November 5, 1841 — At Marsh’s

Friday, 5th. Company remained at March’s getting information respecting the country.

And resting, one hopes. After their arduous trek, they deserve a day of recovery.

Feeling that Marsh had treated them generously by killing an ox and a hog to feed them, and even grinding some of his seed wheat to make tortillas, the members of the company repaid him by offering him what few items they had to give. Bidwell says in his 1877 Dictation:

In return for the kindness extended to us, we opened our treasures consisting of cans of [gun]powder, butcher knives, lead, and various other useful articles and made the doctor what we considered liberal presents in return. I remember one of the party presented him with a case of surgical instruments. As for money, we had little or none.

The Marsh Rancho, showing the stone house Marsh built in 1853. Painting courtesy of the John Marsh Historic Trust

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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