Finding aid of the Israel and Titus Hale Diary C058478

Finding aid prepared by Carolee Gilligan Wheeler
Society of California Pioneers
300 Fourth Street
San Francisco, CA, 94107-1272
(415) 959-1849

Title: Hale, Israel F. and Titus Diary
Identifier/Call Number: C058478
Contributing Institution: Society of California Pioneers
Language of Material: English
Container: B001620
Container: C058478
Physical Description: 1.0 folder (1 diary)
Date: 1849
Abstract: Written by Israel Hale, who travelled with his son Titus Hale, this daily diary chronicles the challenges and hardship of an overland journey by wagon train from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento that took from May 5, 1849 to October 15, 1849. The entries don't contain much narrative or stories of the trail but document travel conditions and route, condition of grass, water and wood, and dangers such as Indian raids. The diary contains a roster containing the names and places of origin of the 70 men that came in the 20 wagons that started from St. Joseph (pp 106-108). There is also a handwritten page of recipes for homemade medications. At the back of the diary are two entries, the first a History of the Road by Mormans (?) and the second a History of the Route from Humboldt to California, which detail mileages, routes and turn points.
creator: Hale, Israel Foote, b. 1804
creator: Hale, Titus, 1834-1925

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection open for research

Conditions Governing Use note

There are no restrictions on access

Preferred Citation note

Israel F. and Titus Hale Diary. The Society of California Pioneers


Gift of Titus Hale, date of acquisition unknown.

Biographical/Historical note

Israel Foote Hale, born in 1804, and his seventeen-year old son, Titus Hale, joined a wagon train bound for California in 1849. Upon arriving in Sacramento five months later, Israel Hale began mining gold, returning to Missouri in 1851 with only $1500 in gold dust. Titus Hale later returned to California, where he began farming, married, and raised a family. Titus Hale was involved with the construction of the first railway from Santa Cruz to Watsonville and served as President of the Society of California Pioneers for a time.

Scope and Contents note

Israel and Titus Hale left St. Joseph, Missouri on May 5, 1849 and arrived in Sacramento on October 15. This diary chronicles the hardships experienced along their overland route—encountering illness, hunger, and thieves—and provides as well a picture of life on a wagon train, with detailed descriptions of forts and scenery. The end of the volume contains a list of the persons in each wagon that comprised the wagon train, and lists several medicinal recipes for cholera, sore throat, ague, and fever. Entries vary in length; some are quite long. The last entry is a brief synopsis of the events that occurred in the last month of the journey; due to illness, Hale ceased making regular diary entries.
The title page was written by Titus Hale and reads "Diary of trip to California in 1849, written by Israel F. Hale. I came with him - Titus Hale"
At the back of the diary are two entries, the first a "History of the Road" by Mormans (?) and the second a "History of the Route from Humboldt to California", which detail mileages, routes and turn points.

Existence and Location of Originals note

The Society of California Pioneers, 300 Fourth St, San Francisco, CA

Existence and Location of Copies note

Published in: Quarterly of the Society of California Pioneers, Vol. II, No. 2, Published, San Francisco, June 30, 1925

Related Archival Materials note

C015388 - Photographic portrait of Titus Hale. C053809 - Autobiographies & Reminiscences, vol. 1 (CD) including Titus Hale C059235 - Autobiography & Reminiscence of Titus Hale, Oakland, 1901 (handwritten)

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Overland journeys to the Pacific
Pioneers--California--History--19th century