Historic Journals


Historic Journals in the words of the Pioneers and how they Made it to the West!


In our “Trail Commentaries” section of the website we briefly explore some of  engaging stories and tales about emigrant travel on the various California Trails in the 1840’s, 50’s, and 60’s.  To fully appreciate the life and hardships of the era, we can gain an appreciation of these pioneers through their biographies.  Their stories are not filtered to sooth our “modern” respectabilities but rather given in their own words in the language of their times.  Our intent is not to offend you or your sensibilities but to acknowledge the time period, language and social practices of earlier generations.


The journals are mainly broken into four parts:


1.    It will have a “Forward” or Introduction telling you briefly something about the pioneer whose journal you are about to explore.


2.   It will have been “Transcribed” from an original journal which may have been hand written or previously retyped from an earlier medium.


3.   The “Original Journal” if it exists will be available for viewing.  The hand writing of the 1800’s was quite beautiful.  If it existed as a type written document, it is probable that the original pages was scanned, put through an optical character recognition computer system and then transfered to a some form of document such as Microsoft Word.


4.   Finally there will be some form of “Addendum” document.  This could be a partial family tree, family photos, obituary or newspaper clippings.


So, tighten your seat belt and be prepared to go back to the 1800’s where life was not easy.  We are grateful to the individuals who have made these journals available.  We hope you enjoy the trip…



Journal of G.B.V. DeLamater’s journey by wagon from Mishawaka, Indiana to California in 1850.  His nickname was “Alphabet” and he traveled with the likes of the Crocker brothers, one which was part of the Railroad “Big Four”.  G.B.V. was a successful business man and mayor of Santa Cruz, California.


Introduction and Transcribed Journal (Page 1-57)


Original Journal (part 1 of 5)


Original Journal (part 2 of 5)


Original Journal (part 3 of 5)


Original Journal (part 4 of 5)


Original Journal (part 5 of 5)