Overland to California. A rich and detailed letter from brother to brother, describing the hardships of—and the provisions necessary for—an overland journey to the California gold fields.
"Once more I take my pen in hand to write to you concerning what we are doing. We are all well … but little grass yet—we feed 2 qts of meal per day to each ox and by herding them all day they fill themselves with grass. We think of starting Monday next—shall take some meat along—trees are leaving out slowly a little grass on the high prairie but not enough to warrant our going. Some have come back that went a few days ago—they are moving out at the rate of about 60 wagons per day and about one half stops in here or near by. They take tremendous loads frequently get stalled. I think most of them are drawing their teams too. … You may think it curious that we don't go along—it is with impatience that we wait but we think it will not answer yet. … We had plenty of offers for a partner but none to suit. They all want us to carry them through for 100 of under."
The conclusion of the letter reveals that brother John had initially been with Aaron on the road to California: "I now close this communication hoping that it may find you rejoicing that you turned back instead of going a pilgrimage to the land of gold where health and everything sacred is sacrificed for the worship of the golden calf and then not to be sure of a single morsell but every one hopes to be lucky."
Perhaps the most informative portion of the letter is "a list of articles we got since you left" that Aaron slips into a panel of the letter, which includes "Lemmons & apples, California Book, 6 inch Revolver. Belt, Pail, 36 lbs dried apples, Chain & Lock, Ferriage of Corn and use of grindstone, and an Indian pony saddle and bridle."
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