The Diary of Gordon Chapple Cone
A Journal of travels from Wisconsin to California
by the "South Pass" in the summer of 1849.


April 23, 1849

Monday April 23rd 1849 . Started from home in Waukesha, Waukesha County , State of Wisconsin, at one o'clock P.M. for California. Traveled until sundown, and put up for the night at Carpenters hotel , on Little Prairie, 20 miles from home - The weather is very fine, going good, health excellent, and were it not for the thoughts that linger behind, there is much in the prospect that one could enjoy.

April 24, 1849

April 24th our journey lays through Round, and Rock Prairies, and is over an excellent farming country, with much that is pleasant to behold- Passed through the village of Beloit , one of the finest villages in the west - We had intended to spend the night at this place, but found the Public houses so filthy, and thronged with drunkards, that we drove across the State line, and put up for the night at Roscoe , a small village in the State of Illinois , about six miles from Beloit -

April 25, 1849

April 25th Traveled through Rockford a very beautiful little village in Winnebago Co. Ill. 12 miles from Roscoe, and situated on Rock River . Dined at a place 14 miles from Rockford, and put up for the night at a small place on Rock Rive, called " Daysville -" Weather is fine, going good, and Prairie all the way. Nothing of importance has occurred in the last two days, and no impressions left on the mind, save that caused by the general appearance of the country, and habits of the people that present themselves to the traveler in passing from Wis. , where the In- -habitants are all life and "go ahead," and where the country shows signs of thrift, and neatness on every hand, to Ill., where as a general thing the contrary is seen in both the People, and the country- Their land is good, and easily cultivated, so that the Inhabitants do not have to struggle hard to get a living, and have so far lost all ambition for enterprise, that they are content with a very poor living rather than work hard for it.

April 26, 1849

April 26th awoke this morning and find it raining hard, with a strong wind from north east. We laid over until noon, when the rain ceased, and we started on our journey, which passes over a rolling Country, consisting of Oak openings. and small Prairies, to Dixon , fourteen miles from " Daysville ," and put up for the night- Dixon is a lively little village, situated about seventy five miles from the junction of Rock river with the Mississippi River , and on the banks of the former- It is the County seat of Lee, Co.

April 27, 1849

April 27th Left Dixon at half past seven o'clock, passed over "Dixon Prairie", and a most dismal Country it is too. - The general appearance of the Country is bad, the land poor, and sandy with but little timber - the buildings in a dilapidated condition - fences that are of but little importance for the uses that fences are designed for, together with the squalled looks of the Inhabitants renders the whole appearance anything but agreeable - We reached Rock Island today which terminates my journey at present, by land - Rock Island is a beautiful Town on the banks of the Miss. river near the entrance of Rock river , and has about fifteen hundred inhabitances - " Davenport " is situated on the opposite side of the River, in the State of "Iowa -" it is a fine town, and evinces much good taste in the Inhabitants, in the construction of their buildings, gardens, yards &c - " Fort Armstrong is situated on an Island in the middle of the River at this place, and is a beautiful spot- This Island was the place of residence of " Col_ Davenport " who was murdered in his own house on the fourth of July Eighteen hundred and forty four , by four ruffians; three of which were hung July fourth, 1845 ; one having made his escape.

May 7, 1849

May 7th The weather begins to grow warmer, and shows a willingness to assist vegetation to come forth - The Trees do not show signs of leaving out yet, although the Cherry, Plumb, and Peach trees are beginning to blossom - Left Rock Island at seven o'clock A.M. on the Steamer "St Croix " for " St-Louis " - Owing to ill health Mrs. Slye does not go on with us; she is to remain to Rock Island until she gets better, and then return to her friends in Waukesha -her husband goes on with me- The morning was rainy, but clearing up before noon, we had a pleasant journey over the "Father of waters," beholding what was to be seen, and contemplating the fact and grandeur of our present situation . We passed many small towns on both sides of the River , none of which however were of much importance, being mere places of landing for the benefit of the Country back - We reached " Keith's burgh " a small town on the bank of the River in Ill , and is one of the County towns in that State - The Country along the River is flat, and low; and appears to be settled by a poor population- Much of the country along the River is overflowed - There are numerous Islands in the river, which make it necessary to have great care in navigating it- Burlington is situated on the west bank of the River, in Iowa - it is a fine growing Town and is a place of much business. Quincy in Ill is also a fine place, and is of some importance to the "Sucker" State - Hanibal is an old Town on the west side of the River in the State of Missouri,. it presents a fine appearance from the River , and from many places about its location- It is built on rising ground, some what broken by ravines, so that there are very many conspicuous locations which are occupied with splendid buildings, which give the whole town an appearance of wild grandeur that it would not contain was the location more even.

The buildings are principally of brick, and are made in pretty good taste- Hanibal is a place of much trade, and is of some importance to the State- " Nauvoo " the great Mormon City, (that was) is built on a splendid site, or location; the ground lies in such a form that the whole City is seen at once from almost every quarter- We passed it just before night, and has a fine view- The " Temple " is a stone edifice four stories high; is built on the highest ground in the City, which enables the people to see it from every house - The roof and all the inside work, together with the windows, and doors have been burned out- (The work of some evil minded person, supposed to be " Mormon ".) The walls are still standing, and present a noble appearance- The town is pretty much deserted, and presents a woeful appearance, indicating the absence of those that were interested in building the City , and the disapprobation of God, that such a City should be built. Alton is the next Town of much importance- it presents a fine appearance, its location being on rising ground- It has many good buildings made of Stone and Brick - Ills State Prison is located here, also the building where " Lovejoy " the "Abolition philanthropist" was shot, stands on the bank of the River ; its broken windows, and dilapidated condition, give a horrible look to the place, which strikes the beholder with dread.

We next come to " St. Louis ;" here we have enough to occupy the attention of the observing, or gratify the curious- "St. Louis" is one of the most business places in our Country - The trade of the surrounding Country, with the vast trade that the Country along the Miss, and Mo Rivers supply, make it a place of shipping unequaled by any City of its size in the world. The City stands on rather rolling ground, the buildings are mostly made of Brick, and Stone. and many of them rank with the first class both as it regards size, and style- The Streets are narrow, decidedly too narrow , and at present very filthy- The "Cholera" is here, and well it may be, for if it was not in St Louis it might as well leave our Country at ounce, as I am sure a more filthy place cannot be found - Many are dieing daily with Cholera, and the number is increasing rapidly - The business places however, show but little relaxation, as all the room afforded by the Streets, and "Levee," are occupied by "Dray man" and other business men, from the River to the interior of the City - The shipping is carried on by "Steam," no other Boats than "Steam Bouts" being seen at the wharves - At the present time over one hundred and fifty are lounging at the "Docks-"

May 9, 1849

We left St. Louis May the 9th on the Steam Boat "St Ange " for " St Joseph " on the Mo. River , where we expect to meet our teams- The Country along this River has much more beautiful scenery, than is seen on the Miss - The banks are higher-the bluffs are more bold, with less low lands, and fewer Islands - It is somewhat remarkable that this River changes its channel as often as it does- The stream has a strong current, and the muddy appearance of the water indicates the constant wear of the banks, which are falling in on one side, and accumulating on the other - Our Boat is new, and stands the racking of the current, and straining she gets when she runs on these sand bars, or brings up against an old log, much better than an old boat- Making our passage safe, and our journey more certain- The towns along this river are not as beautiful, as those we passed on the Miss - But there are a few towns on the river that look well; among them are Herman , a place where the Grape is cultivated for the manufacturing of Wine - Jackson the Capitol of the State is a fine town- Brunswick , Lexington , and Fort Leavenworth are places of considerable notoriety - Leavenworth is on the west bank of the river , and is in the Indian country Our Government have a Garrison at this place- Independence is six miles back from the river, and is said to be a handsome place, with a brisk trade, especially this spring, as a great many fit out, and start from here for California . The next place of note is Western . a small, but lively working place- Next we come to St Joseph , where we arrived

May 14, 1849

May 14th at four o'clock P.M. "safe and sound," not having had a case of sickness on the boat during the trip- St Joseph is a place of considerable magnitude; is a place of much trade, and numbers about Eighteen hundred Inhabitants- It is the place where the most of the emigrants cross the river on their way to California-

There is a great many "Californians" in, and about town, and a great many have left; and are on their way to California-

May 16, 1849

May 16th a man was shot in a quarrel in the Street today- Accidents from the careless using of firearms are of frequent occurring; and it is not to be wondered at among so many drunkards, and blockheads. Selling out at private , and public sale, is all the go- Some are sick, some are discouraged, some are out of funds, and I know of some that have not perseverance enough to take them to California , and are ready to "mount" some of the hobbies, that they too may have an excuse to go back home-

The Cholera is among some of the emigrants, and many of them it is reported, have died- It is a great misfortune to many of extreme nervousness, and those that are addicted to drinking, that they are out on this journey, as the Cholera is sure to find them, and it generally goes hard with them-

The Deaths by Cholera on some of the Steam Boats that come up the river are truly alarming- On one Boat forty have died, and on an other nearly double that number- but few Boats arrive that have not lost more, or less.

May 23, 1849

Wednesday May 23rd the teams came up which relieved me of much anxiety- We no set our selves at work in good earnest getting ready for the long journey - The men are all well, and are for going ahead- Doctors- West , and Slye have seen the Elephant, have dissuaded as many as they could, and are making their arrangements to go back - The long time that I have been here, and the lateness of the season make me very anxious to be on the journey-

May 25, 1849

May 25th at noon we found that all things were ready, and we took up our line of march for the far off Country, feeling to some extent the magnitude of our undertaking- Although the distance is great, the privations perhaps numerous, and dangers of the way, (for our journey lies through the Indian Country, and they are hostile to the whites) which no doubt are also numerous, present a barrier to the reflections; still, throwing ourselves on the mercy, and protection of God, we are willing to meet these difficulties, and hope to overcome them, and accomplish our object-

The names of the individuals that are with me are Monroe Conover , Lorenzo B. Lyman , Giles H. Cornwell, Cornell Williams , and a man by the name of Charles Dayman who joined me at St. Joseph - The men are all in good health, and excellent spirits; and resolved to use every means in their power to make the journey to California - We passed up on the east side of the Mo. river about six miles, then crossed over and encamped about one mile west of the river - This is the first night I have ever spent in an enemies Country; but as I have resolved to spend perhaps the next two years where "eternal vigilance" is the only guaranty of safety, I will endeavor to initiate myself at once, and harbor no fears-

May 26, 1849 May 26th At seven in the morning we were on our way, and traveling in a north west direction; we camped at six in the evening at the "Indian Mission ; Distance twenty five miles-

During our journey to day we saw many people, and heard much about the Cholera- We passed several graves, where emigrants had been buried- The Country is one vast rolling Prairie; much of it too rolling for farming purposes- Water is abundant but wood is very scarce

May 27, 1849

Sunday May 27th We lay over today, and spend the Sabbath at the Mission ; unfortunate for us there is no service to day- The Mission is under the guidance, and patronage of the " Presbyterians ," and it is said not to be in a very flourishing condition at present- The number of scholars I am told is about thirty- The Mission building is a fine structure three stories high, and built of brick. It looks splendid beside the miserable Indian huts that surround it- The " Sauk , and Iowa " Indians live here, and judging from the specimens that I saw, it will be a long time before they can be educated in-to an intelligent people-

May 28, 1849

Monday May 28th One of our oxen was not to be found with the herd, and we feared that he had been stolen by some of these Mission Indians, (for they will steal,) but at nine o'clock he was found and we commenced our journey and traveled about seventeen miles, and encamped where wood, and water is plenty- Our journey today has been over a Prairie with no timber on the line of the road, and but little is in sight- The face of the country is beautiful in the extreme - The land is very rich, and if it was not for the scarcity of wood, and timber, it would be one of the best regions of country to live in that our continent affords - and would sustain a large population-

The weather is good, the roads are in fine condition, our men are all well, and we are getting along full as well as we expected- We met some people on the road today coming back; having lost some of their company, they have became discouraged, have given up "the journey", and are going back to lament that they ever started for California - One Women with her husband and four children started for California, the husband was taken with the Cholera and died, and the mother with her little children are on their way back, solitary , and alone-

May 29, 1849

Tuesday May 29th left camp at six o'clock, and after traveling over one vast expanse of Prairie country, with scarce a tree in sight, and but little water on the road, we encamped on a small creek, distance from our last nights camp, twenty four miles- The country through which we have traveled today belongs to the "Sauk Indians -"

May 30, 1849

Wednesday May 30th Started at six in the morning, and after traveling about twenty two miles, encamped at six o'clock in the evening- The country that we passed today very much resembles that of yesterday- We met some coming back and overtook some that are going on- The Cholera does not appear to be half as bad as has been represented; although there has been many cases, and some deaths-

May 31, 1849

Thursday May 31st We left camp at half past seven o'clock-The country is more rolling- with wood, and water quite plenty- The plains, (as the Prairies are called) strike the eye of the beholder with great peculiarity, and fills the mind with speculations as to the cause of their present appearance, and the future uses that they may be put to- The vast amount of country that can be seen at once; the noble and grand appearance of the country where swell, is seen rolling over swell, in the distance, fills the mind with admiration, and noble sentiment, that any other prospect that I have had could not; and the hope that the day is not far distant, when what is now a "barren waste," on which a few miserable Indians are starving, will be occupied by an intelligent, industrious agricultural population, that can appreciate the beauties of the prospect, and enjoy the blessings that so rich a country is capable of producing - The distance traveled today is twenty miles -

June 1, 1849

Friday June 1st Our journey today as usual lays over the vast plains of this timber less country- At noon we crossed the " Big Blue ;" it is a fine broad, and clear stream of water - Here we could catch some fish if we had time, as there are many fine ones in the stream- Today we found three oxen that had strayed from their owners and thus far had not been found by the Indians , who would have killed them at once if they had come across them- They were on their way back, and as we repudiate the back track, we thought in only carrying out our principles to yoke them in and take them along, especially as their owners were ahead, and that the chances for them to escape from the Indians were small- It was quite strange to us that we should see our house Martins here in this region so remote from civilization, and the usual place for them to build their nests - But those that we saw today were quite at home in an old hollow tree that stood on the bank of the river, and their cheerful notes reminded us of home, and some of its pleasures- Chimney, Bank, and Barn Swallows, with most of the Birds that are common at the east, are seen here; the everlasting Black Bird not excepted- Having to make a yoke for our new cattle, we encamped at an early hour, after traveling twenty miles- -

June 2, 1849

Saturday June 2d Started at ½ past six o'clock, and at noon came to where our road intersects with the "Independence" road- Over thirty wagons were in sight; seventeen of which we overtook at night- We encamped at night on the head waters of the " Little Nimehaw -" Distance today twenty miles - The water at this encampment is very bad, and it is said the " Little Blue " is not more than six, or eight miles farther on our journey; we therefore intend to "catch up" in the morning, go over and spend the Sabbath on its banks-

June 3, 1849

Sunday June 3d Started for the "Little Blue" at half past six, and traveled until noon, but found no "Little Blue"; we halted one hour, then drove until night; before we found the object of our search; thus from necessity we were obligated to travel during the whole day - Our distance today is about twenty two miles -

June 4, 1849

Monday June 4th Nothing of importance occurred today, and nothing new or interesting in the prospect - The first Antelope that we have seen, made his appearance today-

After a journey of eighteen miles, we again struck the " Little Blue ," and encamped on its banks, where we have the pleasure of again regaling ourselves on its pure, and wholesome water - Pure water is not always to be found on this road, making it very grateful to our tastes, when we have the good fortune to find it-

June 5, 1849

Tuesday June 5th Nothing of note transpired today - The country is very much the same as that we have passed during the past week, noble and grand in its appearance, as a general thing, and destitute of timber as usual; with the exception of the valley of the "Little Blue"; here there is some pretty good timber - Distance today twenty two miles-

June 6, 1849 Wednesday June 6th There has two wagons joined us this morning, making four wagons, with thirteen men- We left camp at six o'clock, and passed a train of ten wagons that were encamped near us. This company is from Mo. and is commanded by Capt Mock - At eight o'clock about three hundred "Pawnee" Indians came down upon us, and formed themselves across the road in front of us, in a most threatening attitude, with the intention of robbing us - They demanded of us "Knives," Whiskey," and every thing in fact that we had -

Our provisions they were determined to have at all hazards; but our provisions are our only dependence, and we will protect them to the last. It was rather a critical time with us, our numbers were small, and the great numbers of the Indians , and they of the most savage nature, created alarm with some, and indignation in others - For my own part I soon saw that our only chance of escape from these infernal savages, lay in cool determination; therefore I resolved to get rid of them with out their obtaining their object-

Some of the men were on the point of firing upon them, for they expected to fight at any rate, and were anxious to have the first shot- but I succeeded in quelling their impetuosity, for this would have been sure destruction to us, as the Indians were a war party, and armed to the teeth- I finally succeeded in pacifying them, by giving them twenty papers of tobacco, and got past them - Thus ended the first chapter of our experience with Indians . These Indians are at war with the " Shians " , and each party are in the practice of robbing the emigrants if they can find small parties, or those that they can intimidate- The fact that Capt Mock s train was within half a mile of us at the time, may have been of much service to us, for the rascals did not feel very proud with their tobacco, while we drove on with our provisions-

At noon we joined ourselves to Capt Mock's Company, making our number forty three; men that have but little sympathy with Indians- Thus armed we expect to get along with these "marauding pirates" - At three o'clock P.M. one of the most terrific thunderstorms came up that I ever saw- Rain, and hail fell in torrents in the midst of a perfect tornado of wind-

Our journey is still along the valley of the " Little Blue ," and owing to our delay with the Indians, and the thunder -storm this afternoon, our distance today is but sixteen miles- Today we found an owner for two of the oxen we found - They had lost the most of their cattle, and were going back- We were satisfied that they belonged to the men that claimed them, therefore gave them up, regretting that they had again to turn their backs on California - -

June 7, 1849

Thursday June 7th Started at six o'clock, and traveled over a similar face of Country to that over which we have passed for considerable time back, except that the valley of the " Little Blue " is the most pleasant portion of our rout thus far-

In the afternoon we came in contact with a large war party of " Shian Indians " that were in pursuit of the " Pawnees " that gave us some trouble yesterday. They surprised a small party of our men that had ro- -de on in advance of the train; they supposed that the Indians were hostile, took to their horses and rode (as they supposed) for "dear life," with some six or eight mounted Indians in full pursuit, making themselves considerable "sport," that they had frightened the "pale faces-" After the Indians saw that the object of their pursuit was connected with quite formidable train, they wheeled, and rode back over the hill to the main body-

There were no Indians now in sight, except now and then one, that could be seen at a distance, posted as a "sentinel" on some hill - Soon however, the most "terrific," if not the most "hellish" noise came "booming" over the hills in the direction which the mounted Indians had gone; and it was not long before we saw a Colum of mounted Indians advancing towards us " yelling , and whooping " as none but Indians are "wont to do-" Their line extended nearly half a mile in length, and appeared to some to indicate hostile intentions; but to those that had a knowledge of Indian character, and their mode of attracting an enemy, had no fears

of a fight with them at this time; especially if we showed ourselves not to be afraid of them- We immediately formed the teams into "Circle," and prepared to meet them with our "Rifles-" We formed a line in front of the Circle, and brought the Indians to a halt about two hundred yards distant, where "a talk was had, the "Pipe" was smoked, presents were distributed, and a pretty extensive trade was carried on with the Indians by our men, the men cheating the Indians all they could, and the Indians in turn stealing whatever they could find that was not guarded - Thus ended the whole affair without violence At the time of the attack, the Sun was about two hours high, shining with her most mellow light the Prairie presented one vast carpet of green, and bearing a little undulating, gave us a fine view of the long dark line of Indians , as they approached from towards the setting Sun; and although there was a possibility that we should have to fight them; yet the grandeur of the advancing Colum, the exquisite beauty of the landscape, contrasted with the mellow light of of the Sun, filled my mind with admiration, and I could not help enjoying the scene-

Most of the men were of opinion that a fight was inevitable; and although they numbered some three hundred, and our numbers all told amounted to only forty three men, and one women, they showed a bold front; and if it had been necessary would have done good execution with their "Rifles-" These "Shians" are a noble looking set of fellows; and although they have made us some trouble, I like their appearance - They are tall, straight, and stout built - they have a good deal of pride, and self esteem, which give their bearing a symmetry that they would not possess, were they destitute of the these ingredients of character - They are a warlike tribe, and with the " Sous " and other tribes that they are allied too, form the most powerful nation that inhabit the "plains"-

They, as well as most of the tribes are always at war with the " Pawnees " . The "Pawnees" on the other hand are a mean, and despicable looking race - They are low in stature, very stout built, and exhibit in strong marks, a degree of low cunning, that make them appear anything but noble- "Barbarous"! is written on their countenances, and their whole history is a record of cruelties- The cruel and barbarous disposition they have always manifested towards other tribes, is now being visited by them in return upon their own heads - They were once a numerous, and powerful tribe, but their numbers are fast decreasing- Distance today fifteen miles-

June 8, 1849

Friday June 8th Started at the usual time, and after traveling twenty miles encamped without seeing any more Indians - Nothing unusual occurred today - Several "Antelopes" were seen today, but none gave us a chance for "a shot-" The day passed off quietly, each speculating as to his opinion of our fate with the Indians, had circumstances been different - Cornwall has been troubled with "Diarrhea" for a few days, and is not as well as usual today--

June 9, 1849

Saturday June 9th We were underway at six o'clock, and passed " Fort Kearney " about noon, and driving six two miles and encamped for the night- "Fort Kearney" is situated on the " Platt river " about two hundred and ninety miles from St. Joseph 's- The buildings are principley made of sods, and covered with brush and dirt- Government has a garrison at this place; tho formerly it was occupied as a trading post, and known as "Fort Childs-" The distance from St. Joseph's to this place we have made in fourteen days; being about twenty, and two thirds of a mile p r day- We have reported the conduct of the Indians to the officers of the garrison, and a party of Soldiers is to be sent immediately in pursuit of them, and put a stop to their depredations on the emigrants- Cornwell is quite sick today, and his symptoms are bad ! Distance today twelve miles-

June 10, 1849

Sunday June 10th Owing to the want of wood and water we moved on fifteen miles and encamped on the banks of the "Platt-" Cornwell has confirmed Cholera, and his Phecian has fears that he will not recover- I spent the most of the afternoon with him, and Williams , and myself were with him until he died, which was at half past ten o'clock-

Thus has terminated the hopes, and expectations of Cornwell in California , and deprived society of one of her benefactors; and us of an agreeable traveling companion-

June 11, 1849

Monday June 11th We remained in camp today, and after burying Cornwell, "done up" our washing and such other things as we found necessary-

The " Platt ," is a stream that resembles the Miss . river ; it is like that river, filled with numerous Islands, and on these Islands grows the only timber that is found in all the region of country on both sides of the river for a great distance back- The valley is broad, varying in width from eight, to twenty miles; and is covered at this time with green grass. The country on each side of the valley rises about forty, or fifty feet, and then commences the vast plains over which the "Buffalo" range for food; and when the season is dry they come to the river for drink- This season thus far has been rather wet, so that they get sufficient drink on the plains, and seldom come down to the river- We have not yet seen any-

June 12, 1849

Tuesday June 12th After we had each of us planted a bunch of "Cactus" on Cornwll 's grave, we bid adieu, probably forever to the last resting place of one whose lamented death has filled us with gloom, and took up our line of march westward- Our journey today, was over a pleasant country- The weather has been fine and cool, so that we have made our twenty miles with much ease; and nothing of importance occurring, we go into camp at six o'clock-

June 13, 1849

Wednesday June 13th The day has been cool, and were it not for the rain that fell last night we should have made a good drive today - our distance however is twenty miles- The beauty of the country on our left, is unsurpassed - The bluffs are very regular in their irregularities’ - some towering at least two hundred feet high, and terminating in a sharp peak, while others rise a much less distance; some in a conical shape, others forming ridges with almost a straight line on the top, so that the whole outline is very beautiful, when contrasted with the perfect level valley that we are traveling over - As far as the eye can reach forward, we behold this beautiful valley with the broad Platt rolling through its center, and spreading its cream colored waters (the water of the Platt is riley, and presents a yellowish appearance) over the bed of the stream, which varies in width at this place from one to two miles - the valley varying also from six to eight miles in width, and skirted by these bluffs, the whole being covered with a rich carpet of green grass, truly presents one of the finest prospects that I ever beheld-

June 14, 1849

Thursday June 14th We are again impeded in our journey- Conover was taken with the Cholera last night, and died today at a little past two o'clock P.M.; which again filled us with sorrow, and opened the wounds that had scarcely began to heal- He had been troubled considerable with "Diarrhea" for some days back; but was able to work, and did not feel at all concerned about himself, although he was under the "Doctors care"- Conover, and also Cornwell were very nervous, and Conover especially was not of a good constitution, and it is supposed that the exciting scenes that we have had with the Indians , had a tendency to relax their systems, and render them predisposed to Cholera-

We buried Conover on a rise of ground near the banks of the Platt, and placing a "slab" at his head with the inscription of his name, place of residence, and age, left him in his far off resting place, with a silent ejaculation that his ashes may remain undisturbed until called forth by the "summoning Angel" at the great "Judgment day-" There were some friends that remained with us until we had buried our dead, when we all started on, and came up with the train late at night - Distance fifteen miles-

June 15, 1849

Friday June 15th The country over which we traveled today begins to differ from that in the few days past. Sand stone, with a mixture of lime is seen today- The hills retain their wildness, consequently their beauty- We are decidedly in the Buffalo country, as indicated by their numerous trails that they make in crossing from the high ands to the river for drink- Today just before sundown we discovered Eight of these animals on the flat on our right; we gave chase, and succeeded in killing three of them- To those of us that had never seen a Buffalo before, much less been engaged in capturing them, the sport was great, and the excitement exhilarating- They were large, (weighing some eight hundred pounds per head) and very fat; so that we have a plenty of fresh meat; but as we are in the midst of virulent Cholera, it is advisable not to eat much of it, as we are all sufficiently predisposed to its attacks- Our distance today is twenty miles-

June 16, 1849 Saturday June 16th Today at about six o'clock in the afternoon we reached the fording place of the Platt , which is about six miles above the junction of the "North and South" forks of the Platt, and on the south branch- We immediately commenced crossing, and succeeded in getting over all the wagons before dark- The river is about half a mile in width; the ford is tolerably good, although we had some difficulty in finding the bar , as the water is from two, to six, or seven feet deep, making it necessary to follow the bar , which was rather difficult, as the water is very riley, and the current swift- However we succeeded in finding the way with our feet, and crossed over, with no other drawback on good luck, than the upsetting of one of the Ohio wagons, as they were coming out of the river - This was the result of carelessness, which never meets with much sympathy from those that are governed by natures laws, and are willing to obey them- We camped for the night near the river , although there is little or no grass, it having been fed off by the great multitude of teams that have crossed here, yet darkness prevents us from going farther- Lyman is very sick with the Cholera- Distance eighteen miles-

June 17, 1849

Sunday June 17th We drove over to the north fork, (a distance of six miles) and encamped for the remainder of the day, where we found good grass for our cattle, and plenty of wood and water for ourselves- The weather being good, we had an opportunity of drying what of our things that got wet crossing the river- Lyman is very sick, and it takes me the whole time to attend to him - this is rather hard on me as I am sick myself, and more fit for the hospital, and the Phescians care, than a nurse to an individual that requires the constant attendance of some one to keep him in the "land of the living-"

June 18, 1849

Monday June 18th As Lyman continues very sick, I have fell behind the train, and travel very slow on his account- About noon he began to show signs of recovery that were not abated until he was again able to stand the journey; the medicine having taken good effect on his system- In the course of twelve on fifteen hours I gave him over two hundred drops of a concoction comprised of two parts Laudanum, one each of Spirits of Camphor, and Spirits of Lavender, together with eighty grains of "Calomel"- this is what I call pretty heavy "dosing"! but it was all that saved him; his constitution being good he was able to bear it- In most cases of Cholera the treatment is not sufficiently energetic; for the disease does not make its appearance until it is well established in the system, requiring energy and perseverance to stay its progress- We succeeded in overtaking the train in the fore part of the night, and was glad to find rest for our wearied limbs, and aching heads - Distance twenty miles-

June 19, 1849

Tuesday June 19th Our course today led us through the bluffs that extend from the high lands to the river , making it necessary to go over them to gain the valley of the river again. Our elevation was some three hundred feet, and the face of the country was so "rugged" that our course as we wound round among the hills was " zigzag " to an extent, that made our train of long teams, and covered wagons, look quite picturesque, as it dragged its "serpentine form" along; especially as we descended to the valley did we present the appearance of an emigrant train among the mountains- From the top of these bluffs the valley of the river above, and below, present a beautiful appearance- Our course now lays up the valley of the river which grows broader as we proceed, abounding with grass, but wood is scarce- The bluffs on either side of the river , make this portion of country appear lovely- We traveled sixteen miles and encamped near a small village of the "Sous" Indians - they consisted of old men, women, and children, and were very harmless and quiet - their young men and warriors, had gone to the "battle field" which is sought at this season of the year by almost all the tribes on the plains- There is a region of country along the valley of this river that abounds in game, and the " Pawnees " have formerly usurped entire jurisdiction over it, and waged war with all other tribes that encroached upon rights held by no other right , than physical force- these wars are still kept up, and the valley, and surrounding country is the theater of operations-

June 20, 1849

Wednesday June 20th We had again to pass over the bluffs that came abruptly up to the river which gave us another fine view of the surrounding country, but at the expense of a pretty "hard tug" for our cattle- We descended to the valley through what is called "Ash" hollow - here we found excellent water, and plenty of wood, which is an article that is much prized by us, as it is growing very scarce; we get along by supplying ourselves when it is to be found - What is called the " lone tree " stands on the bank of the river at this place - It is a tree of considerable size, and stands in a place " solitary and alone ," where it is difficult to be got at, which probably is the reason that it still exists- We encamped about three miles up the river; distance eighteen miles-

June 21, 1849

Thursday June 21st The road today has much deep sand- the weather is very warm, and our teams suffer very much - Passed " Castle Bluffs ," and many more that present quite a mechanical appearance; the walls in many places rising in a perpendicular form for two hundred feet- In many places, these huge blocks of stone, resemble buildings; and at a distance when in clusters they so much resemble a town, or village, that one is quite disappointed in his feelings when he reflects, that this is not the case - It is perhaps owing in most cases to a strong desire that one feels when isolated from such prospects, to behold them - Distance today, fifteen miles-

My first experience at shoeing oxen has been today - and as it is said of a boy that "cuts his fingers" when he first begins to "reap," that he will make a " good reaper "; judging from the blood that flows from pounded fingers and scratched hands, I shall become quite an adept at shoeing oxen-

June 22, 1849

Friday June 22d The bluffs on this side of the river have disappeared, and the country descends to the river with a slope, and slight undulations that present quite a contrast with the country on the other side of the river , where the bluffs still retain their ruggedness-

The roads are not as heavy; there is not as much sand, and the traveling is much improved- Distance today eighteen miles-

June 23, 1849

Saturday June 23d The weather is very warm today - the roads are good, and the appearance of the country increases in beauty as we proceeded- If it was admissible to settle this country, and I was doomed to become a resident, I should select my location somewhere in the valley of the Platt on ground over which we have traveled today- Our camp tonight is opposite the "Church," or " Court house -" (as it is called-) It is a rock very much resembling a building, some two hundred feet square, and two hundred and fifty feet high- This mass of stone rises from the even surface of the country, and presents a most beautiful appearance, when you contrast its grey sides with the rich green that covers the country on its every side - " Chimney Rock " is in sight, and looks from here like the steeple of some old fashioned Church- Our distance today is twenty two miles-

June 24, 1849

Sunday June 24th For the want of wood, and water that is wholesome , we are obliged to travel today. The beauty of the country still continues, and is rendered peculiarly so by the rocky bluffs that make their appearance, as if to ad pleasing variety to the scenery around - They are comprised of a soft sand stone, about as hard as common chalk-The winds, frosts, and rains have worked them into curiously shaped figures; in many places resembling animals; in some places you see the shape of a man, or mans head, almost as natural as life, (only on quite a larger scale-) and various kinds of mechanism, such as corniceses and the like, are seen more or less on most of them- After traveling twenty miles, we encamped one mile beyond " Chimney Rock -"

This rock is a marked place of resort for travelers; and thousands are the names that are cut on its sides - It is rather a singular looking mass of stone- it is about three hundred and fifty feet high - has a base I should judge of about one thousand feet in circumference, which gradually contracts as it rises until you reach the base of the "chimney," or tower, which is about two hundred and fifty feet in circumference, and about two hundred and fifty feet height, terminating in a point at the top, and looks very much like an old "shot tower"-

Were it not for its spiral appearance there would not be anything in this rock to give it a preference over hundreds that are to be seen in the vicinity-

June 25, 1849

Monday June 25th Our journey today lay up the river until we left it for "Scotts" bluffs These bluffs present a large field of interest, and are a profitable place to investigate the causes that produce the wonderful phenomenon of this interesting valley - The vastness of the field for speculation; and the uncertainty of arriving at correct conclusions, forbids that I should offer my opinion , even - Distance today is twenty two miles-

June 26, 1849

Tuesday June 26th Remained in camp today to do our washing, and make such repairs as are found necessary - I wrote to my wife today, and also to Mrs. Conover , the letters I shall mail at " Fort Laramie -" I wrote to Mrs. Cornwell soon after the death of her husband, and had an opportunity of sending it to the States by an Individual that would put it in the mail at the first opportunity for doing so-

June 27, 1849

Wednesday June 27th We left camp at six o'clock in the morning, and passing over the summit of the bluffs, had a view of the peeks of the Laramie mountains , which mountains belong to the Rocky mountains , but farther south than where we cross them- They are distant from here one hundred and fifty miles, and as the atmosphere is rather Smokey are not seen very plain- The country from the bluffs to the river , is gradual in its decent, and is very beautiful- The road is very good, and a heavy shower of rain that fell last night, gives the atmosphere a bracing influence to our lungs, which gives buoyancy to our spirits- " Horse creek " which we had to pass soon after our noon halt, was much swollen by the rain, and gave us some trouble in crossing it-

Our camp for the night is eight miles beyond the Creek , and journey today twenty two miles-

June 28, 1849

Thursday June 28th Left camp at six o'clock, and meeting with no hindrance, except the incompetence of some three hundred teams that are on the road along here at this time, we made our journey today, and encamped within six miles of " Fort Laramie "- distance twenty two miles-

June 29, 1849

Friday June 29th Nothing of importance occurred until we reached the Laramie river ; this river is very rapid and difficult to ford; we succeeded however in crossing by raising our wagon beds, so that but little damage was done to our loads- We arrived at "Fort Laramie" at ten o'clock A.M. and left at three P.M.- "Fort Laramie" was formerly the property of a fur trading Company, but is now the property of our government, and is garrisoned by government soldiers- There is but little in the appearance of things about this place, that looks like a military post; the Soldiers have but just arrived, and every thing about the Fort is out of order, but things are fast being put in shape-

This, like Fort Kearney , is built of mud , and would be of but little consequence if attracted by artillery; but as the Indians have nothing of this kind, it answers the purpose intended- We deposited our letters and left; well satisfied that it was not our lot to be obligated to remain at so unpromising a looking place- The country for the last day or two, has been rather poor, and continues so still - yet the appearance of the country is improving in consequence of the timber that is seen on the hills, and small mountains in the vicinity- The country as we advance is very broken, and extremely poor- there is nothing to induce a settlement of the country, as inevitable starvation must ensue, unless some other source than its products could be relied on Distance today twelve miles-

June 30, 1849

Saturday June 30th We are again on the north fork of the Platt , and shall continue for some time along in the vicinity of this stream- The country is very broken, yet the prospect is beautiful; but its beauty looses much of its influence on the mind, when we reflect that it can never be occupied, or improved- Distance eighteen miles-

July 1, 1849

Sunday July 1st Today we remained in camp which is on a small stream about twenty four miles from " Fort Laramie -" An accident occurred last night about four o'clock that will cause us some delay- A man belonging to our Company by the name of Jerald , from Connecticut was traveling along beside the road, and picking up an old trunk lid, and holding it out, says to a man by the name of Pitcher who was from Ill , and was about six rods from him, to shoot- Pitcher, being a "good shot," fired! the portion of the board that was from Jerald had a small black spot, at which he took aim, the ball struck a piece of the lock that was attached to the edge of the lid and glanced, hitting Jerald , and inflicting a dangerous, if not mortal would - This is another instance of the folly of fooling with fire arms-

Today his mess take him back to the Fort , where they expect to leave him, and then continue their journey on to California - we shall remain here, or at some other place, until they return-

July 2, 1849

Monday July 2nd Left camp at half past six, traveled fifteen miles, and encamped on " Horse shoe Creek ," where timber is plenty, and grass better than we have found for some time Grass for our Cattle is getting scarce on much of the way- the great amount of teams that are ahead of us, have eat it up entirely in many places-

July 3, 1849 Tuesday July 3rd Remained in camp today that those that have gone to the Fort with Jerald may come up, and also make such repairs as are found necessary-

July 4, 1849

Wednesday July 4th There being some sick, we remained in camp today- we expect to move on tomorrow- Our camp is north east from " Laramie’s peak ," (a mountain near the head of Laramie river ) distant about forty miles- Today all hands rallied for a "Deer hunt-" and I was the only one that was successful, having killed one, and brought him into camp- I found today a large quarry of Gypsum (plaster of paris) embedded in red clay- if it was in some portions of the United States it would be of great value; as it is, it is worth but little-

July 5, 1849

Thursday July 5th We left camp at six o'clock, and passing over the hills and dales soon came to our old acquaintance, the " Platt ," and finding wood, and grass plenty we en camped at about four o'clock in the after -noon; distance sixteen miles- I have been sick today, but am better this evening-

July 6, 1849

Friday July 6th Nothing of importance occurred today- passed the "Labont" river at noon, and en- -camped at night where there is neither wood, grass, or water- Distance twenty seven miles-

July 7, 1849

Saturday July 7th Our journey today was over a very uneven road- no grass to be found on the way- crossed several little creeks, and encamped on a small creek with but little or no grass- Several Buffaloes were seen, two were killed- Distance twenty miles-

July 8, 1849

Sunday July 8th Finding ourselves under the necessity from the scarcity of feed for our cattle, we move on to the river, which is about eight miles from here where we shall remain until our turn to cross the river; as this is the best place to cross, many are crossing at this place, so that we shall not get over until tomorrow-

July 9, 1849

Monday July 9th After we had succeeded in ferrying the river, (which took us until past noon) we moved on, and en camped on the north bank of the Platt , distance ten miles- The ferry was made by lashing two wagon boxes together, and with tar and calking made tight, so that they served as boats, or boat- The crossing was very laborious as most of the wagons had to be unloaded, and the wagon and loud taken over separate- The river is about forty rods wide, with a deep and strong current; we had all the work to do, and pay two dollars and fifty cents pr. wagon for crossing - the cattle we swim over -

As we ascend the Platt it grows narrow, and deeper - its great width below enables you to ford it in many places as the water is spread over this width, and much of it sinks in the sand in many places, and rises again in others-

July 10, 1849

Tuesday July 10th The only thing worthy of notice here, is the total want of grass, which will no doubt be long remembered by our cattle- Owing to the dry weather the grass that is left is dried to a crisp, so that they have a hard chance for feed, but plenty of hard work, as the road is very heavy in many places- Some are beginning to fail, and others look suspicious- At twelve miles from our morning camp we find some grass in a bend of the river, and have encamped-

July 11, 1849

Wednesday July 11th We traveled twelve miles today over the heaviest road that we have found it is hilly with deep sand- the teams are getting more faint, and but a poor prospect for feed- We go into camp at three o'clock, and send them back three miles to graze where there is tolerable grass-

July 12, 1849

Thursday July 12th Remained in camp today as our cattle find some grass- Some of the messes are cutting off their wagons to make them draw easier, and others are taking the hind wheels of their wagons and constructing carts, and all in various ways are trying to relieve the teams- Our camp is on the river , and near what is called the " upper Platt ferry "- The ferries on this river are of a novel nature,-Being hundreds of miles from any settlement, they are not stationary- The first teams that arrived, by means of large troughs dug out of the trunks of the cottonwood trees, or by lashing wagon boxes together, construct a ferry, cross over their train , then some one of the company remains until another train comes up, and either ferries them over for a stipulated fee, or sells out the concern to them, and takes to his horse and overtakes his train- In all cases the succeeding proprietors pursue the same course - it is in most cases a money making business, as they charge such prices as the varying avarice of the individuals demand

July 13, 1849

Friday July 13th We left the Platt at six o'clock, and do not expect to see it again- We part with the Platt as from an old friend- having received many comforts from its water, and enjoyed much of the varying prospects that a journey of some eight hundred miles along its valley , has afforded- We have passed many mineral springs, but the water being injurious to cattle did not let them drink of it- Our "guides" caution us against using the water for some distance yet ahead; therefore we drove all day, and until twelve o'clock at night, finding the road rather rough, we halted and remained until daylight, when we started on, and at eight o'clock in the morning encamped at " willow springs " where we found good water, and tolerable good grass; our cattle not having had water during the last twenty six hours- Distance from the Platt thirty five miles- The amount of dead cattle along the road is considerable, and the number is increasing fast - we have passed over forty head in the last two days- There is some annoyance experienced by some of the emigrating parties; at least it is so stated-

A company of dragoons are on their way to " Fort Hall " where they expect to be stationed; from this company quite a number have deserted and gone to the mountains near the ferries on the Platt river , from whence they descend upon small parties, and rob them of their provision; and when they have got enough , intend to start for California - If this is the case it is aggravating in the extreme- worse than savage-

July 14, 1849

Saturday July 14th Remained in camp for the benefit of our teams - Many trains are passing us today, and I should judge them wise if they would stop and give their teams some rest- The health of our camp is pretty good, although some are rather weak from previous attacks-

July 15, 1849

Sunday July 15th We traveled on today sixteen miles to " Greecewood creek " that runs along the road to tempt the traveler with its "limp" current, and encamped where our cattle find good feed, and plenty of excellent water- We have seen thirty head of dead cattle today!

July 16, 1849

Monday July 16th after making an axel for one of my wagons, we started on, and after traveling twelve miles reached the "Sweet water ," and encamped near " Independence rock -" We passed many springs and small lakes today, that are covered, and rendered white with carbonate of soda, salts, and potash- We are now in the volcanic region, and the mountains from which these waters flow have been subject to great, and intense heat, so that all waters flowing from them necessarily partake largely of alkali influence- The "Sweet water" is a putty stream of pure water, about thirty feet in width, and presents a beautiful, appearance as it wriggles itself along among the most ragged mountains I have yet seen on the journey-

July 17, 1849

Tuesday July 17th left camp at seven o'clock and passing up the valley of the Sweet water , came to " Devels gate -" This gate is formed by the river passing through the mountain, which give it banks that are three hundred feet high, and nearly perpendicular; are of rock, and every appearance indicates that this gorge was made by the opening of the mountain by volcanic influence, and letting the water pass, as the chasm at its top is but little wider than at its bottom-

We continue our course up the valley , and find that the Cholera was with the emigrants here as well as else where, as the great number of graves on the road side indicate- there are but few cases now- Its greatest ravages were on the Platt - It was not uncommon to pass ten, and twelve graves pr. day- Its virulence had somewhat abated when we was there, but there was as much left as I wished to see, as our experience will show- I am quite unwell today, and am threatened with ague; but hope to throw it off- My men overset one of the wagons today and broke the hounds, which gave me some two hours work to repair them- Distance sixteen miles-

July 18, 1849

Wednesday July 18th we have often to leave the river to cut off bends, and canyons that occur as we proceed on our journey- At one point of our journey today we had a view of the "Wind river" mountains , with their summits covered with snow- This prospect was truly pleasant to my vision, as it was the first time I have ever seen mountains covered with snow at this season of the year. These mountains are in rather a northwest direction from here, and distant about fifty miles - The white, yet cooling appearance of then mountains, contrast very favorably with the dry, and dusty atmosphere in which we are moving- Distance nineteen miles-

July 19, 1849

Thursday July 19th To Saturday July 21st remained in camp on the banks of the " Sweet water " as there was tolerable good grass- Not having much to do, on Friday, Lyman and myself went out west about six miles to the mountains for a hunt- During the day we saw at least one hundred Antelope; but as we were in pursuit of Buffalo, we gave them but little attention- At about nine o'clock in the morning we discovered a very large bull, about two miles from us- he was alone, and as the country was undulating, and many small ridges and ravines, we were enabled to advance towards him, unperceived- He was feeding, and slowly traveling about for some time, when he passed down a small ravine, and laid down- We saw his position at a distance, and managed to get within less than twelve rods of him unperceived- My rifle was a double "shooter", and Lyman’s was single- he was still lying on the ground, broadside to us, when I leveled, fired and hit him as I supposed at, or near the heart, (for we both saw where the ball struck by the dust that arose) and as he sprung to his feet, Lyman fired, hitting him a little back of where my ball took effect, and at the same time I fired my second shot, wounding him severely- Notwithstanding he was mortally wounded, he succeeded in making his escape from us- As we were returning towards camp in the afternoon, we espied another large bull coming towards the mountain from the river- He was more than two miles off when we first saw him, so that we were enable to conceal ourselves from him, and at the same time keep in front of him, so as to bring him directly towards us- he was passing up a ravine and coming directly towards us- We were concealed behind a little prominence, so that he did not discover us until within six rods of us, when we fired at the region of his heart, all three of the balls taking effect within four inches of each other- he picked and came very near falling; but we found that we had hit him to high up in the body, and although he was but just able to get away from us and he made his escape- As it was near night, and we were some six or seven miles from camp, we thought it best to leave him - He probably died before we arrived at camp- Thus ended one of the most exhilarating hunts I ever had- We left camp on Saturday and traveled twenty six miles including some four miles traveled Thursday morning-

July 22, 1849

Sunday July 22nd our altitude and proximity to the snows on the Wind river mountains give us a cool atmosphere, and in the absence of the Sun it is quite cold- We moved on twelve miles and encamped on the Sweet water again- Grass continues quite scarce, and it requires much labor and search to find feed sufficient for our cattle-

July 23, 1849

Monday July 23rd we traveled nineteen miles today and encamped again on the Sweet water- This is our last camp on this lovely stream The snow on the mountains about fifteen miles to our right looks beautiful, and exerts quite an influence on the weather- in the absence of the sun it is very cool, and when it shines it is very warm- Snow was found near the road side today, and a ball of it "handed round"-

July 24, 1849

Tuesday July 24th we bid adieu to the Sweet water, and took our course towards the far famed South pass in the Rocky mountains - This pass through one of the greatest mountain ranges that our country affords, presents nothing that I had expected to find- It is more like journeying over some vast plain or prairie, than crossing a vast mountain range- The assent to the summit of the mountain, and is so gradual, and the face of the country so smooth, that it would require some more visible sign than the mountain affords, to know where you are at the culminating point- The pass as it is called, is about twenty miles in width- the wind river mountains on the right, and a cluster of large mountains rise on our left- Our camp tonight is on Pacific Creek , whose waters flow in to the Pacific Ocean through the gulf of California - Distance fifteen miles-

July 25, 1849

Wednesday July 25th We leave the pacific spring this morning, and also our nearest encampment to the South pass- From our camp this morning the view is most beautiful- Our elevation enables us to view the country for a great distance to the westward of the Rocky mountains - The mountains that are in sight, present a most splendid appearance, as we behold them in contrast with the broad expanse of tolerable level country over which we look to behold them On our right we have the " Wind river mountains " with their tops covered with snow; at whose base, the tributaries to "Green river " that flow from a north east direction take their rise- These mountains cross the Rocky mountain ridge, and are a part of the same chain-They also extend west to the chain of the " Wasatch and Bear river mountains "; this mountains separate the waters that flow south to the gulf of California , from those that flow into the great Salt Lake basin , and have a southeasterly direction- To the south of where we now are, the "spurs" of the Rocky mountains that put out to the west, resemble mountain ranges; and in the distance seem to reach the Wasatch range, so that with the Rocky mountains on the east of us, we are completely surrounded by mountains of the first magnitude, and seen at so great a distance, they present a grand, and sublime appearance- The country gradually descends as we go west, is quite even on the face of it, and is barren of anything in the shape of vegetation- The " Little Sandy ," (on which we camp tonight.) is a fine stream of water that is making its way to the gulf of California with all possible speed- There is little or no grass along this stream so that our cattle find a poor chance for grazing - The nights at, and in the vicinity of the " pass " on both sides of the mountain, are very cold, ice forming to considerable thickness, while the days are very warm- Distance today twenty two miles. -

July 26, 1849

Thursday July 26th The country over which we have traveled today, is very level and barren The snow capped mountains that we behold on every side, are beautiful to look upon- this beauty however can never be the means of begetting a feeling of admiration in any but the mind of the traveler, as the extreme bareness of the country, and its total inability to produce vegetation forever precludes the idea, that any other use can be made of it, than the foundation for a thoroughfare to a more lovely country, and congenial clime- We reached the " Big Sandy ", a stream some larger than the " Little Sandy ", but similar in its appearance and apparent intentions; and traveling down its course for eight miles and we encamped near its waters- Distance twenty miles-

July 27, 1849

Friday July 27th Last night a man by the name of W.H.C. Yeager who joined our train about a week since, died- we are detained this morning to bury him- This man said that he was a Doctor, and had some medicines along with him he further says that he was an Episcopalian Clergyman- was of German decent, and was born in the State of Pennsylvania - He had contracted with a "mess" from Chicago , consisting of three men, to wit;__kandlett , __Hoit , and Charles Hascall , to take him, and his effects, to California - He stated that he had children in Boston Mass and one Daughter was attending school in Ohio - he died with the Asthma - Our journey is over a dry and sandy country, as usual; and there is no signs of vegetation except the "Artemisia," or wild Sage - this shrub in many places is quite abundant; but serves no other purpose than for fuel- We reached " Green river " about five o'clock, and en camped for the night - Distance sixteen miles

July 28, 1849

Saturday July 28th Green river is a stream of considerable magnitude, and has been crossed this season thus far by ferrying - the ferry was kept by some Mormons that had come out from the Mormon City at Salt Lake for that purpose- The river is not difficult to cross, but their charges are four dollars pr. wagon, (and the emigrants must do the work) for crossing- We thought it more a speculation to the owners, than accommodation to the traveler, so we explored up the river for a place to ford; we succeeded in finding one about one and half miles up, where we crossed with no difficulty, and in less than half the time that it would have taken to cross on the ferry- We drove four miles down the river, and encamped to remain over Sunday- The valley of this stream in many places affords good pasture, and our cattle have found it out-

July 29, 1849

Sunday July 29th Owing to getting wet yesterday I was taken with the ague last night, and am confined to camp today - We have an opportunity of sending letters to Fort Laramie where they can be sent to the States - I availed myself of the opportunity, and have written to my wife-

July 30, 1849

Monday July 30th I am better this morning. We moved on this morning at seven o'clock, and traveled twenty miles, where reaching "Blacks" fork of Green river , we encamped for the night- Nothing of note occurred today-

July 31, 1849

Tuesday July 31st Left camp at eight o'clock A.M. all hands well- Met the Mormon Mail , and learned much that is gratifying to us, in the prospect of good roads, and plenty of grass- Passed many splendid Butts (smal mountains) containing many specimens of minerals, some of which I have selected- There are many beautiful places in this vicinity- The rock is of secondary formation, thin perpendicular sides, and picturesque forms, gives the place more a look of art, than of nature- If I was a painter it is here that I should like to take some sketches- Our camp is on the same stream of last night; and seventeen miles distant-

August 1, 1849

Wednesday August 1st We traveled sixteen miles today over a good, and level road, and encamped at a place called " Fort Bridger "- It is a trading post near a village of the " Snake ." or "Shoshonees" Indians- These Indians are a diminutive race-Small in stature, filthy in their habits- rather peaceable in their dispositions, and their heads indicate small intellect-

August 2, 1849

Thursday August 2d Our course lies direct west, and leads to the Mormon City - The country over wich we travel today, is entirely destitute of feed, and every kind of vegetation except the Artimecia- We drove but twelve miles today and encamp on Muddy Creek , where there is some grass- The country begins to be broken and rolling - We descended a very long and steep hill before going, into camp-

August 3, 1849 Friday August 3d Our journey today lies over, and among the mountains that separate the waters that flow into the great Basin , from those that flow to the Pacific ocean through the gulf of California - The road is good and scenery beautiful - Our encampment tonight is on " Bear river "; distance twenty miles-

August 4, 1849

Saturday August 4th We left our encampment this morning on Bear river, and passed a far more pleasant country than that over which we have traveled for some days past- vegetation seems here to revive, which give the country a more lovely appearance- From some of the eminences on which we were today, we could overlook a vast region of country, being in the great Basin , composed of mountains, (the tops of some were covered with snow) also hills, valleys, and vast plains, all covered with grass, or timber - The valley of this great Basin would be valuable for agricultural purposes, were it not for the long continuance of the dry season- it seldom rains during the whole summer- We encamp tonight at the head of " Echo valley " where grass is good- distance eighteen miles-

August 5, 1849

Sunday August 5th Grass is good, and we remain in camp today - this no doubt is acceptable to our cattle, and I am sure it is quite agreeable to me- I feel quite thankful for an opportunity to lay by some of my worldly labors, and cares, and contemplate the objects for which the Sabbath was instituted-

From necessity we have had sometimes to travel on the Sabbath, and I have often looked forward to the time when I could say to the cares of this world, "far from my thoughts be gone, and leave my religious hours alone-" Ease, and comfort is always acceptable; but when I contemplate the pleasures enjoyed by those that live in regions where the Sabbath is observed, - the Gospel preached, and contrast them with my present situation, where the trifling jest; the vulgar and profane conversation- the blasphemous oaths, and crack of the rifle salute the ear, the sensation produced is not like that of harmonious sounds, and consoling word. There are but few enjoyments but what can be dispensed with better than those of a religious nature; especially by those that have enjoyed them, and can appreciate their value-

What place on earth can be more hallowed than where friend meets friend around the alter of prayer, and all feel that through Christ one common interest, - one common feeling prevails? sure this is something of Heaven enjoyed here below-

August 6, 1849

Monday August 6th We left our encampment in " Echo valley " and proceeded down the same to " Red fork " of Weber river , distance twenty miles, and encamped one mile down the stream- This valley presents many attractions - It is twenty five miles in length-gradual in its decent to the westward- varying from eight to fifty rods in width, with rocks and bluffs on each side that rise from one, to three hundred feet; in many places perpendicular - These rocks are various in their formations; some are original, but most of them are of "secondary formation-" The color of the rock in general is red, and of a reddish cast- in some places where the original material is of a different color, the rock partakes of the same- The great variety of scenery that is here presented, makes this the most attracting place to me that I have found on the whole journey- The fact that there is such a valley,- its great length - its mineralogical developments, and field of botanical investigation- the numerous springs that gush from these stupendous rocks, and hills, in fine the grandeur of the scenery, and beauty this whole valley presents, is well calculated to enlighten the mind, purify the taste, and elevate the feelings of the beholder-

The grass in this valley, and on the sides where grass can grow, is good- In passing down you are traveling at one time through an open and smooth place, the whole covered with a soft carpet of rich grass- soon you are in a narrow pass, with rocks rising on each side perpendicular to the height of three hundred feet, then again you pass under one of these stupendous piles of rock that hangs over the road and reaches so high that a Hawk perched on the top looks only the size of a Swallow- There again you pass some deep ravine that puts in on either side, up whose valley you may gaze as if looking up through the clouds into Heaven- indeed there is not half a mile in the valley that does not present some thing to admire- The name " Echo " is given to this valley on account of the numerous echoes that are made by the numerous creeks, and windings of the valley-

August 7, 1849 Tuesday August 7th Unlike our Journey yesterday, today we have a rugged country in the extreme- Our road soon left the river , and passed up the mountain through a deep gorge, and over one of the roughest of roads for a distance of two miles to the top, then descending the mountain on the west side through a deep "canyon" in the middle of which there was a small creek, which in some places had washed itself deep into the ground, thus forcing the road on to the side of the mountain, and making our passage very difficult- In some places we had to attach ropes to the wagons, and man them- even then some of our wagons came near oversetting We reached "canyon" creek , and encamped for the night- Distance fifteen miles-

August 8, 1849 Wednesday August 8th Our journey is up " canyon creek " about four miles, then striking off to the right through a "canyon" up the mountain, (distance to the summit two and a half miles)- We then passed the ridge immediately, descended the western slope of the mountain for a distance of three miles through one of the wildest places that we have found on the journey, to " Browns creek ," down which we traveled some distance and encamped for the night- Distance fourteen miles - There is so much of interest that I find here among these mountains, that to describe the whole, or even a part, would occupy more time than I can spare from business that must be attended to - From our highest elevations we can see naught but one continuous mass, or cluster of mountains; some of them very high, and their tops covered with snow- From the deep ravines that are among these mountains, through which we sometimes have to pass, the prospect is but small; yet even here there is much to admire in the extreme wildness of the country- Generally, the mountains rise from these ravines very abruptly to a great height, thus shutting out the prospect , except now and then where a side ravine puts in across some mountain range - Up these side ravines the prospect is very beautiful in many places- You cast your eye up one that is straight, and it is difficult to get rid of the impression that you are gazing among the clouds, so dark are these valleys in consequence of their great depth, and narrowness- [Added terms: East Canyon Creek (Utah); Browns Creek (Utah)] August 9, 1849 Thursday August 9th Immediately on leaving camp our road turned to the right, and passed up the mountain- road steep, but not bad- distance to the summit two miles- We then descended immediately through one of these deep "canyons" that one meets with constantly in this country, to the Mormon City - The road down the last mountain is very bad, and in many places dangerous to pass over- Distance thirteen miles- Concerning this City- this "Mormon City," there is much that is interesting to the reflecting mind- The fact that a large body of men, women and children, having embraced a system of religion that not only differs from the religion of the Bible, and is diametrically opposed to its principles, sets at naught its doctrines and councils, and does away with its laws, have withdrawn from the rest of mankind, isolated themselves from the society of all but those that embrace the "Mormon faith," are subjects that should interest the politician, and may well excite the fears and apprehension, of the philanthropist- The first settlements were made in September eighteen hundred and forty seven- looks very well - They now number about eight thousand souls- a portion of them reside at what is called the city , which is situated about twenty miles east of the southern extremity of the great salt lake ; and a settlement of them are at " Utah lake ," south east from the city about thirty miles, and quite a large settlement are near "Weber" river about forty miles north west from the city- Their farming operations have but just commenced; yet their crops look tolerable well- Wheat is raised from ten to twenty five bushels to the acre- Corn has not been fully tested yet, although the crop that is planted this year [Added terms: Salt Lake City (Utah); Great Salt Lake (Utah); Utah Lake (Utah); Weber River (Utah)] Potatoes I am told are raised in great abundance, as well as all garden vegetables- It does not rain here during the summer season, but by the "Irrigating" process, they manage to water the land that they cultivate to crops that need it- wheat, and all other small grain does not require a resort to this practice, as they grow, and get ripe before the dry weather can effect them much - Their houses are small, and built of mud- a few however are seen that are built of logs- This season they have commenced building with "Adobies" (called "dobies") a kind of brick made of mud and dried in the sun- They are about sixteen inches long, eight inches wide, and six inches thick- and if they are able to stand the frost, and spring rains, will be a good substitute for brick, and will make a tolerable good house- Timber is very scarce - they have to go twelve miles for their fire wood, and even here the supply is very limited- Stone suitable for building is found in the mountains that surround this valley, yet the labor of getting them out and hauling them to the city is so great, that at present to build with this more substantial material is quite out of the question- Lumber can never be made here to any extent, for the want of timber- Indeed the great lack of timber is a source of serious apprehension to the reflecting mind, for the fate of this peculiar people- The climate is mild and salubrious, and the health of the people thus far has been good- Concerning their peculiarities as a religious sect, I have but little to say, as they are generally understood by the world at large, and to the unprejudiced mind need only to be known and understood, to be condemned- There is a fine stream of water that runs from "Utah" lake by the city, and empties into the salt lake - This river they call " Jordan "- They pretend that they have purified its waters by some magic power of their priests, so that when any Mormon feels that he is polluted by sin, he can take a priest and being baptized, becomes absolved from his pollution, and is perfectly pure and holy- Having an occasion to "bathe," I tested its waters, and found them like all other clean, and pure waters, affixations in cleansing the surface of the body, but felt nothing of inward purification on that can proceed only from the waters of that fountain "that is open for Judah, and Jerusalem to wash in" [Added terms: Salt Lake City (Utah); Utah Lake (Utah); Great Salt Lake (Utah); Jordan River (Utah); Mormon] There might be some trade carried on here if people were possessed of such articles as they want- There is a great call for bacon, and every kind of food, and articles for clothing- Wheat is worth five dollars pr. bushel, Potatoes three to five dollars pr. bushel, and everything the traveler may chance to want, is correspondingly high- Flour is worth twenty dollars pr. barrel- Coffee is twenty five cents pr. pound- Sugar thirty seven to fifty cents, pr. pound- and butter, and cheese twenty five cents, pr. pound- But these prices cannot long be sustained- as soon as the emigration is over, there will be no market for their products at these prices, as the people are too poor to pay them- The priests teach the people, they believe the doctrine) that when the "Temple" is built, the people will become holy, times will be better, rain will full from the clouds upon their land, so that they will not have to work so hard to irrigate their land- all this and much more will be done when their priests can offer their sacrifices in the "Temple-" Their houses are small, yet many of them look quite comfortable- The contentment of the people indicates much comfort; at least to us who have not seen the habitations of civilization for three months.- They are under a leader by the name of " Young "- he is said to be a shrewd man. and much given to licentiousness’ - He has great influence with his people, and is considered by them, second only to " Jo- " Smith , their prophet- [Added terms: Young, Brigham, 1801-1877; Smith, Joseph, 1805-1844] August 10, 1849 Friday August 10th Left the city at half past three P.M., and traveled six miles and encamped where there was plenty of grass, and good water- Two miles from the City, we passed several hot springs; so hot was the water that flowed from them as they gushed from the mountain, that the hand could not remain in it more than two seconds without blistering- meat would cook in half an hour- The water of these springs, is the purest to look at that I ever saw- the smell is very disagreeable, and the hot vapor that rises about the location is disagreeable- It is supposed that the heat of these waters is caused by their passing over large deposits of Iron, and Sulfur mixed together in the mountains, and other localities where they are found- Our road is level and good, and presents to a great contrast to the rough and mountainous trail that we have traveled for the last few days- [Added terms: Salt Lake City (Utah)] August 11, 1849 Saturday August 11th Our road lies along at the foot of the range of mountains that skirt the valley of the great Salt Lake ; the mountains on our right, and the Lake on our left, as we travel nearly in a north course direction- The country between the mountains and the Lake, is level, and varies from two, to six miles in width- The shores of the Lake are covered with a white incrustation of salt; so also on the pools, and sloughs, that are found along the valley- The Mormons have some fine farms along this [Added terms: Mormons--religious life; Women; Great Salt Lake Valley (Utah); Great Salt Lake (Utah)] road, and their crops look well- Concerning these Mormons , I find that there is much that is openly practiced here, that was denied by them when accused of it when in the States - here they are acknowledged to be a part of their rules, and in accordance with their faith! Polygamy is here practiced and tolerated by Law! the same was practiced by some in the States, but they denied that it was tolerated by their rules, or sanctioned by their faith- They openly avow it here, and say the only reason they denied it in the States, was that the Laws were against it - A man of our train by the name of "Kane " from Michigan , has an acquaintance here from Jackson, Mich. by the name of Bartholomew , who is now a Mormon Bishop ! he stopped with him over night, and ascertained that he had two wives; one he was married to in Mich, had lived with her many years, and had raised a family of children- the other he had married about a year since, and has one child- The fact was acknowledged by Bartholomew, and a full [Added terms: United States; Jackson (Mich.)] statement made concerning the process, and the requirements of the parties- Thus we see, that to acc- - use them of this, as well as other immoralities, is no longer a slander- Judging by their religious principles- by what I have seen, and heard of them in my hasty journey through their settlement, I have formed a very unfavorable opinion of them; and look forward to the day when God will visit them in wrath, and chastise them for their iniquity- Our distance today is sixteen miles- August 12, 1849 Sunday August 12th On account of poor feed we drive on today; and instead of the Sabbath being a day of rest to us, we have to engage in the labors of the journey- and the eternal " whow " " haw " " gee " " come along " is again ringing in sounds that have long since ceased to be musical to my ears- Our course is still nearly north along the plain that lies between the Lake and the mountains- The road is rather sandy, and hard to be traveled- Drove to "Webers" river and encamped for the night-. Distance eighteen miles- [Added terms: Religious life; Great Salt Lake (Utah); Weber River (Utah)] August 13, 1849 Monday August 13th Grass being good, we remain in camp today for the benefit of our cattle- I have been unwell for two days passed, and although I am better, am still confined to camp August 14, 1849 Tuesday August 14th Left camp at seven o'clock A.M. and after traveling eighteen miles, encamped on the flat near a spring, where grass is good, and feed sufficient for our purposes- Our course is still the same, and will continue so until we reach Bear river - The country presents much the same appearance as for days back - the Lake on our left, and gigantic mountains on our right constantly present themselves- These mountains present a grand appearance, varying in their outlines; some rising only a few hundred feet high, and others several thousands- presenting here a smooth surface, while in an other place the most ragged and irregular peaks and projections fantastically arranged present themselves, that I ever beheld- From the ravines, and foot of these mountains, flow the most beautiful streams, and springs of pure cold water that I ever saw- their waters are very grateful to the thirsty traveler- We passed today some hot springs- their waters were impregnated with Iron, and salt; leaving a saline in incrustation around the edges of the basin that they formed as they flow to the level ground- There is little or no game in this valley, and indeed with the exceptions of some few places it has been scarce during the whole of our journey thus far- [Added terms: Food; Bear River (Utah-Idaho); Great Salt Lake (Utah)] August 15, 1849 Wednesday August 15th Today the mountains that still continue on our right, are more even on their sides, and have less of wildness in their general appearance- Much of the rock is of a lead color; occasionally streaks of red and black colored stone are mixed with these rock, making the appearance of the mountains very beautiful- We passed "Clear" creek , (a beautiful stream) and drove on to Bear river , and encamped two miles below the ford- Distance twenty miles- [Added terms: Clear Creek Canyon (Utah); Bear River (Utah-Idaho)] August 16, 1849 Thursday August 16th Today having to ford Bear river, and "Molar" creek , (the latter a bad stream to ford) our progress had been slow- It is a singular phenomenon that so many streams put into this valley, and none of them reach the Lake - Bear river is a fine bold stream, twenty rods in width, and from three to four feet deep; yet this stream like all the rest sinks in the sand long before it reaches the Lake - The water flowing into the valley is fresh, clear, and pure; and with the exception of the hot springs, is of the most palatable quality - Yet the water of the Lake is salt; also the waters of the springs that break out in the valley- From Bear rive we strike off in a north west direction, across the north end of the valley, and passing some warm springs, cross a low range of mountains through a succession of ravines, towards the valley at the head of the western portion of salt lake, and encamped without water for our cattle- Distance twenty miles- [Added terms: Molar creek; Great Salt Lake (Utah); Great Salt Lake Valley (Utah); Bear River (Utah-Idaho)] August 17, 1849 Friday August 17th at half past six this morning there is a gentle rain falling; it is the first that we have had since we were at Scotts bluff , (with the exception of a small shower that we had east of the South pass in the Rocky mountains )- The great length of the drought, and greater strength of the Suns rays, have dried up the ground to a great debt, making the dust that is raised by the strong winds that constantly blow here during the day, intolerable- Our road today lies among hills that rise from one, to eight hundred feet, covered with grass to their tops, without any timber, and but little rock - the valleys also are covered with a rich burthen of grass, which being ripe is of a rich golden color, giving the country a hue, that connected with its symmetrical form, renders the prospect beautiful in the extreme- The road is good, but we find no water- In all the vast region of country that we behold as we journey along, there is not one tree to be seen - The artemecia is the only shrub that is found, and this found in quantities for fuel - only The hills and mountains present a strong contrast with those that we saw east of the Salt lake , in consequence of there being no rock to be seen on the former, while the latter was almost all rock- We found it necessary to travel until dark to find water- The want of water for the last two days, has been very severe on our cattle- three have been left behind, (one was mine) not being able to travel further- Distance 23 mile- [Added terms: Great Salt Lake (Utah ; Scotts Bluff National Monument (Neb.); South Pass (Wyo.)] August 18, 1849 Saturday August 18th The appearance of the country is again changed- The valley are larger, and in many instances form quite large plains- are destitute of grass, and all kinds of vegetation, except the eternal Artemisia;- this shrub grows from one, to six feet high; it has a few small leaves that resemble sage leaves, and are about the same size- it grows very scraggy, and gives the country where it is the only thing of the vegetable kin- - gloom that is seen (and there is much of it) a somber, and grayish appearance that is not at all pleasant- The mountains begin to show more rock, and barrenness- Finding grass and water good on what is called "Deep creek ," we go into camp early tonight, distance twelve miles- August 19, 1849 Sunday August 19th Today we remain in camp; but to spend the Sabbath in camp on a journey to California , is not "remembering the Sabbath day to keep it holy"- In many instances work presents itself and claims that it must be done- and in too many instances a total disregard for the Sabbath is manifested by most men in their indulging in sports, and recreations that are forbid on the Lords day, and should never be practiced by intelligent men- [Added terms: Religious life] The health of the train is good, and we are making progress on our journey- August 20, 1849 Monday August 20th Our journey lies across a level plain at the head of the western division of the Salt lake , distant from the road about thirty five miles- The country over which we have traveled today is very un prepossing- There is not a vestige of vegetation except the hateful "Sage-" the mountains refuse to look pleasant- There is of course no grass, and but little water- Our camp tonight is on the side of a mountain near a small spring, and where there is some grass- Distance twenty miles- We have witnessed the phenomena of "whirlwinds," today to quite an extent - In some instances the wind whirled the sand, and dust in a pyramidal form several thousand feet high- while here and there was seen standing over the plain pyramids of less dimensions- [Added terms: Great Salt Lake (Utah)] These winds occur in calm weather, and are the precursors of more ruff, and boisterous weather- I saw a beautiful display of them east of the Rocky mountains - August 21, 1849 Tuesday August 21st Left camp at seven o'clock, and past along at the foot of a mountain that rose on our left, on which snow was lying at, and near the top- The "mania" of "lightning up" that raged to some extent east of the Rocky mountains, is again breaking out among the emigrants, as indicated by the abandoned wagons, and great variety of valuables that are scattered along the road, and at the camping places- Some are packing on horses, some on mules and oxen, and some are packing themselves, all no doubt expecting to better their condition; but of this , they will be better judges, if they are so fortunate as to get to California - The plains are arid, and destitute of vegetation, and the mountains are quite uncouth in their appearance- in fact there is but little in the prospect that is lovely, and less that is cheering, except the fact that we are making some progress towards the place of our destination- Our camp is on a small creek that runs from the mountains on our left, and there is some grass in the vicinity, but not enough to do our cattle much good- [Added terms: Discipline] There are a great many teams on the road in this vicinity- Blodgett s men that he was taking to California from Milwaukie , have left him- having stole some ten, or twelve of his horses- He has overtook them and succeeded in getting his horses, and is on his way back to the Mormon city where the balance of his teams are, and where he expects to winter- thus postponing his "golden" operations until some future time- The inducement to break from the bonds of a contract here in this isolated region, where there is no law except the law of force, (and this usually abounds with those that have but little, or no moral principle) is very great; and unless a man possesses innate moral principle to some extent, it is extremely doubtful if he will carry- out the principles of moral honesty in the fulfillment of his contracts- Distance eighteen miles- [Added terms: Milwaukee (Wis.); Salt Lake City (Utah)] August 22, 1849 Wednesday August 22d Four miles brings us to "Caoo" Creek (lime creek ) up which we traveled ten miles and encamped, there being no grass for the next seventeen miles- Distance fourteen mi les We leave the mountains along whose base we have traveled for the last two days, and crossing a narrow plain, travel along the base of the "Caoo" mountains , which mountains extend to the Humboldt range - The plains continue barren, yielding nothing but the wild Sage, (artemicia) and a small bush called "greece-wood"- The mountains seem to have fell, or huddled together in great confusion, still, notwithstanding their irregularities, there is something that is beautiful in their appearance- These mountains are not as high as most of the mountains in this region, yet the numerous clusters and peaks that are fantastically arrayed, some perched on the top or ridge of the mountain, or springing from their sides, the whole a perfect barren, consisting almost entirely of rock, and this rock presenting many different colors, presents a prospect destitute of symmetry, but abounding in beauty- Towards the latter part of our journey today the country presents some fertilizing qualities- grass is seen in places on the sides of the mountains- [Added terms: Greasewood, Ruby Mountains (Nev.)] A deep gloom hangs over my mind when I contemplate this vast country- Although mountainous as a general thing, yet there is sufficient plain land for cultivation, and the mountains would be admirably fitted for grazing, but the want of rain in the summer season is the reason that no vegetation is found here, and for the same reason it can never grow here- consequently the country will never be settled, as a population could not subsist- There are but few Indians in all this region; in deed they could not subsist, as there is but little or no game this side of the Rocky mountains , nor fish to be found in the streams- The last eight hundred miles of our journey presents but a poor field for Botanical investigation, as the variety of plants are quite limited, and owing to the dry weather, the specimens are inferior- But there is much that will interest the Mineralogist, in the variety of minerals that are found among the mountains, many of them no doubt will be considered valuable when their properties are known- [Added terms: Indians of North America; Rocky Mountains] August 23, 1849 Thursday August 23d Left camp at eight o'clock, and leavening the creek, passed to the right through a gorge in the mountain, and came out on the "old trail" or Fort Hall road near Steeple rocks , where we made our noon halt- These rocks present a singular appearance-rising from the base of the mountain in a pyramidal form to the height of fifty, and one hundred feet; presenting the appearance (with the exception of superior height) of a Hottontot village. The mountains that show themselves today, look grand, and beautiful- ascending the mountain through a high gorge, and when at the summit we found spread out before us the most beautiful mountain scenery that I have seen on the road- Our elevation is very high, so that the mountains that lie before us on the opposite side of the valley, (through which " Goose creek " finds its way) seem to increase in magnitude as they rise one above another, in the succession of their ranges Our distance today is fifteen miles- [Added terms: City of Rocks National Reserve (Idaho); Goose Creek (Nev.-Idaho)] August 24, 1849 Friday August 24th Left camp at eight o'clock, and passed down the mountains, some of the road is very bad, and some of the hills to go down are very steep, to Goose creek -this creek is a small stream running nearly north, and is one of the tributaries of " Columbia river "- The valley has had some grass, but it has been mostly fed off- Woodworth , and Elliott came up today, all well Distance sixteen miles- [Added terms: Goose Creek (Nev.-Idaho); Columbia River] August 25, 1849 Saturday August 25th Traveled but fourteen miles, and as there was no grass for the next sixteen miles. encamped to remain over the Sabbath on a little branch of Goose creek- The mountains along this branch possess much interest, both in their outline, and formation- They present scorious indications, and possess many valuable gems of a crystalline formation, both of a white, and yellow color- I have selected some specimens, also of the rock that constitutes these mountains, which is of a dark brown color, is quite porous, and shows the marks of volcanic influence- [Added terms: Religious life] There is so much that is of interest among these mountains that is lost, (except to the scientific traveler,) that one destitute of scientific knowledge can only behold, admire, and pass on- August 26, 1849 Sunday August 26th Remained in camp today- Grass for our cattle is very scarce, and it is with difficulty that enough can be found to sustained them, as the valley here is very narrow, and the grass that has grown here has been fed off by the emigration that has preceded us- Our cattle are driven back among the mountains where there is some grass, and by keeping men with them night and day, they are enabled to do tolerable well- After coming into camp last nigh I had the good fortune to kill two very fine hares, of which I have made an excellent "pot pie," which gave us a good dinner today, to which we did ample justice, and ourselves much good - There is the greatest contrast, in the temperature of the atmosphere of the nights and days among these mountains, and indeed all through the basin where we have been, that I ever witnessed; the thermometer standing at 24° at sunrise, and at one o'clock P.M. at 85°; giving us ice, and cold toes in the morning, with a hot sun, and burnt noses during the day- [Added terms: Food] I find here some fine specimens of petrifactions; of the Sea weed, and bone, I have selected some- Our men are well and anxious to "go ahead"- August 27, 1849 Monday August 27th Owing to the fact that some of the teams are getting quite weak, and slow, and our daily distance much less than some of us feel that we are able to make, my own, and the " New York " teams have concluded to head off from the train, and travel by ourselves- Woodworth and Elliott join us- I regret that circumstances compel me to leave the train, as the attachments that many of us have formed for each other, are dear, and hard to be broken off. For Capt Mock I have strong feelings of attachment- he is an educated man; is sensible, and places a high estimate on moral character; is an agreeable traveling companion; kind hearted, and gentlemanly in his deportment- Our little train consists of four wagons, thirty six oxen, three horses, and fourteen men- We left camp at half past seven o'clock in advance of the main train and passed up the creek about three miles, then leaving it to the right, crossed over a low range of mountains that separate the waters of the great basin from those of the Columbia , and passing down hot spring valley, encamped among a cluster of springs of pure cold water- The country over which we have traveled today, has no grass, neither is there sufficient for our cattle at our camp tonight- The artemecia and greasewood are the only signs of vegetation that we have seen- The mountains have less beauty of outline, and their almost barren sides make them look quite unprepossing- Distance today twenty two miles- [Added terms: New York (State) Great Basin; Columbia River] August 28, 1849 Tuesday August 28th Left quarter past six o'clock, and passing down the valley, at ten o'clock found grass and turned our cattle out where they had a good graze for two hours- The valley along our afternoon drive is unsurpassed in beauty- Broad, level, and covered with a firm sward, but the grass has been pretty much all fed off for the first ten miles, as most of the emigrants have recruited their teams when they arrived at this valley- The mountains on either side are very regular in their outline, but the bareness of their sides, detracts much from their beauty - As we proceeded, the valley grows narrower, and finding water, and plenty of grass, we encamped for the night- Distance twenty miles- August 29, 1849 Wednesday August 29th The morning is cold, thermometer at 20° and ice fourth of an inch thick on our water pails- For this latitude (41½°) the weather is very cold for the month of august- but our altitude is very high, which is the cause of the cold weather in these regions- The beauty of the valley continues, and is unsurpassed- We passed the hot springs from which the valley takes its na me These springs are singular, and present many curiosities- The water boils up from the ground, and in many places is so hot that the hand can- -not be sustained in it, and within a few feet springs boil up of the purest cold water that we have met with on our journey; the whole uniting within a few rods, form a creek of clear water six feet wide, and one foot deep, which looses itself in the sand in less than three miles- These waters are impregnated with sulfur and alkali- We leave the valley at our noon halt, and pass over the hills to the "Aloss" river , (a valley in which there is a subterraneous stream of water that comes to the top of the ground occasionally)- The road is good, and the country unchanged in its appearance- Distance twenty two miles- August 30, 1849 Thursday August 30th The weather continues cold during the night, and is very warm through the day- Thermometer at sunrise this morning was at 18° and ice one fourth of an inch thick in our water pails, and at one o'clock P.M as high as 85°- Last night I was on "picket guard" with our cattle, and found it very uncomfortable on account of the cold- Our course is along this valley which is skirted by fine broad plains and grass land, with water of first rate quality- The mountains are barren, and show no rock- they are destitute of timber; have a smooth surface, and being regular in their outline, present a fine appearance- Our camp to night is in a valley of good grass, and plenty of water- Distance twenty miles- August 31, 1849 Friday August 31st The roads are beautiful, and as we move on all hands are in good spirits- At noon we strike the " Humboldt river " near its head- the stream is small and clear as it comes from the mountains- This river runs in a south west direction, and looses itself in the sand at what is called the "sink," and is one of the largest rivers that rise and find their resting place in the western part of the great basin- Grass is good, and in great abundance- We passed the grave of a man that was stabbed in a quarrel with one of his comrades, they were from the south. Thus terminating his life in sustaining the "code of honor"- vain glory - Distance twenty two miles- [Added terms: Discipline; Death; Humboldt River (Nev.)] September 1, 1849 Saturday September 1st Comes to us cold (thermometer at sunrise 20°, but at one o'clock P.M. up to 75 ° ) We past a notice, that on the night of the twenty eighth of August, a company of four wagons had in camped on the river at this place, and had all their cattle stolen by the Indians - These Indians are quite an annoyance, and it is only by dint of perseverance in watchfulness, that the emigrants can pass thro- -ugh the country without suffering from their depredations- As yet we have not been troubled by them, probably because we keep guard over our cattle during the night- They are never seen in the daytime, and make their appearance in the night, when they find a herd of cattle that are without a guard- During the day, they lay concealed in the thick willow thickets that skirt the river , and can see the trains as they pass along, or go into camp- They seldom attempt to kill any one, unless he is found out alone; in such cases if they think it a good opportunity, they do not hesitate to kill- They are extremely mean in their appearance, and are great cowards- They belong to the "Digger" tribe- The mountains on each side of this valley are inhabited by them, and their mode of operating is to watch their opportunity, and drive off the cattle, or horses of the emigrants into these mountains, or by shooting them with arrows, so that they become lame, and have to be left, thus enabling them to accomplish their object, which is to kill and eat them- The country along each side of the valley is a sterile, barren waste; utterly destitute of vegetation- but nature seems to have employed her best Architects, and put on her smoothest finish, in the formation, and outline of the mountains- They have no regular chain or range, but rise in groups of a conical form, with spurs, and ravines on their sides, and around the base, with a smooth, and barren surface; making them contribute full their share of beauty to the prospect- We go into camp to night at the usual hour- Distance twenty miles- [Added terms: Humboldt River Valley (Nev.)] September 2, 1849 Sunday September 2d Remained in camp today that we might keep the Sabbath day in part,- find rest for ourselves and teams, and thus be better prepared to "go on our way rejoicing"- [Added terms: Religious life] September 3, 1849 Monday September 3d We started at half past six with our teams much recruited, and the men in good good spirits- Heard from Capt Mock and company thirty miles behind-so much gained in one week by coming off, and traveling alone- There was a horse stolen two nights since by Indians , thus giving us warning that we must look well to our cattle- The valley is not as beautiful, and grass is getting scarce, and of inferior quality- The mountains on our left are more connected, and present quite a range- owing to the hick smoky weather that prevails here, we cannot see all their peculiarities - [Added terms: Indian encounters; Indians of North America] We passed a splendid hot spring that breaks out near the left bank of the river , and is the largest that we have seen- The stream is broad, and deep, discharging a large quantity of water, which is impregnated with alkali- We passed through a canyon of the river, where we had to cross the river four times- These canyons are graphic, and in many places very wild indeed- The name canyon is given them by the Spaniards, and is spelled Ca but is pronounced kenyon- For the sake of clearness I have chosen, the pronunciation for the word- This, that we have passed today, is one of much beauty to behold- It is so narrow in many places that the river occupies the entire space between the banks in which we have to take the bed of the river for our road- The banks rise nearly in perpendicular line to the height of three, and four hundred feet, and are entirely of sold, and fractured rock- In many places as we passed along this mighty mass seemed to hang over our heads, and threaten to overwhelm us with its ponderous weight- The country in all instances that I have found, is such as to compel us to go through them, as the roughness of the mountains will not admit of a passage round- [Added terms: Humboldt River Valley (Nev.); Humboldt River (Nev.)] The valley is so narrow, and destitute of grass, that it is extremely difficult to find sufficient for our cattle- We drove until nine o'clock this evening before we found grass, at which time we encamped- Distance twenty six miles- [Added terms: Humboldt River Valley (Nev.)] September 4, 1849 Tuesday September 4th We left the river near its junction with "Alerties" fork and turning to the right passed up the mountains to avoid a long bend of the river- There was some heavy hills, but the road was pretty good so that we ascended without much difficulty- After arriving at the top, we descended through a deep ravine, in which we found water and tolerable grass, when we encamped for the night- Distance sixteen miles- Today we met quite a large train returning to Mormon city from California ; we gathered what information we could from them concerning the road, feed, water &c.- [Added terms: Humboldt River (Nev.); Salt Lake City (Utah)] September 5, 1849 Wednesday September 5th Leaving our camp in the mountains, we passed down through a deep kenyon, reached the river about one o'clock; we then traveled down the same and encamped- Distance eighteen miles- We find but little grass at our camp tonight, for the country at this time is entirely destitute of vegetation, except the wild Sage-The grass that grew in spots has been fed off, making it difficult for us to sustain our cattle, and giving the country a gloomy appearance indeed- Add to this the excessive beat of the sun that is shed down upon us through a dense cloud of dust that constantly rises here, and we have but little that is pleasant, or comfortable- In many places where we cross these "Sage plains," as they are called, the road is from one, to three feet deep, looking very much like a small Canal- The soil is a light dry ashy substance; the wagons as they pass grind up the surface, and the strong winds that blow, take out the lose dirt, and thus the ditch is formed- I killed two very fine Ducks tonight after coming into camp, and also some prairie hens- [Added terms: Food; Humboldt River (Nev.)] September 6, 1849 Thursday September 6th Our progress today has been rather slow; grass being scarce, and the weather so very warm, that our teams cannot stand hard driving, consequently our movements are rather slow- Most of the trains in this vicinity are lying by, but this is of but little consequence where feed is so poor. The valley is quite broad, but destitute of grass; indeed it is but little less than one vast sage plain- The mountains present a bold appearance, and if they were covered with grass, or timber, would look much better- Our camp tonight is in a bend of the river , where we find some tolerable grass- Distance fifteen miles- [Added terms: Humboldt River (Nev.)] September 7, 1849 Friday September 7th Thermometer at 36°. at sunrise, and at one P.M. 95°. making a great difference in the weather since we entered the valley - As we proceed down this river we are constantly lowering our altitude, which must account for the difference in the temperature of the atmosphere- The formation of the country however may have an influence, as the mountains are so arranged that the winds have but little effect- and as rain seldom falls here, this too may contribute its share of the result- [Added terms: Commerce; Humboldt River Valley (Nev.)] We met twelve wagons loaded with stores, and provisions, together with a large shove of fat cattle from Oregon ; they were bound for " Fort Hall ," and were supplies for the garrison stationed at that place- They report plenty of gold in California -Some of them have been there, have got enough, and are satisfied- (This is one of the rare things found in these times-) During our journey this afternoon, there is not a spear of grass to be seen, and at the river where we are encamped, there is but little - Distance seventeen miles- [Added terms: Oregon; Fort Hall (Idaho : Fort); Humboldt River (Nev.)] September 8, 1849 Saturday September 8th There is so little variety along this valley that one finds to record, that if he is governed by truth, and records only facts, (and facts are the only things that the traveler should record) to one that is has no particular interest in the formations of the country, the nature of the soil, or any of the peculiarities that go to make up any given region; a description founded on these premises will be monotonous, and uninteresting- A false impression is frequently left on the mind by reading a high colored description given by travelers, who have explored a given regions of country- hence hundreds have been disappointed when they have explored the same country- And perhaps many are induced to visit a foreign country from reading these descriptions- This is found to be the case with regard to most of the section of our country, that the traveler across the plains, and mountains, in his journey from the eastern, to the western portion of our continent, daily meets with- Hence the necessity of recording only facts, even at the expense of rendering the narrative uninteresting- The sterility, and bareness of the country still continues, and there is but little prospect of a change. We are enabled however to find grass sufficient for our cattle, and at our encampment the grass is pretty good in the bends of the river -we shall remain here over Sunday- Distance twenty miles- [Added terms: Humboldt River (Nev.)] September 9, 1849 Sunday September 9th Remained in camp today, and had but little to excite, or disturb the mind- September 10, 1849 Monday September 10th Left camp this morning with our cattle very much renovated, they having found good pasture, and enjoyed a days rest- The valley , or plain, as it really is, is very broad, being at least fifteen miles from mountain to mountain, generally level, and with the exception of a narrow strip of grass bottom and willows along the river, there is no signs of vegetation except here and there a bunch of greasewood, and wild sage- The mountains retain their bareness, yet their bold, and stately look, make them appear well, when viewed from these woebegone looking plains- The road is good, and has but little sand; but the dust is suffocating- The plains are covered with a saline, and limey incrustation, giving them a white surface as if covered with snow- In many places for quite a large section of country, this covering is so hard, that a horse in traveling over it, does not leave the print of his feet- Encamped for the night on the river , on the extreme northerly part of a bend, probably the farthest north that our course will lead us- Distance today twenty miles- [Added terms: Humboldt River Valley (Nev.)] September 11, 1849 Tuesday September 11th After making a hearty breakfast from some fat Ducks, and a fine hare that I killed last night, we left camp and passed over a spin to the right of where the river canyons through the mountain- the road is sandy, and the country barren- At noon we came to the river again, and made our noon halt opposite to hot boiling springs- The river continues its serpentine course as it struggles through a wild and broken country, having in many places quite a fertile bottom, skirted with sage plains that to me have no beauty, but taken in connection with the mountains that seem to rise, roll, and tumble on all sides, they form a part of the variety that makes the prospect in some places quite enchanting- Our camp is again on the river where grass is tolerable good- Distance sixteen miles- [Added terms: Humboldt River (Nev.)] September 12, 1849 Wednesday September 12th We were under -way at the usual hour, and turning a point of the river passed down in a westerly direction, and encamped for the night on its banks, and driving our cattle across the river found good grass- Distance eighteen miles- Grass during the most of our journey today has been abundant; but we are told that for the next sixty miles, there is none at all; so we have cut some to take along, and feed to our cattle- Game is getting plenty- Ducks, Prairie Hens, Sage Hens, with Hare, Deer and Antelope are often met with-we have killed some fine Hare, and Hens today- At sundown the Sky is overcast, and the wind is blowing a perfect hurricane, and appearances indicate rain, at least they would any where else- September 13, 1849 Thursday September 13th The morning is calm, pleasant and beautiful- a little rain that fell last night makes the atmosphere very agreeable, especially to one that has not found moisture in the same for months- The first part of our journey today was deep sand, but at ten o'clock we crossed the river where we found a good road- passed a number of trains- the scurvy was among some of them- The grass is fast disappearing, and we have a poor show for our cattle tonight- Distance sixteen miles- [Added terms: Diseases; Humboldt River (Nev.)] September 14, 1849 Friday September 14th The morning is cloudy, and a drizzling rain is falling- We passed down the river bottom until our noon halt, then struck off to the right across the plains to avoid a canyon of the river- the road is sandy and extremely heavy, so that our cattle in their half fed condition have more to do than they are able- We reach the river again at sun set here we encamp for the night- Distance seventeen miles September 15, 1849 Saturday September 15th Foggy this morning; the first we have had for three months- Messrs. Eno. and Parmer stopped with us last night; they are in advance of their trains, intending to take the Cherokee rout if they find it particle- Many are taking this rout, but as no one has been through on this rout, I think it risking too much- The fate of the "Donner, and Reed" party in 1846, warn me against making experiments by way of finding new routs- I shall therefore keep the old one, let others do as they may- This rout is a new one; it strikes off to the right from Humboldt river , and proceeds nearly in a north direction- It crosses the "Sierra Nevada" mountains much farther north than either of the other two- It is though by many to be nearer, hence the desire to take it; but from the map of the country, I cannot make out that it is as near by some hundreds of miles- I hear that there are some individuals residing on the west side of the mountains, that are extremely anxious to have this road taken by the emigration, as they are prepared to reap a benefit from the necessities of the unfortunate emigrant- But I have seen enough of the philanthropy of strangers, to warn me against a necessity that throws me in their power- We passed down the river to where this new road turns off, and made our noon halt- From the appearance of the road, and the multitude of notices that are at the junction of the road for friends that are behind, there has a great amount of the recent emigration taken this rout- As we travel on this afternoon, we have to road more quiet than usual; still the absence of vegetation, and the sandy appearance of the country, renders our journey quite gloomy- We are encamped on the river tonight where there is no feed for our cattle, but we have hay with us, so they will not suffer- Distance seventeen miles- [Added terms: Commerce; Cherokee Trail; Donner Party; Humboldt River (Nev.); Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)Cherokee Trail] September 16, 1849 Sunday September 16th There being nothing for our cattle, we are obligated to travel today- The road runs through a barren desert; that has nothing for our teams but hard work- At night we struck down a ravine to the river where we encamped for the night without anything for our cattle but a few willows- Distance six -teen miles- The river for ten miles runs through a canyon of the plains, about four hundred feet below their surface, and is skirted with high, and impassible bluffs, with only a narrow passage for the stream that is winding itself along through these obstructions to its final resting place in the sands- The mirage that often displays itself in these regions, gave us a sample of its powers this morning, by placing objects ahead that were not there, and removing those that really did exist- Mountains were removed, and gigantic mountains placed where none were found to exist- I have never seen the delusion that this freak of the atmosphere is capable of producing so splendidly exhibited as in this valley - [Added terms: Humboldt River (Nev.); Humboldt River Valley (Nev.)] September 17, 1849 Monday September 17th Our cattle fare hard and show the want of feed by their unwillingness to take hold of business- I found some petrified puffball today; some small specimens I have selected; some of them are very large, measuring twelve, and sixteen inches in diameter- are in the form of a loaf, flattened, the underside is quite smooth, but the top is open, porous, and exhibits quite a spongy appearance- The country is sterile in the extreme, affording neither grass, nor water for our cattle - I have looked upon grease-wood and sage, until I am sick of the sight; and the bald and barren heads and sides of the mountains, afford us but little satisfaction as we gaze upon them - We turned to the left, and struck the river again where we found water of course, but nothing for our cattle to eat but very poor willows- Some of the teams have began to fail, and fears are entertained that many will give out entirely before we reach grass, which is sixteen miles ahead- Distance eleven miles- [Added terms: Humboldt River (Nev.)] September 18, 1849 Tuesday September 18th We find our cattle (they are our greatest anxiety) quite renovated, and willing to take hold of business, which gives us encouragement that we shall be able to proceed on our journey without much embarrassment- The bottom over which we have traveled today has been steadily increasing in quality; and towards night some of it is the richest I have seen, being composed of a vegetable mould of three feet in depth, and if the rains that annually fall on the eastern part of our continent, were scattered over this region, it would be the most productive spot on earth- We have at length reached the great grass bottoms, where the traveler can recruit his teams, and cut hay for the desert that is ahead; which is sixty five miles without grass or water- We have not had any grass for the last seventy miles, but have been able to get water, and willows, so that our cattle have been able to per- -form their tasks tolerable well- There has been some grass in spots, but the forty thousand team -s that have passed, and grazed on these places, have cut it off entirely- We are thankful to be able to turn our teams again among good grass, and they seem to enjoy the favor- We shall remain here three days, to cut hay and give our cattle a good rest- Distance sixteen miles- September 19, 1849 Wednesday September 19th We are busying our- -selves cutting hay, cleaning camp, watching cattle, and doing such things as are found necessary to be done- We have a large number of Indians about camp today; they are a part of the " Par Utah " tribe, who inhabit the southern part of the great basin , and have been a terror, and great annoyance to the traders and travelers that have crossed the country to the Pacific Ocean by the " Santa fe rout - Those that are here are harmless, simple, and not disposed to steals, or meddle with things that do not belong to them- They are small in stature, well formed, with regular and rather handsome features, and appear quite cheerful and happy- They are like all Indians in these regions, filthy in their habits, eating the most unwholesome food, in the most disgusting manner- The most singular bearing that we have with us at the present time, is a man that is deaf and dumb! he is from Iowa , has five children in Massachusetts , and is on his way to California to get gold, and says when he gets enough, he shall go to Massachusetts and see his children- His name is Clough - he belongs to a company of ox teams that are some seventy five miles back- They did not travel fast enough for him, so he has packed, and is on foot, making his way to California in right good earnest- He writes a good hand, is well educated, and communicates altogether by means of writing on a slate that he carries with him for that purpose- He is a man of great energy of character, or he would never have engaged in his present under- -taking- as it is, I think him exceedingly presumptuous, as he may not always fall in with people that can read and write his language- He leaves us today, and as he is rather short for provisions, I have given him enough to last him one week, and wishing him well, have bid him good bye-- [Added terms: Indian encounters; Indians of North America; Paiute Indians; Santa Fe National Historic Trail; Indians of North America] September 20, 1849 Thursday September 20th Our friends the Indians are with us again this morning- While I am writing, they are cooking a Duck, and some fish- Although I don't think that I shall ever forget the process, yet I will make a short entry, that the explanation may remain, when the impression has has passed away-The Duck was taken by one of the Indians, and the outside feathers taken off; then with his fingers he tore open the fowl on the back, taking care not to detach any portion of the fowl except such pieces of bone as he could tore out with his fingers - then without washing, or taking out the entrails, laid it on some embers, scorched off the feathers and down on the outside, then turned it over and seared the inside so that the blood would not run- then placing themselves in a circle around the fire, they took the Duck, raw as it was, and eat it entrails and all ! A sight sufficient to satisfy me of the advantages of civilization over barbarism- The fish were taken, and without being cleaned at all and buried in the embers for a short time, then taken out, and heads, scales, inwards and every part eaten except the back bone- Thus much for Indian cookery- [Added terms: Indian encounters; Food; Indians of North America] September 21, 1849 Friday September 21st Today we moved down the valley eight miles, to the last place where we can get grass and water for our cattle this side of the much dreaded Desert, and encamped- Our intention was to get an early start, that we might make this short drive before the heat of the day; but there are some among us that have but little or no perseverance about them, that a quick movement, or an early start is quite out of the question- We got under way at ten o'clock, and encamped about two - Distance eight miles- The amount of grass that grows in this valley is immense- It grows very thick and tall, and extends for ten miles in length, by from two, to six miles in breadth The valley describes a half circle, while the road touches only at the two extremes- We are fast getting to the far famed sink of Humboldt river - [Added terms: Humboldt River Valley (Nev.); Humboldt River (Nev.)] September 22, 1849 Saturday September 22nd We raised our camp at half past six, and took up the line of march across the much dreaded Desert- Our cattle are in good condition, and we have put on five hundred pounds of hay to each team, so I think that we shall be able to cross without much difficulty-The country is indeed a desert , not a single plant of any description is to be seen along the rout as we pass- not even the wild sage, or greasewood, that is almost every where, is to be found here; all is one dry, and barren waste, and with the exception of here and there a sand hill, the country is entirely level, and in the spring of the year is entirely overflowed-It is covered with a white, and hard incrustation of saline and alkaline substance- Except over the sand hills the road is excellent, but as there is no water and the weather is extremely hot (thermometer at 95°) our cattle can hardly stand it- We have passed the "sink" or termination of Humboldt river ; and after having traveled along its Banks four hundred miles, and enjoyed so many refreshing draughts from its limped stream, it is not without some little emotion that we see it in its final resting place, in the midst of a Desert- It is a singular fact that so large a stream of water as "Humboldt" river, should after flowing on over a firm bed, and within high banks for four hundred miles loose itself in a bottom less than ten miles in length- This is the longest stream of water that is found in the great basin , and takes its name from "Humboldt" the great modern traveler and scientific explorer- We are more near the center or termination of the waters that flow from the various directions in the western portion of the great basin- The Humboldt rises in the eastern portion among a low range of mountains that divide the waters that flow east, and west, receiving in its course the waters that flow from the mountains that comprise the northern rim of the basin, and find their resting place in the sands, at the "sink"- The " Truckee ", and "Salmon trout" or " Carson " rivers that rise in the Sierra Nevada mountains , are not as long as the Humboldt , but like it find one common level in the sands of the Desert- And so of the waters that flow from the south, all disappear in this Desert that is less that fifty miles in diameter- The mountains that seem to have received form, and comeliness from the course, and influence of the Humboldt, look in quite a state of confusion, apparently left to themselves, without any stream to govern them, they rise here and there without reference to order or beauty- Their isolated position, scattered as they are over the Desert, their wondering appearance, give them a disconsolate look, and the bareness of them, and in country around, give us a prospect to behold, that is dreary and desolate in the extreme- [Added terms: Humboldt River (Nev.); Truckee River (Calif. and Nev.); Carson River (Nev.); Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.); Humboldt River (Nev.)] September 23, 1849 Sunday September 23rd We traveled all night, and until eight o'clock this morning- Some of the cattle have given out, and we are fearful that we shall not be able to get all our wagons across- We have eighteen miles yet to go before we find water, and water is what our cattle are suffering for- The heat of the Sun is almost unendurable; and as the whole country is covered with a thick coating of a saline matter, the atmosphere is highly impregnated with salt, that makes the thirst of both man and beast intolerable- In a distance of seven miles that we traveled this morning, we passed twenty six wagons that had been abandoned by emigrants whose teams had given out- A great many cattle are lying dead beside the road, the balance of the teams having been packed and driven on- These scenes and sacrifices are among the variety that go to make up the experience of those that cross these plains, mountains, and deserts- We shall remain in camp until evening and then move on, hoping to reach "Salmon trout" river by tomorrow morning- This is the most unhappy Sabbath that I have experienced on the trip-The great anxiety that I have for my teams, and the fears that they will not be able to get through this desert, wholly disqualify me for sober reflection, or serious contemplation- [Added terms: Truckee River (Calif. and Nev.)] September 24, 1849 Monday September 24th Brings with it more fatigue and anxiety than I am accustomed to, or able to bear-We started last night at five o'clock, our cattle not tasting water for twenty four hours, were almost famished at the time of starting- Our road is the worst I ever saw- for the last twenty miles it lies over an ocean of deep heavy sand that takes the cattle and wagons in from six, to twelve inches deep; this for teams that have traveled from eighteen, to twenty four hundred miles, and for the last one hundred and forty miles, (with a few exceptions) had nothing to eat but a few willows, and for the last thirty six hours not a drop of water to drink, is a greater tax than I even laid on animals before, or hope to again- Before midnight our cattle began to give out, and at one o'clock one of my best oxen laid down and died! and in less than two hours, six more gave out, thus leaving me with but six oxen , and two wagons to haul-I therefore left the small wagon twelve miles from the river , and putting my three yoke of oxen on the large wagon, hauled it within six miles of the river, where we all left our wagons, and drove those of our cattle that could walk to the river, where they find water plenty, and grass to some extent- We reached the river about eight o'clock in [Added terms: Truckee River (Calif. and Nev.)] the morning nearly as much broken down as our cattle- All the train has suffered more, or less, one team losing three head, and others more or less- When my cattle that have been faithful to me so long, give out, and fall down and die for the want of feed and water, my feelings are much wrought up, and should be willing, almost to share their fate if it would contribute to their benefit- Travelers on so long a journey become very much attached to their animals; as they usually have great solicitude for them, they become their constant companions, and placing their whole dependence on them, it is not to be wondered at th- -at this is the case- The road for thirty miles back is literally strewed with dead cattle, and horses- and it is stated by packers, that have passed over this distance by daylight, that there has been over two hundred wagons abandoned, and over four hundred animals have died! I have been busily engaged and hard at work trying to get my cattle that gave out through to the river ; but it is so very hot, and they are so weak, that it is almost impossible to move [Added terms: Truckee River (Calif. and Nev.)] them, and indeed it is dangerous to do so while it is so excessively hot- Elliott drove one of his nearly to the river , when it laid down and died in less than an hour- I have succeeded in getting one of mine to the river at {begin inserted text}5{end inserted text} o'clock P.M., and shall leave the rest until night- [Added terms: Truckee River (Calif. and Nev.)] September 25, 1849 Tuesday September 25th Worked hard all night and succeeded in getting my cattle all to the river, but there is three of them that I fear will never do anymore work-Tonight I shall take those of my teams that I can depend upon, and commence getting my wagons in- I am nearly exhausted, not having had any rest for the last three days and nights; anxiety seems to keep up a kind of excitement in my mind, or I should give out entirely- Some trains have been as long as seven days getting their wagons in after leaving them back only eight, and ten miles- The cattle have to be recruited before they can be worked at all, and then recruited again before they can start on their journey- With the exception of some few places that are found in the first forty miles, it is said that grass and water will be found sufficiently abundant for all necessary wants from here to the mountains- There are large numbers of people arriving at the Desert; their experience is much the same, and corresponds with ours; at least so far as the real difficulties of the way is concerned- many of them have suffered much more than we, but this is the result of a want of precaution- September 26, 1849 Wednesday September 26th Last night myself and men took three yokes of oxen and went back twelve miles and brought in the small wagon, which took us until after sunrise this morning- Today we have been at work on the large wagon, " cutting off, and shortening up "- also lighting the load- The wagon is six miles back, and we shall go for it tomorrow night- We can only work our teams nights, as the days are so very hot on this Desert- September 27, 1849 Thursday September 27th We are busy about camp, packing close, and lighting off, and tonight shall go out for the large wagon- As we cannot work the teams in the day time, the work necessary to be done aside from them has to be done during the day, and we are occupied with the teams during the night thus making it extremely wearing to us- At half past six o'clock we started with three yokes of oxen for the wagon, and succeeded in getting it in at two o'clock in the morning, without much difficulty- The "Pioneer" train of fourteen wagons, and one hundred and fifty mules came up with our large wagon on the Desert, and left their wagons, and with much difficulty succeeded in getting the most of their animals to the river -This train started from " St. Louis " the first of June - It is owned by Messrs. Allen , and Low - They have thirty passengers that they take through for two hundred Dollars pr. man- among them are many very respectable men whose acquaintance I have made- There are trains coming in all the time, and this place looks the most of a Town of anything I have seen in a long time- All are busily engaged preparing either to bring in their wagons, light off their loads, that they may more easily get along when they get ready for a start- Others are leaving their wagons, and some are packing their oxen, and some a packing them- -selves and pressing on, expect to be in California in eight, or ten days- Many are here with their families-This portion of this strange population are extremely unfortunate in this respect; for their wives and children must go on whether their teams are able or not- [Added terms: Truckee River (Calif. and Nev.); Saint Louis (Mo.)] Although there has not been a day since I left home that I did not wish to be with my family, yet if there is any one thing that I feel thankful for, it is that they are not with me at this time- Provisions are getting scarce with many trains that threw away a great part of them in the first part of the journey, expecting to be able to get through long before they will Many accidents have recently occurred on the road; One little child fell from a wagon, and had its leg, and collar bone broken- The Indians too are doing some mischief by stealing, and killing cattle-They have killed one man-He was found dead a short distance from the road with many arrows still sticking in him- We are on "Carson" river ; it is a lively mountain stream of pure water, about sixty feet wide, with banks twelve, to eighteen feet high, which are filled with water during the rainy season-at this time however the water is not more one, to three feet deep- It takes its name from " Kit Carson " the celebrated mountaineer- Our road runs up this river , but how far I do not know, as I have no guide of this part of the rout- This river sinks in the sand on this side of the Desart, about ten miles from where we now are, in a south east direction- It is pleasant again to have plenty of good water to use, but the prospect around is still gloomy- being on the borders of the Desert, vegetation does not yet seem to get hold- A few greasewood and sage bushes, are all that is seen except along the river; and here there is but little besides willow- There is some grass in spots among them, but the great amount of cattle that have to graze here have eat it pretty much off, so that our cattle have to depend more on willows than anything else- Our cattle have to be drove three miles down the river to graze, and men kept with them day and night to prevent the Indians from stealing them- [Added terms: Carson River (Nev.); Indians of North America ; Carson River (Nev.); Carson, Kit, 1809-1868]] September 28, 1849 Friday September 28th Having got my wagons to the river, we are making preparations to move on this evening- We shall leave the small wagon, and what of its load is not necessary to have along- I have cut off the large wagon four feet, and six inches, and lightened the load, hoping to be able to go on without much difficulty- It is said that we are about two hundred miles from our place of destination, and if we have no more bad luck, and can find feed for our cattle, I expect to get through in fifteen, or twenty days- The distance we have traveled since we have noted distance, is fifty five miles- At six o'clock P.M. we have all things ready, and are in motion again- I have been well during this struggle, but am nearly worn out with hard labor, and want of rest-I have gone ahead, and taken more upon myself than I have required of any two of my men- Two more of my oxen are dead, and of what remains there are some that cannot do much work and it is probable that they too will have to remain back-I have three yokes however that I can depend upon-Elliott has lost two oxen, and one horse, leaving him with rather a slim team to depend upon- When the trains get to the river , their teams are not all alike able to proceed- some have to recruit longer then others, and when a team gets ready they usually start on; thus breaking up the trains that have traveled together through the summer - My own and Elliott s wagon is all that leave at this time- The road is very good, but we find no grass-At eleven o’clock we go into camp, watering our cattle and turning them among the willow to browse; we roll ourselves in our buffalo robes and blankets, and lay down to rest- Distance twelve miles- [Added terms: Carson River (Nev.)] September 29, 1849 Saturday September 29th We arose at sun-rise and hitching on our teams, drove up the river six miles where we found some grass in a bend of the river about a mile from the road; and turning out our teams for the day, after snatching a hasty breakfast have scattered ourselves here and there where ever we could find a shade, to get some rest- The river is skirted with large "Cotton wood" trees, being the first trees that we have seen (except the willow) for the last six hundred miles-There is not a tree on the Humboldt , except the willow bush -There has been another man found dead, stuck full of arrows- These Indians are bad fellows; they go in bands of not more than three, and these are scattered, so that there is seldom more than one in a place, and he is always concealed waiting the approach of some one near unarmed, when they shoot him through before he is aware that an enemy is in the vicinity-They are a good shot with the "bow and arrow", and are pretty sure of their aim at a distance of forty yards- They belong to the "digger" tribe, but as they have thus far kept themselves from my sight, I cannot describe them here- I have requested my men not to leave the train without their arms- Our rifles are in good order, and altho we are not predisposed to killing Indians , yet, for them , "prudence is the better part of valor"- [Added terms: Carson River (Nev.); Humboldt River (Nev.); Indians of North America] September 30, 1849 Sunday September 30th We are again on the road, and expect to find some feed farther up the river - As we have but one team to drive, I have more opportunity to range among the mountains I have crossed over some today that would look quite respectable if they only had a show of vegetation; but eternal bareness seems to have fallen upon this vast region of country- We met a company of "packers" returning to the " Mormon city " from California - They report that it is two hundred and fifty miles to " Sutters Fort " from here; that this is the best, and shortest rout, and that it is one hundred miles to the mountains- We find good grass up the river where we have encamp quite late at night, having traveled nineteen miles, and laid by half of the day- We have had some heavy sand during the latter part of our journey today; but as it was made in the evening, our cattle stood it very well- [Added terms: Carson River (Nev.); Salt Lake City (Utah); Sutter's Fort (Sacramento, Calif.)] October 1, 1849 Monday October 1st The day dawns under prosperous circumstances to us - We are beyond the heavy sand, our teams are still competent for business, and if the road to the gold mines is no stretched out too far, we expect to get there before long-We find it prudent to give our cattle all the chance that time , and our circumstances will allow, so we have stopped at two o'clock P.M. where we find the best of grass, and shall remain until morning- Distance ten miles- October 2, 1849 Tuesday October 2nd The morning is cold, but during the day the weather is comfortably warm- " Dime ," another of my faithful oxen that gave out on the Desert, but who has been able to follow the wagon thus far, refuses to go any farther this morning- The grass being good, and water plenty I have left him, and hope that no one will trouble him, or drive him on the road again, if should get able to travel- Thus four of my oxen hae have gone since we came to the Desert- and of those that remain, there are some that probably will not be able to go far- We were overtaken today by a "pack" train from the south that started to go the " Fort Smith" rout ,- They, as well as all that have started on that trail, found that it was utterly impossible to get through, have come north to the Santefee rout , and finding this also impractable, have been obligated to come still farther north to this road, as the only one on which the emigrant can pass the great chains of mountains that are found in the way- We have seen many men that have attempted to go that rout from the northern states, who have not found their mistake until it was to late to retrace their steps until without considerable less, and hardship- People have been induced to take these routs by reading the numerous letters that have been written, and published by men who own property there, and in various ways are interested, and wish to attract as much of the business of the country as possible that way, that they may reap some benefit ! "Thus mans inhumanity to man ," has caused hundreds here to mourn - Messrs. Southerland , and Harasthy , with their families from Madison, Wis- have gone the Santa fe route - From the information that I can gather concerning that rout, it is utterly impossible for them to get through- I have not heard from them since they left " St Joseph ," therefore know nothing of them- The mountains that we are among are spurs from the Sierra Nevada , and belong to that range- They begin to show some vegetation- a few grass patches are seen on their sides, and here, and there is seen a small "Cedar"- After traveling twelve miles, we go into camp early, that the cattle may have time to feed, and rest- [Added terms: Madison (Wis.); Santa Fe National Historic Trail; Saint Joseph (Mo.); Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)] October 3, 1849 Wednesday October 3rd Our road today has been across the hills to cut off a bend of the river - much of it has been up hill, heavy, and sandy- Nothing of note has occurred today, except that night brings us through the hills, and small mountains that have for a long time raised their bald heads to obstruct our view of the more noble , and grand , the lower range of the Sierra Nevada- Distance today fifteen miles- [Added terms: Carson River (Nev.)] October 4, 1849 Thursday October 4th Today we are traveling in a south west direction, with the lower range of the the Sierra Nevada mountains close on our right- This range affords us a pleasant , a beautiful prospect- Its beautiful outline - its regular, and unbroken range,- its symmetry of form - its high and lofty bearing, together with its heavy timbered sides, give it an infinite preference over the "hilter" "skilter" formations, and barren prominences, that pass for mountains , that we have gazed upon most of the way for the last six hundred miles- This range is timbered with pine, of large size, and are very tall- Distance sixteen miles- [Added terms: Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)] October 5, 1849 Friday October 5th We are again cautioned to look well to our cattle, by a notice, that quite a number of cattle have recently been shot with arrows by the Indians - The valley is wide and abounds with grass-The road is good, and we are getting along finely-I have killed some fine Ducks that came in my way from among the multitude of Ducks and Geese that we find along the valley today - Distance fourteen miles- [Added terms: Indian encounters; Food; Indians of North America] October 6, 1849 Saturday October 6th Our course for six miles lies along this beautiful valley, then turning to the right we pass the first, or lowest range of the Sierra Nevada Mountains through a gorge, called " pass canyon ," or " pass creek canyon -" The road (or rather where we go) is along a mad , and rushing stream , that leaps and tumbles among the most heterogeneous mass of rocks that I ever set eyes upon, much more attempted to drive a team over- This passage is not only rough, and difficult, but extremely dangerous - In many places the mountain is steep, which with the rocks that have to be passed over, make it almost impossible to get along- The distance through this canyon is but five miles; we entered it at half past two o'clock in afternoon, and intended to get through before dark, but night has over- -taken us while we are but little more than half way through- This canyon is very narrow, and in many places the rocks on each side rise one , and two thousand feet, making it one of the most frightful looking places on earth- In some places the sides are quite sloping and are covered with gigantic pines, and fur trees- The trees are very tall, and I measured one that was twenty four feet in circumference- This is not an exception, most of them are of this size, and some are even larger- These giants of the forest are destined to grow on their appointed time, then dwindle away, and fall to the ground to decay without contributing one iota for the benefit of mankind; unless some weary emigrant should knock off some of their limbs to boil his coffee, or fry his bacon- As soon as the sun was down, it was dark in the Canyon, and farther progress is out of the question; so we have chained our cattle to some small trees by the creek; and setting ourselves down by a large fire of pine logs, find it quite comfortable- The reflection of the light from our fire upon the massive piles of rock that hang nearly over our heads, presents the most wild, yet beautiful prospect I ever beheld - It calls to mind the impressions of my earlier days after reading some wild legend of mountain life- Our distance today is ten miles- [Added terms: Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.); Pass Canyon; Pass Creek Canyon] October 7, 1849 Sunday October 7th Today we passed through the remainder of this canyon over the worst road that I ever attempted to pass-To give a description of this road is out of the question here, as it beggars all description- The dead cattle and horses, the smashed wagons that we find every few rods, are proofs that this is a dangerous pass through the mountain - We have succeeded in getting through without losing an ox, or breaking a wagon- From our camp last night we have drove four miles, and finding grass have laid up for the remainder of the day- We are now among the mountains of the great Sierra Nevada , encamped in a valley, through which runs a beautiful mountain stream, fed by numerous small rills of the purest spring water- Although we have ascended to the top of the first range of the Sierra Nevada, which is the boldest range of mountains I ever saw, yet we are surrounded by those of far greater size, and more imposing looks, their tops covered with snow, much of which no doubt has lain there for ages- From what I have already seen since ascending this mountain, I conclude that the beauty of our mountain scenery will be mostly lost; yet the graphic, and picturesque will be increased - Mountains to give a good outline, and symmetry of form should be seen at some distance- There was a snow squall last night that has whitened the sides of the mountains, so that they correspond with their tops- [Added terms: Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)] October 8, 1849 Monday October 8th The morning is cold, thermometer at 26°- Left camp at eight o'clock and striking due south, passed up the valley over a variety of road, much of it very rough - The moun- -tains are well timbered with a number of varieties of pine, Cedar, and fur trees - There are many kinds of Rock found here, but their particular names I am not acquainted with, therefore shall not attempt to describe them- There is as yet no game, or fowl to be seen in the mountains - There is some small Trout found in the streams - We came to "Reed Lake " about noon where we fed our cattle with some coarse grass that grows about the Lake, which we cut with our knives, as the ground about the Lake was miry, we durst not let our cattle lose - "Reed Lake" is a small body of water situated in a small valley among the mountains - is about one mile in length, and about sixty rods in width, and is near the foot of the dividing ridge of the mighty Sierra Nevada - After stopping one hour we started on, and in less than two hours, had a full view of the greatest obstacle that has flung its across our pathway on the journey, to with: the passage over the dividing ridge of the Sierra Nevada We found emigrants here that had been on the ground for three days, and had not yet got over- It was told us by them that it {begin inserted text}took{end inserted text} twelve yokes of oxen to haul an empty wagon up the mountain, and therefore our chance was but small, as between us both we had but six yoke, all told - This however did not frighten us at all; we doubled teams, and drove up about fifty rods to a jag in the mountain, took our cattle off and chained them to some trees, and commenced packing up our loads a distance of half a mile over the rocks (for it is not a road) to where we could haul them with the teams- The mountain where we ascended is at an angle of forty five degrees, and the passage winding round the Rocks and Trees, one of great difficulty and danger- Many a wagon has gone over the Rocks, and smashed to pieces; and numerous are the dead cattle, and horses that have fell victims to rashness, or carelessness in this much dreaded place- We continued our toilling until dark, then taking our suppers laid down to rest- But we got but little, for the constant hollowing and yelling of those that were trying to get up the mountain, kept us awake most of the time- October 9, 1849 Tuesday October 9th At daylight we resumed our task of packing our loads up the mountain, and at eight o'clock were able to commce hauling up our empty wagons, (using six yoke at a time;) and at ten o'clock had them both up, loaded, and under way- We reached Lake valley about one o'clock P.M. where we en camped for the afternoon, and night - Although we were the last that arrived at the foot of the mountains, we are the first over, and in camp- Our distance since yesterday morning is sixteen miles- I feel that the difficulties of the way are passed, and at hand - It is said that in the next ten miles, we have a high and steep mountain to pass, but that it is not rocky- Passed experience has given us confidence in our ability, therefore we borrow us trouble - The valley in which we are encamped is the only place where grass has ever grown, but at this time there is none of any account, so our cattle are doomed to fare hard- There is quite a number of teams that have arrived in the valley, so that although we are among the mountains There is much life, and stirring about in the vicinity- The weather is cloudy, and threatens a storm - [Added terms: Lake Valley (Calif. : Valley] October 10, 1849 Wednesday October 10th We awoke this morning and to our chagrin, six inches of snow is on the ground, and still snowing- The difficulties in our journey today have been enhanced by the snow that has fallen - There are a good many people in the valley , some with families, and all with weak teams; and having five miles over the highest mountain in our journey to pass, we find enough for all hands to attend to - My team was the first to roll out this morning, and it was no pleasant task to lead the way on such a journey To describe the difficulties, and dangers of this passage, would consume more time than I have to spare - We had to double teams most of the way - Some were not able to get up with less them twelve yokes of oxen - Some have smashed their wagons, and others have killed some of their cattle- One wagon was overset with a family of children in it, but fortunately none of them were hurt - Elliott and I joined teams, and succeeded in getting our wagons to the summit at four o'clock in the afternoon - Thus we found our- -selves on the top of the highest ridge of the great Sierra Nevada , with eight inches of snow under our feet - a piercing wind in our faces - and the thermometer down to 15°, and almost as great difficulties to encounter in descending, as in ascending the mountain - However we started on, for to remain here is out of the question - There is of course nothing for our cattle to eat, and there is nothing to make a fire to warm ourselves - On account of the weather being thick, and stor-my, the prospect, that under other circumstances would have been magnificently grand, was much cut off, and obscured - yet, occasionally the clouds would break away, or the storm cease for a short time, which would give us a view of the mountains that cluster around this highest ridge of the Sierra Nevada - Many of them were of the largest class, yet as we ascended higher, and higher we could look down among them and trace them in their "zigzag" course as they wound around among the prominent mountains of this range- Our journey for most part of the day, has been among the clouds - A circumstance that can be recorded in the experience of but few individuals Most of the emigration crossed earlier in the season, while the weather was good, and clear; consequently there were no clouds hanging about the mountains - So as an offset for the loss of a more extended prospect as we ascend the mountain, we have this rare item of experience- There is very large deposits of snow in some of the cavities of the mountain that have been accumulating for a long time; yet as a general thing I should judge that for a short time at least, the surface of the country in general was destitute of snow in the summertime - This snowstorm is undoubtedly the first this season; and although every thing looks like confirmed winter, still I think that there will be a good time yet, to cross the mountains - at least I hope so for there are a great many back that must perish, if it is not so- This ridge is very heavy timbered on both sides, about two thirds of the way up - the balance of the way has no timber, nor vegetation of any kind, and is constituted of rock principally; with here and there a little alluvial deposit - We rolled down the mountain about three miles, and encamped in a dense forest of Pine, Cedar, and Fur trees, where we chained up our cattle to spend another night without anything to eat, after a hard days work - This is hard fare, but it cannot be avoided, as there is no grass, nor anything on which they can browse - The night is cold and stormy, but we have got some old pine logs together and set them on fire, so that we are enabled to keep ourselves comfortable - I feel much anxiety for those that are back on the other side of the mountain, and also for any that may be on the summit- [Added terms: Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)] October 11, 1849 Thursday October 11th I awoke this morning and found that it had been snowing more, or less, through the night - After we had taken our breakfast, we hitched our teams to the wagons and drove down the mountains about five miles to a place called "Rock" valley , where we found a few willows - We turned our cattle out to browse, while we made our noon halt - We have descended so far , that the weather is getting quite mild - (thermometer stands at 40°,) and the snow is melting fast - I learn that Doctor B.B. Brown of St Louis who is back of us on the mountain with his family, had four of his oxen, and one of his horses die after they had gained the top of the mountain last night, on account of the severity of the weather - and that others had suffered more or less from the same cause - We resumed our journey at one o'clock, and at four, finding some grass on the side of the mountain encamped for the night- From some of the localities of our journey today, we have had advantageous views of most splendid scenery - As we look down from our lofty situation upon the country below, mountain seems to roll against mountain in great confusion, and their appearance indicates that there has been a "pitched battle" of mountains, where all but the old Sierra Nevada have suffered one tremendous crash- The rock formed among the mountains on this side of the ridge, is various; Granite, Slate, Quartz and Conglomerate mixed with Iron, are the most common - Many of them show curious indications- Our distance since the last notice, is eighteen miles- - Since we have got fairly out of the great basin , it is quite natural for the mind to wander back among its hills, and waters, for which one feels a sort of attachment after traveling so long among them - This basin is certainly one of the wonderful curiosities that are found on our continent - It is over two thousand miles in circumference, with its own system of mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers - It appears to be a kind of inland continent, capable of carrying on its own affairs independent of the balance of the globe - There is no streams of water flowing into it from without its outer rim; all its waters, rise, and disappear within its own province; thus in this respect, apparently asking no favors, and conferring none- [Added terms: Mormons--religious life; Indian encounters; Food; Rock Valley (Nev.); Brown, B.B.; Saint Louis (Mo) Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)] The Mormons have chosen this singular tract of country as the Fortress, from which, the influence that is to Mormonize the World is to emanate - But like Mohamed’s, its Koran can only succeed within the pale of ignorance - In my estimation, the situation of this strange people is anything but enviable - Being the dupes of designing men, and slaves to a disordered imagination, carried away by inducements held out by a system of religion based on hatred, and retaliation, and which only addresses itself to the passions without exciting the moral, and more noble of the faculties, it is evident that they must experience the difficulties of the way of transgressors, which is hard - The absurdity of their tenets as a religious sect, will forever preclude virtuous people from their communion - hence the necessity of their being made up of people of the lowest moral principle, giving full scope to their passions, under the sanction of their religion- In time, when they have ceased to make war upon the rest of mankind, and the Fountain of light, their leading propensities will prompt to rebellion, and internal strife’s, and commotions will finally work their entire destruction - As mortal bearings their destruction is also sure, unless they leave this isolated place - The climate will not permit an annal growth of agricultural products sufficient for the sustenance of a large population, and the great distance they are from the facilities of commerce, make it impossible for them to transport their sustenance from the States , or else where except at prices that they cannot sustain, by any internal resources of their own - The Indians , with the exception of the " Utah's " are of the most miserable cast, and lowest grade - They are scattered over the country in small bands, transient in their location, moving from one place to another as the stock of eatables from which they derive a scanty, and most miserable subsistence becomes extinct - They go quite naked, and subsist upon roots, and insects - They even eat Lizards , and Snakes! There is but little game in the basin , and this they have no skill, or energy to take - Their greatest exploits are to steal up to the emigrants cattle, and horses in the night, and either kill or maim them so that they are left and become food for these hateful descendants of a miserable race- There are some small fish in some of the rivers, but they are of but little account - Of the Flora of the country I cannot judge, as the season of flowers had passed away when we passed through; but judging from the nature of the soil, I should think that the varieties were not large, nor the specimens very good- The rock is like that seen every where in this great western region, various, - and generally shows serious indications - [Added terms: Indians of North America; Ute Indians; Great Basin] October 12, 1849 Friday October 12th We rolled out this morning and passed down the mountain by a small lake, then up another mountain where we found tolerable grass a short distance from the road, where we turned out our teams to remain until tomorrow - Distance four miles - The "chapperell" bush begins to be seen and also a singular shrub, that is getting quite plenty - Thus shrub branches out near the ground and grows from six, to twelve feet high, forming a clump similar to the thick top of an apple tree- it is covered with pale-green leaves of an oval form, while the body and the branches have a naked appearance, as if striped of the bark, which is very smooth, and of a chocolate color, contrasting well with the pale green of the leaves - Its name I have not yet learned - I have taken a specimen or two, as keep sakes from the old Sierra Nevada - Chemmysaw is the name - (Spainsh) [Added terms: Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)] October 13, 1849 Saturday October 13th We left camp this morning with our cattle in better condition for business, than I have seen them since we left "Carson river- Our road has been tolerable good, considering it has been getting down from one mountain to another - We find some grass in spots, thinly scattered over the sides of some of the hills, and at "Leek" springs valley , where we make our noon halt, a plenty of water - We vary our course every half mile to avoid hills, or rocks, but the general direction is about west - The scenery is beautiful; occasionally we get a view of the back bone of the Sierra in our rear, while a vast extent of country covered with mountains in splendid confusion, lies out before us. A pleasing variety is give to this eternal cluster of mountains, by the occasional protuberance of some tall peak that is peering among the clouds, and looking like some tall steeples in the midst of a great city - We have at our camp a government Officer from " Sutters Fort " with six pack mules, and sufficient men to take care of them, whose object is to see that the emigrants are supplied with provisions - They went out on the " Trucky " rout to the junction, and are returning on this - They started with a supply, and when they find emigrants that are in destitute condition they give them sufficient to last them to the settlements - This philanthropic movement is timely; and will be of inestimable value to many a weary, hungry traveler, who has been on short allowance for a long time, and perhaps destitute for days - They report that they find more people in want of provisions on this rout than on the " Trucky ", but that on that rout the teams are all broke-down, the road being so bad- They report this as being much the best rout, and that the teams are generally able to work - We were able to report ourselves competent as yet, so far as teams were concerned, and that we had a tolerable supply of provision for the balance of the journey- which report was quite rare, and accept able We left our noon halt, and passed down a high ridge, with now and then a hill to climb, or go down through a forest of the best pine timber that I ever set eyes upon before - Some of the trees were at least two hundred feet high, straight, and from forty to one hundred feet without a limb- To those like myself, that have been reared among mountains, and timber, but of a more diminutive size, these mountains , and this timber , have more than a double charm. There is no grass along through this region, and report says that we shall not find any for eighty miles - If this is actually the case, it must go hard with our cattle - We halted at sundown in a most splendid grove of timber and chained our cattle to some trees, made our camp fire beside an old pitch pine log, which burned with great brilliancy, giving the forest a wild, and beautiful appearance - Distance fourteen miles- [Added terms: Carson River (Nev.); Leek Spring Valley (Calif.); Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.); Sutter's Fort (Sacramento, Calif.); Truckee River (Calif. and Nev.)] October 14, 1849 Sunday October 14th At day-light we hitched on our teams, and drove down a ridge of the mountain to what is called "poor camp" creek , (and it is poor enough, for there is no grass) and encamped for the day - Distance five miles- Here we met a large drove of oxen going out to assist emigrants that may require assistance - They are connected to the same enterprise that those we saw farther back in the mountains belong to- This is truly a laudable undertaking, and worthy the American people- [Added terms: Poor Camp Creek (Calif.)] October 15, 1849 Monday October 15th We find our cattle rested, and in tolerable condition for business But they look the fact that they have not found much to eat - There was six wagons in camp with us; ours was the first to roll out, and commence our journey which lies over quite a mountain, in ascending which we had some steep hills to climb, and some very steep, and long ones to go down- We make our noon halt in a "sag" of the mountain, among the nut bearing pines, some of the trees are very large and tall, having trunks from six, to eight feet through at the base, and running from fifty to seventy feet without a limb The nut of these pines are about the size of a bean, they are oily, nutritious, and quite agreeable to the taste - We drove on until night, when coming to some oak timber, we halted for the night. Our cattle will browse on this kind of timber, so we cut some trees, and chained them up for the night - Distance eleven miles - Our teams have become so much reduced, that we make but little head-way- October 16, 1849 Tuesday October 16th I arose at day-break and found that two of Elliott s oxen were gone- The ropes with which they were tied were cut, so we readily concluded that the Indians had taken them. We called all hands, and as soon as it light enough to see, commenced searching for signs of Indians- We soon found the tracks of the cattle with Indians following them - We traced them about three miles into a very deep ravine between two height mountains where we found them and their lodge in a dense thicket - As we approached, the Women, and children fled, while the Indians concealed themselves in the thicket - The women and children we saw as they scampered away, but the Indians we had not discovered - Our object was to recover the cattle, and not to kill Indians, or we might have made sad havoc among their women and children - Some of the " boys " on seeing the lodge forsaken by what they supposed their only inhabitance, were eager to make an easy conquest of the deserted "wigwam," rushed very incautiously down to within a few yards of the lodge, and close to where the Indians were concealed, when they let fly a volley of arrows, one of which took effect in Elliott’s shoulder - There were no Indians to be seen, as those of the rascals that remained to fire upon us, made their escape under cover of the thicket - I thought that "prudence was the better part of valor", and that to peruse them in this thicket, of which they no doubt were very familiar, was rather presumptuous, I thought it prudent, if not best , to leave them - We found the cattle but they had killed them, and cut them partly up - so that the object of our search was found, but our intentions, (which were to get the cattle) were thwarted- We returned to camp to dress Elliott’s wound, (which is not dangerous) take our breakfast, hitch on the teams and drive on. We made our noon halt on the brow of a hill, when we fed our cattle with browes, now their only feed - As we pass along among the mountains that rise on the western dediveties of the Sierra Nevada range, we receive an agreeable impression from the immense forests that we are passing through, since we have traveled so long where the greatest luxury would be to behold a forest of trees- We are now in the gold region, and beyond all danger from snows on the mountains - The climate is warm, and the atmosphere is balmy - The other is fine, clear, and the prospect around us very beautiful- Oak timber is getting more plenty as we descend the mountain - We go into camp after traveling twelve miles- [Added terms: Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)] October 17, 1849 Wednesday October 17th After another hard days work we arrived at a place called " Pleasant Valley "- This is merely a ravine among the mountains, and in the vicinity of where gold is found - There is quite a number of people that are making their arrangements to reside here during the winter- We shall remain here a few days, look around, and perhaps spend the winter near by- Distance twelve miles- We are about seven miles from a place called " Weber ville "- it is a place where much gold has been found, and still they are finding it in considerable quantities- There is quite a large settlement at this place, I am told, and considerable trade also- [Added terms: Commerce; Pleasant Valley (Calif.) Stockton (Calif.)] October 20, 1849 Saturday October 20th I have explored this region of country considerable, and find that the miners that are at work, are doing very well, and generally intend spending the winter here- There are many here from other diggings, who report that this is the best place to winter, as it is very unhealthy in most of the other mines where operations can be carried on in the winter- During the winter, or "wet season" as it is called, there is much of the time that the mines cannot be worked, as the water is an obstruction- I have concluded to remain here during the winter, and shall make my arrangements accordingly- October 22, 1849 Monday October 22nd We have moved our camp over the mountain about one mile, where the men have gone to work digging for gold, and I start for the Sacramento City for provisions- Sacramento City is the forwarding point for this, and vast region of country lieing north of here - It is seventy miles distant- [Added terms: Sacramento (Calif.)] October 26, 1849 Friday October 26th I am under the expanding branches of one of the venerable oaks of California , near the "Cansumna" river , where I am waiting a day or two to give my cattle rest, and chance to feed- I am reduced to three yokes, and they are so poor and worn out, that it is but little that they can do, so there is nothing for them to eat, except along some river; and even here, there is nothing that cattle would eat except they were half starved - This is the worst season for cattle, it being so long since rain had fallen, that the ground, and consequently the annual vegetation is all dried up - I have just been writing to my Wife, and feel in rather gloomy mood - The impressions that California have upon my mind, are perhaps biased by this influence, for they are quite unfavorable- I see a great many people prospecting the country for gold, who report a great amount of sickness in many places, and from whom I gather some information concerning the different localities where gold is found- Some are going one way, and some another, all are eager to to find the best place, an0d thus spend much time, and when all is done are not satisfied - Those that locate, and steadily follow their business, I find are doing best - Gold is found more or less all over the country, but there are places where it is found in greater abundance, and obtained with much greater ease, and facility- these places are the most eagerly sought after, but as they are hid from the view, by a covering of earth, and often rocks; the one that searches with his pick , and shovel , usually finds the treasure, while he that is wandering here, and there has but a small "show"- Since arriving at what we call our journeys end, I shall not notice events day by day as they occur, but as I find time, and opportunities- [Added terms: Cosumnes River (Calif.)] October 29, 1849 Monday October 29th Today I am in the novel "City," " Sacramento -" This City is a novel affair sure enough- A correct, and minute description would be interesting, but I have not the time, nor a sufficient knowledge of it, and all that appertains to it, to do justice should I undertake it - As there are many practices, customs, and transactions carried on here, that require more investigation than I have had time to bestow, and as it is probable that opportunities will be given at a future time, I shall notice, at this time, but little that attracts attention- " Sacramento City " is situated on the east side of the Sacramento river , and near the entrance of what is called the "American fork -" The present number of its inhabitants, is said to be about ten thousand - It was founded about six months since, giving it an increase of population unprecedented in the history of Cities - Its inhabitants are made up of people from all parts of the world; and its dialect that of Babylon - Here is found human beings of all shapes, and of every color - Here is also found men engaged in every occupation, from the Clergyman, down to the lowest gambler- Merchants in great profusion are found here, while Mechanics, and Artisans, swarm in countless multitudes - Gamblers are the most numerous class, and do the greatest business in the City- [Added terms: Sacramento (Calif.); Sacramento River (Calif.); American River (Calif.)] To give a description that would convey a correct idea of the buildings that these people occupy, for their residences, and places for the transaction of business; would require greater descriptive faculties than I possess - The greater part of the buildings are m made of cloth, by setting posts in the ground on the top of which, is nailed a strip of board to keep them in line and also to receive the foot of the rafters- After they have ascertained the dimensions of the roof, or any other part of the building, they take the cloth (which is usually common cotton) and sew it together in pieces of the size of the places required to be covered, and tack them on to the frame -work with small nails - As soon as this is done, the building it is occupied for a gambling establishment - Butchers stall- Merchants Exchange, or some other necessary concomitant of this Mushroom City - While most of the buildings are of this description, there are many people that live, and do business in common tents, - In some places you will see a small wood building- And again you see people living within a mere enclosure of brush, while here, and there are seen houses built of mud, and "Adobe’s"- Some of the best boarding houses in the City , are onboard of vessels that that lie along the shore of the river- This heterogeneous mass of fantastical looking buildings, stowed together among trees, and brush, with- -out reference to order, symmetry, or form, present a curious spectacle- especially if we associate with it, the idea of a City- The general surface of the country on which their city stands, is level; and it is said by Californians, that it is entirely over flowed in the rainy season, the probability of which I do not doubt, as the amount of water that must pass this place on its way to the ocean, is immense- The Sacramento itself is a large river, reaching far back into the mountains-Then there is the American river , with its numerous tributaries draining a vast extent of country back as far as the dividing ridge of the Sierra Nevada - Next as tributaries on the east to the Sacramento, there is Bear river , with its host of smaller streams which swelled to might torrents during the wet season from down from the mountains an overwhelming flood of water-Next comes Feather river , leaping, and foaming, as it presses its way through the mountains and rocks, that raise their huge forms along its pathway; among which are numerous streams of less magnitude, (the quite large streams when considered by the themselves) constantly swelling the bulk of its waters until a volume is collected, that gives it the appearance of madness as it rolls on to a more quiet resting place, in the great Pacific - The there is Trinity rivers , and many more rivers of the first, and second class, draining the country north of a line due east from the city to the top of the Sierra , as far as the range of mountains that separate Oregon , from California , all constantly pouring in their angry floods to the channel of the Sacramento - These waters when thus combined form a volume that must have more vent when they arrive in the valley than is afforded within the banks of the Sacramento river - The natural consequence will be the overflowing of a large portion of the country along the banks of this noble river- Notwithstanding the obviousness of these circumstances, the inhabitants of this novel city live on as though they never expected to be disturbed in their city abode, or have to "flee to the mountains" to shun a watery grave- Building lots sell as high as fifteen thousand dollars! and even then it is a well known fact, that a good title cannot be had, as the original title is in dispute- [Added terms: Sacramento (Calif.); Sacramento River (Calif.); American River (Calif.); Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.); Bear River (Calif.); Feather River (Calif.); Pacific Ocean; Trinity River (Calif) Sacramento Valley (Calif.)] November 3, 1849 Saturday November 3d I arrived at the place the where the men are at work, with a small load of provisions- I find all hands well , and extended to greet me- The entire destitution of the country of everything on which to feed our cattle, make it anything but agreeable to try to do business on the road, and I am heartily glad once more to come to a halt- It commenced raining some the first day of this month, and has rained a little each day thus far, yet we do not think the rainy season has commenced- [Added terms: Commerce] November 10, 1849 Saturday November 10th This week has been occupied by all hands in building a "log shanty"- It has been quite rainy during the week, but rain or shine we have worked, and have completed our building, and have moved in- The rains continue so much more than I expected, that it is possible for them to continue all winter, although I am told that the rainy season does not set in until about Christmas- However I have taken council of my fears, and resolved to start for the city again for provisions the first of the week- As I have been busily engaged with my house during the week, I have not been able to look about the country, therefore I have nothing to notice- The "Boys" report that there is considerable gold in this region, and the result of their labor while I was at the City, shows to the same effect- [Added terms: Sacramento (Calif.)] December 1, 1849 Saturday December 1st Today I succeeded in getting home once more from the city with another small load of provisions, after an absence of nearly three weeks, in which I have experienced much hardship, undergone great fatigue, and have been perplexed with a constant "glorious uncertainty" that has nearly worn me out- The weather during the first part of the time that I have been gone has been raining torrents, so that to do business on the road with a team is utterly impossible- Hundreds of teams were in the city for provisions, and had to remain there until the rains ceased before any thing could be done- To keep teams in the city is very expensive, as hay is two hundred and forty dollars pr. ton, or twelve and a half cents pr. pound-I have left my cattle back from the city on a "Ranch" during this time, as I thought it very uncertain whether I should be able to haul a load home- About the twenty first of November the rains began to abate, and signs of fair weather were visible- I now began to encourage the idea that I should yet be able to get home another load of provisions, and governed myself accordingly- I went back to the Ranch and got my team, loaded up, and after one of the hardest weeks work that I ever did succeeded in getting home as above stated- My experience upon the road in California in the rainy season with a team, has give me practicable demonstration of this part of life in this country, and a dislike to the country in general as a place to do business on the road, especially in the wet season- The whole country is composed of scores, or burnt earth, so that as soon the rains fall to any extent, the entire surface of the country becomes saturated with water, and forms a mass of slush to the depth of from one, to three feet deep; so that during the continuance of rain, and for some time after it ceases, it is impossible to do business on the road, as both teams, and wagons will go down more or less - And for a long time after a rain can anything be done to advantage, for all the sags, and ravines will retain the water for a long time, making it impossible to cross them with a load- I again found the men all well, and having done pretty well considering the amount of rainy weather that we have had - When rain falls in the valley and along the lower ranges of mountains, it snows farther back on the mountains, and even as low down as where we are located it is said that snow falls some times - I shall probably remain at home during the winter- My last visit to the city has given me quite an opportunity to learn more of its peculiarities, and the habits, customs, and occupations of its inhabitants- Amidst the multitudes that are represented here, is found the heralds of Salvation warning this wicked people to avoid danger, by ceasing to do evil- The Baptists have organized a Church, and are building them a house. They have a man by the name of Cook laboring with them, but he tells me that he is obliged to resort to other means for his subsistence, and so he keeps a meat market- The Methodists also have commenced operations, and have got them up a small house for Worship, the further extent of their operations I know nothing of- The Presbyterians have preaching, and are trying to build a house- Also the Unitarians are trying to make a demonstration, but from what I have seen of this place they will have to depend upon something more potent then human agency, to be able to stay the tide of iniquity that is setting in upon this city - Men that were respectable in their deportment, chaste in their conversation, and moral in all their conduct when in the States , and under the restraints of society, and civilization, have here thrown off all restraint, lost their self respect, and have abandoned themselves to most of the vices of this far off region, such as frightful profanity, beastly drunkenness, Sabbath breaking, and cruel gambling- Extortion is so common here, that it has been stricken from the Catalogue of crimes, and therefore is nothing thought of and indeed the whole catalogue would be annihilated at once, if the standard of crime was graduated by public opinion-Profane swearing and men drinking are common practices here, therefore the mind at once comprehends the magnitude of these evils on the announcement of the fact, so that a full detail is not necessary, even if it was possible- Although these evils may be considered universal, yet there are honorable exceptions, and men are found even here that deeply feel that these things ought not to be- The practice, or more properly speaking the sin of gambling, is carried on here to a greater extent than I had supposed it possible in any community of intelligent people- I have taken some pains to become acquainted with some of their operations, and what I shall record concerning them is the result of my own observation-In my visits to these dens of iniquity I have been astonished at the pageantry, and magnitude of their operations- In the first place, the most public, and business locations, together with the best, and most elegantly finished buildings are occupied for this purpose - The rooms are fitted up in the best style, and most comfortable manner that the facilities of the country afford-In some instances a rent as high as two thousand dollars pr. month is paid for the use of a building that did not cost over two thousand dollars to build it- Bands of musicians are employed, and Women even he are found sufficiently degraded to grind out music on the hand organ, to time beat by one their own sex on the tambourine! thus brining disgrace and contempt upon themselves and sex, and prostituting talents that are capable, if not given for higher, and more noble purposes- All this is done to entrap people, and by sweet music allure them to these dens of iniquity, these earthly hells, that prostrate man from his high position when guided by love of virtue, and the dignity of a man, to the lowest depths of degradation, that of a gambler ! Hundreds, and thousands of young men have gone from the mines to this city with the result of a few weeks hard labor, have been induced to visit these places by the gaudy display of every thing that appertains to them, and lulled to ease by the silvery tones of Female voices that chant some fascinating stanza to the music of various instruments, or roused to boldness, and overwhelmed by the more soul stirring music of some high salaried Band until he becomes quite satisfied that this is one of the pleasant places on earth, and the place where he will spend the most of his time when in the City, and before he is aware he is induced to drink of the choicest liquors that can be found in the City, which are always arranged in decanters and vessels of fantastical shaps, so as to exhibit their contents in the most winning manner, and greatest advantage - As soon a as an individual is sui sufficiently under the influence of this reason dethroning monster, some one of the hellish gang of blacklegs that are attached to these sinks of iniquity watch their opportunity, and by the arts that they are master of soon induce him to try his fortune at a game - at first he wins, he again plays and wins, and so on until he becomes elated by success, he grows careless, bets high, and soon his run of luck is changed, not the result of chance , for these black hearted scoundrels understand the game, so manage it that they can win, or loose, as best suits their purpose - So that before he is aware he is minus all his hard earned money, and perhaps a debtor to the bank for what he can earn in the next six months- Thus robed of his money, he find himself destitute of means to defray his expenses at the City , or purchase the articles for which he came there, the horror of his situation stares him in the face, he is overwhelmed by a sense of his degradation, he flies to the bottle and drowns the reproving of an injured conscience, in beastly intoccication, and perhaps is violently thrust into the street by the very individuals that have robbed him, there to remain the most revolting picture of fallen man, a drunkard in the ditch , until some benevolent hand is stretched forth to raise him up, or the fumes of liquor have subsided, and he is able to rise himself- This is but a solitary picture, but it is also the fate of hundreds in this country that came here honest, sober, and virtuous men, but without that control over their appetites, and feelings, that guarantees the preservation of their character; which is essential to success in their undertakings- I was never more impressed with the importance of fixed principles in human character, than at present; and while I pray that my reason may be guided aright, I hope to be able to withstand the multitudes of temptations that surround me on every hand, and preserve my integrity by refusing to do evil, and striving to do good- [Added terms: Sacramento Valley (Calif.); Sacramento (Calif.)] January 1, 1850 Tuesday January 1st 1850 - The new year has again come round, but it brings none of those friendly greetings of friends, that have always been our lot to receive from those we hold dear, but who are now far away-With this day passes away the holy days of the season; and the only participation of their festivities in which we can indulge, is a recollection of the past, and a hope that we may soon enjoy them in future with our friends- The month of Dec. has been a stormy month in which a great amount of rain has fallen - The weather is warm, and some kinds of vegetation have started - The trees have shed their old leaves, and are preparing to put forth new ones- The birds are quite happy and musical, as they progress with their matchmaking, and seeking for nesting places- The weather is so stormy, and the ground so full of water, that mining operations are pretty much suspended for the present - Nothing of importance transpires, and nothing of interest is here to excite us, we live in the mountains, among tall timber and roaring cataracts - we have a few books, the contents of which have been pretty well investigated, which with the musings of our own thoughts occupy the time that is not required to attend to duties about the house- thus we have lived for the most part of the last month, and expect still to do so for a month to come- February 1, 1850 Friday February 1st 1850 The weather for the last month has been such as to prevent business of any kind out of doors, on account of storms and their results - Snow and rain storms alternated during the fore part of the month, the one melting the other, and since the 15th of the month the ground has been covered wi -th snow, from six inches, to three feet in depth - this however is only among the mountains, as when we had snow with us, it rained constantly in the valley below- The result of the rainy season upon Sacramento City has been precisely what I had expected, and predicted, to wit: its inundation- The vast amount of water that necessarily must collect in the multitude of tributaries of the Sacramento river , gradually increased until their banks were full, when the upper vallies became overflowed; and the accumulation of the waters ware so great that the country all along the lower vallies became overflowed at once by a roll of water that swept simultaneously over the whole face of the country- This roll, or ripple of water as it may be called, was about two feet deep, and increased to from four, to ten feet - It reached the City in the night, and spread consternation and dismay through out the entire City - All had to shift their quarters, those that had two stories to their houses (there were some few) fled to the upper story, while most of the inhabitants fled for refuge to the higher grounds in the vicinity, and on board of the vessels in the river - In the confusion of getting out of the City some lives were lost - Some that were sick, and not able to take themselves away were drowned when making the attempt, being too feeble to succeed- The inhabitants generally had supplied themselves with bouts, and thus were fortunately prepared when the waters came-It is estimated that property to the amount of over two millions worth of property has been destroyed, thus with the loss of life, and prostration of business for a time at least, these people have paid pretty dear for transgressing one of natures laws to wit: the attempt to build a place of safety on a location that must in the nature of things be inundated in the rainy season- At this time (Feb. 1st ) people are beginning to return to the City , and business will soon commence again- During the past month we have been lying still, at least so far as mining operations are concerned, and the most of our exercise has been hunting Deer ; in which we have been pretty successful, having killed sixteen- Our hunting excursions have given us ample opportunities for acquainting ourselves with the lay of the country, and also the quality, and extent of the timber among these mountains-The various kinds of pine constitute the principle variety, while the usual varieties of oak found in this region are more or less scattered over the country, but principally they are found in the vallies- The mistletoe, or what is called the mistletoe bough, is found here {begin inserted text}in{end inserted text} great abundance; and on many trees (oak) their dark green leaves contrasts well with the barren branch- -as from which they spring- This apparent transgression of natures laws, is quite a curiosity to me, as I have never seen them before- They seem to be a part of the tree on which they are found, as they grow out of a limb of the tree, the same as any other branch, yet the woody substance that they contain, as well as their leaves, and color and general appearance is concerned - They consist of a dense cluster of small vines, or branches that spring from one place on the limbs of oak trees, and hang downwards, resembling an inverted cone, or a swarm of Bees that have just emerged from the parent hive, and lit, (as they sometimes do) on the limb of a tree- Their leaves are a dark, and rich green color, and are shaped much like the leaves of the "dew plant," though' larger, and like the dew plant leaves, are thick and clumsy- These boughs when seen (as they sometimes are) thickly interspersed among the branches of one of the venerable oaks of California , present at once a novel, yet beautiful appearance- The pine timber is of superior quality, and although I have frequently expressed my admiration of the pine forests of California, yet I cannot help being moved with pleasing admiration at every new presentation of these noble specimens of forest grandeur- and the only drawback from the pleasure that they give, is the fact that most of them can never be of any use to mankind, exposing their valuable trunks in the thickets, while they sport their gay and lofty heads among the clouds, {illegible->} [-] differ materially- they are destined to no more noble purpose, than constitute a safe retreat for the savages, and wild beasts of the mountains, until the time comes when their draught on dame natures supplies has been cancelled, then fall to the ground and molder back to earth- But I must leave this theme, for I see that I am getting quite sublime concerning these mutes of creation that so emphatically talk- The weather is unusually fine, and every appearance indicates that the rainy season is over - The Birds are in their merriest mood, hopping from branch to branch, and singing as they hop- The Deer are having their own sports among the hills, while the sky and lurking wolf sets up his hideous howl as if in anger that he cannot more easily seize his prey-The valleys look green with fresh and growing grass, and all nature seems pleased at the return of spring (for this is indeed spring) The appearance of the country is that of Wis. , New York , and New England , generally at the middle of May- People in the valley are putting in their crops, and all are looking forward to rich returns from their labors-even the miner is looking for a better chance to dig, but I think it doubtful if all are able to find it- [Added terms: Wisconsin; New York (State); Sacramento Valley (Calif.) ; Commerce; Death; Food; Sacramento Valley (Calif.); Sacramento (Calif.); Sacramento River (Calif.)] February 12, 1850 Tuesday February 12th 1850 . I was at Sacramento City last week, and learned that it was very sickly, and had [Added terms: Death; Commerce; Discipline; Indian encounters; Diseases; Sacramento (Calif.)] been during the winter - The average number of deaths pr. day I am told is over twenty ! and from the location of the place, the stagnant waters that are found within its precincts, and the present squalled, and death like look of the inhabitants, I should judge that very soon this number even, would be greatly increased- The weather continues good, and vegetation seems to come forth with the intention of growing to maturity-Business all through the country is reviving, thus changing the aspect of things very much - It has not rained since the month commenced, and it is generally thought that the rains are over - this will give as miners a chance to work, but it will be a long time before the earth will again drink her fill, if this is the case - The rains do not as a general thing fall until the middle of November, or first of December; giving us nine, or ten months drought in the year- This fact must forever preclude the possibility of this country's becoming an agricultural country- Some are cultivating the lands along the valleys of the rivers, and for every thing except the small grains, they expect to irrigate In some places along the valley of the Sacramento the land is suitable for raising stock, and in many places it is extensively occupied for that purpose- Tomorrow we commence packing our "traps" to a place called " hang town "- This is a place where thousands of mines are located, and has been one of the richest diggings in the country- Its poetical name is derived from a transaction that took place in the summer of /48, in which three men were found guilty of stealing , and were hung ! During the latter part of the fall and fore part of the winter there has been some trouble between the Indians and some of the whites- The Indians were in the habit of stealing the cattle, and horses of the Whites, when they in return would muster as many as they could, go th to their villages, retake the stock if it was to be found, steal all they could find, and kill those of the Indians that they could find- A course of procedure that I do not approve of, and indeed it does not meet the views of the more peaceable portion of community- The Indians in many instances are troublesome to the Whites, but this is mainly owing to the prejudice they have in consequence of the animosity that exists between them, and the Oregon people- It is the practice of the of the Oregon "folks" to kill an Indian whenever they find one, and so with the Indian, if they catch an Oregon man, they will kill him if they can- Sometimes they mistake their man, and one that has [Added terms: Sacramento Valley (Calif.) ; Placerville (Calif.); Indians of North America] nothing to do with their difficulty, looses his life- This is a bad state of things, and aught not so to be- Government is doing nothing to protect the people in this far off Indian Country; or if they are, it amounts to the same as nothing, for when soldiers get here, instead of doing their duties as soldiers, they generally go to the mines to dig for gold, and their officers take up quarters in the Cities and Towns, there to spend their time in drinking, gambling, and carousing- Thus the enterprising pioneer to this much boasted, yet misrepresented golden center of the World, finds himself protected from the cruel depredations of a race of beings that know nothing of the blessings of civilization, nor of the happiness that is consequent upon virtuous actions; but whose life is spent in devising ways, and means that will enable them the most effectually to steal what ever they find that belongs to another, and take the lives of those they consider their enemies; and these are the whites indiscriminately- Thus situated, the miners have to resort to their own means of defense, and protect themselves as best they can- The diggings in the lower parts of the mountains where Indians have been driven back; are pretty much exhausted, so that to succeed at all in finding gold, the miner has to force his way back higher in the mountains, where these drinkers of human blood have seemed themselves in natures fortresses among the rocks, there to seize every opportunity to murder those that are forced to prospect new regions of country for gold - Many a miner has taken his shovel, pick, and pan, and gone out among the mountains in search of "better diggings," who has never returned; and whose fate was not known until his body was found pierced with arrows, or perhaps some lucky chance would enable his friends to find some article of clothing, or identify some limb that had been severed from the body, thus leaving the painful reflection on the mind that he had not only been murdered, but that his body had been eaten by these murderous cannibals- x Gold digging in California is attended with great uncertainty - In the first place there is but few places that gold is found in anything like an abundance, and there places have all been dug out; so that in order to find new locations, great inconvenience in the manner of living has to be endured by the minors as they prospect the country, so that if they succeed in escaping death at the hands of the Indians , disease (the legitimate result of exposure) fastens upon them, which in many instances produces death, and where it does not, the system is much impaired, if not wholly destroyed- And the uncertainty of finding gold, even after these sacrifices have been made, is so great, that those that have had the most experience prefer remaining in comfortable quarters, and take up with "small getting’s," than expose themselves to these liabilities - It is a source of sincere regret to me, that so much pains is taken by speculators to represent this country as affording such vast, and unlimited facilities for getting gold; for it is false - It is true, gamblers and speculators find great facilities for getting gold here in California , for they have the control of the sustenance of the people, and compels them to pay such prices as their avarice may dictate, or meet death through the door of starvation - But the miners have no such facilities-Although out of the immense multitude of people that are here for the purpose of mining, a few have succeeded well, yet the vast majority of them but little more than pay their way, so that in very many cases, it will take longer to save money enough to get home, than was calculated would be sufficient for them to got from ten, to twenty thousand dollars when they -first started on their expedition- The same influences that induced those that are here to embark in the golden enterprise, are still at work, to wit: glowing representations of the prospects of making a fortune in a very short time, by digging gold in California - And when I learn from the various sources of information that we possess, that these influences still succeed, and that preparations are making for another vast cloud of emigration to overshadow the plains the coming season, while the Atlantic , and Pacific ocean s are white with canvass unfurled to catch the breeze that shall waft thousands upon thousands to California, there to learn when it is too late, that the most that has been published about the great facilities for getting gold here is false, my heart is pained within me, my sympathies are excited for those that have been duped, and feel deeply to regret, that innocence should suffer for human depravity-I the minus would speak, and their voice be heard, a different impression would be made on the public mind; and thousands that now leave a comfortable home, a pleasant circle of friends, and perhaps break up a good and prosperous business for the precarious chances of life, health, and success in California, would remain where they are, contented with the comforts of quiet life, and the blessings that surround them- It is a source of satisfaction to my mind, that I have never given any descriptions of this country since I have been here, that was calculated to induce people to come here to search for gold, but that on the contrary have endeavored to represent the country as I find it, and leave the responsibility of misrepresentation with those that have come here for different purposes than I have- [Added terms: Atlantic Ocean] March 1, 1850 Friday March 1st /50 Our stay at Hangtown has been short- The diggings have been good here, but the best places have been dug out - There is a great many people here, and most of them are doing little or nothing, as the water in the main creek is so abundant, that the bars along its valley cannot be worked, and the side ravines have all been worked out-A very great many are leaving for the mountains higher up, not and all are intending to go as soon as the weather will enable them to camp out in a tent- We are now moving our traps & things to Georgetown ; a place farther north, and higher up in the mountains, and about 30 miles from here- It is a place where much gold has been found, but has been extensively dug over- In one ravine called the " Oregon Canyon " it is said that over one mil- -lion of gold has been taken out since last fall- The season is not as forward here, as at Hangtown , or any where farther down the mountains- Snow falls more or less everyday, and in some places it is quite deep-When it does not snow the weather is fine and the snow melts fast- Mining operations are pretty much suspended, and even here a great many a preparing to leave as soon as the snow is off, and go farther back into the mountains, in search of better diggings- [Added terms: Commerce; Placerville (Calif.); Georgetown (Calif.); Oregon Canyon (El Dorado County, Calif.)] March 6, 1850 Wednesday March 6th , - It rained hard all last nigh, and continues raining through the day - It is rather an uncomfortable day with us, as our new quarters are not calculated for stormy weather - We have packed all our things over, and I had intended to have gone back to Hangtown to day where I expect to dispose of my animals that I have purchased to pack our "plunder"- March 9, 1850 March 9th /50 Yesterday I returned from Hangtown where I have disposed of my Animals, but for twenty five Dollars less than I paid for them - The loss fell on a small, but excellent mare that I paid two hundred and twenty five Dollars for, and sold her for two hundred- thus loosing but twenty five Dollars, a sum much less than I expected, as animals a fast falling in price - The labor that I have performed, together with the care and anxiety that my mind is encumbered with, has nearly broke me down, as I have to go ahead in every-thing, and all responsibility falls upon me- April 17, 1850 April 17th The last six weeks has been almost a perfect blank to me, and indeed some of the time is absolutely so- I was taken sick on the 9th of March (at night,) with the Typhus fever- The attract was of the most malignant form, reducing me at once to helplessness- I took of the medicines that I had on hand such as I thought would help me, (as hither-to they had never failed to take hold of my system,) but nothing would relieve me, or take hold of the disease- I went on in this way for ten days, trying and hoping, but all to no effect, for I grew worse from day to day, and from hour to hour- My fault was in not sending for a Physician sooner than I did, but I was not aware of the nature of the disease that was upon me- I sent to Georgetown (a place four miles distant) and succeeded in procuring an excellent Physician, who took hold of my case with a right good will, but not with-out many misgivings as to the result, as he has since told me- His determination was to raise me if he could, & if he had not been a man well skilled in his profession, he could never have done it- He told me that I had the Typhus fever in its most virulent form, and that my liver was in a perfectly dormant state, all of which I understood, but being most of the time "out of my head" I gave it but little consideration, as a matter of course- His first effort (as he has since told me) was to effect the liver and arouse it to action, as this was his only hope - He next turned his attention to a racking cough that was of itself enough to confine a well man, and to prevent if possible the inflammation that was gathering in the right lobe of my lungs- His skill had discovered my difficulties, and his medicines were of the most appropriate kind, but my whole system was so (almost) totally inactive, (in truth I was almost dead) that the medicines he gave me took hold so slow that their effect could scarcely be perceived- I was so low, and "out of my head," that I was not at all aware of my situation- The Doctor was in the habit of visiting me once a day-The fourth day he came and found that the medicines did not seem to take effect, and that I was steadily failing! he with many regrets gave me up to die! stating to my men that all had been done that his skill could suggest, stating that I could not live through the night, and that it was not worth while for him to come the next day, but the boys prevailed upon him to come let the case go as it might- [Added terms: Diseases; Food; Commerce; Georgetown (Calif.)] During the night the medicine he gave me to effect the liver began to operate, showing signs of beneficial results- I felt relieved at once, and soon began to revive-I had sense enough left to know that I must take some nourishment, or the operation of the medicine would reduce me so fast that I might die within hailing distance of recovery-Therefore I directed one of my men to (as well as I could) how to make some gruel; (for none of them knew how, or had even thought that it was necessary that I should have something nourishing to keep me from sniking, for they thought that the operation of the medicine was sufficient, and that I would soon be better) - But they soon saw that I was fast leaving them-I had some port wine on hand with which I directed them to feed me cautiously until they saw that I revived- In the mean time the gruel was forth coming- and it was no doubt the first that the fellow had ever made- It was salt enough to give a well man a fever, and thick enough to be eaten as hasty pudding if I only had some milk-However the nourishment was there, so I directed them to reduce to it with water, (which freshened it withall) and feed me once in fifteen minutes during the night - It was not the most delicate dish of the kind that was ever taken by a sick man, yet there was meal in it, and it had been boiled, so I took it for its nourishment, more than for its delicacy From the time of the attack to the present, (April 17th ) I have taken but very little food, so that my flesh has pretty much left me, and I am mow a mere skeleton, scarcely any-thing but skin and bones left- About nine o'clock next morning my friend Doctor Orr came, and with tremulous aspect looked into the cabin not expecting to find me alive! how great was his astonishment, and unbounded his joy to find me alive, able to recognize him, and extend my hand to receive him - He directly saw that the medicine after so long a time had taken effect, and was doing well - He examined me for a few minutes and exclaimed: thanks to a good constitution, you will get well- I immediately added; thanks to also to the habits of temperance, and total exemption from the use of tobacco in any of its forms that I have strictly adhered to for the last 27 years of my life- He then remarked that the effect of ardent spirits and the use of tobacco on the systems of those that make use of them, (especially if used to excess) gave the Physician more trouble, and was actually the cause of more deaths, than all the diseases that we are liable to- He says (and correctly too) that the system of every man that uses ardent spirits and tobacco, is always in a state of inflammation, in proportion to the amount used, and is liable to be set on fire by every attack of disease that he is subject too, and that inward inflammation is the worst enemy that the Physician has to contend with among the whole catalogue of diseases- From the time of which I have been writing to the present, I have been gaining slowly, but very slowly- My fever was a long time leaving me, my appetite has come to me very slowly, and irregular - For three weeks I never slept a wink day nor night, but when my fever left me, I began to get some short naps which increased in length and quietness, until my sleep is quite regular and calm, and is an important auxiliary to the means of my restoration to health- I am yet very feeble, and at the rate that I have gained, it will be a long time before I am able to do any-thing - In this country the provisions we get (especially back in the mountains) are not of the proper kind for a sick man to recover upon- The result is, those that have the misfortune to have a fit of sickness that reduces them low, find it hard to "get up"- Among the annoyances that afflicted me during a part of my sickness, was a tremendous sore mouth that by salivating, they had succeeded in fixing upon me - But this was considered one guaranty of my recovery, so I bore it with patience - We have had a great amount of stormy weather since the first of March - Considerable snow has fallen, and also a large quantity of rain - The weather since the first of April has been more mild, with but little rain, so that the country where we are Located, begins to look like spring; yet vegetation is no more forward here now, than it was in pleasant valley where we spent the winter, the last of February - There is a great quantity of snow within a few miles of us, farther up in the mountains, but it is said to be gradually wasting away - The immense amount of snow that falls in these mountains can scarcely be conceived- Within fifteen miles of us it is now six feet deep, and its depth increases as you go farther up among the mountains, but this is not its depth in the winter it is said that last winter it was from ten, to fifteen feet deep! It has been, and still is melting very fast-The melting of these snows keep the streams so high, that the miners find it very hard to find places that they can work on account of the water, although the ground has been bare of snow for the last three weeks- The melting of the snow in the mountains has given them another flood in the City - On the tenth of April the City was again under water, giving the inhabitants thereof another opportunity to escape for their lives, and also a severe rebuke for their folly in attempting to build a City on so exposed a location- Lots that have been sold in the last winter, and since the flood in January for ten thousand dollars apiece to new comers, who knew nothing of their ever being overflowed, and who purchased for the purpose of putting on large buildings for mercantile purposes, found their lots from three, to five feet under water, giving them rather a poor prospect for future operations - They were men that had just come on from the East (Capitalists) for the purpose of going into trade, and while they were fast amassing a fortune for themselves out of the hard working miners, wrung by the power of their own avarice, and the pinching necessities of the miners, they would no doubt adopt the popular huencry of the rest of their craft, and thus swell the notes of that song that is marching its thousands every month from a comfortable home, and perhaps a thriving fortune to this country to th seek for gold, who will find only disappointment and mortification, that they have been duped by these land pirates- [Added terms: Pleasant Valley (Calif.); Sacramento (Calif.)] April 22, 1850 April 22nd Today the time of my men expires, Saturday being the last day of service for me- On that day, the two dug, and brought in two hundred & twenty Dollars worth of gold- this was doing well for the last day - During the past week they have had better success than we have had before in California - On Thursday of last week I discharged my nurse (one of my men that has not been in the mines for six weeks, on account of my sickness) which gave me nine days work, that brought me in almost five hundred Dollars- The three first days of the week I had but one ha- -nd in the mines, so that of what was taken during these days I had but half, as Williams (my partner) worked; but the three last days of the week he has not been able to work, so that all that was dug during this time was mine- On Monday they brought in one hundred and four dollars, and on Tuesday two hundred and twenty Eight Dollars - We have one piece that weighs seventy six Dollars, and one of sixty four (at sixteen Dollars pr ounce) with many more that range from ten to twenty five Dollars- This however should offer no inducement for people to go to California , for it is among the "big strikes," - and while they were doing thus well, there was at least five hundred men at work within half a mile who, (with the exception of one small company) did not average more than two Dollars pr. day, many getting less, and some nothing at all - For two week previous to the week of good success, our Boys did not pay their board, and worked hard all the time- Thus it is, this California gold digging, you may dig for months and have but little encouragement, then again you may sink a hole where in a very short time you may take-out thousands - Thus it is, the gold when found in large quantities is in small locations, and few in number, with no appearance on the surface to indicate its existence- The great fault of most of the miners is, they are looking for these for rich places, when if they would stick to the common diggings they would as a body, and in most cases as individuals find much more gold than they now do- April 26, 1850 Friday April 26th I am still confined to the precincts of my cabin, for as if disease was determined to have me anyway!, the scurvy has taken hold of me, and claims a share, thus depriving me the free use of my lower limbs-However, this does not alarm me, for I think that I shall soon get rid of it-It is a common disease of the country, and the remedy is know to all- The remedy that I resort too, is the free use of raw potatoes, onions and fresh meat, with plenty of vinegar- I also drink freely of a tea made of the boughs of the spruce, or balsom pine which is found here, and will of it-self cure the scurvy- I have been confined here so long, that I have become tired of my situation, and long to be able to go abroad in the world, where I can again mingle with those out of my-own house- hold, and drink in my share of natures loveliness, as the Earth is now changing her habitaments from the grey and somber over-coat of stearn winter, and the many colored round about of volatile spring, for the beautiful green mantle of balmy summer- [Added terms: Diseases; Food; Commerce; Discipline; Women] I very much enjoy the little prospect that I have here in the woods, and watch with pleasure the trees as they put forth their annual growth of foliage and blossoms- while the "Boys" are pleased to bring me specimens of the different varieties of flowers that come in their way as they go too, and from their work- Situated as I am, I know but little that is going on in the country, farther than what I am able to gather from those that call to see me, and the information that the "Boys" gather from those they mingle with in the mines- From these sources I learn that the tide of immigration is still setting in heavily upon us, that every Boat is loaded with people for the mines, or some other destination in California -Many important failures have taken place at San Francisco , and prices on all articles of trade have fallen to almost an unprecedented extent- Flour back here in the mountains, has usually been one Dollar pr. pound, now it is plenty at twenty five cents! and all other articles that are found in the market in the same ratio; thus enabling the miners to live cheap if they do not find as much gold as they would like- Drinking and gambling is on the increase, and is fast spreading itself over the country! Where ever it is found that a small place is built up by the congregating of miners near some "rich diggings", grocery-men establish themselves with such articles as the people want, thus proving themselves useful, while at the same time they secure a share to themselves- While they remain in this way, things go on well; men are steady at their work, and all lay-up their getting’s-No rows, no quarreling, no stabbing, shooting, or breaking of heads, all goes on smooth and harmoniously, numbers flock in about the vicinity, all are prospered- At length it is rumored in the city that such a place is "going ahead at a rapid rate;" it now numbers so many, and its numbers are increasing very fast- plenty of gold is found in the vicinity, and all are prospered- The news reaches the ear of some listening black leg, (of which there are posts, for hell has sent her body guard to California ) he mounts a horse, and let the distance be what it may, scarcely breaks him from a canter until he arrives at the designated place - He soon commences his explorations, and very soon makes up his mind to establish himself in the place-He make arrangements with some one to put him up a house, which is to be ready at a given time (the builder perhaps not knowing for what purpose the building was intended) then calls for his horse and returns to the City pretty much in the same way that he left it; calculating that he has made" a strike- The time arrives for the completion of the house, and on comes this apparent gentleman, but real black leg , with an assortment of liquors, and "fixings" for a drinking establishment, and also the appurtenances for a gambling hell, and opens his sink of iniquity by a grand display of decanters, filled and arranged to the best advantage to the best a tempt the appetites of those that have not moral courage sufficient to withstand the temptation, and with billiard tables, roulette and moutee bank the arrangements are cop complete- [Added terms: San Francisco (Calif.)] Being thus situated, he virtually says to the community, gentleman "walk in;" I have now completed my arrangements, and am prepared to rob you of your money, of your character, and have that also that will deprive you of reason, of judgment and everything upon which you can depend to regulate your conduct, or render you safe amidst temptations- It will also enable you to lose your identity as a man, and become a beast , it will prepare you for the worst & lowest of crimes; to steal, lie, swear, break the Sabbath, gamble, and even take the life of your associate at the gambling table if he should prove the winner-And where you find your self an out-cast from society, a loathsome drunkard, a confirmed gambler, a profane swearer and Sabbath breaker, bankrupt in purse, and destitute of every thing that constitutes a man, with a mortgage on your soul drawn in favor of hell, which must soon be foreclosed - it will then enable you to take your own life with the utmost composure! Thus the people of the once quiet and prosperous village, find that there is a drinking and gambling establishment in their midst, with every thing prepared to carry on the business to advantage- This is looked upon by some as a calamity, and they deeply lament that it is so, and others behold it with a "sort" of indifference, while there are many that rejoice that the "thing" has come among them, as now they will be able to indulge their leading propensities- The concern is opened (perhaps) by an invitation to all hands to come and "help themselves," and business commences! It very soon increases, both at the bar and gaming tables- The young, and inconsiderate soon find themselves entangled in the net spread out by this vicigerent of Satan - They drink! they gamble! and think themselves smart, (?) but soon they find their money is gone, that they have acquired an uncontrollable appetite for liquor, and are on the high-way to destruction, making their way on as fast as possible - Then there is an older class, men ! who do not refuse to take a glass, but when it is not around have no desire for it, and perhaps they have some little knowledge of games; they also are there, and soon find the temptation too strong for them - they drink! they gamble until they find themselves so far gone, that recovery would be a almost a miracle! The drunkard and old gambler is there as a matter of course - Soon the scenes of the drinking and gambling house begin to be enacted - Men are seen reeling and staggering about, or so drunk that they have stole away to some dark corner, and stretched themselves on the floor, while others perhaps for insolence offered when reason had fled, or was drowned by liquor ! have been rudely thrust into the street by the same hand that gave them the liquor, there to remain (perhaps in the mud and storm,) until some "good Samaritan" comes that way, or the fumes of the liquor have passed off- Then turning to the gaming tables you hear oaths and cursing! soon the lie is given, the parties draw the bloody knife, or dangerous pistol and rush upon each- -other with death in their intentions! These are a few, and but a few of the evils of a drinking and gambling establishment- No Earthly good can grow out of them, but every conceivable evil will emanate here- The miners almost universally are in the practice of playing cards when at their own, and others cabins, generally for past-time; but it is dangerous past-time! for there is so much that is exciting, and enticing in games, that the practice soon begets a taste, which soon grows to strong desire and ripens into a full grown gambler! Therefore, it is dangerous past-time; and if an individual has {illegible->} books to read, or thoughts to commune with during his evenings and leisure moments, he had better get a stick and whittle until he grows sleepy, then go to bed, than spend his past-time playing cards, or any other game- Connected with gambling establishments (especially if they are in places of much magnitude) is usually fond a number of lewd, and licentious females, who are considered a necessary appendage to the establishment! thus holding out another inducement to stray from the path of rectitude and virtue, and if possible make present, and future damnation more sure- A village thus cursed is doomed ! for with a drinking, gambling and brothel establishment in their midst, and almost the whole population cut loose from restraint; what can save them? It is the influence of these sinks of iniquity that makes California Earths hell, and Deaths rioting ground and slaughter yard! for a purer atmosphere is not wafted over the face of any country under the Sun, nor a more healthy climate found the Earth over - and if people could have suitable food to live upon; and would avoid every thing that excites, or debauches, there would doubtless be but very little want of Doctors, or cause to mourn the loss of friends- May 1, 1850 Wednesday May 1st This is May-day with the young Lads and Lassies of New England , and I suppose that many a one er're the Sun had "tipped the hills with gold" had sallied forth in search of flowers that now begin to beautify the Earth, and render the atmosphere fragrant with the odor of their perfumery - Doubtless many of them will return with a few specimens, over which they will hold a jubilee of delight, as much as though they were of the most beautiful kind, and endless varieties- But I have seen the early spring flowers of New England , and have plucked them on many a May-day morning with those that saw (or pretended they saw) much more beauty in them than I thought they really possessed - but this may have been owing to the obtuseness of my disseminate; or the more delicate taste of the timed creatures that I was escorting- But if the Belle's of New England could take a stroll among the laughing pictures of the Earth on a May-day morning, and see the vastness of the varieties, together with the multitude of different species of the same variety and the unparalleled beauty of the flowers that bespangle almost the whole face of the country in California at this season of the year, they could not but admire the prospect, and pronounce it most beautiful , as the eye wandered over the "thousand and one" varieties (some plain, some variegated, all seeming to vie with each-other for the palm of beauty) that intervene between the modest and humble violet, and the Queen of wild flowers, the California poppy-Me thinks I see them intoxicated with delight, not knowing where to begin their conquest on so vast a field, and saying to themselves, that they shall never again drabble their garments to gather flowers on a May-day morning in New England - My health is improving fast, and I begin to have the free use of my limbs again- I think in the course of a week that I shall be able to go abroad some, if I am not able to do some work- May 13, 1850 May 13th My health is tolerable good, but have but little strength - The effects of the scurvy still remains upon, and I am not able to do any work, nor shall be for at least two months - so say those that know-I have concluded to go to Sacramento City and close up some business there, and if my health will not permit me to labor, I shall be in a situation to go home at any time- [Added terms: Diseases; Sacramento (Calif.)] May 28, 1850 May 28th Finds me in the far famed City of San Francisco - I have been here one week, and am impatient to get away for it (to me) is the most miserable place that I was ever in-most of the people are complaining, and as for myself I have not seen a well moment since I arrived- I left the mountains on the 13th inst. for Sacramento City by way of Hangtown , Weber ville , and Pleasant valley where my wagon and other things were left through the winter - I found that the house had [Added terms: Discipline; Commerce; San Francisco (Calif.); Placerville (Calif.); Stockton (Calif.); Pleasant Valley (Calif.)] been broken open, and property to the amount of fifteen or twenty Dollars of my own, and some forth five or fifty Dollars belonging to one of my men - {begin inserted text}stolen{end inserted text} I had enga- -ged a team to take my waggon to the City, and we proceeded forth-with with such things that {begin inserted text}as{end inserted text} were left, to Sacramento - Nothing transpired on the journey of importance- If I had room, and my ability was eaqual to the admiration that seized upon my mind when beholding the flora of the country, I would give a description of these laughing beauties of California - As it is, I will only endeavor to retain the impression for future meditation- After transacting my buis- -ness at Sacramento, and receiving letters from home. I resolved to leave the country, and start for home- The journey down the Sacramento to this place had nothing of interest, and there was but little in the prospect to attract attention- An attempt has been made to found a City at the mouth of the San Joaquin (San waukin) river, but its name is much larger than the City itself- it is called New York , and numbers six houses, all told- Benecice is a small town on the north side of the river, and the place where the United States [Added terms: Sacramento (Calif.); Sacramento River (Calif.); San Joaquin River (Calif.); Newark (Calif.); Benicia (Calif.)] troops are quartered at this place, and also the Shiping of the Navy are anchored along the shore - It is situated at the entrance of the river into the Bay, and about twenty five miles from San Francisco - The bay of San Francisco is all that travellers have represented, large, noble, deep, and safe to navigate- It is well guarded against winds, and storms by the high lands that surround it on every side, and is the safest harbour on the American continent- San Francisco is the most buisness place that I was ever in, and the center of attraction for people of every nation- The City contains more goods than enough to su- -pply the trade of California for the next two years, and {begin inserted text}more{end inserted text} arriveing every day - The proffits of the trade in this country are much less than formerly, and the competition among merchants are makeing it less every day- There is now in this harbour more shipping than I ever saw at one time in New York , setting aside Steam Boats - Many of these vesl vessels are destined to rot in this place - The Americans and French are doing most of the mercantile buisness here, altho there are dealers of every nation - The population is estimated at thirty thousand, and every arrival swells the amount- [Added terms: San Francisco (Calif.); San Francisco Bay (Calif.); New York (N.Y.)] It is reported by many that the place is healthy, but my experience has taught me different, as well as hundreds and thousands {begin inserted text}that{end inserted text} testefy to the same effect - Gambling, Drunkness and vice of every description is practiced here to an alarming extent- Thousands upon thousands are lost and win every day, and the practice of Gambling has become a passion with the people of San Francisco - [Added terms: San Francisco (Calif.)] June 1, 1850 June 1st left San Francisco at ½ past six P.M., on the steam ship Orregon bound for Panama - My health is poor, but I expect it will im- -prove as I progress with my sea voyage- June 2, 1850 June 2nd at six o'clock A.M. we were at the town of Monterey 120 miles from San Francisco- Monterey has much more the look of comfort than San Francisco, but is nothing near as large, or of half the importance- It being a port of entry the ship got her papers, and we left at 7. o'clock A.M.- [Added terms: Monterey (Calif.)] June 3, 1850 June 3rd my health is quite poor, so much so that I cannot enjoy the mountainous prospect that stands out in great boldness along the coast- There are but few comforts for an invalid on board a vessel at sea stowed full of passengers- We are sailling among Islands, and the prospect is beautiful to those that are able to behold it- June 4, 1850 June 4th at six o'clock A.M. we droped anchor before the town of San Diago , and a most misserable place it is- I am not able to go on shore, therefore can give no correct description of the place - The boat takes on coal, and beef cattle at this place- We leave at six o'clock P.M. - Distance to Monterey , 200 miles- [Added terms: Commerce; San Diego (Calif.); Monterey (Calif.)] June 5, 1850 June 5th we are now in the state of St Vincent , lower California , province of Mexico - [Added terms: San Vicente (Baja California, Mexico)] June 6, 1850 June 6th my health is much improved, and I can begin to derive some pleasure from the scenery, and circumstances that surround me-We are in the state of Locetto , Lower California-Distance from San Deago 225 miles- [Added terms: Loreto (Baja California Sur, Mexico)] June 7, 1850 June 7th we are off Cape Larso , Island of Margaretto , Department of Lapary , Lower Calif- -ornia, five miles from land- Distance 2..35 miles- The mountains along the coast are bold, and barren- June 8, 1850 June 8th we are off Cape Palarco , Lower California - Distance 2..22 miles June 9, 1850 Sunday June 9th we are at Mazatlan , and shall remain dureing the day - This is quite a pretty place for this country, and contains many thousand inhabitants - There is a plenty of good fruit here, [Added terms: Food; Mazatlan (Sinaloa, Mexico)] but it is not prudent to eat much of it at this season of the year - There is a few vessels in the harbour among them is a British man of war - The surrounding country is very broken and mountainous - and at this sea-son of the year the trees on the mountains are destitute of foliage- The Cocoanut tree is cultivated in all the towns along this coast for its fruit, and is one of the most beautiful ornamental trees that I ever beheld - Distance 98 miles- June 10, 1850 June 10th at 8 o'clock we cast anchor at San Blass - We are in the vicinity of volcanic mountains that are active- We leave at 12 o'clock N. Distance 1.25 miles- [Added terms: San Blas (Mexico)] June 11, 1850 June 11th we are off Mangarilla , Mexico, The coast continues mountainous, and has some very high, and singular looking peaks - Dis. 1,94 mi Do to Acapulco 3..07 [Added terms: Manzanillo (Colima, Mexico); Acapulco (Mexico)] June 15, 1850 June 15th we have laid at Acapulco two days, and are now 160 miles from there - Distance to Panama 12,40 miles- We are off point Galera , State {begin inserted text}of{end inserted text} Oaxcu Mexico- A man by the name of Shepherd died today, and was buried at sea - He died of consumpsion [Added terms: Death; Diseases; Religious life; Women; Food; Commerce; Oaxaca (Mexico)] and belonged in the state of New York - There is somthing very solemn in a burial at sea - The burial was conducted after the Episcopal mannerCaptain Patterson officiating on the occasion - The weather is very warm, in consequence of which all on board are very uncomfortable- The town of Acapulco is ancient, and of the true Mexican stamp - The people are indolent and treacherous- The women are of the most licencious charactor, and take an active part as traders in the town - Fruits of most kinds are plenty here, also a tolerable supply of other eatables- The natives live mostly on vegetables and fruits - I, among others, took dinner at the American Consul's N.A. Mc.Clure Esq of Wisconsin - Hard soap is made a lawful tender among the natives for small change - The surrounding country is mountain- -ous, and contains some silver - The Distance by land to the City of Mexico , is 2..50 miles- [Added terms: New York (State); Episcopalians; Acapulco (Mexico); McClure, N.A.; Mexico City (Mexico)] June 16, 1850 June 16th we are off Gugacan , State of Gautamala Central America 1..40 miles from land- Distance 2..15 miles - Today being Sunday, we had divine service on board ship- [Added terms: Guatemala] June 17, 1850 June 17th nearest land is Acajutla State of Labrador , Central America 1..30 miles distant- A teriffic thunderstorm came upon us about midnight - Distance 2..20 miles- June 18, 1850 June 18th nearest land is Port Culebra , State of Casta Rica , disata{illegible} 100 miles- Di. run 2..40 miles- [Added terms: Costa Rica] June 19, 1850 June 19th nearest land is the Island of Cavo State of Casta Rico - Distance run 2..30 miles- June 20, 1850 June 20th nearest land is point Puaras State of Panama . New Granada , 8 miles to land- Distance 1..36 miles- June 21, 1850 June 21st arrived at Panama at ½ past eight o'clock A.M. - Panama is an ancient City containing a large population- The people are principally Spaniards - The buildings are of stone, and antique architecture - The City is walled in, and was considered a strong hold in former days- The Americans are getting quite numerous, and take hold of business in a way that gives the place quite a lively appearance - Since the Isthmus of Panama has become on important rout from one part of our possessions to another, it is quite natural, and important that Americans should flock in, and take an active part in the business of the country - Thousands are now on this rout to California , and knowing as I do the difficulties and dangers that they will be exposed to; my sympathies are enlisted, and I regret that so many humanbeings are doomed to disappointment, sickness and death-

June 25, 1850

June 25th I am now in Chagress , and if I was capable, should consider that the rout from Panama to this place one on which to attempt a description that would give some idea of the impression that the great variety of scenery met with on this high way of Californians has created on my mind- The road from Panama to Crusus (a distance of twenty three miles) is a curiosity of itself, being merely a mule road for packing- The road winds around and passes over mountains, and in many places is worn fifteen feet deep for miles, and mostly into rock at that - But to me, the beauty, splendor, richness, and great variety of the vegetable curiosities, present the richest field for observation that my eye has ever beheld- We find the mahogany tree, the lincomvity tree, the bamboo, sugar cane, palm, and palmetto trees, with orange, lemon and lime trees, also the banyan tree, together with the splendid Cocoanut tree towering aloft, and spreading her graceful arms as she proudly looks down upon the most dense forest of smaller vegetation that I ever beheld-

The foliage of the trees, shrubbery and annual vegetation is full grown, making the forests beautiful to behold on account of the rich green of her appearance, being filled and covered with every variety of vines that twine among the branches, that are found in the tropical regions- Although the beauties of the country are unsurpassed, yet this is a "place where the robber secrets himself and watches his opportunity to commit theft, or murder, upon some unfortunate traveler- Many loose their lives through carelessness on the river, by the upsetting of boats and other calamities that befall those that have lost their reason when reason is most required, for drunkenness is too prevalent in this region- Chagres is an old town situated at the entrance of the Chagres river into the Caribbean sea - It was formally the resort of Pirates, and since the commencement of the California speculation, considerable business has been carried on here, principally by Americans -

It has an old, but strong fortification, which mounts a large number of fine looking guns, and notwithstanding its antiquity is quite formidable-

June 26, 1850

June 26th at half past four o'clock P.M. I left Chagres on the steam ship Georgia , bound for New York - My health is good, and my feelings buoyant in view of the fast that my face is again set for the land of my youth, and intended home of my old age-

June 27, 1850

June 27th at three o'clock P.M. we passed "old Providence Island - This Island is said to contain many thousand inhabitants, and abounds with wild cattle and other wild game - It is one of the west India Islands, & is famous for its tropical fruits-

June 29, 1850

June 29th five o'clock P.M. Cape Antonia is in sight- This is the first land we make on the Island of Cuba - we are some distance from it however .

June 30, 1850

Sunday June 30th at two o'clock P.M. we arrived at Havana - Havana for a Spanish City looks quite neat, and pretty-It has the best harbor that I have seen- The buildings are of stone and brick, most of them one, and two stories high - The workmanship is much more for strength, than beauty - There is some Cholera and Yellow fever in the City , and for the last few days it has proved fatal to considerable extent- I do not deem it prudent to go about the City much (for the weather is very warm,) nor to eat much of the fruits of the country-

There is not much show for business consideration the magnitude of the place- I am told that the population numbers over one hundred and thirty thousand- Among their amusements they have an instrumental musical performance that comes off every night in the street, where the feats of the gladiators and bull fights are represented- The people are very polite as a general thing, but extremely jealous- Slave labor is their main dependence, and a poor dependence it is, judging from what I have seen - Great pains is taken to keep the streets clean, & prevent the spread of disease- No steam boat, or other vessel is allowed to throw over-board in the harbor any filth, or even ashes- The American Frigate Congress and the sloop of was Germantown are among the shipping n the harbor - Commodore McKevier is here under instructions from our government relating to some prisoners that are confined here - The Island of Cuba is the most fertile "spot" that I ever saw, and if was worked by a proper system of labor, and governed by wholesome laws, it would be the most delightful place on earth to reside-

July 4, 1850

July 4th comes to us, but not as usual; there is nothing here to indicate that this is one of Americas choicest holly days, no less that the anniversary of our nation- -al independence- I had hoped to be in the states today, but I find myself yet far away from every thing American - At half past seven o'clock A.M. our anchor is up and we are again on the blue waters bound for the land of freedom, and wholesome comforts - This afternoon the Bermuda Islands are in sight on our right - These Islands abound with pine apples, sea turtles, and sponge-

July 8, 1850

July 8th finds us at nine o'clock A.M. in the City of New York , in the midst of more business than has fell under my observation since I left my native shores, all told- After spending four days in New York City I again resumed my journey for home, where I arrived Tuesday July 16th 1850 -Being in good health, and finding my family and friends all well, I felt thankful to Him that " governs all things well, " that after being separated so long - and enduring much hardship and fatigue I was permitted to reach my home in safety where I can enjoy the society of family and friends in recounting the past, enjoying the present, and look forward to the future with nothing to anoy -


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