Diaries - Footwear
Williams - July 5, 1851
Plenty of Snake Indians begging for bread or skirts or any kind of clothing. We could get a pair of moccasins for a bit of bread.
Wood - July 4, 1851
For your amusement I will give a description of my dress for the occasion: A red calico frock, made for the purpose in the wagons; a pair of mockasins(sic), made of black buffalo hide, ornamented with silk instead of beads, as I had none of the latter and a hat braided, of bullrushes and trimmed with white, red and pink ribbon and white paper. I think I came pretty near looking like a squaw.
McAuley - April 7, 1852
Our clothing is light and durable. My sister and I wear short dresses and bloomers and our foot gear includes a pair of light calf-skin topboots for wading through mud and sand.
Sawyer - May 23, 1852
The daughter is dressed in a bloomer costume — pants, short skirt and red-top boots. I think it is a very appropriate dress for a trip like this. So many ladies wear it, that I almost wish that I was so attired myself.
Adams - August 14, 1852
We can get a good pair of mockersons (sic) for a dollar.
Hines - May 5, 18, 1853
[A]t length we were all safely landed in Nebraska at Little St Louis [Louisburg, KS]. I purchased a pair of shoes as cheap as I could in NY.
Ketcham - June 5, 1853
Camilla had just dressed herself for Sunday by putting on clean clothes, a light gingham dress, white stockings, and low shoes.
Sutton - May 25, 1854
some handed us beads and wanted something for them. some of the children got a streing of beads for a biscuit, and got a pair of mockesons (sic) for an ox bow.
Burrell - July 22, 1854
Finished the first knitted sock for Wm [William Hannibal] which I commenced the 19th.
Austin - August 26, 1854 Wm. bought me a pair of moccasins today.
Hundley - July 25, 1856
still at the fort we went down to the village and bought some mockasins (sic).
Carpenter - June 30, 1857
This afternoon passed a trading post kept by a Pennsylvanian with a squaw wife. He had quite an assortment of things to dispose of to the emigrants. Buffalo robes, moccasins, bows and arrows, etc. I got a very pretty pair of moccasins with a bit of scarlet broadcloth on the instep bordered with white beads. Price $1.00. We were told that they were made by the Snake Indians.
Carpenter - July 26, 1857
He traded a pair of shoes that he did not want for a pair of nice moccasins for me. They were made by the Utes and are much nicer then the Sioux Indians make as they put on soles of buffalo hide with stitches half an inch long. The buckskin was smoked in tanning and is a beautiful tan color. A piece of scarlet broadcloth edged with several rows of white beads decorates the top of the moccasin and from either side of this extends around the top of the quarters (if I may use the term) a little drop curtain effect fringed by making fine cuts an inch deep around the edges. To fasten securely on the feet they are tied with a string that is run through little slashes cut in the top. I feel quite proud of them.
Carpenter - September 4, 1857
We have learned that parties in advance of us found the body of a nude woman on the bank of the slough that we passed yesterday. A piece of hair rope was around her neck and on one foot was an India rubber overshoe.
Holmes - January 25, 1859, Letter
I wore a calico dress, reaching a little below the knee, pants of the same, Indian moccasins for my feet, and on my head a hat.
Cook - Jan 11, 1863, Letter
Every thing is very dear [expensive] here. If you want a pen holder or a brass thimble you have to pay a quarter for it. I got me a pair of shoes for myself & Mary the other day for which I paid 6 dollars for mine & 2 for Ms. They were the third pair I have got for her since I got here [Oregon Territory].
Scott - 1900, Reminiscence
Then we reached Laurel Hill in the Cascade mountains. Oh, that steep road! I know it was fully a mile long. We had to chain the wagon wheels, and slide the wagons down the rutty and rocky road. My aunt Martha lost one of her remaining shoes; it rolled down the mountain side. I can hear her now as she called out in her despair, ‘Oh, me shoe, me shoe! How can I ever get along?’ So she wore one shoe and one moccasin the rest of the journey.