Oregon Trail

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 12th grade February 2008

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Letter to the editor: Please publish this article of my experience on the Oregon Trail.

February 11, 1854 The Oregon Trail, Not worthwhile Many people say that the West, although unknown to a large extent, is the place to go for success and happiness. They say that the gold, pleasant weather, and opportunities in general are worthwhile. However, I disagree. My name is Mrs. Amelia Stewart Knight and I have gone through the actual event. Let me tell you, it is not something fun or practical.

West of the Cascade Mountains, that is where I reside now. I live with my husband and our eight children. A man of medicine my husband was, but also an overachiever. He wanted to leave behind the erratic weather and the harsh winters in our hometown of Monroe County, Iowa. He also wanted to get away from the pervasive sicknesses, for the benefit of the family.

And that's why we set out on April 9,1853, on the glorified Oregon Trail.

At first, everyone was filled with excitement. However, things all went downhill from there. The weather fluctuated. It got cold at first; although it was only June, the weather gave us a feeling as if we were in the month of November. After a few days it was 110 degrees and the blowing sand grew unbearable. Also, there were mosquitoes and gnats. Those pestering insects almost killed my son, Chat.

There was no food for the livestock. Dead oxen lay all over the place. One of our oxen actually died, probably due to the drinking of mineral water or eating wild plants. The traveling was definitely a tiresome and arduous undertaking. We traveled 5-20 miles a day. At Smith's Fork of Bear River we had to swim our belongings over...