Monday, 25 January 2016

Mary Elizabeth Munkers: Crossing the Plains in 1846

Mary explains how fortunate her family was compared to others on their journey to Oregon. The only obstacles her family faced where the Oxen catching diseases (some dying) and harsh weather conditions. That being said she describes her mother as being an "invalid" so that would slow the family down by making sure that she was not sick and was safe in the wagon. Surprisingly her family did not have any issues with the Native Americans, which made the journey easier. However it was often difficult to find resources such as fuel for camp fire, in order to overcome this the children would walk miles and miles to find food and water to survive. Luckily they did not get Cholera amongst other diseases that were spreading during that time period as many other families suffered with illness and disease.

In terms of the weather there was one major storm that disrupted the journey with thunder and huge amounts of rain that destroyed the sheltered tents and scattered peoples belongings across the wide open space. Therefore it was important to stock up on resources that would last a long time as they would never know whether they would be attacked by Indians or if the weather would stop them from moving.

When she reached the Columbia River they managed to get to Willamette Valley where they had a secure place to stay. They began to grow stock by farming seeds in the fields and growing fruit. This made them quite a bit of money as the Father received $14 per bushel of apples, by 1855 he had 100 bushels so had a good income for the time.

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