Days on the Road: Crossing the Plains in 1865, the Diary of Sarah Raymond Herndon

Days on the Road: Crossing the Plains in 1865, the Diary of Sarah Raymond Herndon

Paperback(First Edition)

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Sarah Raymond was an unmarried woman of twenty-four who in May 1865—barely a month after the end of the Civil War—mounted her beloved pony and headed west alongside the wagon carrying her mother and two younger brothers. They traveled by wagon train over the Great Plains toward the Rocky Mountains, with no certain idea of where they would settle themselves but a strong desire to leave war-torn Missouri behind and start a new life.
Days on the Road is the story of this remarkable journey and of the young woman who made it. Written on the trail and originally published in 1902, it is a tribute to all of the emigrants who made their way west and the tale of a truly extraordinary woman.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780762725816
Publisher: TwoDot
Publication date: 04/01/2003
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 128
Sales rank: 240,758
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Sarah Raymond Herndon left her home in Missouri in May 1865 and traveled west in the company of her mother, younger brothers, and fellow emigrants, finally arriving in Virginia City, Montana Territory, at the height of the Gold Rush boom in that rough frontier town. She spent the rest of her life in Montana, and published the story of her western journey in 1900.

Mary Barmeyer O'Brien is the author of Heart of the Trail, Into the Western Winds, Toward the Setting Sun, and Bright Star in the Big Sky, a biography of Montana's Jeannette Rankin. She lives in Polson, Montana.

Read an Excerpt

Our First Camp
As we were provided with fresh bread, cake, cold chicken, boiled ham, pickles, preserves, etc., supper was quickly prepared for our small family of four, and we enjoyed it immensely. Then comes my time to write, as I have promised friends that I will keep a journal on this trip. Mr. Kerfoot thinks the Government is going to smash and greenbacks will not be worth one cent on the dollar, so he has turned all his money into gold coin, and stowed it into a small leather satchel—it seems quite heavy to lift or carry.
As Mrs. Kerfoot was sitting on a camp-chair near our wagons, Mr. Kerfoot came toward her, saying, "Here, mother, I want you to take care of this satchel, it is all we will ask you to do, the girls will cook and wash dishes, the boys take care of the stock, and I will oversee things generally, and we will do nicely." She accepted the responsibility without a word, and as he walked away she turned to me, and said, "I wish it was in some good bank, I expect nothing else but that it will be stolen, and then what will become of us?"
While I have been writing Neelie (Cornelia) and Sittie (Henrietta) have been getting supper for a family of twelve, no small undertaking for them, as they have been used to servants and know very little about cooking.
When everything was ready, Neelie came to her mother exclaiming, "Come, mamma, to supper, the first ever prepared by your own little girl, but not the last I hope, see how nicely the table looks, Emma and Delia picked those wild flowers for you, how brightly the new tinware shines, let its imagine it is silver and it will answer the same purpose as if it were."
Her mother smiles cheerfully, as she takes her arm, Cash sneers at Neelie's nonsense—as she calls it. Mr. Kerfoot nods approval, as Neelie escorts her mother to the table. When all are seated Mr. Kerfoot bows his head and asks God's blessing on the meal.
Every one seems to enjoy this picnic style of taking supper out of doors and linger so long at the table, that Neelie has to hint that other work will have to be done before dark.
When at last the table is cleared, she says to Emma and Delia, "Don't you want to help me wash these nice, bright dishes and put them away?"
They are always ready to help Neelie, and the work is soon done. Amid laughter and fun they hardly realize they have been at work. Mr. Kerfoot insists that we women and the children must sleep in houses as long as there are houses to sleep in. Mother and I would greatly prefer sleeping in our spring-wagon, to making a bed on the floor in a room with so many, but as he has hired the room we do not want to seem contrary, so have offered no objection. The boys have carried the mattresses and bedding into the house, and Neelie has come for me to go with her to arrange our sleeping-room. So good-night.

Table of Contents

Preface to the 1902 Editionxviii
We Start1
Our First Camp2
Through Memphis4
I Meet an Acquaintance4
An Addition to Our Party6
Bloomfield, Iowa8
Beautiful Apples9
Miss Milburn's Love Story11
A Letter to Brother Mac13
The Icarian Community15
A Swing among the Trees16
A Fatal Accident18
A Funeral21
On the Banks of the Big Muddy23
Our Last Day with Miss Milburn24
We Have Our Pictures Taken25
A Yankee Homestead27
We Meet a Friend29
On the Banks of the Platte30
The Order of Our Going32
Fort Kearney34
Eleven Graves35
A Narrow Escape36
We Decide to Go to Montana40
Prairie Dogs42
Preaching Services44
Music in Camp45
The Mountains in Sight48
A Town of Tents and Wagons50
We Worship in the Wilderness51
We Celebrate the Fourth53
The Black Hills54
We Visit a Beautiful Spring55
We Cut Our Names in Stone57
Laramie Plains59
In the Rain60
We Climb Elk Mountain64
We Cross the North Platte65
Neelie Is Sick67
The Summit of the Rocky Mountains68
Sim Buford Sick70
Our Train Divided71
We Overtake the California Train73
On Bitter Creek75
Delayed Another Day77
A Fatal Shooting78
Tried for Murder80
We Leave the Train82
Wild Currants Galore84
Mr. Curry's Horses Stolen86
Anxiously Waiting at Ham's Fork87
The Wanderers' Return89
Sim's Story of Their Wanderings90
Bear River Mountain92
We Meet Captain Hardinbrooke's Brother94
Mormon Towns in Idaho96
We Meet Men Returning to the States98
Mother and I Save Joe's Life99
Dick Is Sold. Oh, Dear101
Mother's Birthday103
Sweet Water Canon104
The End of Our Journey106

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