Napoleon Boone1

M, #8569, b. 1828, d. 1850
Father*Daniel Morgan Boone1 b. December 23, 1769, d. July 13, 1839
Mother*Sarah Griffin Lewis1 b. January 29, 1786, d. June 19, 1850
     Napoleon Boone, son of Daniel Morgan Boone and Sarah Griffin Lewis, was born in 1828.1
Napoleon died in 1850.1

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

James Van Bibber1

M, #8570
     James married Samoa (?).1

Family

Samoa (?)
Child

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Samoa (?)1

F, #8571
     Samoa married James Van Bibber.1

Family

James Van Bibber
Child

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Jeremiah Boone1

M, #8572, b. 1793
Father*Jesse Bryan Boone1 b. May 23, 1773, d. 1820
Mother*Chloe Van Bibber1 b. August 13, 1772
     Jeremiah Boone, son of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber, was born in 1793.1

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Harriet Boone1

F, #8573, b. 1794
Father*Jesse Bryan Boone1 b. May 23, 1773, d. 1820
Mother*Chloe Van Bibber1 b. August 13, 1772
     Harriet Boone, daughter of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber, was born in 1794.1
Harriet married Hiram Baber.1

Family

Hiram Baber

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Hiram Baber1

M, #8574
     Hiram married Harriet Boone, daughter of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber.2

Family

Harriet Boone b. 1794

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: George Luther Boone Letter, March 1904Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Alphonso D. Boone1

M, #8575, b. 1796, d. November 28, 1849
Father*Jesse Bryan Boone1 b. May 23, 1773, d. 1820
Mother*Chloe Van Bibber1 b. August 13, 1772
Alphonso D. Boone
     Alphonso D. Boone, son of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber, was born in 1796 in Kentucky.2
Alphonso married Nancy Linville Boone, daughter of George Boone and Ann "Nancy" Linville.1
     Based on his age it is possible that he was listed in the Jesse Bryan Boone household on the 1810 census Greenup County, Kentucky, as a free white male, age ten to sixteen years old.3 Alphonso D. Boone moved in 1818 from Kentucky to Montgomery County, Missouri.2
Alphonso D. Boone received a land grant, issued under April 24, 1820 Cash Entry Sale (3 Stat. 566) on April 1, 1831 at Missouri. The land was described as 80 acres in W1/2NE part of section 7, township 47 N, range 6 W.4
Alphonso D. Boone received a land grant, issued under April 24, 1820 Cash Entry Sale (3 Stat. 566) on September 9, 1835 at Missouri. The land was described as 37.85 acres in SESE part of section 6, township 47 N, range 6 W.5 He and Nancy Linville Boone moved in 1839 from Montgomery County, Missouri to Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri. Moving with Alphonso were James C. Boone, Jesse Van Bibber Boone, Chloe Donnally Boone, Mary Elizabeth Boone, George Luther Boone, Joshua Morris Boone and Alphonso Daniel Boone.2
Alphonso D. Boone received a land grant, issued under April 24, 1820 Cash Entry Sale (3 Stat. 566) on November 10, 1841 at Cole County, Missouri. The land was described as 80 acres in W1/2NW part of section 11, township 42 N, range 13 W.6
Boones Ferry Road is one of the busiest roads in the Portland area, but not many modern residents are aware that there once actually was a ferry on Boones Ferry Road -- and fewer still know that the Boone in question was a descendant of the one and only Daniel Boone.

The branch of the Boone family that emigrated to Oregon was led by Daniel's grandson, Alphonso Boone. Moving west seems to have run in the family, as Alphonso "westered" at least three times in his life. In 1841, he set up shop in Independence, Missouri, outfitting fur traders and caravans on the Santa Fe Trail. From 1843 to '45, Alphonso cashed in on a new source of business: emigrants bound for Oregon and California. In 1846, Alphonso headed west with seven of his children, his sister Panthea Boone Boggs, and her husband Lilburn W. Boggs, former governor of Missouri.

The Boones jumped off from Westport, Missouri, where Alphonso's brother, Albert Gallatin Boone, ran his own a general store catering to the overland trade. The Boones with their eleven wagons joined a California-bound wagon train which they expected to stay with to Fort Hall or thereabouts. Traveling in the same train were several people whose names are still known to historians, including Edwin Bryant, J. Quinn Thornton, T. H. Jefferson, George Law Curry, and George Donner and family.

Alphonso Boone's brother-in-law, Lilburn Boggs, wanted to be captain of the train, but he lost the election by a landslide to one William H. Russell. Dissatisfaction with the leadership of Captain Russell was widespread, however, and he complained that:

My duties as commandant are troublesome beyond anything I could conceive of. I am annoyed with all manner of complaints, one will not do this, and another has done something that must be atoned for, and occasionally, through variety, we have a fight among ourselves... I sometimes get out of patience myself, and once I threw up my commission, but to my surprise...I was again unanimously re-elected...

- William H. Russell, June 13, 1846

A week or two later at Ash Hollow, Russell resigned again, and the wagon train broke up into small groups for the remainder of the journey. These parties, including the Boones, remained loosely associated with one another, often exchanging members, banding together, and splitting up again as the days wore on.

The Boones reached South Pass on July 18, and two days later they encountered a lone horseman from the west urging emigrants to try a new, shorter route to California being promoted by Lansford W. Hastings. Led by George Donner, about twenty wagons from the Russell train turned off to follow this new route into the history books.

On August 8, at Fort Hall, the Boones met a man promoting another new route, this one leading to Oregon's Willamette Valley instead of California. Panthea Boone Boggs and her husband struck out for California, while Alphonso Boone decided to take a chance on the new road to Oregon, known as the Southern Route or the Applegate Trail.

This proved to be a mistake. The Applegate Trail was a hard road through difficult terrain with limited access to water. To make matters worse, the Indians of southern Oregon and northern California were extremely hostile to the overlanders. While they didn't stage a full-blown attack on the emigrants, they frequently harassed them by shooting arrows at their livestock and stealing from their wagons. Indians opportunistically attacked and killed two overlanders who got separated from the groups they were traveling with.

As winter weather set in and threatened to strand the travelers on the Applegate Trail, the emigrants began throwing away everything they could in order to lighten the load for their exhausted, footsore oxen. They cached their valuables in hope of being able to return for them later, but the Indians dug up and stole all but a few items of clothing. The Boones lost everything that they couldn't carry out of the mountains on their backs, including a compass and surveying instruments that had once belonged to Daniel Boone himself.

It was Christmastime when the Boones finally reached the settlements in the Willamette Valley. In the spring of 1847, Alphonso moved his family upriver and claimed 1000 acres across the Willamette from present-day Wilsonville. The Boones established a ferry on an old Indian trail running from Salem and the French Prairie area to the newly established city of Portland, offering a more direct route than going by way of Oregon City. They improved the trail by laying down a "corduroy road" of split tree trunks to get wagons through the muddiest stretches, and it grew into a major thoroughfare. Legend has it that their road was a hotbed for moonshiners, who operated stills hidden in hollows and glens nearby and used the road to transport their product to town. Alphonso made a point of operating his ferry 24 hours a day for the convenience of his customers, which may have had something to do with the number of illegal distilleries operating along his road...

One of the Boones' neighbors was George Law Curry, who knew the family from the Oregon Trail and had taken a shine to Alphonso's eldest daughter, Chloe. George courted Chloe by canoe, paddling up and down the river to pay regular visits until she consented to marry him. He later became the third and last governor of the Oregon Territory, in office from 1854-59.

When word of the gold strikes in California reached Oregon in 1848, Alphonso and his boys headed south to make their fortune. On February 1, 1850, Alphonso died at Long's Bar of an illness contracted in the gold fields. Though they lost their father, the Boone brothers did well in the mines, and Alphonso's sons gradually dispersed across the Northwest with their fortunes assured: Jesse returned to Oregon and ran the ferry for 26 years, until he was murdered by a neighbor in a dispute over access to the river; Alphonso (junior) briefly ran the ferry before selling it to Jesse and going into the steamboat business; Joshua settled in Benton County, Oregon; and James moved to Idaho and ran the Morning Star Silver Mine.

The only son of Alphonso Boone who didn't accompany him to Oregon was George Luther Boone. Many years later, he told his story to fellow Oregon Trail emigrant Eva Emery Dye:

When I was twelve years old, my mother died; and Father, Col. Alphonso Boone, named for an old Spanish friend of his Grandfather Daniel, moved us up to Jefferson City, where he opened a trading post to outfit caravans for the Oregon Trail. My father's sister, Aunt Panthea, the wife of Governor Boggs, lived in a fine house next to the Missouri state capitol. ... When Father moved to Independence near Kansas City I struck out on the plains as a trapper working for my Uncle Albert Gallatin Boone, agent for the Kaw and Cheyenne Indians. ...

In the early Spring of 1846 when my Father, Colonel Alphonso Boons, with his large family of boys and girls set out on the Oregon Trail, I was absent on a trading trip to the Arapahoes and Cherry Creek where Denver was yet to be. With my mouse-colored mules I was carrying trading goods for Uncle Albert into the farther Rocky Mountain wilds.

By midsummer, with goods sold out and three wagon-loads of furs for Uncle Albert, I returned to Westport to find my folks gone and Colonel Doniphan there recruiting for the Mexican War. ... Selling my mules to the government I was mustered in at Fort Leavenworth and was soon on the march for Santa Fe.

- George L. Boone

George was honorably discharged in 1847 and led a wagon train across the plains the following spring to join his family in Oregon. In 1849, he went to find his father and brothers in California, made some money shipping freight, and returned to Oregon to settle down in 1852.

The ferry established by Alphonso Boone in 1847 operated continuously for 107 years. It was finally shut down in 1954 after the completion of a highway bridge adjacent to the ferry crossing.

"when they reached a canyon the family cached their goods (including Daniel Boones compass and surveying instruments) and waded about twelve miles through the water and over big boulders. The emigrants went back the next spring but the Indians had found the things cached and there was nothing left. They packed one oxen with clothing and got into the Willamette Valley at the crossing of Mary's river on Christmas day. "; went to CA mines in 1849 and drowned in Feather River Canyon, CA 28 Nov 1849; wife had died (1838) in MO as had five children; established Boone's Ferry which continued to run for 107 years (it was taken out of service in 1954 when a bridge was built across the Willamette).7,8
Boones Ferry Road is one of the busiest roads in the Portland area, but not many modern residents are aware that there once actually was a ferry on Boones Ferry Road -- and fewer still know that the Boone in question was a descendant of the one and only Daniel Boone.

The branch of the Boone family that emigrated to Oregon was led by Daniel's grandson, Alphonso Boone. Moving west seems to have run in the family, as Alphonso "westered" at least three times in his life. In 1841, he set up shop in Independence, Missouri, outfitting fur traders and caravans on the Santa Fe Trail. From 1843 to '45, Alphonso cashed in on a new source of business: emigrants bound for Oregon and California. In 1846, Alphonso headed west with seven of his children, his sister Panthea Boone Boggs, and her husband Lilburn W. Boggs, former governor of Missouri.

The Boones jumped off from Westport, Missouri, where Alphonso's brother, Albert Gallatin Boone, ran his own a general store catering to the overland trade. The Boones with their eleven wagons joined a California-bound wagon train which they expected to stay with to Fort Hall or thereabouts. Traveling in the same train were several people whose names are still known to historians, including Edwin Bryant, J. Quinn Thornton, T. H. Jefferson, George Law Curry, and George Donner and family.

Alphonso Boone's brother-in-law, Lilburn Boggs, wanted to be captain of the train, but he lost the election by a landslide to one William H. Russell. Dissatisfaction with the leadership of Captain Russell was widespread, however, and he complained that:

My duties as commandant are troublesome beyond anything I could conceive of. I am annoyed with all manner of complaints, one will not do this, and another has done something that must be atoned for, and occasionally, through variety, we have a fight among ourselves... I sometimes get out of patience myself, and once I threw up my commission, but to my surprise...I was again unanimously re-elected...

- William H. Russell, June 13, 1846

A week or two later at Ash Hollow, Russell resigned again, and the wagon train broke up into small groups for the remainder of the journey. These parties, including the Boones, remained loosely associated with one another, often exchanging members, banding together, and splitting up again as the days wore on.

The Boones reached South Pass on July 18, and two days later they encountered a lone horseman from the west urging emigrants to try a new, shorter route to California being promoted by Lansford W. Hastings. Led by George Donner, about twenty wagons from the Russell train turned off to follow this new route into the history books.

On August 8, at Fort Hall, the Boones met a man promoting another new route, this one leading to Oregon's Willamette Valley instead of California. Panthea Boone Boggs and her husband struck out for California, while Alphonso Boone decided to take a chance on the new road to Oregon, known as the Southern Route or the Applegate Trail.

This proved to be a mistake. The Applegate Trail was a hard road through difficult terrain with limited access to water. To make matters worse, the Indians of southern Oregon and northern California were extremely hostile to the overlanders. While they didn't stage a full-blown attack on the emigrants, they frequently harassed them by shooting arrows at their livestock and stealing from their wagons. Indians opportunistically attacked and killed two overlanders who got separated from the groups they were traveling with.

As winter weather set in and threatened to strand the travelers on the Applegate Trail, the emigrants began throwing away everything they could in order to lighten the load for their exhausted, footsore oxen. They cached their valuables in hope of being able to return for them later, but the Indians dug up and stole all but a few items of clothing. The Boones lost everything that they couldn't carry out of the mountains on their backs, including a compass and surveying instruments that had once belonged to Daniel Boone himself.

It was Christmastime when the Boones finally reached the settlements in the Willamette Valley. In the spring of 1847, Alphonso moved his family upriver and claimed 1000 acres across the Willamette from present-day Wilsonville. The Boones established a ferry on an old Indian trail running from Salem and the French Prairie area to the newly established city of Portland, offering a more direct route than going by way of Oregon City. They improved the trail by laying down a "corduroy road" of split tree trunks to get wagons through the muddiest stretches, and it grew into a major thoroughfare. Legend has it that their road was a hotbed for moonshiners, who operated stills hidden in hollows and glens nearby and used the road to transport their product to town. Alphonso made a point of operating his ferry 24 hours a day for the convenience of his customers, which may have had something to do with the number of illegal distilleries operating along his road...

One of the Boones' neighbors was George Law Curry, who knew the family from the Oregon Trail and had taken a shine to Alphonso's eldest daughter, Chloe. George courted Chloe by canoe, paddling up and down the river to pay regular visits until she consented to marry him. He later became the third and last governor of the Oregon Territory, in office from 1854-59.

When word of the gold strikes in California reached Oregon in 1848, Alphonso and his boys headed south to make their fortune. On February 1, 1850, Alphonso died at Long's Bar of an illness contracted in the gold fields. Though they lost their father, the Boone brothers did well in the mines, and Alphonso's sons gradually dispersed across the Northwest with their fortunes assured: Jesse returned to Oregon and ran the ferry for 26 years, until he was murdered by a neighbor in a dispute over access to the river; Alphonso (junior) briefly ran the ferry before selling it to Jesse and going into the steamboat business; Joshua settled in Benton County, Oregon; and James moved to Idaho and ran the Morning Star Silver Mine.

The only son of Alphonso Boone who didn't accompany him to Oregon was George Luther Boone. Many years later, he told his story to fellow Oregon Trail emigrant Eva Emery Dye:

When I was twelve years old, my mother died; and Father, Col. Alphonso Boone, named for an old Spanish friend of his Grandfather Daniel, moved us up to Jefferson City, where he opened a trading post to outfit caravans for the Oregon Trail. My father's sister, Aunt Panthea, the wife of Governor Boggs, lived in a fine house next to the Missouri state capitol. ... When Father moved to Independence near Kansas City I struck out on the plains as a trapper working for my Uncle Albert Gallatin Boone, agent for the Kaw and Cheyenne Indians. ...

In the early Spring of 1846 when my Father, Colonel Alphonso Boons, with his large family of boys and girls set out on the Oregon Trail, I was absent on a trading trip to the Arapahoes and Cherry Creek where Denver was yet to be. With my mouse-colored mules I was carrying trading goods for Uncle Albert into the farther Rocky Mountain wilds.

By midsummer, with goods sold out and three wagon-loads of furs for Uncle Albert, I returned to Westport to find my folks gone and Colonel Doniphan there recruiting for the Mexican War. ... Selling my mules to the government I was mustered in at Fort Leavenworth and was soon on the march for Santa Fe.

- George L. Boone

George was honorably discharged in 1847 and led a wagon train across the plains the following spring to join his family in Oregon. In 1849, he went to find his father and brothers in California, made some money shipping freight, and returned to Oregon to settle down in 1852.

The ferry established by Alphonso Boone in 1847 operated continuously for 107 years. It was finally shut down in 1954 after the completion of a highway bridge adjacent to the ferry crossing.9 He and Lilburn Williams Boggs moved in 1846 from Missouri to Oregon.2
Trail of the Donner Party
The Donner Party

Alphonso died on November 28, 1849 at Feather River Canyon in Plumas County, California, drowned.8

Census

Census YearPlaceHead of Household
1810Greenup County, KentuckyJesse Bryan Boone3

Family

Nancy Linville Boone d. circa 1845
Children

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S1910] Internet Site: George Luther Boone Letter, March 1904Boone Family Web Site).
  3. [S3251] 1810 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Jessie B. Boone household.
  4. [S1994] Alphonso Boone land grant.
  5. [S1995] Alphonso Boone land grant.
  6. [S1993] Alphonso Boone land grant.
  7. [S2046] Internet Site: The Boone Family emigrants of 1846).
  8. [S2035] Internet Site: Emigrants of 1846).
  9. [S2091] Internet Site: The Boone Family emigrants of 1846, Pioneer Family of the Month February 1998).

Nancy Linville Boone

F, #8576, d. circa 1845
Father*George Boone b. June 2, 1739, d. 1820
Mother*Ann "Nancy" Linville
     Nancy married Alphonso D. Boone, son of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber.1 Nancy Linville Boone and Alphonso D. Boone moved in 1839 from Montgomery County, Missouri to Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri. Moving with Nancy were James C. Boone, Jesse Van Bibber Boone, Chloe Donnally Boone, Mary Elizabeth Boone, George Luther Boone, Joshua Morris Boone and Alphonso Daniel Boone.2
Nancy died circa 1845.2

Family

Alphonso D. Boone b. 1796, d. November 28, 1849
Children

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S1910] Internet Site: George Luther Boone Letter, March 1904Boone Family Web Site).

Minerva S. Boone1

F, #8577, b. 1799, d. 1850
Father*Jesse Bryan Boone1 b. May 23, 1773, d. 1820
Mother*Chloe Van Bibber1 b. August 13, 1772
      Minerva and Captain Wynkoop Warner lived in Weston, Platte County, Missouri. Residing with them were..2 Minerva S. Boone, daughter of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber, was born in 1799.1
Minerva married Captain Wynkoop Warner.1
Based on her age it is possible that she was listed in the Jesse Bryan Boone household on the 1810 census Greenup County, Kentucky,as a free white female, age ten to sixteen years old.3
Minerva died in 1850.1

Census

Census YearPlaceHead of Household
1810Greenup County, KentuckyJesse Bryan Boone3

Family

Captain Wynkoop Warner b. 1795, d. 1837
Child

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S1910] Internet Site: George Luther Boone Letter, March 1904Boone Family Web Site).
  3. [S3251] 1810 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Jessie B. Boone household.

Captain Wynkoop Warner1

M, #8578, b. 1795, d. 1837
      Minerva and Captain Wynkoop Warner lived in Weston, Platte County, Missouri. Residing with them were..2 Captain Wynkoop Warner was born in 1795.1
Wynkoop married Minerva S. Boone, daughter of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber.1
Captain Wynkoop Warner lived in Missouri.1
Wynkoop died in 1837.1

Family

Minerva S. Boone b. 1799, d. 1850
Child

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S1910] Internet Site: George Luther Boone Letter, March 1904Boone Family Web Site).

Panthea Grant Boone1

F, #8579, b. September 20, 1801, d. 1880
Father*Jesse Bryan Boone1 b. May 23, 1773, d. 1820
Mother*Chloe Van Bibber1 b. August 13, 1772
     Panthea Grant Boone, daughter of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber, was born on September 20, 1801 in Greenup County, Kentucky.1,2
Panthea (her first marriage) marrried Lilburn Williams Boggs (his second marriage) , son of John McKinley Boggs and Martha Oliver, on August 13, 1823 at Missouri.2,1,3,4
Based on age, Panthea Grant Boone was probably listed on the 1830 U.S. Census at Jackson County, Missouri, as a free white female, thirty and under fourty years old and residing with Lilburn Williams Boggs.5
Based on age, Panthea Grant Boone was probably listed on the 1840 U.S. Census at Cole County, Missouri, as a free white female, thirty and under fourty years old and residing with Lilburn Williams Boggs.6
Panthea was enumerated with her husband, Lilburn Williams Boggs under the name of "Panathea Boggs" on the 1850 U. S. Census for Sonoma County, California. She was listed as a 48-year-old female born in Kentucky.2,7 Her husband, Lilburn, died on March 14, 1860 at age 63.2,8,9
Panthea died in 1880 in Napa, Napa County, California.2

Census

Census YearPlaceHead of Household
1830Jackson County, MissouriLilburn Williams Boggs5
1840Cole County, MissouriLilburn Williams Boggs6
1850Sonoma County, CaliforniaLilburn Williams Boggs2,7

Family

Lilburn Williams Boggs b. December 14, 1796, d. March 14, 1860
Children

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S1859] RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project.
  3. [S2030] Internet Site: Lilburn W. Boggs History).
  4. [S1594] Internet Site: Missouri Marriages to 1850, October 5, 2001Ancestry web site).
  5. [S2677] 1830 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Lilburn W. Boggs household.
  6. [S2678] 1840 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Lilburn W. Boggs household.
  7. [S2058] 1850 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), L. W. Boggs household.
  8. [S1998] D. Frank Beard, October 5, 2001.
  9. [S1594] Internet Site: Boone County, Missouri Obituaries, 1871 - 1891Ancestry web site).

Lilburn Williams Boggs1,2

M, #8580, b. December 14, 1796, d. March 14, 1860
Father*John McKinley Boggs3 b. circa 1758, d. April 5, 1847
Mother*Martha Oliver3 b. circa 1770
Governor Lilburn Williams Boggs
     Lilburn Williams Boggs, son of John McKinley Boggs and Martha Oliver, was born on December 14, 1796 in Lexington, Fayette County, Kentucky.3
Lilburn served in 1812 in the War of 1812.4 He moved in 1816 from Lexington, Kentucky to Missouri, Louisiana Territory.4
Lilburn (his first marriage) married Juliannah Bent (her first marriage), daughter of Silas Bent and Martha Kerr, in August, 1817.3,5,4 In a lawsuit in 1821 in the Supreme Court, Missouri, Lilburn Williams Boggs was the respondent in an appeal from the first district, Howard County by Martin Blake and William S. Vernon for a write of Mandamus.. The write was issued to the circuit to enter judgement.6 His wife, Juliannah, died before 1823.3,5
Lilburn (his second marriage) married Panthea Grant Boone (her first marriage), daughter of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber, on August 13, 1823 at Missouri.3,1,4,7
In 1824, Lilburn W. Boggs, at the age of 18, migrated from New England to St. Louis, a row of wooden buildings along the riverfront and the seat of the fur trade. He married into the fur trade group. His wife was JULIA ANN BENT, daughter of SILAS BENT. She died at an early age. In St. Louis, Boggs was named cashier of the Mission Bank. This was a nice start for the ambitious man, but Boggs did not conform to that mold, he was an adventurer and the frontier called.

In 1826, he landed at Fort Osage, then known as Sibley, and became engaged in merchandising in the riverfront town. It was here that he married his second wife, PANTHEA GRANT BOONE, a granddaughter of DANIEL BOONE. From here they moved to Independence and he became a frontier merchant.

As a popular citizen, he was appointed the first clerk of Jackson County, and his handwritings are to be seen in the first records. He wrote the contract for the first courthouse, as well as other buildings. As a merchant he was an agent for a patent medicine. In his advertising he claimed that his medicine was "unequaled in powers in eliminating from the human system, all the poisonous juices" and was good for "scrofula, white swelling, rheumatism and liver complaints." It is not known just where his store was located, but his home was on South Spring, across from a large public spring, which gave the street its name.8 In a lawsuit in 1824 in the Supreme Court, Missouri, Lilburn Williams Boggs was the respondent in an appeal from the Third District, St. Louis County brought by Richard Gentry and Angus L. Langham. The civil action was reversed and Langham and Gentry were to recover $135 on several notes.6 He was elected to Missouri State Senate in 1826.4
The Missouri General Assembly designated Jackson County as a "separate and distinct county" on December 15, 1826. In September 1827, Lilburn W. Boggs was appointed to supervise construction of a temporary log courthouse in Independence for which the County Court appropriated $175. In late 1828, Daniel P. Lewis completed the two-room, 18 x 36 foot structure for $150. The labor was supplied by Colonel James Walker Lewis and a slave, Samuel Shepherd. The courthouse still stands today and is located at 104 West Kansas, after being moved from its original site, which is now the intersection of Lexington and Lynn Streets.

Boggs, who became Governor of Missouri nine years later, was then appointed as superintendent to construct a permanent courthouse in Independence. His plans called for a brick and stone structure. In early 1828, the County Court accepted bids for about $1,900 and the work was completed in 1831. Samuel Weston, a blacksmith, did the carpentry work for $415. William Silvers, George H. Arnold and Eli Roberts performed the brick and stone work for $799. The lumber was supplied by William Bowers for $192.77, and ten-thousand shingles were provided by Levi Sheppard for $40.20. Miscellaneous expenses totaled $453.9
Lilburn Williams Boggs was listed as the head of a family on the 1830 U.S. Census at Jackson County, Missouri. Based on ages, it is possible that the following were also living in the household: William Montgomery Boggs, a free white male under five years old, Martha Boggs a free white female under five-years-old, Henry Boggs and Thomas Oliver Boggs, free white males five and under ten years old, (?) Boggs, a free white female five and under ten years old, Angus Boggs and (?) Boggs, free white males ten and under fifteen years old, Panthea Grant Boone, a free white female thirty and under forty years old.10 Lilburn Williams Boggs was elected Lt. Governor of Missouri in 1832.4
Lilburn Williams Boggs received a land grant, issued under April 24, 1820 Cash Entry Sale (3 Stat.566) on November 6, 1835 at Missouri. The land was described as 80 acres in NESE and NWSE parts of section 33, township 49 N, range 33 W.11 He became Governor of Missouri in 1836 when his predecessor Daniel Dunklin resigned in September 1836.4,12
Missouri territory was part of the Louisiana Purchase. When Missouri became a state in 1821, the 5 northwestern counties were Indian territory and not a part of the state. With the Platte Purchase of 1836, that corner of the state was bought from the Iowa, Sac, and Fox Indians. After the Platte Purchase other families moved to the area and in 1837 the population was 200. On the fourth of December 1840, the Missouri Legislature declared the Platte County seat would be at the falls of the Platte River. That is when the city was moved off the hill called Martinsville and to what is now Platte City.13
Lilburn Williams Boggs received a land grant, issued under April 24, 1820 Cash Entry Sale (3 Stat.566) on June 20, 1836 at Missouri. The land was described as 80 acres in W1/2SW parts of section 1, township 49 N, range 33 W.14
Lilburn Williams Boggs received a land grant, issued under April 24, 1820 Cash Entry Sale (3 Stat.566) on June 20, 1836 at Missouri. The land was described as 160.73 acres in NW part of section 1, township 49 N, range 33 W.15 He was the governor of Missouri from 1837 to 1841. His administration was one of the most eventful in the early history of the state. Boggs was governor at the time the new capitol building was built in Jefferson City after burning on November 17, 1837. Other events during his administration were:
Platte Purchase (counties north of Independence)
Missouri troups in Seminole War in Florida
United States Arsenal established at Liberty
Bank of Missouri Established, February 2, 1837
Linn, Livingston, Macon, Miller, Taney, Buchanan, Newton and Platte counties established
Militia called out to suppress Mormons
Iowa-Missouri boundary dispute (The Honey War)
Geyer Act.16
A military order signed by Missouri Governor Lilburn W. Boggs on October 27, 1838, directed that the Mormons be driven from the state or exterminated (see Missouri Conflict). Boggs' action was based on information brought to him that day by two citizens of Richmond, Missouri, concerning the Mormon-Missourian conflicts in northwest Missouri and on reports of the Battle of Crooked River, in which armed Mormons had clashed with a company of state militia on October 25.

Boggs, acting in his capacity as commander-in-chief of the Missouri militia, ordered General John B. Clark to March to Ray County with a division of militia to carry out operations against armed Mormons. The order described the Mormons as being in "open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this State." It stated that "the Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace—their outrages are beyond all description."

A copy of the order reached General Samuel D. Lucas of the state militia by the time he encamped outside the LDS town of Far West, in Caldwell County, on October 31. Lucas gave a copy to the LDS Colonel George M. Hinkle and other Church representatives, to whom he dictated terms of surrender, and they showed it to Joseph Smith. It was probably a significant factor in the Prophet's decision to surrender to Lucas.

Following Joseph Smith's surrender, arrest, and imprisonment, the governor's order was carried out by a combination of militia troops and vigilantes. It culminated in the forcible removal from Missouri of virtually all members of the Church during the winter and early spring of 1838-1839.

The legality and propriety of Boggs' order were vigorously debated in the Missouri legislature during its 1839 session. The order was supported by most northwest Missouri citizens, but was questioned or denounced by others. However, no determination of the order's legality was ever made.17

In 1839, Missouri and Iowa mobilized their ragtag militias, ready to start shooting over a tree full of honey. The bee tree is an artifact of Missouri history. Cutting bee trees for honey once was a food gathering exercise in many rural Missouri households. In old rural Missouri, there were no cans that burst open to reveal premixed and precut biscuits inside and few farmers kept hives. Some places, flour still was locally ground, but if not, a peddler came down the road every so often in his rickety Model T truck and sold flour in colorful sacks which later became dresses for the girl children.

On a cold winter morning, farm families ate homemade biscuits from the oven of a Warm Morning wood cookstove, slathered with butter churned from the milk of Ol' Sue, and with honey from a bee tree that had been cut down on the branch.

Today, there is no incentive to "line" bees (follow them from water or nectar sources to their hive). Domestic honey is plentiful and cheap and environmentalists frown on cutting down a tree to rob its bees.

Settlers imported the first honeybees in 1638. Once bees escaped to the forests, they quickly adapted and spread, and by 1820 when Missouri became a state, the wild bee tree was a prize for a settler with a sweet tooth. It also was the reason for the weirdest near-war in the state's history, the abortive Honey War of 1839.

The Honey War today is remembered only by a few historians. It didn't last long and it didn't amount to much, but as wars go it was the best of all possible worlds. It provided entertainment for everyone and no one got hurt.

Perhaps in another century, the rich dirt will bury the last monument to the silliest war in American history, the Honey War. In 1839, Missouri and Iowa mobilized their ragtag militias, ready to start shooting over who owned a wild river bottom full of bee trees. The dispute got its name when a Missourian, whose name apparently has been lost by historians, cut three bee trees in an area claimed both by Missouri and Iowa. The trees were valuable both for the honey, which sold for up to $.37 a gallon, and for beeswax, which was used in various ways (the finest candles were of beeswax). Iowa tried the bee tree thief in absentia and fined him $1.50. That inflamed Missourians, who have never been reluctant to bash heads over real or imagined wrongs. Missouri had been a state since 1821. Iowa Territory was about to become one, so the legal boundary between the two was an immediate issue.

In 1837, Joseph Brown, a Missouri surveyor, set a boundary line which no one paid much attention to. In 1838, Maj. Albert Lea, a federal surveyor, laid out four possible boundary lines, all representing different interpretations of historical data. The contested area between Lea's southernmost possibility and the northernmost was about 2,600 square miles, ranging from nine to 11 miles wide from the Des Moines River west to the Missouri River.

Missouri Governor Lilburn Boggs, a contentious type, proclaimed in August 1839, that Brown's 1837 boundary, the northernmost line, was the state line. Perhaps Boggs was ticked off because the tree cutting Missourian had been fined by Iowa in what Boggs considered Missouri. Almost immediately, Iowa Gov. Robert Lucas authorized the arrest of anyone trying to exercise authority in what he called "the seat of excitement."

Enter Uriah (Sandy) Gregory, Clark County sheriff from Missouri. He was ordered north into the contested territory to collect taxes on, among other things, bee trees. Most of the residents in the "seat of excitement" were Iowans by nature and they ordered Sheriff Gregory to go home. He was outnumbered about 1,200 to one, so he prudently went back south of all the possible boundaries.

Plaintively, if ungrammatically, he wrote Gov. Boggs, "I am at a loss what to do the Citizens of that territory two-thirds of which is hostile to the officer and declare if I pretend to use any authority which I am invested by the State of Missouri, they will take me by fourse and put me in confinement."

Gov. Boggs ordered Gregory to go get those taxes. The Iowans weren't kidding. They took the beleaguered sheriff by "fourse" and confined him in Burlington. He later said they treated him pretty well and let him roam around town, but wouldn't let him go home. He apparently enjoyed his enforced vacation and seemed relieved to have his problems solved for him. It now was December, snowy and bitterly cold. Both sides began to arm for battle. The alarmed Gov. Lucas prophesied, wrongly as it turned out, that the dispute "might ultimately lead to the effusion of blood." He called up 1,200 men who cried, "Death to the Pukes," and drank plenty of whiskey. They were a bit officer heavy. They had four generals, nine general staff officers, 40 field officers and 83 company officers.

The Missourians tried to raise 2,200 militiamen, but less than half showed up. However, they were armed with the latest technology: one carried a sausage stuffer. The mind reels a bit at the thought of the probable effects of an attack with a sausage stuffer.

Meanwhile, Clark County officials, exhibiting rare common sense, sent a delegation to Iowa to work out a truce. The two sides came up with a classic political solution: they dumped the problem in the lap of the federal government and both sides told their soldiers to go home.

The Lewis County, Missouri, militia had spent two nights bivouacked in the cold and snow without tents or enough blankets. They did, however, have plenty of whiskey. One company brought six wagons of provisions and five of them were reputed to be filled with booze. Even so, they weren't the happiest of campers. They wanted to shoot something. So they split a haunch of venison, labeled one half "Gov. Boggs," the other "Gov. Lucas," shot them full of holes and held a mock funeral. Then both sides made a rowdy retreat and the Honey War was over. Ultimately, the two states compromised on a state line close to the middle of the four possible boundaries, and in 1850 set markers every 10 miles. Some have vanished however, the one on the Longnecker farm is the only one to mark the "seat of excitement."

This infamous skirmish occurred in 1839 in the extreme northeast corner of the state near the town of Athens where the Des Moines River forms a boundary between Missouri and Iowa. "The boundary line (dispute) was the scene of at least three surveys and a near war before it ... was settled," said an account written in 1943. The misunderstanding came about over the phrase, "rapids of the River Des Moines," found in the enabling legislation of March 6, 1820, that authorized the people of the Missouri Territory to form a constitution and state government. Subsequent surveys made to correct problems in the original survey could not find the rapids. The citizens of Iowa claimed they were in the Mississippi River where the Des Moines River joins the Mississippi near Alexandria. Missourians placed the rapids in the Des Moines River near Athens. The area in dispute was sparsely settled and approximately 9 to 11 miles wide across Missouri.18,19

"Honey Wars" State of Missouri and Iowa Border dispute: About thirteen miles of the southern border of Iowa, was actually considered in the state of Missouri. The Iowa counties involved would be: Fremont, Page, Taylor, Ringgold, Decatur, Wayne, Appanoose, Davis and Van Buren. The boundary dispute was finally settled and established between the two states by Dr. William Dewey in 1848, who was commissioned for that purpose.

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War Was NEVER So Sweet by Joel M. Vance

In 1839, Missouri and Iowa mobilized their ragtag militias, ready to start shooting over a tree full of honey.
The bee tree is an artifact of Missouri history. Cutting bee trees for honey once was a food gathering exercise in many rural Missouri households.
Honey turned the lowly biscuit into manna, Biblical sweetbread (manna is described in Exodus as tasting "like wafers made with honey").
In old rural Missouri, there were no cans that burst open to reveal premixed and precut biscuits inside and few farmers kept hives. Some places, flour still was locally ground, but if not, a peddler came down the road every so often in his rickety Model T truck and sold flour in colorful sacks which later became dresses for the girl children.
On a cold winter morning, farm families ate homemade biscuits from the oven of a Warm Morning wood cookstove, slathered with butter churned from the milk of Ol' Sue, and with honey from a bee tree that had been cut down on the branch.
It was a time that will not come again.
Today, there is no incentive to "line" bees (follow them from water or nectar sources to their hive). Domestic honey is plentiful and cheap and environmentalists frown on cutting down a tree to rob its bees.
Honey as a food is as old as recorded history. The Bible is filled with references to honey. In the book of Joshua, as well as in the old folk song about the blue-tailed fly, there's reference to a "land of milk and honey." The Egyptians put hives on barges to transport bees close to flowering fields.
Honey can range from almost inedible to delicately flavored, depending on the source of the nectar the bees carry back to their hive. John Frye, retired assistant chief of Protection for the Conservation Department, has kept bees and tracked wild ones for years. He once found some honey that tasted exactly like bourbon whiskey, but never could find the source.
Wild honey is a hard-won treat, both for humans and for the bees who make it. A researcher once found bees were flying eight miles each way from their hive to an alfalfa field and estimated it took 300,000 miles of travel to produce a pound of honey.
Each bee carried back up to half its own weight in nectar, flying about 15 miles an hour. It's estimated a worker bee will literally work itself to death in six weeks.
Most don't know that honeybees aren't native. They are a European import, certainly one of the few that hasn't proved a pest (like starlings, English sparrows and gypsy moths).
Settlers imported the first honeybees in 1638. Once bees escaped to the forests, they quickly adapted and spread, and by 1820 when Missouri became a state, the wild bee tree was a prize for a settler with a sweet tooth. It also was the reason for the weirdest near-war in the state's history, the abortive Honey War of 1839.
The Honey War today is remembered only by a few historians. It didn't last long and it didn't amount to much, but as wars go it was the best of all possible worlds. It provided entertainment for everyone and no one got hurt.
There's a metal marker on the northeast Missouri farm of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Longnecker. It's about three feet high. Time and the Des Moines River silt are burying it. Mrs. Longnecker's late father, Albert Evans, who rented the farm around World War One, remembered the post as being his height.
Perhaps in another century, the rich dirt will bury the last monument to the silliest war in American history, the Honey War. In 1839, Missouri and Iowa mobilized their ragtag militias, ready to start shooting over who owned a wild river bottom full of bee trees.
The dispute got its name when a Missourian, whose name apparently has been lost by historians, cut three bee trees in an area claimed both by Missouri and Iowa. The trees were valuable both for the honey, which sold for up to $.37 a gallon, and for beeswax, which was used in various ways (the finest candles were of beeswax).
Iowa tried the bee tree thief in absentia and fined him $1.50.
That inflamed Missourians, who have never been reluctant to bash heads over real or imagined wrongs. Missouri had been a state since 1821. Iowa Territory was about to become one, so the legal boundary between the two was an immediate issue.
In 1837, Joseph Brown, a Missouri surveyor, set a boundary line which no one paid much attention to. In 1838, Maj. Albert Lea, a federal surveyor, laid out four possible boundary lines, all representing different interpretations of historical data.
The contested area between Lea's southernmost possibility and the northernmost was about 2,600 square miles, ranging from nine to 11 miles wide from the Des Moines River west to the Missouri River.
Missouri Gov. Lilburn Boggs, a contentious type, proclaimed in August 1839, that Brown's 1837 boundary, the northernmost line, was the state line. Perhaps Boggs was ticked off because the tree cutting Missourian had been fined by Iowa in what Boggs considered Missouri.
Almost immediately, Iowa Gov. Robert Lucas authorized the arrest of anyone trying to exercise authority in what he called "the seat of excitement."
Enter Uriah (Sandy) Gregory, Clark County sheriff from Missouri. He was ordered north into the contested territory to collect taxes on, among other things, bee trees.
Most of the residents in the "seat of excitement" were Iowans by nature and they ordered Sheriff Gregory to go home. He was outnumbered about 1,200 to one, so he prudently went back south of all the possible boundaries.
Plaintively, if ungrammatically, he wrote Gov. Boggs, "I am at a loss what to do the Citizens of that territory two-thirds of which is hostile to the officer and declare if I pretend to use any authority which I am invested by the State of Missouri, they will take me by fourse and put me in confinement."
Gov. Boggs ordered Gregory to go get those taxes. The Iowans weren't kidding. They took the beleaguered sheriff by "fourse" and confined him in Burlington. He later said they treated him pretty well and let him roam around town, but wouldn't let him go home. He apparently enjoyed his enforced vacation and seemed relieved to have his problems solved for him.
It now was December, snowy and bitterly cold. Both sides began to arm for battle. The alarmed Gov. Lucas prophesied, wrongly as it turned out, that the dispute "might ultimately lead to the effusion of blood." He called up 1,200 men who cried, "Death to the Pukes," and drank plenty of whiskey. They were a bit officer heavy. They had four generals, nine general staff officers, 40 field officers and 83 company officers.
The Missourians tried to raise 2,200 militiamen, but less than half showed up. However, they were armed with the latest technology: one carried a sausage stuffer. The mind reels a bit at the thought of the probable effects of an attack with a sausage stuffer.
Meanwhile, Clark County officials, exhibiting rare common sense, sent a delegation to Iowa to work out a truce. The two sides came up with a classic political solution: they dumped the problem in the lap of the federal government and both sides told their soldiers to go home.
The Lewis County, Missouri, militia had spent two nights bivouacked in the cold and snow without tents or enough blankets. They did, however, have plenty of whiskey. One company brought six wagons of provisions and five of them were reputed to be filled with booze.
Even so, they weren't the happiest of campers. They wanted to shoot something. So they split a haunch of venison, labeled one half "Gov. Boggs," the other "Gov. Lucas," shot them full of holes and held a mock funeral.
Then both sides made a rowdy retreat and the Honey War was over. Ultimately, the two states compromised on a state line close to the middle of the four possible boundaries, and in 1850 set markers every 10 miles.
Some have vanished (one showed up in the back yard of a fraternity at Northwest Missouri State College at Maryville), but many still exist. However, the one on the Longnecker farm is the only one to mark the "seat of excitement."
The Geyer Act, the same legislation that brought the University of Missouri into being, created the Board of Curators of the University of Missouri in February 1839. Under the provisions of this Act, the 10th Missouri General Assembly granted the Board the power to sue and be sued, to make and use a common seal, and to purchase and hold property. They were additionally given authority to appoint a President of the University.20
Lilburn Williams Boggs was listed as the head of a family on the 1840 U.S. Census at Cole County, Missouri. Based on ages, it is possible that the following were also living in the household: George W. Boggs, a free white male under five years old, Minerva M. Boggs a free white female under five-years-old, Theodore Boggs, John Boggs and Albert G. Boggs, free white males five and under ten years old, William Montgomery Boggs, a free white male ten and under fifteen years old, Martha Boggs, a free white female ten and under fifteen years old, Thomas Oliver Boggs, a free white male fifteen and under twenty years old, Panthea Grant Boone, a free white female thirty and under forty years old.21 Lilburn Williams Boggs served in the Missouri state senate from 1842 to 1846.4
On May 6, 1842, an attempt was made on the life of former Missouri governor, Lilburn W. Boggs. The following is from a Mormons view of the incident:

The event would be noteworthy to Latter-day Saints merely for his dark history with the church, but the Mormon involvement is even greater than it might appear. Two months following the failed attempt, Boggs filed an affidavit, backed by a request by Missouri Governor Reynolds, charging Orrin Porter Rockwell and the Prophet Joseph Smith with attempted murder. The event may have been overlooked and even forgotten had it not been for some serious anti-Mormon sentiment on the American frontier during that time. In the following I would like to give examples of this negative rhetoric, which existed despite the facts, during this period in history.
Historical sentiment on the matter

In the months and years following the incident, there have been generally two sides to the story. Mormon scholars commonly see little evidence to support the claim that Mormons were responsible for the assassination attempt. In fairness, these writers obviously have an interest in preserving the sanctity of the Prophet’s memory as well as the good name of the church. Non-Mormons, on the other hand, seem to agree that the small amount of evidence surrounding the incident points to the Mormons. This does not mean, however, that the scholars consider the Mormons guilty of the offense; most of the opinions I have read recognize that there was never enough evidence to blame any one party. They merely write, in essence, that if they had to choose someone to blame, it would be safest to blame the Mormons. Non-Mormon Monte McLaws published one of the most comprehensive articles on the subject of the assassination attempt. Addressing evidence against Rockwell, he makes several statements. While recognizing the fact that Rockwell was and still is the popular suspect, he writes, “there are inconsistencies that cast a definite shadow of a doubt on Rockwell’s guilt.” An integral problem McLaws notes is that “any number of brooding political enemies could have performed the deed.” This comment is especially significant considering 1842 was an election year, and Boggs had been running for his old position in the senate. McLaws writes that even though there is little evidence against anyone in particular, “neither does there exist anything but circumstantial evidence to condemn Rockwell, and much of this can be explained away.” B. H. Roberts, in A Comprehensive History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, writes of a similar problem concerning official affidavits from the time. The original affidavit, as submitted by Boggs, “does not claim that (the Prophet) was a fugitive from justice, or that he had fled from the state of Missouri to Illinois; but . . . that ‘the Mormon Prophet’ was a ‘citizen or resident of the state of Illinois.’” This is in direct contradiction to the requisition made by Governor Reynolds. Nevertheless, Governor Carlin of Illinois responded by issuing arrest warrants for Smith and Rockwell. In his book Orrin Porter Rockwell, Harold Schindler is very pragmatic in how he surveys available evidence. Generally, Schindler considers most accounts given around the time of the incident to be fact, including those by both Mormon and anti-Mormon authors. As are many of his peers, Schindler is hesitant to pin guilt on anyone in particular, especially the prophet. In his opinion, “If Rockwell did fire the shot, it would appear the decision is of his own making.”

Distortion by Boggs’ own son
Fifty years after the death of Lilburn Boggs, his own son (one of the few overt professors of Joseph and Rockwell’s guilt) submitted a brief biography to the Missouri Historical Review. In large part, William Boggs’ review praises his father for his many accomplishments in framing Missouri law and business practices. It also includes a perfect example of the non-Mormon sentiment still circulating nearly 60 years after the incident. William Boggs shows a reckless disregard for fact by making several unsubstantiated statements about the incident. Referring to Lilburn Boggs’ attempt to exterminate the Mormons, William writes that after being elected Governor his father was “induced” to call out the state militia to have the Mormons removed from the state. It was because of this act, he writes, that “the Mormons sent an emissary to Independence to assassinate him for revenge for having them removed from the state.” The above statement is full of factual assumptions made in the absence of any fact. Substantial evidence that any Mormon “sent” somebody to kill Lilburn Boggs does not exist. In fact, that any Mormon ever did anything akin to the assassination attempt is pure speculation. Most amazing is William Boggs’ audacious claim to know the motive of the purported killer. For Boggs’ statement to be true it would be necessary for the killer to have said to William Boggs himself, something like, “I was sent to try to kill your dad to get revenge for his expelling the Mormons.” For such a conversation to have occurred is highly unlikely. Based on an overheard conversation in a bar, William Boggs also writes, “Their prophet and leader, Jo Smith, prophesied from their temple, that the Ex-Governor of Missouri would die by violence inside twelve months.” He continues, claiming that in order to fulfill this prophecy, Smith hired a man to enter Independence disguised as a laborer, steal a revolver, and kill Boggs.
Rockwell was taken and tried, one of the few facts not invented by William Boggs. However, according to Boggs’ story, “After a long time the criminal got a change of venue to another county . . . where, by the aid of counsel and money furnished by the Mormon leaders, he made his escape in the night, but he lived to die a drunken sot and confessed murderer.” Quite obviously, William Boggs had a conflict of interests in his account of the assassination attempt.

General sentiment among newspapers
In the months following the assassination attempt, many articles were published in American frontier newspapers about the incident. With little exception, the tenor of the articles was, to be gentle, anti-Mormon. The most widely quoted articles were printed in the Quincy (Illinois) Whig. Only two weeks after the incident, the Whig reported the “Assassination of Ex-Governor Boggs of Missouri.” The article states, “The Governor was alive on the 7th, but no hopes are entertained of his recovery.” The article continues by speculating on who was responsible for the crime: A man was suspected, and is probably arrested before this. There are several rumors in circulation in regard to the horrid affair. One of which throws the crime upon the Mormons—from the fact, we suppose, that Mr. Boggs was governor at the time, and no small degree instrumental in driving them from the state. —Smith too, the Mormon Prophet, as we understand, prophesied a year or so ago, his death by violent means. Hence, there is plenty of foundation for rumor.

From very early on, the Mormons were assigned blame.
The “man suspected,” as the Quincy Whig article writes, was somebody a Columbia (Missouri) Patriot article referred to as “Tompkins” one week earlier. This article is more of an advertisement including a proclamation by Governor Reynolds, offering a $300 reward for the capture and delivery of the guilty party. Following the proclamation is a paragraph written by a committee of Independence citizens, beginning, “Five Hundred Dollars Reward. STOP THE MURDERER!!” The article describes the man as “spare” and “well built.” He is also about 5 feet 8 inches high, (having a) thin visage, pale complexion, regular features, keen black eye, and remarkably long, slender hand; had on when last seen, a half worn brown or grey beaverton frock coat, a warm cloth vest, boots considerably worn, and dark drab, smooth cast broad brimmed hat.

This is not all the citizens knew of the mystery man.
He landed at Owens Landing, Jackson County, off the steam boat Rowena, on the 27th day of April, and departed on the same boat, on the 29th of the same month, for Lexington, Mo., and on the evening of the assassination, was seen in the vicinity of Independence—which with many other corroborating circumstances, leaves no doubt of his guilt. Of the Columbia Patriot article, McLaws writes, “Unfortunately, the ‘corroborating’ evidence seems to not have been made available to the newspapers, and its nature remains shrouded in mystery . . . (despite the fact that they were)] absolutely sure of Tompkins’ guilt.” He goes on to write that despite their convincing evidence, this “Tompkins” was fully acquitted and they turned their attention to Rockwell instead.

John C. Bennett and church ridicule
John C. Bennett was a prominent church member excommunicated in July of 1842. Following his excommunication, he led the crusade to provide evidence against Smith and his “accomplice” along the American frontier, particularly in Missouri, Illinois and Iowa. As soon as he left the church, Bennett began “threatening . . . (to) expose the villainy of Joe and his satellites.” According to the Warsaw (Illinois) Signal, Bennett planned to begin disclosing secret truths relating to the Boggs incident. He states that when Rockwell suddenly started for Missouri from Nauvoo one day, Bennett inquired of Smith, who reported, “(Rockwell has) gone to Missouri TO FULFILL PROPHECIES!” Bennett also claims that, having arrived in Nauvoo just as news of the incident began to spread, Smith rewarded Rockwell with “a carriage and a horse, or horses . . . and he has suddenly become very fresh of money, and lives in style.” The article goes on to state that Bennett can prove all of these allegations and will do so in affidavit. This is all the proof they need, writes the Signal, to assign blame to “Jo Smith.” According to Church history Bennett appeared before a city council two months before the drawing of Boggs’ affidavit implicating Smith and Rockwell. Before a Nauvoo committee he stated that the Prophet was innocent and just in all his dealings. However, only weeks before the July 20 affidavit from Boggs, Bennett began to circulate many of the stories to be published in the Sangamo Journal, later used by the Warsaw Signal. In keeping with his notoriously shady character, Bennett changed his story to implicate his enemies. Circumstances taken from John C. Bennett’s affidavit (on which much of the Rockwell accusation was based), according to McLaws, were insufficient to warrant even an indictment by a grand jury. Further of Bennett, McLaws writes, In reporting a conversation with Rockwell (Bennett) made the following statement, which is typical of the whole book (Bennett’s anti-Mormon History of the Saints). “. . . And two persons in Nauvoo told me that you told them that you had been over the upper part of the Missouri . . . I know nothing of what happened, as I was not there. I draw my own inferences . . . I believe that Joe ordered you to do it . . .” He admits that he only believed, and that his own belief was based on hearsay. B. H. Roberts writes that Bennett’s public proof was based on a letter printed in the Nauvoo Wasp, a publication edited by Joseph’s brother, William Smith. The letter concludes by referring to the assassination attempt as a “noble deed.” The same volume includes the following disclaimer: “We admit the foregoing communication to please our correspondent.” Despite the fact that it is merely a printed letter, Bennett considers this sufficient proof of Mormon malice.

Anti-Mormon newspapers and their reports
Once Mormon-friendly, Quincy was among the towns whose publications showed an anti-Mormon bias during the Boggs assassination scandal. In an August 13 article, the Quincy Whig reported the apprehending of Rockwell, adding the description, “he turned deathly pale, and exhibited every symptom of alarm and guilt.” Of Rockwell’s assertion that he was 15 miles from Independence on May 6, the Whig writes, “This we conceive is rather confirmatory than exculpatory; at all events it proves that Rockwell was at the region of the country at the time of the attempted murder.” The same article proceeds to list “the whole circumstances” of evidence against Boggs, consisting almost entirely of claims made by the dubious Bennett about the incident. These claims include Rockwell’s disappearance and return to Nauvoo, his sudden rise to prominence, and his guilt-ridden countenance when arrested. The biased writer then concludes, “We are very much mistaken, if those taken with what other proof might arise on identifying Rockwell in Missouri, would not consign him and his villainous instigator to the gallows.” As if this was not enough, another article on the same page includes this utterly hostile commentary: Our citizens were in hopes that the scamp (Joseph) would be taken or else make open resistance; no termination of the affair could be less satisfactory than the one which has taken place (Joseph had eluded arrest by Illinois authorities). If he had resisted, we should have had the sport of driving him and his worthy clan out of the state en masse, but as it is we are mortified that there is not efficacy in the law to bring such a scamp to justice. We hope that our Executive will spare no effort hereafter to bring about this consumations (sic), devoutly to be wished. A Baltimore-based national news digest called Niles’ National Register also took pains to print the least-flattering accounts possible of the incidents surrounding the trial of Smith and Rockwell. The paper reports on September 30, 1843 that “there was not sufficient proof adduced against (Rockwell) to justify an indictment for shooting ex-Governor Boggs; and the grand jury, therefore, did not indict him for the offence (sic).”
However, on the same page the editors include a Missouri Reporter article that mentions some Missourians’ desires to “avenge the blood of any assaults made upon the citizens by the Mormons.” They also vow to ignore all laws given by officers elected by Mormons, because the Mormons “have complete control of the country, being a numerical majority.” Another anti-Mormon paper, the St. Louis Republican, published an article which was reprinted by Niles’ National Register closer in time to the incident. The writer of the article has no trouble convicting both Smith and Rockwell before any trials take place: “The report that Joe Smith and his accomplice in the attempted assassination of Gov. Boggs, had gone to England, is erroneous.” The men are not “alleged assassins” or even “purported criminals,” but “Joe Smith and his accomplice in the (crime).” The St. Louis Republican, situated hundreds of miles southwest of the intrigue, seems to know more about the trial and apparent guilt of the two men, than the Illinois judicial system. The same article closes with the assurance that “(Joseph’s)] influence is on the wane; his sun has already reached its meridian height, and is now on the decline.” Joseph Smith’s influence waning or “on the decline?” To comment on this statement would be superfluous. The worst of all the dogma came out of the Warsaw Signal. Apparently the people, or at least journalists, of Warsaw (a close neighbor to Nauvoo) utterly hated Mormons. In one article, the Signal describes Joseph as setting “the laws at defiance, and never fear(ing) being apprehended.” The writer is convinced that “to bring him to justice will be a matter of impossibility.” The writer also says, “the Mormons are irresponsible to our laws . . . (and) can only be punished by consent of their Prophet. This is the pass we have come to,” says the writer, “and yet there are white men to be found, who tell us that there is no danger to be apprehended from the Mormons.” This is the kind of writing, referring to the Mormons as “dangerous,” that made a fair trial for Smith and Rockwell difficult, and fair lives for the rest of the Saints impossible. The Signal was also the first newspaper to feature Bennett’s plans to destroy the Prophet and alienate his followers. As one can readily deduce from the following excerpt, the Warsaw Signal was proud of its anti-Mormon stance. I quote a large portion of the article for purpose of effect: We understand that Gen. Bennett, who our readers are aware has been ousted from his place in the Mormon church; has commenced writing for the Sangamo Journal a series of communications, going to show the rascality of Joe Smith and his clan, and the dangerous designs which he is capable of forming and executing. The General asks not to be believed on his own assertions, but proves matters as he goes; he is a man of great energy and perseverance and we should not be surprised if he made the Mormons feel like stuck hogs for a few months to come.—Give it to them General, we like to see it—although there is no doubt that you yourself deserve a few SMALL compliments.

Conclusion
Statements like the above created, or added to, a prevalent bias against Mormons along the American frontier while the Saints there resided. Although this bias was not enough to fool the Illinois State judicial system, it was enough to create a serious hubbub that lasted for several months and inspired several attempts at arrest. This sentiment was the cause of greater persecution for the Mormons generally, and Joseph Smith, specifically. Furthermore, the noise created by the media in the 1840s over the incident has echoed continually since. Believe it or not, there are those today who still believe that Orrin Porter Rockwell rode to Independence on orders from the Prophet and shot, but failed to, kill Lilburn W. Boggs. Harold Schindler writes a fine summary of the general conclusion drawn by historians on the matter: “Whether Orrin Porter Rockwell fired the shot which nearly snuffed out the life of Lilburn W. Boggs is a matter for conjecture.” However, RLDS scholar Heman Smith expresses an opinion on the matter closer to my own: “When it is considered that all the machinery of the courts was in the hands of enemies of the church this whole affair about O. P. Rockwell attempting to murder ex-Governor Boggs and Joseph Smith being accessory before the fact, partakes of the nature of a huge joke.”.22
In a lawsuit in 1843 in the Supreme Court, Missouri, Lilburn Williams Boggs was the appellant along with Pierre Menard in an action against Joseph Pratte and Auguste St. Gemme in a civil action from St. Genevieve county for a debt owed to Menard. It was found in favor of Menard for $6,000.00.23 In a lawsuit in 1843 in the Supreme Court, Missouri, Lilburn Williams Boggs was the appellant along with Conrad Ziegler in the appeal of a civil suit over a debt from Ste. Genevieve county. It was determined that Pratte etal owed $6,000.00 to the estate of Morrison for slaves.24
Boones Ferry Road is one of the busiest roads in the Portland area, but not many modern residents are aware that there once actually was a ferry on Boones Ferry Road -- and fewer still know that the Boone in question was a descendant of the one and only Daniel Boone.

The branch of the Boone family that emigrated to Oregon was led by Daniel's grandson, Alphonso Boone. Moving west seems to have run in the family, as Alphonso "westered" at least three times in his life. In 1841, he set up shop in Independence, Missouri, outfitting fur traders and caravans on the Santa Fe Trail. From 1843 to '45, Alphonso cashed in on a new source of business: emigrants bound for Oregon and California. In 1846, Alphonso headed west with seven of his children, his sister Panthea Boone Boggs, and her husband Lilburn W. Boggs, former governor of Missouri.

The Boones jumped off from Westport, Missouri, where Alphonso's brother, Albert Gallatin Boone, ran his own a general store catering to the overland trade. The Boones with their eleven wagons joined a California-bound wagon train which they expected to stay with to Fort Hall or thereabouts. Traveling in the same train were several people whose names are still known to historians, including Edwin Bryant, J. Quinn Thornton, T. H. Jefferson, George Law Curry, and George Donner and family.

Alphonso Boone's brother-in-law, Lilburn Boggs, wanted to be captain of the train, but he lost the election by a landslide to one William H. Russell. Dissatisfaction with the leadership of Captain Russell was widespread, however, and he complained that:

My duties as commandant are troublesome beyond anything I could conceive of. I am annoyed with all manner of complaints, one will not do this, and another has done something that must be atoned for, and occasionally, through variety, we have a fight among ourselves... I sometimes get out of patience myself, and once I threw up my commission, but to my surprise...I was again unanimously re-elected...

- William H. Russell, June 13, 1846

A week or two later at Ash Hollow, Russell resigned again, and the wagon train broke up into small groups for the remainder of the journey. These parties, including the Boones, remained loosely associated with one another, often exchanging members, banding together, and splitting up again as the days wore on.

The Boones reached South Pass on July 18, and two days later they encountered a lone horseman from the west urging emigrants to try a new, shorter route to California being promoted by Lansford W. Hastings. Led by George Donner, about twenty wagons from the Russell train turned off to follow this new route into the history books.

On August 8, at Fort Hall, the Boones met a man promoting another new route, this one leading to Oregon's Willamette Valley instead of California. Panthea Boone Boggs and her husband struck out for California, while Alphonso Boone decided to take a chance on the new road to Oregon, known as the Southern Route or the Applegate Trail.

This proved to be a mistake. The Applegate Trail was a hard road through difficult terrain with limited access to water. To make matters worse, the Indians of southern Oregon and northern California were extremely hostile to the overlanders. While they didn't stage a full-blown attack on the emigrants, they frequently harassed them by shooting arrows at their livestock and stealing from their wagons. Indians opportunistically attacked and killed two overlanders who got separated from the groups they were traveling with.

As winter weather set in and threatened to strand the travelers on the Applegate Trail, the emigrants began throwing away everything they could in order to lighten the load for their exhausted, footsore oxen. They cached their valuables in hope of being able to return for them later, but the Indians dug up and stole all but a few items of clothing. The Boones lost everything that they couldn't carry out of the mountains on their backs, including a compass and surveying instruments that had once belonged to Daniel Boone himself.

It was Christmastime when the Boones finally reached the settlements in the Willamette Valley. In the spring of 1847, Alphonso moved his family upriver and claimed 1000 acres across the Willamette from present-day Wilsonville. The Boones established a ferry on an old Indian trail running from Salem and the French Prairie area to the newly established city of Portland, offering a more direct route than going by way of Oregon City. They improved the trail by laying down a "corduroy road" of split tree trunks to get wagons through the muddiest stretches, and it grew into a major thoroughfare. Legend has it that their road was a hotbed for moonshiners, who operated stills hidden in hollows and glens nearby and used the road to transport their product to town. Alphonso made a point of operating his ferry 24 hours a day for the convenience of his customers, which may have had something to do with the number of illegal distilleries operating along his road...

One of the Boones' neighbors was George Law Curry, who knew the family from the Oregon Trail and had taken a shine to Alphonso's eldest daughter, Chloe. George courted Chloe by canoe, paddling up and down the river to pay regular visits until she consented to marry him. He later became the third and last governor of the Oregon Territory, in office from 1854-59.

When word of the gold strikes in California reached Oregon in 1848, Alphonso and his boys headed south to make their fortune. On February 1, 1850, Alphonso died at Long's Bar of an illness contracted in the gold fields. Though they lost their father, the Boone brothers did well in the mines, and Alphonso's sons gradually dispersed across the Northwest with their fortunes assured: Jesse returned to Oregon and ran the ferry for 26 years, until he was murdered by a neighbor in a dispute over access to the river; Alphonso (junior) briefly ran the ferry before selling it to Jesse and going into the steamboat business; Joshua settled in Benton County, Oregon; and James moved to Idaho and ran the Morning Star Silver Mine.

The only son of Alphonso Boone who didn't accompany him to Oregon was George Luther Boone. Many years later, he told his story to fellow Oregon Trail emigrant Eva Emery Dye:

When I was twelve years old, my mother died; and Father, Col. Alphonso Boone, named for an old Spanish friend of his Grandfather Daniel, moved us up to Jefferson City, where he opened a trading post to outfit caravans for the Oregon Trail. My father's sister, Aunt Panthea, the wife of Governor Boggs, lived in a fine house next to the Missouri state capitol. ... When Father moved to Independence near Kansas City I struck out on the plains as a trapper working for my Uncle Albert Gallatin Boone, agent for the Kaw and Cheyenne Indians. ...

In the early Spring of 1846 when my Father, Colonel Alphonso Boons, with his large family of boys and girls set out on the Oregon Trail, I was absent on a trading trip to the Arapahoes and Cherry Creek where Denver was yet to be. With my mouse-colored mules I was carrying trading goods for Uncle Albert into the farther Rocky Mountain wilds.

By midsummer, with goods sold out and three wagon-loads of furs for Uncle Albert, I returned to Westport to find my folks gone and Colonel Doniphan there recruiting for the Mexican War. ... Selling my mules to the government I was mustered in at Fort Leavenworth and was soon on the march for Santa Fe.

- George L. Boone

George was honorably discharged in 1847 and led a wagon train across the plains the following spring to join his family in Oregon. In 1849, he went to find his father and brothers in California, made some money shipping freight, and returned to Oregon to settle down in 1852.

The ferry established by Alphonso Boone in 1847 operated continuously for 107 years. It was finally shut down in 1954 after the completion of a highway bridge adjacent to the ferry crossing.25 He and Alphonso D. Boone moved in 1846 from Missouri to Oregon.26
Trail of the Donner Party
The Donner Party

Lilburn Williams Boggs I, Lilburn W. Boggs, 1st Alcalde of the District of Sonoma, Territory of Upper California hereby certify that the within named persons, viz. Thomas O. Larkin as Principal and Francisco Pacheco, William A. Leidesdorff, Mariana G. Vallejo, Salvador Vallejo, and Jacob P. Leese, all of the Territory of Upper California are Residents of said Territory of California and are good and responsible men, for the purposes of the within mentioned Bond. Lilburn W. Boggs" (signature)

An Alcalde is a Spanish official title, in existence at least from the 11th century. In the Spanish colonies the alcalde was the administrator of a provincial division circa 1847.27
Eighteen forty-six has been called "The Year of Decision" because more than 2,500 emigrants headed west following the Oregon-California Trail. Among these pioneers were Benjamin S. Lippincott and some of his friends. The following articles highlight three of those emigrants who were cited by Lippincott in his letter dated February 6, 1847, from Ciudad de Los Angeles.

"May 10, 1846, we left the rendezvous on Indian Creek, 25 miles west of Independence. Colonel Russell (late marshall of state of Missouri) was voted the command of the party in opposition to Ex-Gov. Boggs...."
Lilburn William Boggs was born in Lexington, Kentucky on December 14, 1792, to John M. and Martha (Oliver) Boggs. In 1816, Lilburn went to St. Louis, Missouri, and worked as first cashier of the Bank of Missouri. During that year, he married Julia Bent. Later, he found employment working as deputy factor and Indian trader under George C. Sibley at Fort Osage and New Harmony Mission. In 1823, following the death of his first wife, he married Panthea Grant Boone. Miss Boone was the grand-daughter of Daniel Boone. He was elected, on the Democrat ticket, to the Missouri state senate in 1826. He was re-elected in 1830, and was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1832. In 1836, he was elected Governor of Missouri. He took a strong anti-Mormon position. After the Mormons were expelled from Jackson and Clay counties, they settled in a county of their own. The residents of adjacent counties appealed to Governor Boggs for aid. He called out a formidable militia and expelled the Mormons from the state. His orders to exterminate and drive the Mormons from Missouri placed him under heavy criticism from several quarters.

During his administration, the Bank of the State of Missouri, a conservative and highly successful bank, was chartered. Shortly after his retirement as governor, he was the victim of an assassination attempt which is believed to have been instigated by the Mormon leader, Joseph Smith. Boggs continued to serve in Missouri politics as a state senator from 1842 to 1846. With two sons in the Rocky Mountain fur trade, and having been involved in the Santa Fe trde himself, Boggs decided to move west in 1846. Upon his arrival in California, he settled his family in Napa Valley. He was appointed by the American military authorities in California to serve as the Alcalde of all California north of the Sacramento River following the revolt against the Mexican government. Boggs was the sole civil authority in that region until the inauguration of the state government. He ran a small trading outpost in Sonoma during the goldrush and served as the postmaster of Sonoma in 1850. He served as a member of the State Assembly during the 3rd session (1852). After paying his debts and acquiring a considerable estate, he retired to his farm in Napa Valley.28
THE DONNER PARTY: In the spring of 1846 some two thousand emigrants were gathered at Independence, Missouri, waiting for the grass of the plains to attain sufficient growth for feed for their cattle before commencing the long journey to the Pacific coast. Some of these were bound for Oregon and the rest for California. Among the latter a large company under command of Lilburn W. Boggs, ex-governor of Missouri, started about the beginning of May. The party was found to be too large for convenience in handling and three days after the start it was cut in two, Boggs taking charge of the advance, the second division being placed under command of Judge Moran of Missouri. Each of these two large companies was subsequently divided into smaller ones having various commanders who were changed from time to time as the emigrants proceeded on their journey, while the families changed from one company to another and new combinations were constantly being formed.

In one of these companies, commanded by William H. Russell of Kentucky, was the party known as the Donner, or the Reed and Donner party. It consisted of the brothers George and Jacob Donner, and their families, James F. Reed and family, Baylis Williams and his half sister, Eliza Williams, John Denton, Milton Elliott, James Smith, Walter Herron, and Noah James, all from Springfield, Illinois, William H. Eddy and family, from Bellefield, Illinois, Patrick Breen and family and Patrick Dolan, from Keokuk, Iowa, Mrs. Murphy, widow, and children, from Tennessee, her sons in-law, William H. Pike and William M. Foster, with their families, William McCutchen and family, from Jackson county, Missouri, Lewis Keseburg and family, Mr. and Mrs. Wolfinger, Joseph Rhinehart, Augustus Spitzer, and Charles Burger, natives of Germany, Samuel Shoemaker, of Springfield, Ohio, Charles T. Stanton, of Chicago, Luke Halloran, of St. Joseph, Missouri, Mr. Hardcoop, a Belgian, Antonio and Juan Bautista, Spaniards, from New Mexico. West of Fort Bridger the party was joined by Franklin W. Graves and family, his son-in-law, Jay Fosdick and wife, and John Snyder, all from Marshall county, Illinois, eighty-eight souls, all told.

It was a well equipped party, and George Donner, a man of some wealth, was carrying a stock of merchandise for sale in California. He had several milch cows and the family was plentifully supplied with milk and butter. For a time all was well and the company thoroughly enjoyed the novelty of their situation. The weather was delightful, and the country between the Blue and Platte rivers, a beautiful rolling prairie, was covered with grass and wild flowers. Game abounded and the men would ride twenty miles from the train on their hunting excursions. The Indians were friendly and the cattle grazed quietly around the camp unmolested. Several musical instruments and many excellent voices were in the party and all was good-fellowship and joyous anticipation. The first death occurred just before the crossing of the Big Blue river. Mrs. Sarah Keyes, the aged mother of Mrs. James F. Reed, had been in feeble health and was unable to endure the fatigues of such a journey, but having no one to leave her with they had been obliged to bring her. She was buried on the bank of the Big Blue, and the emigrants moved on. The route was the usual one: up the north fork of the Platte, up the Sweetwater, through the South pass, down the Big Sandy and the valley of Green river. At Fort Bridger, then a new trading post on Black's fork of Green river, a consultation was held regarding the next stage of the journey. Bridger and Vasquez, the owners of the fort, were old trappers of the American Fur company. They had been in the region many years and had established this fort which they expected to make a great trading post, and they hoped to induce the government to make it the principal military post of the intermountain region. They had also traced out a road from Fort Laramie to Fort Bridger which they claimed was easier, had more grass and water, and was much shorter than the road through the Black hills and South pass. It followed up the Laramie river, came through Bridger pass and down Bitter creek to the Green. This route, surveyed by Captain Stansbury, U. S. topographical engineers, in 1850, was that followed later by the Union Pacific railroad from the Laramie to the Green river. At Fort Bridger the emigrants met a man whose advice, taken by them, was to cause their ruin. Lansford W. Hastings had commanded a party of emigrants across the plains to Oregon in 1842. The excessive rains of that country through the winter had produced dissatisfaction in the party and they determined to seek the sunnier skies of California. This they did the following year and reached Sutter's fort about the middle of July 1843. Bidwell says that Hastings came with a half-formed purpose of exciting a revolution, of wresting California from Mexico, and of establishing an independent republic with himself as president. The foreigners in the country were however too few for a successful revolt and Hastings devoted himself to the work of promoting emigration to California. He returned to the United States and published an emigrants' guide to Oregon and California, wherein he gives a most glowing account of California, whose people were "scarcely a visible grade in the scale of intelligence above the barbarous tribes by whom they are surrounded," but who, nevertheless, treated foreigners with kindness and freely granted them lands. He also, it is said, supplemented his publication by lectures. In 1845 he brought a small party through to California and then turned himself to diverting the Oregon emigration to California. It was on this business that he now presented himself to our party of emigrants at Fort Bridger. Many of them knew who he was and some had seen his book. The most of the people were bound for Oregon, but Donner, Harlan, Boggs, and some other parties were going to California. Hastings assembled the emigrants and told them of a new route he had discovered around the south end of Salt Lake and striking the Humboldt river one hundred and fifty miles above the sink. He told them that they would, by taking this route, save two hundred miles of travel over the old road by Fort Hall. Bridger and Vasquez added their testimony in favor of the new route and all three, for their own interests, exaggerated its advantages and underrated its difficulties. The deliberations lasted three or four days and the historian of the Donner party states that but for the earnest advice and solicitation of Bridger and Vasquez the entire party would have continued by the accustomed route. After mature deliberation, the emigrants divided; the greater portion, going by Fort Hall, reached California in safety. The Donner party, which had a few days before elected George Donner captain, decided to take the Hastings' cut-off, as did the Harlan party, whose chief was George Harlan. These two parties left Fort Bridger on July 28th, and for several days traveled in company. The route was fairly good and they had little difficulty until they reached Weber cañon, where the road seemed impassable for the wagons. They halted and held a council. Harlan and some of his party maintained that the road could be made passable and that they could get through. Reed and Donner refused to go on and with their party turned back. The Harlan party spent six days in building a road through the cañon and on the seventh passed over it and reached Salt Lake. They crossed the desert, losing by death one of their members, and after a hard struggle and a loss of many cattle, reached the Humboldt near the vicinity of the present Palisade, where they ascertained that the Boggs' party, which had gone by Fort Hall, was seventy-five miles ahead of them. Pushing on with all possible speed they crossed the mountains and reached Johnson's rancho, the first habitation west of the sierra, on the twenty-fourth of October. They were the last party to cross the mountains.

After leaving Harlan the Donner party traveled back for two days and then struck across the Wasatch range to the south and followed down the cañon of a small stream towards Salt Lake. Some three weeks were spent in making roads and mending wagons, only to find the mouth of the cañon so narrow and so filled with huge rocks as to be impassable. With great exertion they succeeded in getting out of the cañon and reached Salt Lake about September 1st—some thirty-four days from Fort Bridger, a journey they were told would be made in six. It appears that Edwin Bryant, afterwards alcalde of San Francisco, had passed through the Hastings' cut-off ahead of the Harlan party. Bryant was traveling with a small party with pack-mules, and was guided by James M. Hudspeth, an associate of Hastings. He left letters for emigrants in the rear warning those with wagons not to take the cut-off but keep to the old trail by Fort Hall; letters that were not delivered.

Encamped at the southern end of the lake, death claimed on September 3d, another member of the Donner party. Luke Halloran was a consumptive, without friends or kinsman, who had joined the train hoping to find health in the change of climate. He succumbed to the hardships of the journey and was buried in a bed of salt at the foot of the lake. From September 9th to the 15th the party were crossing the Salt Lake desert, which Bridger and Vasquez had assured them was but fifty miles across, but which they found to be seventy-five. Reed's oxen, driven by thirst, disappeared in the desert leaving him helpless with three wagons and a family of six, the rest of the party having passed on. With his youngest child in his arms and followed by the others, Reed walked twenty miles to the camp on the head waters of a stream flowing into the Humboldt. Several days were passed here while an unsuccessful search was made for the lost cattle. Reed's only remaining cattle were one ox and one cow. Graves and Breen each loaned him an ox, and by yoking his cow and ox, together he had two yokes which he hitched to one wagon, and loading on that all he could, he abandoned the other two and cached such of his property as could not be carried.

Before leaving the desert camp a careful account of provisions was taken, and deeming the amount insufficient Stanton and McCutchen volunteered to go forward to California and bring back a supply. Their services were accepted and they started, each with a horse, about September 20th. All were put on short rations and resuming the march they reached the emigrant road on the Humboldt river about the end of September, long after the last parties had passed. They now began to realize their danger. A storm came on and in the morning the mountain tops were covered with snow. It was a dreadful reminder of the lateness of the season and of the horrors they feared must await them. The company now fairly demoralized, pushed on as rapidly as possible, each family looking out for itself. All organization seems to have come to an end. The Indians, ever hostile, hovered about the train and stole the cattle at every opportunity. The poor animals were in a pitiable condition. The grass was scanty and of a poor quality, and the water was bad, causing much loss among them. At every slight ascent the teams would have to double up and it required five or six yokes of oxen to move one wagon. The days of feasting and merrymaking, of song and story around the evening camp fire, had long departed; they could not survive the deadly monotony of the journey. The people became irritable and quarrelsome under the never ceasing toil, the constant sense of danger, the scanty food, and the difficulties of their position. The differences that had existed among them from the beginning were greatly increased and they regarded each other with feelings of suspicion and dislike, that only needed opportunity to break forth in acts of hostility. At Gravelly Ford, on October 5th, in a quarrel between Snyder and Reed, the latter was savagely beaten by Snyder. Mrs. Reed rushed between the furious men and received a blow on the head from the butt end of Snyder's heavy whip stock. In an instant Reed's hunting knife was out and Snyder fell, mortally wounded, and died in fifteen minutes. Consternation siezed the emigrants. Camp was immediately pitched and after burying the dead man a council was held to determine the fate of the slayer. All the animosity of the company now centered on Reed. It was first proposed to hang him, and one man fastened up his wagon pole for that purpose; but it was finally decided to banish him to the wilderness, alone, with neither food nor arms. Reed accepted the verdict and mounting his horse rode out into the desert. His little daughter Virginia followed him after dark, and carried him his rifle, some ammunition and food. George and Jacob Donner with their wagons and families were two days in advance of the main train. Walter Herron was with them, and when Reed came up, Herron determined to accompany him to California. The two set out together and of Herron we hear nothing further.

On the 12th of October the train reached the sink of the Humboldt, and the cattle, closely guarded, were turned out to graze. At daybreak the guard came into camp to breakfast, leaving the cattle unguarded, and during their absence twenty-one head were stolen by the Indians. This left the company in a bad plight. Several families had neither oxen nor horses left. All who could must walk. Men, women, and children were forced to travel on foot and, in many cases, carry heavy burdens to lighten the loads for the oxen. Eddy and his wife each carried a child and such personal effects as they were able. No one was allowed to ride but the little children, the sick, and the utterly exhausted. Seven of the women had nursing babies and all were on the smallest allowance of food that would sustain life. In this condition the company began the desert lying between the sink of the Humboldt and the lower crossing of the Truckee river. The Belgian, Hardcoop, an old and feeble man, fell; he could walk no further, and the train passed on, leaving him to his fate. I suppose the old man had no money to purchase the place of a bale of goods on one of the wagons. On October 14th the German, Wolfinger, failed to come into camp. He had been walking in the rear with Keseberg. His wife induced three young men to go back in the morning and look for him. Keseberg had said that Wolfinger was but a short distance behind him and would soon be along. The searchers failed to find him, but about five miles back came upon his wagon, and near it, the oxen, still chained together. There were no signs of Indians. The men hitched the oxen to the wagon and drove them in. It was thought that Keseberg murdered Wolfinger for his money, but no inquiry was made concerning the missing man and the wife supposed the Indians had killed him. McGlashan says that Joseph Rhinehart, when dying of starvation in George Donner's tent, confessed that he had something to do with the murder of Wolfinger.

On the nineteenth of October, at the lower crossing of the Truckee (site of Wadsworth) the starving emigrants met Stanton with relief. Captain Sutter, without compensation or security, had sent them seven mules, five of them loaded with flour and beef. McCutchen had been ill and unable to return and Sutter had sent two Indian vaqueros, Luis and Salvador, to assist Stanton with the train and guide the emigrants over the mountains. The relief was timely and had the party pushed resolutely forward there is little doubt that they could have crossed the mountains; but with a lack of decision that had characterized them from the start, they concluded to rest three or four days at the Truckee meadows (Reno). The delay was fatal. On the twenty-third, alarmed by the threatening appearance of the weather, they hastily resumed their journey. It was too late. At Prosser creek they found six inches of snow and at the summit the snow was from two to five feet deep. With an efficient leader and a definite plan of action, the party might yet have succeeded in crossing the range. But there was no leader, all was confusion and the panic stricken emigrants, each for himself, made frantic efforts to break through the snow barrier that imprisoned them. Some families reached Truckee lake, as it was then called, on October 28th; some on the 29th; some on the 31st, and others never got beyond Prosser creek. Several wagons passed up the old emigrant road on the south side of the lake almost to the summit and were there abandoned. Some took the north side of the lake and passed far up towards the top of the pass, only to be left imbedded in the snow. For two weeks the emigrants wasted their strength in desultory efforts to escape, and then realizing the hopelessness of such attempts, determined upon an organized effort. Never before, from the formation of the Donner party, had they ever agreed upon any important proposition. The terrible situation they were in caused them to forget for a time their petty differences and united them in one cause. They decided to kill all the animals, preserve the meat, and on foot cross the summit. That night a heavy snow fell and for a week the storm continued with slight intermissions. Ten feet or more of snow fell at the lake, and, for a time, all their energies were required for the preservation of life. The mules and oxen, their main reliance for food, blinded and bewildered by the storm, strayed away and most of them perished, being buried in the snow where only a few were ever found. Those remaining were slaughtered and the meat preserved in the snow. The emigrants now realized that the winter must be spent in the mountains and made such preparations as they could for shelter. One cabin, built by an earlier party, was still standing and others were hastily constructed. These were built below the foot of the lake on what is now Donner creek. Seven miles to the eastward, on Alder creek, a branch of Prosser creek, the two Donner families with several of the unmarried men were encamped in tents and brush wood huts over which were stretched rubber coats, quilts, etc. Truckee lake and river are famous for the beautiful trout with which they abound, but after two or three unsuccessful attempts to catch them the effort was abandoned and soon the lake was covered over with thick ice. The entire party seemed dazed by the calamity which had overtaken them.

Before leaving the Truckee meadows death had taken another of the party. While engaged in loading a revolver, William Foster accidentally shot and killed William Pike. This reduced the original company to seventy-nine persons. In the party must now be counted Luis and Salvador, the Indians sent by Sutter, making eighty-one souls in the camps: namely, twenty-four men, fifteen women, and forty-three children. Some of the children may have been grown but as the chroniclers do not give the ages, it is impossible to tell. Of the company, the women were the bravest, the most resourceful, and most successfully endured the struggle with cold and hunger, as will be seen later. The unmarried men, fifteen in number, most of whom were young and vigorous, gave way to despair, and after the first attempts to escape made no further effort. The only exceptions were Stanton, Denton, and Dolan, whose feeble exertions were soon ended. Of the fifteen only two survived.

In all the company there was but one gun. It belonged to Foster, and with it, Eddy shot a bear and two or three ducks. After that no more game was seen.

On December 16th a party known as the "forlorn hope" started on improvised snowshoes in an attempt to cross the mountains. There was a possibility of their getting through and their going would leave fewer hungry mouths in camp. The party consisted of Eddy, Graves, Stanton, Dolan, Fosdick and wife, Foster and wife, Lemuel Murphy (age 13), Mrs. Pike, Mary Graves, Mrs. McCutchen, Antonio, Luis, and Salvador: nine men, five women, and a boy.

Taking rations for six days they started and on the second day crossed the summit. On December 22d they had consumed the last morsel of food. This day Stanton gave out. He had been snow-blind for two days and was too weak to keep up. It was he who had brought the relief from Sutter's fort and had remained and cast his lot with the party, when he might have escaped, having no ties of kindred among them. They left him sitting by the camp fire. It was I suppose the only thing they could do. They could not help him and their own case was desperate. On Christmas they reached the "camp of death" where a snow storm confined them for a week. Dolan, Graves, Antonio, and Lemuel Murphy died and were eaten by their starving companions. By the thirty-first, this food was gone and on New Year's day they ate their moccasins and the strings of their snowshoes. The two Indians, Luis and Salvador, had refused to eat of the dead bodies, and kept themselves apart from the rest of the company, enduring the pangs of hunger with Indian stoicism; but seeing ominous glances cast in their direction they fled during the night of December 31st. The party again pressed on. Fosdick died on the fourth of January and was eaten. His wife would not touch the food, but on this day, Eddy, who had Foster's gun, shot a deer. This lasted until January 6th. There was no food on the seventh and on the eighth Foster took the trail left by the bare and bleeding feet of the Indians, overtook them, shot both, and again the party, now reduced to two men and five women, was supplied with food. On the eleventh they passed out of the snow and came upon an Indian ranchería. Amazed to see such tattered, disheveled, skeleton creatures emerge from the sierra, the Indians ran off in fright, but soon returned to furnish such relief as they could and supplied them with acorn bread, all the food they had. After a brief rest the march was resumed and accompanied by the Indians the refugees traveled for seven days, being compelled to rest frequently. At last they could go no further and here, in the full view of the beautiful valley of the Sacramento, laid themselves down to die. The Indians, however, took Eddy, and partly leading, partly carrying him, brought him to Johnson's rancho. Four men started at once with provisions and guided by the Indians, found Eddy's companions fifteen miles back and brought them in the next day. It was January 17th; they had been thirty-two days coming from Donner lake, and of the fifteen that started, eight had perished.

At Johnson's rancho there were only three or four families of poor immigrants, but a volunteer set off at once for Sutter's fort, forty miles below, for aid for the snow-bound people in the mountains. Captain Sutter and John Sinclair, alcalde of the district and manager of Rancho Del Paso, offered to furnish provisions, and men volunteered to carry them over the mountains. There was considerable delay in organizing the relief and securing saddle and pack animals, the country having been pretty well cleared of men and animals by the formation and equipment of the California battalion; but on February 5th, the first relief, a well appointed party of fifteen, under command of Reasin P. Tucker, started for the rescue of the beleagured immigrants. The ground was very wet and their progress was slow, while heavy rains on the sixth and seventh kept them three days in camp. On the tenth they reached Mule springs on the Bear river, opposite the site of the present Dutch Flat, having traveled the last four miles in snow, which, at the camp, was between three and four feet deep. The animals could go no further and sending them back under charge of William H. Eddy, who was one of the volunteers, ten men, carrying from twenty-five to fifty pounds of provisions, pushed forward on foot leaving two men to guard the provisions left. On the twelfth they halted to make snowshoes but could not use them and went on without. The next day they reached Bear valley which was covered with ten feet of snow. They examined a cache made by Reed and McCutchen and found that the provisions had been destroyed by bears. Here it rained or snowed all night. The next morning, February 15th, three of the men refused to go further and started for home. This left but seven of the original thirteen and it looked discouraging. They held a consultation and determined to go forward. Captain Tucker guaranteed to each man who persevered to the end, five dollars per day from the time they entered the snow. That day they made fifteen miles and the next day five miles through a heavy snow storm, and camped in snow fifteen feet deep. Five miles were made the following day, eight the day after, and they camped in Summit valley. The next day, February 19th, they crossed the summit, with thirty feet of snow on the pass, and reached the camp at the foot of the lake on the evening of that day.

We have seen the safe arrival of the Harlan party at Johnson's rancho, October 24th. The day following, in the midst of a heavy rain storm, a man was seen riding slowly towards the camp. It was James F. Reed, who after great suffering, having been reduced to the verge of starvation, had reached California. The fate of his companion, Herron, does not appear. After a rest, Reed went to Sutter's fort where he met Bryant, Lippincott, Grayson, and others of the Russell party. Here steps were being taken to raise a company for the California battalion, and immigrants were being enlisted as they came in. Reed was made a lieutenant and leave given him to return to the mountains for his family whom he expected to meet at Bear valley, forty miles west of the summit. Sutter furnished Reed with horses and provisions and gave him an order on Theodore Cordua of the Honcut rancho (near the present Marysville) for more horses. At Sutter's fort Reed was joined by McCutchen, who had recovered his health, and together they set out from Johnson's rancho for the mountain camps with thirty horses, one mule, and two Indian vaqueros. At Bear valley they found a man named Jotham Curtis who with his wife had come over the mountains and both were in a starving condition. Reed relieved their necessities and leaving provisions to last until his return, continued on his way. The snow was two feet deep in the upper part of the valley. That night their Indians deserted them and the next day the deepening snow rendered further travel with horses impossible. After an ineffectual attempt to proceed on foot they returned to Curtis' camp in Bear valley. Securing their flour in the wagon of Curtis (the cache looked for by Captain Tucker) they returned to Sutter' s fort, taking Curtis and his wife with them. Sutter considered the number of cattle the emigrants were supposed to have and stated that if they killed the cattle and preserved the meat in the snow there need be no fear of starvation before relief could reach them. He told Reed that there were no able-bodied men in that region, all having enlisted under Frémont, and advised him to go to Yerba Buena and lay the case before the naval commander. Proceeding by way of San José Reed found the lower peninsula in possession of the Californians under Sanchez, and joining the volunteers took part in the famous battle of Santa Clara as first lieutenant of the San José company. On the happy conclusion of the Santa Clara campaign Reed was relieved of further military duty, having served a month and a half, and after receiving the commendation of his commander for gallant conduct on the plains of Santa Clara, continued his journey to Yerba Buena, where he arrived in the latter part of January; a somewhat leisurely proceeding, considering the starving families. At Yerba Buena a mass meeting was called and steps were being taken for the relief of the party when the news was received of the arrival at Johnson's rancho of the survivors of the forlorn hope. It was now realized that immediate action was necessary if any emigrants were to be saved. A relief party was organized under command of Selim Woodworth, and leaving them to follow by boat up the Sacramento, Reed and McCutchen, with Brittan Greenwood, a half breed mountaineer and guide, hurried on by way of Sonoma to Sacramento, thence to Johnson's rancho. Johnson drove up his cattle and said, "Take what you want." They killed five head and with the aid of Johnson and his Indians, had the meat fire-dried and ready for packing. Other Indians were making flour by hand mills and by morning had two hundred pounds ready. The war had taken so many men that it was difficult to find any willing to brave the dangers of the Sierra Nevada, and well might they fear it, as we shall see. At Johnson's Reed learned of the party commanded by Captain Tucker which had passed in seventeen days before. Reed packed his provisions and with seven volunteers—making with himself, Greenwood, and McCutchen, ten in all—started from Johnson's, February 22d, carrying seven hundred pounds of flour and the dried beef of five head of cattle. This was the "second relief."

It is now time to look after the emigrants in the mountains. The snow-fall continued, alternating with rain and hard frosts until the cabins were buried and steps had to be cut in the snow to reach the surface, now some twenty feet above the ground. Wood there was in abundance but it was difficult for these weak hands to cut down a tree, and sometimes when it fell it would be so buried in snow that they could not get at it, and many days they had no fire. By the sixth of January their only food was the hides of such animals as they had slaughtered. They also gathered up the bones that had been cast away and boiled or burnt them until they crumbled, then ate them. Mrs. Murphy's little children used to cut pieces from a rug in the cabin, toast them crisp on the coals and eat them. Mrs. Reed and her children had been without other food than hides since Christmas. At Alder creek the families were even worse off since they had only brush huts and tents. George Donner had met with an accident which disabled him, and of which, aggravated by want of nourishment, he finally died. Jacob Donner, a man in feeble health, never rallied from the shock of finding himself imprisoned in the mountains. He gave up in despair and died early in December. Williams died at the lake December 15th, and Shoemaker, Rhinehart, and Smith at Alder creek before the twenty-first. Patrick Breen's diary written from day to day, from November 20th to March 1st, is the principal source of information. He frequently comments on the scarcity of wood as well as food. "Hard work to get wood"; "Don't have enough fire to cook our hides"; "No wood,” are some of his many entries. Burger, young Keseburg, John L. Murphy, Eddy's wife and child, McCutchen's child, Spitzer, and Elliott, all died between December 30th and February 9th. Without fire, without food, without protection from the dampness occasioned by the melting snows, the men, women, and children were huddled together, the living and the dead, in the gloom of their buried cabins, while above them raged the tempest with a sound that was dreadful in their ears. From time to time small parties made feeble efforts to cross the mountains but these ceased after January 4th, and the unfortunates waited with lessening numbers and growing despair for the relief that seemed far away. Day after day they looked for help to come and day after day they became more hopeless. For nearly four months they had been held prisoners in the snow and it was more than two months since the forlorn hope made its desperate effort to break through the barrier and bring succor to the people. All food was gone! Even the repulsive hide was no longer to be had and the last resort must be to the bodies of the dead. On the evening of the 19th of February, the silence was broken by a shout from the direction of the lake. In an instant weakness and infirmity were forgotten and up from the depths, climbing the icy stairways leading to the surface, came the poor, starving wretches. It was Captain Tucker and his men, the seven heroes of the first relief. Coming down from the summit to find a wide expanse of snow covering forest and lake and a stillness that was like the silence of the grave, they sent up a loud shout to see if happily any could answer. The cry was answered, and around the relief party came the weak and trembling forms of little children, of delicate women, and of what had once been strong men. The pitiful sight was too much for the men of the relief and they sat down in the snow and wept. Half a miles below the lake was the cabin of the Graves and Reed families. Captain Tucker, who had crossed the plains in company with the Graves family, before the latter took the Hastings' cut-off with the Donners hastened down the creek to see them. He saw smoke issuing from a hole in the snow, and, as before, he shouted, and up to the surface came Mrs. Graves and Mrs. Reed and the little children. Mrs. Graves' first question was for her husband and daughters. Did all reach the valley? The stout heart of Tucker failed him. How could he tell this starving woman of the fate of her husband and her son-in-law! He assured her that all were well. The same answer was given to the rest. Had the truth been told, the survivors of the camps would not have had the courage to attempt the journey. Food was given to the sufferers carefully and in small quantities, and the provisions were guarded lest the famished people should obtain more than was good for them. The members of the relief party camped in the snow, unable to endure the sights within the cabins, and in the morning three of them visited the Donner tents on Alder creek, seven miles below.

The relief party determined to return on the twenty-second and would take such as were able to travel. To those who remained, they said other relief parties would soon come. The question was, who should go? George Donner had become helpless and his wife would not leave him, though urged to go. From the Donner camp came the two oldest daughters of George Donner: Elitha and Leana; George Donner, Jr., son of Jacob, and William Hook his step-son; Mrs. Wolfinger, and Noah James. Mrs. Jacob Donner's two little boys were not big enough to walk and the mother preferred to wait for a larger party to come for them. From the upper camp came Mrs. Reed, her daughter Virginia, and son, James F., Jr. Her two other children, Martha (8 years), and Thomas (3 years), started with the company but they had proceeded only two miles when Glover, of the relief party, told Mrs. Reed that they showed such signs of weakness it was not safe to allow them to go on and that he would take them back. The poor mother was frantic at having to send her little ones back to that dreadful camp, and Mr. Glover promised to return as soon as he arrived at Bear valley and bring Martha and Thomas over the mountains. To this the mother was obliged to consent. Two Murphy children, William G. and Mary M; Naomi L. Pike; three Graves children, William C., Eleanor, and Lovina; Mrs. Keseburg and her baby girl, Ada; Edward and Simon Breen, children; Eliza Williams, and John Denton, twenty-one, all told, made up the number brought out by the first relief. The seven men constituting this party were: Reasin P. Tucker, captain, Aquila Glover, Riley S. Moultry, John Rhoads, David Rhoads, Edward Coffeemire, and Joseph Sells. When Mrs. Pike, whose husband had been accidentally killed at Truckee meadows, joined the forlorn hope, she left her two year old Naomi, and her infant Catherine, with her mother, Mrs. Murphy. Starvation had dried her milk and she could no longer nurse the babe. The grandmother succeeded in keeping the infant alive until the arrival of the relief party by administering to it a little gruel made from coarse flour— a small quantity of which Mrs. Murphy had saved— mixed with snow water. On February 20th the baby died, and little Naomi was carried to her mother by John Rhoads, who bore her through the snow slung over his back in a blanket. Another of the men of the relief carried Mrs. Keseberg's baby, but the little one could not survive. She died on the evening of the first day out and was buried in the snow. The second day the company reached Summit valley. When camp was pitched John Denton was missed. John Rhoads went back and found him asleep on the snow, and with much exertion aroused and brought him into camp. He said it was impossible for him to travel another day, and on the morrow he gave out before proceeding very far. His companions built a fire for him and giving him such food as they could, left him. When Captain Tucker's party were going to Donner lake, they had left a portion of their provisions in Summit valley, tied up in a tree. They had found it difficult to carry all they had started with, and besides, thought it well to have something provided for their return should the famished emigrants eat all they carried in, which proved to be the case. The scanty allowances were all eaten, and when the party reached the cache they were horrified to find that wild animals, by gnawing the ropes by which the provisions had been suspended, had obtained and consumed all. Starvation now stared them in the face and they pushed on as rapidly as possible. On the twenty-seventh they were met by the second relief under James F. Reed, and being thus succored they reached Johnson's March 2d. In his diary Reed says: "Left camp (head of Bear valley) on a fine, hard snow and proceeded about four miles when we met the poor, unfortunate, starved people. As I met them scattered along the snow-trail, I distributed some bread that I had baked last night. I gave in small quantities to each. Here I met my wife and two of my little children. Two of my children are still in the mountains. I cannot describe the death-like look all these people had. 'Bread'! Bread'! 'Bread'! 'Bread'! was the begging cry of every child and grown person. I gave all I dared to them and set out for the scene of desolation at the lake." At Bear valley another cache had been made and this was found unmolested. The utmost caution was taken to prevent the famished people from eating too much. One boy, William Hook, got at the provisions and ate until his hunger was satisfied and in the morning was found to be dying. Finding him past relief they left two of their company with him and continued on their way. Had it not been for the relief afforded by Reed many of the party must have perished.

Realizing the terrible situation of the emigrants Reed hurried on as fast as possible. On February 28th, he made fourteen miles through very soft snow, and on camping sent three of his men ahead who kept on through the night and camped for a short rest within two miles of the cabins, which they reached early in the morning. They found all alive and after feeding them went on to the Donner camp, where they arrived by noon. During the day Reed and the rest of the party came up.

On March 3d Reed started his return taking Mr. and Mrs. Breen and five children, which cleaned up the Breen family—two having gone with the first relief; his own two children, Isaac and Mary M., who had been living with the Breens; two children of Jacob Donner; Solomon Hook, Mrs. Jacob Donner's child by a former husband; and Mrs. Graves and her four remaining children, seventeen in all. The relief party consisted of James F. Reed, Charles Cady, Charles Stone, Nicholas Clark, Joseph Gendreau, Mathew Dofar, John Turner, Hiram Miller, William McCutchen, and Brittan Greenwood. Many of the younger children had to be carried and all were so weak and emaciated that it was evident the journey would be a slow and painful one, and should a storm arise before they got over the mountains, the situation of the party would be extremely grave.

It was decided that Clark, Cady, and Stone should remain at the mountain camps to attend to the helpless sufferers, procure wood for them, and perform such other service as they might need, until the third relief, which, it was thought, would be sent at once, should arrive to bring in all that remained. The second day after the departure of the second relief, while Clark was absent following the tracks of a bear he had wounded, Stone and Cady concluded that it would be madness to remain in the mountains and be caught in the storm they saw coming. They deserted their post, therefore, and endeavored to overtake Reed and his party. Clark, returning from an unsuccessful hunt late at night, found them gone. When Mrs. George Donner found that the men were going to leave, she persuaded them to take her three little girls, Frances, Georgia, and Eliza, with them over the mountains. She had previously offered five hundred dollars to any one who would take them safely over, and that, or perhaps more, was what induced the two men to undertake the charge. They took the children as far as Keseberg's cabin at the lake, and there left them.

When Clark awoke on the morning after his hunt, he found a fierce storm raging and the tent of Jacob Donner, where he was, literally buried in fresh snow. The storm lasted about a week. The snow was so deep that it was impossible to procure wood and during these terrible days and nights there was no fire in either of the tents. The food gave out the first day and the dreadful cold was rendered more intense by the pangs of hunger, while the wind blew like a hurricane, hurling great pines crashing to the ground about them. In the tent with Clark were Mrs. Jacob Donner, her son Lewis, and the Spanish boy, Juan Bautista. George Donner and his wife were in their tent and with them Jacob Donner's youngest son, Samuel.

When the storm cleared away Clark found himself starving like the rest. He had become one of the Donner party. As the storm was ending Lewis Donner died and was buried in the snow. Then Clark succeeded in killing a bear cub and the camp again had food. It had come too late for Mrs. Jacob Donner and her little Samuel. They died and were buried in the snow.

Clark now determined to leave the mountains, and dividing the bear meat with Mrs. George Donner, he started on his journey, accompanied by Juan Bautista.

The little band conducted by Reed had reached the lower end of Summit valley on the evening of the second day out, when the storm burst upon them with fury. All day the men of the relief had urged the party forward with the greatest possible speed, that they might get as near the settlements as they could before the storm caught them. Their provisions were exhausted and Reed sent Gendreau, Dofar, and Turner forward to a cache a few miles below Summit valley. They found the cache destroyed by wild animals and were pushing on for the next one, a few miles beyond, when they were caught by the storm and could neither proceed nor return.

In a bleak and desolate spot in the Summit valley Reed's party was forced to halt. The cold sleet-like snow beat upon them, and a fierce, penetrating wind seemed to freeze the marrow in their bones. With much difficulty they succeeded in building a fire, and the hungry, freezing immigrants crowded around it while Reed planted pine boughs in the snow and banked up the snow both within and without, forming, with the boughs, a wall to protect the party from the cruel wind. Warmed by the fire the others slept while Reed labored far into the night, perfecting his breastwork and keeping up the fire. At length the fire died down and the cold awakened Mrs. Breen. In an instant she aroused the camp. All were nearly frozen. The fire was renewed and Reed, who had been missed, was found lying unconscious upon the snow. He had fallen exhausted, and, overcome by the fatal drowsiness which proceeds death from freezing, would soon have passed beyond earthly help. They carried him to the fire and after two hours of vigorous rubbing he showed signs of returning consciousness. It was daybreak before he was fully restored.

For several days the storm continued in all its violence and it required the utmost exertions of McCutchen and Miller to keep alive the fire. The other men, disheartened by this calamity, gave up in despair. Mrs. Graves died from exhaustion the first night in camp, and her death was followed by that of her little son, Franklin, and of the boy, Isaac Donner. The men of the second relief realized that unless they could get help all in the camp would starve. They could not carry all the children through the deep snow, but they determined to set out for the settlements and send back help. They accordingly started, taking with them Solomon Hook and Martha Reed, who could walk, while Hiram Miller carried little Thomas Reed in his arms.

The relief party which had started from Yerba Buena under command of Selim Woodworth reached Bear valley where they were encamped in the deep snow, when the advance of the second relief, Gendreau, Dofar, and Turner reached that point. These men had found food in the second cache, but instead of returning with it to the party they had undertaken to save, they satisfied their own hunger and pushed on for the settlements leaving the remnant of the provisions where it could be seen by Reed and his men. In Bear valley they came upon Woodworth's camp and two men, John Stark and Howard Oakley, started for the Reed camp and met Reed and his men coming out. They had been three days on the way from "starved camp" to Woodworth's, and were in a sad plight, with frozen feet and exhausted bodies. Cady and Stone, from Donner lake, overtook Reed on the second day from starved camp and accompanied the party to Woodworth's.

Meanwhile in the desolate camp in Summit valley eleven unfortunates awaited the coming of a rescuing party. There was no food save a few seeds tied in bits of cloth, a lump of loaf sugar, saved for the babies, and a few teaspoons of tea. Patrick Breen, a feeble man, now worn to a skeleton, and his wife, Margaret, were the only adults; the rest were children, two being nursing infants—Mrs. Graves' Elizabeth, and Mrs. Breen's Isabella. Mrs. Breen waited upon all and attended to all. She fed the babies on snow water and sugar and when she found a child sunken and speechless she broke with her teeth a morsel of the sugar and put it between his lips. She watched by night as well as by day and all received her care. She gathered wood and kept up the fire, without which they could not live. The fire had melted the snow to a considerable depth and at length it was so far beneath them that they felt but little of its warmth. Mrs. Breen sent her son John down into the snow pit and he reported the fire on the bare earth, thirty feet below the surface of the snow. By great exertion she got all her helpless company down into the pit where they would be well sheltered and she constructed a kind of ladder from a tree top which enabled her to ascend and descend. Above, on the snow, lay the bodies of the dead, and to them Patrick Breen resorted for food. His wife would not touch it and declared she would die and see her children die rather than have her life or theirs preserved by such means. She never did eat of the bodies herself, and if the father gave to the children, it was without her consent or knowledge. Eight days had passed since Reed and his men left. It seemed as if the very limit of human endurance had been reached. On the morning of the ninth day Mrs. Breen ascended to the surface for her daily supply of wood and to look, as she crawled from tree to tree, for the help that did not come. She felt that if succor did not arrive that day, it would come too late. She descended to the helpless ones and together they repeated the Litany. Then after a rest she again climbed out of the pit to resume her watch for the coming of relief. She was so faint and weak from starvation and from the effort of ascending that her brain whirled and it required all her power to control her own wavering life; but she thought of the miserable ones in the pit who had only her to depend on and she grew steadier. She thought she heard sound of voices, but could see nothing for her eyes were dimmed by the sudden excitement. It must be a delusion of her overtaxed brain. Then the sounds came again, and she heard the words, "There is Mrs. Breen alive yet anyhow." The relief had come.

When Reed and his party had been brought into Woodworth's camp in Bear valley and had been told of the fourteen unfortunates left behind without food, the third relief was at once organized. So dreadful was the condition of the members of the first and second relief parties, that men hesitated to expose themselves to the danger of such frightful suffering. At Yerba Buena, Foster and Eddy, survivors of the forlorn hope, had endeavored to form a relief party, but were unable to obtain volunteers. They set out, therefore, on the trail of Woodworth's party and arrived at his camp the day Reed's advance party came in. When Reed's story was told, Foster and Eddy, joined by Hiram Miller, proposed to start at once, and with William Thompson, John Stark, Howard Oakley, and Charles Stone, set out from Woodworth's camp. It was arranged that Stark, Oakley and Stone were to bring in the sufferers at starved camp while Foster, Eddy, Thompson, and Miller were to press forward to the relief of those at Donner lake. Of the eleven at starved camp only two could walk: Mrs. Breen and her son John. A storm appeared to be gathering, and the supply of provisions brought by the three men was limited. The lonely situation, the sights in the camp, and the threatening aspect of the weather, filled the minds of Oakley and Stone with terror. It was proposed to take the three Graves children and Mary Donner, all that the three men could carry, to Woodworth's camp, and abandon the Breens, for the mother would not leave her helpless ones and John was in a semi-lifeless condition. To this programme Stark would not agree. He had come, he said, on a mission of mercy; he would not half do the work; the other two could go if they would; he refused to abandon the helpless. They went, and Stark was left to work out his plan of salvation as best he could. Just how he managed with the seven left to him, the narrator (McGlashan) does not say. Five of the number had to be carried, and the provisions besides. He was a powerful man, weighing two hundred and twenty pounds, of a determined will and undaunted courage. He would carry one or two a distance ahead, put them down, and return for the others. In this way he succeeded in getting them all to Woodworth's, where the others of the third relief had arrived.

Eddy and his companions reached the lake about the middle of March. They found Nicholas Clark and Juan Bautista at the head of the lake, where they waited until the return of the relief party. At the lake were Mrs. Murphy, her son Simon, the three little Donner girls: Frances, Georgia, and Eliza, and Lewis Keseberg. At Alder creek were George Donner and his wife, Tamsen. The injury George Donner had received resulted in erysipelas, and it was evident that he had but a few hours to live. Mrs. Donner had come up from Alder creek to see her little girls and assure herself that they were still safe, and was with them in Mrs. Murphy's cabin when the relief party arrived. They urged her to accompany them and her children over the mountains, and argued that there could only be a few hours of life left to George Donner. She knew this and asked them to remain until she could return to Alder creek and see if he were yet alive. This they refused, as the gathering storm-clouds over the summit warned them to be away, lest they be caught in the storm and all perish. Mrs. Donner refused to leave her husband; she returned to close his eyes and to her own certain death. Eddy and Foster found their children, little James Eddy and baby George Foster, dead, and on the day following their arrival at the lake, started on their return; Eddy carrying Georgia Donner; Thompson, Francis Donner; Miller, Eliza Donner; and Foster, Simon Murphy. Mrs. Murphy had cared for the children and was now sick and entirely helpless. She could not walk. They left her with such provisions as they could, brought her wood, and made her as confortable as possible, promising to return with assistance and carry her over the mountains.

The departure of the third relief left at the lake Mrs. Murphy and Keseberg, who had injured his foot and could not walk, and at Alder creek Mr. and Mrs. George Donner. I have no account of the return march of the third relief. They took up Clark and Juan Bautista and all reached Woodworth's camp and ultimately Johnson's rancho and Sutter's fort.

On April 13th the fourth relief party started from Johnson's rancho under command of William O. Fallon, a mountaineer trapper and guide. With him were William M. Foster, John Rhoads, R. P. Tucker, J. Foster, Sebastian Keyser, and Edward Coffeemire. Alcalde Sinclair of Sutter's fort had, by an offer of half of any property that might be saved, induced these men to attempt the rescue of the four left in the mountain camps by the third relief. George Donner was a man of some wealth, and in addition to the valuable stock of goods he was bringing to California, was supposed to have with him twelve or fourteen thousand dollars in coin. It was the hope of recovering this wealth that actuated most of the men of the fourth relief. Foster went with them hoping to save Mrs. Murphy, his wife's mother. They reached the lake April 17th, and found that of the four left by the third relief, Mrs. Murphy and Mr. and Mrs. Donner had died, and Keseberg alone was living. Paying no attention to Keseberg the "rescuers" began a search for the money, breaking open trunks and scattering their contents. Failing to find any money they came to Keseberg's cabin and demanded of him George Donner's money. Keseberg asked them to give him something to eat but they threatened to kill him if he did not instantly give up the money. At this he gave them some five hundred dollars which he said Mrs. Donner had given him to take to her children, and this was all they could find. They accused Keseberg of being a murderer and robber and so treated him. They were rough and unkind towards him, left him to his fate, and busied themselves in getting Donner's goods over the mountains; each man, according to Keseberg, carried two bales of silks or other goods, taking one a certain distance and then going back and bringing up the other. Keseberg with his wounded foot could not keep up with them, but dragged himself along and managed to reach their camp each night. Arriving at Sutter' s fort Keseberg was accused by some members of the relief party of the murder of Mrs. Donner. In Fallon's diary he is also accused of the murder of Wolfinger, of having killed and eaten George Foster, and of having been responsible for the abandonment of Hardcoop. The most revolting statements are made by Fallon concerning what he saw at the camp—statements that have been repeated by others but which are most absurd and impossible. McGlashan who wrote his story from interviews with and statements from the survivors, including Keseberg, discredits the accusations as do other writers. The stories, however, found ready belief and people shunned Keseberg and children fled from him with aversion. At the suggestion of Sutter Keseberg brought suit against Fallon, Coffeemire, and others, for slander, and the jury gave him a verdict of one dollar damages. He became a marked man and misfortune pursued him wherever he went. As a sample of the ridiculous stuff published about him, I quote an extract from Sights in the Gold Region, by Theodore T. Johnson
(1849).

"Within a half a mile of our encampment (on the Sacramento river) we saw the house of old Keysburg, the cannibal, who reveled in the awful feast on human flesh and blood during the sufferings of a party of emigrants near the pass of the Sierra Nevada, in the winter of 1847. * * * It is said that the taste which Keysburg then acquired had not left him and that he often declares with evident gusto, 'I would like to eat a piece of you'; and several have sworn to shoot him if he ventures on such fond declarations to them. We therefore looked at the den of this wild beast in human form with a good deal of disgusted curiosity, and kept our bowie knives handy for a slice of him, if necessary."

This ends the story of the Donner party whose tragic fate was known and feared by belated parties of the overland emigration of 1849 and later years. I have followed mainly the narrative of C. F. McGlashan in his History of the Donner Party, and have tried to connect his somewhat loose and disjointed story, omitting as much of the dreadful details as possible, and all laudation of the various actors in the tragedy. That there was great heroism and self-sacrifice displayed by certain members of the Donner and of the relief parties, will be seen by any one who reads the story; but it is, at best, a pitiful story of weakness and incompetence; nor can I see, as McGlashan can, anything brave, generous, or heroic in William Foster's trailing and potting for food the Indians, Luis and Salvador, who had come to serve them.
The destruction of the party may be ascribed, after the preliminary error in taking the wrong route, to internal discord, jealousy, and hatred among them, and to the lack of organization and leadership. That any of the party were saved seems quite remarkable when their condition is realized and the deliberation with which the work of relief was conducted is considered. The abandonment of the four left in the mountains must be strongly condemned. Granting that the saving of Mrs. Murphy and George Donner was impossible and of Keseberg immaterial, the life of Tamsen Donner was worth all the exertion that could have been made, even at the peril of the lives of the rescuers.

We have seen that of the eighty-eight persons who started with or became joined to the Donner party, six died before entering the sierra, and three—Reed, Herron, and McCutchen—were in California, leaving of the party seventy-nine, and of this number must be added the Indians, Luis and Salvador, making eighty-one in the mountain camps. Of this number, forty-five were saved, including two of the nursing infants, and thirty-six perished. Only five of the fifteen women died, and four of the five died for those dependent on them. Tamsen Donner gave up her life that she might comfort her husband's last hours. Mrs. Jacob Donner remained and died with her little children. Both women were able to travel. Mrs. Graves sent her husband and eldest daughter, a grown woman, with the forlorn hope; she sent the next three children with the first relief party, and waited, with the four little ones remaining for the second relief. Her life was sacrificed for these children, three of whom were saved. Mrs. Murphy's life was given for the children—her little Simon and her grandchildren, Naomi and Catherine Pike, and George Foster. The third relief found her unable to walk. Mrs. Eddy died before the coming of the first relief.

The altitude of the Great Basin averages about forty two or forty-three hundred feet. From Truckee meadows, an altitude of forty-five hundred feet, the trail enters the sierra and following up the cañon of the Truckee river reaches Prosser creek, thirty miles above, at an elevation of fifty-six hundred feet. Thence to Donner lake, seven miles, elevation six thousand feet. From the camp on Donner creek to the head of the lake is four miles. A mile from the upper end of the lake the trail comes to the foot of precipitous cliffs and the greatest difficulty of the ascent. It is a mile and a half to the summit of the pass and the rise is twelve hundred feet. Crossing the summit, altitude seven thousand two hundred feet, Summit valley is reached in a mile and a half, altitude sixty-seven hundred and fifty feet. From Summit valley to Bear valley is about twenty-five miles, elevation forty-five hundred feet; thence to Mule springs (Dutch Flat) fifteen miles, elevation thirty-five hundred feet. Twelve or fifteen miles below this point the forlorn hope emerged from the snow of the sierra.

In June 1847 General Kearny, with whom was William O. Fallon and Edwin Bryant, passed the camps on his way to the Missouri, buried such remains as he could find and burned the cabins. The work of burial was completed by returning Mormons of the battalion in September of the same year.

Teamsters and Others (Donner Party Roster)

A number of individuals accompanied the wealthier families of the Donner Party as teamsters or servants. Little more than their names is known about some of these individuals. Comprised mostly of young single men, this group had a high mortality rate.

Antonio ——
Age: [23?]
Perished.

Very little is known about this member of the Donner Party. His age has been estimated as 23 and he was evidently from Mexico. In April 1847, Lilburn W. Boggs numbered among the casualties of the Donner Party "Antonio the Spaniard that started with us," and in 1856 Eliza W. Farnham described him as "a Mexican, who had joined the emigrants at Fort Laramie." Antonio’s function in the company is unclear; Stewart speculated that he had been hired to herd the loose cattle of the more prosperous emigrants; apparently by the Donners, according to a letter by W. C. Graves.

In December 1846, when the Forlorn Hope set out on snowshoes to cross the Sierra, Antonio was one of their number. The little band was caught in the open by a raging blizzard and four of them died at what became known as "Camp of Death." Among them was "the poor Mexican lad who had joined them at the fort."

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Charles Burger - A teamster for the Donners.
Age: (30)
Perished.

"Dutch Charley," aged about 30, was one of the German-speaking members of the Donner Party. Probably because of this, it has been suggested that he was a teamster for Louis Keseberg. Lilburn Boggs, however, described him as "a little chunky Dutchman by the name of Charly that drove one of Geo. Donna’s wagons." For further evidence of his association with the Donners, see Dutch Charley.

Though he had no snowshoes, Burger attempted to accompany the Forlorn Hope, but was forced to turn back. He died in Keseberg’s lean-to on December 29, 1846.

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John Denton
Age: [28]
Perished.

A Englishman traveling with the Donner families, presumably as a teamster. Elitha Donner Wilder later wrote that Denton helped drive the wagons. On June 16, 1846, Tamsen Donner wrote, "John Denton is still with us—we find him a useful man in camp."

He was an intelligent and amiable young man about thirty years of age. He was a gunsmith by trade, and was a native of Sheffield, England, where he had a mother living at the time of his last hearing from home. The four years preceding his entering upon this journey, he had resided in Springfield, Illinois, where he left many warmly attached friends. (J. Quinn Thornton)
It was Denton who carved Sarah Keyes’ tombstone.

At Donner Lake Denton is mentioned as attempting to borrow meat from the Breens on behalf of the Graves family, with whom he was staying. Virginia Reed Murphy wrote

During the closing days of December, 1846, gold was found in my mother’s cabin at Donner Lake by John Denton. I remember the night well. The storm fiends were shrieking in their wild mirth, we were sitting about the fire in our little dark home, busy with our thoughts. Denton with his cane kept knocking pieces off the large rocks used as fire-irons on which to place the wood. Something bright attracted his attention, and picking up pieces of the rock he examined them closely; then turning to my mother he said, "Mrs. Reed, this is gold." My mother replied that she wished it were bread. Denton knocked more chips from the rocks, and he hunted in the ashes for the shining particles until he had gathered about a teaspoonful. This he tied in a small piece of buckskin and placed in his pocket, saying, "If we ever get away from here I am coming back for more." Denton started out with the first relief party but perished on the way, and no one thought of the gold in his pocket. Denton was about thirty years of age; he was born in Sheffield, England, and was a gunsmith and gold-beater by trade.
When the First Relief left the camp in February with twenty-one refugees, the weakened Denton was among them. By the time they reached the head of the Yuba, Denton was through. Unable to continue, he urged the others to go ahead and leave him. He was last seen sitting by the fire smoking and looking so comfortable that little Jimmy Reed wanted to stay with him. The Second Relief found his body "in a sitting posture, with his body slightly leaning against a snow-bank, and with his head bowed upon his breast" and with it a poem he had written before he died:

Oh! after many roving years,
How sweet it is to come
To the dwelling-place of early youth—
Our first and dearest home.
To turn away our wearied eyes,
From proud ambition’s towers,
And wander in those summer fields,—
The scene of boyhood’s hours.
But I am changed since last I gazed
on yonder tranquil scene,
And sat beneath the old witch-elm
That shades the village green;
And watched my boat upon the brook—
As it were a regal galley,
And sighed not for a joy on earth
Beyond the happy valley.

I wish I could recall once more
That bright and blissful joy,
And summon to my weary heart

The feelings of a boy.
But I look on scenes of past delight
Without my wonted pleasures,
As a miser on the bed of death
Looks coldly on his treasures.
There is a brief article about John Denton on the Denton Family Homepage.

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Patrick Dolan - A bachelor farmer and friend of the Breen family.
Age: 35?
Perished.

b. 1811/1820 in Dublin, Ireland
d. 26 Dec 1846

Nothing is known about Patrick Dolan’s youth. He had a farm near Keokuk, Iowa, which he sold in exchange for a wagon and team in order to emigrate to California with his neighbors, the Breens. He was remembered as a cheerful, funloving, goodnatured man.

Dolan left with the Forlorn Hope in December. Having run out of food, the group drew lots to determine which of them should be sacrificed to provide food for the rest, and Patrick Dolan was the loser. His companions could not bring themselves to kill him, however, so they decided to go on until someone died. Two days later, Dolan died at "Camp of Death."

50bout 10 o’clock, a.m., of the 26th, when Patrick Dolan, becoming deranged, broke away from them, and getting out into the snow, it was with great difficulty that Mr. Eddy again got him under. They held him there by force until about 4 o’clock, p.m., when he quietly and silently sunk into the arms of death. (J. Quinn Thornton)

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Milford Elliott - Teamster for the Reed family, called "Milt."
Age: 28
Perished.

Parents: Edward Elliott (b. abt 1790 in PA, d. 1829 in Warsaw, Gallatin Co., KY) and Sarah —— (b. 1791 in MD, d. Feb 1857 near Mt. Auburn, Christian Co., IL)

b. about 1818 in Harrison Co., KY
d. 9 Feb 1847 at the Murphy cabin, Donner Lake


Virginia Reed Murphy described Milt as a "knight of the whip." She wrote McGlashan,

My father made arrangements with Milt Elliott to come & drive our family wagon. He was a person we were well acquainted with, a good man, and careful driver. had been for years at a mill of my fathers in James Town, on the Sangamond river. We were all right if Milt would onely drive.
Milt’s relatives, however, didn’t want him to go. According to family tradition, they offered him a wagon and team if he’d stay in Springfield.

Milt was on familiar terms with the family and called Mrs. Reed "Ma," though she was only four years his senior.

At Donner Lake, after Mrs. Reed and her children went to stay with the Breens, Milt was left to fend for himself. In early February he came to visit the Reeds and fell asleep, looking very unwell. Patrick Breen was concerned that he would die, which would upset his children, so he made Milt leave. The teamster dragged himself the 200 yards to the Murphy cabin, where he died a few days later.

Virginia wrote:

When Milt Elliott died,—our faithful friend, who seemed so like a brother,—my mother and I dragged him up out of the cabin and covered him with snow. Commencing at his feet, I patted the pure white snow down softly until I reached his face. Poor Milt! it was hard to cover that face from sight forever, for with his death our best friend was gone.

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Luke Halloran

An Irish-born shopkeeper from St. Joseph, Missouri.
Age: 25?
Perished.

Parents: Martin Halloran and ?

A consumptive, Halloran was traveling West for his health. Eliza Donner Houghton recorded that at the Little Sandy, about July 20, 1846, Halloran approached her parents for assistance. He had become "too ill to make the journey on horseback, and the family with whom he had travelled thus far could no longer accommodate him." The Donners charitably took him in and he rode in their wagon for two months. The company had crossed the Wasatch Mountains and were camped near the south shore of the Great Salt Lake when he died on September 25, 1846. He was reportedly given a Masonic funeral.

There have been reports that his grave was uncovered during construction near the south shore of the Great Salt Lake, but this has never been confirmed. More likely possibilities for the site are near Grantsville or Lake Point, Utah.

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—— Hardcoop - An elderly Belgian emigrant, traveling with the Keseberg family.
Age: 60?
Perished.

Mr. Hardcoop is another obscure member of the Donner Party. J. Quinn Thornton records all that is known about him:

He was from Antwerp, in Belgium—was a cutler by trade, and had a son and daughter in his native city. He had come to the United States for the purpose of seeing the country. He owned a farm near Cincinnati, Ohio, and intended, after visiting California, to go back to Ohio, sell his farm, and return to Antwerp, for the purpose of spending with his children the evening of his days.

In October 1846 the Donner Party was toiling through the Nevada desert. Their remaining draft animals were exhausted and to spare them, everyone who could walked. Keseberg put Mr. Hardcoop out of the wagon in which he was riding, but Hardcoop could not keep up with the company. He was last seen

sitting under a large bush of sage, or artemisia, exhausted and completely worn out. At this time his feet had swollen until they burst. Mr. Eddy, having the guard during the fore part of the night, built a large fire on the side of the hill, to guide Hardcoop to the camp, if it was possible for him to come up. Milton Elliot had the guard during the latter part of the night, and he kept up the fire for the same purpose. The night was very cold; but when morning dawned, the unhappy Hardcoop did not come up.

The emigrants who still had horses were unwilling to go back after him, and he was left behind to die.

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Walter Herron -Teamster for the Reed family.
Age: 27
Survived.

Parents: —— Herron and Ann —— .

b. abt 1819 in Norfolk, VA
d. 1853? in Mexico

When James F. Reed was banished in October his teamster Walter Herron accompanied him to California. After arriving at Sutter’s Fort, Reed attempted to raise a relief party to take supplies to the Donner Party, but had little success, for the Mexican War had broken out and most of the able-bodied men had enlisted. Herron also joined the California Battalion and apparently had no further contact with his former traveling companions.

In the fall of 1847 Herron assisted Jasper O’Farrell in surveying the site of Stockton, where he settled. He was elected San Joaquin County surveyor in 1850 and also served as the first recorder for the city of Stockton. In 1852 Herron went east. He returned via the Isthmus of Panama, where he heard that there were good opportunities for civil engineers in Tehuantepec. On his return he spent only a week or two in Stockton settling up his affairs and on January 1, 1853, set off once more for Mexico. He wrote to a friend after arriving in Acapulco in February but was never heard from again. He was declared dead in 1860.


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Noah James - Teamster for the Donners.
Age: 16
Survived.

Parents: Elisha James, m. 10 Feb 1823 to Frances Herndon (b. abt 1791 in VA, d. 29 Jan 1875, Sangamon Co., Ill.)

b. abt 1830 in Delaware
d. 1853 in California (?)

Noah James’ family lived near the Donners in Sangamon County. Although his age is usually given as 20, it appears that he was actually only about 16 when the Donners hired him as a teamster. Noah stayed at the Donner family camp in the Alder Creek Valley during the winter of 1846-47 and was rescued by the First Relief. He disappeared after his arrival in California, although an entry in the federal census lists an "N. James," of about the right age and place of birth, working as a miner in Calaveras County in 1850. The historical record is silent as to his fate, except for a tantalizing reference in a ’49er diary: reportedly "Noah James" was the real name of the desperado "Mountain Jim" who was hanged as a horse thief near Stockton in 1853.


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Luis
Age: ?
Perished.

One of Sutter’s vaqueros; killed en route with the Forlorn Hope, January 1847. Joseph A. King researched the early baptismal register of the San Jose Mission for Indian converts given the Christian name Luis. King believed that Eema, an Ochehamne Miwok who would have been about 19 in 1846, may have been Luis of the Donner Party. See "Luis and Salvador: Unsung Heroes of the Donner Party" in The Californians 13:2 (1996), 20-21.


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Hiram Owens Miller - A teamster for the Donners.
Age: 29
Survived.

Parents: George H. Miller (b. abt 1792 in KY, d. 1839 in Sangamon Co., IL) and Polly Owens (b. 7 Dec 1796 in Kentucky, d. 1875 in Sangamon Co., IL)

b. abt 1817
d. 19 Oct 1867 in San Jose, Santa Clara Co., CA

Although Miller is not generally included in rosters of the Donner Party, he was a member of the original Springfield group. He was a friend of James Reed’s, but did not work for him: Reed named Elliott, Herron, and Smith as the drivers of his three wagons in his letter of July 31, 1846. Tamzene Donner, however, mentions Miller in her letter of June 21, 1846, along with her other employees John Denton and Noah James.

Miller left the company on July 2 to join eight other single men who left their wagons and set out with packmules. This, the Bryant-Russell Party, was the first group to take Hastings Cutoff. Miller later helped rescue the trapped emigrants as a member of the Second and Third Reliefs.

On May 12, 1846, the day the Donners and Reeds left Independence, Miller began making daily entries in a journal. When he left the company, the entries were kept up by James F. Reed. This document, the Miller-Reed diary, is one of the most important sources of the Donner Party’s intinerary.

Shortly after the disaster, Alcalde John Sinclair appointed Miller guardian for George Donner’s daughters, a role that was later taken over by their half-sister Elitha’s husband, Benjamin Wilder. Eliza did not remember Miller with any fondness, for he had been unkind to her while on the Third Relief. When he came to see Eliza and Georgia in 1852, she recalled, many years later:

Mr. Miller’s stocky form in coarse, dark clothes, his cold gray eyes, uneven locks, stubby beard, and teeth and lips browned by tobacco chewing, were not unfamiliar; but he looked less tired, more patient, and was a kindlier spoken man than I had remembered.
Miller settled in Santa Clara County near his friend James Reed. He contracted smallpox in the early 1860s and lived with the Reeds as an invalid for the last five years of his life.

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Joseph Reinhardt - Said to be a partner of Augustus Spitzer, but perhaps traveling with the Wolfingers.
Age: [30]
Perished.

Reinhardt is another member of the German contingent about whom little is known.

In October, at the sinks of the Humboldt, Mr. Wolfinger stopped to cache his property. Spitzer and Reinhardt stayed behind to help, but they caught up with the rest of the company three days later without him. They reported that Indians had swept down from the hills, killed their companion, and driven off his stock. The other emigrants were suspicious of this story, but were anxious to continue their journey and did not investigate.

When the Donner Party was trapped in the mountains, Reinhardt stayed with the Donner families at Alder Creek. Before he died, he confessed to having killed Wolfinger. Thornton reported this in 1849, and Leanna Donner App confirmed it thirty years later:

Joseph Rhinehart was taken sick in our tent, when death was approaching and he knew there was no escape, then he made a confession in the presence of Mrs. Wolfinger that he shot her husband; what the object was I do not know.

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Salvador
Age: ?
Perished.

One of Sutter’s vaqueros who returned with Charles Stanton. Killed en route with the Forlorn Hope in January 1847. Joseph A. King researched the early baptismal register of the San Jose Mission for Indian converts given the Christian name Salvador. King believed that Queyuen, a Miwok of the Cosumne tribe, may have been Salvador of the Donner Party. He would have been about 28 in 1846. See "Luis and Salvador: Unsung Heroes of the Donner Party" in The Californians 13:2 (1996), 20-21.


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Samuel Shoemaker - A teamster for the Donners.
Age: [25?]
Perished.

Little is recorded about Samuel Shoemaker, except that he was said to be from Ohio. In September, near the southern shore of the Great Salt Lake, he assisted William Eddy in repairing one of James Reed’s wagons.

Shoemaker was one of the first victims of the entrapment. On December 20, 1846, Milt Elliott returned to the Lake Camp from Alder Creek with the news that four men, including Shoemaker, had died. In a grisly aftermath, Georgia Donner Babcock remembered her Aunt Elizabeth coming into George Donner’s tent asking them to guess what she had cooked for breakfast that morning. She answered her own question: "Shoemaker’s arm."


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James Smith - Teamster for the Reed family.
Age: 25?
Perished.

Like Shoemaker, little is known about Smith. He was apparently from Springfield, Illinois. In the back of the Miller-Reed diary is a notation dated November 20, 1846 which records purchases made from George and Jacob Donner. Among other items it lists "1 pair of brogans for Jim Smith." Smith did not use the shoes very long-- a month later he was dead.


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John Snyder - Teamster for the Graves family.
Age: [25?]
Perished.

William C. Graves wrote McGlashan, "The first we saw of Snider was in the winter before we started. He and a brother moved from Ohio into our neighbor-hood and on hearing that we were going to California he wanted to come along so father told him he wuld bord him for his work so they made a bargain to that effect." Whatever his skills as a teamster, Snyder was illiterate, according to Mary Graves.

On October 5, 1846, as the company traveled along the Humboldt River, Snyder and Reed’s teamster Milt Elliott became involved in a dispute while driving up a difficult hill. Reed intervened, the fight escalated, and Snyder died of a stab wound to the chest. Thirty years later Snyder’s death was still an issue of controversy among survivors of the Donner Party. Reed’s family claimed self-defense, but the Graveses blamed Reed.

Snyder, described as a popular, handsome young man, was said to have been engaged to Mary Graves, but she denied the story, calling it "false trash."


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Augustus Spitzer - Perhaps a driver for the Donners; sometimes said to be an associate of Joseph Reinhardt.
Age: 30?
Perished.

Although Spitzer is usually described as Joseph Reinhardt’s partner, Eliza Farnham described him as "a hired driver," and in an 1879 letter to C. F. McGlashan W. C. Graves wrote that Spitzer "belonged with the Donners."

Nothing certain is known about Spitzer’s past, but he may have been a Jew from Deinzendorf, Austria. In the second (1994) edition of Winter of Entrapment, Joseph A. King published a fascinating excerpt from a letter sent him by a California woman:

When I visited Donner Memorial Park not long ago I was astonished to see the name of Augustus Spitzer on a plaque. My great-grandfather had a brother of that name and my uncle often talked about him. He was the family black sheep, the one who didn’t like to work and couldn’t find a job and who had grand plans for adventure. The family thought it best to pay his way to America. In his last letter to the family, he mentioned that he was about to join a wagon train for California. That was the last he was heard from.
Alternatively, he may have been 41-year-old Moses Augustus "Gus" Spitzer, a German-American gunsmith from Virginia whose nephew identified him as the Donner Party member years ago. Or he may have been neither of these individuals but a third, as yet unidentified person.

On December 9, 1846, Spitzer "came down the snow-steps of Mrs. Breen’s cabin, and fell at full length within the doorway." He was so weak he could not rise without assistance. He lingered for two months. As Patty Reed recalled, "Spitzer died... imploring Mrs. Breen to just put a little meat in his mouth so he could just know it was there and he could die easy and in peace. I do not think the meat was given him, but he gave up the ghost and was no more." He died February 8, 1847.


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Charles Tyler Stanton - A bachelor traveling with the Donners.
Age: 35
Perished.

Parents: Isaac Stanton (b. 8 Jan 1770 in Stockbridge, Berkshire Co., Massachusetts, d.28 Aug 1832 in Syracuse, Onondaga Co., NY) m. 23 Jun 1795 to Elizabeth Smith (b. 23 Apr 1775 in Warinick, Orange Co., NY, d. 17 Mar 1835 in Syracuse, Onondaga Co., NY)

b. 1 Mar 1811 in Pompey, Onondaga Co., NY
d. abt 23 Dec 1847, Sierra Nevada, California

Stanton’s middle name is given in some sources as "Taylor."

Stanton stood five feet five inches, had brown eyes and hair, and wore a full beard. He apparently hired on as a teamster for the Donners.

In his early years Stanton worked as a clerk in a store. Despite his limited formal schooling, he read diligently to improve his mind and acquired a considerable knowledge of botany and geology.

A devoted son, he took care of his mother until her death in 1835, after which he moved to Chicago where he engaged in the mercantile trade. He did well at first, but his business failed a few years before he left for California. It was Hastings’ glowing description of that region in his Emigrants Guide that induced Stanton to leave his "dull and monotonous life," he wrote his family. It’s not clear how or when he joined the Donners, but according to Elitha, Stanton helped drive the family’s wagons. Between Independence and the Bear River he sent home lengthy letters which were published in the New York Herald under the initials "S.T.C." These letters, which provide the only detailed contemporary description of the Donner Party’s journey, are reprinted in Dale Morgan’s Overland in 1846.

Stanton is remembered as a hero of the Donner Party. He and William McCutchen left the emigrants at Donner Spring on the Utah-Nevada border and rode ahead to Sutter’s Fort for supplies. Stanton returned with five mules loaded with provisions that helped keep many of the emigrants alive. He was accompanied by two of Sutter’s vaqueros, Luis and Salvador. After being trapped at the lake, the three men stayed in the Reed cabin until they left with the Forlorn Hope. (See Stanton's Wigwam.)

The only emigrant who knew anything about the route to the settlements, Stanton attempted to lead fourteen others—the party later dubbed the Forlorn Hope—over the mountains on snowshoes. He became exhausted, could not keep up, and was left behind to die. His corpse was discovered by members of the rescue parties and identified by his clothing and pistol. Some of his personal effects were recovered from his body and returned to his family in New York.


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Jean Baptiste Trudeau
Hired by the Donners en route.
Age: [16]
Survived.

b. abt 1830 in Utah Territory
m. abt 1855 to Lupe De Massano
Ch: Baptiste, Milesia, Rosendo, John F., Sabas, Domingo
d. 9 Oct 1910 Marshall, Marin Co., CA

Generally called "John Baptiste" or simply "Baptiste," he was the son of a French trapper and a Mexican mother who joined the Donner Party at Fort Bridger, though in what capacity is not entirely clear; he may have been hired to replace Hiram Miller, who had left the company a few weeks before. Baptiste claimed familiarity with the country and with local Indian tribes and languages, but it seems unlikely that his knowledge extended across Nevada.

When the First Relief arrived, Baptiste and Noah James, both only about 16, were the only "men" left alive at the Alder Creek camp, except for the injured George Donner. Noah left with the relief on February 20, leaving Baptiste the only able-bodied male at the camp. He cut fire wood, amused the children, looked for the carcasses of oxen in the snow. His labors undoubtedly helped keep the Donners and their children alive.

Baptiste’s reputation has been the subject of considerable discussion of late. George R. Stewart’s characterization of him was certainly biased, but Baptiste was not the admirable character that some would paint him. For instance, much has been made of his alleged "heroism" in staying behind with George and Tamzene Donner. True, he did stay, but he complained about it and abandoned them when he had a chance. These actions are justifiable, given the desperate circumstances, but they are not heroic, and Baptiste himself felt guilty for leaving. At the camp he whined about being a poor orphan and stole food intended for the Donner children; later he cadged money off Elitha Donner Wilder, who could ill afford it (and who warned her sister Eliza that he was a liar); he boasted of his cannibalism in 1847, then tearfully denied it in 1884. This not the behavior of a hero. Is it human? Yes. Understandable? Yes. Forgivable? Yes. Heroic? No.

Baptiste spent most of his life in Marin and Sonoma counties, primarily making his living as a fisherman on Tomales Bay in Marin County and also picking hops in neighboring Sonoma County during the harvest. In November 1884 he had an emotional reunion with Eliza Donner Houghton in San Jose and fascinated her with his account at life at the Alder Creek camp 35 years previously.

In his old age Baptiste was interviewed several times by newspaper reporters. He described himself as the Donner Party’s guide and emphasized his heroism. He died aged about 80 in 1910, one of the last surviving males of the Donner Party.

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Baylis Williams - The Reed family’s hired hand.
Age: 25?
Perished.

Very little is known about Baylis. Lilburn Boggs referred to him as "the foolish fellow who was with Reed" and years later Patty Reed Lewis described him as an albino who slept in a wagon during the day and did odd jobs around the campfire at night. He and his sister Eliza had been with the Reed family for some years before the trip to California. Williams was the first to die at the Lake Camp, on December 14, 1846.

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Eliza Williams - The Reed family’s "hired girl."
Age: 31
Survived.

b. abt 1815
m. 15 Sep 1847 to Thomas Foulmer at Mission San Jose

Ch: Virginia E., John
d. 1874

Baylis’s sister or half-sister, working for Reed; rescued by the First Relief. Eliza, who was very hard of hearing, cooked and helped with the camp work.

According to a late account by Patty Reed Lewis, the Reeds did not intend to take Eliza to California, but when the family left town, she followed the wagons, crying. They could not convince her to stay behind and so had to take her along.

Eliza was considered an old maid in Springfield, but in pioneer California she soon found a husband. She lived near the Reeds for the rest of her life.29,30
He was appointed Alcalde of Sonama in July 1947. His predecessor, John H. Nash was taken prisoner by Lieutenant William T. Sherman in an adobe house at 579 First Street East in Sonoma.31 He was elected delegate to the California Constitutional Convention in 1850.2
Lilburn is a head of household on the 1850 U. S. Census for Sonoma County, California. He was identified as a 53-year-old male born in Kentucky. He was a merchant with $15,000.00 in real-estate. Enumerated with him were:, his sons Albert G., John, Theodore, George W. and Joseph Oliver, his daughters Minerva M. and Sophia G.3,32 Lilburn Williams Boggs was elected member of state assembly for the 19th district from 1852 to 1853 at California.2
Lilburn died on March 14, 1860 in Napa County, California, at age 63.3,5,33 He was buried in Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, Napa County, California.234
Lilburn Williams Boggs Tombstone

Lilburn Williams Boggs received a land grant, issued under May 20, 1862 Homestead Entry (12 Stat. 392) on July 27, 1885 at Modoc County, California. The land was described as 160 acres in SWSE part of section 21, W1/2NE and NWSE parts of section 28, township 46 N, range 15 E, Mount Diablo meridian.35
Lilburn Williams Boggs received a land grant, issued under April 24, 1820 Cash Entry Sale (3 Stat.566) on January 10, 1908 at Lassen County, California. The land was described as 120 acres in NESE part of section 19 and N1/2SW part of section 20, township 31 N, range 12 E, Mount Diablo meridian.36
He was the eldest son of John M. and Martha Oliver Boggs,and was born in Lexington, Kentucky, January 14,1798. His parents emigrated from the eastern shores of Maryland at an early day, and his father died when he was quite young. At the age of sixteen he went with the Kentucky troops to the War of 1812, under Governor Shelby, his company being commanded by Captain Levi Todd, of Fayette County, Kentucky. He was at the battle of Thames or Tippecanoe. He was absent eighteen months, and on his return from the Indian war he accepted a situation as book-keeper for the old Insurance Bank of Kentucky. At the age of eighteen he went to St. Louis, Missouri. He married Miss Julia Bent, daughter of Judge Silas Bent, of that city. He then removed to Franklin, on the Missouri River, opposite to where now is the city of Boonville, where he was engaged in mercantile business; and, after failing in business, he settled up his affairs at Franklin, and obtained a situation at Fort Osage with George C. Sibley, as deputy factor for paying Indians their annuities. While there his wife's health became delicate, and he returned to St. Louis and took her to her father's home, where, after giving birth to her second child (Henry), she died. He then returned to his situation at Fort Osage, and in the spring of 1821 he was joined by his mother and family. The whole family suffered with sickness, and it was decided that they should return to Kentucky. They left in the fall of that year, and went to St. Genevieve, Missouri, and remained there until the spring of 1822, and then proceeded to Kentucky. After leaving the family at St. Genevieve, Lilburn returned to his occupation at Fort Osage. He was part of the time engaged in business at Marias DuCene, in connection with Ballio & Sibley.. He was married the second time in 1823 to Miss Panthea G. Boone. She was the daughter of Jesse Boone, son of old Daniel Boone, of Kentucky fame. At once, with her and his two children, Angus and Henry, he removed to and resided at Harmony, Missouri, an Indian agency on the Neosho, a branch of the Osage River, at which point he was extensively engaged in trading with the Indians for furs and peltries. While at this place his first child by his second marriage was born, Thomas Oliver Boggs—now a resident of Las Animas, Colorado, where he has resided for the past forty years, and where he was engaged by Bent's company of fur traders as a trader among the Indians. After remaining some time at this post, Mr. Boggs removed to a farm near Fort Osage, Jackson County, Missouri, and settled in that rich and fertile region known for many years after by the name of the Six-Mile Settlement At this place his second son, William M. Boggs, was born, in October, 1826. About this time he selected the town site of Independence, Missouri, for many years the frontier town of the Far West, where he continued in the mercantile business. While the family were residing at the Marias DuCene a little incident occurred worth relating, as it shows what presence of mind the \mtufcored savage of the prairies possesses. It was winter time, and the river near the trading post was frozen over, so much so that it became necessary to cut a hole in the ice to procure water for the use of the family and persons around the post. The two boys, Angus and Henry, were amusing themselves sliding on the ice, and the eldest slid a little too far and fell into the opening, and the swift current swept him down under the ice to where there was an air-hole. An old Indian, whose wigwam was near by, was looking at the boys from his camp, and he seized a rail, ran down on the ice, and laid flat on his stomach and shoved the rail along in front of him over the thin ice until he reached the opening where the boy was clutching at the edge of the thin ice that gave away as fast as he grasped it. But he soon became benumbed from cold, and would have sunk out of sight, but the Indian by this time reached out and caught him, and hauled him out upon the ice, and soon had him in his father's arms, who, on hearing the scream of the younger boy, stood paralyzed with fear that his son was lost. A few hours rubbing and warming brought the youngster around all right. The Indian, who had risked his life to save the boy, stalked off to the lodge as though nothing unusual had occurred. But soon a message .from the " Big Trader," as the subject of this sketch was called by all the border tribes at that time living along the frontier of Missouri, called him; and on being questioned as to what he most desired, he said, pointing to a huge pile of trade blankets, " One blanket." But instead of receiving one, they were heaped upon him until he was loaded, with not only blankets, but whatever else he could carry that an Indian would most desire. Such treatment of the Indians, in thousands of instances, made him a great " father" among them, and he was remembered by the chiefs and leading Indians for many years as the man with a "big heart." While residing at Independence, Missouri, he was pursuing his mercantile business, and was not only the merchant, but also lawyer, doctor and postmaster of the place, and his house was always open to the new-comer, and hospitality was a reigning feature in his character. His extensive knowledge of the surrounding country enabled him to point out to the new-comers the most desirable places to settle, and he would often leave his business, and accompany parties for days in looking at the best points to locate and open up new homes. Jackson County, Missouri, was his most favorite place; 'twas there that all his children, by his second marriage, were born, excepting one named George W., who was born on the 22d of February, at Jefferson City, the others being born in and about 'Independence, Missouri. He was a man of fine physical development, the very embodiment of health, and gifted with the art of pleasing conversational powers, and his quiet and pleasant manner of talking always interested his hearers, who listened to him while he was conversing with them as though he were reading a book, and many times in the first settlements of the West would he enjoy himself in some new-comers' log cabin, with a bevy of rosy cheeked children around a huge log fire, and entertain them with anecdotes and good advice, how to grow rich, etc., etc., which always pleased the old lady of the family, and with a little one or two on his lap, would pass away nearly the whole evening, supremely happy. His popularity soon spread over a large section of the new State, and he was among the first number who framed the laws of his favorite State, Missouri. He was in her Legislative Councils, then in the Senate, and then Lieutenant Governor and afterwards Governor. But prior to his engaging in public life as a leading statesman, he embarked among the first overland merchants in the Santa Fe" or New Mexican trade, and took goods out to Santa Fe', and returned to Independence about the year 1829, At that time the country west of the Missouri State line was only inhabited by roving tribes of Indians, many of whom were hostile, and it required a strong party and much caution to make the journey to Santa Fe". His description of the plains and the herds of buffalo and wild horses was graphic indeed. They were sometimes in danger of being run over by the vast herds of buffalo. His early associations in the Far West brought him in contact with the most noted of frontiersmen, mountaineers, trappers and guides; men like the celebrated " Bill" Sublette, Capt. Joe Walker," Peg Leg" Smith, "Bill" Williams, the Choteaus, and many of the leading business men in St. Louis. In the year 1836 he was elected Governor of the State, and removed with his family to Jefferson City, his family at this time consisting of twelve children, all living — nine sons and three daughters, including the two eldest by his first wife. Angus and Henry were at this time grown men, and Angus was associated with his father in the mercantile business, and the firm name was A. L. Boggs & Co. They bought out the store of a Mr. Fisher, formerly of Baltimore. This business did not prove a success. The Governor, although an experienced merchant, and attending to the business in person, was not a success. He went East, as far as Philadelphia, and purchased largely. About this time the new State House was built in Jefferson City, the old one having been burned a year previous. Governor Boggs was empowered to act in procuring certain material while East for roofing and finishing the Capitol. He was authorized to buy copper for roofing, and lumber for finishing up the building. This splendid edifice was begun about the year 1837 or 1838, is built of fine white freestone, and has six fine granite columns in front, that are thirty feet between cap and base, six feet in diameter, and are placed in a circle in front of the Capitol and the main entrance to the building, over which is a large stone slab, with Governor Boggs' name cut in large letters, giving the names also of the officers of the State under him. His political troubles now began to appear. Colonel Thomas H. Benton was and had been the ruling spirit of the Democratic party—the party in power—and Governor Boggs was elected over his opponent, General Ashley, by a very large majority, and was about as popular as Colonel Benton in the party. The appointing of the State officers was vested in the Governor, and he* proceeded to make some appointments which displeased Colonel Benton, whose power over the different Governors and whose will was almost supreme in filling the offices of State with his favorites. Governor Boggs had appointed the Secretary of State, State Auditor of Public Accounts and State Treasurer without consulting Colonel Benton, or, as he was termed, "Old Bullion." Colonel Thomas H-Benton, United States Senator from Missouri for thirty years; he whose motto was "Union, harmony and self-denial; everything for the cause, nothing for men"—he whose will was law in the party, the control of which he had held for thirty years, became offended at the presumption of the Governor of Missouri for daring to make appointments outside of his personal or political friends, and he made some threats, which he never carried out. Governor Boggs remarked, on hearing of Colonel Benton's displeasure, in his usual quiet and easy manner, that if Colonel Benton was going to act as Governor of the State, he would take his family back to their home in Jackson County, and he would retire from public office and resign, but as he was elected Governor he would remain at Jefferson City and discharge the duties of chief executive of the State, regardless of Colonel Benton or. any of his friends. This decided course gathered around him quite an array of warm personal friends, many of whom took issue with Colonel Ben-ton on political questions, and thus began the " Anti-Benton " party in Missouri, which finally caused that great statesman's downfall and final defeat in bis own State. During Governor Boggs' term of office at Jefferson City, he maintained and kept an open house. His parlors in the Governor's residence were always full, and his hospitality became proverbial. The poor and the rich were alike welcome to his home and board. While at Jefferson City the Governor received much company, and his house was scarcely ever clear of guests. He was particularly fond of receiving his old backwoods and frontier friends, and with treating them with great cordiality. He appointed one of his old neighbors from the Six-Mile Settlement State Treasurer. After the resignation of the old State Treasurer, Mr. Walker, Governor Boggs appointed Abraham McClellan, an honest old man who had been for many years a neighbor of the Governor at Fort Osage, in the Six-Mile Settlement. This honerable old man was put in charge of the State Treasury about the time of the commencement of the new State Capitol building, and the business of the office required close attention. On the loss of the old capitol building by fire, the Governor had the office of State Treasurer removed to his store, and the Secretary of > State, James L. Miner's office, placed in a building opposite the Governor's residence, and Governor Boggs rendered the various officers of State all the assistance and advice necessary to carry on the State affairs with exactitude and good management The old State Treasurer, an honest old fanner, formerly from Tennessee, was inexperienced in the duties of his office, but the Governor kindly aided him and kept everything moving on correctly. After the completion of the new State Capitol building, Mr. McClellan, being tired of office, tendered his resignation, and on settling up his accounts, the committee appointed by the Legislature to settle with the retiring officer, found that there was some six hundred dollars more money than belonged to the State, and the old gentleman could not account for it or tell how it came into the State Treasury, and it was tendered to him as belonging to his private funds, but he declined to accept it, stating that it was not his money and he would not have it. Governor Boggs made several appointments of State officers that displeased some of Colonel Benton's hangers-on, and consequently created some ill feeling towards the Governor. Among the appointees was Hiram H. Baber, Auditor of Public Accounts. He was a brother-in-law of the Governor arid was residing at Jefferson City, which had been bis home for many years. Mr. Baber was an intelligent and competent man, and proved to be one of the most efficient officers the State ever had; so much were his services appreciated by the State that he was retained in that department by succeeding Governors until his health prevented him from the further discharge of the duties of the office. Another appointment of Governor Boggs was made under very peculiar circumstances. On the Governor's arrival on the north side of the Missouri River, opposite the city of Jefferson, on his way to occupy the Governor's house, his family accompanying him, the party arrived late at the ferry landing. The Governor concluded to pass the night at a new log house, that was erected by the owner of a farm near the ferry. A man with a family was encamped near the ferry landing who seemed to be poor, but had evidently seen better days. His wife, daughters and two sons appeared to be very nice people. The Governor, as usual with him, began to make inquiries about their destination, etc., and was informed by the father of the family that he had suddenly been deprived of his property and was seeking a new home ; was without means, and did not know where to go to better his condition, but thought he would rent a house somewhere if he could get one, until he could look around and get something to do. The Governor informed him that he would aid him to get a house as soon as he could cross the river into town, and that he would also try to find him employment This so pleased the gentleman that he grasped the Governor's hand and pointed to his family, at the same time stating that he had made them his friends for life. On the Governor's arrival in Jefferson City the next day he procured a comfortable residence the first thing he did for this homeless family, and some few days elapsed when the gentleman received a note from the Governor, desiring to see him at his office. The gentleman, whose name was Burch, called promptly, and was somewhat surprised when the Governor handed him an appointment to fill the office of Warden of the State prison, an office that pud a handsome salary and provided a fine two-story stone building, furnished, for the Warden and his family. This placed the newly-made acquaintance of the Governor hi comparatively easy circumstances, his family among the best of society, and enabled him to educate his children, one of whom has since represented the Northern District of California in Congress, and is at the writing of this article a prominent lawyer and politician in this State - the Hon. John C. Burch. Governor Bogg's quiet and independent manner of discharging his official duties made him many warm personal friends, while at the same time it created some bitter political enemies even in his own party. About this time much trouble was created by the Mormons, a religious sect who had been driven some years before from Jackson County, Missouri, from the immediate neighborhood of Governor Bogg's old home at Independence. These Mormons, led by Joe Smith, Lyman White, Sidney Bigdon and other prominent men of the faith, after their expulsion by a mob of citizens from Jackson County, settled in the north-western part of the State, and caused so much trouble by their peculiar laws and customs that the people of that section petitioned the Governor to do something to relieve them of their disagreeable neighbors. The Governor advised patience and forbearance, hoping that the civil authorities would be able to quell all disturbances, but the complaints and petitions of the people continued to reach the Governor and finally he was informed that the citizens were arming for their own protection. He at once issued a proclamation and called for five thousand troops or volunteer State militia, which call was promptly answered by various counties in the State sending armed, uniformed and equipped companies to the seat of war. Several fine mounted military companies passed through Jefferson City and presented themselves to the Governor, who by this time had appointed his staff of officers and proceeded to review the troops under his command. He appointed General John B. Clark, an experienced and highly intelligent gentleman, to take command of the expedition, with orders to remove the Mormons from the State, which were promptly executed by General Clark without bloodshed, save some little skirmishing by the Jackson County troops, under their old commanders, Generals Lucas and Wilson, acting without orders from their superior officers. They proceeded to the scene of difficulties and attacked the Mormons near Far West, capturing their leaders and the town of Far West before the arrival of General Clark and the main body of the troops under his immediate command. The Governor, on learning of the capture of Smith and his confederate leaders, sent a messenger post-haste to General Clark commanding him to torn over the prisoners to the civil authorities at once, to be tried for the crimes and charges preferred against them, which order was promptly obeyed by General dark's command. It is much to be regretted that the official acts of Governor Boggs, and much, if not entirely all of his official correspondence has been lost and destroyed, so much so that dates and events are only to be obtained from those whose recollections and personal intimacy with the Governor could give account of these proceedings in a general way. Barrels and bundles of public papers preserved by him during his lifetime which have been lost and destroyed, would have thrown much more more light on his very eventful public as well as private life. The necessity that cajled forth this public act of Governor Boggs, in causing the Mormons to be removed from the State, embittered them against him as the chief cause of their difficulty in establishing the " Church of the Latter Day Saints," as they termed themselves, in Missouri, and it brought down on him the revenge of Mormondom. It was prophesied by Joe Smith, in the New Temple, at Nauvoo, Illinois, where they had established themselves, and had become prosperous for a time, that the ex-Governor of Missouri would die by violence inside of twelve months, and in order to fulfill his prophecy, he employed one Orin Porter Rockwell to proceed to Independence, Missouri, whither the Governor had removed at the expiration of his term of office, and where he was residing at his old home with his family of little children around him in peace and quietude. This emissary of the apostle Joe Smith came to Independence in disguise, and hired to a citizen of the place as a common hostler, and made himself familiar with the ex-Governor's habits, his place of residence, and all the surroundings of his home at Independence, About this time the ex-Governor was a candidate for senator from his old senatorial district. This midnight assassin, Rockwell, had so managed as to get a discharge from his employer, and after the elapse of some two or three weeks returned to Independence, and at the dead hour of night, under cover of dense darkness, stole up to the Governor's house, and fired through the window close to the Governor's head, discharging a heavily charged German holster pistol, containing some sixteen balls, into the back of the Governor's head, four of which took effect, two of them penetrating the skull and lodging in the left lobe of his brain, and one, passing entirely through the hollow of his neck, came out at the roof of his mouth; the fourth one lodged in the fleshy part of his neck. The remainder of the charge struck the plastering of the room, passing all over and around the heads of his two younger daughters, one an infant in its crib, immediately in front of him, and the elder child, standing in range with his body and the window, was rocking the little one. The other members of the family were yet in the supper-room with their mother. The sudden scream, loud report of a pistol, and the noise of jingling broken glass all seemed simultaneous, and the family rushed into the room, filled with smoke and smell of gunpowder, to find their father, who a few moments before left the supper table in the perfect health and strength of matured manhood, a mass of blood, stunned and bleeding, with his head hanging back over his arm-chair, unconscious,and apparently dead. The noise, and screams of wife and children, soon brought the surrounding neighbors in the suburbs to his residence. The news spread rapidly, and in half an hour or less some two or three hundred of his fellow townsmen, with physicians, had gathered in. After getting him out on the porch he came to, and was perfectly conscious of all that was passing, but very weak from loss of blood and sick from what he had swallowed. The doctors, some four being present, one of whom, Dr. J. 0. Boggs, was his brother, questioned him as to his wounds, and he expressed himself as not knowing that he was shot; felt no pain, and seemed to be perfectly rational and easy. The examination of the head showed that two balls had penetrated the skull to the frontal part, the others as described above. These wounds, either of which the doctors said was sufficient to kill an ordinary man, did not end his mortal career, but came very near doing so, as it prostrated him for one entire year, but did not prevent his election to the Senate, and he returned to Jefferson City the following winter. His efforts that winter in the Senate to do something to relieve the distress brought on by the very hard times of the years 1838-9 is well remembered by the citizens of Missouri. His bill for the relief of hard times was prepared and circulated long before he took his seat, and was fully discussed by all parties. It passed the House, but was defeated in the Senate. The writer, although present at the debates on the merits and demerits of the bill, was not old enough to remember the provisions of the bill, but it was popular with those who understood its merits. It is utterly impossible to give a full and complete history of the public life of ex-Governor Boggs, which extended throughout his entire residence in Missouri for over thirty years, as it would be too voluminous for this work, and too incomplete for want of proper data and public documents long since destroyed. He officiated at the laying of the corner-stone of the new State Capitol, erected and completed in 1840. His name is cut in stone over the main entrance to the building, and will no doubt remain.there as long as the Capitol stands. While the Governor was at Jefferson City for the last time as Senator, one morning, whilst conversing with some members of the Legislature on the portico in front of the Capitol, one of the balls.that entered his neck had worked its way out, and, putting up his hand to the back of his head, as was his custom long after receiving these wounds, he gently squeezed the affected part and the ball slipped into his hand, and holding it out to one of the gentlemen, said, " See here, I can pick bullets out of my head." This little incident happened in the morning before the usual hour for the Legislature to assemble, and Governor Boggs was the topic of the day, and was frequently spoken of as the man with his head full of bullets. He returned home to his family at the close of the session, having left his wife and younger children at the farm of his son, Henry C Boggs, some twenty-five miles south of Independence, where they had passed the winter. From there the family removed to a farm a few miles farther east on the prairie, and after remaining only a few months at this place the family removed to Independence again for a short time, when the Governor, in company with his brother-in-law, Alphonso Boone, eldest brother of his wife, purchased a fine farm in Cass County, where both he and Colonel Boone moved with their families. About this time his son Thomas the eldest boy by his last wife, left home and went to the Rocky Mountains, and engaged to Bent's company, on the Arkansas, as a trader with the Indians. The Governor made some improvements on this new home, but losing his eldest daughter Martha at this place, he became dissatisfied, and after interring his daughter at Independence, he returned and disposed of the farm, and together with his family removed to a small farm near Independence, where he erected a comfortable home again, in the vicinity of some fine springs of cold water, and at this place he and his younger sons engaged in farming. His attention at this time was taken up with an idea that he had for a long time been meditating, and that was a removal to the Pacific Coast. His constant theme of conversation was directed to a map of California, on the Pacific Ocean. This was about the years 1843-4, and a party of his old neighbors from Jackson County had gone out to explore the country west of the Rocky Mountains, had penetrated as far as the Pacific Ocean. Among this party was Captain John Rickman, Charles Hopper, (the same Uncle Charley Hopper who died recently and was buried in Yountville, Napa County, California) Colonel Bartleson of Jackson County, a large man, a good judge of new countries. These men gave good accounts of the climate and natural resources of the country, but could not see how emigrants with families could make the journey safely, as the country was unexplored and there were many difficulties to overcome. Notwithstanding all this, Captain Rickman believed that the country would eventually fall into the hands of the Americans, and he had been, as far in California as Yerba Buena, now the city of San Francisco. Captain Rickman was an enthusiast and advocated the idea of an overland railroad across the continent, and he and Governor Boggs would converse for hours over the feasibility of constructing a railroad to the Pacific Ocean, from some point on the Missouri River, and the old man actually purchased forty acres of land on the Missouri River near Independence, and proceeded to cut and fell the timber with the view of making that his starting point and depot for the great overland railroad, which was to follow over the route which he had made with such difficulty on pack mules, a year or two previous. The Governor wrote an article in 1842 on the subject, which was addressed to the editor of the St. fouls Reporter, edited by Shadwick Penn. This article described the route over which the road was to pass, also an estimate of the cost, basing his calculations on the costs of the railroads of Pennsylvania. He chose the route by way of Santa Fe, which is about the same as that of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Road, only his starting point was to be from Independence, Missouri, and the terminus was to be at San Diego, Lower California, along the thirty-fifth parallel. This original article on that important subject, at such an early day, is not far from the correct estimate, and cost of construction of the roads now being built along that route. The document is still preserved and was handed over to the Pioneer Association at Sonoma as a relic. The emigration to Oregon had been talked of, and one or two parties had started from Independence. Governor Boggs declared his intention of removing with his family to California, and he and his old friend Captain Rickman talked often and discussed the best means and method of making, at that time, what was considered a very hazardous trip, especially with families. Before starting to that distant land his old friends would often advise him to give it up, but his knowledge of a great portion of the route derived in former years from his old trapper friends, enabled him to overcome all scruples or fear of taking his family on so dangerous a journey. His two eldest sons, Angus and Henry, were residing on farms in Jackson County, and appeared to be permanently settled. Thomas, his first son by his second marriage, was in the Rocky Mountains, or at Bents Fort, now Colorado; his next oldest son, William M., had been out to New Mexico, and spent one year with the Indians on the Plains, and in the Rocky Mountains had associated with experienced men of the Plains like Kit Carson and other noted guides, and, of course, was ready to accompany his father to his new home on the Pacific Slope. The outfit was prepared at Independence in the spring of 1846, and about the 10th of May started on the long journey with ox-teams. The overland party of that year consisted of about one hundred wagons and families, among whom was the Conner family, that suffered in the Sierra Nevadas in a snow-bound camp. William M. Boggs married, just before starting, Miss Sonora Hicklin, daughter of John Hicklin, Esq., a former friend of the Governor's, who, when a young man, often accompanied the Governor in his business of trading with the Indians on the frontiers of Missouri. William, with his bride, embarked on the journey for a bridal trip a few days after bis wedding, in fine spirits, with a good rifle and fair outfit, consisting of a good supply of clothing and provisions, and plenty of pluck. He was elected captain of the emigrant train at Ash Hollow, on the Nebraska River, and conducted his father's party safely through to California, hunting and scouting most of the time, and always bringing to his party plenty-of buffalo-meat, and finding good camping-grounds. Hie Governor arrived at Sutters Fort in the month of November, 1846; but previous to bis arrival in the Sacramento Valley, he had been met by Colonel Fallen, of Fremont's party, who informed him that the American flag was flying in California, and that hostilities had actually commenced; and the Colonel's business was gathering recruits for the army of Colonel Fremont, who was then at Sutters Fort organizing his forces. The Governor was kindly received by Captain Sutter; and after spending a few hours in his hospitable fort, he took leave of him, and crossed to the west side of the Sacramento, and reached Sonoma about the 8th of November. After camping a few days during a heavy rain, he was visited by General Vallejo, and Lieutenant Revere of the United States Navy. General Vallejo tendered him the use of his house on the Petaluma Rancho, where he spent the winter of 1846 - a long and dreary wet winter, with no society but the members of his family and an occasional visit from General Vallejo, whose hospitality knew no bounds. His son William recruited a small party of volunteers and crossed the bay and tendered his services and those of his party to the United States officers at San Francisco, and was despatched at once to reinforce the troops at Santa Clara and Monterey, and served until the close of the Mexican War. The Governor returned in the spring to the town of Sonoma, and entered into the mercantile business with a Mr. William Scott, who had a small stock of goods. Colonel Mason, the Military Governor of California, appointed him Alcalde of the Northern District, his jurisdiction to extend to Sacramento, including Sutters Fort; thence northward to the Oregon line and down the coast to the bay, and all the country north of the bay of San Francisco. The duties of this office were to try all cases that would now come before a Superior Court, and to preserve and maintain order in his department, with authority to call on the military when he needed assistance. These duties the Governor discharged to the entire satisfaction of the commanding officers and Military Governors who succeeded Colonel Mason. About this time a trial was to come off before his court at Sonoma wherein Captain Sutter was a party to the suit, and charged Armijo, of Suisun, with kidnapping his Indians, and the cause or complaint was made to the Alcalde, at Sonoma. Governor Boggs sent a summons by his Sheriff for Captain Sutter to appear on a certain day for trial, at Sonoma. The distance, about one hundred miles, to Sutters Fort, was made on horseback in those days. Captain Sutter failing to put in an appearance, judgment for costs of suit was entered against him - costs amounting to something near $300. The Alcalde was surprised one morning by an Indian handing him a letter and package from Captain Sutter, stating that owing to the discovery of gold on the American River, his business was of such importance that he hoped the Alcalde would excuse him for not obeying his summons, and in the package accompanying the letter was a bottle of gold dust amounting to some $300, to pay costs of suit, etc. This was the first news that Sonoma had of the discovery of gold, and fte Governor was kept busy for several days exhibiting the gold to the eager citizens of all classes, and a rush was made to the mines. The Governor remained at Sonoma and pursued his mercantile business. The returning miners brought sacks of gold and deposited with him for safe keeping, purchased largely of him, and his business increased rapidly, and in a few years he was enabled to settle up his old debts, which were caused from the hard times and failures in Missouri. These debts were all looked up and paid off. The Governor then retired to his farm in Napa Valley, where he lived until he died in 1861. Among the many official acts of ex-Governor Boggs, while acting as Alcalde in the occupation of California by the United States authorities, and before the organization of any State Government, was that of performing the marriage ceremony, which duty he took great pleasure in doing, and on many occasions would ride twenty-five or thirty miles on horseback to accommodate parties who wished to be united in wedlock; and the Governor being the only judicial officer at that time, and, in fact, the only authority outside of the Catholic Church, was frequently called upon to perform that important ceremony. Among those whom he united in wedlock was Dr. Robert Semple, of Benicia, to Miss Frances Cooper, daughter of the venerable pioneer, Stephen Cooper, of Colusa County. Dr. Semple being the founder of the city of Benicia, and Mr. Cooper the first to erect a hotel in the place about the year 1848. The Governor rode from Sonoma to Benicia on horseback to perform the marriage ceremony. He also married William Edgington, Esq., an old resident of Napa County, to Miss Nancy Grigsby, daughter of Captain John Grigsby, one of the Bear flag party. These families are now living in Napa. David Hudson to Miss Griffith, and Judge James H. McCord to Miss Griffith, all of Napa County, and have large families. The Governor always set a good example to the bridegroom, by first saluting the bride with a kiss. This little joke was always well received by the bridal party, as he had a happy way of pleasing all present with his familiarity. He was assisted principally in his mercantile business at Sonoma by his son, Albert G. Boggs, who for years was County Treasurer of Napa County, and who yet resides in Napa City, attending to the duties of that office. As a farmer the Governor was not an expert; he followed farming more from taste than as a profit. He was fond of seeing good farming, and was a great admirer of fine stock. He at one time, about the year 1852, sent his son Albert, with his elder brother Thomas, to Missouri with some $15,000 to purchase blooded cattle. They succeeded in bringing across the plains a drove of fine Durham cattle, to Napa County, purchased from the best stock-raisers in Missouri and Kentucky, and from this drove Napa County stock was much improved. About the year I860 his health began to fail; his physicians pronounced his complaint dropsy of the heart, which caused him much trouble for nearly a year. His strong constitution bore up against this distressing malady for many months of suffering, but it finally terminated his life at his farm in Napa Valley, March 19,1861. His correspondence "with the leading men of the country brought him many letters from distinguished persons, one dated at Copenhagen, from the secretary of the Boyal Society of Northern Antiquarians, written April 21,1840, informing him of his election by that society to number among its members his name. This document is partly in the Danish language, and is a beautiful specimen of penmanship - signed by the president and secretary of the society, with the seal of the society attached. Their object in making Governor Boggs a member of their society was in furtherance of perpetuating the pre-Columbian history of America. This letter was found among some of his old papers in a good state of preservation. His remains were removed from the farm to the Tulucay Cemetery at Napa City. His wife survived him until September 23,1880, and their remains rest side by side in the family lot near the center of the cemetery.

History of Napa and Lake Counties: San Francisco, Cal.: Slocum, Bowen & Co., Publishers, 1881
Transcribed by Julie Appletoft, February, 2007 Pages 373 - 386.37

Census

Census YearPlaceHead of Household
1830Jackson County, MissouriLilburn Williams Boggs10
1840Cole County, MissouriLilburn Williams Boggs21
1850Sonoma County, CaliforniaLilburn Williams Boggs3,32

Family 1

Juliannah Bent b. June 18, 1801, d. before 1823
Children

Family 2

Panthea Grant Boone b. September 20, 1801, d. 1880
Children

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S2013] Internet Site: California Constitutional Convention - Index of Politicians by Office Held or Sought).
  3. [S1859] RootsWeb's WorldConnect Project.
  4. [S2030] Internet Site: Lilburn W. Boggs History).
  5. [S1998] D. Frank Beard, October 5, 2001.
  6. [S5962] Internet Site: Missouri Supreme Court Historical DatabaseMiscellaneous Databases).
  7. [S1594] Internet Site: Missouri Marriages to 1850, October 5, 2001Ancestry web site).
  8. [S2021] Internet Site: Lilburn W. Boggs).
  9. [S2032] Internet Site: History of The 16th Circuit Court (Kansas City)).
  10. [S2677] 1830 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Lilburn W. Boggs household.
  11. [S1957] Lilburn W. Boggs land grant.
  12. [S2014] Internet Site: Missouri State Archives Listing of Governors of the State of Missouri).
  13. [S2043] Internet Site: Founding of Platte City).
  14. [S1969] Reuben Branson land grant.
  15. [S1958] Lilburn W. Boggs land grant.
  16. [S14] Duane Meyer Ph.D., The Heritage of Missouri.
  17. [S2017] Dale A. Whitman, "Extermination Order."
  18. [S2025] Dwight Warver, "Missouri's Historic Border Battles."
  19. [S2016] Internet Site: Honey Wars - State of Missouri and Iowa Border Dispute).
  20. [S2044] Internet Site: Archives of The University of Missouri at Columbia, UW Record Group 1: Board of Curators Records (Geyer Act)).
  21. [S2678] 1840 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Lilburn W. Boggs household.
  22. [S2039] Internet Site: Anti-Mormon sentiment and the attempted assassination of Lilburn W. Boggs by Jensen Reed Oler).
  23. [S5962] Internet Site: Judges of the Supreme Court of Missouri 1820-1999Miscellaneous Databases).
  24. [S3033] Internet Site: Missouri Supreme Court Historical DatabaseSoldiers Database: War of 1812 - World War I).
  25. [S2091] Internet Site: The Boone Family emigrants of 1846, Pioneer Family of the Month February 1998).
  26. [S1910] Internet Site: George Luther Boone Letter, March 1904Boone Family Web Site).
  27. [S2022] Internet Site: handwritten document).
  28. [S2020] Internet Site: They Traveled the Trail (Merinda Peacock and Shannon Sickle)).
  29. [S2024] Internet Site: New Light on The Donner Party, Teamsters and Others (Kristin Johnson)).
  30. [S2026] Zoeth Skinner Eldredge, The Beginnings of San Francisco.
  31. [S2034] Internet Site: California State Historical Landmarks in Sonoma County).
  32. [S2058] 1850 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), L. W. Boggs household.
  33. [S1594] Internet Site: Boone County, Missouri Obituaries, 1871 - 1891Ancestry web site).
  34. [S556] Internet Site: Find-A-Grave Web Site).
  35. [S1997] Lilburn W. Boggs land grant.
  36. [S1996] Lilburn W. Boggs land grant.
  37. [S5842] Unknown author, History of Napa and Lake Counties, 373 - 386.

Albert Gallatin Boone1

M, #8581, b. 1806, d. after 1850
Father*Jesse Bryan Boone1 b. May 23, 1773, d. 1820
Mother*Chloe Van Bibber1 b. August 13, 1772
     Albert Gallatin Boone, son of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber, was born in 1806.1
Based on his age it is possible that he was listed in the Jesse Bryan Boone household on the 1810 census Greenup County, Kentucky, as a free white male, age newborn to 10 years old.2
Boones Ferry Road is one of the busiest roads in the Portland area, but not many modern residents are aware that there once actually was a ferry on Boones Ferry Road -- and fewer still know that the Boone in question was a descendant of the one and only Daniel Boone.

The branch of the Boone family that emigrated to Oregon was led by Daniel's grandson, Alphonso Boone. Moving west seems to have run in the family, as Alphonso "westered" at least three times in his life. In 1841, he set up shop in Independence, Missouri, outfitting fur traders and caravans on the Santa Fe Trail. From 1843 to '45, Alphonso cashed in on a new source of business: emigrants bound for Oregon and California. In 1846, Alphonso headed west with seven of his children, his sister Panthea Boone Boggs, and her husband Lilburn W. Boggs, former governor of Missouri.

The Boones jumped off from Westport, Missouri, where Alphonso's brother, Albert Gallatin Boone, ran his own a general store catering to the overland trade. The Boones with their eleven wagons joined a California-bound wagon train which they expected to stay with to Fort Hall or thereabouts. Traveling in the same train were several people whose names are still known to historians, including Edwin Bryant, J. Quinn Thornton, T. H. Jefferson, George Law Curry, and George Donner and family.

Alphonso Boone's brother-in-law, Lilburn Boggs, wanted to be captain of the train, but he lost the election by a landslide to one William H. Russell. Dissatisfaction with the leadership of Captain Russell was widespread, however, and he complained that:

My duties as commandant are troublesome beyond anything I could conceive of. I am annoyed with all manner of complaints, one will not do this, and another has done something that must be atoned for, and occasionally, through variety, we have a fight among ourselves... I sometimes get out of patience myself, and once I threw up my commission, but to my surprise...I was again unanimously re-elected...

- William H. Russell, June 13, 1846

A week or two later at Ash Hollow, Russell resigned again, and the wagon train broke up into small groups for the remainder of the journey. These parties, including the Boones, remained loosely associated with one another, often exchanging members, banding together, and splitting up again as the days wore on.

The Boones reached South Pass on July 18, and two days later they encountered a lone horseman from the west urging emigrants to try a new, shorter route to California being promoted by Lansford W. Hastings. Led by George Donner, about twenty wagons from the Russell train turned off to follow this new route into the history books.

On August 8, at Fort Hall, the Boones met a man promoting another new route, this one leading to Oregon's Willamette Valley instead of California. Panthea Boone Boggs and her husband struck out for California, while Alphonso Boone decided to take a chance on the new road to Oregon, known as the Southern Route or the Applegate Trail.

This proved to be a mistake. The Applegate Trail was a hard road through difficult terrain with limited access to water. To make matters worse, the Indians of southern Oregon and northern California were extremely hostile to the overlanders. While they didn't stage a full-blown attack on the emigrants, they frequently harassed them by shooting arrows at their livestock and stealing from their wagons. Indians opportunistically attacked and killed two overlanders who got separated from the groups they were traveling with.

As winter weather set in and threatened to strand the travelers on the Applegate Trail, the emigrants began throwing away everything they could in order to lighten the load for their exhausted, footsore oxen. They cached their valuables in hope of being able to return for them later, but the Indians dug up and stole all but a few items of clothing. The Boones lost everything that they couldn't carry out of the mountains on their backs, including a compass and surveying instruments that had once belonged to Daniel Boone himself.

It was Christmastime when the Boones finally reached the settlements in the Willamette Valley. In the spring of 1847, Alphonso moved his family upriver and claimed 1000 acres across the Willamette from present-day Wilsonville. The Boones established a ferry on an old Indian trail running from Salem and the French Prairie area to the newly established city of Portland, offering a more direct route than going by way of Oregon City. They improved the trail by laying down a "corduroy road" of split tree trunks to get wagons through the muddiest stretches, and it grew into a major thoroughfare. Legend has it that their road was a hotbed for moonshiners, who operated stills hidden in hollows and glens nearby and used the road to transport their product to town. Alphonso made a point of operating his ferry 24 hours a day for the convenience of his customers, which may have had something to do with the number of illegal distilleries operating along his road...

One of the Boones' neighbors was George Law Curry, who knew the family from the Oregon Trail and had taken a shine to Alphonso's eldest daughter, Chloe. George courted Chloe by canoe, paddling up and down the river to pay regular visits until she consented to marry him. He later became the third and last governor of the Oregon Territory, in office from 1854-59.

When word of the gold strikes in California reached Oregon in 1848, Alphonso and his boys headed south to make their fortune. On February 1, 1850, Alphonso died at Long's Bar of an illness contracted in the gold fields. Though they lost their father, the Boone brothers did well in the mines, and Alphonso's sons gradually dispersed across the Northwest with their fortunes assured: Jesse returned to Oregon and ran the ferry for 26 years, until he was murdered by a neighbor in a dispute over access to the river; Alphonso (junior) briefly ran the ferry before selling it to Jesse and going into the steamboat business; Joshua settled in Benton County, Oregon; and James moved to Idaho and ran the Morning Star Silver Mine.

The only son of Alphonso Boone who didn't accompany him to Oregon was George Luther Boone. Many years later, he told his story to fellow Oregon Trail emigrant Eva Emery Dye:

When I was twelve years old, my mother died; and Father, Col. Alphonso Boone, named for an old Spanish friend of his Grandfather Daniel, moved us up to Jefferson City, where he opened a trading post to outfit caravans for the Oregon Trail. My father's sister, Aunt Panthea, the wife of Governor Boggs, lived in a fine house next to the Missouri state capitol. ... When Father moved to Independence near Kansas City I struck out on the plains as a trapper working for my Uncle Albert Gallatin Boone, agent for the Kaw and Cheyenne Indians. ...

In the early Spring of 1846 when my Father, Colonel Alphonso Boons, with his large family of boys and girls set out on the Oregon Trail, I was absent on a trading trip to the Arapahoes and Cherry Creek where Denver was yet to be. With my mouse-colored mules I was carrying trading goods for Uncle Albert into the farther Rocky Mountain wilds.

By midsummer, with goods sold out and three wagon-loads of furs for Uncle Albert, I returned to Westport to find my folks gone and Colonel Doniphan there recruiting for the Mexican War. ... Selling my mules to the government I was mustered in at Fort Leavenworth and was soon on the march for Santa Fe.

- George L. Boone

George was honorably discharged in 1847 and led a wagon train across the plains the following spring to join his family in Oregon. In 1849, he went to find his father and brothers in California, made some money shipping freight, and returned to Oregon to settle down in 1852.

The ferry established by Alphonso Boone in 1847 operated continuously for 107 years. It was finally shut down in 1954 after the completion of a highway bridge adjacent to the ferry crossing.3
Albert Gallatin Boone lived circa 1848 in Westport, Jackson County, Missouri.4
Albert died after 1850 in Denver, Denver County, Colorado.4

Census

Census YearPlaceHead of Household
1810Greenup County, KentuckyJesse Bryan Boone2

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S3251] 1810 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Jessie B. Boone household.
  3. [S2091] Internet Site: The Boone Family emigrants of 1846, Pioneer Family of the Month February 1998).
  4. [S1910] Internet Site: George Luther Boone Letter, March 1904Boone Family Web Site).

Madison Boone1

M, #8582, b. 1809
Father*Jesse Bryan Boone1 b. May 23, 1773, d. 1820
Mother*Chloe Van Bibber1 b. August 13, 1772
     Madison Boone, son of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber, was born in 1809.1
Madison married (?) McMurton.1
Based on his age it is possible that he was listed in the Jesse Bryan Boone household on the 1810 census Greenup County, Kentucky, as a free white male, age newborn to 10 years old.2

Census

Census YearPlaceHead of Household
1810Greenup County, KentuckyJesse Bryan Boone2

Family

(?) McMurton

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S3251] 1810 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Jessie B. Boone household.

(?) McMurton1

F, #8583
     (?) married Madison Boone, son of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber.1

Family

Madison Boone b. 1809

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Emily Boone1

F, #8584, b. 1811
Father*Jesse Bryan Boone1 b. May 23, 1773, d. 1820
Mother*Chloe Van Bibber1 b. August 13, 1772
     Emily Boone lived in Fulton, Callaway County, Missouri.2
Based on her age it is possible that she was listed in the Jesse Bryan Boone household on the 1810 census Greenup County, Kentucky, as a free white female, age newborn to 10 years old.3 Emily Boone, daughter of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber, was born in 1811.1
Emily married (?) Henderson.1

Census

Census YearPlaceHead of Household
1810Greenup County, KentuckyJesse Bryan Boone3

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S1910] Internet Site: George Luther Boone Letter, March 1904Boone Family Web Site).
  3. [S3251] 1810 U.S. Federal Census (Population Schedule), Jessie B. Boone household.

(?) Henderson1

M, #8585
     (?) married Emily Boone, daughter of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber.1

Family

Emily Boone b. 1811

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Van Daniel Boone1

M, #8586, b. 1814
Father*Jesse Bryan Boone1 b. May 23, 1773, d. 1820
Mother*Chloe Van Bibber1 b. August 13, 1772
     Van Daniel Boone, son of Jesse Bryan Boone and Chloe Van Bibber, was born in 1814.1

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Peter Van Bibber1

M, #8587
     Peter married Mary Bounds.1

Family

Mary Bounds
Child

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Mary Bounds1

F, #8588
     Mary married Peter Van Bibber.1

Family

Peter Van Bibber
Child

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

James Boone1

M, #8589, b. 1800, d. 1907
Father*Colonel Nathan Boone1 b. March 2, 1781, d. October 16, 1856
Mother*Olive Van Bibber1 b. January 13, 1783, d. November 12, 1858
     James Boone, son of Colonel Nathan Boone and Olive Van Bibber, was born in 1800.1
James married Polly Allen.1
James died in 1907.2

Family

Polly Allen

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S6962] Jalutman163 (submitter e-mail withheld) member family tree titled "The Autlman - Castle Family Tree" (Online: The Generations Network, Incorporated, www.ancestry.com). Last accessed on October 16, 2010.

Polly Allen1

F, #8590
     Polly married James Boone, son of Colonel Nathan Boone and Olive Van Bibber.1
Polly Allen lived in 1851 in Bolivar, Polk County, Missouri.1

Family

James Boone b. 1800, d. 1907

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Delinda Boone1

F, #8591, b. 1802, d. 1877
Father*Colonel Nathan Boone1 b. March 2, 1781, d. October 16, 1856
Mother*Olive Van Bibber1 b. January 13, 1783, d. November 12, 1858
     Delinda married James Craig.1 Delinda Boone, daughter of Colonel Nathan Boone and Olive Van Bibber, was born in 1802.1,2
Delinda died in 1877.2

Family

James Craig

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S6962] Jalutman163 (submitter e-mail withheld) member family tree titled "The Autlman - Castle Family Tree" (Online: The Generations Network, Incorporated, www.ancestry.com). Last accessed on October 16, 2010.

James Craig1

M, #8592
     James married Delinda Boone, daughter of Colonel Nathan Boone and Olive Van Bibber.1

Family

Delinda Boone b. 1802, d. 1877

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Jemima Boone1,2

F, #8593, b. 1804, d. 1877
Father*Colonel Nathan Boone1 b. March 2, 1781, d. October 16, 1856
Mother*Olive Van Bibber1 b. January 13, 1783, d. November 12, 1858
     Jemima married Henry Zumalt.1 Jemima Boone, daughter of Colonel Nathan Boone and Olive Van Bibber, was born in 1804.1,2
Jemima died in 1877.2

Family

Henry Zumalt

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S6962] Jalutman163 (submitter e-mail withheld) member family tree titled "The Autlman - Castle Family Tree" (Online: The Generations Network, Incorporated, www.ancestry.com). Last accessed on October 16, 2010.

Henry Zumalt1

M, #8594
     Henry married Jemima Boone, daughter of Colonel Nathan Boone and Olive Van Bibber.1

Family

Jemima Boone b. 1804, d. 1877

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Susan Boone1

F, #8595, b. 1806, d. 1849
Father*Colonel Nathan Boone1 b. March 2, 1781, d. October 16, 1856
Mother*Olive Van Bibber1 b. January 13, 1783, d. November 12, 1858
     Susan married Joseph Van Bibber.1 Susan Boone, daughter of Colonel Nathan Boone and Olive Van Bibber, was born in 1806.2
Susan died in 1849.2

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S6962] Jalutman163 (submitter e-mail withheld) member family tree titled "The Autlman - Castle Family Tree" (Online: The Generations Network, Incorporated, www.ancestry.com). Last accessed on October 16, 2010.

Joseph Van Bibber1

M, #8596
     Joseph married Susan Boone, daughter of Colonel Nathan Boone and Olive Van Bibber.1

Family

Susan Boone b. 1806, d. 1849

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).

Nancy Boone1

F, #8597, b. 1808, d. 1830
Father*Colonel Nathan Boone1 b. March 2, 1781, d. October 16, 1856
Mother*Olive Van Bibber1 b. January 13, 1783, d. November 12, 1858
     Nancy Boone, daughter of Colonel Nathan Boone and Olive Van Bibber, was born in 1808.2
Nancy died in 1830.1,2

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S6962] Jalutman163 (submitter e-mail withheld) member family tree titled "The Autlman - Castle Family Tree" (Online: The Generations Network, Incorporated, www.ancestry.com). Last accessed on October 16, 2010.

Olive Boone1

F, #8598, b. 1812, d. 1836
Father*Colonel Nathan Boone1 b. March 2, 1781, d. October 16, 1856
Mother*Olive Van Bibber1 b. January 13, 1783, d. November 12, 1858
     Olive married Philip Anthony.1 Olive Boone, daughter of Colonel Nathan Boone and Olive Van Bibber, was born in 1812.2
Olive died in 1836.2

Citations

  1. [S1910] Internet Site: Boone Family Web Site).
  2. [S6962] Jalutman163 (submitter e-mail withheld) member family tree titled "The Autlman - Castle Family Tree" (Online: The Generations Network, Incorporated, www.ancestry.com). Last accessed on October 16, 2010.