The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926

From Texas to California in 1849

FROM TEXAS TO CALIFORNIA IN 1849
Diary of C. C. Cox*
EDITED BY MABELLE EPPARD MARTIN
21st. What a Country- I am sure that no sane man will ever
travel this route a second time- it is certainly the most disagree-
able, uninteresting and monotinous Country under the sun (except
always the Pecos). We left camp this morning and have traveled
fifteen miles under a scorching sun, and through sand and dust-
a foot deep- we camped a mile off the road to give our Horses
the benfit of a small patch of Marsh grass- the first that we have
seen for sixty miles- The thermometer stands regularly now at
two or three hundred-more or less. The "Shirt Tail Company"
bound for California, water & grass permitting passed here a few
days ago, as we learn from a notice posted beside the road- They
have adopted a traveling uniform, which considering the weather
and state of the road is feasible comfortable & economical- i. e.
Hat, Dicky and Spurs-
22nd. Traveled six miles and stoped at noon- this spot is
made memorable by the tragic fate of two young men from Ar-
kansas. The two one by the name of Davis the other Hickey-
quareled and fought. Davis proved the stronger & was taken off-
*See issues of July and October, 1925, for previous installments.
4o[This note was inadvertently omitted from the preceding installment
of this diary. It should have been inserted on page 145, Volume XXIX
(October, 1925)]. The Pima and Maricopa Indians were semi-civilized
tribes who irrigated their lands. These peaceful, industrious Indians were
friendly to the Americans, and all travelers' records show interesting ex-
periences trading with them. The chiefs obtained letters of recommenda-
tion from the travellers, and these they prized very highly, presenting
them as each new party arrived. As soon as an emigrant train came in
sight, the Indians went out to meet it, flocked around the wagons and the
bargaining began. They had vegetables which they wished to trade for
cloth, clothing, blankets, beads, trinkets, etc. Audubon complained that
the extravagance of the Americans had made it impossible for anyone to
make reasonable bargains with them. On the other hand one chief com-
plained to Bartlett that the Americans were stingy and gave very little in
return for provisions and services. Of course the emigrants did not come
prepared to trade, seldom did they have to spare the things which the
Indians wished; sometimes they offered money. This was of no value to
the Indian. Red flannel was much sought after, for decorative purposes,
so the men often tore their shirts into strips and bartered the strips, thus
securing more provisions than the garment would otherwise have brought.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 29, July 1925 - April, 1926. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117141/. Accessed September 17, 2014.