Pity the Poor Pioneer Woman

On his 1841 trek to California, John Bidwell traveled with several members of the Kelsey family. He never forgot the trials on the trail of Mrs. Samuel Kelsey, wife of the oldest of four Kelsey brothers on the trip.

I remember Mrs. Samuel Kelsey; I pitied her. We had traveled all day and everybody was tired. It was hard work to get a fire built, but she managed to and was frying some bacon and tried to make some coffee. She had, I think, five children, the smallest of which could barely stand alone.

They were all standing about, crying at the top of their voices for something to eat. Just at that time the coffee upset and it went into the bacon and put out the fire. She threw up her hands and hollered out loud enough for the whole camp to hear:

“I wish to the Lord I had never got married!”


About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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