Oregon Trail Journal

By: Isabella Hernandez

Big image
Williams, Jackson. Oregon Trail. Digital image. WizzySchool. WizzySchool, 1 July 2009. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.

Journal Entry #1- Day One On the Trail

April 25th, 1854

Dearest Journal,
As you already know my name is Hannah Baker. I'm 16 years old, the oldest of my six siblings. My parents gave my siblings and I 400$ to use throughout our journey from Kentucky to Oregon. They packed us tightly into our wagon with supplies ranging from blankets to rope and sent us on our merry way; alone. Our trip was too costly for them to accompany us, so they've left it to me to get my siblings Ellen, Mary, Amanda, John, Jacob, Derek, and I to Oregon to start a new life.

We set out today, the 25th, with about six other wagons. The train quickly established a fast pace and we ate lunch on the shores of the Mississippi River before crossing. Our wagon leader, Kevin, found what looked like a calm spot in the river. However with so many siblings that rely on me I had to play it safe so I paid the Cherokee man 25$ to cross safely. Whether you paid or not you were safe, father wouldn't approve how I am spending our money.

At around 4:00 we stopped to hunt for our dinner. John the second oldest, at 14, set our traps and two hours later we had 15 pounds of fresh deer. We ate as a family and prayed for continuous good fortune on the trail. After putting Derek and Jacob to bed the other families were sitting around a fire when a figure appeared in the shadows. A Sioux Indian! He invited Kevin, our wagon leader to a friendly gamble testing strength. I wagered in Kevin's favor and the man lost! The Sioux Indian took my 25$. Hopefully I'll learn to be more careful with our money.

I fell asleep faster than I ever have before, I believe everyone was exhausted.

Entry #2- Day Two On The Trail

April 26th, 1854

We awoke before the sun came up to continue our journey. We passed through Native American Territory where Ellen traded one of her dolls for 5 blankets and 5 boxes of ammunition. I saw this to be a great deal, it's lucky the chiefs daughter was able to persuade her father.

We arrived at another river in the late morning. Here we gathered water to boil in attempts to purify it. This, however, proved to be a complete waste of our time since we had no strainer. Kevin and his family were anxious to continue and to do so we faced another decision; forge the river or pay an even higher fee of 45$. As I looked into the faces of each of my little siblings I knew i had to pay again. We're lucky I did so, two wagons in our train that didn't pay tipped and many supplies were ruined.

We decide we should hunt again today and gather as much meat as possible for the trip. John uses a box of ammo we received in the morning from the Indian chief. He catches 10 pounds of rabbit and I can't help but be disappointed. I was hoping for more considering he used the whole box of ammunition but i guess that's just life on the trail. Ive begun to worry about feeding the 6 hungry mouths that demand food each day.

We eat dinner at the prairie crossing where we discuss whether to take the burial trail or continue on the route we're on. The burial trail goes through an old Native burial ground where other wagon trains have been attacked previously. My group persuades me to take the shorter, burial ground trail and I think it's because they believe the seven of us kids are slowing them down. I can't help but agree and say a silent prayer for our safety before bed.

Entry #3- Day Three On The Trail

May 15th 1854

Oh Journal,
I regret not writing as often as I had hoped but the past few weeks have been very busy. As our train crossed the burial trail it was demanded of us to turn back. Some of us were growing ill tempered due to under nourishment. We forge on and the Natives threats prove empty. We make it past the grounds without a scratch- at least my wagon. Shannon's little sister fell out of her wagon and was run over, crushing her leg.

The train arrives at a river where I've made it habit to pay the ferry, or whoever is willing tot take us across. The cost is noticeably increasing as we get closer to Oregon. At 50$ it's double the cost of the Mississippi at the beginning of the trail.

Not an hour after Shannon's wagon rolled over mine did as well! We lost an entire water barrel and 100 lbs of assorted supplies in the mud. Out of fear that our bad luck could continue I tell John not to hunt tonight.

The trail hasn't been so kind to us today but all w can do is hope for better hm?

Entry #4- Day Four On The Trail

June 3rd 1854

My Journal,
The hot summer days have made us tired and the animals slow. We're running low on both animal feed and water. Kevin tells us of a path where we can wait out the hot, dry summer and continue for Oregon in the fall. The decision was tempting as we were all so tired. Oh how I would've enjoyed a more permanent bed and not waking every day to walk miles on end. We rest for one night here and I can;t describe how much i enjoy it.

My eager siblings persuade my wagon and even the rest of us to cross the pass.

Things have gone terribly wrong. There has been a landslide trapping us in the mountain. With little food and water we soon are both dehydrated and starving. We kill the long since crazed animals for food and i watch in disgust as Kevin drinks oxen blood.

I am weak and can barely write. Its time for me to bid farewell to anyone who may find this journal. Only Amanda and I are still alive and I can feel my time coming. If only we weren't so eager.

-Hannah Baker
age 17
Big image
Henry, William. On The Oregon Trail. Digital image. Edsitement. N.p., 24 Sept. 2010. Web. 11 Mar. 2015.