November 6, 1841 — The End of the Journey

Saturday, 6th. Fifteen of the Company started for a Spanish town, called the Pueblo of St. Joseph (which is situated about 40 miles from Marsh’s) to seek employment.

Members of the Bidwell-Bartleson Party didn’t waste any time sitting around at Marsh’s rancho, relaxing and recovering from their long and strenuous journey. They were made of tougher stuff than we are.

They arrived on November 4th, and on the 6th half the men set out for San Jose to look for work. The other half of the men went back to the San Joaquin Valley to hunt for game. John Bidwell decided to stay at Marsh’s for the time being, keeping an eye on the Company’s effects, and doing some local exploring.

The men who left for San Jose soon ran into trouble. They were arrested two miles from the pueblo and spent six days in the “calaboose” before they were released. Because of the “Graham Affair” of 1840, in which a few Americans fomented a rebellion against the Mexican governor, the authorities were understandably suspicious of any uninvited Americans coming into the territory.

The adobe jail at Monterey. The one at San Jose would have been similar.

The November 6th entry concludes John Bidwell’s overland day-by-day diary. It is not, however, the end of the journal. Bidwell added several pages of “Observations about the Country” detailing the vegetation, climate, and resources of California, including wages and prices. He gives his opinion about the Mexican government and outline the route to California. In conclusion he writes:

To all my acquaintances and friends who may be in bad health I would recommend a trip to California. All whom I have heard speak of the climate as regarded their health say its effects have been salutary.

And now it’s time for me to take a little salutary break from blogging, but I will be back soon with some book reviews and more explorations of life in Northern California.

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 November 6, 1841 — The End of the Journey

  1. Sandy Hill says:

    This trip through time has been priceless. Thank you so much Nancy.

  2. Steve Mickelson says:

    Thank you! I just found your site recently and now have to go back to catch up, even though I know the ending. Very well done and appreciated.

  3. Writing a Trilogy for YA readers regarding the Butte County gold and diamond era.
    This history….will be very informative.Thank you for your efforts.

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