John App’s April 7, 1850 Gold Rush Diary Entry

Sunday April 7, 1850

Stopping Point: About 3/4 mile south of Keosaequa, Iowa across the DesMoine River

Approximate Miles Traveled: 1

GPS Latitude: 40° 43.062′ N; Longitude: 91° 57.023′ W

Saboth Evening April 7th – Last night we slept in the wagon for the first time; Did not sleep so comfortable as in the Tent; Previous to this, Took our grub with Jakes old Friend, Mr Shepherd this morning. then made for the Ferry, Crossed about 10 oclock  Traveled about 3/4 mile then stoped and piched our Tent, Fixed our mules, I then put some water on the stove, and Commencd washing, I washed six shirts, 2 pr trawsers, 3 pr socks, 2 Hdkfs, 2 Towels, making 15 pieces and done it first rate, streched our Cards, Hung out all our Clothes, and aired Every thing, greased our wagon, and now Every thing is in order to start in the morning, all Clean and nice, I was very Busy this day, in fixing up things, therefore passed off the day very well, thought of Home several times But still not Homesick Yet, We have Been rather Lonesome since we left haveing no Company as yet. We Camped alone Every night since we left Home accept this Evening this Evening we have some company

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DesMoines River east of Keosauqua, Iowa
Des Moines River east of Keosauqua, Iowa

About storiesretoldblogger

I am an Elkhart, Indiana native and became interested in applying video to history when consumer video cameras were first introduced on the market in the late 1970’s. My production company, Stories Retold, specializes in preserving oral history, traditions, and values with video. Primarily interviewing individuals, I sometimes document families, and on occasion document an entire community. My niche is developing a personal relationship with clients which helps me to tell their story just the way they would like to have it told. Everyone has a story worth preserving, and I enjoy discovering interesting stories from people with whom I come into contact on a daily basis. In years to come, these videos will be priceless as they portray original stories complete with visual images and actual voices filled with all the primary material and emotion that was intended to be. I gain a strong sense of personal satisfaction with each completed project whether it involves an individual or an entire community.
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2 Responses to John App’s April 7, 1850 Gold Rush Diary Entry

  1. Calvin H. Baker says:

    I’ve had a book on my book shelf for years and I just got around to reading it in the last year. When I just read your story today I thought it was from the book I read. The book I read was “THE WORLD RUSHED IN.” by J. S. Holliday. The young man was William Swain. William Swain kept a diary of his travels by wagon train to California. One of his daughters ended up with his diary and letters he had sent home. She eventually sold them to a Mr. Ed Eberstadt on the condition he publish them. Ed and Mr. Holiday were friends and Ed asked Mr. Holiday to prepare the diary for publication. This is a thick book 559 pages long including the index. William left Youngstown, NY April 11, 1849 and entered into California about October 12th.
    Now we’re dealing with Corona virus – 19. Cholera was the big killer on the wagon trains to CA.

    • There are many diaries of people who traveled along this trail in those days. It is always fascinating for me to read and compare their experiences with John’s. They are all so similar in circumstance, but vary a lot in the writer’s outlook and attitude along the way.

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