The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917 Page: 44
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
an expedition of this kind than he. Upon him, therefore, the
choice fell to take command.
The party as at first organized consisted of twenty-four men
but when the storms, which had been most severe during the
previous month, did not abate as the time approached for the
departure, the number was reduced to but eight of the most de-
termined ones. These men, notwithstanding the fact that even
the Indian guides now refused to go, were only the more resolute
in their determination, and so on the fifth of November, 1849,
with rations for about ten days they set out over the mountains
in the direction indicated by the Indians, little thinking of the
hardships and suffering that were to be their almost constant
companions on the way. They had not proceeded far, however,
before they began to realize something of the difficulty of the
task that was theirs, for when they had slowly worked their way
through the deep snow to the summit of the mountain they looked
toward the west only to see innumerable ranges of mountains
piling up before them. But once having taken up the task they
were only the more firmly resolved to. carry it to. completion.
On the evening of the fifth day a welcome sound like that of
the ocean surf met their ears and early the next morning one
of their number was despatched ahead to investigate. He re-
turned with sand which contained rich deposits of gold but re-
ported that the sound was only that of a rushing mountain
stream,5 which they now followed to its junction with the main
river. They now considered following along the latter to the
ocean, but the Indians of a rancheria near at hand warned them
against that course on account of numerous bands of Indians who
would oppose their progress in that direction, while to turn di-
rectly west across the mountains would lead them nearer their
From the Indians they had been able to secure a variation in
their diet by an exchange of venison for smoked salmon, but on
their second day from the Indian village their supply of pro-
visions became entirely exhausted. They were even reduced to
the point of dividing and consuming the soured paste that had
formed on the inside of their flour sacks when these had been
5The South Fork of the Trinity River.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 20, July 1916 - April, 1917, periodical, 1917; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101070/m1/50/: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.