Archiver > BRETHREN > 2010-03 > 1268082167

From: Merle C Rummel <>
Subject: Re: [BRE] Migration roads to the West
Date: Mon, 08 Mar 2010 16:02:47 -0500
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> So I'm thinking that maybe 20 miles per day is not unreasonable on the
> average. They had to have time to rest the animals, water themselves and
> the horses or oxen, prepare foods, set up for camp in the evening, etc. Is
> this in line with the kind of progress you see in the journals and such?

From the several writings I've seen, I think 20 miles a day is among
the top figures. Most of them speak of 15 and 10 miles in a day. When
crossing the Appalachian Mountains, many times it was just climbing the
mountain, and coming down the other side - 5-6 miles. If there were a
group traveling together, it often took a whole day just to cross a
river - fording or a ferry. The trip on the National Road took about 30
days (Eastern Pennsylvania to western Ohio); on the Kanawha Trace - 40
days (southern Virginia to Indiana Territory).

I liked the way this helped the children - they didn't have to stay in
the wagon all day - they could get out and play, and still stay close to
the traveling wagon. "When are we going to get there?" - was a whole
different meaning. I included this in my stories about the families
coming out here from Virginia (Nancy Lybrook's Journal) and Pennsylvania
(National Road Journal of Elizabeth Miller). These are at

I have seen similar figures for daily travels on the Oregon Trail and on
the Santa Fe Trail. - in later years.

Merle C Rummel

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