A Guide to the J. W. Chatham Diary, 1849
In February 27, 1849, J. W. Chatham left Cambridge, South Carolina, journeying to California in search of gold. He left his wife of five years, Nancy, and one-year-old daughter, Mildred, to traverse a route through St. Louis, Missouri; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and the Kansas Territory. Chattam later returned east to reunite with his family and eventually moved to Carthage, Texas.
Typed transcripts, indexes, and genealogical notes compose the J. W. Chatham Diary, 1849, documenting Chatham’s trip from Cambridge, South Carolia, to California in search of gold. Chronicling his journey from February 27 to August 14, 1849, the narrative describes the landscape and towns along his route through St. Louis, Missouri; Santa Fe, New Mexico; and the Kansas Territory. The diary also discusses people Chattam encountered, including Native Americans and Spaniards; lectures and sermons he attended; and difficulties such as inclement weather, illness, and missing men in his party. Additionally, the collection contains an index of names in the diary, a chronological summary of the trip, and genealogical notes recording Chatham's family and life beyond the scope of the diary.
This collection is open for research use.
J. W. Chatham Diary, 1849, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.
Basic processing and cataloging of this collection was supported with funds from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) for the Briscoe Center’s "History Revealed: Bringing Collections to Light" project, 2009-2011.
Detailed Description of the Papers