Monthly Archives: August 2021

William B. Lorton on the Trail

The eminent historian of the American West, Dale Morgan, called The diary of William B. Lorton “the finest Forty-niner diary I have ever laid eyes on.” Having known Dale Morgan many, many, many years ago when I was a student … Continue reading

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The “Most Unique” Adventures of John Scott, Black Pioneer

The obituary of John Scott, black pioneer of Tehama County, reads like an adventure novel. I wish I could find more information about him. So far the only two sources are his obituary in the Red Bluff Daily News (May … Continue reading

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The First Overland Letter to California

I thought I knew a lot about the 1841 Bidwell-Bartleson Party — the first group of emigrants to leave the United States on the overland trail. But I didn’t know about the letter carried by Elias Barnett to John Marsh, … Continue reading

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More Vegetables by Stage

When Mrs. B.M. Evoy asked John Bidwell to supply her with fresh vegetables for her boarding house (See “Send a Basket by the Stage”), she wasn’t the only one. As she said in her letter, she heard about this source … Continue reading

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Mrs. Evoy Leaves Briggsville

Two months after the conviction of Col. John H. Harper for the theft of $1800 in gold from Mrs. Bridget Evoy, she decided to sell the California House in Briggsville. What motivated her to give up running (as it says … Continue reading

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Who Robbed Mrs. Evoy?

Colonel John H. Harper was convicted of the crime of robbery against Mrs. B.M. Evoy on the stage near Neal’s Ranch in Butte County in May 1853. He was sentenced to seven years imprisonment, but was pardoned by the governor … Continue reading

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