-A Review by Ley Bouchard –
Pinto is the story of the Overland Westerners told through the voice of a pinto coated Morab, the only horse to have successfully made the cross-country journey to every state capital in the continguous USA.
Pinto, along with his owner, George Beck, made this journey from May 1912 to June 1915 to arrive at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco to celebrate the opening of the Panama Canal.
The Pinto story is compelling and believable for those of us who believe in the sentience of animals. For disbelievers it is a well-written truthful story that may have more accuracy than fiction.
Like Black Beauty, the story is told through the eyes of the horse so named for her coat color. Though the book is fictionalized by Pinto’s voice, the author’s telling is based on live accounts and research of the journals of George Beck and Raymond “Fat” Rayne.
Four men journeyed on foot and horseback to meet each state governor and sell items or perform along the way to earn their board and forward movement. Their success was more literal in that they accomplished the mission. However, turmoil and disappointment haunted their voyage and conclusion.
I enjoyed learning more about the men, horses and journey. They replaced the pack horses when necessary but Pinto stayed for the duration of the mission.
It is a nice combination of fiction and non-fiction with the fiction being quite believable and in fact, one really cannot discern the difference between what is imagined and true. It is entirely acceptable to think the journey through the USA could have occurred just as laid out on these pages.
Below, as listed in the book, Pinto, are all the state capitals and dates the Overland Westerners visited:
Order and dates taken from their journals and photographs.
Olympia Washington May 1, 1912
Salem, Oregon May 11, 1912
Boise, Idaho June 18, 1912
Helena, Montana July 21, 1912
Bismarck, North Dakota September 12, 1912
Pierre, South Dakota September 26, 1912
St. Paul, Minnesota October 27, 1912
Madison, Wisconsin November 25, 1912
Springfield, Illinois December 13, 1912
Nashville, Tennessee January 17, 1913
Montgomery, Alabama April 22, 1913
Tallahassee, Florida May 15, 1913
Atlanta, Georgia June 5, 1913
Columbia, South Carolina June 24, 1913
Raleigh, North Carolina July 7, 1913
Richmond, Virginia July 28, 1913
Washington D.C. August 1913
Annapolis, Maryland August 18, 1913
Dover, Delaware Summer 1913
Trenton, New Jersey August 28, 1913
Hartford, Connecticut September 10, 1913
Providence, Rhode Island September 14, 1913
Boston, Massachusetts September 20, 1913
Concord, New Hampshire September 26, 1913
Augusta, Maine August 18, 1913
Montpelier, Vermont October 1913
Albany, New York November 12, 1913
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania December, 1913
Charleston, West Virginia December 29, 1913
Cincinnati, Ohio Winter 1914
Lansing, Michigan February 24, 1914
Indianapolis, Indiana Spring 1914
Frankfort, Kentucky March 16, 1914
Jackson, Mississippi April 27, 1914
Baton Rouge, Louisiana May 8, 1914
Austin, Texas June 18, 1914
Little Rock, Arkansas Summer 1914
Jefferson City, Missouri Summer 1914
Des Moines, Iowa September 18, 1914
Lincoln, Nebraska Fall 1914
Topeka, Kansas October 15, 1914
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma November 13, 1914
Cheyenne, Wyoming December 23, 1914
Denver, Colorado December 29, 1914
Albuquerque, New Mexico January 25, 1915
Phoenix, Arizona March 3, 1915
Salt Lake City, Utah Spring 1915
Carson City, Nevada Spring 1915
Sacramento, California May 24, 1915
Arrived at the Panama-Pacific International Exposition in San Francisco on June 1, 1915— Right on Schedule