James Calvin Sly’s Diary

I found a copy of James Calvin Sly’s Journal online that contains references used in our book. A transcription of the diary is included below the break to allow for searchability.

James Calvin Sly’s Journal

Guide for 1849-1850 Wagon Train
From Great Salt Lake to Sacramento

Adventures during Gold Rush in California

Family Births, Marriages & Deaths

Images & Transcription
Jeffrey M. Sly 2003
Guide for 1849-1850 Wagon Train

Page 1

1849 June 25th  James C. Sly’s Book and [Journal] of life and his travels in 1849
On the 25th of June I left the [Great] Salt Lake [City] in Company with father Thomas [Guston] and Wilmer Brunson as a guide for a Train of wagons from the United States to go the [Sacramento].  James Stuart – The Captain
The first night the 25th we camped at herd Creek, about 28 miles
26th [Cross] weaver and Camped on [Ogden] 20 miles
27th at [Clear] Spring 25 miles
28th at [Bear] River    12 miles
Being 85 files from [Salt Lake City]

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On the 29th at the Blue Spring    25 miles
The water Brackish
On the 30th at the twin springs    32 miles
On the 1st of July camped on Cash Creek    27 miles
On the 2nd at Goose Creek    25 miles
On the 3rd at a spring at the foot
of the [valley] of the well    32 miles
On the 4th at the Warm Spring    25 miles
On the 5th at the forks of the [Humbolt]    40 miles
From the [Bear] river    206 miles
On the 6th to the 2nd fork        25 miles
On the 7th to the 2nd [Canyon]        30 miles
On the 8th to the 3rd [Canyon]        6 miles
[across] the hill        12 miles
[across] the next hill        10 miles
On the 9th to the big Bend        24 miles
Camped in the Bend        18 miles

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On the 10th at the 4th canyon        30 miles
On the 11th at the Sand hill        32 miles
On the 12th around the bend        27 miles
On the 13th down the river        25 miles
On the 14th at the sink        44 miles
Which Being from the forks        283 miles
On the 15th we Crossed the Sandy Plaines
and Camped on Carson river     36 miles
On the 16th up the river to
the Big Bend        20 miles
On the 17th to the next Bend        18 miles
On the 18th at the Big Bend of
Pilot Fork        25 miles
On the 19th in Smokey Hollow    10 miles
On the 20th at the Frost Canyons    10 miles
On the 21st at the head of Canyon    5 miles
On the 22nd at the foot of the
Cierey [Siera] Nevada    10 miles

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On the 23rd in Lake Valley         5 miles
and camped at Rock valley    11 miles
On the 24th at Leek Springs        16 miles
On the 25th at Sly’s Park        25 miles
Here we lay by two days and prospected for gold. But not finding enough to suit us we Continued our Journey and
On the 28th we camped at ??? town    20 miles
On the 29th to Daylys ranch        25 miles
Being from the sink of Humbolt
to Daylys ranch        236 miles
Making the distance from Great Salt Lake City to Daylys ranch on Sacramento City     810 miles

Adventures during Gold Rush in California

Page 5

During this Journey I suffered greatly with canker in the mouth. I eat scarcely any thing during the journey.  On the 1st of August a Company of nine men prevailed upon me to go and prospect for gold and agreed to board me.  I led them to a ban on the Cossumnis River to a mine that had never been opened before, where we were getting considerable gold.  But a friend of theirs having told them that on the Macalimna River about 100 miles distance was a place were it could be picked up in large chunks but that

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the Indians had killed those men that went there and no body dare go there.  Every one of them was up in arms to go to the place where they could make their fortune.  I told them it was nothing but a gold tale and they had better stay where they were.  But father [Gustin] was a most angry and said I must be foolish if I wouldn’t go.  I at last consented to go and on the 9th of August we took up our Journey for the great prize.  And on the 10th we arrived at the Big Bear 50 miles below

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the great prize, and I told them as we could get no further with the wagon that if two men would go with me we would go and see the place. Accordingly two of them volunteered and on the 12th we started.  We followed up the river Climb rocks and mountains until we came to the spot.  But to our great astonishment we found no dead men, and worse than all no gold.  And my two friends turned about very humble and said I wish we had taken your advice.

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We might have had two or three hundred dollars in our [packs].  We then started back and arrived in camp on the 18th after a tedious journey of six days.  On the 20th we started back to the Cossumnis.  We arrived there on the 23rd and the company broke up.  And father Guston and Willmer Brunson and my self in company with two other men went to work.  On Friday the 8th of September father Guston was taken sick with a fever.  On Tuesday the 12th he seemed much better and talked

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of going to work.  But on Wednesday 13th he got so much worse that I called a Doctor and on Sunday 17th he died at 15 minutes before 8 o’clock in the morning. On the 8th of October we left that place and moved 12 miles up the river.  Willmen and my self was taken sick and I began to think that all sorts of bad luck attended us.  About the 12th of November the rainy season commenced and we were with out a tent or any thing to cover us.  We moved down the river 15 miles and I left Willmen with some friends

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and went to the city for a tent and our winter provisions.  It was a very rainy time and all the creeks were high.  And after fording some six streams some of them to my waist, there and back again, I arrived on the Cossumnes again on the 23rd of November.  The rain continued to the first of December and all the mines is idle on account of the high water.

Page 11

15th  Feb We had our gold stole from us which reduced us to poverty
1st March I was taken with Scurvy very sick
On the 12 father Bun was taken sick and died on the 17th 1850

Family Births

Names and Births of James C. Slys Family

James C. Sly son of Josuhua &  Eliza Sly was born Aug 8th 1807  in Town Sodus Wayne County New York State

Mary Bassett Born April 19th 1808 daughter of Nemiah & Mary Basset  in the Town Ranclervile State of New York

Neamiah Sly Born November 19th 1829 in the Town of Sandinia, Erie Co. State New York

Margriet Fuller daughter of David & Elizabeth Fuller was Born February 28th 1805 in the Town of Niagara Province Upper Canada

David C. Sly Born April the 6th 1832 in the Town of Granthim, Upper Canada

Susannah Guston Born May 23rd 1832 in the Town of Try Fountain Cost Indianna

[Vernner, Van Buren, Iowa] Daughter of Thomas  & Mary Guston

Amos Sly Born January The 19th 1850 in Great Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co., Utah Territory, Son of James C. & Susannah Sly

Lodemina Sly Daughter of J. C. & Susannah Sly was Born April 15th 1852 in the City of Manti, San Pete Co., Utah State

James C. sly Junior Born March the 27th 1854 In the Town of Nephi, Juab Co., Utah Territory

Mary Catherine Sly Born August 30th 1856 In Nephi City, Juab Co., UT Daughter of J. C. & Susannah Sly

Nancy Bruster Daughter of Thomas and Mary Guston was born March 21st 1842 Town Vernon, Van Buren Co., Iowa State

Nancy Eliza daughter of James Calvin and Nancy Sly Born in the City of Sanaquin, Utah Co., Utah Territory On the 5th of December 1857

Thomas Guston Son of James C. and Susannah Sly Born Sept 16th 1858 in Santaquin, Utah County Utah Territory

Solloman Son of James C. & Nancy B. Sly was Born February The 21st 1860 in the Town of Moroni, San Pete Co., Utah Territory

Susannah Daughter of James C. and Susannah Sly was Born March 15th  1861 In the Town of Moroni, San Pete Co., Utah Territory

Calvana Daughter of James C. and Nancy Sly Born April the 9th 1862

Mary Jane Daughter of James C. and Nancy Sly Born the 15th of June 1864

Daniel Samuel Son of James C & Susannah Sly Born Sept 7 1864 at Chicken Creek, Juab Co., Utah

Family Marriages

James C. Sly was married to Mary Bassett January 25th 1829 in the Town of Manchester, Ontario Co., State of New York

James C. Sly was married to Margriet J. [Jane] Fuller September 1st 1831 in the Town Granthim, Upper Canada

James C. Sly was Married to Susannah Gustin March the 25th 1849 in Great Salt Lake City, Utah Territory

Holy Matrimony in the House of the Lord James Calvin Sly Son of Joshua and Eliza Sly was Married and sealed for time and all Eternity with Susannah daughter of Thomas and Mary Gustin by Orcin Pratt one of the twelve apostles of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, on the 1st August 1851

And Also with Nancy Gustin on the 19th January 1856 by Isacc Morley Patriarch of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Family Deaths

James C. Sly Tail from Great Salt Lake to Sly Park California 1849-1850
(800+ miles)

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