My name is Alyssa Myra, the daughter of Cassy and Anthony Myra. I was born on September 30, 1860. I have a sister named Euphrasia and two brothers named John and Brent.
We are leaving Missouri because Aunt Caroline let us know that land in Oregon Territory was selling cheap and that some land was even free.
When my Aunt Caroline let us know that the land in Oregon Territory was selling cheap and that some land was free, Papa wanted to go right away but Momma didnât really know. We tried to convince her, but she said that she wasnât going to go through all of the trouble of moving. Momma was pretty scared of all the things that could go wrong with such a long trip. At last she said that she would go. We started to pack. Momma made sure that she had dried food such as rice, sugar, and bacon. We tried to fit everything that we could into our wagon, but Momma told us to only bring a doll or a journal. Papa said that we must leave early before the snowstorms came. He bought a wagon that could be enough room for two adults and four children. Papa asked my youngest brother, John, and me if when we were on the trail we would walk behind the wagon to pick up oxen droppings for fire fuel.
We are off! Papa said that it would take a long time for us to get to Oregon Territory. We were sad that we had to leave Missouri. Momma was hugging her best friend, Lisa, and John yelled, "I will come back and get you. I promise I will." I was scared. What if we don't make it to Oregon? What if we take the wrong trail and end up getting stuck on the way there?
Momma heard me and said that we must have hope before we even give up. Momma made sure that the roof of the wagon was nice and tough before any rainstorms came.
This wagon is now our home. Our wagon is nice and comfy. It has feathers and hair on the floor. Momma put pockets so our favorable things like our Bible and our journal could fit in it. When we were leaving I was worried about being able to go to school. Momma said that we had to squeeze in some lessons here and there. I was scared about leaving because I had heard that some people never made it to the Oregon Territory.
Once we were on the trail, we stopped because we thought we heard something fall. Speed was barking and all four of our oxen had stopped. We found out that much of our food had fallen out. Luckily none of it went to waste because Papa and John repacked it in the wagon. They tied the food tighter so this wouldn't happen again.
Our night was horrible! The wind was blowing sand and we had to bring Speed in. Momma told Brent to go and tell Papa to come into the wagon because the storm was getting worse and worse. Brent put on his favorite hat and went out to tell Papa. His hat blew off! He wanted to go get it but Papa held him back. The wind blew in a piece of wood that ripped a hole in the side of the wagon. Papa went out and taped it.
We came along the Platte River. Papa wished that we never came along the river. We decided to colt. Papa put a rope and pulled it. He couldn't do it by himself so my brother, Brent, and I helped. We could pull Speed so he had to swim. Speed was struggling and he drowned.
Momma has been having some problems the last few days with us. My brothers, my sister, and I are really getting on her nerves. One of my jobs is to walk behind the wagon and to pick up oxen droppings. We use it for fuel.
Today when Momma got off the wagon, she looked down and saw a snake. She wasn't fast enough. The snake bit her! We quickly began to suck out the venom. She fell ill. The snake bite made her feverish. I was by her all the time inside the wagon. We will continue on our way. If my mother dies I'll be right beside her. With our nursing, Momma should get better in about one week.
We came along Sweetwater River. Papa was happy that it wasn't so deep. I got sad because the last time we came along a river we lost Speed who was someone special.
Papa went out to shoot some buffalo while I was picking some flowers. Papa let out a big boom while shooting the buffalo. I looked around and the only thing I saw was the buffalo drop. I got up and ran. When I wasn't watching where I was going, a snake bit me. This was the worst day of my life. Luckily the snake was not poisonous.
We are picking up the pace now and the oxen are getting pretty excited. Oh, no. The wagon tongue broke. Two of our oxen fell but nothing happened to them. Brent came down with the cowpox. I had never seen what they looked like. They are big pox marks. They are swollen and red. They will leave little deep holes in you. I hope that this never happens to me. A snake bite scare was enough for me!
Papa said that we are in the middle of the trail and we are in a good area because the winter is going to come in about one month and two weeks. I don't have anything to write about today. I will write to you tomorrow.
Papa is getting frustrated with us children. He said that if he knew that we were gonna act like this, he would have thought differently about taking us to Oregon. We stopped to rest. A rainstorm was heading our way. I liked when it rained because things wouldn't be so active. But things got out of hand. The storm came harder and harder. A flood came and lifted our wagon off the ground and tossed and turned us. We all held hands so none of us would get caught out in the storm. Momma knew that this storm was heading out our way!
The rainstorm tossed us about. In it, we only lost one pair of clothing and a blanket. Brent's cowpox went away. He and I went fishing. I caught a big fish that gave us good food for many days! My snake bite doesn't seem like it is going away. It seems to be getting bigger than it was and redder than it was too. Momma said not to frighten my brothers and my sister. She assured me that it would heal.
Papa was getting pretty worried about whether he forgot where Aunt Caroline lived. Momma told him that she knew where she lived in the Oregon Territory. Papa said all of these troubles were worth it. The rainstorm was a good thing because it put us a day a head of our journey.
Looking at the land, Momma said it was a good thing that she did come here. It has a great smell. There are flowers everywhere. The people we are meeting are nice. Momma always wanted to plant vegetables, but she couldn't on our land in Missouri because the land was always dry. The land in Oregon is to be rich for farming.
I am so thankful that we made it to Oregon Territory and we didn't have anybody in the family die. I do think of Speed. I remember when he used to come beside my bed when I was writing in my journal and how he used to put his head on my lap. My snakebite is gone now. It just left a scar. Today was Euphrasia's birthday. She and I always have the most fun.
We still have to live in the wagon until we cut down trees and build a house. Papa is doing a good job on that. All of us children except for John have to go to school. He stays at home with Momma. On the way home from school, we pick flowers for Momma. Our neighbors are very friendly and generous. They helped us build the frame for our house. Momma said that John liked pounding nails where they didn't belong. We are glad that we have arrived safely in Oregon Territory to begin our new life!