July 4, 1841

Sunday, 4th. Pursued our way over hills and dales, scorched with heat; came to a small copse of red willows, from which issued excellent springs of water. Three buffalo killed, distance travelled 22 miles.

No one in the group, not Bidwell, nor Jimmy John, nor Father De Smet, make mention of any celebration of Independence Day on the 4th of July in their journals. It was just another day on the trail. Yet you’d think it could hardly have gone unremarked. But their focus was always on the day-to-day difficulties of the journey: the rough terrain, the need to find food and water, and the imperative to press on.

A Buffalo Hunt, by Father Nicolas Point

Father Nicolas Point, one of the missionaries, drew a number of sketches of life on the trail. I can’t translate the French caption on this drawing. It may be one of the sketches he made while traveling with the Bidwell-Bartleson Party.

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.
This entry was posted in Bidwell-Bartleson Party, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to July 4, 1841

  1. Sandy says:

    How they determine mileage?

  2. John Gallardo says:

    Nancy, even though I/we don’t comment often, I/we want you to know how very much we enjoy following the group on their way west. Thank you for sharing this with us!

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