Annual Mail to Oregon in the 1830s

“This terrible inaccessibility is perhaps bet illustrated by the communications that passed back and forth between Narcissa [Whitman] and her family during the years just following the birth of her daughter and the little girl’s death by drowning at the age of twenty-seven months. By the first travelers’ caravan Narcissa sent word of her birth; months later, by another caravan, she sent for several pairs of little shoes. Then tragedy struck, and the baby girl was buried. The next westbound traders’ party brought congratulations, and the following year the shoes arrived. The grief-stricken mother was forced to wait until a third season for her letters of condolence.”