Covered Wagon Women: Diaries & Letters from the Western Trails, 1840-1849 - Vol. 1

By Kenneth L. Holmes | Go to book overview

eled by horseback from west to east and met the westward bound Browns and their friends near the American Falls in present-day south Idaho. This meeting took place, according to Virgil Pringle's diary, on Sunday, August 9, 1846. So it was that the Brown wagon train sought to follow during the following weeks that southern route into Oregon under less than ideal circumstances. They traversed two other later states of the Union, Nevada and California, as they entered the promised land, losing wagon after wagon. The whole experience sparked a major battle of words in the early Oregon newspaper, the Spectator of Oregon City, about what had happened and who was to blame.9

Tabitha covers this part of the story very well. These two letters, as well as others written by her from Oregon, describe the region as a veritable mecca for the settlers. She told in detail of the role she played in the initiation of education in the new territory, including the founding of Pacific University, the Congregational college in Forest Grove, Oregon. Her school for the children of depleted families who had traveled the Oregon Trail was the forerunner of the college. That is why she is so clearly memorialized in the modern Oregon State Capitol.

It is with the gracious permission of the library of Pacific University that the following record of Tabitha Brown's overland travel is printed.


TABITHA BROWN: LETTER I

Forest Grove, West Tualatin Plains

Washington Co. Oregon Territory

August, 1854

____________________
9
Oregon City Spectator, I, no. 26, December 10, 1846, p. 2; II, no. 1, February 4, 1847, p. 2; II, no. 3, February 18, 1847, p. 2.

-50-

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