May 1849

Tuesday, May 1. We travel through a rich country.  Arrive at  Mr. Price's, a member of the anti-missionary Baptist where we found a beautiful grass  pasture. Camped.  17 miles.

           Wednesday, May 2. Came within one and a half miles of Liberty.  A Mr. Long visited our camp who has often been to Santa Fe.  He told us that the route by Santa Fe to California was quite practicable and that he intended to start on the first of June and go that way.  Some of our company are for going the Santa Fe route and some the South Pass.  It is quite uncertain which way we shall go as there are so many different accounts of the routes that we cannot form an opinion which is the best.

  May 3.  After breakfast, Mr. Roberts and Mr. Tatershal[1] go to Independence to ascertain which will be the best route, South Pass or Santa Fe.  Return at nine o'clock at night, report that there is great excitement at Independence -- many wagons there and many gone through.  Could learn nothing satisfactory but suppose we must go by the South Pass.  The cholera was very bad at Independence.  Could get no letters, post office crowded.  I feel much disappointed in not getting a letter.  All the company are willing to go any way if they can only get to California.  The news being plenty of gold there is very flattering.  This day, I sold my new book, Pulpit Encyclopedia for two dollars which cost me three.  I could get no time to read and I had too much baggage.             

Friday, May 4. Repairing our wagons.  The camp is all bustle and hurry.  It rained almost all night as I lay in the wagon.  I heard it beating close to my head with nothing but the thin cotton covering to shelter me from the peltings of the pitiless storm.  We have but a small tent and it blew down in the night and those who slept in it had to elevate in the night and repitch the tent in the rain.  Six o'clock and it is still raining.  We had to turn out in the rain and cook bread and make coffee for eighteen men.  We stand in the heavy falling rain with our bread and cold fat bacon in our hand and our coffee considerably weakened by the falling rain in our cups.  We should greatly pity any one whom we might see in a like situation if we were at home, but we do not think our lot is hard.  We have all first rate health and good appetites.  Our painted coats are very valuable.

 We all feel deeply interested in which route we take for perhaps our lives depend upon our taking the right step now.  We cannot come back if we reach the Snowy Mountains and we cannot pass over.  We look forward with deep anxiety to the Sierra Nevadas where we suppose to meet with the greatest difficulties.  Two o'clock P. M. It still continues to rain and as our tents are being repaired and the wagons are occupied, I write this under one of the wagons.  "Home, thy scenes are passing lovely."  Night, its shadows have covered the Heavens.  A misty rain continues to fall.  We had to cook our supper which consisted of coffee, corn bread and cold bailed bacon, and just rolled down our bed in the wagon and feel happy that I have such a delightful shelter. It seems as grateful to me as ever did the softest bed.  My thoughts have been more than usual at home today.  I expected a letter from my family but Captain R. inquired at Independence for me and found none.  It is very dark, not a star.  I repair to my couch.

 May 5, Saturday morning.  Cloudy with mists falling.  We take an early start for Liberty where we are detained a short time to get painted cloth to cover the tops of our wagons.  Liberty is a beautiful town of some fifteen hundred inhabitants.  A very rich country surrounds it here.  Captain Roberts showed me a letter which he received from his wife at Hannibal in which my daughter is named which renders me very unhappy.  Mrs. Roberts, after stating the families of all the company are well so far as she had heard observes at the close of her letter, "I have not seen any of the Misses Stevens."  Here, Mrs. had to close her letter as the mail was just ready to start and I suppose I have thought much on the few words as my daughter, Ann Eliza, was just but partially recovered from sickness when I left home.  What did it mean, Miss Stevens is better, is worse, is well, is dead?  I could not tell.  I could not help thinking of it all the fore part of the day.

 This evening, a further consideration of it with trusting in Divine Providence has considerably relieved my mind.

We have passed through a thickly settled country today, but the land has been very broken.  Nothing of interest occurred.  The camp fire is blazing and my friend holds the candle while I finish these last lines.  Camp Williams.  8 miles.

May 6. Sunday.  Rainy morning.  Meeting was appointed at Barry, a small town not far from camp, but in consequence of the rain more attended.  I went into the wagon which seems to the traveler like his home and threw myself on the bed and should have been quite happy but for thinking of my family.

Night.  The moon is at her full and I write this by her soft light while her silver beams shed on my paper.  Committing myself to the care of Him who called it into existence and caused its light to shine on the earth, I repair to the couch.

 May 7. Captain R. and Mr. Tatershall started early this morning to St. Joe to ascertain the best place to cross the Missouri River.  It is reported that the cholera is raging there and that we may have to wait a week before we can get ferried over the River.  If so we shall cross at some other point lower down.  James Munson[2] and Yankee John rode to Independence, 5 miles, today to get letters from the post office.  I am anxiously looking for one from there and one from St. Joe.  This day, I have left the cooking department and Henry washes our clothes.  Our clothes are dried and I ironed them and they look very well.  A California emigrants' wagon with five yoke of oxen came by our camp yesterday with a woman and two little boys and two men.  One was Mr. Nat Shannon.[3]  The woman wanted to return but they went on. Poor woman, I pitied her.  Camp: Williams.           

May 8, Tuesday. Passed through a rich prairie with some fine improvements. At 4 o'clock arrived at Platte City, a beautiful town on the Little Platte River. Met with a Mr. Osborne who informed us that Major McDaniels[4] was on his way and goes by way of Santa Fe. They wish us to join their train.  Captain Roberts and Tatershall are to meet us here today on their return from St. Joe.  Mr. Munson and Yankee John returned about nine o'clock P. M. from Independence.  They bring me no letters.  The post office was crowded and more letters than the postmaster could look over.  The town is crowded with emigrants.  The cholera is very bad there and many are backing out.  Men wishing to sell their trunks and effects at almost any price, women and children in pitiable situations.  Many  will be ruined by this speculation.  What the         results will be with us is entirely beyond our knowledge.  Camp Platte City 16 mi.

  May 9, 10 and 11, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Captain Roberts returned to camp this morning.  Brings no letters for me.  I feel much disappointed.  Found the post office crowded as at Independence.  Yet undecided about which route to take.  There were thirty one persons died of cholera on the Steamboat Mary on her way from St. Louis to Independence.  The engineer was buried just before arriving at Independence.  Nineteen persons died at a small town called Kansas.  One man was taken in the street and died in an hour.

May 12.  We leave camp about nine o'clock.  Traveled 12 miles and stopped to feed.  Sent Yankee John four miles to the Missouri River to inquire if our teams could be ferried over.  He returned in about two hours and informed us that if we went on, we could be ferried over that evening.  We drove on.  When we came to the River, there were a large train of government cattle to be ferried over and they always have first right.  That evening we could get none of our wagons or cattle over.  We were now in the Missouri bottom two miles from any  farm where we couId get any corn or pasturage.  Our cattle were hungry; night approaching; cattle and men tired.  Cholera raging on the other side of the River at Fort Leavenworth, the soldiers barracks are in view and it is reported that out of about one thousand soldiers in the garrison from 14 to 20 die in a day.  The steamboat Mary Blane has just made her appearance.  She has landed and one coffin is taken out, some one belonging to the Fort, an officer, perhaps.  We turn our cattle out with their yokes on to graze.  Have a great deal of trouble keeping them together. The poor cattle get but little.  We tie them up and take our coffee and bread and meat and retire to rest.  16 miles.                                 

 May 13.  Sunday.  About midnight some poor fellow in the River hollowed, "Save me! Save me!" and floated down the stream about a quarter of a mile.  Opposite to our wagons, the sentinels on guard heard him.  One gave the alarm but no one could reach him and he sank in the deep water and was drowned.  We had expected to have been ferried over the morning early but a drove of government mules came and we could not get the horse boat, so we had to take a crazy old flat and there being two flats we had the promise of them.  We expected to get them, but some other California emigrants disputed our right to them.  Both our men had some hard words with them, which I was afraid would terminate in the use of arms, but we soon made an amicable adjustment and we had to labor hard all day to pull the oars and attend to our cattle and could get nothing to eat.  The Missouri water was all we had to drink which was very muddy although it was sweet.  The sun shone very hot and we had to work very hard without much to eat and our cattle had to starve all day.

At night just after sun down, we put over the last wagon. Our provision was lying on the landing and it looked like rain but we were all too much exhausted to pack the provisions in the wagon.  All our cattle were grazing in the commons and we had to gather them together and tie them, our suppers to get, and worse, one yoke of cattle had strayed off and we had to hunt in the night for them, but found them not until the next morning.  This was less like Sunday than any day I ever saw before or desire to see again.  After hunting up our stray cattle till late at night we all laid down to sleep.  Camp Leavenworth.

Monday, May 16.  Before day we all arose and went in search of the cattle.  Found them.  Commenced repacking our flour, bacon and baggage.  Just before we finished, torrents of rain poured down upon us but we soon finished and hitched up our cattle and drove about four miles from the Fort and camped on the prairie at a place selected by another company (which they recommend to us) which was a very bad selection.  About half a mile from us there were a great many soldiers from the Fort encamped, being sent there on account of small pox and cholera.

Several of our company are complaining of sickness and diarrhea. Mr. Atkinson so sick that he had to lie down on the road being unable to sit on his horse but a short distance at a time.  Mr. Wines taken with the same cholera is in our camp[5] and the result we know not, every countenance looks sad.  We have much to do here packing and making sacks and adjusting everything before we start on our long trip across the plains.  Henry Stevens this evening taken sick.  Mr. Atkinson[6] and Wines worse.  More complaining.  At night we appoint a guard of sixteen as there is danger of our oxen or mules being driven off and stole.  This is the first time in my life I ever had to stand guard.  The night was very cloudy and dark constant lightning and about midnight heavy rain; as I walked the lonely rounds the groans of the sick, the vomiting of persons in some tents and now lights springing in others, with the hurried step of one and         another inquiring for the doctor added fresh depression to my spirits already cast down.  When I was relieved from guard, I went to the wagon to my bed and found my son, Henry, much worse.  I laid down but could not sleep.  Up to this time, I had not been the least sick myself and did not fear the hardships and fatigue of the journey, but sickness and death seemed to lie between me and California.

May 15, Tuesday.  This mornings Mr. Atkinson worse.  Mr. Wines expected to die.  Early yesterday morning, he was well.  We move on from this place of cholera.  Mr. Hubbard[7] put Mr. Wines on his mule carriage, drove a mile or two and Mr. Wines breathed his last.  We drove on to a little stream called Caw River and deposited his remains on its bank, scratched his name on a stone and put it at the head of his grave.  There he lies in the wilderness of the plains in the wild uncultivated territory beyond Missouri.  Mr. Atkinson still lower.  His wagon stops while the grave is dug and poor Wines is buried, but we do not inform him of the death.   I inquired of Mr. Atkinson how he was.  He told me no better.  I expected soon to see him laid in the ground.  I had little hopes that he would ever recover.  We traveled twenty miles through a beautiful country.  Camped where we found plenty of wood and water.

May 16.  Wednesday.  This morning a Major Gouff died of cholera.  A part of the train stay to deposit his remains.  Henry is worse.  We arrive at the Kansas River.  I feel the symptoms of the prevailing disease.  I am very much depressed in spirits.  If I get sick there is but little possibility of getting better as it is not possible to nurse and provide nourishment for a sick person in a wagon traveling with a train and now it seems if to be only at home with my family, I would give freely everything I own.  After crossing the Kansas River, Mr.. Funk[8] arrived in company with Messrs.  Davidson and Harris.[9]  Mr. Harris had been sick for some days and not likely to recover.  Mr. Funk has the most of the work to do as Mr. Harris is sick and he is very much discouraged and worn down with fatigue.  Mr. Harris wishes to sell out and Mr. Funk also.  Mr. Davidson is unwilling.  This day I am about 16 miles from Independence and make up my mind to sacrifice everything I have and go home, Henry being very sick and myself scarcely able to do anything.  Captain Roberts is very much opposed to my leaving the company.  Major McDaniel has acted toward me as a true friend.

Sundown.  I feel something better and Henry is no worse.  Resolved to wait until tomorrow morning before I decide whether I will return home or go to California.  This evening I went to Mr. Funk's tent and persuaded him to go on but he would not consent.  Said he must go home to his family.

May 17, Thursday.  This morning feeling better and Henry's health improving, we conclude to try and proceed with the train.  Mr. Harris of Marion County,  the sick man with Funk and Davidson, has sold out to Mr. Hubbard for $30.00 his share is 1/3 of four yoke of oxen and wagon and provisions cost him (illegible).  Mr. Funk has determined to go on to California.  Mr. Harris and a Mr. Turner and the clothes and effects of Major Gouff of Rocheport, Boone County, who died yesterday are sent to a little town called Kansas at the mouth of the Kansas River where they will take a steamboat if they are well enough and     return to their families.  Camped at a little branch where there is plenty of water and wood, about 22 miles from Independence.

May 18.  This morning another man is very sick.  Almost all of the men are complaining.  I am not well, have diarrhea.  Henry still continues the same.  Mr. Atkinson is improving and he is able to ride on horseback.  We traveled this day without water fit for us to drink over a beautiful plain.  While I am writing this, Yankee John is crying off at auction the clothes and effects of Mr. Wines.  Sale amounts to about sixty dollars. 12 miles.

May 19. This morning is very cold. The north wind  has blown cold all night. A blanket feels very comfortable. Henry is  not so well as he was yesterday. I have diarrhea this morning worse  than I had it yesterday. One sick man, a Mr. Reed[10], is better. We   traveled this day through a much poorer part of the plains than yesterday.  Mr. Atkinson's health is improving and we have no new cases.  This evening about three or four o'clock, Mr. J. McKee[11], Dr. Meredith[12], Mr. Cross[13] and Mr. Ferguson[14] from Hannibal came up with us.  We had a very pleasant meeting.  They travel with mules and horses.  We camp near wood and water.  14 miles.

May 20, Sunday.  There is considerable sickness in the camp yet.  Mr. Vail taken with a chill and is quite sick.  I am still unwell myself.  Slept more last night.  About two o'clock this morning a yoke of oxen with a bell had, I suppose, strayed from some train of wagons and running past our cattle which were left out in the open plain, they followed them and the whole of our cattle were gone off in the dark night.  It was very dark.  We all got up as soon as it was discovered that they were gone and went in search of them.  Directed by the bell, we soon overtook them and brought them back.  I laid down again and got to sleep and slept about an hour.  This being the Lord's Day we had intended to rest but there being so much diarrhea among the men which predisposes the system to take the cholera and we had passed a camp yesterday which had buried two and another likely to die, we thought we had better roll on and get as far out in the plains as possible.  Beside, we discovered staying in one place longer than one night made the sick worse.  We had not traveled more than a mile from our camping place this morning when a man rode up to us.  He had saddle bags and blankets and was pretty well fixed for traveling.  He said he was very sick and he was evidently very much scared.  Poor fellow he had the cholera.  Our physician, Dr. Bull[15] gave him some medicine and he continued to ride a little way, as far as he was able, then got down until the last wagon of the train passed him, all being afraid to take him in.  Everyone pitied him but none dare to take it upon himself to take him in for our wagons were all full and if a man would give him up his own bed he could not put him in with those of his bedfellows who slept in the wagon.  When the last wagon passed, he laid down on his blanket and that is the last we saw of him.

This evening, about three o'clock the wind blowing very hard, it commenced pouring down rain.  We were unprepared and it drifted into the wagons.  The oxen would not stand and most of us got a complete wetting.  We could not travel any farther so we stopped our teams and turned out our oxen while it was pouring down rain.  I was completely soaked with water and out in the pitiless storm having no place to go in to dry, for to go into the wagon would wet everything else that was in the wagon, so I waited in hopes the storm would abate.  It was very cold and I felt very disagreeable but a little before sun down the storm abated its fury and the rain ceased but it still blowed very cold.  I changed my clothes and I felt as much invigorated as if I had come out of a cold bath.  We had but very little brush wood that we had hauled from another camping place to make a fire to boil our coffee.  We soon discussed our supper and laid down.           

May 21.  Monday.  This morning, the wind is blowing very hard across the plains.  It is from the northeast.  It is quite cold.  We start early.  After traveling about two miles we came to a grave close by the roadside.  A man in a company from New York died last night of cholera and here they have laid him.  Poor fellow, the wolves will soon disinter him.  Every grave we pass in these lonely plains casts a gloom over the mind.  No one knows but it may be his turn next.  We passed today, I suppose, one hundred dead oxen.  They are scattered all along the road.  Most of them died in the spring or winter coming from Santa Fe.  This evening, the company was called by the sound of the horn to consider the propriety of having an organization.  Capt.  Roberts was called to the chair.  A committee of five were nominated to draft a constitution and by-laws.  Camp at a creek called One Hundred to Ten.

May 22, Tuesday.  This morning is calm.  Wind southeast.  Cold until about nine o'clock then a very warm day.  We came about seven miles to Switzlers Creek, a very good stream of water where there was a company of men with pack mules.  A colored man in their company went out early this morning well, to drive up some mules--was taken with cholera and at ten o'clock when we passed their camp they did not expect him to live many minutes.  If a man is taken with cholera here there are little hopes of him getting well.  We heard today of a poor fellow who was taken with cholera on Sunday on the road.  Three men passed him with pack mules, stayed with him some time and promised to return back after they had found a camping place and secured their mules but before they had got through with their camp arrangements it was very late as came on a rain and blow exceedingly; they could not go back that night.  He was out in the pouring rain in the wild, wild plains sick and no one was near him, his horse grazing by him and through the dark and dreary night the howling winds are mingled with his groans.  Passed Independence Creek, a bold stream.  Here I learned that the man who died with the cholera was a Mr. McCrosky who formerly owned the farm Mr. Darr[16] near Hannibal now owns.  His wife and children were on ahead in a wagon and a Negro man belonging to him was with them and he had died with cholera and we passed his grave the same morning he was buried.

May 23, Wednesday.  A cold rainy morning and it has been a cold rainy night.  The cattle strayed away about two miles in the night scared by the thunder and lightning.  The lightning continued from one flash to the other and kept up a constant blaze of light.  Those on guard had to run and if it hadn't been for the lightning they could have not got them.  Nothing of interest occurred today.  We have passed over a very poor country with the exception of one stretch of about twenty miles.  We came to a creek with good timber and water  and a narrow strip of good land in every six or from that to ten miles.  Much of the prairie we passed today has been gravelly.

May 24, Thursday.  This morning again cold and the night has been rainy.  We have rain every day and it makes it very unpleasant traveling.  We arrive at a creek called Big John, one mile and a half from Council Grove.  Many Indians have come into our camp today with their blankets round their shoulders and no other clothes on.  They brought dried buffalo meat to sell.  Some of our men bought it and ate it. The smell was plenty for me.  It is still raining.  We have to drive up the cattle through the rain, tie them to our wagons, now the rain falls in torrents.  At a quarter before nine, we set the guard out.  I was in the first watch, such a continued storm of thunder and lightning and rain I think I never before witnessed.  We had but a poor guard tent and we expected it would blow down.  At eleven o'clock, wet through, I was relieved and crept into my wagon where I found Henry shaking with the ague.  I felt thankful for the shelter that the wagon afforded.[17]

May 25, Friday.  This morning is clear and cool but pleasant after so much rain.  Indians are in our camp today.  We stay here until tomorrow on account of a stream we cannot cross.  We are washing up our clothes and airing them.

May 26, Saturday.  It is a very cold morning and the wind blows so cold all day that two coats will scarcely keep me warm.  Today  we passed a new made grave of an Indian chief with his horse lying at the head of the grave where he had been shot down as their custom is to shoot the horse of the Chief when he dies so that he may have a horse to ride when he gets to the other world and then they have to go to some other tribe and get a scalp from some poor Indian whoever they may find to shoot down so that their chief may have a servant as well as a horse in the other country.  We traveled about 17 miles today and camp near Diamond Spring.

May 27, Sunday.  Morning cool but pleasant.  An appointment for the company to meet at ten o'clock to organize was made this morning.  The chair was filled by Major Bowlin.  Colonel Jackson[18] was prepared who addressed the meeting stating object is for organizing a group which was to travel together if a company sufficiently strong could be raised to go by way of Bents Fort to the neighborhood of Taos and there, let some stay in some good pasturage and graze the cattle and guard them while a company of men go into the mountains among the Comanche Indians who are very hostile and warlike, and explore for gold.  Captain Kirker, an old mountaineer who will be up with us in a few days with a large company and who knows there is gold there, having been there and picked it up himself, is to lead the way.  The Majority seeming to be in favor of going direct to California by the Seminole Route, the meeting adjourned to meet again at two o'clock.

At two o'clock, we met, and adjourned indefinitely.  Captain Gully tendered an invitation to any who would join a company to go the Seminole Route to meet at their tent at four o'clock.

At four o'clock we met.  About one hundred form a train and appoint Captain Gully as their commander and appoint a committee of five to draft a constitution and by-laws to report tomorrow at noon.  Our own company, upon reflection decided not to go with them but to go with Colonel Jackson.  My watch tonight is from twelve to two o'clock.

May 28.  A very pleasant morning.  We send up to the company who start the Seminole route this morning at seven o'clock intelliging them that we decline going with them.

We wait today for Kirker's company.  About four o'clock they arrive and camp about one mile west of us.  We leave the camp today and pass them and travel four miles carrying our wood and water, there being no wood or good water the next thirty miles.

May 29, Tuesday.  This morning we see antelopes on the plains which experienced travelers say indicates that Indians are not far off.  The Comanche Indians come out to the plains in the spring to chase the buffalo and this spring it is thought they are farther east than usual as antelope are very seldom seen on the east side of cottonwood groves.  They are generally west of Diamond Spring.  The antelope are very fleet.  We have seen many of them today and one has been shot by another company.  Our men did not succeed in shooting any. Camp at Cottonwood Grove, 26 miles.

May 30, Wednesday.  It rained all day and we stayed in camp. 

May 31.  Thursday.  This morning one man of the camp traveling with Col.  Jackson sold his baggage and left the camp for home after we had traveled about four miles.  Another stopped the wagon and cried his baggage off by auction and rode on a good horse home.  His effects brought $44.00.  He intended to ride fifty five miles to Council Grove by night.  He took a notion that he must see his wife and family and when a man begins to think about his family and home it is hard to shake it off.  We travel today eighteen miles without wood or water.  We camp at Turkey Creek, a clear stream of water which never goes dry.  We have no wood here and shall not have any until we reach the Little Arkansas.  We came near a new made grave of some emigrant.

A wagon loaded with goods from Independence to Council Grove was overtaken by a traveler a few days ago. The oxen were grazing a little from the road. The driver was in the wagon dead. It was supposed he died from cholera.

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[1]Mr. Tatershal was probably the Mr. Tatershall listed in the 1844 census in Hannibal, having 2 boys and a girl, for in the 1850 census, a Mary TAtershall is listed, age 38, from Ohio, with a son John, 17, born in Ohio; Mary J.,10, born in MO.; and William T., 5, born in Mo.

[2]James Munson, born in Kentucky in 1827.  His father died when he was very young and he came to Hannibal to live in 1834 with his mother and his brother William.  He became a brickmaker and made the bricks for a large portion of the early buildings in Hannibal.  He and his brother William went to California in 1849.  They returned in 1851. Not long after that, his brother William died of cholera.  James served as a Union Soldier in the Civil War.  He was well known in Hannibal and served several years in city office.  In 1848, he married Fidelia Hunt of Monroe County, Missouri and they had 7 children.

[3]Nathaniel Shannon was one of the first settlers of Marion County, coming here before 1827.

[4] Major McDaniel was a Marion Countian who was active in state politics.  He was nicknamed Billy Mac the Buster.  He served in the state legislature as a representative in 1846.

[5]Mr. Wines.  John S. Wines, listed in the 1840 census of Marion County as a Hannibal resident, and also in the 1844 census as Hannibal.

[6]Mr. Atkinson.  Jacob D. Atkinson, listed in the 1844 Marion County directory as a resident of Hannibal, with a wife, 2 sons and 2 daughters.  Later in the diary, it is indicated that he took his family on the trip.

[7]William Hubbard, born North Carolina, 1806.  Moved with his family to Ohio 1808.  Came to Hannibal 1842, settling on a piece of land about 1 1/2 miles west of the Mississippi River where he farmed and kept a cooper shop.  In 1849 went to Calif. returning in 1850 by the Isthmus and New Orleans.  Married Margaret Powler 1827 in Ohio, they had 10 children.  She died 1864. 1866, he married Mrs. Emily McDonald, daughter of William Darr.  She died 1881.  In 1883 married Elizabeth Hubner.

[8]Mr.  Funk.  Solomon Funk of Hannibal.

[9]Mr. Harris -- G. W. Harris of Hannibal.  Mr. Davidson -- William H. Davidson.

[10]Mr.  Reed.  Possibly Mr. John T. Read of Fabius TWP. in 1844 census, but cannot find a record of a Reed who went to Calif. in 1849.

[11]John McKee came to Mo. from Pittsburgh, Pa., helped establish Marion College, later investing in and promoting the ill-fated Marion City.  He lived near West Ely.

[12]Dr.  Hugh H. Meredith, born circa 1806, Pennsylvania.  Practiced in Hannibal, his office on Wildcat corner, Main an Bird. One of men who started first Library in Hannibal.  Married Ann Rose, 5 children.

[13]Samuel C. Cross, teacher and owner private school in Hannibal.

[14]Mr.  Ferguson was William M. Ferguson of Hannibal.

[15]Dr. J. F. Bull of Hannibal.

[16]Mr. William Darr, one of the very earliest settlers of Marion County.  Owned a large strip of land in what was later Stringtown, and is now called Oakwood.          

[17]On May 24, near Council Grove, Rev.  Stevens wrote a letter to his wife, Sarah, and the letter has been preserved.  He stated that he was sad because he had not heard from her except through a visit with Mr. McKee.  He confided to her his conflicts with Mr. Roberts, the captain of his particular group which had become part of a larger wagon train.  Mr. Roberts had agreed to let him earn his expenses on the trip by working.  He was to be steward of the provisions, and also to hold the church services on the trip.  A few days out on the road, he wrote, Mr. Roberts had imposed upon him the job of cooking for the eighteen men.  Even on Sundays, he expected him to arise early, cook the bread, meat and coffee, then go back to this crowded wagon which he shared with four other men, and dress suitably for giving the sermon.  He resented Mr. Roberts reprimanding him in front of the others, bossing him, and calling him such names as Granddaddy and Old Man Stevens.  Rev.  Stevens told Sarah he had been able to take his own part, and that he considered himself a match for Roberts and had resolved not to let him impose upon him farther.  His letter told news of the cholera, of the illness of Mr.. Atkinson and Henry, and of the death of Mr. Wines.  He told Sarah how he appreciated the friendly gestures of Major McDaniels to him.  He praised three men of the group, namely, William Fenner, Mr. Peyton and Townsend Settles.  He said he was sitting in his wagon while he wrote, with his writing paper on a sack of clothes.  He closed the letter by writing special messages to the children, Ann Eliza, Benjamin, Edward, Laura, Louise and the baby.

[18]Col. Jackson.  Colonel Congreve Jackson of Howard County, Missouri.

Cover    Preface
  May    June    July    August
     October    November
Final Note    Appendix