|"Stormy Midwest" MM Sikes|
As in my story, many of the wagons were filled with supplies in Independence, Missouri. I learned it cost about $1,000 (a lot of money then) for a man to cross with his family from the Mid-West to Oregon or California. The journey took about six months, traveling at two miles an hour with wagons that were most often pulled by oxen.
The canvas tops of the wagons had to be waterproofed with linseed oil. The wagons also were reinforced with iron at strategic points. However, they couldn't use too much iron or the wagons would be way too heavy for the oxen to pull. Those traveling sometimes brought along furniture and other items from their previous homes, but these were often discarded along the way. The travelers had to carry many pounds of flour, lard, beans, bacon, salt, and more and thus had little room for extras. They also needed cooking utensils and a shovel.
Although mules and horses were also used by the pioneers, I chose oxen for Meg to use to drive her wagon. These animals were the most popular because Native Americans were less likely to try to steal them. They were also less likely to stray away from the night encampment.
The new settlers continued on despite storms, attacks by Native Americans, sometimes savagery and trickery by their own people. They crossed raging rivers and much more. I admire their bravery and endurance. Those are the kinds of people who make America strong.
Thanks again to Diana Cosby for being a guest on my blog. Congratulations to Ashley, the winner of a copy of His Destiny.