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A Diary From the Land Rush of 1893

September 14, 1893
Dear Diary,

My family and I set out for the Cherokee Strip three days ago. We are in a very tightly packed wagon and I can barely breathe. We have taken along our neighbor’s too, because their horse went lame right before everyone left. So far it has been very hot over these plains; and the extra people does not help much. But surprisingly, it gets very cold at night. There is no room in the hotels so we have no hot food; just what we brought. I long for some of mother’s homemade hot soup, but all we brought is jerky and stale bread. No Indians, thankfully. The government must have gotten rid of them. I was scared that they might come and attack us. I feel slightly sorry for them that we are taking their land. But still we are going to get our own piece of land that we can farm as long as we like! We are going to be the best farmers there are! My father is very confident about this. He plans to give me and my three other sisters the biggest dowry there is. I just hope we get a piece of land in time…



Susan Briggs


September 16, 1893
Dear Diary,

11:48am- Today we all got in line and got ready for the land run. My mother warned my sisters and me that we should be careful and stay in the wagon. We could get lost. I am very nervous right now. People are shooting fake gunshots and others start a runnin’. My father has left my neighbor’s alone to run. But my mother, being has kind as she is, let the children in our wagon, while their parents run to find their own land. I am nervous that we might not find land. Oh my…they are starting. This is going to be a train wreck…

2:02 pm- Yes! We have found land! When the gun shots went off it scared me half to death, and I almost fell out the back of the wagon. My father went so fast and was a genius to go to the farthest back piece of land. When we got there, there were only about two other families there! My neighbor’s son, David, quickly jumped out and ran to the next plot and claimed it for his family. I think that was so cute; David is only five and he is standing with a big sign claiming his territory. I hope that David’s parents have not already found land.


5:28pm- We have set up our tents. When I was helping mother make some soup, David’s parents arrived sadly. We all knew what happened. They said that they had nowhere to go now. We all laughed. David took his parents hands and led them to their new plot of land. They all hugged and kissed little David. We all sat down by our new roaring fire and ate mother’s soup. It was so good. I knew we would be ok…

Susan Briggs





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