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
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.
The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material,
nor does it charge fees for such activities.
The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with