Covered Wagon Women, Volume 11: Diaries and Letters from the Western Trails, 1879-1903
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
The stories seem simple—they left, they traveled, they settled—yet the restless westering impulse of Americans created one of the most enduring figures in our frontier pantheon: the hardy pioneer persevering against all odds. Undeterred by storms, ruthless bandits, towering mountains, and raging epidemics, the women in these volumes suggest why the pioneer represented the highest ideals and aspirations of a young nation. In this concluding volume of the Covered Wagon Women series, we see the final animal-powered overland migrations that were even then yielding to railroad travel and, in a few short years, to the automobile. The diaries and letters resonate with the vigor and spirit that made possible the settling and community-building of the American West.
a spring not far from a cattle ranch. Those folks are still traveling with us. July 12, 1885. Sunday. We went on this morning and those folks laid over to hunt. Camped today noon by a ranch 6 miles from Warm Springs. We went through Warm Springs this afterrnoon, crossed North Platte river on a bridge at Warm Springs. Camped tonight about 5 miles from the Springs by a ranch. We are 40 miles from Rawlins. July 13, 1885. Monday. We start for Rawlins this morning. We went through a large desert
than he can drive out of there. Where we camped today noon they was gone about 2 hours in taking the horses to the river and it wasent more than 2 miles, but the roads was so bad they had to go off of the road to get to the river. There is where the freighters used to drive their horses. The old station where we camped at noon was Pilgrim Station. There is where a man killed and old freighter 4 years ago when we lived out here in Idaho. After we left Pilgrim we drove up on the hill and we got
the water untill some of them came to help him. Then when they got her out, they had to tie a halter on her and all of them pull her out. After they got her on the bank she laid there like she was dead. It took them quite a while to get her out and get her to the wagons. We did not work her in the afternoon. I worked Harrisons old Jim. Alva had to take Clipper out this afternoon and put in diner. Clipper give out. Pa turned Montuck loose and he would not follow to do any good. He went back after
orchard this forenoon and several apple orchards, one cane patch. Morna rode with me this afternoon. We camped tonight by a spring. Willie and Harrison camped with us. Harrison took supper with us, Willie with Alva, Uncle Frank took dinner with Alva’s today. September 9,1885. Wednesday. Daisy was not well all afternoon. yesterday and last night. She had a fit. Mrs. Murphy and me set up with them the rest of the night. She was awful bad. We thought she was dying. Pa and John Ball they got up. I
worthy of note and somewhat incongruous is that a covered wagon woman purchased the lozenges while traveling overland to Oregon. Part of a ten-person family caravan headed from south-central Kansas to Portland, Oregon, Mrs. Hampton, who never indicates her first name, includes other curious details in her diary. In Cheyenne, Wyoming, for example, she sends out the group’s dirty clothes to a laundry. And after the family members reach Fossil, Wyoming, and encounter snow, they decide to take the