Journal of Western Travel
by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
May 26th, 1859 -- The father of all the thunderstorms we have as yet encountered since we started, fell in full force upon our devoted heads today, drenching us to the skin, some of us concluded to go as far ahead as Kearney, and try there to get some shoes for our oxen, so we started through the mud some 15 miles. Saw Tom Mitchell, Mike and James Murphy formerly from Marengo, there were four women dressed in mens clothes in the same company, doubtless a kind of travelling Gin-shop. We met a government train from Fort Laramie, going to the river for supplies, there were 20 teams, consisting of three spans of mules to each wagon, and 6 spare wagons in the train, another ox train from the same place 14 wagons with five yoke of oxen to each and 10 spare wagons, what clumsy, unwieldy overgrown wagons they to have, timber enough in one to make three, we passed another train from Atchinson in Missouri loaded with groceries, bound for the Peak, they were all assembled in solemn conclave, and think seriously of taking the back track. We visited the Fort quite a respectable little place. We got dinner at 75c a head, and enjoyed the good things of mine host amazingly, but felt it somewhat odd sitting at a table instead of squatting on the ground, as we have been so long accustomed to do, there are about 200 soldiers quartered here and they all look decent and orderly, though mostly Dutch and Irish.
Travelled about twelve miles. We are in camp just below Kearney. There is three sod houses right below Kearney, one is a liquor shop, one place they are breaking and planting corn, the other has a fine garden enclosed with a sod fence.
Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe