John App’s April 25, 1850 Gold Rush Diary Entry

Thursday April 25, 1850

Stopping Point: Wolf River camp

Approximate Miles Traveled: 20

GPS Latitude: 39° 48.915′ N; Longitude: 95° 12.127′ W

Elevation: 882 ft

Notes about this post: John crosses the Missouri River on the April 24th, camps, then begins traveling the morning of the 25th. Even though he will be traveling on the California-Oregon Trail, the portion of the trail he is on now is referred to as “The St. Joseph Road”. There is a similar trail coming northwest from Independence, Missouri referred to as “The Independence Trail” which will soon join the St. Joseph Road at a point just west of Marysville, Kansas that marks the official beginning of the Oregon-California Trail.

It is about 350 miles from the river crossing to the next major stopping point, Fort Kearny, Nebraska (today it is pronounced “Carny”, John pronounced it “Kerny”). Along the way it is very difficult to follow John’s actual trail closely. Most roads leading to the actual trail are gravel and only wide enough for one car. A jeep might be a better vehicle, but horseback is probably the best possible way. Since we are in a car, we concentrated on several places along the road where his original trail actually crossed our road.

Rather than speculating where John might have camped (when he did not specifically say) I will try to talk about and show videos of interesting things along the way. Here is John’s very short diary entry for this day:

Left St Joseph April 24 Crossed the River and left, on the 25th in the moring at 8 oclock Travelled about 20 miles

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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