Author Archives: nancyleek

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.

Hellacious California

What is a California prayer book? Would you drink tarantula juice? Would you go in for pedestrianism? What was the Egg War? Would you invest in a Patent Hydro Electro Magnetic Goldometer that promised to find gold and water? (Save … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

John Bidwell in 1850

One reason I like to write about John Bidwell is that he makes such a good lens for looking at the history of California. He was involved with many aspects of early California (politics, mining, agriculture, education), he knew everyone, … Continue reading

Posted in Mary Helen Crosby | Leave a comment

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Bidwell-Bartleson Party, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Bidwell-Bartleson Party, John Marsh | Leave a comment

November 4, 1841 — Hurrah for California!

Thursday, 4th. Left the river in good season and departing gradually from its timber came into large marshes of bulrushes. We saw large herds of elk and wild horses grazing upon the plain. The earth was in many places strongly … Continue reading

Posted in Bidwell-Bartleson Party, John Marsh, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 3, 1841 — Almost There

Wednesday, 3d. We waited till Capt. B. came up, and all started for Marsh’s about noon; arrived at the St. Joaquin and crossed it — distance 13 miles — found an abundance of grass here. The timber was white oak, … Continue reading

Posted in Bidwell-Bartleson Party, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

November 2, 1841 — “Great Joy and Gladness”

Tuesday, 2nd.  Capt. B. with his 7 remained to take care of the meat he had killed — while the rest of the Company went on. We passed some beautiful grapes, sweet and pleasant.  The land decreased in fertility as … Continue reading

Posted in Bidwell-Bartleson Party | Leave a comment

November 1, 1841 — “A Striking Contrast”

November, Monday 1st. The Company tarried to kill game; an abundance of wild fowl and 13 deer and antelopes were bro’t in. My breakfast, this morning, formed a striking contrast with that of yesterday which was the lights of a … Continue reading

Posted in Bidwell-Bartleson Party | Leave a comment

October 31, 1841 — “Joyful Sight!”

Sunday, 31st. Bore off in a N.W. direction to the nearest timber; day was warm, plain dry and dusty, reached timber, which was white oak (very low & shrubby) and finally the river which we had left in the mts., … Continue reading

Posted in Bidwell-Bartleson Party | Leave a comment

October 30, 1841 — “Lo! to Our Great Delight”

Saturday, 30th. We had gone about 3 miles this morning, when lo! to our great delight, we beheld a wide valley! This we had entirely overlooked between us and the high mountains which terminated our view yesterday. Rivers evidently meandered … Continue reading

Posted in Bidwell-Bartleson Party, Uncategorized | 2 Comments