April 14, 1842, The Supply Store, St. Joseph, Missouri
Dear Diary, Father said that tomorrow we leave for Oregon! I am really excited as i hear Mother and Father talking about the life that awaits us. We are from Cincanati, Ohio, and we slowly made the trip here, where we will began our journey. We are currently at the supply store, getting things we need for the trip. we bought 400 pounds of flour for making biscuits and Johnny cakes, 100 pounds of lard for cooking, 50 pounds of salt and pepper for adding taste and preserving meats, 200 pounds of beans for eating, 200 pounds of bacon also for eating and 100 pounds of coffee for the adults. They also bought cooking utensils, 2 sets i think, along with 2 sets of eating utensils for each person. Father also brought his gun and a extra, with 20 boxes of ammo for hunting and defense against indians. We brought clothing and soap from the old house so we wouldn't have to purchase any here. Our parents also bought 3 yokes of oxen, as they said horses were a target for indians to steal and had picky diets, and mules were to stubborn and unpredictable. Plus, oxen can survive off the prairie grasses along the trail and are strong. I have to go and help pack up the wagon now. Goodbye!
April 15, 1842, The edge of the city, St. Joseph, Missouri
Dear Diary, today is the day that we are finally leaving! Currently, we are seated at the edge of the city, waiting for the trumpeter to blow his horn and allow us to begin following the wagon train. By the way, mother said we are at St. Joseph because there are traffic jams down in independence, where most settlers leave from and we are going in a wagon train because we have heard that there are dangers of traveling alone such as being attacked by indians and running out of food, left to starve. We are in the wagon train with a group of friends that we had back home, the Johnson's. we know them because they saved my fathers life when he was around 17 and have been friends ever since. Both Mr. and Mrs. Johnson are in their late thirties, i don't know the exact age, but the children are both nine like me. My Father is 32 and my Mother is 31, and as i said before, I'm nine. My parents said that we are going to Oregon because the land there is better in quality and free, with frequent spots of forest appearing everywhere. The trumpeter has just blown his horn, so we must leave. Goodbye!
May 15, 1842 at Fort Kearney
Dear Diary, we have been traveling for one month now, and the day never seems to end, just rolling along a trail. We have passed many gravestones, and people talk about the dangers of diseases like cholera and dysentery. The chores that i have are just the same, boring ones that i have to do everyday. After helping cooking breakfast, which was usually Bread, Beans, Bacon and dried fruit, i help wash the dishes and pack up to go. I then walk alongside the wagon, as mother and father said it adds unnecessary weight to the load. Also, we herd the animals when needed, and sometimes even drive them, or the older kids at least. We get water and firewood, including buffalo chips, which is buffalo dung used to make fires. We also saw a herd of buffalo, but they quickly lumbered off when we were in site. in addition, i am also keeping this diary, as i feel that this is a very important thing in my life, and should be recorded. I am going to stop this entry now. goodbye.
June 14, 1842 near Scotts Bluff
Dear Diary, at this point, daily life on the trail has become a habit. Our wagon train is like a well oiled machine that does the same things over and over again, and without fault. One of the guards blows a bugle and wakes us all up. We then start making breakfast and after cleaning dishes, pack up the wagons. Then we walk, not stopping till noon, where we rest until 1 and start walking again. Around 5, we look for a good campground and unpack. We then make dinner and clean up, and make a fire, where we hang out and dance around the fire and play. Then the guards go on duty, and switch around midnight. I am sleeping during the last ones, but i hear people talk about them. I have to go to sleep now. goodbye.
July 14, 1842, somewhere on the trail near a river, which was later called crooked creek
Dear Diary, we have heard that there is a outbreak of cholera going around. my family and I have not been infected yet, but are wary and scared of it. One of the Johnson's, the boy, died early this week from cholera, which has worried us even more then before. We attended his funeral yesterday, and are still mourning over his death. The indians we have met so far have been kind, not offering us food or such, but rather trading with us and maintaining peace. Besides all of this, not much has happened, just traveling along the trail. Its the end of "nooning time" now, and we must get back on the trail. good...bye.
August 13, 1842 Near Soda springs
Dear Diary, today, at the campfire, i heard some of the adults talking. I think that they were talking about some of the dangers others had faced. For example, they said that indians sometimes attacked lone wagons, but were not worried as they were in the train. They also said river crossings and weather were a big danger to, but they said we were well prepared for such things. Out of all the crossing we have done, only one wagon has tipped, but the family themselves were fine. our danger, rather then weather and indians, is disease. Cholera and Dysentery has taken a toll on our wagon train, or so the adults say. We have to go to bed now, its actually quite tiring walking all day... goodbye.
September 13, 1842 at Fort Boise
Dear Diary, both Father and Mother say that we are so close to Oregon right now! Everybody is so excited that we are close. Yes, it may be taking longer the we excepted, but we are getting there none the less. Also, my birthday happened earlier this month, and i received extra food during breakfast! I also got some gifts from the Johnson's, and we played a lot during the day. On the other hand, we are all still mourning for the loss of Johnny, the son that died earlier from cholera, but we think he would want us to have fun anyway. We have to start traveling, as everybody wants to get to Oregon as fast as possible. Good Bye!
September 23, 1842 at Baker City
Dear Diary, Today is the day that we made it! We are in the middle of Baker city. Its hard to believe that we have gone through all that we have and survived. Mother tells me that we will now go to our land and set up our house and such. We will began farming and selling our goods to city's around us. I am happy that i kept this journal, as then my story may be heard from others. We may have lost little Johnny, but he will always be in our hearts with us. I am just happy that my family, safe and sound, has made it to Oregon. Mother asked me for help, so i must leave now. Good Bye!