On the Way Home: The Diary of a Trip from South Dakota to Mansfield, Missouri, in 1894 Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. How did Almanzo get the wagon for his family to travel in?

To get a wagon for the trip to Missouri, Almanzo converted a two-seated hack into a type of covered wagon by removing the rear seat and building a square frame over the platform. The rig was painted shiny black and outfitted with black oilcloth blinds.

2. What did Laura do to prepare for her family's trip?

To prepare for the long trip to Missouri, Laura worked as a seamstress to save up some money, and she baked a lot of hard tack biscuits for them to eat along the way.

3. What did Almanzo buy a bunch of before the trip, and why?

Almanzo prepared to trade for food and assistance on the trip by purchasing a box of asbestos fire mats. The mats could withstand direct fire without damage and could be used to separate cooking pots from open flames, thereby eliminating burned food and so forth. They were considered to be a great technological advance and were only recently available on the market.

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