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Title Journal [manuscript]: 1860 May 24 - Nov. 15
Author Owen, James P.
Document Type Diary; Travel Journal
Description From the Newberry Library Catalogue: Journal, May 24 - Nov. 15, 1860, kept by James Owen on his trip west to Colorado and return. Included are descriptions of the Platte River region; travellers (including returning Colorado miners) and Indians encountered on the road; Denver; poverty and lawlessness in the Colorado gold regions (Colorado City, Hamilton, Tarryall, and Canyon City); the route to New Mexico; Taos and Santa Fe; an Apache and Ute festival outside of Taos; and the return trip on the Santa Fe Trail amid fears of Indian attack. There is also a "Table of distances traveled as pr journal from St. Joseph ... to Denver," and an enclosed Jan. 21, 1861, letter from D.H. Soggs, a former Chicago neighbor Owen encountered in the gold fields.
Names Owen, James P.
Places Platte River, Denver, Colorado City, Hamilton, Tarryall, Colorado, Santa Fe, Taos, New Mexico, Canyon City, Arizona, United States
Keywords travel, travelogue, poverty, law and order, gold, frontier, pioneer, overland trail, discovery
Theme Observation, Representation and Cultural Encounters
Culture Area Great Plains, Great Basin, Southwest
Additional Information Chicago resident and overland traveller to Pike’s Peak, Colorado. Born in Wales and formerly residing in New York state, Owen was listed in the 1860 U.S. Census as a fifty year old Chicago merchant owning real property worth $10,000. In May, 1860, he and his son John (age 13), left Chicago with five others for the Colorado gold fields. They travelled by rail, riverboat, and wagon on the Platte River road and Pike’s Peak trail. Leaving Colorado for Taos and Santa Fe, N.M., Owen and his son returned home via Fort Union and Council Grove, Kan.
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection The Edward E. Ayer Collection
Reference VAULT Ayer MS 3144
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue