"There is a mormen Settlement"Oregon Trail Diary kept by Henry Hubbard of Iowa, dated March 25, 1850, through July 19, 1850. 100 pages in pencil, including six pages of sketched maps. This 2.5" x 4.5" bound journal chronicles the journey of four men from Dubuque, Iowa, as they travel to California (the journal ends in Oregon). An early page describes the purpose of the journal: "A Description of the Rout to California and &c. By A Company of four Jas. W. Simmons, Geo. W. Stout, A. Baker, Mat Peck from Clinton County Iowa Who Started on the 25th of March 1850 With 2 Waggins and Seven horses." On the way, according to the journal, they witness prairie dog villages, herds of buffalo, Indian villages, and a Mormon settlement, and pass through the Rocky Mountains, the Black Hills, and numerous towns and villages, such as Salt Lake City. They endure the hardships of the Oregon Trail, such as the lack of water and food, the lack of grass for horses, and sand storms. The diary begins in Dubuque on March 25, 1850, and ends, according to the final pages of the journal, near Mary's River in northwest Oregon. Following are excerpts from the diary:
"50 cts bu. for corn and 70 cts. For hay, oats can not be had. . . . we have hard work to get feed for our horses. . . . arrived at Canesville. . . . we camp on the bank of Missouri...crossed the river at the Traders point. . . . is no timber nowhere to be seen...struck a south course to Platt. . . . passed 3 graves. . . . had the satisfaction of seeing a village of prairie dogs. . . . This day we travelled through a dog village for 20 miles. Water is scarce. . . . seen several dead buffalo that were killed by emmigrants. . . . there were a lot of boys out after a buffalo all night. . . . no wood for 200 miles. . . . G. G. Stout killed a buffalo this morning. . . . there is plenty of water but it is sulpher. . . . arrived at Cedar Bluff. . . . we passed an Indian village on the south side of the river. . . . grass still remains poor. . . . sandy roads, hard on teams. . . . grass is short, been ett by many teams. There is any quantity of clothing, stoves, wagons thrown away. Provisions is very high. Pies made of dried apples sell for 50 cts apiece. Nothing else for sale. . . . We went up to the fort and here we come to the conclusion to sell our wagon and pack. . . . we got 11 dollars for the wagon. . . . passed the grave of Jesse Clark. . . . travelled over some of the Black Hills. . . . we for curiosity counted the number of teams we passed, there was one hundred and thirty six. . . . we were blind with the sand. I would advise anyone that starts for California to get them . . . a pair of goggles. . . . we have 27 miles before water and 50 miles without grass. . . . we are in the Roc. Mountains. . . . . went 5 miles to the Devils Gate. . . . the price for a wagon 400 dlrs for pack horse 125. . . . we lost our horses we think it doubtful whether we ever find them. . . . a man brought 2 of our horses to us. . . . a ford there, 8 or 9 different streams, it is very dangerous - we got an indian to show us the route. . . . There is a mormen Settlement for 40 miles and thaire is Eny opranity of good water and grass those mormen all have considrable of all kinds of grain. . . . travelling north course from the Salt Lake City. . . . saw numbers of dead horses and cattle on the road."
A final page reads, "Men 14,288 / Women 171 / Childrens 157 / Waggons 3986 / Horses 13088 / Mules 3996 / Oxsen 5646 / Cowes 633 / Up to June the 6." The six map sketches are lightly drawn in pencil and include points such as Mary's River, Portneuf River, and the Salmon River. Written in pencil on the front free endpaper, "Probably Henry Hubbard brother of Abagail Hubbard."
Over 400,000 emigrants traveled the Oregon Trail, the wagon route from points near the Missouri River to Oregon, from the late 1830s until 1869. Use of the trail declined after the opening of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869. Three years before these four men set out for California, Brigham Young led the first group of Mormons to the Salt Lake Valley, thus beginning the emigration of thousands of Mormons. The discovery of gold in 1848 pulled thousands of men to California via the Oregon Trail. The original boards and bindings are worn on this journal. All toned pages are still tightly bound with light fraying around the edges.
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