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Table of contents
He followed the river one-half miles then struck out towards the road and came up to those wagons. They took him in and treated him kindly. Many children were injured and some killed in accidents along the trail. Falling out of the wagons was the most common injury accident involving children, and almost all journals and diaries record at least one instance when a child fell out of a wagon. Amelia Knight's son Chat fell out of her wagon once and was almost run over by the wagon in a second accident on the following day.
Amelia wrote, 38 Here Chat fell out of the wagon, but did not get hurt much Here Chat had a very narrow escape from being run over. Just as we were all getting ready to start, Chatfield, the rascal, came around the forward wheel to get into the wagon and at the same moment the cattle started and he fell under the wagon.
Somehow he kept from under the wheels and escaped with only a good or I should say, a bad scare. I never was so much frightened in my life. I was in the wagon at the time, putting things in order, and supposed Francis was taking care of him. Wilson's baby crying very hard indeed, it had fallen from the 14 wagon Catherine Washburn heard about one accident, " Francis Sawyer witnessed injury accidents involving children on the trail.
Charlotte wrote, "A horse became frightened and run over Mrs. Fordhairfs little girl —frightened us all very much and her mother more--the little girl was not much hurt. Sawyer saw a little boy injured. She wrote, Frank has been over to a neighboring wagon to visit a little boy who received a severe injury by being run over by the wagon a few days since. We met them at a slough some days since and gave the mother some arnica for it, which she thinks helped it very much indeed. Jane wrote, There was a little child run over by a wagon in Walker's train, who are just ahead of us.
The child was injured quite seriously They sent for a German physician that belongs to our train, to see the child that was injured. He said he thought it would get better. As mothers were most often responsible for the children, these accidents as well as other activities involving children were often carefully noted and recorded by women in their diaries, journals, and letters. The play and many leisure activities often involved both the women and their children.
Swimming, fishing, hiking, and berry picking were activities that were enjoyed by both the women and their children. The members of the train were curious about each other, made new friends, celebrated marriages and births, mourned deaths, helped each other and shared things, had disagreements and fights even robberies and murders, enjoyed parties, dances, worshipped together, and even celebrated the Fourth of July. The women were curious about others on the trail, and they observed and then described unusual wagons and people.
Paintings and letterings on wagon beds and covers were curiosities. Lucy Cooke camped with the "Bullheads" one night, and she wrote, " She wrote, "On one covered wagon I see lettered 'Pikes Peak or bust' and one returning? In her journal she wrote, "He knew our wagon from the name on the side. In Lydia Rudd saw a man pushing a wheelbarrow to California, and she wrote, " Nearby were five men who draw a truck.
We first saw them last Sunday, and our boys made lots of fun of them We passed the five men with their truck, poor fellows. It had broken down, and they have now taken pieces of it for poles, and thus slung on their provisions, and carry on their shoulders. She wrote, There were all conceivable kinds of conveyances. There was a cart drawn by one ox, and a man on horseback drove along an ox packed with his provisions and blankets.
There was a man with a hand cart another with a wheelbarrow loaded with supplies Among the crowds on foot a negro woman came tramping along through the heat and dust carrying a cast-iron bake oven on her head, with her provisions and blanket piled on top, all she possesses in the world bravely pushing on for California. Even ordinary wagons occasionally carried unusual passengers. Helen Carpenter was moved when she was a grandmother sitting in a rocking chair at the back of a wagon. Helen wrote, 41 The Inmanns have been with us for ten days, yet we did not know that there was a grandmother in their party until today after the wagons were emptied when she was seen sitting in a rocking chair looking out of the back of the wagon.
In answer to inquiries she said that she was large and feeble and could not get out and in without help so she just stayed in the wagon.
See a Problem?
Funeral services were brief and all too frequent. They were usually held during the noon break in travel or 1n the morning or evening at the camping place. Graves were marked by rocks, slabs of wood, or occasionally a wagon wheel or wagon tongue. The name of the deceased, the date, and the circumstances surrounding the death were sometimes written on the tomb-marker to be read by future trail travellers passing by. One grave along the trail near the Big Blue River crossing in Kansas attracted a lot of attention and comment because it occurred early in the emigration in and would be passed by thousands of emigrants in years to come.
Sarah Keyes was nearly blind and deaf as she was travelling west with her grandson James Reed, and she died on Friday be with her only son who was in Oregon. Every member of the company attended this funeral which was described in a letter written by her great-grand- daughter Virginia Reed. We buried her very decent.
We made a nete coffin and buried her under a tree we had a head stone and had her name cutonit and the date and yere verry nice, and at the head of the grave was a tree we cut some letters on it the young men soded it all ofer and put Flores on it. Burying the dead was considered a "common decency" and even when emigrants found a murdered stranger they performed a brief service and buried him. Catherine Washburn's party found a murdered man and buried him on August 26, Helen Stewart's sister was married at the jumping- off place in St.
Joseph, but Helen did not record any details of the ceremony. She wrote, "Another of my dear sisters has left the pleasant hearth of her father to enjoy another it appears she has joined heart and hand with Frederick Warner on the eave of our leaving St. Joseph on our long tiresome journey. One couple was married on the north side of the Platte River in , and Marie Belshaw wrote a brief note in her journal about it.
Physicians and doctors attended the ill and the injured and delivered babies. A large percentage of births on the trail were attended by physicians, midwives, or other women who had received some medical training. Small trains often stopped and laid over for two or three days for a birth. In large trains usually just a few wagons laid over.
The birth of a child was good news which the women noted in their journals, diaries, and letters. Kate Dunlap noted this spirit of cooperation in her diary in We see many instances of manly generosity on the plains, There is no place in the world where the qualities of a man will show themselves sooner than in crossing the plains, let them be good or bad. I have met with men and women who were like brothers and sisters to me. Milk and butter were food products that were often shared. Harriet Ward got some cream and milk from her neighbors. She wrote, "Called upon our neighbors at the next encampment, a family from Missouri who had kindly sent us cream and milk for our coffee.
In her journal she wrote,: Emigrants frequently shared meat from successful hunts. Buffalo, antelope, and smaller game were shared with neighbors on the trail. Mary got some ducks to eat. She wrote, "Foster and man shot several ducks and divided with us, fish plenty in stream. She wrote, "Had buffalo steak for 44 supper given us by some neighboring campers who killed it this morning. Kate Dunlap and others were concerned about a lost woman, and she wrote, "There was quite an excitement among the several camps as a lost woman was wandering about seeking her train but could not find it.
Helen wrote, "We was within three miles of the ferry when the ferry boat sunk and dround three men, one of them was an imigrant his widow and family is in our company now we will have to go to Iowa Point. He had not been here long till a tremendious storm came on This baby lived several days but died on the trail.
Helen wrote, 45 Here we came up with Farmer's train which was lying by on account k k ll " e? This beinq their desperate case, they stopped, killed the animal, cut the meat into small strips to dry, and travelled on with lightened hearts.
The next day they found a sack of flour with a card attached on which was written permission to anyone in need of food to appropriate it to his own. D It was a common thing for wagon trains to band together and travel in larger groups as they passed through areas where there had been trouble with Indians or robbers. In this way emigrants helped themselves and each other.
Harriet Griswold explained how her train did this. Started in company with a number of other teams in all 42 men on account of trouble with Indians. We have jouned together for safety to protect each other in case of attack. Harriet Ward helped an ill friend. She wrote, At eve our dear Mrs. Quigley was taken very ill, but with Mrs Fox and myself for nurse and physician both, she ha done nicely and I Lydia Rudd got medicine from a doctor in another train to treat her husband.
She wrote, "Harry has taken a chill this morning. Henry has overtaken us tonight and we have got medicine from him. At the end of the trail emigrants were often out of supplies, money, and even oxen or horses to transport their goods. Relief parties were sent eastward from the settlements in California to give food and help.
In Ester Lyman was impressed by the magnitude of this charity. She described the generosity of one man who had sent help to emigrants who were in trouble because they had tried a very difficult and dangerous shortcut. Ester was on this shortcut when she wrote, It was estimated that there were nine-hundred wagons, 1, persons on the road we were in the last train of waggons and passed the whole emigration with the exception of one team before we got into the valley. After we got down the worst of the mountains we every few miles met fresh cattle some to bring out the emigrants and other for beef and such cattle you never saw in your life, so large and fat.
At one place a thousand pounds of flour, fifty bushel of potatoes, a hundred weight of bacon were left by the partys with a notice to the emigrants to help themselves, all a free offering of one man. Although the spirit of friendly cooperation was prevelant on the trail, there were also many occasions when there were serious disagreements and disturbances among the emigrants. Conflicts sometimes resulted in injury and even bloodshed. Since the emigrants on the trail were outside the jurisdiction of the United States, law enforcement and justice was administered by elected wagon train officials according to a code of laws adopted by the train after a vote by the male adults.
This trail justice had to be simple and swift so the train was not delayed. Murder, robbery, and domestic violence were the three types of conflicts which were most frequently reported in the journals, diaries, and letters. Esther Hanna was one day behind a train in which there was a murder, and she passed the graves of the murdered and the murderer. She wrote, 47 Saw three graves, one of them the grave of a mart who was murdered yesterday, his name was Miller, the name of his murderer was Tate who killed him in cold blood. She wrote, "We heard today the particulars about a tragedy across the River.
There were two men and a woman concerned. The woman's husband attacked the other man and stabbed him to death.
He was tried, convicted, and hung, and the woman was sent back to the Fort. Robberies seemed to occur more frequently in the later years of travel on the trail. More robberies seemed to be reported at the western one-fourth of the trail. She wrote, July 5. Travel about four miles pass Trading station near Independence Rock.
Guill got a pair of hobbles made for Corie paid three dollars for them. Quite an excitment raised by a company of emigrants before us. They had all passed on, had got as far as the rock when five of the boys went on top, cut up a good many extras then come down and went back to the street? The Frenchman followed an overtook them, shot at them three or four. The first shot took effect in the foot of the one who stole the shoes.
The company all was from Wisconsin, a very rough set too. She wrote, "It is said we are now in the immediate vicinity of an organized band of Mountaineer Robbers. In Elizabeth Geer witnessed one woman's rebellion. Elizabeth described the scene. This morning one company moved on except one family. The woman got mad and would not budge, nor let the children go. He had his cattle hitched on for three hours and coaxing her to go, but she would not stir. I told my husband the circumstance, and he and Adam Polk and Mr.
Kimball went and took each one a young one and crammed them in the wagon and her husband drove off and left her sitting. She got up, took the back track and travelled out of sight. Cut across, overtook her husband. Meantime he sent his boy back to camp after a horse that he had left and when she came up her husband says, 'Did you meet John?
The cover burnt off and same valuable articles. He saw the flames and came running and put it out, and then mustered spunk enough to give her a good. Her name is Marcum. She is cousin to Adam Polk's wife. In Keturah Belknap overheard an argument in a nearby wagon. This argument erupted into a fight, but there were no injuries. Keturah wrote, Overheard argument in the next wagon behind ours a man and wife are quarreling she wants him to turn back and he won't so she says she will go and leave him-that these men will furnish her a horse and she will leave him with the children and he will have a good time with that crying baby then he used some very bad words and said he would put it out of the way -just then I heard a muffled cry and a heavy thud as tho something was thrown against the wagon box and she said, 'Oh you've killed it' and he swore some more and told her to keep her mouth shut or he would give her some of the same.
Just then the word came 'Change guards! The baby was not killed. Agnes Stewart wrote about the disagreements between two young men in her party. Tom and as usual Fred came to blows. Tom and Fred are always quarrelling about something. Often the punishments for crimes and disputes were separation or banishment from the wagon train.
The banished emigrant had the choices of trying to make it to California or Oregon alone, returning home, or joining another train if the banished person could find a train that would accept 49 him or her. Only in a few cases were the criminals hanged on the spot as reported by Esther Hanna and Eliza McAuley. Although several crimes were reported by the 63 women journal writers, conflicts were the exception and the spirit of cooperation and the feelings of loyalty were the rule in these travelling communities.
As the days of travelling turned into weeks and the weeks into months, the emigrants developed strong feelings of loyalty and comradewhip as they faced common dangers, experienced the same hardships, and shared the adventures of the journey across the wilderness.
These travelling communities often celebrated and played together when their schedule permitted it. The Fourth of July was a holiday that nearly all of the emigrants observed with some kind of celebration on the trail. On July Fourth the women reminisced about family and friends they had left behind, they cooked special meals, and they often attended patriotic orations, speeches, and dances on the trail. Guns were fired and fireworks were enjoyed by a few parties, and most of the women writers made a special effort to record their holiday activities in the wilderness.
Thirty-five women described their Fourth of July activities in their diaries and journals. Reading and comparing these Fourth of July entries reveal a lot about the writer's attitude at this point on the journey and about the conditions of the party and their equipment, food supplies, and livestock.
Sarah wrote, "Independence day. I suppose you are having some celebrations in New England. I spend the morning washing and made a biscuit pudding for dinner. How different from one eg year ago. She was in the Donner party which was caught in the mountains of California in a blizzard. Virginia survived this nightmare, but other members of the Donner party starved and froze to death before reaching California. Several of the gentlemen in Springfield gave paw a botel of licker and said it whouden be opend till the 4 day of July and paw was to look to the east and drink it and they was to look to the west and drink it at 12 o'clock, paw treted the compiany and we all had some lemminade.
She wrote in , It is the 4th of July.. The cattle will be unyoked and swim over. Some Mormons are here they have fixed up a ferry and will takers over for a dollar a wagon. It will take all day to get over. In Margaret Frink was travelling in the mountains west of Ham's Fork and did not stop to celebrate, but she noted that she prepared a special meal to celebrate the holiday. She wrote, "July 4. Notwithstanding our anxiety and fatigue, our dinner, in honor of the national anniversary was the best we could provide. The last of our potatoes, which had long been saved for the occasion, made it a rare feast.
Hadley and Harriet Clark were west of the landmark. Elizabeth wrote, July 4. Today we traveled till noon and then stopped to get a 4th of July dinner and to celebrate our nation's birthday. While making the preparations, and reflecting at the same time of what the people of Morton and Peoria were doing, and contrasting my 51 situation with what it was this day last year, a storm arose, blew over all the tents but two, capsized our stove with its delicious viands, set one wagon on fire, and for a while produced not a little confusion in the camp.
No serious injury, however was done. After the storm was over, we put up the stove, straightened up the tent, got as nice a dinner as we had upon the Glorious Fourth in Morton last year. We then took care of our game, consisting of 1 blacktailed deer, 1 antelope and 3 buffalo. Last of all we went to hear an oration delivered by Mr. For your amusement I will give a description of my dress for the occasion; a red calico frock, made for the purpose in the wagons, a pair of mockasins made of buffalo hide, ornamented with silk instead of beads, as I had none of the latter and a hat braided of bull rushes and trimmed with white, red and pink ribbon and white paper.
I think I came pretty near looking like a squaw. Hadley wrote a short entry for the fourth. Bridger when she wrote, "July 4 This morning of the glorious fourth, we breakfasted at six upon trout strawberries and cream. We were roused by Mr. Patton's firing 2 guns in honor of the day and crossed Bear River. A few birds are trying to sing their Maker's praise. Our thoughts are continually turning homeward. I suppose you all are having a Sabbath School celebration today.
We would like to take a sly squint and see what you are doing. Mary wrote, "July 4 Sunday Camped on the sand with sage roots for fuel. It is wintery, cold and somewhat inclined to rain, not pleasant. Rather a dreary Independence Day. We speak of our friends at at home. We think they are thinking of us. This is the day of our nations jubilee of liberty. Traveled ten miles and struck the Sweet Water and encamped for 52 the day to celebrate our independence.
We had some gooseberry sauce for dinner gathered from the bluff. Harry killed an antelope. Sawyer were farther west on the trail. Esther was travelling west of South Pass when she wrote, July 4 Sabbath This is the anniversary of our National Independence, we celebrate it on the banks of the Little Sandy- nearly miles from civilization and more than miles from our beloved home in Pa. Me have cold high winds today blowing the sand and dust in every direction, even our victuals are covered with it before we can eat them. This morning we had another division in our company, flur Captain and two other families left us making in all four wagons and a carriage, they wished to travel today.
The company took a vote on it, all the rest wished to remain and they left. We are still a Presbyterian Colony We had no preaching today owing to high winds whirling the dust in every direction. Sawyer's party was near Soda Springs Idaho travelling near the vanguard of that year's emigration when she wrote, "July 5.
Lying by today to celebrate the Fourth, as we had to travel yesterday. We went fishing this morning, then came back and cooked a good dinner. We had canned vegetables, fish, rice cakes, and other little dishes. Helen wrote, July 4. This is the 4th in the States a great many, nearly all is preparing for pleasure of some kind but we are celebrating it by traveling in sand and dust but we had a great dance tonight Ag and I went up on the hill and talked over old times and repeated some paraphrases and all the like of that and then we came down and danced until nearly one o'clock.
They are playing the fiddle and dancing-- we finished the 4th of July by dancing. After Helen and I sitting on the hill and moralizing so serious we came down and cut capers like a parcel of fools. In the same year Celinda Hines and Harriet Ward were in two different trains but were travelling near each other on July 4th. Both would reach Independence Rock on July 5th. Celinda wrote, "July 4 Very warm. Saw a 53 buffalo chase in the morning. The water in a ravine nearby seems to proceed from snow in the mountains, as it flows by day and ceases by night.
We got up an Independence Dinner, all the company eating together. She wrote, July 4th. The celebration of our National Independence, which we are so unfortunate as not to have reached Independence Rock, we shall be obliged to celebrate by toiling through the deep sands of the Rocky Mountains. Frankie and myself left the encampment before the company and took a pleasant walk to gather an Independence bouquet for our dear ones at home.
Elizabeth wrote, "July 4th. This is indeed a beautiful morning to celebrate the anniversary of our Independence, but to us it is like all other days, the same work to do, drove 18 miles today and have not much grass for our cattle tonight, passed ice-springs at the right of the road. Passed a great deal of alkali. A gentleman told us one of the company would deliver an oration but we did not hear it.
McCarthy found some of the long looked for ice this morning. In the eve two Indians came. Put sold them his old coat for 50 cents. He the Indian put it on and called himself an Emigrant. Shot off his pistol much to our surprise, but knowing it had not taken effect we had considerable fun with him. Hail the day that brought our freedom. Bought with our forefathers' blood. Lo their happy sons and daughters On this glad and welcome day By the springs of mountain waters O'er the hills and valleys stray Independence then shall clear Our path to heaven.
This has not seemed at all like 'Independence Day 1 but just same old jults with plenty of dust thrown in As it was the 4th Reel her husband wanted something extra for supper. Well what should it be? He said corn starch. I had never heard of that being a 4th of July dish and further more I did not know now to cook it. But he did just as Aunt Hannah used to. So I stood by and saw him burn his fingers and scorch the starch which when done was of the consistency of very thin gravy. But we ate it, for on a trip like this, one must not be too particular.
Harriet's train was pushing to the west and did not stop to celebrate. She noted, "Cannot spend time to stop to celebrate the day. She wrote, July 4, Monday I was awakened this morning bright and early by firing of guns from some distant companies. It seems that they had not forgotten Independence Day, if they were far away on the plains and from home and friends.
Got breakfast quite early, but before breakfast the boys fired off some of their 'shooters'.. Had some apple dumplings for supper, which were very good. We had an invitation to stop with a company to a Fourth of July dance, but did not accept the invitation. After supper Jack played on his violin, and some of the boys sang before retiring. Mary wrote, July 4th. This evening we are encamped on the Platte River in sight of four different companies. They have stopped to celebrate the glorious fourth and our company have camped for the same purpose.
There was an oration delivered this afternoon and there was quite a respectable audience. The oration was not as good as I have heard in the States but it was good as could be expected this side of the Black Hills. There was quite a display of female beauty present which would do credit to a more civilized region. She wrote, "July 4 Our Fourth of July dinner. What an excellent dinner have got, got some fresh peaches today and a jack rabbit and some apples.
What eaters we are at eleven we struck out again. The little creek 83 we dined on was called fish creek. Jane Tourtillot did not give a clue about her location on the holiday. She wrote, "Today is the Fourth of July and here we are away off in the wilderness and can't even stay over a day to do any extra cooking. The men fired their guns. We wonder what the folks at home are doing and oh how we wish we were there.
She wrote, "Men busy working, bridge. Made some pies for dinner boys got back from getting lumber for bridge Was very cold in the evening. She wrote, The soldiers have a fourth of July Ball which commenced last night. They came to camp and gave the emigrants a cordial invitation to attend. We all went up a short time we soon came back to camp and went to bed. We are also invited over to the Fort today and tonight to partake of a full supper. Elizabeth's mention of the holiday was brief. I am wondering all the time what our friends are doing at home. July 5 All the emigrants invited to attend a ball at the station last night but none of our party went.
She wrote, 56 July 4th. In the morning we heard the firing of guns in the direction of Virginia City. About three or four o'clock Uncle Henry came. We all knew him as quick as we saw him. We had the best dinner that we could get, and tried to celebrate the Fourth as well as we could. After supper we played ball and in the evening we had fireworks by the campfire. She wrote, July 4. We made corral at eleven am the captain announcing 'we will stay four hours.
We had dinner at two. We used the last of our eggs which were packed in salt, it is surprising how nicely they have kept. We had a very enjoyable feast, with an abundance of lemonade without ice. The boys put up a large swing on two large cottonwood trees; two could swing at once with lots of strong arms to send us away up high. We began to file into the road at three pm. Our fun was all too short. Fletcher rode with NeeTie, and Milt Walker with me.
Independence Rock by the Fourth of July was an unspoken goal for many emigrants. Those who were farther west on the holiday were making good time and would probably reach their destination ahead of the schdule without great problems. Those who celebrated the Fourth east of Independence Rock were behind and could run into cold weather and snow and were more likely to experience difficulties crossing the mountains of Oregon and California.
Independence Rock Wyoming was one of the most often visited and described landmarks along the trail. Most women mentioned it and usually described it in their journals and diaries. Four other landmarks received a lot of attention. Chimney Rock, Devil's Gate, Ice Springs, and Soda Springs were also used like mile markers, indicating and measuring the emigrants' progress across the west. The emigrants were nearly all curious to see these landmarks which were described in all the trail guide- books. In addition to these natural phenomena the trail offered many curiosities along the way.
Forts, trading posts, pony express stations, stage coach depots became landmarks along the trail and were observed and often visited by the travellers. The emigrants themselves decorated the trail corridor with signs, signatures, and graffitti written and inscribed on rocks, bones, and trees, and they left a lot of litter along the road.
Holy Buckets, Batman: It's Poetry For Comic Book Fans!
With hundreds and then thousands of people following the same 'highway' through the wilderness, the landscape along this trail became littered with things that people had abandoned and broken, with carcasses and bones of dead livestock, and even with the graves of emigrants who were casualties on the trail. The quantity of litter increased as the amount of traffic increased. In addition to the things that were left behind on purpose, there were also a lot of things lost accidentally.
The women record that the emigrants lost and found everything from livestock to children, from gold pieces to books. Patty Sessions recorded an incident when a little girl found a valuable gold piece. Patty wrote, "Matthews little girl went down to the river-found a ten dollar gold piece at the edge of the river. She wrote about the incident, "Thornton finds a two dollar and a one half gold piece. Helen Stewart found a pocket book along the trail in I took the dollar for safe-keeping, but unfortunately I had a hole in my pocket, and so lost it. She wrote, "The custom of the country is to possess nothing and then you will loose nothing while travelling.
People wrote advertisements, directions, messages, and names along the trail from Independence to Oregon and California. Mary Warner amused herself by reading this graffitti in She wrote in her journal, "I walked nearly all afternoon and amused myself reading of buffalo bones. What do you suppose I find? Names of those gone over the road before us. Noble advertised his services by writing advertisements on buffalo bones and grave markers along the trail. Helen Carpenter was amused by the doctor's ads. In she wrote, 59 September 1. Before noon we came to a notice on a tree by the side of the road, saying that the Carson boys had turned off here to find feed and inviting us to follow.
We did so, and in a short distance came to a fine meadow. This style of telegraph was in general use on the plains. Notes were often seen stuck in a split rod planted by the side of the road, where everyone could see them. Lodisa Frizzell describes buffalo bone signs. Independence Rock was a popular place to write names. Lydia Rudd and Lucy Cooke visited the rock in to see the names. Lydia wrote, "I saw my husbands name that he put on it in Emigrants visited these forts and trading posts to receive mail and to send letters home and to get supplies or make repairs.
These buildings were often regarded as welcome signs of civilization in the wilderness. Hadley was glad to see Fort Laramie in She wrote, Come to the fort which was beyond all expectation. About as large a town as Henderson and much handsomer. On main street the buildings are brick 3 stories high. Stores in the lower stories. Here you can get almost anything you want. The town 60 Is a square block and brick sidewalks.
It is on the south side of Platte. There are quite a number of frame buildings. Here is a good blacksmith shop The town is at the foot of the mountains in a bend of the river. They have a good ferry at or opposite the fort. The road up on the northside of the river is a new one and comes into the old one about 80 miles above the fort. The pony express passed us this afternoon we saw it pass by about twice a week.
There is also a line of stages running to California. Each stage has a team of six mules. Some of these frontier stores also offered surprising things for sale, like newspapers. Eliza McAuley bought a newspaper at one store. They bought papers and had papers mailed back east to friends. Mary Guill visited the Huntsman Echo office on June 1st and then she wrote, "Buy some papers from the office here which is something new to us. There is a paper printed here called The Huntsman's Echo. Very nice little paper for the plains.
These were the outposts or stores which bought, sold, and traded for furs on the American frontier. As the emigrant traffic increased, it was a natural development for these small stores to stock merchandise and offer services to the emigrants. Fur traders, mountain men, and trappers were the frontier entrepreneurs who ran these businesses. In their journals the first white women on the trail described the fur trader and their Indian wives with whom the missionaries travelled. The missionaries who were going to Oregon to live among and serve the Indians were interested in the Indian women who travelled with the fur traders' caravan.
The two wives of Capt Dripps. They are trimmed off in high style, I assure you The oldest wife rides a beautiful white horse, her saddle ornamented with beads and many little gingles. Then comes the rider with her scarlet blanket, painted face and handerchief on her head, sitting astride. This is the fashion of the country The second wife acts as an attendant. Sarah surnned up her opinions in her journal.
Last eve we received a call from one of the wives of some trader She was dressed in fine style. Perhaps her dress cost dollars. It was trimmed in beads and other ornaments throughout and beads of a costly kind about her neck. Her dress was mountain sheepskin, white and soft as kid.
Blizzard by Addison Jane
I certainly never saw so much ornament but it all showed the barreness of her mind. It is said these trappers take great pleasure in dressing their Indian brides, but care not for their minds. Received a salute from some of Bridger' s party who have just arrived. This company consists of about men and perhaps 60 Indian females and a great number of half-breed children. Their arrival was attended with firing of guns and noisy shouts.
Their appearance was rude -and savage, were painted in a most hideous manner. Instead the wagons were covered with black or dark cloth. She wrote, There are 10 or 15 Indian women and children with the train. The company have about horses and mules; we have 21 horses and mules. They have 17 carts and waggons, we have one. We have 12 horned cattle. The waggons are all covered with black or dark cloth. The Company generally travel on a fast walk, seldom faster. The women had read about these frontiersmen in the guidebooks and in the newspapers.
Heading west on the trail in the s. In the years and the emigrants passed fur trading caravans which were returning to St. In these years the furs were buffalo skins instead of the beaver which had been popular in the first half of the century. The women journal writers in the 50s were just as critical of the traders as the missionary women had been in the 30s. Esther Hanna was near the Little Blue River when she saw the fur trader caravan returning east on May 22nd. She wrote, Met a train of fur traders, 18 wagons loaded with furs, they were on their way back to the States.
The men were savage looking creatures, part of them Spaniards, one or two indians, and the rest what were once white men, but a season's exposure to all kinds of weather had so tanned them that I scarcely recognized them as such. We met eight covered wagons of fur traders going to St. This important service gave the emigrants a good reason to stop at the post or fort or go to the caravans and mail letters home, or pick up mail from friends and family. In the process of mailing letters, the emigrants often transacted other business with the traders such as buying supplies or trading livestock.
The women were often very anxious to receive news from friends and family back home, so they looked forward to their arrival at these frontier post offices. The journalists and diarists often named and described the frontier post offices. Mary Jane Guill went to the post office at Fort Laramie and wrote, "We visited the post office put some letters in the office one to George Williams and home No letters here from home. While we were there the coach arrived, and the mall was brought in. Margaret Frink wrote, "Today Mr. Frink made a visit to the city of Sacramento to inquire for letters as we had not heard from home since we left Martinsville.
Indians were often camped in the vicinity of these places, and as the wagon trains passed the Indians often paid a visit to the emigrants. The Indians were probably as curious about the emigrants as the emigrants were curious about the Indians. Some Indians stood and watched Harriet Ward write in her journal; Indians shook hands with the members of Mary Warner's party, and Indian women stared at Helen Clark's bloomers. Almost without exception the women emigrants were inquisitive and at the same time apprehensive about the Indians along the trail. Most had apparently read or heard descriptions of the ndians and of Indian atrocities; so the women women looked forward to their first encounter with both curiosity and anxiety.
Since seeing and meeting Indians was a new experience for most of the women journalists on the trail, they usually described the Indians 65 they met. T he women usually interacted with the Indians and often traded, talked, and scrutinized the Indians and then wrote about the encounter in their diaries and journals.
Emigrant women on the trail often had unique relationships with the Indians along the trail. Since the women did not usually threaten the Indians, there was the opportunity for some dialogue and trade. Three facts emerge from the women's journals. This is contrary to what should have happened as soldiers were stationed at new forts built along the trail to defend and protect the travellers. It appears that the hostility was actually intensified as the military presence along the trail was increased.
Each leg of the journey presented different Indian tribes to the emigrants. At the eastern end of the trail, the Kansa, the Pottawatomie, and other Indians were friendly and even helpful. These Indians provided ferry boats across large rivers and toll bridges across some of the smaller but difficult rivers and streams. These Indians did annoy some emigrants by coming into the camps and begging for food and trinkets, but they were not considered dangerous.
In Sarah Cranstone met some Indians at the trail's beginning. They appeared very friedly and were begging They had a paper and on it was written with a pencil, 'these are friendly Indians, you had better treat them well. She wrote, "At break of day the Indians awoke us singing their morning song. The old chief started the song and the other chimed in and it was very harmonious and pleasing. These Pawnees were often encountered along the Platte River, and again the relationship between emigrant and Indian was usually friendly and often even humorous verbal exchanges were made between Indian and emigrant.
Helen Clark wrote about two incidents in when a Pawnee Indian tried to trade ponies to her husband in exchange for her. She wrote, "We saw some Indians that offered five, six, and ten ponies for me and Mrs. One wanted to sell his pony and get her and wisky. Wimple and me, and Mr. Kline wanted to know what they would give for ME and one, the chief held up all his fingers and Mr. Kline asked him if he had three ponies, he gave assent and made room on behind for me when Mr. The only trade the Indians would consider was Ward's daughter.
Harriet wrote, "We had been trying a long time to purchase a pony of a fine young Indian, who refused all our efforts but at length rode up and offered two ponies for Frank Ward's daughter. In Helen Stewart and two friends met some Pawnees as the emigrant women were exploring the countryside. Sarah Sutton saw a village of travelling Pawnees set up camp in minutes as a rainstorm threatened the nomads in They lash their poles on each side of poneys like shafts and carry their other plunder on the back end of them dragging on the ground and we saw 20 dogs with shafts hauling a six gallon keg and dressed buffalo skins, their tent cover.
Their teams went on ahead of us and the men, squaws and papoos and children of all sizes were all among us and our children have swapt bread for a good many strings of beads. We struck in behind them it soon began to rain and first we knew they had built their houses in 20 minutes and was the busiest people ypu ever saw turning out their horses and gathering weeds to burn. Reached the Platte at 11 o'clock— took our noon rest. Today we passed through two Indian villages. At one of these a white man a trading post.
He bought the lame worn out stock of the "pilgrims" at his own price. I notices several half breed children better clad than the rest. At one of the villages Mr. Codington sold a dog to the Indians who at once butchered him for a grand feast. We also met a large company moving. The poles of their wigwams were tied to each side of the ponies, in the manner of shafts, one end dragging on the ground, upon which were their camp equipage, pappooses, and squaws, the latter driving. The Pawnees were not friendly to the emigrants on all occasions and on a few meeting were accused of purposefully stampeding the emigrants' livestock.
They all came out and frightened our teams, five of them ran, one yoke was broken Mr. Coonts was run over and hurt. All the men that was in campt took after them. The men soon all came back except four that had gone a hunting and three that took horses and went to try to rescue the others. Indians went over the bluff found two of the men- T. Robison took guns and all their clothing except and boots and hats found the n other two men did not take anything but their shot pouches. The Sioux were described and identified by more of the emigrant women writers than any other tribe. The women found the Sioux to be everything from kind and harmless people to dangerous and hostile murderers.
Sarah Cranstone and Mrs. Hadley described a village of Sioux in On May 30th Mrs. Hadley passed their camp and wrote about the 'Soos' she encountered on the Platte. May 30 Came to an Indian camp about noon where they had quite a little village of wigwams and a great many poneys. They are a tribe of soos.
They are kind and hospitable and are the most polite and cleanest tribe on the road. They are whiter, to than any that we have seen. They are well dressed and make a fine appearance, went in one of their houses made of dressed skins sewed together and very large. They are all busy some of them jerking buffalo, some painting skins for boxes which look very nice. May There is a large encampment of them across the river opposite us. They were Shions and Sious who marry and live together yet have each their separate chiefs.
The Shions CheyennesJ, a very intelligent looking nation, are said to be wealthy. A little papoose attracted the attention of the whole company. It was dressed in a wild cat skin taken off whole and lined with red flannel and trimmed with beads. There was a Frenchman living with them, said he had been there 32 years. In Algeline Ashley described the village and Lucy Cooke traded with them. Both women met the Indians near Fort Laramie. There are many French traders with them. They keep a a great number of dogs and are very careful to keep them away from the tents. They do not beg but offer to pay for anything they desire.
They make their tents of buffalo skin and long poles and carry the poles with them when they,move because there is no timber for miles back of the Fort. Lucy was impressed with their furs and wrote, "There were a number of Indians around at this place, and I had a good chance to trade for a fur or two.
I swapped one of my small blankets for a pretty robe of prairie dog skins. I think there are ten in it, all nicely sewed together. She wrote, The squaws were much pleased to see the white squaw in our party as they call me. I had brought a supply of needles and thread, some of which I gave them. We also had some small mirrors in gilt frames and a number of other trinkets with which we could buy fish and fresh buffalo, deer, and antelope meat.
Mary Dutro saw a Sioux grave in as she and some friends were exploring. In her letter she wrote, Nattie, Sam Davis Sis and I went off the road some distance today to see an indian grave. We are now passing through the Sioux traibe. They are a very harmless tribe. The way they bury their dead, they plant four posts in the ground about eight or ten feet high and lay sticks across then lay the dead body on that after tying it up in buffalo hides and blankets. We went this morning to see the skeleton of a papoose, which had been buried up in a tree and had fallen down.
It was done up in a red handkerchief, with red and blue flannels, and last of all a buffalo robe. It was very much fried and. After shaking hands with a friendly Sioux brave near Fort Laramie, Mary Elizabeth Warner wrote in her journal that she was afraid. Her husband 70 had some fun when he offered to sell his scared wife to the brave. Mary wrote, One tall fine looking Indian came up to my buggy before I got out and wanted to shake hands.
Well of course I shook hands and shook other wise. And then what do you think, asked Warner to sell me for ponies. Uncle Chester traded Aunt Lizzie off for three ponies but she would not go. It was said there were 50 in the herd. They succeeded in killing a number of them.
The chase was very interesting to us. The indians had nothing but halters on their horses We examined some bows and arrows with which they killed them. The Sioux gave Charles a quarter and offered him another, but he took but one. What a sight we have seen today; we met Indians or more. I am certain of this many for I counted them besides ponies and dogs and plenty of children, about two to a man and three ponies to a person and five dogs, half wolf. They had their tent poles fastened on to the ponies on each side, and the pofivisions and packed on his back and on those poles.
Dogs were loaded also. We met them on the hills. They were Sioux and had weapons but were very friendly Add all three to Cart Add all three to List. Buy the selected items together This item: The Five Minute Journal: Customers who bought this item also bought. Page 1 of 1 Start over Page 1 of 1. Start Where You Are: A Journal for Self-Exploration. Journey to the Heart: Sponsored products related to this item What's this?
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There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. It will make you a more positive person! I am guilty of having collected dozens of journals and notebooks throughout my life, with the same results every time: If you're like me- this is the perfect answer! It truly takes 5 minutes to fill out the section and it is difficult to find an excuse NOT to do it each day. A few things I love about this journal: I am grateful for: I like ending on a more positive note than focusing on what I didn't do well enough even though that last question is phrased as positivity as possible , so I am considering adding my own question at the very bottom that says "What am I looking forward to tomorrow?
I genuinely look forward to writing in this journal twice a day. This is a journal I really see myself completing for the entire year, for the first time in my life. This is great for people like me who have difficulties sticking to something, who would like a stepping stone to a more traditional journal, or who just want to focus on the positives in life and are looking for a tool to assist in becoming an all-around more emotionally balanced individual. I am a 3rd year college student and I work 3 jobs.
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