Title: Small Overland Trail Collections,
Date (inclusive): 1849-1859
Collection number: Mss2
Extent: 0.3 linear ft.
University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of
Shelf location: For current information on the location of
these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Small Overland Trail Collections, Mss2,
Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific
Holt Atherton Special Collections holds eight overland trail narratives
not associated with larger collections. They represent crossings between 1849
and 1859 and include two narratives of the New Mexico/Arizona route and one by
a female emigrant. Of these trail narratives, five are copies, the originals of
which are still in private collections. For those interested in overland trail
narratives, Holt Atherton also holds six other examples: the Lyman Burrell
correspondence (1849) [in Mss132]; the Thomas S. Wylly memoir (1849) [in
Mss124]; the Calvin B. West diary (1853) [in Mss2: Small Oregon Collections];
the Alexander Horn memoir (1855) [in Mss2: Small California Collections]; the
Elvira Dodge diary (1860) [in Mss271]; and, the William S. Moss correspondence
(1861) [in Mss2: Small California Collections]. Also of interest is the Jess
Machado Collection [Mss256], a compilation of narratives and research on the
Carson Pass leg of the Overland Trail.
Prince Allen Athearn (b. 1811) [Mss2.A866] and D. Lambert Fouts
[Mss2.F782] came overland to California in 1849. Athearn came from Switzerland
County, Indiana via Ft. Hall to northeastern San Joaquin County. There he
farmed wheat and later served as a Justice of the Peace. The original of
Athearn's diary is in the Nebraska State Historical Society Library. D. Lambert
Fouts came to California via New Mexico and Arizona. His diary is incomplete
and it is possible that Fouts died before reaching California, since final
entries record that he has fallen ill.
Robert Shellenberger recounts an event that occurred on the Trail near
Ragtown, Nevada (1850) [Mss2.S544]. The story, involving some missing oxen and
a woman's [Mrs. McClellan's] courage, was recounted by William McClellan, son
of Duncan McClellan, who had brought his family overland from Missouri via Salt
Lake City and Hastings' Cutoff. The anecdote came to Shellenberger through
Hazel Rider Kuhl, who had made a typescript copy of the original in 1930.
Dr. William Wallace Wixom (1824-1888) [Mss2.W835] came overland to
California in 1851. He is best known as the father of internationally-famous
soprano, Emma Nevada (1859-1940). After graduation from the University of
Michigan medical college, Wixom led a party across the plains to Nevada County,
Calif. via Soda Springs, Hudspeth's Cutoff and Rock City. In 1864 Wixom took
his family to Austin, Nev., site of a new gold strike. Here, Dr. Wixom devoted
the remainder of his life to ranching and medical practice. He was
well-respected by the Shoshone Indians and is usually credited with being
instrumental in keeping peace between the Indians and settlers in Lander
Lewis Beers [Mss2.B415] and Alpheus Richardson [Mss2.R521] came overland
to California in 1852. Beers traveled from Ohio via to the Jackson, Amador
County, goldfields. Alpheus Richardson traveled from Caledonia, Ohio via Soda
Springs, Hudspeth's Cutoff and Rock City to Marysville, Calif. with the W.W.
Holister [sic] Co.
Joel Hedgpeth [Mss2.H453] came overland to California in 1858. Hegpeth,
a preacher, came from Nodaway County, Mo. via New Mexico and Arizona with the
family of Judge Gillum Baley. En route the party was attacked by Mohave Indians
and met General Benjamin Bonneville.
Lovina Weeks [Mss2.W395] came overland from Athens, Michigan to Alameda
County, California in 1859. She and her husband, Alfred, and their two
daughters, traveled in company with her brother, Jared T. Walker, who had come
to California in 1852. The Weeks' trip via Salt Lake City was easy and
uneventful. The format of Lovina Weeks' diary is unusual in that her account is
interlarded with the reminiscences (1929) of her younger daughter, Florence,
who had been eight years old at the time of the crossing.