In the spring I began to think of home, sweet home. I put my Stockton lots in the hands of an agent, sold part of my teams, and left the rest in charge of John Crow. I had now about $1600 in gold dust. I had earned my money by the most slavish labor and rigid economy, footing it always except when the wagons were empty, wearing my clothes long without washing–for no washing was to be hired–never spending a cent except for absolute necessities.
“Cheyenne” Dawson started for home in April 1851, traveling by the Panama route to New Orleans. There he exchanged his gold dust for coin and traveled by steamboat up the river until he arrived home in Arkansas.
He sought a healthier climate for himself and his family in Texas. He bought a farm near Austin, cleared the land, built a house, broke the soil, and worked hard at farming and stock-raising. He settled down to raise a family and never went wandering again.
In 1894 he sat down to write his memories of his adventures on the trail and in California. After the deaths of Nancy Kelsey (1896) and John Bidwell (1900) he believed himself to be the last surviving member of the Bidwell-Bartleson emigrant company, but actually Michael Nye outlived him by three years.
Nicholas Dawson died on November 24, 1903.