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Across the Plains to California in 1852 Journal of Mrs. Lodisa Frizzell   By:

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First Page:

ACROSS THE PLAINS TO CALIFORNIA IN 1852

JOURNAL OF MRS. LODISA FRIZZELL

EDITED FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT IN THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY BY VICTOR HUGO PALTSITS KEEPER OF MANUSCRIPTS

[Illustration: Logo]

THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY 1915

REPRINTED MAY 1915

FROM THE BULLETIN OF THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

OF APRIL 1915

[Illustration: Indians.

FROM A WATER COLOR BY MRS. FRIZZELL, AUTHOR OF THE ACCOMPANYING NARRATIVE]

ACROSS THE PLAINS TO CALIFORNIA IN 1852

FROM THE LITTLE WABASH RIVER IN ILLINOIS TO THE PACIFIC SPRINGS OF WYOMING

JOURNAL OF MRS. LODISA FRIZZELL

EDITED FROM THE ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT IN THE NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY

BY VICTOR HUGO PALTSITS, KEEPER OF MANUSCRIPTS

EDITOR'S NOTE

This simple narrative journal was written at CaƱon Creek in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, in the middle of December, 1852, by Mrs. Lodisa Frizzell, who, with her husband, Lloyd Frizzell, and their four sons, set out on April 14th, of that year, from their unnamed home, not far from Ewington, Effingham County, Illinois, on the upper reaches of the Little Wabash River, on an overland journey to California. The journal records her observations and experiences from the Little Wabash, across Illinois and Missouri, to St. Louis and St. Joseph, and over the St. Joseph and Oregon Trails to the Pacific Springs, in Fremont County, Wyoming. Here, at the continental divide and at the halfway point of her journey, the journal ends, on June 26th, or the seventy fourth day out. It was nearly seven months later, in her snowbound quarters of the Sierra Nevadas, that she busied herself with its composition from notes she had kept by the way, enlivened by her memory.

Mrs. Frizzell's journal was secured by The New York Public Library with the manuscripts of the Ford Collection, presented by the late J. Pierpont Morgan. It has a quaint manuscript title page, as follows: Narative of a Journal [sic] across the "Plains" in 1852 by Mrs. Lodisa Frizzell. Illustrated by several original drawings. And to my relatives, and friends, respectfully subscribed. A later hand has written over the title the words, "The Overland Route to California." Among the numerous amateurish illustrations drawn by lead pencil and tinted with colors, three are reproduced here; also her three route maps. The other illustrations include the following: "The home I left behind me" (Her home in Illinois); "Crossing the Nimehaw"; "Killing a buffalo"; "Independence Rock"; "A view of Devil's Gate"; "Distant view of Courthouse & Chimney rocks"; "Chimney Rock 5 miles distant"; "Distant view of Laramie Peak"; "A view of Sweetwater mountains. 5 miles west of the Devil's Gate"; "Buffalo skeletons"; "View of the Wind range of mountains"; "View of South Pass"; "A Horned Frog."

Written on inner covers or flyleaves are several names, which may be of value for future identification. They are: John G. Harness, 1852; Nancy Varnyan; G. W. Catron; Wm. Malone; Orin Anderson and T. Alexander. Nothing has been discovered of the personal history of this Frizzell family. The patronymic, however, is found at an early period in New England.

In 1859, Lieutenant Gouverneur K. Warren, of the corps of topographical engineers, U. S. A., issued a Memoir and map of the exploring expeditions in the West, from 1800 to 1857, and an epitome thereof forms a part of volume 1 of Wheeler's Report , appendix F, of the United States Geographical Surveys west of the one hundredth meridian (Washington, 1889). Among the narratives of those who, in the main, travelled the route covered by Mrs. Frizzell, the earliest is the journal of Robert Stuart, 1812, of which The New York Public Library has a complete typewritten transcript, made from the original manuscript in 1908. This journey was begun in June, 1812, at Astoria, and ended at the Ohio. It was undertaken by representatives of the Pacific Fur Company... Continue reading book >>




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