Imagine traveling by ox and wagon across the country, with no access to medical care, and only a few scant “medicines” at your disposal.
passed through St Joseph on the bank of the Missouri laid in our flour cheese and crackers and medicine for no one should travle this road without medicine for they are al most sure to have the summer complaint each family should have a box of phisic pills and a quart of caster oil a quart of the best rum and a large vial of peppermint essence. we traveled 4 miles the river and encamped here we found nine waggons bound for oregon.
Geer, Elizabeth Dixon Smith, 1808/9?-1855, Diary of Elizabeth Dixon Geer, 3 June 1847, in Covered Wagon Women: Diaries & Letters from the Western Trails, volume 1: 1840-1849, page 119. Holmes, Kenneth L., editor & compiler Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1983.