Oregon Public Broadcasting


Transcript - Working Up to the Program

Voice Over: NOW I WILL BEGIN TO PLAN WITH AN EYE TO STARTING OUT ON A SIX MONTH TRIP. THE FIRST THING IS TO LAY PLANS AND THEN WORK UP TO THE PROGRAM. FIRST TO MAKE A PIECE OF LINEN FOR A WAGON COVER AND SOME SACKS. - KETURAH BELKNAP 1847

Mary Cross: THEY WOULD SPEND THE TIME FROM ONE GROWING SEASON UNTIL TIME TO MIGRATE IN THE SPRING PREPARING. THE MEN WOULD PREPARE THE WAGON, FATTEN UP THE OXEN, GET ALL OF THE THINGS THAT WERE NECESSARY FOR THEIR PHASE OF THE JOURNEY READY. WHILE THE WOMEN WOULD SPEND THEIR TIME GETTING THE NEEDED CLOTHING, AND BED CLOTHING AND HOUSEHOLD ITEMS READY.

John Mack Faragher: IT WOULD REQUIRE AT LEAST ONE STANDARD FARM WAGON, A TWO TON FARM WAGON, TO HAUL JUST THE PROVISIONS FOR A FOUR MEMBER FAMILY. SARAH LECOMPTE1: WAGONS THAT WERE MAYBE FOUR FEET BY TWELVE FEET AND COULD HOLD ABOUT 2,000 POUNDS OF SUPPLIES.

Joyce Badgley Hunsacker: THINK OF PACKING EVERYTHING YOU ARE GOING TO NEED FOR A FIVE MONTH JOURNEY INSIDE THAT SPACE, PLUS EVERYTHING YOU ARE GOING TO NEED FOR ABOUT SIX TO NINE MONTHS ONCE YOU GET TO OREGON. THAT IS YOUR WORLD RIGHT THERE.

Narrator: FEW WOMEN WROTE OF THEIR PREPARATIONS TO GO WEST, KETURAH BELKNAP WAS AN EXCEPTION.

Voice Over: I HAVE WORKED ALMOST DAY AND NIGHT THIS WINTER. HAVE THE SEWING ABOUT ALL DONE BUT A COAT AND VEST FOR GEORGE. (GRAPHIC - KETURAH BELKNAP 1847)

Sarah LeCompte: IT WAS WARM CLOTHES, DURABLE CLOTHES, ENOUGH TO LAST THE JOURNEY, BUT NOTHING REALLY EXTRA.

Susan Badger Doyle: THEY TOOK ONE DRESS WHICH THEY KEPT SEPARATE SO THAT WHEN THEY ARRIVED, THEY COULD WEAR THEIR NICE DRESS. BUT THEY HAD ONE OTHER, SOMETIMES TWO, THAT THEY WOULD WEAR DURING THE TRAIL.

Voice Over: OUR TRUNK OF WEARING APPAREL CONSISTED OF BARE BACK UNDERCLOTHING A COUPLE OF BLUE CHECKED GINGHAM DRESSES, SEVERAL LARGE STOUT APRONS FOR GENERAL WEAR. A PINK CALICO SUNBONNET AND A WHITE ONE INTENDED FOR DRESS UP DAYS. (GRAPHIC: CATHERINE HAUN, 1849)

Narrator: THE EMIGRANTS GUIDE TO OREGON AND CALIFORNIA PUBLISHED IN 1845 HELPED WOMEN PACK FOOD FOR THE JOURNEY. THE BOOK RECOMMENDS THAT A FAMILY OF FOUR TAKE...

Voice Over: A 150 POUNDS OF BACON, TEN POUNDS OF COFFEE, TWENTY POUNDS OF SUGAR, DRIED FRUIT, BEANS, PICKLES, MUSTARD AND CHIPPED BEEF.

Susan Butruille: YOU LOOK AT THE PHYSICAL THINGS, THE CLOTHING, THE FOOD, TO FEED THEIR BODIES, BUT WHAT ABOUT FEEDING THEIR SOULS, WHAT DO THEY TAKE?

Sarah LeCompte: SOME TALK ABOUT BOOKS, SOME TALK ABOUT TAKING FABRICS THEY'D STARTED, THEIR QUILT SQUARES. THERE'S A VARIETY OF THINGS THAT PEOPLE HELD ON TO. SLATE: DRAWING OF TRUNK WITH QUILT, BOOKS (BIBLE), MEDICINES.

Voice Over: IN THE TRUNK WERE A FEW TREASURES, A BIBLE, MEDICINES, WHISKEY AND HARTSHORN FOR SNAKE BITES, AND CITRIC ACID AN ANECDOTE FOR SCURVY. OUR MATCHES WE ALSO CAREFULLY GUARDED IN THIS TRUNK. (GRAPHIC: CATHERINE HAUN 1849)

 


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