First Day, Friday, April 12th, 1850
Left Milwaukee at 1 o'clock for California with 6 wagons and 16 men. Cold day. Roads very bad. Went 19 miles.
April 13, Saturday, Second Day
Very cold morning. All well. Broke kink bolt on William's Buggy. Went to Darien. Traveled 33 miles. Put up for the night.
April 14th, Third Day, Sunday
We lay over today. It is a fair morning. Not too cold. All well. Took a walk this morning. Went to meeting this afternoon and enjoyed the sermon. Feel in good spirits. Wrote a letter to my wife. Went to meeting this evening.
Left Darien at 1/2 past 6 o'clock. I like the country very much. Past through Beloit at 12 o'clock. This is a beautiful place. A large town with 5 churches. A great business place. Swapped a pair of horses for a pair of mules. Gave 20 dollars to boot. Mules is very high. Bought 1 Horse for 75 dollars. 3 o'clock. Passed Rosco Downs, a small place with 1 church. 5 o'clock. Went through Rockford. A very fine place with 5 churches. Went 5 miles from there and put up for the night. Prairie on fire.
April 16 - 5 Day Out
A fine morning. All well. Started this morning at 7 o'clock. About 1 mile from this place is an old building intended for a seminary, all in ruins, built by P.M. Johnson of Grafton. Passed over fine valleys and fine prospects. Drove too far yesterday. One of our horses is about give out. One of Charles' horses has got lame. Drove 31 miles to Dixon, a small place on the Fox River. Good land. Traded our poor horse, gave 50 to boot.
April 17 - 6 Day out
Started at 7 o'clock. All well. Try our new horse. Crossed Fox River. Come 35 miles. Put up at a farm House. Cold night.
Thursday April 18 - 7 Day out
Looks like rain. Charles traded a lame horse, gave 10 dollars to boot. Came to Albany, crossed the Mississippi river. Charles [and] Mr. Han got a touch of the dysentery.
Friday April 19 - 8 Day out
Put up at De Witt last night. Started at 7 o'clock. Crossed very large prairies. Some good land and some bad. No wood as far as the eyes could see. Charles' team got down in a slue. No hurt done. 12 o'clock. Crossed a small river in ferry boat. I had touch of dysentery this morning. I am Better now. PM. At the ferry that we have just crossed, there is a book kept that they put all the names down in. We had all the company's names put down. We found Mr. Rattery and Mr. Muns' names there. Went 24 miles to postern[?] grove and camped out for the first time. The country is mountainous and uninhabited. Passed a dead horse.
Saturday April 20 - 9 day out
Took a early start this morning. Good roads. Crossed Cedar river. Went 2 miles from the river and camped. Came 28 miles.
Sunday April 21 - 10 day from Home.
All well. Lay over today. Dull morning. This is a dull place to spend the sabbath, in a valley by a small log house. Have a little time to read and think of friends we left behind. We can't read when we travel, it hurts our eyes. Feel very comfortable in the company. Captain Bonniwell has just give me charge of the doctor's book and medicines. 12 o'clock. Rains hard. Wrote a letter to my wife all well.
Monday 22 - 11 day from Home.
All well. Took a early start this morning. Very cold. Came 23 miles and camped. Passed through Iowa City. Crossed Iowa River. Met with Mr. Mun at this place.
Tuesday 23 - 12 day from Home.
Cold morning. Started out six o'clock this morning. All well. Good roads. Saw Mr. Rattery for the first time since I left home. He was expecting to overtake us tonight. Crossed a beautiful plain. At this place is a village marked out. One of our men set the prairie on fire. Traveled about 30 miles today. Camped in a wood at about 4 o'clock.
Wednesday 24 - 13 day out
Photo Copyright Southwind ProductionsGot an early start this morning. All well. Came about 12 or 16 miles and broke one of our axletrees. Mr. And is not very well this afternoon. Came 25 miles and camped.
Fine morning. Mr. And is a little better. Made an axletree. Got started about 8 o'clock. Doctored Mr. And, the first case, and bled him. Came 22 miles and camped.
Friday April 26 - 15 day out
A fine morning Mr. And is a little better. Started at 1/2 past six. Came through some very bad slues. Traded a lame horse, gave 5 dollars to boot. The grass just begins to look green. Very warm. Elk horns lay along the road. Prairies on fire, beautiful sight at night. Came 26 miles.
Saturday April 27 - 16 day out
Cold change in the weather. Gave Mr. And another dose of medicine. Went to see some indian graveyards. Quite a curiosity. Come at 12 o'clock to Fort Des Moines. Houses mostly built of logs. Perhaps 400 inhabitants. 1 steam sawmill. This fort was built to protect the whites against the indians. There is a steamboat [that] comes to this place occasionally. Crossed this river. Otherwise looks as if it might make a place. Woodland and prairie. Saw another sawmill. We traveled late today to get a place to camp. One of our mules ran back. The two boys went back but did not come in. Captain Bonniwell turned out six men and horses with a trumpet [who] found them coming in.
Sunday April 28 - 17 day out
All well. Traveled today about 6 miles on account of getting a better campground. Cleaned our wagons out and washed some things. Give the men a dose of scurvy medicines. In camp with about 60 men. Good camp ground. Sung this afternoon in tent. Missed two of our horses. One of our men is out looking for them, has not returned. 8 o'clock this evening, the Captain has sounded the trumpet to call them in.
Monday 29 - 18 day out
Fine morning. Andrew Bloxom and Mr. Giffied laid out last night. Found the horses at 7 this morning. Started at six. Broke 1 spoke in my wagon. Smashed camp kettle. Men overtook us at 12 o'clock. Captain got kicked with one of the mules, hurt his thigh. Came about 30 miles. Good roads. Camped at 7 o'clock with 80 men in camp. No grass for our horses. About 80 miles from the Bluffs.
Tuesday 30 - 19 day out
Started this morning about 1/2 [past] 5 a.m. Captain's thigh is better. Went about 10 miles and camped on account of high winds. At 9 a.m., saw a dead horse. Very cold. Very large prairies. Don't like the country. Come to a log House where there is 3 men. They have 2 barrels of liquor to accommodate the emigrants. Killed a rattlesnake near one of our tents. Passed a dead horse. 12 p.m. Struck tent. Went 13 miles. Land rolling prairie. Pitched tent 5 p.m. Saw elk horns along the road and some deer. Wind high.
Wednesday May 1st and 20 day out
Frost last night. Warm day. All well. Came 13 miles this forenoon. Rolling land. Saw a dead wolf. Started at 1 p.m. Traveled about 30 miles today. No corn for our horses. Grass very short. You may travel all day and not see a house. This is out of the world.
Thursday May 2 and 21 day out
All well. Fine day. Want rain in this part of the country. Set watch last night for the first time. Myself and Mr. Rattery had the middle watch. Passed 2 dead horses. Hear that corn is $3.00/bushel and flour $11.00/barrel. Great many selling out and coming back. 5 p.m. We are now in camp for the night and 25 miles from the Bluffs. We shall reach there tomorrow if all is well. Looks like rain tonight.
Friday May 3 and 22 day out
Rained very hard last night. For the first time, we slept dry in our wagons. It is a blusterous morning and rains a little. Rather cold to turn out. All well and in good spirits. Struck tents and started at 6 a.m. Captain and 2 men gone on ahead to the bluffs. Saw 1 dead horse, 2 buffalo Heads. 4 p.m. Camped 8 miles from the Bluffs on account of feed. In sight of Missouri river. They're all mormons in this part of the country. A man made an attempt to steal a horse in one of the company and got shot at. They recovered the horse did not hurt the man.
Saturday May 4 and 23 day out
Sharp frost last night. Fine morning. Warm day. We have been employed today in cleaning out wagons and repairing wagon hoops and putting spokes and having a general overall, as the Captain is gone to town with six men to get our provisions ready and get horses shod. We want to start on Monday for the promised land. We are all well and in good spirits.
Sunday May 5 and 24 day out
Fine morning. 8 miles from the Bluffs. Been in camp all day. The day has been spent in regulating things, weighing clothes to make our loads equal on every wagon. We are 8 miles from town. We [will] go to town tomorrow to get provisions. I have had a bad headache all day. Commenced to write a letter to my wife. This is the first sabbath that I have worked on for many years. Lord have mercy on us.
Monday May 6 and 25 day out
We took a early start this morning and went 1 mile and took on some flour and grain for our teams, and then down what they call a town. One of the meanest places I ever saw, and made out our stock of provision. Things of all kinds is very high. Traded 4 mules for 3 horses and 8 [dollars to] boot. The land here is very rough and curious to the eye, resembling the waves of the sea. Some very high peaks. Me and some others went to the top of some of the highest of them. You have a fine view of the country road.
Tuesday May 7 and 26 day out
All well. Beautiful morning. Finished and sent my letter to my wife. Went 2 miles on horseback to the post office. 7 a.m. Took a fresh start for California. Our teams is in fine order. We have about 1000 [pounds] on each wagon. Came 12 miles today and camped. Took in more feed. 12 o'clock on watch. All abed and the wolves howling round. Have a little time to meditate and think of friends at home that lay near my heart. God bless them.
Wednesday May 8 and 27 day out
All well. Lay in camp all day. Been employed in making tents. The Boys has been out shooting ducks and we have had a chowder. All in good spirits.
Thursday May 9 and 28 day out
Started at 7 a.m. Went 3 miles and crossed Missouri River into the Indian Territory. Saw a great many Indians. There is going to be war with two of the tribes in 2 months about the hunting grounds. 12 a.m. Started from the river. 28 men and 3 wagons joining us, which makes our Company amount to 14 wagons and 44 men and 47 horses and one mule. The Company was organized and regulated. There is one doctor with us.
Friday May 10 and 29 day out
Struck tent 1/4 past 4 a.m. and traveled through a beautiful country, well watered. 3 p.m. About one dozen of us went to shoot 5 buffalo; turned out to be 5 indian ponies. Saw 3 wolves. Had to mend 2 bad cracks so that we could pass over. This has been a fine day. All well. The grass is just beginning to grow. Pitched tent and traveled about 20 miles. Camped about 3/4 mile of the road.
Saturday May 11 and 30 day out
Rose at 3 a.m. Struck tent 1/2 [past] 5. Traveled over a beautiful country, well watered. Crossed Salt Creek. Mended the road 3 times. One of our horses got bit or stung very bad. Captain's son had the dysentery. Gave him some medicine. [He] is better tonight. Pitched tent about 5 p.m. Traveled 30 miles.
Sunday May 12 and 31 day out
All well. Lay in camp at Salt Creek. Very warm. Put on thinner clothes. This is an excellent country. Good campground. Plenty of wood and water. Our horse is a little better. Great many camp here. There is indians' graves 1 mile from here. Our men dug up 1 brass kettle, 1 hoe, 1 small glass bottle [which] looked as if it had been buried a long while. On the bottle was stamped London. Great many teams has just come up. This has been a lonesome day. Had a great desire to take a rim[?] home till monday, in there is the greatest order in camp. All in fine spirits. 5 p.m.
Monday May 13 and 32 day out
Took an early start this morning. All well. Good roads. Come to a bad place. Had to pull the wagons over with ropes. Saw several dead carcasses. Four of our horse got adrift last night. Found them at the next camp. Came 35 miles. Very bad water. Passed about 3 acres of salt marsh. Salt on top of the ground. Quite a curiosity.
Tuesday May 16 and 33 day out
Fine morning. All well. Dry, hot, dusty. This is a very level country we are traveling over. This morning passed a lot of wagons on the road. Dead cattle. Saw a great many wagons come from Fort Laramie going to the bluffs for stores. Passed over high bluffs. Saw a number of Pawnee Indians. Came over a splendid country. 30 miles up to one of the branches of the Platte river. Made and passed some laws last night.
Wednesday May 15 and 34 day out
Rose at 3 a.m. Had breakfast at 5. Started about 6 a.m. All well. 4 horses was stolen last night in the next camp from us. One o'clock. We are bating along side of the Platte river. It is very pleasant, about 150 yards wide. Water riley. Passed a dead horse. The roads is good, rather sandy some places, quite hard putting. Passed a number of emigrants with cattle teams and one mule team. Beautiful country about here. Passed an indian grave. There was about 150 horses heads in a circle, and about 100 yards from that was an indian village, all wigwams, curiously constructed, capable of containing several thousand indians. Grass short. No wood. Had to carry wood. Came 30 miles and camped. Grass short. A man has just come up and told us that the indians has stolen 4 mules and 3 horses and left him without team and 1 thousand miles from home with only 25 dollars of money in is pocket.
Thursday May 16 and 35 day out
Took an early start. Thomas Mun had a chill yesterday, [a] little better this morning. Roads sandy along the Platte river. We keep [to] this road 300 miles. Only had 1 shower since we left home. Roads good but dusty. Saw a wolf this morning, and a buffalo head not long been killed. Saw some indians' graves at a distance. Came 5 miles and turned out for 2 hours. Good grass. All in excellent spirits. Teams stand it well. Have not the least desire to turn back. 1 p.m. Left the river about 2 miles, crossed a high bluff, struck the river again. Beautiful scenery. River full of islands. River about 1 mile wide. High bluffs on the left, river on the right. 4 men gone hunting buffalo. Saw another train ahead. Came about 25 miles and camped. Good grass.
Friday May 17 and 36 day out
Struck tent about 5 a.m. All well. Roads level and good as can be. Turned out at 12 o'clock for 2 hours. Good grass. Saw 2 antelope at a distance. Shot a skunk. I and one more went over the bluffs to hunt, about 6 miles, did not see anything. Pitched tent at 5 p.m. Came 20 or 25 miles. Had to ford the river for wood.
Saturday May 18 and 37 day out
Started about 6 a.m. Road runs about 1 mile from the river. Went 5 miles and struck the Saint Joe and Independence Road. This is the road that leads to California. 1 mile from here, I saw a grave. A young man 25 years old died June 3, 1849. Looks solemn. The road here is as good as can be. Saw a great many teams this morning. Passed two trains. Very warm day. Saw 2 wolves, 2 dead carcasses. 5 p.m. At Fort Kearney, 220 miles from Council Bluffs. This [is] quite a military station, 150 soldiers here, 1 store that you can get anything you want. The officer in command sent 1 sergeant and 3 soldiers yesterday to recover the horses and mules that was stolen from the emigrants on Wednesday. If the chief don't give them up, they will send out the soldiers and destroy their village. Came 28 miles and camped 1 mile from the fort.
Sunday May 19 and 38 day out
1 mile from Fort Kearney. All well. Fine day. Went to see the soldiers exercise at 8 a.m. Wrote a letter to my wife and sent it. Spent the day in writing, reading and walking about.
Monday May 20 and 39 day out
Had quite a shower last night, about 3/4 of an hour, and blew our tent down. Expected to get a soaking. Turned in all standing. Looks like rain this morning. Charles got sick, headache. 10 a.m. Cleared off and hot. Saw plenty of game at a distance. Grass short. Water riley. [We] keep along the Platte river. Saw 2 graves. Came about 27 miles and camped. Gather buffalo chips to cook our supper.
Tuesday May 21 and 40 day out
Started about 6 a.m. Raining a little. All well. The roads is lined with emigrants. The roads good and level. Grass very short. Plenty of large game here. Can't get a shot at them. United States patrols along the road to keep the indians quiet. Can travel with perfect safety. Come about 25 miles and camped. Took our horses about 1 mile to pasture. Looks like rain. My second watch tonight.
Wednesday May 22 and 41 day out
Rained and blew very hard last night. All well. Cleared off fine. Started about 4 a.m. Went about 5 miles on account of grass before breakfast. Saw 2 graves. Came 24 miles and camped. Poor grass.
Thursday May 23 and 42 day out
Fine morning. All well. Started at 6 a.m. Part of the Company that joined us left today. They did not like to get up so early. Very hot. Not much wind. Roads good and fine country. Grass good. Came about 25 miles and camped 1 mile from the road.
Friday May 24 and 43 day out
Struck tent at a late hour this morning. Cold night last night and a warm day. All in fine health and spirits. Roads good. We left the river this afternoon and crossed some rising land and returned to the river again about 9 a.m. They shot a buffalo and I dress it a very fine one. Would weigh 800 lbs. We had some for dinner. It was quite a treat. It was a bull. Had 3 shots in him. It is rather coarse grain meat, not so good as beef. Saw a great many buffalo this afternoon. Came only 20 miles today. Got a good campground at 4 p.m. with plenty of wood, water and grass. One of our men jumped out of the wagon and sprained his ankle at 10 a.m.
Saturday May 25 and 44 day out
Struck tent at 1/2 past 4. Buffalo meat gone. Some of the men [have] the dysentery. The land is not so good. Grass short. Bluffs each side of the river. This is what they call the South Fork of the Platte River. Sold one of our wagons. Burnt 1 old wagon. Turned our horses on some islands in the river. Saw lots of buffalo today and one black wolf. Came 27 miles and camped.
Sunday May 26 and 45 day out
This morning about 5 a.m., we rose, and in a few minutes, we saw 2 buffalo run by our camp. The Captain, William T. Bonniwell, and myself with several of our Company went in chase after them. We run them about 2 miles and the Captain got thrown from his horse, not hurt. The buffalo escaped. Photo Copyright Southwind ProductionsAs we was returning, we saw 5 more and we set chase after them. We chase them about 3 miles and came within pistol shot of them. I was ahead. The captain was some 20 rods behind of me. The other men was in different directions and the buffalo turned and all at once I saw my brother's horse coming without a rider. I stopped and looked round and saw him on the ground. I was up to him in a minute and I found him almost dead. As it happened, there was a doctor with us and it was my wish he should be bled in both arms. It would not run much in the first arm. We took about 1/2 pint out of the other arm. As quick as he came to, we brought him in camp. Done all we could for him. In about an hour, we had another doctor to give his advise. 10 a.m. He is a very sick man. Have a hard job to keep him from fainting. Got some fever. Put wet cloths on his head every minute or two. 1 p.m. Came to. Feels a little better after rest. 5 p.m. Is very sick. Complains of a hurt in the chest. He is racked all over. I am by him all the time. It is just come on to blow a gale and rains hard. It is a solemn time with me, a solemn chastisement. God enable us to remember it and never go after buffalo on a sabbath morning again.
Monday May 27 and 46 day out
Set up last night with my brother. He had a good night rest. Is some better, but very sick. Shook all over, and head bad. Started at 5 a.m. Can't hardly bear the jolt of the wagon. 5 p.m. Captain is better. Came 18 miles and crossed the Platte River, 3/4 of a mile across. Got our teams over in fine order. River 3 foot deep. We are now 165 miles from Fort Laramie. Drove Captain's team all day. Saw nothing very interesting today.
Tuesday May 28 and 47 day out
Struck tent at 5 a.m. Captain is better. Very weak. 10 a.m. Crossed Coader[?] Bluffs, a beautiful peace of nature's work. Came down a steep side hill. A frightful place. Came down with out trouble. 1 p.m. Came to Ash Hollow and stayed 2 hours. Came 40 miles and camped 1 mile from the Platte river. Good grass. No wood. There is a few indians here, some squaws quite interesting. A French trader here has 2 of them for his wives. They are the Sioux tribe. They declared that I was a Pawnee Indian.
Wednesday May 29 and 48 day out
Struck tent at 1/2 [past] 5 a.m. Captain is better. Fine morning. Had a fine rain last night. Had a very sandy road to pass over. Saw a great many indians, all very friendly, and two villages. Came about 25 miles and camped at 4 p.m. about 15 rods from the Platte river. The indians here is almost black and some of the children is got blue eyes and a light complexion. I can't account for it unless the ladies has rubbed too close to the emigrants going to California.
Thursday May 30 and 49 day out
Started this morning at 5 a.m. Captain little better. Roads sandy and heavy. Saw a great many indians today. They are quite good looking, good featured and teeth. Went 6 miles off the roads to solitary castle or tower and stamped my name on the sand rock. I am writing these notes setting on the sand 1/4 mile from this curious piece of nature's work. It represents a castle at a distance surrounded by a sandy country. The prospect is delightful. Can see a great many miles. 15 miles in a westerly direction is the Chimney Rock. [Came] 28 miles.
Friday May 31 and 50 day out
Started at 1/2 [past] 5. All well. Fine day. Grass good. Roads sandy. Land not good for cultivation. Beautiful prospects. I write these notes at 10 a.m. at the base of the Chimney Rock, 6 miles off the road. It is a great curiosity. I have stamped my name on the rock. It is very high but I can see it. There is a great many names on this peace of nature's work. There is a spring about 50 rods from this rock. There are a number of curious sceneries at this place. Saw William Smith from Wisconsin. He started some days before us. 12 o'clock. Stopped to bate. Grass good along the river. 4 p.m. Camp in sight of the table rock. Made 25 miles. No wood at hand. Went 1/2 mile for water. The bluffs here is high and beautiful. Some show as white and some green, scattered all over with cedar or pine, I don't know which, which makes it have a splendid appearance. The table rock is round and flat on top, all white. 1/2 a mile from the Platte river, the land is sandy and good for nothing nor never will be. We are at this camp about 46 miles from Laramie.
Saturday June the 1st and 51 day out
Started at 6 a.m. Had a wet night. Fine morning. Thomas Mun is not very well. Captain is about recovered. Traveled 1 mile and left the river and struck for Scots Bluffs. 11 a.m. Came 14 miles in Scots Bluffs valley. This valley is 8 mile long and about 5 wide, 3/4 surrounded with the most splendid sights I ever saw. 1 p.m. Crossed Scots Bluffs. Very high. Can see a great many miles on these heights. From here we had 14 miles of road all down hill. Crossed Horseshoe Creek at the Scots Bluffs. There is a blacksmith shop and a store. Came 30 miles and camped 1 mile from the road and 1/2 mile from the river, 37 miles from Fort Laramie.
Sunday June 2 and 52 day
5 a.m. This is a fine morning. Took a dose of medicine as a preventative against sickness. Good grass at this camp and water. No wood. Thomas Mun sick. This has been a long day. We have spent this day in washing our clothes and riding. I have had a great desire to be home today and have a visit with my friends. We are all in good spirits for California. If all is well, we shall take a early start tomorrow morning.
Monday June 3 and 53 day out
Started at 1/2 [past] 4 a.m. Mr. Mun is better. Fine morning. 1 p.m. We have passed some hard looking bluffs on each side of the road. Clear. Sand roads is in some measure hard as we have to cross knolls of sand. About 2 miles from where we stopped to bate is a trader and a blacksmith shop and some indians tanning buffalo skins. 9 o'clock on watch. We have made 32 miles today. The land is rough and barren. We are in camp at Laramie Ford and 1-1/2 miles from the fort. Halfway from home. It is dark and rainy.
Tuesday June 4 and 54 day out
Image Courtesy Harold Warp Pioneer VillageCloudy morning. All well. 7 a.m. Moved from our camp 1-1/2 [miles] up to the Fort Laramie. This is quite a place. In addition to the old fort, they have built several frame houses, one very large not finished yet. There is a nice garden belonging to the fort. The land is sandy. The land is bluffs and mountains in this vicinity. Quite pretty to the eye. Spotted with scrubby pines. Laramie peak is very high. We saw it one day's travel before we came to it. There is snow on top. The Black Hills is in sight. We shall attempt to cross them tomorrow. Good grass and water. No wood. Came 15 miles and camped.
Wednesday June 5 and 55 day out
From this place, I shall be able to give a more correct account of the miles we travel, as we have the Mormon guidebook to go by. Before we had to judge as near we could. Started at 5 a.m. 1-1/2 miles south of the hot springs O. This is a very strong spring of clear water. Past a narrow ravine. Ascended a steep bluffs 1/2 mile up past Porters Rock, a small lonely rock on the left of the road. Bitter Creek and Cold Springs. Descended crossing Dead Timber Creek. This is where we took our nooning. Plenty of timber, grass and water. Ascended a steep bluff 1/4 mile up. A most splendid view from the summit at the surrounded country. The land and bluff is spotted with pine trees. It looks like an orchard. Camped at Horse Creek and Hebber [Heber] Springs. Passed 2 Graves. Came 30 miles.
Thursday June the 6 and 56 day.
Struck tent at 6 a.m. All well. Dry and pleasant. Cold nights and warm days here. We ascended a high bluff 3/4 mile to the summit. This is the only place that the Mormon guide says we shall have to double teams. We got up with single teams. We crossed several dry cricks. We ascended a high bluff, the top of which is a succession of hills and hollows for 5 miles. The road is crooked but good. Came to La Bonte river, 30 ft wide, 18 in deep and camped. Plenty wood and water. Grass short. Came 18-1/2 miles.
Friday June 7 and 57 day out
The morning found us on the alert for a start. Passed over 1 mile of red sand and crossed branch of La Bonte River, 10 ft wide, 18 in deep. Steep bank. Found no trouble. Had 3-1/2 miles more of red sand. Crossed another bluff. Roads tolerably straight and good. Toads with horns and tails. Very singular things. Came to a La Prele river, 1 rod wide, 2 ft deep. Bated at this place. Land sandy and barren. Very uneven. A succession of hills and holes. Some bad ravines to cross, which requires great care in driving. Came to Box Elder Creek, 5 ft wide. This place was choked up with teams. Such a time and situation require all the patience a man can muster. Fourche Boise River [?], 30 ft wide, 2 ft deep. This place has plenty of wood and water but little grass. Came 27 miles and camped.
Saturday June 8 and 58 day out
Took a early start this morning and came 9 miles to Deer Creek at the North Fork of the Platte River, where we found a lovely place to camp. Plenty of grass, wood and a fine creek with plenty of fish. And being Saturday, we concluded to stop till Monday morning and recruit our horses as we have had a hard road this week traveling over the Black Hills. The roads has been sandy and good, equal to a plank road, but hilly. A succession of hill and hollows. But in no place have we been obliged to double teams. This section of country is sandy and barren to all farming purposes. The prospects and landscapes has been delightful. We are now well on our journey. All well and good spirits for California. About 1/2 mile from this camp is a coal bank. On the Black hills, there is a great deal of wild sage, mustard, chess tansy, wild flex and mint, and a variety of other things, flowers, etcetera. 3 bears and 2 buffalo was killed on the hills south of us yesterday. They are very numerous here.
Sunday morning June 9 and 59 day
5 a.m. A lovely morning and the birds singing. Delightful. All well. As usual, we lay in camp today. I have been quite lonely today. I have been walking round this delightful campground and have been thinking about those I love, and have been comforted. I miss the meeting, which makes the sabbath a long day. The sabbath is not spent here as it ought to be. Some employs their time in shooting and fishing, some in washing, and some in one thing and some in another. Today I have been reading and talking with some young men on religion. I told them my experience which made us all feel good. I feel that God is with me. Amen. Sunday 5 p.m. Had a little rain today.
Monday June 10 and 60 day out
Left our Camp at 5 a.m. Crossed several bad creeks. Roads crooked but good. Went through 2 deep gulches. Crossed one or 2 more creeks and came to the North Fork of the Platte River ferry and crossed. Paid 4 dollars each wagon. There is 4 scows here. They are coining money here. The land is rolling, sandy, very dusty. This afternoon we have just had a shower and laid the dust. The river here is deep and about 100 yards across. There is snow on the mountains. Went 3/4 mile from the ferry and camped. No grass. Horses had 1 quart of meal. Traveled 29 miles.
Tuesday June 11 and 61 day out
Had a hard blow and shower last night. My second watch last night, one of the mules broke wagon tongue, which caused us to start late. 7 a.m. Horses look gaunt this morning. Got to go 25 miles before we get feed. 10 a.m. Some men has left their wagons [and] left a great many things. Several of us got clothes, [gun] powder, soap and a great many useful articles. What I got was worth 6 dollars. A deal of property all along the road. A bear was killed here on the 8[th] weighing 700 lbs. I saw his paws nailed up at the ferry. Hear good news from the diggings and a good road. Bated near the Alkali Springs, which is supposed to be poisonous. The land is barren. Curious rocks and fine landscapes. Grass poor. Passed 2 dead horses, 2 cattle. 3 p.m. Came where the road passes between high, forming a kind of avenue or gateway for 1/4 of mile, where 1 of our horses gave out on account of water, alkali swamps and springs poisonous. Passed coal bank. Drove late. 5 p.m. Came to small spring where we allayed our animals' thirst and camped without grass after 26 miles drive and a very hot day.
Wednesday June 12 and 62 day out
Left our camp at 5 a.m. Had shower last night. Horses look hollow. Trying time. Crossed Willow Spring. Came to Prospect Hill. Saw Sweetwater Mountains. This is the commencement of the Rocky Mountains. 10 a.m. Stopped at small creek to bate our horses. Grass all eat off. Saw 3 buffalo. Passed 1 horse turned out to die. Traded wagon for 1 horse and 20 dollar to boot this afternoon. We have had a very hard road for 10 miles. All loose sand, which tried our horses' strengths very much, as the feed has been very bad. It is a complete sand hole. Nevertheless, we got along good. Crossed Greasewood Creek. Good water. Came to saleratus springs. Got some saleratus. A great many acres of this kind of water. The land looks all white with saleratus all ready for use. Came to Sweetwater River and 1-1/2 miles from Independence Rock. Traveled 23 miles [and] camped. Very poor grass. The country here is all rocks of granite stone and I think it is rightly named the Rocky Mountains.
Thursday June 13 and 63 day out
Struck our poles at 6 a.m. Came to Independence Rock, about 680 yards long and 120 wide, composed of hard granite. There is a great many names of visitors painted on various places on the southeast corner. This is one of the curiosities to be seen on this road. Crossed Sweetwater River, 8 rods wide, 2 ft deep. 41/4 miles from here is the Devils Gate. The river here runs between 2 perpendicular rocks 400 ft high. On top is a man's head and body down to his thighs. This is a curiosity worthy a traveler's notice. Came 8 miles and camped. Good grass. No wood. We are surrounded with mountains which has snow on their peaks. The roads pass through them, sandy and good, very dusty. Saw great many things thrown away and left, trunks, clothes, tools and so forth. Saw a great many names but did not know any of them. We concluded to stop here today to recruit our horses. Spent this afternoon in fixing and getting ready for a early start tomorrow.
Friday June 14 and 64 day out
Struck tent at 4 a.m. Traveled over very heavy sand for 28 miles at Sweetwater River.
Saturday June 15 and 65 day
Traveled 8 miles today and camped. Went on the mountains 1 mile high, hunting antelope. I shot one, the first that was killed in the company. The snow is on the top of the mountains. All well.
Sunday June 16 and 66 day out
Notwithstanding it is the sabbath, we thought it best to travel as the grass is very bad. I feel the effects of my hunt yesterday. Soon traveled 18 miles and camped at Ford No. 5, Sweetwater River. Grass very poor. One of our men is sick this evening with the headache.
Monday June 17 and 67 day out
Left our encampment at 5 a.m. Left one of our horses behind that had got poisoned. One of our men, Thomas Allen is sick. I doctored him last night. He is a little better this morning. Came 8 miles and camped on Sweetwater River. We have had heavy roads of sand and no grass. Had to feed flour. We concluded to stop here today as the grass is a little better. The country here is a complete desert mountains and bluffs. The road today has been a hard gravel with some spots of small cobbles and hilly. Not very bad to travel. Crossed a high bluff to escape crossing the river. Saw a wagon left behind and another broke an axletree. Saw 1 poisoned ox and 1 horse turned out to die. There has been so much travel on this road that every spot of grass is eat off. It is very cold today and blows a gale. This is a trying part of our road. All in good spirits and making good headway. About 32 miles from South Pass. Went out hunting 1 p.m. Returned at 6 p.m. Shot young antelope. This animal is about as large as deer and its native place is on barren hills and plains. They are good meat.
Tuesday June 18 and 68 day out
Struck our poles at 6 a.m. We had a sharp frost last night and this morning. We had to have an addition in our clothes by putting on our coats and mittens. Charles is sick today, complained bilious attack. Thomas Min is well. Our road today has been a succession of hills and hollows with some rough rocky ridges, dangerous to wagons if care is not taking. Crossed some small creeks. Grass very poor. Water plenty. The land is in all respects the same only the mountains has more snow on. We have traveled 22 miles today and camped on the Sweetwater River Grass very short. Very trying to our horses. We could travel 40 miles a day if grass was plenty I have not seen anything yet so bad as I have in Wisconsin. Saw some buffalo today. There is any quantity of antelope here. Just saw one a little ways from our camp. The landscapes is beautiful and can see a great many miles of these hills. I never was in better health and spirits in my life, thank God.
Wednesday June 19 and 69 day out
Left our encampment 1/2 [past] 5 a.m. We had a very cold night. Had a cold bed. I think of the words my little daughter said to me before I left home. Today we traveled only 16 miles to the summit on South Pass. This is the dividing ridge between the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific. Altitude 7,085 feet, according to Fremont account. We are on the line of California. We stay here today as we camp. Got another place to camp short of 20 miles today. We have tolerable good grass. Charles is a little better this morning. 8 a.m. Went to hunt antelope. Shot 1 through the flank and lost him. Captain is unwell this afternoon and Mr. Page, one of our Company, gave them an emetic. Some of the men has gone out hunting antelope. There is considerable snow in this vicinity. The roads has been good today.
Thursday June 20 and 70 day out
Started about 5 a.m. Fine morning. not so cold last night Charles is better. William is better. One of our men was taking with a puking last night. Mr. Hand is sick today, bad headache, stomach foul. Myself was quite unwell this forenoon. Had a burning inward fever. Took plenty of cold water and was better at noon and eat a good dinner of antelope, what we shot yesterday. I have quite a deal to do attending on the sick. Have good luck in doctoring them. It is they eat so hardy, and change of climate. We have come 24 miles today. Good road. No grass. Water plenty. This afternoon crossed the Little and Big Sandy River. No grass here. The 43 miles stretch is before us. Saw some bones of cattle that had died and one horse on our road. The country is in all respects the same, sandy and will hardly grow wild sage. Saw a high bluff with a rock like a castle on top. Looked very natural. Tomorrow morning we shall make the necessary preparations for the 43 mile stretch.
Friday June 21 and 71 day out
Up at a early hour and took our horses 3 miles to grass. Returned at noon. Found William and Mr. Hand sick. I gave them some medicine and it help them and at 3 o'clock we started on the 43 mile stretch, which we dreaded, and it turned out to be the best road that we have had, only it was most horrible dusty and no water. This is what they call the desert. We arrived at Green River about 7 a.m. and they have a ferry at this place.
Saturday June 22 and 72 day out
Not willing to pay 5 dollars for each wagon. We thought we would try to ferry our things in a wagon box. We tried to get it across and the tide run so strong it took the wagon box, me and another man 1/2 mile down the river. We come back and took a horse and found a ford a little above the ferry. We got across and the other teams followed us and there was two teams took down the stream and had every thing spilled. Just saved their lives. It is a very bad river to cross. Camped on the west side of the river about 5 p.m., all tired out. Grass short.
Sunday June 23 and 73 day out
This morning, I find my self very sick. Yesterday, I was in the water about 3/4 of the day, which brought on a bad headache and cold chills and fever. Very sick all day. My bones ache most dreadful. William is very sick, chills and fever. Charles also. I think it is the mountain fever. Two teams went down the river today. Went to the bar. Saw some Snake Indians round our tents, all friendly.
Monday June 24 and 74 day out
Started at 5 a.m. Myself is quite sick this morning. William is better. Charles complains. Passed over a succession of hills and hollows and struck a branch of the Green River. Good grass in places along the river. 1 p.m. Crossed a branch of the Green River. The land has a barren appearance. Soil not so sandy. Came 23 miles and camped. Drove our horses 2 miles for grass. Feel a little better tonight but very weak.
Tuesday June 25 and 75 day out
Fine morning. I feel quite sick this morning. Could not eat any breakfast, but still am better. Charles and William is about the same. It is the mountain fever. We have [the] road all day to ourselves. The roads has been very hilly and deep hollows. Some of them frightful looking ones. Passed considerable [amount] of snow in this day's travel. Some of the men has amused themselves at snowballing. There has not been anything very interesting today. Saw some Snake Indians. Crossed Hams Fork and camped near Bear River bottom. Came over 28 miles. Good grass and water. No wood but willow and wild sage. There is a number of indians round our camp now. Wants to trade a horse for a rifle. Quite friendly.
Wednesday June 26 and 76 day out
8 a.m. We concluded to lay over today as we have good grass and our horses need it. I feel quite smart this morning. William also. Charles is better. He was out watching the horses last night a sick man. Came to me last night to doctor him. He is better this morning. I gave him some more stuff. I think he will be better. William has a breaking out in his lips. We are all in good spirits. 4 weeks from the diggings. Quite cold last night. 1 p.m. Little Bill was taking with a fainting. Got well in a few minutes. He had been laying on his face in the tent. We have spent the day in shoeing horses and washing, reading and all kind of fixings. It has been quite warm today. Looked like a shower but it passed off. There has been a great many teams passed us today. We all feel about the same. 5 p.m.
Thursday June 27 and 77 day out
I was out all night watching horses. Had quite a fever. Better this morning. All about the same. Left our campground and ascended a very large hill. The land in general is better. Would do to cultivate. We have had some fine sights. The hills is very bad. This is the Bear River mountains that we are passing over now. Passed through a grove of poplars where there was a great many names cut on the barks of trees. Saw 4 graves. One was an old lady 48 years old died in '48. Saw one or two dead cattle. Grass is poor at this place. 12 p.m. Traded another of our wagons away, or rather give it for 20 dollars. Gave 100 lb flour for 1 barrel of peaches. Come near the Bear River and camped. Found the water was salt. Had to hitch up and go 5 miles to Bear River. Camped 4 rods of the river. Good grass. and water and wood. Came over 30 miles today. Mark Silverman is not well this evening, bad headache.
Friday June 28 and 78 day out
Took an early start this morning. Went about 2 miles and crossed Smiths Fork, where we had to unload, which was the first time we have had to unload our wagons since we started. This is the Bear river. We have had a very crooked road today. 2 p.m. Came to Thomas's Fork. This was a bad place but did not have to unload. The grass has been good. We are all getting over the mountain fever. It is a bad fever to have. Come over 20 miles and camped 2 miles from Thomas's fork. Good grass and water. 5 p.m.
Saturday June 29 and 79 day out
We was on the alert at our usual hour. We all feel about the same. We had very high hill to ascend this morning, about 1 mile high, and traveled a little on top and then descended again. Some of the hills is desperate. This afternoon, our roads is been level and good. The land is rich here. There is no wild sage here. The land is too rich but wild surenwood[?] in abundance. Saw a badger. We have not seen any game in some days. This country is all mountains. 4 p.m. Crossed fullows fork[?] of the Bear River. 2 miles from there we camped. Good grass and water. Went 1/2 mile for wood. 6 p.m. Fine evening.
Sunday June 30 and 80 day out
This is a fine lovely morning, and as is our custom, we lay in camp today. We are all about the same in health, not sick nor well. I should like to be home today to visit with my friends. We have spent the day in fixing up and doing such as can't be avoided in our situation. We have excellent grass here and water.
Monday July 1st and 81 day out
At an early hour, we was on the trail. Went about 1 mile and broke brace on wagon tongue crossing a creek. This detained us some time at this place. We meet with a number of indians and some traders. They had brandy and tobacco 25 cents a glass. We have passed over 30 miles of a pleasant country today. We come to Soda, Steamboats and Beer and Cold springs. This is a beautiful fountain at this place. Camped on Bear River 1 mile from Hudspeth Cutoff. Good grass. No wood at this place. We meet some more indians. They told us that it was 800 miles to Sacramento City.
Tuesday July 2 and 82 day out
We left our encampment at 1/2 [past] 5. Went about 1 mile and took the cutoff. After traveling about 1 hour, we came to some rocks that had been parted. It looks as if it had been done by the shake of an earthquake. It is very singular looking. Ascended a long hill, 1 mile high. Hard to ascend, and then down in a valley where we stopped to bate. Traveled 16 miles without water. Came to a fine creek and good grass. Here we meet with some indians and saw 1 grave, a young man died 2 days ago. He was left behind by his company. This afternoon, we have had a tedious road, one of the most dangerous roads we have passed over. It was down a ravine. Some places, we could hardly keep the wagon from capsize. We got along without accident. It is hard to describe this road as it is. It has been very dusty. We had a little shower this afternoon. The roads is more hilly with more stones then any we have passed. Grass is good. Land is good. Warm days and cold nights. There is been snow on the mountains for a great many miles. There is plenty of bear, elk, mountain sheep. A bear in this vicinity. William Townsand is sick with the fever. Came today 28 miles and camped alongside of a stream. We don't know the name of it.
Wednesday July 3 and 83 day out
Struck our poles at 5 a.m. This is a fine morning. All usually well. The roads has been in all respects the same but not quite so dangerous. Very hilly and rough. No person can imagine what their roads is like unless he sees them, but still they can be got along with very well. Anybody that comes this road must have thriving horses and plenty of patience, and all will go right enough. But I don't think that he will want to come again. The dust is horrible as there is no rain. We have passed several small creeks. Grass has been plenty and tonight we are 29 miles nigher the Sacramento than we was this morning. There is some indians in this part. All as peaceable as if there was none. The land is rich and good. There is a fine creek at this place. We don't know what the names of the places is here as we have no guide to inform us. 6 p.m.
Thursday July 4 and 84 day out
Left our grounds at 5 a.m. and traveled 30 miles, 20 miles without water. This is been a trying day. We all feel tired out, men and beast. We came over a mountain, about 5 miles from the base to the summit, and so hot, enough to scorch us, and the dust enough to kill the devil. Then we had to descend the same mountain. One of the worst and steepest places we have passed over. Tonight we found a well scant of water. Grass poor. Hard to get wild sage enough to cook our supper. We are surrounded with mountains. We are all about as usual. 7 p.m.
Friday July 5 and 85 day out
The morning found us ready to resume our journey. The morning is hot and clear. This forenoon, our road has been up hills and down dales. Road good. This afternoon, we have had plenty of water as we have passed through a ravine about 22 miles long. Good road descending very nigh all the way. Crossed one or two creeks. We are all well, thank God, and in good spirits. We think 16 days will fetch us to the diggings. Saw a few indians this morning. We have traveled 26 miles and camped. Good grass and good water.
Saturday July 6 and 86 day out
Started at an early hour. All well. About 6 miles from our camp, we crossed a small creek. The remainder of the day, we traveled through a valley. We crossed Raft River where we found a difficult job as its banks is steep and mire-y. This river is about 30 foot wide and 3 foot deep. We had to cross 4 other small cricks, bad to cross. Traveled about 24 miles and came on the old Fort Hall Road. Went about 3 miles farther and camped on the Raft River, making 27 miles. Good grass. Wild sage for fuel.
Sunday July 7 and 87 day out
As usual, we lay in camp. The day is wild and cold. Looks like a shower. All well. This, as usual, is a lonesome day. We have time to read and think of our friends we left behind. We all long to get to our journey's end. The roads is very dusty and we look more like millers then anything else. We caught some trout last night and a few mussels. We have lived so long on bacon that anything in the name of a change is very acceptable. There is a great many sick on this road with the mountain fever. Saw the grave of a young man died July, 1849. He has a large pile of stones over his grave.
Monday July 8 and 88 day out
Left our encampment at 5 a.m. All well. About 4 miles travel brought us to the second crossing of the Raft River. Easy crossing. We then past over some swampy land and then through a narrow valley. There is a hot spring in this vicinity under the mountains. We did not go to see them as it was not convenient. We have had good roads today. Saw some beautiful shaped rocks, very high and different colors. Passed several creeks and one large stream this afternoon. We have traveled through a narrow gorge or gut; mountain-y each side. Some I should judge was 1,000 foot high. Come to Castle City. This is a short valley surrounded with mountains and specked all over with small rocks of different shapes and sizes. Some is perpendicular, some round on top. This truly is the works of God and worthy the travelers' notice. We passed the Salt Lake Trail at 5 p.m. Went about 2 miles farther and camped, making 30 miles today. Good grass and water, no wood. We found a part of an old wagon. This served us for wood. Passed one grave on the road today.
Tuesday July 9 and 89 day out
We was on the start at half past five. All well. We suppose we have traveled 28 miles today. The roads has been very tedious and crooked and one of the wildest looking countries I ever saw. We passed this morning 2 small creeks and passed a fine spring on top of a mountain at an elevation of a thousand foot high. About 3 miles from this spring, we had to come down 2 very steep plains[?]. Some of the teams had ropes to steady the wagons down. We came 15 miles and took our nooning at Goose Creek. Good grass and water. There is a table mountain right where we stopped that has a man's face on the west and quite worthy the traveler's notice. Saw a little wild clover at this place, the first that I have seen. This afternoon we crossed Goose Creek and followed it about 13 miles. The road has been good and easy. Passed a warm spring; we didn't see it. Found good grass where we camped for the night, and water. We had a small shower about 5 p.m. which laid the dust. This day's travel has been the most crooked, wild and tedious that I ever want to travel on, and there has been the most curiosities and fine landscapes I ever saw. I hope we shall soon get at our journey's end for I am quite tired of traveling on this long and dusty road, and I believe we all are.
Wednesday July 10 and 90 day out
An early hour found us on the trail. All well. There is 3 warm springs within 6 rods of where we camped. The roads has been good, generally. We have had some nasty little creeks to cross and have had some stone in spots. Saw some strange looking rocks in a narrow gut in the mountain. 11 a.m. Began to cross a desert of 17 miles. No grass or water. 3 p.m. Crossed a small creek, and we was watering our horses and an ox team came across and broke one of our axletrees. The man gave us his without any difficulty as we was the strongest party. We camped after traveling 28 miles. Grass very poor as we are not quite off the desert. Water scant enough. Hardly enough for us to use. It is a well where we get it. Plenty of wild sage and scrub cedar.
Thursday July 11 and 91 days out
This morning we left our encampment at half past four, in order to get ahead of the ox teams. 3 of our horses got strayed but we found them after a short hunt. The roads has been good. The dust has been so bad that we sometimes could not see the next wagon. Horrid in the extremes. We passed 2 graves today. We traveled about 30 miles and passed over a lone piece of land. At this place there is about 1/2 an acre or more of boiling springs, which makes a creek of hot water of 2 miles in length, so hot that you can not bear your hands in. 5 miles from this place, we camped, 1/2 mile from the road. Good grass and water, making 35 miles today. The land here is a sort of a clay. Miles and miles of wild sage. We are in the root digger nation, a tribe of the most miserable looking creatures I ever saw. The Humboldt Mountains is in sight, with their towering peaks, covered with snow. We saw today some packers that offered us 1 dollar a pound for flour. We could not spare any. Every man for himself on this road.
Friday 12 and 92 day out
Left our encampment 4-20 m. Fine morning. Traveled 31 miles. Road good. Land about the same. Found a fine large spring in a valley about 8 miles from this place. 1 of our horses fell in it, but we soon choked him out. The roads has been horribly dusty, a steady cloud.
Saturday July 13 and 93 day
Struck tent at 4 a.m. All well. We have had excellent roads, but dusty. We left one of our horses behind that was wore out. 7 miles from our morning camp, we crossed the long-looked-for Humbolt River. This is a stream, varies in width from 15 to 20 and 30 foot. Current runs 3 miles an hour, about 3-1/2 ft deep. Followed up the river, crossed a branch of the river, crossed a small bluff and went west till we stuck the river again. Kept up the river. Lined level, grass in abundance. Water good in the river. No wood for fuel. We used wild sage and ox dung to cook our supper. The land where we have camped tonight is mire-y and we have to cut grass for our horses. The land on these bottoms is rich. In front of our camp in a south direction is the pasture of the Rocky Mountains. On top is an abundance of snow. The days is warm and nights comfortable. There is great pushing on the road, as a great many is getting short of provisions. 6 p.m. Made 28 miles.
Sunday July 14 and 94 day out
Notwithstanding it is the sabbath, we thought it necessary to travel today, as we are getting short of provisions. We left camp at 6 a.m. and kept along the river. Kept touching on the river at different places. Good road and grass. not quite so dusty. There was a young man from Waukessa[?] County shot by the indians while on guard the 3rd of July and died on the 5th, and there was a man and horse found that the Indians had killed and dug a hole and burnt. The other night, there was 23 horses stolen from the emigrants all out of one camp, and last night there was 2 men supposed to be Indians come in our camp. They was hailed by the watch and cleared. These Indians is a very hostile tribe. Fine day. Traveled 20 miles and camped on the Saint Mary or Humboldt River. Good grass.
Monday July 15 and 95 day out
Left our encampment at 4-1/2 a.m. All well. Our road this forenoon has been good along the river bottom. The dust is horrible, about 4 in. deep. It is like flour. 2 horses was shot with poisoned arrows by the Indians belonging to another company. We cannot see them by day. We have to keep well armed off at night. 2 men on a watch. I and Andrew Blovom was on watch last night. We had 8 rifles and 2 revolvers. We have to watch twice a week, now we are among this tribe. It was quite cold last night. Very warm day. This afternoon, the roads has left the river and crossed the mountains. Very steep hills, hard pulling. We all feel about fagged out tonight. Some of the boys feel some dissatisfied as we have to live short. No tea, no sugar, coffee just gone, but for my part, I won't complain as long as there is a shot in the locker and California so near. There is hundreds on this road is out, and would give any price for flour. We have traveled 30 miles, struck the river and camped. Good grass. We have, in some places, to ford the river and move grass for our horses. This is trying work for us, but it has got to be done.
Tuesday July 16 and 96 day out
5 a.m. found us on the road. All well. The road left the river again and it has been over mountains and hollows. Touched on the river this afternoon and left it again. Went over 24 mile stretch, a most awful road, stones and rocks and the dust so bad we could not see our train enough to kill the old boy. Water scarce, grass scant. Drove 28 miles and camped on the river bottom. Had to ford the river for grass. This is a trying time to the men and horses. I have just been to get grass and got up to my other hand in mud and I did not know whether I should get out. First glimpse of the Elephant. Last night, just as I got to sleep, on jumped Mr. Toad on my face. We had to get up and have a hunt and rouse him out. The other night we found a lizard under our buffalo robes, and a short time ago a snake.
Wednesday July 17 and 97 day out
We was on the march at 5 a.m. All well. We have traveled 20 miles today. Camped about 1 p.m. We thought it best to stay in camp till tomorrow as we have got excellent grass. The roads has been quite crooked and the dust is enough to kill us and our horses. Our horses has failed more this last 2 days then any week we have been traveling. The dust is worse then the work. This river is a perfect zigzag. The land is flat and it has made its channel in all directions. Some places is 10 and 12 foot deep. It is not very good water unless you're used to it. There is a great many leaving their wagons and packing. There is a good deal of complaining on the road. There was a man stripped staff naked by the Indians the other day. There was 200 men went to recover a lot of horses that the Indians had stolen day before yesterday, and if they did not give them up, they was going to kill every one in the village. The village is 2 miles from the river. They stole them where we camped on the 16th July.
Thursday July 18 and 98 day out
Left camp at 5-1/2 a.m. Fine morning. Very warm. Roads a.m. good and not so dusty. Struck river at 8 a.m. Left it again for 7 miles. Good grass. At noon here, we traded another wagon for 1 horse and 1 mule. Put all on 2 wagons, hitched up. New horse is broke down, wants rest. Mule, poor thing, one of the men undertook to riding. Had to jump off. Went about 3 miles. Road heavy. The new horse and 1 of our best horses began to lame behind. Had to drive till 9 p.m. We camped. Hardly got our team there. 2 horses had to do all the work. We camped 20 rods from the river. Not a bit of grass and horses have come 30 miles. Watered out of a well. Bad water as we could not get to the river on account of an alkali creek. Took our supper, which consisted of water enough to kill a nigger, raw pork and bread. Spread our buffaloes on the ground and went to bed. Our case looks rather dubious. Men worn out.
Friday July 19 and 99 day out
Captain woke us up at daylight, ordered us to harness up before breakfast, and drive till we found grass. Drove about 4 miles and camped on the river. Had to swim the river, it is about 30 yards wide, and cut grass and haul it over with a rope. Got enough for to bate, and come and had our breakfast. William feels rather down. He told me he had as much as he could bear. This was on the road to this camp as we was walking together. I told him to look up, we should get there somehow, and he took out his little textbook to look at his morning lesson, and read it and gave it to me to read. It was a blessing to our souls. Thank God. His grace is always sufficient to all that put their trust in him. I don't feel the least discouraged. I know God is with us, but I can't help feeling for my brother, as he has got so much on his mind. He stands it well. After a breakfast of coffee, bread and an allowance of bacon, we swam the river again, got more grass. Thought it best to stay in camp till tomorrow. Horses put that out of sight. Had our dinner of bread and coffee, weak at that. Been out of sugar some time. I thank God I don't feel to murmur, and I feel as cheerful as ever I did. I have not been once sorry that I left home. Our bacon is gone and I expect we shall be down on bread and water in one week. I don't see any help for us unless we can get some off the emigrants and that is almost an impossibility. 3 p.m. Went across the river again for grass. Come to the conclusion to pack all our worn-out horses out of our wagon, put on a fresh mule, and took the new horse off our wagon. Only me and another to go in our wagon. It looks a little more promising now. William is about right this afternoon. [?] to the backbone. Some Mormons passed here this morning. A pack come from Sacramento going to Salt Lake. Would not give us any information. I expect they had a lot and afraid to let us know it. They say we are 800 miles from Sacramento.
Saturday July 20 and 100 days out
Left camp at 4 a.m. All well, but some of them a little cross. Traveled on till we came to the Oregon Road. Took that and went 5 miles and found it was the wrong road. A great many has taken this road. It runs North, ours Southwest. Turned back. Traveled 20 miles to the watering place, the river that is, from morning's camp. The land has been all saleratus and alkali creeks. There was a beef killed here, 200 lbs. Went 1 mile and camped, and swam the river for grass. Hitched up at 3 p.m. Went 11 miles and camped along side of a branch of the river. Went 1 mile for grass. Crossed the creek twice, up to our thighs in mud and water. Here we heard that 2 men had been shot by the Indians, and 1 wondered on a cutoff a few miles from here.
Sunday July 21 and 101 days out
Fine morning. Quite hot. I have a bad headache this morning. We thought it best to travel today. Came 10 miles and good road. Shot 1 of our worn-out horses. Crossed the river again for grass at noon. Very hot this p.m.
Monday July 22 and 102 days out
Rose at 2 o'clock. This is the first time we came down on bread and water. Started at 3 a.m. Very nigh all the men went off without eating anything. This is hard times. Traveled 20 miles. Crossed a creek, crossed a bluff and came on the river again. Kept along the river and found grass ¾ of a mile from camp. We have been wading the river in 2 places all the afternoon to get grass to cross the desert. This is trying to our health, on such hard food. Charles and me has been wondering if the old lady has got the potatoes on yet. Tonight our supper consisted of flour and water, boiled, and bread.
Tuesday July 23 and 103 days out
Fine morning. Breakfast the same as last night. Started at 5 a.m. I feel quite weak. The food and crossing these rivers for grass is enough to kill a horse. The men feel quite down and complain a good deal. The roads has been very sandy all day, as much as the teams could get along with. Kept along the river. Water black with alkali. Camped or stopped on the river after traveling 20 miles till 12 o'clock, as we have 20 miles to go without water. Here we have had to cut grass with our jackknives out of the weeds. Hard way to get grass. We swapped a little flour, 2 pans full, for a quart of coffee, and we made out to get 4 lbs. of bacon. We shall live again for a day or two. We can't tell anything about the road, as one says one thing and one another. We expected to be at the desert tonight. Now we hear it is 20 miles off. The land here is all sand. Nothing grows on it but sage and greasewood. There is mountains on both sides of us. There is great destruction of property on this road. We have passed some few dead cattle and horses poisoned with the water. The men has quite long faces. I tell them this is a man trap. I fear there's harder times ahead. Left camp last night at 12 o'clock. It was a fine moonlit night. The road was stony and dusty, land entirely barren. We traveled 15 miles and reached the river, where we had to cut willows for our horses. Our case looks rather bad. William is not well. I have got a touch of dysentery.
Wednesday July 24 and 104 days out
Lay in camp till 1 p.m. Traveled along the river 15 miles and camped. Not any grass. Happened to have a little with us. We can't tell where we are, no more than the man in the moon. Some says one thing and some another. Can't find 2 men that tell the same story. That has been this way before. Saw 2 ponies, one had been drowned. Saw several dead cattle and horses. The land here is black with alkali. There is some snow on the mountains, yet our case looks rather dubious. Very warm days. Cold nights.
Thursday July 25 and 105 days out
Our case looks hard. Our poor horses has to go on the road without anything to eat. They had a very little mite of grass last night. We made our supper on bread and coffee. Breakfast the same. This is our every day living till our coffee is gone. We have got about 60 lb flour for 8 of us. This has to last us to California. We can't tell where we are, nor how far we are off, as 2 men don't tell the same story. We took the Carson route, as this is called the best route. Drove till noon, off a desert. Came to the river and cut grass with our jackknives. Went 10 miles further, expecting to find grass and found none. Went 6 miles further and stopped and not a spear of grass. Men tired out and no bread baked. We made a fire and made a pot of flour and water. Blowed our bags out, spread our buffalo on the ground and went to sleep. This is hard times. Feel in good spirits.
Friday July 26 and 106 day out
3 a.m. found us on the road before breakfast. Drove 6 miles. Forded the river and cut grass for horses before breakfast. Got about an armfull a piece. Took breakfast. Had a sharp appetite and feel well. Never better in my life, thank God. Drove today 27 miles. The roads has been very dusty. I saw a number of dead horses and cattle starved to death. Saw as much as a dozen horses on the road left behind. I picked up one and led him about 10 miles, but he was so dry he could not get to the river. It is very hot, and I was so tired and thirsty, I had to lay down on the ground. The teams got in camp before I did, and it was sundown and I had to go a mile to get grass for my team, up to my middle in water and had to watch at night. I thank God for good health today.
Saturday 27 and 107 days out
Left camp at the sink at 5 a.m. Drove 6 miles and cut our hay for our horses to carry us over the desert, and laid in camp all day. We cut the grass out of a slew, up to our thighs in water, and carried it out on our backs. I must say a little about this section of country. The sink is the end of the Humboldt or Saint Mary River. Here, the river empties on the surrounding country and goes into the sand. It represents a pond of water. The water is very bad and bloats some of the men up. It has not hurt me yet. There is several thousand acres of this swamp where there is an abundance of grass. 20 or 25 miles from here is a desert of 40 miles, and if it was not for this grass, this road could not be traveled by teams, as there is great scarcity of grass for 100 miles back, and by the time we get here, the teams is about starved out. They have to lay here to recruit. We have got a hard time of it. We are on one biscuit apiece for each meal while we lay still. Almost everybody is out of provisions and packing, and the destruction of property on this road is very great. And what it will be to those that are behind, the Lord knows. God have mercy upon his people. The number of dead horses and cattle is very great, and the smell when you pass them is very offensive. Mr.'s Murm and Rattery is packed and just come up.
Sunday Morning July 28 and 108 days out
This is a lovely morning, though I should like to alend at God's sanctuary today and be with his people. I trust in God who is able to keep all them that put their trust in him. We lay in camp today till this evening, and put on our hay and moved to the starting place of the desert. We have some Cayute[Piute?] Indians lurking 'round our tents. They are rather a good-featured people, very dark brown complexion, quite friendly, but will steal if they can get a chance. Once in a while we see a white woman on the roads. It looks good to us and makes us think of our beloved companions we left behind. I have not in all my trials been sorry that I started for California, but you may be sure I shall be glad when I get there. There is great complaining with the men. Now they have to live on short allowance. Yesterday morning, I looked at our flour bag and was struck, and I uttered a word that had not passed my lips for some years. God give us grace and keep us down humble. 9 a.m. A man has just killed a beef. Sold it for 25 cents lb. I bought 2.00 worth and he gave me liberty to cut the scraps off the paunch. I got the melt[?] and some lites[?] and a sweetbread, and a piece of skirt and the tail, and went and cut it up big enough to put it in our mouths as a great deal of it was skin, and I doubted whether we should have patience to wait to cut it when it was ready to eat, and it gave us a better chance to divide the best pieces that made us with a little [?] a good blow-out. The meat that we bought, I salted it. We shall eat that when we cross the desert. 3 p.m. Our supper is just done, and after supper we leave this campground and go 10 miles, and take on our hay and then travel tonight to the starting place of the desert. There is no game here. 3 p.m.
Monday July 29 and 109 days out
We left our camp yesterday at 3 p.m., after getting all ready with hay and water. Traveled all night and came 20 miles. The roads has been in some places very sandy and heavy, and some places good. We passed over 8 or 10 miles where there is nothing growing, just white dirt, and it is in some places all over with little knolls. I think it has been carved by heavy winds or something of this sort. We came to the edge of the desert. Stayed and rested till 4 p.m., then hitched up and started on. We have only had one meal from Sunday afternoon till about 10 this morning and going all night. This is wearing us down, and then allowance'd out. We are in a bad state and I don't know what is going to be done William has money, but don't feel disposed to spend it.
Tuesday July 30 and 110 days out
We have been traveling from 4 p.m. yesterday until 12 tonight on the desert. Came about 18 miles. The road has been good with the exception of a bad creek. On the commencement of our teams, got down and smothered with mud. We stayed from 12 o'clock till daylight.
Wednesday July 31 and 111 days out
We started this morning at daylight, without our breakfast. Went about 7 miles over a very sandy, heavy road, as much as our horses could draw. Here we stopped to breakfast and bate our horses. We had a little water aboard, 2 pails, that we had to divide to our horses, and they was all most famished, and then they had to go 15 or 20 miles farther to water ourselves. Made our breakfast of bread, each 2 biscuits and 2 pieces of meat that we had, about half the size of an egg each. I think that I never suffered so much for water in my life. My lips and mouth was quite parched up. The teams was not quite ready to go and some of the men and myself started on in hopes of getting water, not knowing that we was so far off. We traveled over the burning sand till we traveled about 15 miles. I thought we should die, and a little further on we met a man that had water to sell at 10 cents per pint. Some of the men had money in their pockets. I had none and they could not spare any of their water. I thought it was no use stopping there and started to go on, and the man called me back and gave me a half pint for which I felt thankful and gave him my blessing. He said it was 4 miles to the river. Then we was almost exhausted not having a sufficiency to eat, and the road was so heavy and so hot, up to our ankles in sand, every step we took we [?] up and started on, till we came to the river. Here we requited our selves with a hearty drink of the cooling beverage. We was in about 3 hours, and then in came William and Charles and one more with the horses. They said that they had to leave the wagons 5 miles out and bring the horses in for water and grass. They had to leave one of the horses behind. Could not get him along at all. This horse is an entire loss and they had, as they was bringing down the horses, to leave 1 mule and 1 horse on the road, intending to take them water and hay. When they went back, the horse was gone. 1 of our best horses. The mule was found and brought in. We was dying with hunger and nothing to eat, and none of us had any money in our pockets, and our wagons with the few pounds of flour was 5 miles off. What to do. We did not know. We went down the river and saw Thomas Mun and he had some provision, and he made us some supper and only half enough as he was very short. I will mention here that Mr.'s Mum and Rattery parted a day or two ago. We felt almost dead tired and hungry and we suffered a great deal on account of going without water so long. Well, we had some bedclothes and we spread them on the ground, 8 of us, and laid ourselves on the ground for the night, tired enough.
Thursday August 1st 112 days out
We slept well last night and feel a little refreshed, but feel very weak and languid. Mr. Mums got us a breakfast the same as last night. Went over the salmon trout river and cut grass. Brought it over and fed our hungry horses. Heard that there was a trader from San Francisco with provisions arrived at this point. I will mention that our men took off going on foot. William went up and bought 1 lb. tea 2 dollars per lb., rice 20 lb. at 1.25 lb. Pork 21 lb. at 1.00 lb. Came down with it and I assure you that it made us smile. We put the camp kettle on and cooked some and had our bellies full once more. We laid and slept the remainder part of the day. Towards night, 2 of our men found the horse that we left on the road with the Indians and took it away, brought it in camp. We gave 3 cheers and William treated us with a quart of brandy, and for which, he paid at the rate of 10 dollars a gallon and 1 lb. sugar 1.50, and on went the camp kettle again and we made a large pan of brandy and water. We lapped it up and felt quite refreshed. Cooked our supper and went to bed, 16 of us all in a row, all in one bed. 4 of our men has taken up the horses to fetch in the wagons tomorrow morning, and we meet them at the river and breakfast together at 8 a.m. we started on our journey and went 4 miles over heavy sand and had to camp. Laid and rested all day. Our horses want more rest.
Friday August 2 and 113 days out
Last night we concluded to pack, and today has been spent in fixing pack saddles and making necessary preparations for our new mode of conveyance. At sundown, we had our packs on our horses' backs, and off we went. Crossed a desert of 14 miles. In all traveled 20 miles. Camped at 2 o'clock in the morning on the Pilot[?] river good grass along the river and good water. Willow wood.
Saturday August 3 and 114 days
This is a hot morning. Our horses had all liked to have got missed last night, as we all went to bed and had no watch set as it was so near daylight. We all feel quite tired out and we are laying round the campground in all directions. 6 p.m. We have been picking up our traps and packing our horses, and in half-an-hour, we shall leave the banks of the Pilot River and cross another desert of 25 miles. 6 p.m. All well.
Sunday Aug.4 and 115 day out
We left our encampment last night and struck the desert a little after 7 p.m. We had a most tremendous heavy sandy road for about 8 or 10 miles. We had to work as our horses is in such a weak state they could not carry us. God knows what we should have done if we had not left the wagons and packed. We started on about ahalf-enough to eat and not enough provisions for breakfast. We have 1 quart of flour and 1 pint of rice among us. We traveled about 14 miles and rested our horses, and laid down till 1 hour before daylight. We then packed and proceeded on our march without anything to eat or drink and about 8 a.m., we struck the banks of the beautiful Pilot river again. Here was a trader where we got a few lbs. of flour, 20 or 25 lbs. for which was paid 1.25 lb. This was fortunate for us. I felt very tired and my bowels ached with hunger. This trader had some brandy and he charged 50 cents a glass. I took a good stiff one and that done me good, and helped me on 2 miles up the river where we stopped to get our breakfast, which we made of dry biscuits and coffee. We bought 16 lbs. of coffee at 25 cents lb. off a man that was going to California. 10 a.m. We start again on the trail. Traveled 5 miles and camped till tomorrow. Turned our horses over the river, where there is beautiful feed, clover and buffalo grass. 6 P.M. I am now setting under a cotton wood tree, a little a one side of the camp to finish my notes for the day. It is a lovely cool evening and everything looks pleasant. It makes me think and look back to my happy home, and think of those that I have spent so many happy hours with and walked to the house of God together. Oh how I miss those privileges God granted. Is all for the best. We bought a piece of fresh beef just now at 25 cents lb. they tell us we are yet 140 miles from the Sacramento City. We have been told so many stories that I have no confidence in any. We shall know when we get there. As I have time and opportunity I shall state a little of the suffering on this road. From the time we struck Humboldt or Saint Mary's river there has come under our observation many heart-rending cases. Some on foot without anything to eat, or many, some lost their teams, horses poisoned with alkali. About 500 horses in less then a week died at the sink. We was told a few days after we left it, on the 40 mile desert. It was shocking to see the property that was throwed away, all kinds of clothing, feather beds, tools, cooking things, barrels, and any thing that was useful. Photo Copyright Southwind ProductionsI should think that there was over 100 wagons left and destroyed on this desert. And harnesses all along the road, saddles, bridles, every thing but money and food. And the amount of horses was very great. You see the poor wretches standing along the road, starving to death and not a bit of vegetation to be seen. The cattle and mules was not half so great. Cattle is the best by far for this journey. The land on these deserts may be turned level, and in some places, the road is as smooth and hard as a barn floor, and in others very loose fine sand, which makes it desperate heavy wheeling on the last end of the 40-mile desert. There is 8 miles of this here. The teams give out and have to be taken in to the river for water and grass. I must now give up writing as it is time to go and get our horses from over the river.
Monday Aug 5 and 116 days out
We left our encampment at 5 a.m. All well. Made our breakfast of about 2 oz. of beef and 2 cups of coffee. Left the river and crossed the 14-mile desert, one of the stoniest roads we have been over. In some places, the horses could not find a place for his foot without stepping on a stone. Stayed here and bated our horses. There was a trading store here. We got a few lbs. of bread at 1.25 lb., and when it was divided, it amounted to one biscuit apiece. Started after dinner and struck the Pleasant[?] Valley and traveled 18 miles and camped. Here is a trader. We got a few lbs. of bacon and flour at 1.00 lb. We are now at the base of the long-looked-for Sierra Nevada Mountains. They are covered with pine trees of a stunted growth, but they look pleasant to us that has not seen trees for so long. They are very high, and some snow on their peaks. This valley is 30 miles long and 5 wide, and has abundance of good grass. I saw some fine packs of clover. We are in a fine healthy climate here, neither too hot nor too cold. We have made 32 miles today, and I have walked about halfway on 2 oz. of beef and one biscuit. I thank God I stand it well, and never had better health than I have now, but my belly aches for my supper. 6 p.m. All well.
Tuesday Aug 6 and 117 days out
Left our encampment at 8 a.m. and have been traveling along the valley and at the base of the mountain. The night was cold and a heavy dew as we camped by the river, and this is the only place in this country you will find dew. We made our breakfast of bread, coffee and bacon, not near enough to satisfy our ravenous appetites. The road has been good, hard black sand and gravel. Grass in abundance, and about every 40 or 50 rods is fine streams of the finest water that ever I drank comes out under the mountains. The timber on these mountain is pitch pine, and today we found the trees much larger. I saw some 4-1/2 in diameter. Traveled 15 miles and camped to bate for 2 hours. It was very hot and nothing to shelter us as we had to leave our tent behind here. We was tired, faint and ornery. We made a bit of soup out of a few bones and about 1/2 pint of corn and 1 pint of flour. We picked the bones and had about 1 pint of soup each one. I feel the short allowance very much. We all look quite thin. God help us, which I know he will, if we put our trust in him. Packed up and started on again. Left the Pillot[?] river and went over a bluff and came to the foot of the mountain, where we have to cross. Here we was about all beat out. Here is a trader, and we got 50 lbs. flour at 75 cents lb. The cooks is very busy, baking bread and we shall have our supper in a few minutes. The citizens of California has sent out a relief train for the suffering emigrants. Have met them this afternoon. We tried to get some provision. They told us that they could do nothing till they got to the 40-mile desert. We are camped on a hollow surrounded by mountains. Its quite retired and pleasant to me, as I always was fond of such places. Their mountains is 30 miles from the base to the summit, and as you pass along, there is small valleys 1 of 8 miles.
Wednesday Aug 7 and 118 out
We camped at Kannion[?] Valley last night and left it this morning at sunrise for two reasons. One was there was nothing for our horses to eat, and one of our horses got loose in the night and ate all the flour that we got last night for our mess, about 20 dollars' worth. We began to ascend the mountain and went 9 miles of one of the man-and-horsekilling roads I ever heard talk of. Some of the places was so steep that our pack horses could hardly climb up. We stopped in a small valley on the summit of this mountain, and the other 2 messes divided their flour with us and then we had nothing to eat. We stopped for 2 hours and started again. The road was much better. Passed through another small valley, perhaps 50 Acres. Very pleasant, surrounded with high mountains and covered with pine, spruce and fur, and cedar trees some 6 foot through. There is a small river of the purest water here, and there is diggings on it. We saw a quantity of fine gold dust where we stopped. Went about 7 miles farther and we came to a steep mountain. We had job to get up. My horse fell and I pulled him by the tale 10 foot before I could get him up. So this will give a little idea how steep it was. And what is astonishing to me, there I saw 3 wagons going up. One of their mules got down and they rolled him over the stones, and finally got a foothold for him to get up. They got to the top and this is the summit of the second mountain. We descended to a lake valley and camped. Poor grass. Here was a trader where we got about 30 lbs. flour at one dollar lb. This will make our bread for supper and breakfast. We have walked 20 miles today up these mountains and we all feel very tired William Tow'd[?] as been sick for some days. He is not hardly able to ride on horseback.
Thursday Aug 8 and 119 out
The night has been very cold, with some frost. Our bed clothes was wet this morning. Quite cold to turn out. We made a hearty supper last night of bread and coffee. We had our belly full for the first time for some days. We was on the trail at sunrise. Went 1 mile and crossed a river. William got down and wet his bedclothes. Ascended 3 miles on the 3rd mountain and stopped to breakfast of bread and coffee. This will take all of our flour and William tells me that he has not a cent of money. It is quite cold and we had to put on our great coats. The road is much better then we found it yesterday. Towards the top, the road was very steep and sidling. On the NW side of the mountain, the snow I should judge was 14 foot deep. It only lays in places and there is not so much snow as anyone would think. For my horse I had to push up part of the way, and when I left off pushing him, down he fell. We got him up again and got him up to the summit, which we gained at 10-1/2 a.m. Went about 1/2 mile and I had to leave him behind. You have a fine prospect of this mountain and can see a great way. We likewise had to leave another horse that could not get up. We took a cutoff that saved us 8 miles out of 16. This was a horrible road. Our horses could hardly get down. Two of them fell, did not hurt themselves. We are stopped a little while to get our supper and rest our horses. Here is a lake nearly round and about 2 miles across. It looks quite pleasant. The sceneries on these mountains look very wild in places. Some are nearly white and some a very dark color, and looks solemn and gloomy. We have not seen any game of any kind. William bought this morning out of a wagon 10 lbs. flour at 75 cents lb. We have ate it all up for supper. We felt the short allowance at first very much, but not so much now, as we get used to 2 meals a day and short at that. We are all, I believe, in good spirits, and lay out to have a good blow-out when we get to the diggings, as we are told we are only 65 miles from them. I dreamt last night that I was getting married to one of Ms. Capes[?]' daughters. We started after supper and crossed the outlet to this lake, and went 2 miles over the rocks and came to a valley where we found good grass. The scenery looks wild and yet pleasant. I am told that there is good fish in the lake. There is quite a variety of flowers on those mountains. Saw some gooseberry trees and some perennial catnap. We suppose we have come today 15 miles whether we have or not the Lord only knows.
Friday Aug 9 and 120 days out
At daylight, we found everything froze. The prospect before us looks gloomy. 2 of our horses got in the river. Got them out again. We have nothing for breakfast but a little tea. Hard times. We was on our march a little after sunrise. Went along the foot of the mountain and now our poor horses, while I write this, is struggling up a steep mountain. They are almost up. God help and supply our wants. These words strengthen me this morning. Put thy trust in the Lord and he will strengthen thine heart. Yes, Lord, I will though thou shows me. Blessed be God, my soul is happy. My lord, pour thy spirit upon me and let they grace sustain me. We descended the mountain and had a beautiful prospect of the surrounding mountains. Saw a sort of a mist ganging over the mountains along way off. This is the first mist or cloud that I have seen for two months or more. Went on till we came to a trading post. Here we got 3 pieces of shanks of the ox, paid 1 dollar and got 3 small loaves of bread. Went on a little farther and stopped to breakfast. Started on again and came to another trading post. Here we traded 1 horse off for 10 lbs. of hard bread. Went 5 miles and came to a trading post at Leep[?] Spring and camped. Here we got a few lbs. of flour, I think 8 at 75 cents lb. Here we made a kettle of soup with leaks, bones and bread and flour, and had a hearty meal. The people looks very hardy and I think that it is a very healthy country. All in fine spirits. 40 miles from the Hangtown diggings. We hear encouraging news by the people.
Saturday Aut 10 and 121 days out
We was on the trail, sun 1 hour high. Traveled 25 miles. The road has been very crooked, stony and mountainous. Tired. Nearly Nearly all of us have to walk and we all feel very tired. We have come all day without any grass and 12 miles. We found no water. Our horses is about beat out, and tonight nothing but browse for them to eat. We got a few lbs. flour at 62-1/2 cents today and enough pork for our dinner tonight. We ate all our flour up. I believe we are about 25 miles from the diggings. I have eaten cherries, raspberries, filberts and crabapple today, and some very fine gooseberries. It has been timber land today, and some of the finest timber I ever saw. I saw a tree 10 foot through. I saw some small black ones short and stunted.
Sunday Aug 11 and 122 days out
We was on the trail at sunrise. We had nothing to eat and we are in need of our breakfast, as we have had nothing since yesterday at 4 a.m. We traveled since that time 13 miles, and come to a trader where we got some flour at 62-1/2 cents lb. We had no grass or water for a long way, 20 miles, and here was some hay, and we offered one of our horses to bate the others and could not do it. We had to pay 300 dollar per ton for it. Gave our horses 4 lbs. each, and started again and came within 9 miles of Hangtown.Photo Copyright Southwind Productions Here is some diggings here and we stayed here all night. Had a supper of hard bread at 22 cents lb. The country is not quite so bad to travel in, but very dusty here. We found oak trees but not very large at this place. There is a short tavern and a few provisions to be got. Everything is very high, beef 25 cents, pork ditto. There is a garden here and potatoes and some corn in it, but I think they will not come to maturity as it is so dry. Well, now we are in the golden region and thank God for his goodness in bringing us safe through here. I shall conclude my journal from Milwaukee to California 122 days from Milwaukee.
Sunday Sep 8
I shall now pass over from the 11 of August to September 8 and state some of the particulars during that time, as it has been difficult for me to keep a daily journal. We came in to Hangtown and we did not find things so favorable as we expected. Here was a great many people and it is a place of great business. There is diggings, but it is hard to get a place to dig, as the diggings is all taken up and it is hard to get a days work. William has gone down to see P.M. Johnson. I have been whiling about several days and can't get anything to do. Me and Thomas Mun and Charles started for Sacramento. When we went downtown, Charles got a job and then we declined going. I met in with a man and he hired me to go to the American river to butcher for him. He was to give me 4 dollars per day and board. I worked for him 2 days and he could not find sale for his meat and so give it up. I then went with Mr. Twenteman[?], one of our company, and bought a whipsaw, and was going to saw lumber, and he backed out and I got the man to take the saw back again. Lumber was selling at 30 cents per foot, then me and another man went and bought a new set of mining tools. Cost us 42 dollars and went to mining. The first day, we took off the surface and did not realize anything the next day. We got 9 dollar, and the next day we got 25 dollars, and Mr. Johnson came and I had to sell my share of the tools and go with him. Lost 6 dollars and a weeks' provision. I think that it was a good strike that we made during my stay at this place. I was troubled with the dysentery. It is a very prevailing disorder here. Me and the rest of the men started and walked 160 miles through a pleasant country and saw a great many diggings, and 1 or 2 quite flourishing villages and a great many people of different nations. We arrived in 7 days and found them all well. Alfred Hanery and William was working on the bar. My feet got blistered very bad. Not well yet. I went in with a man to mine and worked part of the day and made 4 dollars, and then we had to leave as they said we was on the river the next day. I went to work for William and Johnson on the bar. I am quite glad I have not to travel any more, yet I have to pay William and Johnson 400 dollars for my time. I think I shall like it very well. I am fattening up every day and I think that there is a prospect of doing well here. I went to hear a sermon today. I felt quite at home.
Sunday September 15
This last week, I have been working on the dam. I have had a looseness in my bowels, nothing to hurt. Fine weather, some clouds, first I have seen in 3 months. Alfred has a touch of dysentery. Little Bill also is recovering. Had to go to work on the dam this morning to stop a leak. Likewise, this evening, the men has gone to stop another leak. It blows hard tonight.
Sunday September 22
We are all well. We have been working on the dam. Billy is quite recovered of the dysentery. We had some cloudy weather with a sprinkle of rain.
Monday Sept 23.
We have been working on the dam. All well.
Tuesday Sep 24.
We had a very stormy night. Rained hard and made the water rise. The dam sprang a leak. Had to work before breakfast. Looks doubtful whether the dam will stand. About 2 p.m., the dam busted. The dam above gave way, and such a body of water caused everything to fall before it. It is a great loss and has put a stop to everything. In consequence, we have to lose time till something is concluded on whether the dam is to be built up or not.
I now must close this book and I hope that all that reads it will excuse all bad writing, spelling, and as I find by looking at it, there is plenty I should have corrected it before I set it down, but had not time. I hope every allowance will be made. -Geo Bonniwell