Journals of Forty-Niners: Salt Lake to Los Angeles: with Diaries and Contemporary Records of Sheldon Young, James S. Brown, Jacob Y. Stover, Charles C. Rich, Addison Pratt, Howard Egan, Henry W. Bigler, and Others

By Ann W. Hafen; Leroy R. Hafen | Go to book overview

Part VI

The Stover Party of Packers

Jacob Y. Stover was a member of the Sacramento Mining company that set out from Iowa City for the land of gold in May, 1849. Stover names twenty-six persons who were in this group. They appear to have traveled together as far as Salt Lake City, and most of them continued in the Hunt train as far as "Mt. Misery" on the "Walker Cutoff." Then the party broke up. Some took the Captain Hunt route to California, some followed Captain Smith on the cutoff. Of the latter group a few went through Death Valley and others accompanied Stover.

Stover finally became leader of some packers who followed Smith beyond Division Spring. When Smith turned back and the Pinney-Savage group pushed on westward, Stover's group went southwest, intersected the Hunt wagon trail, and followed it on to California. Stover's is the only story we have of the experiences of this last-named party.

Although a reminiscent account, lacking the day by day veracity of a diary, Stover's narrative carries important information and is full of human interest material. Dr. John W. Caughey, who edited the "Jacob Y. Stover Narrative" and published it in the Pacific Historical Review of June, 1937, gave permission for its re-publication here. We are reproducing only that section devoted to the trip from Salt Lake to Los Angeles.

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