Category Archives: Uncategorized

William B. Lorton in Salt Lake City

William B. Lorton arrived at the Mormon community in the Salt Lake Valley on August 8, 1849. To visit Salt Lake City was a deviation from the Oregon-California Trail, but one that many took in order to trade goods. The … Continue reading

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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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The Trial of Colonel Harper

After being arrested for the theft of Mrs. Evoy’s gold, Col. John H. Harper of Trinity County languished in the Hamilton (Butte County) jail for the next six months. He was unable to raise the bail, which was set at … Continue reading

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Mrs. Evoy Robbed

On Wednesday, May 25, 1853, Mrs. Bridget M. Evoy was traveling by Hall & Crandall stagecoach from Shasta to Marysville. When the stage stopped at Dry Creek House she discovered that the gold she was carrying in a carpetbag was … Continue reading

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Sierra or Sierras? You Decide

I had to sympathize with the writer of this item on SFGate about the argument over whether to say “the Sierra” or “the Sierras” when referring to the mountain range between California and Nevada. (SFGate is the online media outlet … Continue reading

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The Stars and Stripes Forever

My idea of a fabulous 4th of July includes eating a hamburger, corn on the cob, and watermelon, singing the Star Spangled Banner, watching fireworks, and listening to a live band play The Stars and Stripes Forever. I would like … Continue reading

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