Journal of Western Travel
by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
May 1st, 1859 -- Leaving Skunk River, we proceeded on our way making good time, till Tuesday afternoon, when one of my young steers appeared to give out, the result no doubt of Saturdays pull. The consequence was we all had a fit of the blues, which was no ways improved on reaching Fort Des Moines, the capitol of the State, far from being a nice looking city, maybe a little longer, that is extended over more ground than Iowa City but far inferior in point of situation and general appearance. The day was wet and disagreeable rendering the view of everything around dark and dismal. Here also we lost both or our dogs, Leo and Rover, and of course we know the day now amongst us by the name of Blue Tuesday. We saw during the week a team returning from beyond Council Bluffs in consequence of one of their number having got accidentally shot with his own revolver. We have had several messes of fish and ducks within the last few days, every one appearing eager to carry death into the finny and feathered tribes. Saturday last, we had another fit of the Blues on account of the same steer again giving out. I sold the yoke to a man buying stock for California, for the small sum of $35.00. Today contrary to our custom of not travelling on Sunday, we came about 15 miles and are now about eighty from the Missouri River, with hopes for the future, and a full determination to push ahead, and see for ourselves, independent of all reports that are circulated by certain parties for certain purposes.
Travelled fifteen miles. It has been raining all the afternoon. We have had a good ridge road to day. We passed one small village to day. We are encamped on the prairie to knight.
Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe