The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958 Page: 201

Book Reviews

a careless writer. Every Texas newsman who wants to steer clear
of libel suits and contempt charges will find this book a sound
On the Arkansas Route to California in 1849, The Journal of
Robert B. Green of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Edited by J.
Orin Oliphant. Lewisburg, Pennsylvania (Bucknell Univer-
sity Press), 1955. Pp. xxvi+87. End paper maps and notes.
Few movements have taken greater hold on the American imag-
ination, hence are better chronicled, than the rush of gold seekers
to the California fields in 1849. Journals and diaries recounting
the experiences of the Argonauts who traveled the Oregon Trail-
Salt Lake route are numerous, and several Santa Fe Trail, Cape
Horn, and Isthmian accounts are available. Too little material has
come to light, however, describing the incidents of travel over the
relatively popular route that began at Van Buren or Fort Smith,
led up the Arkansas and across to Santa Fe, then took the well-
known Kearny or Gila River route into southern California.
Robert B. Green's journal is a welcome addition to the ma-
terial on the Arkansas route, and it brings to notice an unusual
historical circumstance. Six young men made up the original
Lewisburg party; of the six, three kept diaries that have been
preserved and are available today. One account, that of William
Hayes Chamberlin, is relatively well-known (New Mexico His-
torical Review, XX), but is accessible only in an edited version;
the other two records, those of David "Deacon" Howard and
Robert B. Green, have just been made available to historians.
The better of the two, the Green diary, is here reproduced in
its entirety.
Green's party was lured to the Arkansas route apparently by
the excellent propagandizing of area newspapers. The route from
Fort Smith was described as "the shortest and best" and editors
maintained that it required "not more than one hundred days to
reach either San Francisco or Monterey" via the Southern route.
The Lewisburg party traveled cross-country to Pittsburg, took
passage on the Winfield Scott to Napoleon at the mouth of the
Arkansas, and moved upstream on the William Armstrong to Fort


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958, periodical, 1958; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.

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