In Illinois, my g-gpa got a job as a stage-coach driver, his route running between Columbus and Naples on the east side of the Illinois River. It was now 1839. He had to cross the river to deliver the mail, for which he used a boat that was left on the bank by the ferryman. In the winter of 1839, with the ice flowing in the water, he hopped in his boat to cross, and about the middle of the river the ice was too thick to row past and he had to work his way down river a ways with the ice. He managed to get near the shore where there was an old boat partly in the water and partly on the bank and an icy log near the boat which he found after falling out of his craft and into water up to his chest.
He struggled to climb on the log, but it was icy and nothing to hold onto, and his heavy, wet clothes prevented him from pulling himself out of the water. So, he was stuck, holding onto the log, but knew he would soon freeze to death if he didn't get some help. It was the middle of the night, nothing to do but yell as loud as he could for help. As luck would have it, the ferryman had been watching for him since the ice had become bad after he left the boat for him on the other side. The ferryman came running and helped him climb out of the river, and got him to a nice warm fire and a change of clothes.
A week or two later, he was driving across the river on the ice with his stage and horses.
His father made a trip to Michigan to bring his mother home. She went there to be safe when he and his father went to Missouri, and by the time she got home a couple of years had gone by. One of his sisters died in 1839 from childbirth. He must've have been close to her, because he was badly upset by the tragedy. [A note here before we get too far into it. My g-gpa's father had only one wife, but a passel of kids, unlike W (my g-gpa), who had two wives later and even more off-spring.]
Well, we'll have to see what happens next as 1840 begins and ends. He's eventually going to travel across the prairies to Utah. Do they run into Indian troubles? Or something worse? Or maybe no troubles at all?