One of my all-time favorite Gold Rush narratives is that of J. Goldsborough Bruff, the Captain of the Washington City and California Mining Association. His 1849-1851 journal of the trip West and subsequent events is available in published form:

G. W. Read and R. Gaines (1949), Gold Rush: The journals, drawings, and other papers of J. Goldsborough Bruff. New York: Columbia University Press.

  This Gold Rush party originated in Washington D. C., and most of the members were from the District or from nearby communities. Like the Charlestown Company (link above), the trip to St. Joseph, Missouri, was made by coach, train, and boat to Pittsburgh, then by boat down the Ohio River to the Mississippi, and up the Missouri. The group left St. Joseph 16 May 1849, and traveled up the east side of the Missouri River to opposite "Old" Fort Kearny, where they crossed into Nebraska 4 June. They reached "New" Fort Kearny 16 June; Ash Hollow 29 June; Fort Laramie 10 July; South Pass 1 August; and Fort Hall 24 August. They followed down the Humboldt River through Nevada but, instead of taking one of the direct routes across the Sierra Nevada, took the Lassen Cut-off north through the Black Rock Desert, not reaching the northern Sacramento Valley until near the first of November 1849.

  A complete list of the members of the Washington City and California Mining Association, as given in the newspaper "Intellencer" for 2 April 1849, is presented below.

ALEXANDER, Charles G., age 24, King George Co., Virginia
AUSTIN, Henry, age 32, Maryland
BARKER, James H., age 18, Washington
BARKER, William, age 27, Washington
BATES, John, age 34, Washington
BISHOP, Charles, age 25, Washington
BROOKE, Gideon, age 29, Washington
BRUFF, Joseph Goldsborough, age 43, Washington
BURCHE, B. Franklin, age 24, Washington
BYINGTON, George, age 15, Washington
CAMERON, John, age 50, Georgetown
CAPRON, Augustus S., age 25, Laurel, Prince Georges Co., Maryland
CASSIN, Stephen J., age 30, Georgetown
COUMBS, John T., age 24, Washington
CULVERWELL, Richard I. A., age 48, Washington
CULVERWELL, Stephen S., age 22, Washington
DIETZ, William H., age 41, Washington
DONN, John Young, age 19, Washington
DORSEY, H. C., age 25, Alexandria, Virginia
EDMONSTON, B. Brooke, age 27, Washington
ENNIS, Gregory J., age 22, Washington
ENNIS, James A., age 17, Washington
ENNIS, John V., age 25, Washington
FARRAR, John M., age 50, Washington
FENDERICH, Charles, age 43, Washington
FOWBLE, David, age 32, Washington
FOY, James, age 21, Washington
FRANKLIN, William, age 43, Washington
GARRATT, Alexander, age 23, Washington
GRIFFETH, Thomas J., age 25, Washington
HILLEARY, William P., age 22, Washington
HILLS, Josias B., age 40, Washington
IARDELLA, L. A., age 26, Washington
JEWELL, William Jr., age 27, Georgetown
KINGSBURY, Thomas P., age 24, Washington
LEWIS, Samuel D., age 20, Washington
LLOYD, William W., age 22, Washington
MAGRUDER, Fielder M., age 21, Washington
MARDEN, J. W., age 21, Prince Georges Co., Maryland
McLEOD, C. Columbus, age 32, Washington
MOXLEY, C. G., age 21, Anne Arundel Co., Maryland
MURPHY, Joseph, age 22, Washington
OWEN, Isaac E., age 19, Washington
PARISH, Asaph H., age 38, Washington
POPE, William, age 40, Washington
QUEEN, Henry J., age 22, Washington
QUEEN, Oscar B., age 25, Washington
REED, Charles, age 26, Boston
RILEY, Joseph C., age 25, Washington
SCOTT, Thomas B., age 26, Washington
SLIGHT, Robert, age 31, Washington
SLYE, Edwin D., age 33, Washington
STOOPS, William J., age 41, Georgetown
THAW, Joseph, age 30, Washington
TREPPNELL, Matthew M., age unknown, Boston
TRUMAN, William, age 20, Washington
VERMILLION, Henry, age 31, Washington Co., Maryland
WALL, Daniel R., age 24, Washington
WARDELL, James, age 48, Georgetown
WASHINGTON, Richard, age 22, Westmoreland Co., Virginia
WILLIAMS, Thomas, age 25, Washington
WILLIS, Josias C., age 31, Baltimore, Maryland
WINDSOR, F. R., age 20, Alexandria, Virginia
YOUNG, George A., age 28, New Jersey


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