[CALIFORNIA.] [WESTERN AMERICANA.] JENKS, Daniel A. Manuscript diary, Pawtucket, R.I., 28 February 1859 - Yreka, California 1 February 1860.

Lot Number 32
Author JENKS, Daniel A.
Title [CALIFORNIA.] [WESTERN AMERICANA.] JENKS, Daniel A. Manuscript diary, Pawtucket, R.I., 28 February 1859 - Yreka, California 1 February 1860.
Year Published 1860
Place Printed
Printed By
Description [CALIFORNIA.] [WESTERN AMERICANA.] JENKS, Daniel A. Manuscript diary, Pawtucket, R.I., 28 February 1859 - Yreka, California, 1 February 1860. A fair copy made by Jenks for his sister Maria, transcribed December 1859-Febuary 1860, from notebooks Jenks kept during his journey. 283 pages, octavo, diced calf stamped in gilt (spine cracked). Some 45,000 words. -- JENKS. Manuscript Journal of "Trip from Yreka to Idaho, Overland 1863," Yreka, California 23 September 1863 - Portland, Oregon 22 July 1865. 178 pages, octavo, red morocco stamped in gilt (spine cracked). Some 18,000 words, including 14 pen and crayon illustrations (leaves torn away at end).
Comments MY FINGERS FAIRLY ITCHED TO PULL TRIGGER ON HIM. BATTLING MORMONS AND INDIANS FROM KANSAS CITY TO CALIFORNIA VIA SALT LAKE CITY "I CANNOT GO BACK...I'LL TRY OLD CALIFORNIA AGAIN." Two extraordinary, dramatic and lavishly illustrated journals that document Jenks's return to California across the Great Plains and the Rocky Mountains via Salt Lake City; and depict deadly Indian battles in a trek to Idaho Territory. Drawn by reports of gold at Pike's Peak, Jenks is not surprised that these claims prove false. 5 May 1859: "We met the advance guard of disappointing returning Pikes Peakers...and a more disappointed crew, or longer faces I never saw. Curses both loud and deep were showered by them upon the originators of this ------ humbug." He decides to press on to California. By 29 June he is in Salt Lake City. "Here we are at last at Mormon headquarters...The Mormons say Uncle Sam is a ------ old dotard, for they have succeeded in having things all their own way, and the longer he keeps his soldiers here the better for them, for this army requires provisions, hay and grain, and who is to supply them and at good round prices too but Mormon farmers..." On 3 July 1859 he offers a very jaundiced analysis of Mormon culture. The leaders were "smart scheming men" who preyed upon "many thousands of the lowest class of foreigners" who had emigrated into Utah, and "are led around by the nose." The Mormon leaders relied on "still another class," the "desperadoes of California and the States" who beat, rob or even kill, at the behest of the leaders. As if to prove his analysis, his 5 July entry describes the extortion exacted from his group as they tried to leave Ogden. A "bridge thief" in the company of "Elder Richardson a Mormon leader and Sheriff of this district," demanded payment of eight dollars. If they resisted Richardson said he would summon a posse "sufficiently strong to take us." Jenks reluctantly paid, but got his money's worth in verbal abuse. "I twitted him of the Mountain Meadow massacre and he said he had never been so roundly abused before in his life. I told him I had paid him for the right to abuse him and intended to do so. All of this time we both had our hands upon our revolvers, and I intended to shoot him the first motion he made towards me." Jenks had never wanted to shoot a man before, "but my fingers fairly itched to pull trigger on him." He describes how the Mormons have allied with various Indian tribes. "Does not this of itself show that these vipers at Salt Lake have been active in prejudicing these savages against all white men but Mormons?" The fifth and final diary relates his journey a few years later, driving some livestock from Yreka, California to Idaho Territory. On 4 December 1863 he gives a dramatic description of a bloody clash following the theft of cattle by a band of Indians. Jenks and a party of 12 men tracked the cattle thieves "over hill and valley all day" then stole upon their encampment "so quietly that Mr Indian never mistrusted a foe was near. We finally about midnight had crawled on hands and knees up to within twenty feet of where at least a dozen great strapping red legged devils lay sprawled out." They opened fire, sending them fleeing up the sides of the canyon where four other riflemen cut down several more. In the dark they could not be certain how many they killed, but he was "fully satisfied that we have learnt the red skins of this dessert the difference between robbing emigrants from the old States and Californians." Here are additional excerpts: 8 March 1859: on a steamer up the Missouri River with a group of "men bound for Pike's Peak and the gold mines of the Rocky Mountains...A set of St. Louis gamblers are bleeding them very freely and allready many of them have paid dearly for a sight of the elephant." 13 March 1859. He is certain that the tales of "great gold deposits in Western Kansas" Territory "have been magnified by interested partys...for the purpose of starting a rush of emigration westward to create markets and purchases for their live stock and produce. I hope I may be disappointed in this but I doubt it very much." But he is determined-even fatalistic-about going ahead. "I never would have started if I could have lived at home, and now I must not go back if I would. Live or die, sink or swim..." 10 March 1859. "I will willingly suffer the trials and hardships that I well know are [in] store for me." 10 May 1859: A friend Loren and his wife Lissy are traveling with him, and Lissy gives birth to a son, whom they name Dan Jenks. "What an awfull honour," he writes proudly. But the infant does not survive the day. "My namesake...quietly slipt its hold upon this world..." By 26 May he is in Denver. "This country has been prospected now a year and there has never been a single instance of success-not one, all the storys to the contrary notwithstanding." 7 June he crosses Cherokee Pass in the Rockies, on through to Laramie and aptly named Bitter Creek in Wyoming. On 20 July he reaches the Humboldt River in Nevada. Fighting between Indians and American soldiers and settler militias was intensifying in this section of Nevada and California. At the Pitt River on 17 August Jenks converses in "the Chinook jargon" with an Indian who tells him, "This is my country. I don't want the whites to live here. Bye and bye I'll kill a great many of them. Your hearts are bad. You are no friends to the Indian." On 23 August he reaches his destination, Yreka, California, his clothes ragged, pant legs torn away below the knee, "unshaven, and unshorn, dirty, dusty and ragged." But he "looked like all others when they first reach the settlements after crossing the plains." He finds a job as a clerk in a merchant's store, only to be let go five weeks later. By Christmas, he is reluctantly returning to the gold mines. "As all other resources are shut off from me I must try my luck in mining....Shall I say 'like a dog to his vomit'?...No, friends, let us hope it is all for the best. So mote it be." Diary No. 2 A merchant offered him a job in Boise City, Idaho, so Jenks presses on through rough wintry weather. He didn't care for Idaho. It suffered from the same high level of violence and lawlessness as early San Francisco. 1 June 1864 (Pioneer City): "About a dozen fights a day is our usual number of a Sunday. After getting their sins pardoned at so much a head by the French priest...our amiable Irish friends devote the balance of the day to drinking toasts to Jeff Davis and fighting it out on their own hook." (2)
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Estimated Price USD 20,000.00 - 30,000.00
Actual Price USD 80,500.00

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AUCTION DETAILS

Auction House Christies
Website http://www.christies.com
Auction Name Books and Manuscripts Session I
Sale Number #2607
Auction Date December 7, 2012 - December 7, 2012
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