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Winter 1977, Volume 43, Number 4

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Hollenberg Ranch State Park Pony Express Station marker Hollenberg Ranch State Park Pony Express Station marker

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Kansas Memory has been created by the Kansas State Historical Society to share its historical collections via the Internet. Read more.

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Curriculum - 4th Grade Standards - Kansas History Standards - Individuals and developments (Benchmark 1) - Trail life (Indicator 6)

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Crossing the Plains, the journal of Harriett Bidwell Shaw

Crossing the Plains, the journal of Harriett Bidwell Shaw
Creator: Shaw, Harriet Bidwell
Date: 1851
Harriett Bidwell Shaw started a journal in September 18,1851, when she and her husband, Reverend James Milton Shaw traveled in a wagon train via the Santa Fe Trail to New Mexico. Harriett was the only woman to accompany the wagon train. She documented their daily activities, the weather conditions, hardships on the trail, encounters with Indians, and buffalo hunting. When the Shaws passed through Kansas they stayed at Shawnee Baptist Mission, Council Grove, and Pawnee Rock and stopped near Fort Mackey on the Arkansas river. They reached Santa Fe on November 14, 1851, where the journal ends. The Shaws eventually went to Albuquerque and then Socorro to establish Baptist missions among the Spanish people. In sum, Shaws journal presents a remarkable picture of the difficulties and rewards of travel to the American West prior to the American Civil War.


Oregon Trail crossing on Kansas River

Oregon Trail crossing on Kansas River
Date: Between 1960 and 1970
View of the Oregon Trail crossing near old Uniontown in western Shawnee County, Kansas. This crossing site was considered the last point west of the Mississippi River where supplies could be purchased en route to Oregon.


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