On the Oregon Trail with Margaret


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.

Margaret Frink was a covered wagon woman who went to California
Here is an excerpt from Margaret’s account of the California journey.

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.

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  1. I have a story for you Nancy


    In 1678 Thomas Riggs died, leaving his two sons isaac 15, and Abraham 13, orphaned.
    The two boys came to the Virginia Colonies to Accomack County, VA as servant boys and were bonded until age 21.
    They must have been fairly industrious because by age 35 they were both landed tobacco farmers doing very well.
    My ancestor Abraham Riggs married Rosanna Byrd in 1694.
    I am the 9th generation of this blood line in America. It’s been an interesting journey and I’ve just begun.

    Ann Riggs

    1. Ann, you are a true family story saver! I love that you’ve managed to trace your family back so far – and I suspect you’ve only just begun to find some great family stories. Be sure to check Google Books to see if you can find a mention of your family in an old county history book.

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