With Man and Beast on the Oregon Trail
The Original 1853 Diary of John Fothergill
Presented by Rex Morgan, 1993, Runciman Press, Manly, Australia.
John Fothergill left his home in Chepstow, Monmouthshire, Wales in 1852 to seek his fortune as a gentleman farmer. He filed his intention to become a citizen in Winnebago, Iowa in September 1852. He first settled in Oshkosh, Wisconsin where he farmed with a group of friends from Wales, some of them cousins, then lived in Glasgow, Missouri for several months. He set off for Oregon Territory on May 3, 1853. His diary is owned by Rex Morgan and his family, and is presented in this publication, along with notes made during Morgan’s re-tracing of Fothergill’s route. Notably, Fothergill records graves and dead animals he saw each day.He comments on the accuracy of Jones’ Guide. John Fothergill died in Lane County, OR about 1855.
Names mentioned in his diary, beginning May 3, 1853 at Duncan’s Ferry, near St. Joseph, MO follow: J. Powell [John Powell who inherited Fothergill’s land claim], Thomas Spence, Hy Miles, J.D. Griffiths, A. Lewis, Wm. Williams who died July 10, Lewis Bevan and wife, Thomas Roberts, Junr., One of Swanborough’s sons, Ashman - [Bevan, Roberts, Swanborough and Ashman bound for California]; Carson; Mrs. Carson, [Grave of Mrs. Chilvers, 25], R. W. Lewis, Miss Meek who d of cholera July 13, Mr. Grant, Earl Fitzwilliam, Mr. J.K. Jones, Connor, Moffat, Dr. Caldwell, Mrs. Sache, Lewis Sache, Cyrus B. Hubert, Mr. Chitash at a ferry at Fort Boise, Wilson shot by Jessey Varner, Jessey Varner, Thomson, Barlow’s gate. In a letter home from Oregon City on September 30, 1853, Fothergill mentioned people in his company: Merlin, Bell, Lister, & Mrs. W. Philip.