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Title Gold: a story of the Plains in 1850: typescript, [1890?]
Author Hill, John Berry (1827-1916)
Document Type Travel Journal; Correspondence; Manuscript
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Typescript copy made in 1948 by Samuel S. Sargent of Charleston, Ill. in 1948 of an account by John B. Hill of Prairieton, Vigo County, Indiana of his travels over the Great Plains to California, and his experiences in the gold mines there between 1850 and 1852. Stricken with "gold fever", Hill, and five other men leave Prairieton on Mar. 25, 1850, with seven mules, twelve oxen, a cow, and a dog, Curley. Their route takes them through Terre Haute, Springfield (Ill.), and across the Mississippi River at Quincy. They arrive at Fort Kearney on the Platt River on May 27, 1850. By June, they are in the Black Hills, S.D., and continue on through the Rockies to the Great Basin and Salt Lake. Hill describes hunting game along the way for food, encounters with local Indians, and travelers they meet along the way. On Sept. 3, 1850, they arrive in the gold-mining town of Weberville, Calif., and begin panning for gold. They survive a cholera epidemic, and earn money working in the mines, harvesting hay, and cutting cord wood at a steam mill.
Names Hutton, James; Hutton, Susanna Adams; Wiley, Reason
Places Prairieton, Vigo County, Indiana, Terre Haute, Springfield, Illinois, Mississippi River, Quincy, Fort Kearney, Platt River, Black Hills, South Dakota, Weberville, California, Missouri, United States
Keywords personal account, observation, travel, travelogue, gold, mining, prospecting, overland trail, livestock, pioneer, hunting, cholera, epidemic, agriculture, Indian Territory
Theme Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Culture Area Northeast, Great Plains, Great Basin, California
Additional Information Although Hill’s narrative ends in California in 1852, Sargent’s added notes indicate that Hill returned home later that same year by ship around Cape Horn, and, after marrying his old sweetheart Mary Wright in May 1853, settled in Charleston, Illinois.
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference Ayer MS 3230
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue