Covered Wagon Women

I'm reading "Covered Wagon Women," volume 2. I read volume one and skipped 2, and read 3. It's not a big deal skipping, because each diary and journal is different and most of the entries have to do with everyday life. I'm reading the diary now of Margaret Frink. It is immensely interesting in many respects, but one particular item she mentions caught my attention:

"After putting in our provisions, and other baggage, a floor was constructed over all, on which our mattress was laid. We had an India-rubber mattress that could be filled with either air or water, making a very comfortable bed. During the day we could empty the air out, so that it took up but little room."

That entry was made in 1850! Who knew they had air mattresses that long ago?

It's also interesting to note how differently the women respond to their journey. Margaret had a very real fear of Native Americans. She spoke of it often in her diary, yet another traveller was merely curious and eager to meet some of the Native American women. Other women made constant note of the graves they passed along the way. I suppose, they did this to pass that information on to the folks back home and also because they had a fear of catching a disease and dieing. Disease, confrontations with natives and drowning are the calamities that are written about most of all.