CONDOR TALES

The History and Genealogy Pages

TO THE CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH
WITH THE
CHARLESTOWN, VIRGINIA, MINING COMPANY

Compiled by Sandy Wilbur

USED BOOK SALES - OVERLAND TRAILS, AMERICAN INDIANS, GENEALOGY, ETC.

 

This group of "Forty Niners" organized in Charles Town, West Virginia [in 1849, part of Virginia], during early 1849. Most of the members appear to have been from Virginia, [what is now] West Virginia, and Maryland. The Charlestown Mining Company organized almost militarily, with a formal "Constitution" and with designated "commanders," a quartermaster, and a surgeon.

The principal reference to this group's travels is the journal kept by Vincent Geiger and Wakeman Bryarly. It can be found in published form in:

-D. M. Potter (1945), Trail to California: The Overland Journal of Vincent Geiger and Wakeman Bryarly. New Haven: Yale University Press.

The party left St. Joseph, Missouri 10 May 1849, but members had been gathering for over a month previously. Travel from Virginia to the official start of the journey was [for at least some of the members] by stage and steamboat to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; then by steamboat down the Ohio River to Cincinnati, Ohio, and on to the Mississippi River; up the Mississippi to St. Louis, Missouri; then up the Missouri River to the group's staging area at Lexington, Missouri.

From St. Joseph, the Charlestown Company followed the established Oregon Trail route across Kansas, arriving at Fort Kearney, Nebraska 28 May. They crossed the South Platte River near present-day Brule, Nebraska, and reached Ash Hollow on 7 June. Fort Laramie was reached 14 June, and South Pass 29 June. Taking Sublette's Cut-off, they reached Fort Hall, Idaho, 14 July. They took the old California Trail up Raft River, and across to the Humboldt River drainage in Nevada. From Humboldt Sink, they chose the Donner Lake route over the Sierra Nevada, reaching the first area of mining activity on 29 August.

Members of the Charlestown Mining Company

AISQUITH, Edward
ALLEN, John
BARLEY, Richard
BENDER, Jacob
BLAKEMORE, R. M.
BOLEY, John T.
BOWERS, John William
BRADLEY, Thornton C.
BRYARLY, Dr. Wakeman - born Oct 1820 Harford Co., Maryland
BURWELL, Walter J.
CLEVINGER, Asa
COCKRELL, Daniel
COMEGYS, George W.
CONWAY, Hugh
CRANE, Smith
CRIBS, James S.
CUNNINGHAM, Charles
CUNNINGHAM, George
CUNNINGHAM, James
DAUGHERTY, Enos
DAVIDSON, James - from Frederick Co., Virginia; died after accidentally shooting himself, Humboldt River, Nevada, on 9 August 1849.
DAVIDSON, Samuel
DAVIS, Joseph C.
DUKE, F. W.
ENGLE, Jacob H.
ENGLE, Joseph
FAGAN, Daniel
FERRILL, Milton
GALLAHER, John W.
GARNHART, John H.
GEIGER, Vincent E. from Staunton, Virginia.
GITTINGS, Charles F.
HARDESTY, T. P.
HARRISON, Hamilton C.
HAYDEN, Charles A.
HERBERT, Noble T.
HOFFMAN, Benjamin
HOOPER, Edward
HUMPHRIES, J. Thomas
HUMPHREYS, Dr. Joseph D.
KEELING, Robert H.
KELLY, J. Harrison
LEWIS, Joseph E. N.
LOCK, Elisha
LUPTON, John M.
McCURDY, James
McILHANY, Edward
MACKARAN, William H.
MARMADUKE, A. J.
MARSHALL, George
MILLER, Andrew R.
MILLER, Morgan
MILTON, Taliaferro - from Jefferson Co., Virginia; 19 years old; drowned at Thomas' Fork,Wyoming 9 July 1849.
MOORE, Henry H.
MOORE, James H.
MOORE, John Jr.
MOORE, Thomas C.
MURPHY, John H.
POLAND, John T.
PURCELL, John
RIELY, Edwin A.
RISSLER, William
ROHRER, Elisha
SEEVERS, Benjamin F.
SEEVERS, Nathaniel
SHOWERS, John S.
SHOWMAN, P. B.
SIMPSON, Francis R.
SLAGLE, Charles F.
SMALL, James B.
SMITH, Frank - elected Company Captain
STONEBRAKER, G. C.
STRIDER, Isaac Keys
STRIDER, Jesse A.
TAVERNER, Newton
THOMAS, Charles G.
WAGNER, Andrew
WALPERT, John C.
WASHINGTON, Benjamin F.
WASHINGTON, Lawrence
WASHINGTON, Thomas F.
YOUNG, Joseph C. - from Montgomery Co., Maryland; died of typhoid in Kansas 22 May 1849.

 

 

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