Elizabeth Dixon Smith Geer

Elizabeth’s husband fell sick on the journey. He made it to Portland, but had to be carried to their leaky, lean-to shed and laid upon what was to become his deathbed. He lingered for two months, before finally dying.

feb 1 [Tuesday] rain all day this day my Dear husband my last remaining friend died.

feb 2 to day we buried my earthly companion, now I know what none but widows know that is how comfortless is that of a widows life espesily when left in a strange land without money or friends and the care of seven children — cloudy

Geer, Elizabeth Dixon Smith, 1808/9?-1855, Diary of Elizabeth Dixon Geer, 1-2 February 1848, in Covered Wagon Women: Diaries & Letters from the Western Trails, volume 1: 1840-1849, page 146. Holmes, Kenneth L., editor & compiler Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska Press, 1983.

That Spring, Elizabeth and her children left Portland, which she described as a “sick game place.” They settled in Yamhill County, and she soon married a man named Joseph Geer.

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