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Journal of Western Travel

by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
April 18th, 1859 -- There are few men in this mundane sphere, who are insensible to the unspeakable inconvenience of being poor, and fewer still, who schooled in that condition, will remain so, when a suitable opportunity presents itself for amassing an independence. Consequently believing as I did that there was an ample field and a fair prospect of renumeration for the industrious man in the neighborhood of Pike's Peak, a few others and myself, in all, a round dozen, left Marengo today at 3 o'clock P.M. en route for the diggings. Some like myself, leaving a comfortable home, a loving wife and family for the sole purpose of placing them in easier circumstances. Others again for the mere sake of fun and frolic, none however with any very extravagant hopes, a jolly crew of devil-may-care fellows, men whom I have known for years, and who can be depended upon in a pinch, well provisioned, armed, and equipped, ready for anything. Honorable, blacksmiths, carpenters, millers, coopers and a general assortment of Jacks-of-all-trades, determined to make a start, and not caring about crowding our raw teams, we have only come five miles, and are now snugly encamped on Little Bear Creek, some of our friends paying us a parting visit here, and seeing us safely off, and little does anyone of us know, though all so happy and anticipative now, what various hues and shades the future may assume, either in regard to himself or those he is in company with.

We started from Marengo at one o'clock, Iowa County, Iowa. Travelled six miles and camped on little Bear Creek.

Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe
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