Transcript for Elijah Elmer diary in "To the Tops of the California Mountains: The 1848 Carson Pass Diary of Elijah Elmer," edited by Will Bagley, Crossroads Newsletter 4, no. 3 (summer 1993): 5-7

July the 1 [1848]—started this morning in good Spirits for the Camp in the mountains[.] after going 2 or 3 miles Brother Pratt Broke out an axletree out of his waggon[.] fix up in a Short time and started againe [but] had not gone far before he Broke a gaine[.] stoped and put in a new one[.] it was not long Before we was on the rode agane[.] got in to Camp about sun down

2—in Camp to day fixing our waggons, seting tires and so forth[.] 4 waggons started on this morning with two Cannon to Break the way[.] good white pine here and oak and good water and good Land[.] We fine [find] it is a good valley[.] this is 40 miles from the top of the California mountains

3—Started out this morning for the top of the mountains[.] traveled 6 miles [crossing] one Bad hill so that we had to double [team.] Camp on the ridge to knight[.] had to go half a mile down in the valley to get water and feed

4—another hill this morning about the same as the other[.] Road good all day but [at] this place[.] Came up with the waggons that had gone a head 2 or 3 days ago[.] the men that went ahead to look out the road have not return[ed.] Camped on the hill againe to knight[.] 4 miles down to feed and water

5—8 men Started out this morning to find a pass over the mountain and to look for those that are gone[.] took 2 weeks rations with them[.] we stay here until they return[.] first rate pine timber and spruce here and balsam fir on this side of the mountain, 4 to 5 feet through and very high

6—in Camp to day

7—Brother [William] Coray came up with us to day

8—Still in Camp[.] Nothing of importance has occurred[.] the Camp got together at knight to take into consideration what way would be best to attend prayrs in messes or in Mass[.] here it has been a thing of Neglect with me and the most or all by their own story[.] it is as much of a cross for me as when I first began or heard about it But it is a thing that is needful for the prosperity of us all on our way home

9—still in Camp[.] this is Sunday

10—monday—went down to the Canyon and built a yard for the Cattle to stay in at knight

11—went to the same place and Built one for the horses

12—Still in Camp awaiting the return of the pioneers[.] 3 of them Started week before last and we have not heard from them yet

13—Still in Camp

14—Still in camp[.] the last pionears that [went] out came back about midknight and report a Road with some work on it so that we can pass through[.] verry bad in some places on account of some rock[.] they have been gone 9 days[.] the first company out has not been heard of as yet[.] Some fear that they are lost and starvd to Death

15—Still in Camp making ready for to start in the morning

16—Left Slys [James C. Sly] Ranch this morning for the top of the mountain[.] traveled 9 miles to day and Camp on the ridge[.] not much fead here and one mile to water down in the vally

17—Started againe this morning[.] Some Stone and a good many in some places[.] Came up to what we call iron hill[.] Had to double teams here for the first time[.] Traveled 6 miles to day and Camp on Camp Creek

18—Some trouble this morning to find our cattle[.] at the start we had a hill about a mile and a half long[.] a good many Brush to Cut to day and an other verry bad hill and verry Steep[.] traveled 10 miles to[day] and camp in Leack Vally[.] it deserves its name from the great Quantity of Leackes that grow in it[.] we had a good supper out of them at knight[.] the first time I have Eat any thing green in so long a time that I cannot remember

19—Lay in camp to day to repair some wagons and to go Back after some horses and Cows that was left on the Road yesterday[.] all found and Brought in

20—Set out on our Journy this morning and traveled 6 miles over the stones and worst Road that we have found yet[.] we camp at knight and to our great surprice we opened a place that had been newly dug up and we found 3 of our Brethern very Badly mangled and bruised to death and put here[,] Brothers Browett and Allen and Cox[.] they started out to hunt a pass over the mountain[.] they had been gone something like a month untill we found them[.] we was doubtful [suspected] Some thing had happened to them for it was not but about 50 or 70 miles to where they expected to return[.] we started on from where we all gathered to start and sent out nine men more to look for a pass and to see if they could not find them or where they had gone[.] these last men were gone 9 days and Returned bringing no news from the first [scouts] at all But [reported] that we could pass [over] the mountain[.] Brother [Jonathan Harriman] Holmes Broke down his wagon to day and had to leave it and Came in to Camp and take another and go back after it about 3 mile[.] we Camp By the same springs which is a good one that these men did[.] we called the springs or Camp Tragedy Springs[.] we put an inscri[p]tion on a tree near by there graves saying what was done and by whome[.] we found a purse of money on the ground Supposed to be allens Containing one hundred dollars in gold dust and some silver[.] this is all that we found that Belonged to them[.] we found several arrows on the ground that had blod on them[.] Br allen had his under Jaw cut in two and the gash Crossed his mouth and went up on his upper Jaw an inch or two[.] the other two were buried with there faces down so that we Could not see them[.] this took place the second knight after they left us in Camp [27 June 1848]

21—In Camp to day fixing Br Homes waggon wheel[.] our horses took flight at knight by some thing and have part of them gone that we have not found yet[,] But 11 of the Boys started in search of them and some Cattle have gone two[.] the whole face of the Country here is Rock and the vallys are Covered with large ones so that it is with difficulty that we can get along with our waggons we have to Crook a round so much[.] one oclock and we are ready to start if the Boys were here with the animals[.] they have returned with out them not found

22—a Company Started out this morning to hunt the horses and they Returned with out them about 11 oclock and we got up our teams and Started on our Journy[.] traveled 5 miles in to Rock Vally and camp[.] Roads verry bad[.] one waggon turned over and broke a tongue out of another wagon[.] we organized in to tens on the eighteenth of this month[.] Brother Holmes our leader and Brother Pratt with Br [Samuel Hollister] Rogers his Counselors[.] Brother Samuel Thompson our Capt. of 50 and Br Sly Capt. of ten, Br [Ephraim] Green Capt of 2 ten[,] E[lijah]. Elmer of the 3 ten, B[ro]. Coray of the 4 ten

23—16 men went to work the Road of the mountain to day[.] the road is verry Rockey

24—Still in Camp[.] another party went to finish the Road so that we can g[o] on 12 miles[.] we wrote a letter to leave here for some Indians to find and to take to some white man to read so that the news may get to Capt. Sutter that they may get there punishment[.] all the Indians this side of the mountains work for the Capt Every year and he has the government of them purty much

25—Started out againe this morning and traveled 10 miles[.] the Roads worse than Ever[.] Brother [Samuel Hollister] Rogers turned over twice and Willis [Willes.] Broke out a tongue axel tree and an other one was Broken out[.] Steavens [Alexander Stephens] turned over[.] the wrest of us Came on in to Camp safe or much tired [.] Camp in Lake vally to knight[.] Cold and frosty[.] Some Snow here now

26—Lay still to day to fix up our waggons and to Cut Roads down to the Lake a bout 2½ miles

27—moved on this morning down to the Lake and Camped near the lake in the same vally that we was in last knight[.] Pionears [scouts] started out this afternoon to search a Road in to a vally [on] the other side of the Back bone[.] Broak out an axel tree to day[.] there is the Shugar Pine here[.] the Shugar Runs out like the pitch out of the other pines

28—in Camp to day[.] a company gone to work the Road[.] 15 indians [came into] Camp to day to 30 [of] us[.] they are wild though they appear friendly to us as we under stand them to say

29—Left Camp this morning for the back Bone of the mountain[.] 3½ miles and Camp for the knight[.] this we Called Summit Camp[.] a party went to work the Road down the mountain this afternoon—about 5,000 feet down or a mile

30—Left Summit Camp this morning to Cross the Back Bone[.] all got down safe but one waggon Brother Coxes [John Cox.] he broke both axel trees out of his waggon[.] traveled one mile to day and Camp at the head of Read Lake[.] this Lake is about 2 miles or 2½ long by 9 or 10 Rods wide[.] it is not verry deep

31— Left Camp this morning[.] Roads bad as Ever for 2 miles then purty good for 8 miles making 10 miles we traveled to day and Camp at the mouth of a Canion that is werse than any thing that we have met yet[.] a party gone into the Canion to work so that we can pass

August the /1—Still in Camp and a party in the Canion at work

2—Still in Camp and still at work in the canion[.] this Camp is at the head of the Canion in hope vally at far End of the valley

3—Still in Camp at the mouth of hope valley[.] finished the Road to day through the Canion[.] we had some rain to day with thunder—the first rain that has been [seen] since we have been on the road[.] 14 of our Boys Came up with us to day with packs from the mines with 5 days on the Road that we have been 4 weeks on

4—Went through the Canion to day[.] the most of us got through at sundown—6 miles through