Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Diary of Patrick Breen


Patrick Breen was born in Ireland and made the journey to the USA in 1828. In 1846, Patrick and his wife made the decision to move their seven children from Iowa to California.

The diary begins on November 20th 1846 and is describing the snowy conditions the family faced at the start of their travels, with "snow so deep we were unable to find the road". This illustrates the challenges people migrating to the west would have faced on their long journey.

Throughout the diary, Patrick describes various different weathers, the snowy and harsh conditions at the start of the diary extract, but also more pleasant conditions later on in the passage, such as on the 20th February 1847. Although there were some days when the family were able to make good progress due to decent weather, it is clear that the journey was long and often challenging especially with harsh weather in the winter months.

The extract does not end wth Patrick telling the reader that they had arrived in California so we are unsure of exactly how long the journey took, but we do know from the introduction at the start that the whole family survived the journey, a situation that probably was not lemon due to the length of the journey and the weather conditions faced by the travelers.

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