RULES AND REGULATIONS, BY WHICH TO CONDUCT WAGON TRAINS. (DRAWN BY OXEN ON THE PLAINS) by TOM C. CRANMER
Likewise setting forth the Duties of Wagon Master, Assistant Wagon Master, Mounted Extra-Hand, Teamsters, Night Herders, Caviyard Driver, &c., &c.
The short pamphlet by the above name was first published in 1866. It was endorsed by fourteen gentlemen who knew Mr. Cranmer “to have had sufficient experience to render him capable of forming The Regulations…”
I found a reprint at the National Frontier Trails Museum in Independence, Missouri. My dh and I happened upon the museum quite by accident. We were spending the weekend in Kansas City, and since we love to turn every opportunity into a research trip, we traveled to nearby Independence. A quick search showed a restored train depot, which we enjoyed. But as we were driving away, the Frontier Trails Museum caught our eye. And what a find!
Recreations of frontier settings, wagons, general stores, lists of supplies recommended for a family undertaking the journey west, a pictorial timeline of westward travel… It was a treasure trove of information. We even topped off our visit with a ride in a covered wagon, pulled by a pair of silky-eared mules.
This little pamphlet gave me the idea for Coming Home, my story in the Hearts and Spurs anthology. While I took the liberty of adding a security guard as one of the train’s company, Mr. Cranmer provides some amazing details for writers like me who love all this history.