Journal of Western Travel
by John McTurk Gibson
edited by Weldon Hoppe
May 22nd, 1859 -- Today being Sunday, we laid over and were variously employed in washing, fishing and hunting, as the case might be. We caught three splendid catfish weighing about ten lbs apiece, and they made a glorious mess. In the forenoon five of the Marengo boys, John Dillin, Frank Reno, Wallace Hamilton, Jacob Daines, and Craven Gardner, who had been at Cherry Creek, met and camped all night with us. They fully confirm previous reports from the mines, and all agree in saying it is the greatest humbug ever got up in any age or country. Sam Dillin, brother to John, formerly of Marengo, now from Council Bluffs, was in the mines all winter, and had the richest claim that was worked, and could not make with the hardest kind of work more than $1.50 per day. Wallace Hamilton goes with Ben Owen to California, while William Liddle belonging to my crowd goes home, and one Mackenzie who came with the boys from Cherry Creek takes his place. The Platte here is over two miles wide, studded with islands of every size and shape, said to contain any amount of deer and elk, we visited about 12, saw plenty of sign but no game, the water is in no place over knee deep and muddy just like the Missouri. All the old Californians tell us in drinking to stick to the Platte and not change it for any other as long as we can get it. They all pronounce it healthy. The boys had a jolly time tonight and most of them got pretty mellow, perhaps I might have been in the same fix myself but luckily the liquor was all gone by the time I got home from hunting.
This being Sunday we are resting. Some of the boys were hunting this forenoon. We caught to day three blue cat fish, each two feet in length. Dillon, Dean, Reno and Hamilton met us to day on their return from the Peak. Hamilton and McKinsy are going to return with us for California.
Copyright © 1997 Weldon Hoppe