As the Duttons venture on through the uncharted territory of the west, 1883 fans are more than ready to follow them through all the perilous elements that await them. But they just have one question – shouldn’t they have picked the route before leaving Texas?
When the Duttons first arrived (both on screens and in town), they seemed determined to find a new, more prosperous life for themselves and their future families. They had no hesitation as they embarked on the long, perhaps life-threatening journey, so you might think that they would have created a rock-solid plan for their ventures.
In fact, some 1883 fans even took to Reddit to discuss why the family would take off before mapping out their exploits.
“Watching the first three episodes of 1883–made me think of something. Shouldn’t everyone decide the route they are taking in advance before setting out?” the author asked. “It seems to me that at the River they should have known well in advance that this would be a problem. Also wouldn’t it make more sense for the Duttons to decide what state they want to live in before moving to that state? It is a perilous journey. In the tub scene it seems that James and Margaret are still deciding.”
‘1883’ Fans Theorize Why Duttons Left Without a Plan
While the author’s question would have been valid if the journey took place today, or even just fifty-some years later, pioneers had little information available about the Western lands. That’s why it was much safer to travel in large groups, as we see with 1883 with Shea Brennan, his partner Thomas and the German emigrants.
Other fans seemed to catch onto this idea and shared their own understanding of the family’s lack of planning.
“I think they knew the river was there, but they didn’t expect for it to be so high at that point in the year so they had to come up with an alternate plan,” one 1883 fan suggested. “I’m not sure if I’m remembering correctly but the Duttons knew they wanted to head to the northwest, and wanted to find something worth buying along the way. They wouldn’t have had any knowledge of the states beyond secondhand information from others, so they really would have had to see it for themselves to make a decision.”
Another fan concurred that the limited resources back in 1883 would render any maps or plans futile.
“The route back when was just a ‘do your best to follow a beaten path,'” the fan noted. “Most of these people set out in a covered wagon just to risk getting anywhere that was better than where they were leaving. They knew when they came to a place if it felt right and they should build a life from scratch.”