The "Wolverine Rangers" were different from many of the groups traveling to California in 1849 in that they drew up and signed formal "articles of association and agreement" before leaving Michigan. The group that left Michigan stayed essentially intact all the way to California, and after leaving Michigan added less than half a dozen members to the originally constituted party.

  The Rangers were among the later groups in 1849, not leaving Independence, Missouri until 16 May. They were at Fort Kearny 14 June; at Chimney Rock 29 June; South Pass 31 July; and Soda Springs, Idaho, 15 August. They took Hudspeth Cut-off to the Humboldt River in Nevada, not reaching the new "Lassen's Cut-off" from the principal Truckee-Carson route until 20 September. By that time, they were among the latest of the wagon trains headed west, and by the time they reached the Warner Mountains on the Nevada-California border, they were in serious trouble [from lack of food, livestock feed, early snows, etc.] . Many probably would have perished had not a military party met them there with food and other provisions. Even so, the party was still straggling into the upper Sacamento Valley after 8 November. Needless to say, they missed "the gold rush" of 1849, not being able to do any serious prospecting until the winter rains ended and the rivers receded in March 1850.

  The "Wolverine Rangers" trip is as well-documented as any of the many "49er" groups. For the list below, I have used J. S. Holliday's "The World Rushed In: the California Gold Rush Experience" [Simon and Schuster, New York:1981], which uses the journal and letters of William Swain as the base document for a comprehensive report on this party and on the "49er" phenomenon, in general. Holliday includes an extensive bibliography of other information about the "Wolverine Rangers" and the California movement. [NOTE: If you're interested in the California Gold Rush and you haven't read this book, your education is incomplete. It's great.]


Members of the "Wolverine Rangers"

ALLCOTT, George B. - from Marshall, Calhoun Co., Michigan
BAILEY, Frederick - Youngstown, Niagara Co., New York [returned to New York
from California winter 1851-52]
BAKER, Jesse J. [or G.] - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
BARTON, Charles A. - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
BENTLY, H. A. - Plymouth, Washtenaw Co., MI
BLAKESLY, A. H. - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
BROOKS, L. - Bellevue, Washtenaw [?] Co., MI
CAMP, Herman - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
CAMPBELL, John - Manchester, Washtenaw Co., MI
CANNON, F. C. - Manchester, Washtenaw Co., MI
CARLEY, William - Allegan, Allegan Co., MI
CARR, C. B. - Manchester, Washtenaw Co., MI
CHAPMAN, Volney - Manchester, Washtenaw Co., MI
CLIMPER, J. C. - Lansing, Ingham [?] Co., MI
COOK, Thomas E. - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
DeARMAN, S. S. - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
DELONG, Thomas - Lansing, Ingham [?] Co., MI
FRALICK, D. D. - Plymouth, Washtenaw Co., MI
FRARY, Almon P. - Lansing, Ingham [?] Co., MI
GIVIN, Benjamin - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
GOLDSMITH, Oliver - Detroit, Wayne Co., MI
GRAY, Henry - Hastings, Barry Co., MI
HIGHLY, William - St. Joseph, Berrien Co., MI
HOAG, George W. - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
HOBART, Randall - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
HUTCHINSON, Michael - Buffalo, Erie Co., New York [returned from California
to New York winter 1851-52]
IVES, George H. - Plainfield, Livingston Co., MI
IVES, Noah E. - Plainfield, Livingston Co., MI [NOTE: One of these IVES died of
cholera 19 May 1849 just after leaving Independence, Missouri.]
KENT, Julius A. - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
LADD, Horace C. - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
LYON, A. S. - Manchester, Washtenaw Co., MI [LYON died of cholera 28 May
1849, and was buried near the Kansas River crossing, Shawnee Co. [?], Kansas.]
MAGOON, William J. - Manchester, Washtenaw Co., MI
MANSER, Thomas - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
McALISTER, John - Battle Creek, Calhoun Co., MI
McCLELLAN, S. H. - Galesburg, Kalamazoo Co., MI
McCORMICK, James - Allegan, Allegan Co., MI
MILLS, Frederick - Gull Prairie, [county?], MI
MOORE, Samuel D. - Battle Creek, Calhoun Co., MI
NICHOLS, Chauncy - Michigan [no town given]; died of cholera 15 May 1849 near
Independence, Missouri.
NOBLE, S. G. - Unadilla, Livingston Co., MI
NOYES, E. C. - Plymouth, Washtenaw Co., MI
PALMER, Joseph Henry - Vermontville, Eaton Co., MI [died of cholera 14 May 1849
near Independence, Missouri]
PHILLIPS, Hugh M. - Detroit, Wayne Co., MI
POTTS, James D. - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
PRATT, James - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
RAWSON, Thomas - St. Joseph, Berrien Co., MI
ROGERS, Joseph - Clarendon, Calhoun Co., MI
ROOD, Morgan L. - Bellevue, Washtenaw [?] Co., MI
ROOT, John - Youngstown, Niagara Co., New York [returned to New York from
California 1853; moved to Battle Creek, MI, about 1855]
SEYMOUR, H. B. - Saugatuck, Allegan Co., MI [died 12 Aug 1849 near Smith's
Fork, Lincoln Co., Wyoming; probably of tick-caused "mountain sickness"]
SUTHERLAND, J. A. - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI
SWAIN, William - Youngstown, Niagara Co., New York [returned to New York
from California winter of 1850-51]
VAN BRUNT, George - Athens, Calhoun Co., MI
VITS, Ira - Albion, Calhoun Co., MI
WARREN, John - Marshall, Calhoun Co., MI


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