Thursday, May 4, 2017

Westward Ho! And why we did ...

Hi! Kit Morgan here. While deciding what fun topic to blog about today, my eyes wandered the office and landed on my newly acquired copy of The King's Handbook of New York City, 1892. It was written by Moses King and published in 1892. The book was a complete history of New York City, from its founding days to present. Which, of course, was 1892. To read, what to us is a historical book on history, is rather fun! I purchased the book to use as reference for a new series I'm writing and am glad I did. The book is fascinating, and also makes one realize why so many came west seeking to escape the crowded cities.
My daughter lives in Brooklyn. I'm writing this blog post from her apartment located in a 1910 building. Its quaint and charming with victorian features here and there. She loves it.

What's interesting when I speak to folks in the neighborhood, and they find out I'm from Oregon, they all say the same thing. Oregon! It's so green! I would love to live there. I so want to get out of the city! Well, Brooklyn has 2.6 million people living in it. It's the most populated of the five Burroughs. According to King's Handbook, things were just as crowded then (at least to the folks in 1892) and then as now, many wanted to move out of the city and head west. Even if it was only as far as Pennsylvania.
Many traveled as far as St. Louise, one of the main jump off points west, and prepped for the journey. By the late 1890's, folks weren't heading west in droves. By then the railroads were king, covered wagons a poor cousin indeed. Still, many made the trip west to take up residence in less crowded conditions, carving out a life for themselves in smaller towns and cities, and of course, the country.

Life out west wasn't laden with the wonders of the big city, but at least you had a patch of land to call your own instead of a three or four room flat. And, you could throw a rock and not hit your neighbor's house. This was also a big plus. It meant you had breathing room! The hustle and bustle of the city was finally being you!
All the photos you see are from King's Handbook, and I try to imagine a New Yorker from that era going west, staring at a wide open prairie for the first time. There was no internet to look things up and see pictures before hand. Nothing could have prepared them for the majesty of the Colorado Rockies, or the beauty of the plains. Our world has become so small with technology, that the "wow" factor is lessened. Not so the folks from a bygone era. They lived in anticipation of seeing a new land, setting down roots, and raising a family. No wonder so many wanted to go West back then. And still do today ...

Kit Morgan is the best selling author of over fifty books! She writes pure fun and romance in the old west! 


  1. Like you, I love the old books written at the time I'm researching. What a gift you've given yourself with this one.

    I have written about anticipation and how it plays such a big part in our lives. I can only imagine how it felt to those 'travelers' from way back when.

    Thank you for a great read, and don't get to comfortable in the big city, *Grin* but enjoy that time with family. Doris

  2. Great post! I agree...the big city is too big, and I only visited NY once. That was enough for me, and I could not live there. My husband and I plan to get some land to roam on in the near future, and we've considered moving west.

  3. Excellent post, Kit! Much enjoyed.

  4. Just love your writings! Everything you write comes alive to me. Don't ever stop writing because you make the world a brighter place