Some facts about pioneer women:
-A covered wagon traveled 9 to 12 miles a day.
-Riding in a wagon was jolting and uncomfortable, so women and children often walked along beside or behind the wagon.
-In most cases a wagon traveled with other wagons of family or friends from the same area.
-Because of illnesses, injuries, and dangerous conditions for childbirth, one out of every 17 travelers was lost en route. It was estimated that there was one grave every 80 yards from Missouri to Oregon.
-Wagon trains would make a circle at night, and the families would eat supper, sing, play games, and visit inside the circle of wagons.
-At night, the travelers might sleep in the wagon, under the wagon, in a tent, or out in the open.
-Many times, the women came from a lifestyle of visiting friends, needlepoint, and flower gardening. Their successful husbands would make the decision to travel west without input from their wives, and the wives would have to learn how to do much more than make tea and grow flowers.
-Other times, the women were married to farmers, and were already used to working alongside their husbands. They, too, had to learn new skills to survive the long journey and life in an uninhabited country.
-On the previous post, my Grandma left a comment about her grandfather, who immigrated from Ireland and traveled from Wolf Island in Canada to Iowa in the mid 1800s. He was traveling with a family, and he ended up marrying a daughter from that family, and lived the rest of his life as an Iowa farmer.
-One site I read said that from the women’s journal accounts of the trip, despite all the hardships and heartbreaks, they would do it again.
We rely so much on personal accounts from the past to tell us what life was like for the generations that came before us. I had a thought…what if my great-great-grandaughters want to know what life was like for women in the 21st century? That’s almost funny to think about. But women of the 19th century probably wouldn’t have guessed that future generations would be so fascinated with their lives. I guess that’s what I’m doing here, in a very 21st century kind of way. 🙂 I’ve been blogging for a couple of years, and I joke about how people who read this probably get so far into my head they wish they hadn’t started reading! But at the same time, in a hundred years, if this blog is preserved somehow into 22nd century technology, even just for my own family, it will be a huge insight into the thoughts, attitudes, and daily life of a young woman in the 2000s.