Days on the Road: Crossing the Plains in 1865 cover

Days on the Road: Crossing the Plains in 1865

Sarah Raymond Herndon (1840-1914)

1. We Start, Our First Camp
2. Bloomfield, Iowa, Miss Milburn's Love Story
3. The Icarian Community, A Fatal Accident
4. We Have Our Pictures Taken, On the Banks of the Platte
5. Fort Kearney, Eleven Graves
6. Beaux, We Decide to Go to Montana
7. The Mountains in Sight, A Town of Tents and Wagons
8. We Carve Our Names in Stone, Laramie Plains
9. We Cross the North Platte, Neelie is Sick
10. Our Train Divided, On Bitter Creek
11. A Fatal Shooting, We Leave the Train
12. Mr. Curry's Horses Stolen, The Wanderers' Return
13. Mormon Towns in Idaho, We Meet Men Returning from the Mines
14. Dick is Sold, Oh, Dear
15. The End of Our Journey, A Letter from Dr. Howard

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Summary

“We had spent almost all our money for toll, ferrying and other expenses on the road. It might be a serious matter to be in a strange place without money . . . There is nothing we can spare so well as Dick. . . . It would not do to be sentimental under existing circumstances.” This is the practical pioneer woman Sarah Raymond Herndon writing in her journal about selling her horse to finance the final days of her family’s trek across the plains to Montana. However, when her brother, Hillhouse, actually sells her beloved pony, Sarah is distraught. “I sobbed out loud. I could not help crying. I let the purse (with the money) roll out of my lap into the bottom of the wagon.” But then, she stiffens her resolve and displays a quiet sense of humor: “Of course, I knew the wagon bed was tight, and there was no danger of (the purse) being lost.” Sarah became the first school teacher in Virginia City, Montana. Her account of crossing the plains in 1865 is rich in emotion and incident.