1852 Wagon Train Diary
Contributed By Gary E. Mertz
John Brown, his wife Mary Eleanor Graham Brown and children George, Elizabeth, Thomas, Benjamin, Rosannah and John D Brown depart Ray County Missouri in 1852 headed for Oregon. This diary was kept on a piece of writing tablet. written on both sides. Ada Brown, Granddaughter of John Brown kept it in an old Bible, but it was not there when she passed away in 1968. She had made several photocopies of it about 1959, it might have deteriorated from that.
GEM Notes: “The Original” represented by the copy is old, but if it is original, looks too neat and clean to have been written on daily while traveling for months on a wagon train. Handwriting almost appears feminine. Was John Brown’s original recopied, rewritten years ago?. This “copy” a negative type (white on black) was from Aunt Ada and is quite hard to read, handwriting and condition, creases and wrinkles. The following is best effort representation, Interpretation of original copy, spelling and layout.
(The following was originally written in two paragraphs but was broken into a daily format for easier reading by the webmaster. No other changes were made. SLF)
Diary, John Brown, 1852 Wagon Train
RAY COUNTY, MO
This the 25th day of April, 1852 I start for Oregon with my family and other affects drove 5 miles and encamped at Squire Hoskins and remained until the 28th we then traveled 12 miles and encamped near Caswell Miles.
the 29th we traveled 2 miles and encamped on bresh creek.
The 30th we encamped on the waters of Shoal Creek15 miles
Saturday the 1st of May we traveled 10 miles and encamped on shoal creek
the 2nd we traveled 10 miles and encamped one mile west of Platesburg Monday
the 3rd of May we traveled 16 miles and encamped over a high paray
Wednesdav the 5th of May we drove into St Joseph 4 miles
on Thursday the 6th of May we crost the Misouria river and encamped on the west side.
friday the 7th we drove 8 miles and encamped at the bluffs Saturday
the 8th we drove 15 miles and we camped over a parary in one miles of woolf creak
sunday the 9th we traveled 14 miles past the mision (hear we saw 2 new graves dide of colery)
Monday the 10th we traveled 14 miles and encamped on goos creek (hear. Ross dide of diorioer)
Tuesdav the 11th we traveled 10 and encampped on the littel mimahaw whear we found plenty of wood and water
Wednesdav the 12th we traveled 17 miles and encamped on a prerary hear we had no wood
the 13th we traveled 5 miles and encamped on the big Mimahaw (hear my son tuck the colery about mid day and dide about 10 or 12 oclock that night and was buryed on the right hand of the road on the east side of the creak undr a white oake tree)
Back side (Page 2)
the 14th we traveled 8 miles and encamped on a small creek whear we got wood and water Saturday
the 15th we traveled 25
miles and encamped on a creak where we had no wood
sunday the 16th we traveled 16 miles and encamped on the big Bleu
monday the 17th we remaind on the banks of said river (hear A Williams dide)
tuesday the 18th we traveled 14 miles and encamped on cottonwood branch
the 19th went 20 miles and encamped near a small creak where we got wood and water
thursday the 20th we traveled 25 miles and encamped on a parrary without wood or water
Friday the 21st we traveled 12 miles and encamped on littel sandey whear we got wood and water (hear Mabery oxteam died)
Saturday the 22nd we traveled 9 miles and encamped on littell blew where we got wood and water
sunday the 23rd we stayed in camp
monday the 24th we
traveled 14 miles up littel blew and encamped near the
Tuesday the 25th we traveled 14 miles and encamped on littel blew at the junction of a small creak
wednesday the 26th we traveled 15 miles and encamped on a high parrary with out wood or water
Thursday the 27th we traveled 18 miles and encamped on big Plat Friday
the 28th we traveld 11 miles and encamped one mile west of Ft harney
saturday the 29th we traveled 16 miles and encamped on Big Plat and went on to an island for our wood
Sunday the 30th we traveled 15 miles and encamped on Plum branch (or Creak) at the bluff
Monday the 31st we traveled 18 miles and encamped on big plat with out wood
Tuesday the 1st of June we traveled 15 miles and encamped one mile to the right at a large spring (hear Watson dide)
Wednesday the 2nd we traveled 16 miles and encamped on a high bank wood and water
hear we had a storm
(The diary ends at this point, additional pages were probably lost over time.)
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