Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jesuit Missionary On Seeing A Wagon Train

Father De Smet tells of the great government wagon trains he met on the Oregon Trail in 1858: 
"Each train consisted of twenty-six wagons, each wagon drawn by six yoke of oxen. The trains made a line fifty miles long. Each wagon is marked with a name as in the case of ships, and these names served to furnish amusement to the passers-by. Such names as The Constitution, The President, The Great Republic, The King of Bavaria, Louis Napoleon, Dan O'Connell, Old Kentuck, were daubed in great letters on each side of the carriage. On the plains the wagoneer assumes the style of Captain, being placed in command of his wagon and twelve oxen. The master wagoneer is admiral of this little land fleet of 26 captains and 312 oxen. At a distance the white awnings of the wagons have the effect of a fleet of vessels with all canvas spread."

Link (here) to the Overland Trails of Nebraska

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