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Archiver > MDSTMARY > 2003-08 > 1060388015


From: "David Roberts" <>
Subject: [MDSTMARY-L] Traveling by Wagon train
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 20:13:35 -0400
References: <004c01c35de3$b452a3e0$8d1e3444@Bryant> <008301c35df9$0d2256e0$d6126720@default>


An EXCELLENT source is "The Plains Across: The Overland Emigrants and the
Trans-Mississippi West, 1840-1860" by John D. Unruh, Jr. University of
Illinois Press, 1979. I read this years ago. I think 15-25 miles a day might
be on the high side. 10-15 might be closer, if the conditions were "good"
... open prairie. 5-10 miles or less for crossing rivers, rough terrain,
etc. In a wagon train, the train moved as fast as the slowest wagon.
I just flipped thru' the index and found a chart:
to California [1841-1848] 157.7 days average travel time from the Missouri
River [Kansas City, Westport, Independence]; to Oregon for the same time
169.1 days. Maybe, that's 10 miles a day [or slightly less].... say +/-
1,500 miles from Missouri to the West Coast. Certainly from Missouri to the
South Pass [in Wyoming] they could make better time than they could in the
deserts and mountains further to the West.
Guess there were MANY factors to figure in to get an "average" trip.
David


----- Original Message -----
From: "Joseph E. Lake" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2003 6:04 PM
Subject: Re: [MDSTMARY-L] Traveling by Waggon train


> Re your interest in "rate of wagon train travel" I have read some material
re travel on the Central Plains (I.e. Santa Fe Trail; Oregon Trail, etc) and
have retained the impression that it could fall in the range of 15 to 25
miles per day (on good days, under good conditions). Unfortunately I have
retained no record of sources of this info, so the above is just a ball park
estimate.
>
> Don't see how it could be more than that however. In the midwest (IA; KS:
NE: OK: etc) the counties were originally sized by the estimate of "how far
a farm wagon could drive in one day", so that the (roughly) furtherest point
in a county would be roughly 15 miles from the county seat town which was
often close to the center of the county, i.e. 30 miles round trip in a day.
Again, I have no source to cite for that info but the general idea has been
"around" for many years to my knowledge.
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Cass Johnson" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Friday, August 08, 2003 12:31 PM
> Subject: [MDSTMARY-L] Traveling by Waggon train
>
>
> > Hi,
> >
> > I have been reading a few journals , memoirs, and diaries to see if I
can determine how long it would take a family to travel 800 miles.
> >
> > I have not had any luck with it.
> >
> > My question is; Have any of you been able to determine how many average
miles a waggon train might travel in a day. I read an account of a single
person and he was moved swiftly from one livery stable to another. I would
assume that a waggon train with all of your belongings would be slow.
> >
> >
> >
> > Thanks
> >
> > Cass Johnson
> >


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