Thursday, October 14, 2010

Journal, 1850 (Cont'd)

July 21: It was a Sunday and the wagon train is resting on the other side of the south fork of the Platte River.
July 22: Started off again and traveled on to Chimney Rock, reaching there on the 28th. They took off again on the 29th and passed Scott's Bluffs on the 30th.

They had some trouble from a hitchhiker who was on the way to California - a woman, whose husband had kicked her out of an earlier wagon and she had been at Fort Kearney for a while. She was standing by the side of the road not far from Fort Kearney as this train came by and told them a sad story, but they didn't believe it and decided to leave her there near the fort. However, a single man in the second 50 picked her up. After a few days, he kicked her out, too, but he was told he couldn't leave her in the middle of nowhere alone and had to take her to Fort Laramie. He refused and he was kicked out of the train. Somebody else in the party carried her to Fort Laramie, but she wasn't finished yet. She told the Army people that there were deserters on the wagons - which there were not, but the soldiers held up the train while they searched and satisfied themselves that no deserters were among the travelers.

Aug 4: Continued traveling to the second crossing of Bitter Creek where they stopped to rest and feed and water the animals. Food had been scarce for them and they hadn't eaten the day before
Aug 7: Started up again, but some teams at the end stampeded and one man was run over and killed before they could get them stopped. If they hadn't stopped them and prevented all of them from stampeding, there may have been a big pileup of the whole company in a gulch which was a short distance ahead.

[Welcome to Wyoming Territory! There was no reference made of Independence Rock, too pre-occupied, I suppose.]


  1. Hitchhiker on the Oregon Trail. That's a first! Sounds like a title for a good novel.

  2. Yep. It does. I guess she was a contrary type, since no one got along with her.

  3. Oscar,

    Interesting. I wonder what happened to the trouble maker woman. Guess there's no telling huh?

    Lack of food or little of it seemed to be the norm in those wasn't easy then. It was survival, basic's survival is more how much stress can a person take before they crack. Two very different threats of survival.

    Boy times have changed.


  4. Hawk:

    The woman was left at Fort Laramie and there is no further mention of her.

    It's a new world now with the invention of trains, planes, and automobiles, and all the technological gadgets and all the stress that comes with it!

  5. Oscar,

    It's possible she never left Laramie if there is no mention of her leaving. I know they kept detailed records of the comings and goings at that fort...I'd say she never left. Maybe she got along with the few women at Laramie...or it's possible she got sick and died...I remember reading something about a wagon train coming in and several of them died from sickness....might have been that wagon train...and her.

    Would be nice to know though wouldn't it?