Finding a Friend

When May came, I was the only man that was ready to go of all who signed the pledge. In Weston, however, there was a man who had never signed the pledge but who had said from the beginning that he would go to California when May came. This was Robert H. Thomes, a wagon maker at that time.

thomes2Robert Thomes settled in Tehama County. He was a life-long partner with Albert Toomes, who came to California by the southern route, arriving only a short time after the Bidwell-Bartleson Party arrived. They met and worked together as house builders in Monterey, before getting their land grants at Tehama.

Of his overland journey, Robert Thomes said:

We suffered great hardships, and got into very tight pinches for food and water,but we made up for it when we got among the fat beef and venison of California.

Thomes and Bidwell would remain friends the rest of their lives. When Robert Thomes died in 1878, Bidwell was the executor of his estate.

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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