In 1890, "a plucky young Texan" paddled his canoe from New York City to Astoria, Oregon. A staff correspondent for New York's Mail and Express, R. Elbert Rappleye's odyssey spanned 6,280 miles and was undoubtedly a first. What's crazy to consider is that 130 years on, there isn't a West Coast to East solo, continuous canoe expedition on record. It feels awe-inspiring to traverse the nation by canoe, to span the country with a journalistic eye, and with a bit of luck and success, to pull off a reverse record.
We have the newspaper reports he sent back. His sister Mae saved them all. He met with Siting Bull and was given a knife sheath as a gift! Elbert Rappleye Brewster.
Thank you! Elbert is my great grandfather, my father’s name sake. I am deeply touched.