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

By William Smedley

Publication via Smedley, William

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

Example text

Grass at this altitude was very scarce, but the water in these mountain streams, coming down from melting snowbanks, is delightfully cool and refreshing. A few weeks later we learned the fate of Campbell whose grave we passed in the morning, from one who claimed to have been his companion. He was a trader from Denver, Colorado, with five others and two wagons so heavily loaded that on the hills they were obliged to double teams. " Campbell, who was the only man armed, was in the act of reaching back in the wagon for something for them when they jerked his pistol from his belt and demanded the surrender of the party.

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.

He was struck with a panic at seeing the immense tide of emigration flowing westward. His mind had never come to realize the vast extent of our western regions Page 10 and he felt assured that this multitude would crowd that country to overflowing and to starvation; that there would be such a famine as was never before known. With these dark forebodings he declined the adventure; wished he had not come and that he was at home again with his mother. With this state of affairs there was nothing left for me but to buy him out and send him back to his home, where I trust he will ever remain.

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