Oregon Trail Journal

Chester Key

Journal entry #1

Today is 1854 April 18. My name is Chester key I'm a merchant from New York City traveling to new land to hopefully grant my family and I better life. We are headed north to Oregon to find rich lands rollin hills and beautiful open acres. I set off on this journey with my 20 year old brother Todd his wife Catherine their son Sam my oldest daughter Anna who's about to turn three Cecily my beautiful wife and Arthur my youngest son. We set out on this journey with $550 an old wagon and too beat up oxen. Our nerves were kicking in to the thought of are adventure but mostly excited for the outcome.


Tomorrow is Anna's birthday. She will be turning three. Cecily was devastated when she found out that Anna's birthday would have to inter lab with our journeys but luckily enough for Anna I am merchant and make good money and was fortunate enough to buy a small strawberry cream cake that had Anna spelled out in pretty cursive pink letters. When we met up with are wagon train we decided that Burt Ingles would be our wagon leader for he's the smartest of us all. The first troubles we faced was how in the hell were we going cross the Missouri River. We were about to forge it when Catherine spotted an Indian about a half a mile away selling ferry rides for 25 dollars to cross the river. We made it across the river safely along with all the other members of are wagon train.

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Journal entry #2

This is the second journal entry I've written thus far. It was a really relaxed three weeks and nothin had happened much until the Indians came and decided to raid our parade. After the whole ordeal with the Indians unfortunately I lost a can of ammunition and busted up my gun a little bit but it should be fine. Anna's birthday was good she loved her cake and the much needed attention and love we gave her. We took a really relaxing lunch down by the stream we pass today. The stream was magnificent the Bluewater was like looking into Cecily's eyes.... truly beautiful.

The boys went huntin today and unfortunately I had to stay back with the women for Todd decided that he wanted to go instead. Todd didn't bring any food back but he did bring a busted old can that he claimed could help our water source. It didn't of course. I was proud of Todd though he'd been trying to help a little more around our wagon and he's been really nice to the children but unfortunately the stress he has about Catherine's leg pains caused his drinking problem to get worse. For a while now Catherine's been complaining a whole lot about how her "leg pain" but me and Sam both agreeded that she just wants to sit in the wagon not walk in the hot sun for hours on end. But I do agree I too would rather sit in the wagon and put my feet up then have to feel the sores on my feet getting worse from the boots my father wore back when he was a boy slowly grow feeble and to have the once clean cut sturdy thin laces be so muddy you that I can no longer untie them for the mud has forever bound them together. Still that is no excuse for Catherine to go running to Todd praying to the heavens above that he will let her take my two-month-old sons spot in the wagon. Unfortunately for her Arthur can not walk yet and won't be any time soon

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Journal entry #3

This is my third Journal entry. It's been a long and the painful couple of months. All we can do is hope for the best. I believe in my last journal entry I talked about Catherine's leg bothering her. I believe I stated that she was lying but I was wrong. Catherine unfortunately died last week there was some sort of weird disease in her leg that spread throughout her body and got to your heart before we could stop it. She died slowly in Sam's arms. I remember how last few seconds of her life were spent gripping Sam's musky old button up shirt her eyes huge bulging out of her head and her chest raised so high I thought it was going to burst. I remember her last breath as she grew silent Sam grew loud. He cried he screamed he screamed to the gods " why have you done this to me" he was so confused so misled so betrayed. The next day we buried her body in the shallow hole outlined with flowers. We made a cross with two sticks and carved her name to the ground. I remember leaving watching the cross grow smaller and smaller remembering in those short momentous the time I spent with Catherine. Most of the time I was yelling at her arguing with her remembering how I never once in my life told her how much I appreciated her I never told her how thankful I was that she madeTodd happy and how she made Anna smile and gave Cecily company. It was the tiny moments that I could've just once told her that I appreciated her that she was part of our family and that she men't something to all of us. As we pulled away from that tiny cross all I could think was that I could never make up for the wrong I did and never again would I get to see the one and only Catherine Key.

After Catherine died things took a turn for the worst. There was a large flood and water seeped through our wagon roof and we lost a lot of food and supply's. After the storm the boys decided to go hunting and I decided to go with them. I caught 15 pounds of turkey and it may not have been a lot but it sure did help out shrinking community. Right when we thought things may be getting better tragedy struck again. We had some Indians come into our wagon parade and shoot our priest in the right arm. The doctor of our trains says that he should be fine but he has to rest for a few days. Plus he took most of our medicine up. Our wagon team decided to take massacre trail which might of been risky but we decided it was best. While on the massacre trail we unfortunately got some bad water and a deadly disease hit our small community. The disease was better known as cholera. The deadly disease we decided to rename caller of the dead because everyone in our camp that got it seem to die shortly after. To my fortunate string of events my oldest daughter Anna seem to be kissed with death because shortly after the disease was found she caught it. She didn't live much longer after that. Her frail body couldn't take it no more after the third night of having the deadly disease Anna key was no more. We did to Anna as we did to Catherine we buried her in the small hole next to riverbed her grave was covered with flowers, flowers that would've died shortly after we left. I watched her cross grow smaller just as I had watched Catherine's but this time the only thing I could think was that I would never get to hold her tiny hands again or wake up to her huge blue eyes and the memory of Anna Key would have slowly faded away along with all the others that were not fortunate enough to survive our journey. So I turned from her tiny grave stone and never looked back.

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Journal entry #4

For this is my last Journal entry. For the last couple months have been the hardest of my life. Just last week while crossing a small river bed my baby boy Arthur tried to reach for a a toy that had fallen in the water and got sucked under the wagon. We would've buried his remains but there wasn't enough of him left. The rickety old wheels ripped the flesh right off his bones until Arthur Key was just a name no longer a little boy. Cecily hasn't left the wagon since. All she could say was that she used to be a mother of two and and now she's a mother of none. While Cecily was morning in the wagon the boys and I decided to go for a hunt. Luckily enough I got 15 pounds of deer and ate like a king. Once again me and our team had to face another difficult challenge crossing Hells desert as we called it. We made it across the desert safely within less than four weeks. We lost a lot of food and water crossing the desert for it was dry and barren out there.

We were within viewing distant of our so-called magnificent future which had seem to have been a lifetime ago we call it that but through our hardships we had made it. It was just one mountain to cross over until we were there standing on Oregon soil. We made it to the top of the mountain without much fuss until all the sudden one of our Wagon wheels fell off and left our wagon doing a balancing act on the peak of a mountain. The bigger men pulled on the oxen and got the front half of the wagon to way down forcing it to stay upward on the other side of the mountain. Unfortunately Winchester one of the men in our parade tugged a little too hard on one of the oxen and slipped snapping a bone in his arm. We pushed The wagon down the rest of the mountain until the ground had leveled and we had mad it. I stopped and took a good hard look around. Are are wagon train had successfully made it to Oregon. I remember falling to my knees and bending over to kiss the ground and feeling the once strongest muscles in my body feel so weak and frail I thought they were going to fall right off of my now stick skinny limbs. Once I managed to scramble to my feet I took a good looked around kissed Cecily on the cheek and cried in her arms until nightfall. For we had beat the Oregon Trail.