Thursday, March 12, 2009

John R. Shinn Journal, Vol. 8 and 9

Since I missed 'Mailbag Monday' this week, I'm going to combine this entry with what I would have posted then, so this post will cover the final month of John's journal. I'll start in on the penny postcards and letters that I was recently given by my grandmother soon, but for Monday I plan on posting scans of John's Journal, just as a kind of companion to the transcriptions I've been doing. I also looked up the term "brackish" (If you read the last entry on John R. Shinn's journal you know what I'm talking about) since it is one I'd never heard of before and good ol' Wikipedia came to my rescue on that!

"September 1st Traveled 23 miles down the same beautiful valley. Plenty of grass and water all the way, camped by a spring, good place to camp. Road good, weather cool and[?] pleasant.

September 2 Traveled 20 miles over a dry and hilly country. Found water once and that very poor, camped by a small creek pretty good place to camp. The Indians are bad in this place, drove off some stock from one company that was camped in the same place. Weather good.

September 3 Traveled 19 miles down the above creek until it sunk. Camped by some holes dug for to get water. Not very good place to camp. Road very good this day, weather fine.

Sept. 4 Traveled 16 miles of good road. Camped by a creek this one of the branches of the of the Humboldt. Plenty of water, grass and wood.

Sept. 5 Traveled 18 miles. Camped at the head of a canyon. Plenty of wood, water and grass. Weather warm through the day, but so cold at night as to make ice. Road good.

Sept. 6 Traveled 18 miles, some of the way through a canyon. The road rough and bad, having to cross a creek several times. Camped at the Junction of Fort Hall Road and the one that comes south of Salt Lake. Pretty good place to camp, weather pleasant.

Sept. 7 Traveled 22 miles over rough country. Camped in the mountain by a spring, water pretty good and some bunch[?] grass and sage for fuel. Weather fine.

Sept 8 Traveled 17 miles down Mary's River. Plenty of grass. Camped on the river, tolerable good place to camp.

Sept 9 Traveled 25 miles. Road good, passed 3 graves. Camped on Mary's River. Weather good.

Sept 10 Traveled 25 miles over a desert country without water or grass. Camped on Mary's River. Pretty good camping, passed 1 grave. The Indians are some troublesome on this portions of the road. Weather good.

Sept 11 Traveled 18 miles over a desert without feed or water. Road good, camped on Mary's River. Plenty of feed and water and some wood. Weather pleasant.

Sept 12 Traveled 20 miles. Camped on Mary's River, plenty of feed, water and some wood.

Sept 13 Traveled 20 miles, passed 2 graves. Camped on Mary's River, plenty of grass and water and some wood.

Sept 14 Traveled 13 miles over deep sand. Camped on Mary's River, passed 1 grave, plenty of feed, wood and water.

Sept 15 Traveled 20 miles. Passed 2 graves, camped on Mary's River, feed and water scarce. Weather pleasant.

Sept 16 Traveled 20 miles. Camped on Mary's River, passed 3 graves. Road pretty good, feed and wood scarce, water not very good, weather pleasant.

Sept 17 Traveled 16 miles, passed 1 grave, this day's travel was over a desert, camped on Mary's River, feed and wood very scarce, water poor.

Sept 18 Traveled 20 miles, camped on the Mary's River, feed and wood scarce and water very poor. Weather pleasant.

Sept 19 Traveled 18 miles. Camped by a lake near the sink of the Mary's River. Water, feed and wood poor. Passed 1 grave. Weather good.

Sept 20 Traveled 18 miles by 6 o'clock pm thence to the Boiling Spring by 12 o'clock am. This spring or springs are a curiosity seldom found on deserts, thence over to the Truckey [I think this is supposed to be Truckee] River by 12 o'clock noon Sept 21st. Making the desert in 25 hours distance 40 miles. Passed 1 grave. Road good except about 8 miles of the last end which is deep sand. Weather good.

Sept 21 Laid by 1 mile above the first crossing of the Truckey River in the afternoon, good place to camp.

Sept 22 Laid by at the above camp (Sunday) to rest. Plenty wood, water and grass. Weather pleasant.

Sept 23 Traveled 16 miles up the Truckey River. Road rough, camped on the River. Plenty of grass and wood and water good. Weather warm with a shower in the evening.

Sept 24 Traveled 24 miles. Camped on the River, plenty of water, wood and grass. Road some rough.

Sept 25 Traveled 15 miles of very mountainous country. Camped by a small stream in the mountain, pretty good place to camp, weather warm.

Sept 26 Traveled 18 miles good road, camped by a creek of good water, wood and grass also good. Weather pleasant.

Sept 27 Traveled 18 miles, crossed the Nevada mountain, camped 4 miles from the summit in the Yuba Valley, road over steep, 1 mountain.

Sept 28 Traveled 20 miles, camped in the mountain, plenty of wood and water but no food. Road very rough, weather pleasant.

Sept 29 Traveled 7 miles, camped in a small valley, plenty of wood and water and some feed.

Sept 30 Traveled 16 miles of pretty good road except the Bear Valley Hills which was very steep, camped in mountain opposite Washington on the Yuba River. No feed or water, but plenty of timber.

Oct 1 Traveled 15 miles of good road, camped on Rock Creek 5 miles from Nevada City, good water and wood not much grass. This brings us to a termination of our long and tedious journey for which I trust we felt thankful,

John R. Shinn"


On the last page there is an excerpt from the poem Lament of the Irish Emigrant. While it is in John's hand, it is with a different marker than what he used to write in his journal and the handwriting is a little different (less defined), which makes me think he added it at a different date, either before his journey or after.

"I’M sittin’ on the stile, Mary,
Where we sat side by side
On a bright May mornin’ long ago,
When first you were my bride;
The corn was springin’ fresh and green,
And the lark sang loud and high—
And the red was on your lip, Mary,
And the love-light in your eye."
The rest of the poem can be found here.

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