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OREGON TRAIL PROJECT----

April 7th, 1843


We are almost done with our preparations for Oregon. Mama bought the seventy pounds of bacon for the trip, and we are pretty sure that we have enough of that pilot bread. I want to know what that tastes like, but I’m scared to find out at the same time. Jimmy is complaining that he was going to have to get up at the break of day, but Sarah is the one that is used to getting up much earlier than that.
Her fever is getting better, Papa hopes that it will break by the time that we leave for the West. Mama is always making sure that there is a cloth towel on her head, and that there is always water nearby for her to drink. I’m writing by her bedside, just incase she wants anything. She’s telling me all the hopes and dreams that she has once we reach Oregon. She wants to find someone that will just sweep her off her feet, which I’m saying won’t be hard for her.
Jimmy has already packed the things that he absolutely needs for the trip – which thankfully isn’t much.
As soon as Sarah falls asleep, I’ll go help Mama pack up the clothing.













May 10th, 1843

Ah, the fresh air! It’s nice to get out, especially in such lovely weather. Mama is fairing well, though the roughness of the ride in the covered wagon began to get to her a little bit last night. She had decided that it was easier for her to ride on horseback, than to stay in the wagon with all of our food and such.
Papa is happy with everything that we brought from home to keep with us, though he had to get rid of some of the furniture. He reckons that there will be better quality furnishings out West.
Little Jimmy, whose fifth birthday was yesterday, is deadly afraid of everything. He has heard horror stories of Indians taking the young children at night, and killing the parents. He does not want to leave from Mama’s skirts, and I can only imagine how frustrating it must be to have a little boy clung to you all the time.
Sarah has come down with a slight fever, which is just about to break. Papa said that he would have liked to stay in Virginia until her fever broke completely. We can only hope and pray that she gets better soon. Though she refuses to just lye around the wagon, she has to rest. Yes, the road may be bumpy, but she doesn’t know much better. She insists on helping Mama cook the food that we have stored, and even found a way to keep the china in place! She had put the plates and other breakables into a barrel filled with rice. This way, the food keeps the plates in place, and they will not get majorly damaged in the trip. She’s always thinking of better ways to travel.

Oops! Sarah needs some water, maybe something interesting will happen soon….

June 15th, 1843

It’s been raining all day today, leaving Papa soaking to the bone outside. On the brighter side, Sarah’s fever finally broke! She has been really careful about staying dry, for she fears of falling ill again. She says that she is just thirsty and weary more than anything else, and insists on staying in the feather bed that we made for her to rest in.
Johnny says that the rain is beginning to lighten up now, even though he’s dripping wet. He’s come in to check on us, which he might have done under Ma’s request, seeing that she’s busy trying to see if we will all stop soon for supper.

We’ve just stopped for the night – thank goodness! The ground is wet, but I don’t mind. Sarah is helping Ma prepare the meat for dinner. I know their cooking (or is it the meat?) isn’t the best, but it is still food.

(I just hope Ma does not give us hardtack!)










July 20th, 1843


We have covered a great distance – and Ma has been keeping me busier than usual. Ever since we learned that the Indians were raiding the graves that are on the sides of the main trails. It is a shame, really. All of those poor people, dying on their way to a new live. God bless their souls.

Sarah has not let Jimmy out of her sight once we learned that the Indians have taken a few children – we can only guess that it was to replace the children that they lost. It is a misfortune, really. The family in the wagon before us lost a baby girl, no older than six months, to the Indians when the mother turned her back for a few moments. The family does not even have time to try to get their child back! Maybe she will show up…

Papa hopes that within the next couple of days, we will be able to stop at Fort Independence so we can replenish our supplies. We need more hardtack, (as disgusting as it is) bacon, and vinegar. Ma also wants to see if she can trade some of our plates for more clothing, seeing that Jimmy keeps on ripping his britches when playing with the other children.







July 18th, 1843

We just left from the great ford Independence, with more than enough supplies to last us the rest of the trip. Mama got all the supplies that she wanted, and Jimmy was able to get over his fear of Indians! We even learned that when an Indians says “I Shoshone,” he means us no harm and he wants to show good will! It is amazing how much we could learn from them, in such a short amount of time. We even traded some of the bacon for a pair of moccasins, seeing that Sarah was admiring the footwear from afar. I traded some beads to them for advice on where to go – I do not trust the pamphlet that Pa has at all.

Mama has decided that she will let us eat the leftover pancakes during Nooning, so that we do not have to waste any food. Ma said that she was going to the other wagons to catch up in the latest gossip – maybe she will let me know what is going on!

The heat is nearly unbearable; it is almost too hot to work outside anymore. Ma has come close to passing out in the sun’s head during noon, so we have all decided to seek shelter inside of the wagon, even though it is rather cramped in here. But, it is better than spending the entire day outside!





August 17th, 1843

Pa says that we are close to Oregon! Soon enough and we will be out of this horrible wagon! Though, he does say that we would have made it there quicker if not one, but two of our oxen drank Alkali water. Thankfully, only one of them we were not able to save – I was a tad afraid to eat the meat, so I went to bed hungry when Ma served it – on the deal that I would cook the remainder breakfasts until we got to Oregon. Let me tell you, it is not easy cooking when Jimmy is pulling at your sleeves, and Sarah is going about trying to find her good clothing for when we actually reach Oregon. She is just too excited, and says that she can not wait to write to her friends back east about “seeing the elephant”.











September, 1st, 1843

The trip is finally over! Those six months in that horribly cramped wagon has finally paid off! The land here in Oregon is great, and everyone in the other wagons are so happy to be here. Everyone is so kind to the newcomers, it warms Ma’s heart.

I think that Sarah may have found someone that may be a possible husband! His name is Andrew – he says that he was in the first wagon that got here. His father is the local doctor (I do hope that none of us will have to visit him soon!) clinic that is right after the trail ends.

Mama has delivered a healthy baby boy! We have decided to name him Logan – he’s got my Papa’s eyes! He really is adorable, squeaking at every unusual noise that he hears! It is just so adorable… even though one of the New Pierce scared the daylights out of us all – Mama had placed him down for a few moments to help Sarah unload one of the boxes of clothing, and a few of the Indians surrounded poor Logan! Thankfully, whey were only making sure that no harm came to the baby while he was unattended.

I think that we have a great future here in Oregon, and I have no regrets coming here, no matter how rough the ride was.

- Christine





 
 
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