William Smedley's Across the Plains: An 1862 Journey from Omaha to Oregon PDF

By William Smedley

ISBN-10: 0585020787

ISBN-13: 9780585020785

ISBN-10: 1555661238

ISBN-13: 9781555661236

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Additional info for Across the Plains: An 1862 Journey from Omaha to Oregon

Example text

Partner sick; unable to be out of the wagon. July 17. Having now passed the difficulties, as we thought, where we felt we needed the assistance of others, and realizing the others did not need us, we determined to pursue our journey alone. Although conscious that we were now approaching, if not already in the "enemy's country," that of the hostile Snakes, where from the start we had designed to connect Page 37 ourselves with a train for protection, yet our fear and consciousness of danger had so worn away by familiar contact with it that we felt no risk in venturing on alone; in fact, we felt even safer alone than in connection with a train.

With apparently little forethought, he set out to cross the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains and travel to Oregon. The yellowed pages of the diary he kept of this trek were first published by his family in 1916. Over the years, the little book became a treasured keepsake for William Smedley's growing number of descendants, and passages from it were frequently read at family weddings, christenings, and funerals. Our long association with Carl Blaurock, one of Colorado's eminent mountaineers and first cousin of Max Gieseckewho was William Smedley's son-in-lawintroduced us to the Smedley family.

Roads mountainous, but not bad. Storm in evening. June 25. Somewhat indisposed this morning for the first time on the trip. Prompted by the advice of an Illinois friend, I had brought with me a pint of brandy and some quinine for cases of sickness. Feeling that this was such a case, I prepared a dose according to directions, but found it so excessively-bitter I could not swallow it. Not being acquainted with either of the ingredients, I attributed the bitterness to the brandy. After adding quantities of sugar and coffee with the vain hope of making it palatable I threw the whole mess away in despair and disgust.

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Across the Plains: An 1862 Journey from Omaha to Oregon by William Smedley


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