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Journal and Drawings of J. Goldsborough Bruff
mssHM 8044  
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Collection Overview
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The collection contains J. Goldsborough Bruff's oversize revised version of his journal (c. 1853), which documents his journey across the American plains in 1849 by way of Lassen's Trail. Also included in the collection are 264 drawings of scenes from his overland journey, of various places he visited in California, and of his sea voyage to the Eastern United States via Mexico and Panama.
Joseph Goldsborough Bruff (1804-1899) is best known as a topographer, journalist, and artist of the gold rush era. Bruff was born in Washington, D.C., on October 2, 1804. He attended West Point from 1820 until his resignation in 1822, when he left to sail, as a cabin boy, to Europe and South America in 1822. From 1827-1836 he worked as a topographical engineer, predominantly at Gosport Naval Yard in Norfolk, Virginia. He returned to Washington, D.C., in 1837 and from 1838-1849 worked for the United States Bureau of Topographical Engineers. Bruff then organized the Washington City and California Mining Association, which he accompanied to California on its overland journey in 1849. While in California he produced extensive journals and drawings of the mining camp experience. In 1853 Bruff returned to Washington, D.C., where he worked in office of the Supervising Architect of the Treasury Department until his death on April 14, 1889.
265 items
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