand Springs

Stage 3 — Sand Springs to Washington Irving Trail Museum in Ripley

Stage 4 — Washington Irving Trail Museum to Edmond

Stage 5Arcadia to Norman

Stage 6 — Tecumseh to Fort Gibson

Ever After & BibliographyWhat happened afterward?


More About the Crew


More About the Sights

Plaques you will find along the 21st Century Tour of the Prairies.

Friends for a Day, Senate Artwork at the Oklahoma Capitol. See what Irving and Pourtalès wrote when meeting Mr. Manhattan, as depicted in the painting.

Friends for a Day


The Tour Continues 


View A Tour on the Prairies by Washington Irving online.