Margaret Frink kept a detailed diary of her journey across the plains to California in 1850. Tens of thousands of travelers walked the same steps – whether going to Oregon or California. Can you imagine walking from coast-to-coast? These covered wagon women were amazing.
Tuesday May 14. We were safely across the wide and muddy-colored stream by eleven o’clock this morning. Now that we are over, and the wide expanse of the great plains is before us, we feel like mere specks on the face of the earth.
I think none of us have realized until now the perils of this undertaking. During the past week not much has been discussed but the Indians and their doings. Printed circulars have been distributed informing the emigrants of many Indian depredations. Now I begin to think that three men, one woman, and one eleven-year-old boy, only armed with one gun and one Colt’s revolver, are but a small force to defend themselves against many hostile Indian tribes, along a journey of two thousand miles.
As a genealogy-history buff, I can assure you that problems with Indians along the Oregon and California Trails was rare. As the most, travelers might have a horse stolen, but there was generallyi no real difficulty between travelers and Indians.