"Highly Important from California and the Plains," Frontier Guardian and Iowa Sentinel, 23 July 1852, 2.
- Related Companies
- Company Unknown (1852)
From California and the Plains.
We gather the following items of news from Judge W. T. Smith and company, who arrived in this place on the 15th inst., direct from California. They made the trip in 54 days from Shasta Bute City, California, to Kanesville! Passed A. W. Babbitt at the South Pass, on the 20th day of June, which was the 20th day after he left Kanesville. He would make the trip to Salt Lake in about twenty-five or twenty-six days from this place. They passed Fort Larimie [Laramie] on the second day of July, making the trip from there in thirteen days, a distance of 700 miles. The company consists of seven men and seventeen mules. They packed through. They are in good health and fine spirits.
The names of the company are:
Judge W. T. Smith, of Columbiana county, Ohio; J. Lawshe, Lycoming county, Pa.; J. W. McCoy, cedar county, Iowa.; E. Gaines, Platte county, Mo.; Thos. Tanton, St. Louis county, do; Robert Cabeen, Mercer conty [County], Illinois.
They went out in 1850, and have done very well, and intend to go back next season. They were attacked by the Digger Indians, on Humboldt river. None of them killed. They report it very sickly on the south side of the Platte river, and a great many deaths, while on the north side there is but little sickness among the emigrants, and but few deaths compared with the south side route.
They report only 150 graves on the whole route, and compute the number of teams they met this side of the South Pass at near 15,000 and the number of persons at near 40,000. The greater part of them went the north route. They say the north route is decidedly the healthiest and best route, and the best water, timber, grass, &c.
Judge Smith has kept a journal of the route, which we examined, and found it very interesting His object was, as he said, to ascertain as nearly as possible, the practicability of a Railroad to the Pacific from this part of the country, and he says the north side of the Platte is well adapted to the construction of a Road--far preferable to the south side.
We advised the Judge to have his journal published, and he said perhaps he would when he had leisure to write it out and put it in a better style, having only sketched it out with a pencil as he was traveling.
They report that two men from Boon county, Kentucky, differed on the route near Bear river. There names were Beal and Bosley. Mr. Beal shot S. Bosley. Beal was tried by a jury of emigrants and executed. The difficulty grew out of the division of the property when they were about to separate.
On the 18th of June, on the upper Platte river, a lady was found dead, with her throat cut from ear to ear. She was about thirty years old; had on her finger a gold ring, marked on the outside with the initials W. E., which is now in possession of E. H. Harvey, California.
On the 20th, a man and a boy was found dead, supposed to have been murdered. The man had brown hair and sandy whiskers; was about thirty or thirty-two years of age. The boy had red hair, and was eight or ten years old. No information could be got as to their death, or their names.
Capt. G. R. Thompson, of Missouri, was drowned in Humboldt river, on the 23d of April. His body was not found.
The emigration were getting along well. There was not much sickness in the Mormon trains, except some of the last companies.