The full content of this document is only available to subscribing institutions. More information can be found via

Title [Sketches of a journey from Smithboro, Pennsylvania to California and return]
Author Bell, Josias F.
Date 19 Jul 1841 - 20 Jul 1844
Document Type Diary; Journal
Region Pennsylvania; Missouri; Illinois; New Mexico; California
Places Smithsboro, St. Louis, Peoria, Boonville, Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Chihuahua, Guaymas, Mazatlan, Monterrey, Cape Horn, New Bedford
Keywords Santa Fé Trail, overland trail, travel, exploration, paddle steamers, stagecoach
Theme Homesteaders, Overland Travel and Early Settlements
Additional Information From the Colton Storm catalogue: "The diary covers the author's travels across country from Smithsboro, Pennsylvania, which place he left on April 19, 1841. He went by way of St. Louis, Missouri, and Peoria, Illinois, to Boonville, Missouri, where he joined James and Samuel Magoffin. They set out for Santa Fé on July 20, going by way of Las Vegas, New Mexico, and arrived in Santa Fé on October 12. Bell's description of the journey over the Santa Fé Trail is succinct and well told. He continued towards the West Coast via Chihuahua (where he heard about Robert McKnight, the famous earlier Santa Fé trader who was then mining silver at Barrance Colorado), Guaymas, Mazatlan, and Monterrey which he reached on April 15, 1843. He left Monterrey on September 14, 1843, returning by ship via Cape Horn to New Bedford. Bell's purpose in taking the journey was to regain his health; he chose an arduous method. When he set out he was twenty-six years old, a journeyman shoemaker, slightly deaf, and troubled by a club foot. His diary is a good personal account of a long journey. The original manuscript is accompanied by a bound, edited typed transcript."
Library The Newberry Library
Copyright The Newberry Library
Collection Everett D. Graff Collection of Western Americana
Reference Graff 245-1
Catalogue Link The Newberry Library Catalogue