May 23, 1841

Bidwell’s Journal:

Sunday, May 23rd: All the oxen were gone this morning excepting nine. There was considerable complaint among the company, some saying at this slow rate of traveling we would have to winter among the Black Hills, and eat our mules etc. We, however, made a start about 9 in the morning, proceeded about nine miles and stopped to wait for Chiles’ wagon which overtook us about 5 P.M.; 14 Pawnees were seen by the wagon, well armed with spears etc. It was supposed they were on an expedition against the Kanzas.

Joseph Chiles was a member of the Western Emigration Society, but a little behind the others in getting started, and had to do some catching up. Once he and the men with him got with the main party, they were probably able to make better time, although the trip was slow going. Fifteen to twenty miles a day was the best they could do. They wouldn’t have to winter in the Black Hills, but the mules were another matter (and meal).


About nancyleek

Nancy is a retired librarian who lives in Chico, California. She is the author of John Bidwell: The Adventurous Life of a California Pioneer.
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