This story was told to me by Madeline Cohen, the wife of my second cousin.
In 1887, Madeline's great-grandparents, Jake and Hattie, age 17, were living in Riga, Latvia, and planning to be married. But Jake, afraid he would be drafted into the Russian Army, decided to go to New York, with Hattie to follow when he was settled. After a while he wrote to Hattie: "I am doing well in New York. I will send for you soon."
But Hattie did not wait to be sent for. With her dowry, which consisted of a feather bed and a samovar, she boarded a ship for New York.
When she arrived, not speaking a word of English, she found the place where Jake had been staying. But Jake was not there. He had gone to Hartford.
So Hattie, with her feather bed and her samovar, went to Hartford. But Jake was not there. He had gone to Garden City, Kansas.
So once again Hattie took her feather bed and her samovar and went to Kansas. Finally she caught up with Jake and they were married. Her solo journey was finally over. This remarkable young woman had traveled SIX THOUSAND MILES by herself, lugging her feather bed and her samovar for every mile.
But Hattie's travels were not yet over. After living a few years in Kansas, she and Jake were in the Oklahoma Land Rush and ended their journey near Tulsa.