This small diary was discovered in a wall of the house at 609 S. East Street in Fenton in April of 1993 while
the owners, were in the process of remodeling the house. They loaned the diary to the Fenton Historical Society so that it
could be typed, the copy to be placed in the Fenton Museum and the original diary returned to the owners.
The writer of this diary was G. F. Christian and it is not known for certain at this time just who he was. It is speculated,
however, that he may have been the husband of Augusta Sheldon, daughter of Robert Sheldon and Sarah LeRoy. Augusta Sheldon
married Gustavius Christian who died 25 October 1868 at his residence in Fenton.
G. F. Christian left Fenton by train on April 4, 1859 headed for Kansas. The diary details his train trip ending with his
arrival in Leavenworth, Kansas on April 8th. He spends some time in Kansas and then heads for Pike's Peak with his friends,
a wagon, oxen and cattle to prospect for gold. The diary details the trip, the search for gold and his disappointment at finding
none. The last entry is dated Tuesday, July 12, 1859 and tells that he and three others went out on a prospecting tour with
two packed oxen. He says they worked hard and it rained every day, that they found good indications but no gold and returned
on the 23rd. There are no further entries so it is not know if he returned home at that time or not.
IF G. F. Christian is the same as Gustavius Christian, it appears that Augusta Sheldon would have been his
second wife. G. F. Christian refers in his diary to writing to and receiving letters from his wife. In the 1860 census of
Fenton, Augusta Sheldon, age 22, is enumerated in her father's house. Her obituary says she married Gustavius Christian at
the age of 23, thus she would have married either later in 1860 or in 1861. The wife he refers to in 1859 has to be an earlier
Gustavius Christian died in 1868. We find no record of burial in the Oakwood Cemetery records nor do we find a headstone.
Augusta Sheldon Christian died in Marquette, Michigan at the age of 90. Her obituary states that she was buried in Fenton
where she "lies beside the brothers and sisters who preceded her many years ago." Again, we find no record of burial for her
nor do we find a headstone.
Augusta Sheldon Christian left two daughters, Mrs. Charles Cummings of Marquette and Mrs. Varreum/Varnum
Fletcher of Argentine Township.
Who left the diary in the house at 609 S. East Street? A search of the land records of Genesee County would reveal whether
G. F. Christian ever owned the property. Is G. F. Christian the same as Gustavius Christian? Land records should also reveal
whether the property was ever owned by Augusta Sheldon Christian or one of her daughters.
In the meantime we can only speculate.
Eileen Roddy April 28, 1993
Fenton Historical Society
1859 Pocket Diary of G. F. Christian
Flyleaf reads: G. F. Christian, Detroit, April 4th, 18--. Title page reads: Pocket Diary for 1859
Monday, April 4, 1859
At 7 a.m. left Fenton for Kanza (?). Visited friends in Detroit. At 7 p.m. left Detroit. A lot of lads and
lassees gone to school at Ypsilanti. Very boisterous, couldn't sleep. Snowed furiously in the night.
Tueaday, April 5, 1859
At 1:30 a.m. engine off track st Galesburgh, wait 1 hour for east train. Changed cars 8 hours behind. Reached
Chicago at 12:30. Wait 7 hours. Walk over city. Very dull. Mich. Ave. fine st. Splendid dwelling. Left Chicago 7:45 p.m.
Wednesdav, April 6, 1859
Locomotive across track. Left Galesburgh, Ill. 5 a.m. Fine country. Season backward. Arrived Quincy 11 a.m.,
pleasant place, full of Dutch. Left at 4 p.m. Detained at Hannival over night.
Thursday, April 7, 1859
Left Hannibal at 7:30 a.m. for St. Jo. Passed through beautiful Prairie Country, mostly unsettled. Chillicothe
pretty place, 1500 inhabitants. Reached St. Jo. 9:30 p.m. Went aboard steamer. Slept on cabin floor. No supper. Cold wind.
Friday, April 8, 1859
Left St. Jo. at 6 a.m. Cold morning. Arrived at Leavenworth at 12 M. Stopped Planters House, got letter from Johnnie(?).
Went to Harvey ranch, found Sage G. Beamer. Sam Bacon from P. Peak reports favorably, went to b-----.
Saturday, April 9, 1859
Went to Harveys to board. Very warm. Several teams and hand cars passed for the gold mines. Slept on floor
Sunday, April 10, 1859
Rainy and warm. Mud like tar. Wrote a letter to wife. Not very favorably impressed with mine host family.
Slouchy wife, half dozen dirty children, greasy wench for cook, very fine man.
Monday, April 11, 1859
Misty morning. Clear at 10 a.m. Mud dries quick. Went to town after dinner. Bought gum coat & shoes.
Crossed U. S. farm, ordered off. Same chap ordered grocery (?) out corner fence. Geological features of the country limestone
formation, ridges and valleys. Latter rich black soil. Former fine pasturage, timber scarce.
Tuesday, April 12, 1859
Damp morning. Cleared up pleasant. Bishop Brothers came up, boys went hunting, found Nix lost powderhorn. Went after him,
didn't find it, but Beamer caught fish with pin hook. Bishop boys homesick, going home. Self got bad cold, head ache. From
15 to 20 teams a day pass for Pike's Peak.
Wednesday, April 13, 1859
Cloudy and cold, prospect of rain. After dinner Reed and self went to Leavenworth for letters, disappointed. Passed
the barracks drilling recruits in artillery. Returning saw troops arriving, horses splendid animals. Begins to rain and snow,
hurry home. Shoes too small, hurt my feet, blustery evening.
Thursday, April 14, 1859
Cold frosty morning, earth put on white blanket. Crosier and self went with Harvey to hunt cattle, rode pony bare back.
Steers awful stubborn. Drove up sixty head, got awful sore. Pleasant afternoon. Snow gone. Harvey came home tight as a brick.
Friday, April 15, 1859
Cold north wind. Reed & self went with Harvey to U. S. pasture after steers. Had saddle today. Comfortable riding,
but bitter cold. Saw wild geese in corn stubble. Good chance for game, but no gun. Beamer went to town, no letter for me,
much disappointed. He met Stone Co. from Long Lake just arrived.
Saturday, April 16, 1859
Raw, cloudy and cold. Went to Leavenworth after dinner, got letter from wife 9 days old, very glad. Saw Sam Stone &
Co. Anxious to leave, poor Olly not improving. An old chap (Smith) came over from Missouri. Extols the people over the river,
plain, honest & hospitable (old Humbug) and down on the villainous Yankee boys of Kansas.
Sunday, April 17, 1859
Clear, cold north wind. Wrote letter to wife. Olliver worse, went for Doctor. No chance of his traveling until a fortnight,
feel rather blue, want to go on, can't buy, talk with Beamer he willing to stay with Olly. Thinks we had better sell outfit.
Hard case for John, determined to sleep on it. Warmer towards night.
Monday, April 18, 1859
Clear & warm - pleasant day. Reed & self went to town with letters, deposited mine without sealing. Met Mr. Peck
& Son, talked of buying an interest in our outfit. Going home saw large drove of mules, got a ride. Gage & Beamer
willing to sell but hate to have us leave. Agree if we will wait one week to let us go on with the team and they overtake
us by stage.
Tuesday, April 19, 1859
Chilly south wind. Very high warm wind. Beamer talks of going to work for Harvey. Went out for a walk on the hills. Met
a Virginian bound for Pike's Peak, thinks he'll practice medicine (rather green). Went to the city, bought some notions for
Lage(?). Saw Frank Peck, told him our boys didn't wish to sell, saw they didn't want to rush the thing through. Feet sore,
took off socks to harden them.
Wednesday, April 20, 1859
Pleasant and wind north. Nothing of interest to note. Not as many emigrants as usual. Sleep & read all day. Old Smith
came back cursing the Yankees. Harvey opened his batting upon him - villainy of the Platte County boys. During the night heavy
thunder, hail and rain.
Thursday, April 21, 1859
Snowing like fitts. Measles amongst us. Dubious prospect, boys all feel blue. 10 a.m. storm continues. 1 p.m. storm abated.
Took a long walk over the Hills. Saw several rabbits. Noticed a heavy growth of grass on the limestone ridges indication of
rich soil. Pack of hounds hunting on their own hook.
Friday, April 22, 1859
Cold north west wind. Clear. Hard frost during the night. After ground thawed helped Harvey in the garden. Reed & Beamer
went to town. Met Deidrich & Elliot. Long Lake Co. passed toward evening. Mrs. Stone looked stout & hearty, saw she
liked traveling. Night - quite a city of tents on the creek. Sage going to the city to board.
Saturday, April 23, 1859
Heavy frost, light east wind, clear. Paid off Sage & sent him to town. Good prospect of traveling. Saw a large mule
train from Santa Fee (sic) V.I.A. Cherry Creek. Reported no gold, don't credit the story lounged around all day. Commenced
a letter to wife. Feel much relieved that Sage has gone.
Sunday, April 24, 1859
Cool morning. East wind. Reed & self took a long walk. Finished letter. Dutchmen branding oxen in corral. B. boys(?)
tight, emigrants traveling, noisy Sabbath, thought of home, walked, read & slept. Warm day.
Monday, April 25, 1859
Warm & cloudy. South east wind. Went to town, Sage not improved, he was in low spirits at our leaving him, talked of
going home. Purchased chain and other notions for our journey. Very tired on reaching home. Tarred the wagon in the evening.
Heavy rain with thunder.
Tuesday, April 26, 1859
Westerly wind. Cool. Settled with Harvey. Grub gone (?). Rolled out at 9 a.m. Detained by Rusel & Co. ox train,
two from Vir,ia bound for Pike's Peak on foot. Crossed Stranger Creek. Camped at Chadwick. Good water, wood scarce.
Made 14 miles.
Wednesday, April 27, 1859
Cool morning. Left camp at 7 a.m. ------ two miles west of Hickery Russell & Jones mule train passed, 26 wagons. Camped
with them at Grasshopper. Saw Prairie Chickens & Plover, couldn't shoot them. First trial at bread making, burned it badly.
First rate camping ground. Made 19 miles.
Thursday, April 28, 1859
Cool, agreeable day. Left Osawhee at 7 a.m. Mule train in a snap, broke an axletree. We passed them, deep ditches frequent,
Traveled in company with Illinois train, they went ahead. We crossed Soldier Creek by bridge & camped on bank. Rained
all night. Made 20 miles
Friday, April 29, 1859
Misty, muddy morning. Our road today lay through the Potawatamy Reserve, the river bottom, several miles wide level prairie.
Emigrants front and rear as far as the eye can reach.Indian farms on river bank, passed ------. Doctor overtook Illinois Co.
Grass short. Camped on a gravel bottom creek. Made 29 miles.
Saturday, April 30, 1859
Clear, cool morning. Our road is still up the river bottom. Crossed points of the bluffs. Saw the first deer, passed St.
Mary's Mission, some neat white houses and lots of log cabins. Very warm. Passed five toll bridges. Quarreled with Indian
toll gatherer. Crossed Vermillion Creek and camped on the bank. Made 15 miles.
Sunday, May 1, 1859
Rainy morning. Rain & more rain. Kansas mud. Got wet hunting oxen, lay in wagon with wet feet, had a chill & trimings
(1). More rain and more mud. Cut a hickory and made a big fire. More rain. Baked a smart chance of bread, took tea early &
turned in. Heavy thunder shower passed to the north in the evening. Rain.
Monday, May 2, 1859
Cool morning, wind south east. Left camp at 6:30 a.m. Passed big rock creek. Steep hill both sides. Canvas bag fell in
the creek, clothes got gloriously wet. Tool cut off to Manhattan V.I.A. St. George Yellow Oak Openings. Thundershowers, traveled
in the rain, had a fever, camped town east of Manhattan. Grass poor, wood too. Made 19 miles.
Tuesday, May 3, 1859
Pleasant morning. Crossed Big Blue on ferry. Pretty location, about 75 buildings, substantial stone dwellings on prairie
about six miles from Manhattan. Passed through rocky hills. Splendid prospect, ona the bottom again camped about three miles
east of Riley on Muddy Creek. Made 17 miles.
Wednesday, May 4, 1859
Cool, windy. Made Riley at 9 a.m. Fine location. Troops drilling. Got a letter from wife. Set down under
barrack wall, penned an answer. Wind blows a gale. ----- out of order, permission to camp on reserve. Crossed on government
ferry. Good grass, wind shakes tent, rain. Set it up. Self feverish. Made 6 miles.
Thursday, May 5, 1859
Rainy morning. Got under way at 8 a.m. Two steep hills, arrive at ferry, wagon load of corn in the river
in way of ferry. Turned cattle to graze. Got over to Junction City at noon. Waited for Illinois boys. Camped about three miles
from Junction. Self unwell, rode most of the way. Made 6 miles.
Friday, May 6, 1859
Feverish during the night. Measles shows themselves in morning. Boys fixed a comfortable place in wagon. Rode Friday and
Saturday. Camped don't know where. Very miserable. Made 24 miles.
Saturday, May 7, 1859
Camped Saturday night on Saline Fork. Know nothing of ----- of the day. Self layin wagon all day. Met Tucker
between Solomons & Saline Forks, gave us a pass on ferry. Very sick. Made 20.
Sunday, May 8, 1859
Lay by very ill, got up and cooked some rice. Felt better at night.
Monday, May 9, 1859
Left Smoky Hill bottom, got into buffalo country. Two shot near camp, very poor. Self able to help about camp. Made 20
miles. Camped on head of Mulberry Creek. Good grass on opposite side.
Tuesday, May 10, 1859
John Hamilton got the measles, had to give up the wagon to him. Rode part of the day. Saw large herds of buffalo. Grass
very poor. The whole country looks like a pasture eaten off short and buffalo chips cover the ground. Passed a new made grave,
young man accidentally shot. Made 22 miles.
Wednesday, May 11, 1859
Got an early start but cattle in poor condition, no grass. Camped early, found a fine spring, pretty fair grass in a ravine.
No wood. Used buffalo chips for the first time. Large herds of buffalo through the day. Made 14 miles.
Thursday, May 12, 1859
Heavy wind in the night. This morning our cattle gave us a long run. Got a late start. Soil poor and barren but covered
with buffalo chips. We are now in company with the Long Lake boys and one other wagon of four men. Camped on a ravine. Grass
not good. Made 14 miles. Fuel chips and weeds.
Friday, May 13, 1859
Cold north east wind and cloudy. Started at 7 a.m. Commenced rain at 8 a.m. Herd of buffalo near the road. Several of the
boys shot at them without effect. Galloped off like hogs. Rolling prairie, short grass. Camped at 11 a.m. Cooked a smart chance
of bread, beans and apples at 6 p.m. Rains hugely. Made 8 miles.
Saturday, May 14, 1859
Rained all night and morning. Cattle inclined to wander, very troublesome. Baked more bread. Such appetites is a caution
to cooks. We went after buffalo and brought home a load of meat. No rain afternoon, but misty. Saw several old Indian lodges.
Have seen no Indians yet but plenty of wolves.
Sunday, May 15, 1859
Cloudy morning and misty. Having poor grass. We hitched up, went around the head of ravines and to the Smoky and crossed.
Rested the stock 1 1/2 hours and went ahead for better grass. Beautiful country, very little timber. Camped at 7 p.m. Poor
grass and wood. Several showers during the day. Made 18 miles.
Monday, May 16, 1859
Heavy rain with hail at daylight. Vivid lightning and heavy thunder. Started at 8:30 a.m. Left Stone & Co. We are two
wagons, doubled teams to cross a slough. Found grass good at noon. Rested two hours. Shot at tipup with revolver. Camped in
ravine near Smokey. Carried wood and water 40 rods. Cooked beans at night. Made 12 miles.
Tuesday, May 17, 1859
Left camp at 5:30 a.m. Warm, clear morning. Passed a fine rolling prairie. Saw antelope. Drove 14 miles, halted at one
o'clock on a creek with considerable timber. Very warm. Got under sail at 4 p.m. Doubled teams crossing creek. Thunder shower
cooled off the air. Traveled till dark. Made 19 miles.
Wednesday, May 18, 1859
Camped last night on prairie. No fuel. Made supper of cold water and crackers and dried buffalo. Breakfast the same. Rough,
broken country. Made 10 miles. Halted 1 1/2 hours at noon. Good grass, three miles, crossed the Smokey to the north, not a
shrub in sight. Buffalo rangers overtook us, gave us fresh meat. Camped in ravine with 7 wagons. First rate grass, weeds for
fuel. Made 16 miles. Wolves gave a free concert all night.
Thursday, May 19, 1859
Cloudy and cool morning. Left camp at 6 a.m. Oxen necks sore. Met some sixty Comanche this forenoon, very friendly but
unfortunate beggars. Wasn't afraid but buckled on weapons of defense. Didn't like their company. All rode horses. Emigrants
collect in trains for 9 wagons in camp this evening. Good spring water, bark for fuel. Awful thunder storm in the night and
got well soaked. Distance 20 miles
Friday, May 20, 1859
Damp, cloudy morning. Made a late start. Hall & Co. broke king bolo. Delayed an hour. Streams high, forded two large
creeks. Aired our bedding at noon. At 2 p.m. found a stream too high to ford, obliged to lay over. 18 wagons in camp. Carried
wood 1/2 mile. Indians visited us, begging, a great nuisance. Water falling at evening, hope to get over in the morning. Distance
Saturday, May 21, 1859
Clear and cold. Water rising this morning. Look for another ford. Indians coming thick, about 150 with 300 or more horses,
squaws, papooses, moving east with their household goods. Visited us an ----- -----, Some traded a little and passed on. Claimed
to be Comanches. Joined Capt. Mason's train, eight wagons and 44 men inclusive. 15 wagons waiting to ford, 12 wagons came
around the bend and crossed over us, found a ford above, crossed at 4 p.m. Water up to box with block on bolster (?). Camped
at 7 p.m. Poor water, no wood or chips. Cooked coffee with weeds. Self went on guard. Distance 7 miles.
Sunday, May 22, 1859
Morning cool and clear. Train started at 5:30 a.m. Our Co. opposed to going on the Sabbath, but think it
unsafe to remain alone. Country begins to look barren, good water scarce. We filled our kegs at rain water pool. Halted at
10 a.m. on small creek. Good grass and water. Pulled out at 12. High bluff at our right, herd of antelope, grass destroyed
by buffalo. Camped at 5 p.m. on wide bottomed creek, guess it's main Smokey. Good grass. Made 19 miles.
Monday, May 23, 1859
Left camp at 6 a.m. Road went up creek bottom, most1y good, sometimes sandy. Saw curious formation, chalk
or limestone, resembling ruined castle, towers, chimneys, etc. Halted 2 hours at noon. Wind blowing a gale, hot sun burned
my nose to a blister. Water of the creek was muddy with a disagreeable clayey taste. Crossed the creek twice this p.m. Sandy
bottom hard wheeling. Camped at 4:30 p.m. Good grass. Distance 18 miles.
Tuesday, May 24, 1859
Rolled out of camp at 5:30 a.m. Crossed the creek four times this morning. Wide, sandy bed & bars heavy
drawing. More castles and chimneys. Road good except the crossings. Halted at 11 o'clock one hour, found a new grave. (Inscription)
Died 17 of May an unknown stranger brought into our camp in a starving condition by Indians). Road runs several miles over
the bluff. Found a spring of good water, how delicious. Met 4 men from Denver City, reported unfavorably. Smoky hill -----
small. Camped at 6:30 p.m. Distance 29.
Wednesday, May 25, 1859
Cloudy, windy morning. Cold. Rolled out at 6:45 a.m. Followed up small branch. Twin peaks at the left. Halted
at 12 n. Drizzle. Rolled out at 1 o'clock. Now over the bluffs, now up the creek bottom, crossing and recrossing. Found a
few sticks of wood, put them on wagon. Drizzle. Alkaly on the bottom. Cold, drizzly eve. Camped at 5 p.m. E. R. on guard.
Distance 20 miles.
Thursday, May 26, 1859
Cold north west gale. Up at 2:30 a.m.to herd cattle. Three coats on yet chilled. Got the boys up at daylight
to breakfast. Pulled out at 6:30 a.m. ahead of train. Continued up the creek bottom. Good grass p.m.. Passed several valleys
with springs in the bluffs, no timber. Run the Smokey out, camped on dry water course. Found pond water, picked up wood on
road. Distance 23.
Friday, May 27, 1859
Clear and frosty. Ice in basin. Sailed at 6:45 a.m. Overcoat and gloves on start, at 10 a.m. in shirt sleeves.
Good road, suppose we are on the divide, halted on dry ravine, some grass. At 1 p.m. saw an object supposed to be Pike's Peak.
Very warm, travel slow. At 4 p.m. found depressions leading north, guess they lead to the Platte River. Halted at 7 p.m. Got
some coffee. Poor grass, rested a few hours. Distance 22 miles.
Saturday, May 28, 1859
Clear and cold. Left camp at midnight. Went 5 miles, found muddy water in bog hole, cattle wouldn't drink.
Went ahead till 3 a.m., halted on good grass. Got breakfast. Pulled out, self and J. H. went ahead to search for water. No
wind, awful hot. Oxen weary. Gave them the last of our water. Expect to find more every hour. Man from train behind passed
on pony going ahead till he found water. At 3 p.m. unyoked the oxen and drove them on. Beamer stopped with the wagon at 7
p.m. Met man on pony, water 8 miles. At 10 p.m. reached Yo (?) Spring 15 miles from wagon. Distance 20 miles.
Sunday, May 29, 1859
Cloudy and cool. At 9 a.m. started our cattle back for the wagon. Met Mason's train, men almost famished from thirst. Hartley
Co. wagon drove their cattle to water. Reached our camp 3 p.m. Beamer had coffee and cakes ready, good dinner. Hitched up
at 5 p.m., halted at 8 p.m. for feed. Reached the spring at 1 a.m. Drove the oxen 1 mile for feed, slept with them. Distance
Monday, May 30, 1859
Warm, light wind. Rested today. Three of our oxen in bad condition, one very lame. Agreed with Boar to board and carry
his freight for the use of his oxen. Good dicker for us. Reloaded wagon, loaded with water, went on the divide. Emigrants
corning all day and night. Wrote letter to wife.
Tuesday, May 31, 1859
Cool and cloudy. Left camp at 6 a.m. Followed express road between two branches of republican. Grass very poor. Self tired
and lame, rode a good part of the day. Crossed one sandy creek, found some good water. Camped near Express Station No. 23.
Distance 22 miles
Wednesday, June 1, 1859
Piercinq cold north wind at sunrise. Warm at noon, hot at 3 p.m. Dusty and disagreeable. Water scarce, grass short, alkali
water at night. The country looks dreary, no trees, no shrubs for days. Pike's Peak looms up sublimely in the west. Burned
part of cracker barrel for fuel. Distance 20 miles.
Thursday, June 2, 1859
Cold morning, warm at 10 a.m., hot at 12 n. Rolled out at 7 a.m. Made Russell's Station 24 at 9 a.m. Halted at noon 6 miles
west, good grass, poor water. All the water today is more or less tinctured with alkali. Camped at 4:30 p.m. Good grass over
the creek, water improved. Clouds in the west, no peak in view. Distance 18 miles.
Friday, June 3, 1859
Chilly damp south west wind. Struck camp at 6:30 a.m. Face of country changes, more broken, but fine black soil. Good grass,
water scarce. Met returning peaker, no gold there, had been there four weeks. Appearance of rain. Camped at 2:30 p.m. at Express
Station No. 25 on Beaver Creek. Distance 13 miles.
Saturday, June 4, 1859
Left camp at 6:30 a.m., 8 miles came to a creek, good water. Halted for dinner. Pine timber on the ridges. After so long
an absence of trees, the prospect is pleasing. Soil sandy, appears subject to drouth. Grass very poor. Camped at 3 p.m. Bigon
Creek. Plenty of wood, water tolerable. Distance 16 miles.
Sunday, June 5, 1859
Laid over to rest today. Man in Mason's train gave us some venison last night. Made a stew with venison and rice. Cooked
beans, Ed made gingerbread, boys washed. Morning very warm, flies troublesome. P.m. cool and cloudy.
Monday, June 6, 1859
Pleasant morning. Got under way at 5:30 a.m. Left pine timber. Frenchman died in accompanying train, post mortem examination,
buried by roadside at noon. Halted at 11 a.m. at Express Station 26. Small creek, good water. Camped at Kinway (?) Creek.
Good water, no alkali. Distance 18 miles.
Tuesday, June 7, 1859
Cool and pleasant. Left camp 6 a.m. Rolled into Cherry Creek valley at 3 p.m., 16 miles without water. Struck Santa Fee
Road, many teams coming on that route. Russell's Express hauled Republican route yesterday. Wouldn't pay. Camped on Cherry
Creek 7 miles from Denver. Made 21 miles.
Wednesday, June 8, 1859
Pleasant morning. Left camp at 6 a.m. Rolled into Denver at 8:30 a.m. Went to Express Office, big crowd, got four letters,
30 cents each. Camped on Platte above ferry. Wrote letter to wife. Bought two copies Rocky Mountain News. Sent them home.
Distance 7 miles.
Thursday, June 8, 1859
Warm and pleasant. Started for Gregory's Diggings. Left camp at daylight to cross ferry in advance of crowd. Put on wood
and water and drove two miles onto the prairie for breakfast. Fine rolling prairie, rich soil. Thunder storm, heavy rain and
hail, rapid rise of mountain stream. Drove on to Clear Creek, Rag Town. Water too high. Drove up to canyon to camp. Good grass
and corral. Distance 12 miles.
Friday, June 10, 1859
Fine, pleasant morning. J. Hamilton went afoot up to Gregory. Beamer and self went into the neighboring mountains to prospect.
No gold. Saw a brown bear and a deer. Shot a grouse. Returned rather fatigued. Found plenty of cold springs on our tramp.
Snow on the distant peaks. Reed herded the cattle but didn't bake the beans.
Saturday, June 11, 1859
Laid about camp today, not well. Beamer worked on bridge the forenoon. I baked them beans. P.m. unloaded wagon, cleaned
out, rearranged. Visit from D. O'Dell. Washed six pairs of socks, towel and bag. Beamer and Reed prospected the Creek, found
a good color. Eat up them beans. Black storm in the north.
Sunday, June 12, 1859
Quite unwell. Kept quiet all day. Read a sermon by Rev. A. Fairchilds from the parable of the Great Supper - very interesting.
Enjoyed the Sabbath more than any since leaving home. John O'Dell called on us, says McCann will be in tomorrow.
Monday, June 13, 1859
Prepared for a prospecting tour. Packed old Brin and Dick with about 100 pounds each. Beamer, Hamilton and self started
at two p.m. Oxen went well 1/2 mile. Dick reared and kicked off his load. Tried it again , threw it off again, let him go,
packed it all on Brin, wouldn't go. Carried it back to camp, made a cart, prepared for a new start.
Tuesday, June 14, 1859
Packed cart, took road for Jackson's Diggings. Hard, steep road up mountain. Fair mountain road on the summit. Many pleasant
grassy valleys. Saw buffalo's head and turkey's feathers. Met a number of prospectors returning much discouraged. Camped in
beautiful valley, good grass, splendid water. Cool night.
Wednesday, June 15, 1859
Drove on five miles through pleasant grassy valley, down one mile through a steep rocky gorge, halted on grassy bench.
Hamilton stopped with team. Beamer and self went on foot to Buckeye Diggings on Clear Creek. Heap of men prospecting. Some
at work, plenty of room, but poor prospect.
Thursday, June 16, 1859
Hamilton unwell. Beamer and self went down to Creek, crossed on floodwood, found a good looking bar. Sunk a hole six feet
to bedrock. Found color for four feet, then three inches gravel two cents a pan, then color to bedrock. Hard day's work but
won't pay. Some men commenced turning Creek above without a prospect.
Friday, June 17, 1859
Drove back five miles, then tried to drive farther into the heart of the mountains. Turned up a grassy valley, over ridge,
into another valley. Halted for noon. Beamer and self went to prospect for road, examined all ravines and ridges, found our
further progress with team is effectually blocked with rocky cliffs and gorges and fallen timber. Observed a number of robins.
Saturday, June 18, 1859
Hamilton remained at camp. Beamer and self went with tools to prospect the vicinity for gold. Took a circuit of some five
miles, examined all the likely and many unlikely places, but found no gold. Discovered an ice cold spring near the summit
of a lofty ridge (Query: Where's the fountainhead?). Named it Beamer's Spring. Very tired when we reached camp.
Sunday, June 19, 1859
Beautiful morning. Laid about camp. Commenced to read 2nd discourse by Mr. Fairchilds on the Great Supper. Oxen strayed,
obliged to hunt them. Towards evening moved over to a ranch to leave the cattle preparatory to a start on foot in the morning.
Monday, June 20, 1859
This morning we packed ourselves with provisions and tools for a prospecting tour up the Creek. Went down the long hill
comfortably. Took dinner on Mi--oun Bar. Men preparing to work along the creek, one gent willing to sell. Beamer talks
of buying. Prospect too poor to buy a claim here. Reached Jackson's diggings, little doing. Camped in the bushes one mile
Tuesday, June 21, 1859
Went up to Spanish diggings. I reckon there is good minds here, appears like they were doing something, a number of Americans
mixed in with Mexicans. Hamilton and I went up the creek six miles. Bars deep, water high. Couldn't get to bedrock. Tried
several ravines, got no color. Slept under a pine tree.
Wednesday, June 22, 1859
Hamilton and self went over to Gregory's mines. These are rich mines but expensive working, the gold being mostly in rock.
Very lively town, buildings going up rapidly. Much speculating in claims. I met here Cheny Sackner and the Eddy boys, they
were very much discouraged.
Thursday, June 23, 1859
Being satisfied that Gregory, Russell, and the Spanish diggings all on the same gold range, we returned to Spanish Bar
to prospect for the lode, soon ascertained that the ground was all claimed. We then turned over the mountain in the direction
of the Lode, pounded vein stone and washed with quicksilver. Found Nix claimed 500 ft in a ravine.
Friday, June 24, 1859
Thoroughly discouraged, we packed back to the cart, hitched up the team and drove for the valley. Hamilton is going to
work with his Georgia friends. Beamer going home and what I shall do is very uncertain. Met about 100 gold hunters with packs,
mules, carts, wagons, etc. Made a big drive, reached Clear Creek Camp at dark, found young Richardson camped near Reed.
Saturday, June 25, 1859
Reed decided to go to the Pacific. Went to McCann's Camp and took dinner. Tried to sell team, no buyers. Had milk and fresh
butter for breakfast. Found some men going to California wants a team, couldn't agree on price, come again tomorrow. Richardson
went to Gregory's.
Sunday, June 26, 1859
Went to meeting in a large tent used for selling flour, bacon, gin, whiskey, etc. Preacher an illiterate man, a disappointed
gold hunter. Subject: predestination and fordination. Presented some wholesome truths.
Monday, June 27, 1859
Sold our team. Reed going with the men that bought. Beamer engaged passage in a mule team for home. Divided our goods,
a long tedious job, all satisfied. Man came down from Gregory's all excited about the diggings. Reed troubled whether to go
Tuesday, June 28, 1859
Wrote to wife. Took leave of boys. Hamilton and self hired our traps carted to Gregory's. Left Reed very low spirited,
very homesick myself. Beamer going home in good spirits. Left Golden City at noon, bought pie and buttermilk for dinner. Very
good. Followed cart through rocky dusty canyon. Camped with large crowd of emigrants.
Wednesday, June 29, 1859
An express rider passed us early this morning with news that two men had been killed by Utahs - left cart, went ahead to
Mountain City. Excitement, company being raised to fight Indians. Cart late getting in. Weighed my truck and camped alone
in a spruce grove near a creek.
Thursday, June 30, 1859
Went this morning to hunt up Glen and O'Hare. Couldn't hear of them. Volunteers pressing mules in to the service. After
dinner, prospected a ravine, no color. Pursued my search of Glen & Co. No success. Saw the volunteers depart on the Indian
hunt, about 75 in number. Returned to camp rather blue.
Friday, July 1, 1859
Went out this morning to look at the diggings, learn the general run of the leads, surface indications. Found the mines
already opened much more extensive than I anticipated. The course of the leads run north east by south west. Discovered Glen.
Odell & Co. prospecting.
Saturday, July 2, 1859
Took a walk up the ridge west of camp. Passed quite a number prospecting. The general story is find nothing, yet
p.m. walked another direction, found some men -------- of success at the Virginia Claims. Saw gold in the dirt. Called
on Glen & Co., they rather pleased with their prospect.
Sunday, July 3, 1859
Kept quiet today. Disappointed in not getting a letter from home. Had a visit from Glen & Cook, invited me to go up
to their camp and work with them. Concluded to go on the morrow. Finished reading a discourse commenced a previous Sabbath.
Monday, July 4, 1859
Packed my stuff up to the Mich. Camp about two miles. Pretty hard job. Agreed to work with O'dell whilst Glenn goes to
the valley for provisions.
Tuesday, July 5, 1859
Odell & I worked in lead prospect. Not encouraging. Anibal and James Odell run a ton(?) in a ravine,
got 25 cts.
Wednesday, July 6, 1859
Went over to prospect gulch, found a color in branch of Clear Creek, poor chance for money. Returned
at 4 p.m., tired and hungry.
Thursday, July 7, 1859
Odell and self went to work at shaft again. Concluded to try a new hole on same lead. Found lead and sunk
about four ft. Prospect better on surface than below. Jim Odell and Anibal tried their turn again and abandoned it. Anibal
and Howe took provisions for a tramp towards snowy range.
Friday, July 8, 1859
Worked on lead till noon then returned with O'Hara. Poor O.H. looks bad, been sick on journey. Our lead prospect
so poor concluded to abandon it for the present. Determined to start Monday with a packed ox to hunt diggings.
Saturday, July 9, 1859
Washed in the forenoon. Went prospecting on my own hook in the afternoon, found nothing.
Sunday, July 10, 1859
A heavy storm of rain, hail and snow this afternoon. Brush shanties of little account in such weather.
Tuesday, July 12, 1859
Glen, O'Hara, Cook and self started out on prospecting tour toward snowy range with two packed oxen. Worked
hard. Rained every day. Found good indications but no gold. Returned on the 23 inst.
Cure for the Diptheria:
Give blood root and honey to sicken, and vinegar and water made strong with salt to gargle once in 15 minutes
precisely. Also strong spirit of camphor and turpentine and lard, 3 equal parts, warmed together, and a cloth wet in
that and put around the neck and renewed until blistered. Wash with tepid water whenever the child is restless.
CASH ACCOUNT - APRIL
23 Paid Sage for Reed
(amount torn off)
25 For Company
26 Hazel Chadwick
May 2 Ferry
June 8 Beef
9 Dried Apples