‘1883’ Fan Discovers the Shockingly Small Distance the Wagons Have Traveled So Far

by Lauren Boisvert
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“1883” fans have just now realized that it takes forever to get somewhere in a wagon train, apparently. Fans took to Reddit to discuss the surprisingly short distance the wagons have traveled on the show.

At the start of the thread, one user-provided a map from Fort Worth, Texas to Abilene, Texas. Over five episodes, the wagon train has covered an area that takes about a two-hour drive. Walking, it’s about 51 hours. They’ve taken about a week to travel 150 miles.

This ups the realism, but it slows the pacing down a lot. One fan noted, “I was expecting them to get to MT this season. They’ll be lucky to make it out of Texas.” Things are moving pretty slowly, but I don’t see them suddenly speeding up any time soon. “1883” is all about the realism, so I imagine the literal pace of the wagon train will stay the same while the pace within the storylines will ramp up.

Another “1883” viewer had predictions about where the wagon train was going. They wrote, “Looks like they’ll turn north at or around Abilene and follow the Great Western Cattle Trail through Indian Territory (what later became Oklahoma) to Dodge City, Kansas, then go further north from there into Nebraska and turn left along the Oregon Trail into Wyoming, where the Duttons will split up from the wagon train and head north into Montana, while the wagon train will continue west along the Oregon Trail through the Rockies into Oregon.”

All in all, “1883” is about portraying the realism of the West and the Oregon Trail, and it’s been doing a great job so far, according to the fans. But some are concerned, with this pace, it’ll take 20 seasons before they reach Montana.

‘1883’ Fans Spot One Anachronism from Episode 4

As we’ve said, “1883” does a good job of portraying realism and accuracy, but it’s still fiction. So, sometimes the writers can take creative liberties. And we have to suspend our disbelief if we want to enjoy the show.

In episode 4, where the wagon train was finally crossing the river, there was a moment that gave some fans pause. Josef shared a detail with James, Shea, and Thomas that sounded a little farfetched; apparently, there was a law in Germany prohibiting people to swim.

Fans latched onto this, and took to Reddit to discuss. “Was it actually illegal to swim in Germany at this time in history?” the thread asked. “Only in one town really,” one fan answered, “And it was lifted by 1883.”

Another fan further explained the predicament. “It was dramatic license taken for the show… there was one instance of it being known to be banned in ONE city Ingolstadt, on the Danube river… in the 1600s,” they wrote.

It’s true, in Germany the town of Ingolstadt banned swimming, mostly because people just forgot how to swim. The water represented mortal danger, monsters, and death. The increase in bathing in bathhouses, lifted from the Romans, made the need for swimming obsolete, so people forgot or never learned. The “1883” writers took this little nugget of history and thought it would fit in well with their story.

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