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son Shadrach, born 1750, graduated at Yale in 1771 and became an eminent physician. His diploma, dated September 11, 1771, in the possession of his grandson, is a relic of general interest, diplomas from Yale of that early date being very rare. At the outbreak of the revolutionary war, being a gentleman of independent fortune, he fitted out a warship, or privateer, and was commissioned to attack the enemy on the high seas. He was captured off the coast of Spain and confined in a dismal prison ship where he suffered much. His son Eleazer, born 1786, took up his abode in the Catskill mountains with a view to his health, hunting bears and wolves for which a bounty was then paid; and while there, at Ramapo, New York, on August 11, 1823, his son George Winslow was born. The family moved to Newton, Massachusetts, now a suburb of Boston, where George learned his father's trade--machinist and molder. In the same shop and at the same time David Staples and Brackett Lord, who afterward became his brothers-in-law, and Charles Gould, were learning this trade. In the organization of the Boston and Newton Joint Stock Association Mr. Lord was chosen captain and Mr. Staples one of the directors, the latter becoming the active man in the purchase of animals and supplies. Mr. Staples was later one of the organizers of the Fireman's Fund Insurance Company of San Francisco, and its first president. He was a delegate from California to the Republican national convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln for president. George Winslow was married in 1845. His first son, George Edward, was born May 15th, 1846, and is now a manufacturer of electrical supplies in Waltham, Massachusetts. His second son, Henry 0., was born May 16th, 1849, the day the father left the frontier town of Independence, Missouri, driving his half-broken mules and whitetopped wagon through the mud, hub deep, over the Oregon trail, bound for California. Henry 0. Winslow learned his



father's trade, as did his two sons George and Carlton, and each of these men are managers of factories at Meriden, Connecticut, manufacturing silverware, brass and bronze goods and employing from nine hundred to one thousand men.
   The Boston and Newton Joint Stock Association consisted of twenty-five picked young men from Newton and the vicinity of Boston. The capital of the company was sufficient to pay the traveling expenses of the company to Independence, Missouri, and to purchase animals, wagons and supplies for the overland journey to California, each member paying three hundred dollars into the treasury. The incidents along the journey I obtain from Mr. Gould's excellent journal, from which I quote freely. They left Boston April 16, 1849, traveling by rail to Buffalo, taking the steamer Baltic for Sandusky, Ohio, and then by rail to Cincinnati, where they arrived April 20, at 9 o'clock p. m., making the journey in four and one-half days. Mr. Gould says they "found the city very regularly laid out and having a handsome appearance, but what appears very disgusting to eastern people is the filth and the hogs that roam the streets and seem to have perfect liberty throughout the city."
   They left Cincinnati April 23, on the steamer Griffin Yeatman, for St. Louis, and arrived there April 27. A bargain was struck with the captain of the steamer Bay State to take them to Independence, Missouri, for eight dollars apiece. The boat was crowded, principally with passengers bound for California. They now saw specimens of western life on boats; a set of gamblers seated around a table well supplied with liquor kept up their games all night. Religious services were held on board on the sabbath, Rev. Mr. Haines, of Boston, preaching the sermon. The usual exciting steamboat race was had, their boat leaving the steamer Alton in the rear, where, Mr. Gould remarks, "we think she will be obliged to stay."




   On May 3d, they landed at Independence, Missouri, pitching their tents and beginning preparations for the overland journey. This letter which I hold in my hand, yellowed with years, was written by George Winslow to his wife, from Independence, Missouri, May 12, 1849. Mrs. George Winslow gave it to her grandson, Carlton H. Winslow, in whose name it is presented to the Nebraska State Historical Society, together with an excellent copy of a daguerreotype of George Winslow taken in 1849.
   On May 16th, this company of intrepid men, rash with the courage of youth, set their determined faces toward the west and started out upon the long overland trail to California. By night they had crossed the "line" and were in the Indian country. They traveled up the Kansas river, delayed by frequent rains, mud hub deep, and broken wagon poles, reaching the lower ford of the Kansas on the 26th, having accomplished about fifty miles in ten days. The wagons were driven on flatboats and poled across by five Indians. The road now becoming dry, they made rapid progress until the 29th, when George Winslow was suddenly taken violently sick with the cholera. Two others in the party were suffering with symptoms of the disease. The company remained in camp three days, and the patients having so far recovered, it was decided to proceed. Winslow's brothers-in-law, David Staples and Brackett Lord, or his uncle Jesse Winslow, were with him every moment, giving him every care. As they journeyed on he continued to improve. On June 5th, they camped on the Big Blue, and on the 6th, late in the afternoon, they reached the place where the trail crosses the present Nebraska-Kansas line into Jefferson county, Nebraska. Mr. Gould writes: "The road over the high rolling prairie was hard and smooth as a plank floor. The prospect was beautiful. About a half hour before sunset a terrific thunder shower arose which baffles description, the lightning flashes



dazzling the eyes, and the thunder deafening the ears, and the rain falling in torrents. It was altogether the grandest scene I have ever witnessed. When the rain ceased to fall, the sun had set and darkness had closed in.
   George Winslow's death was attributed to this exposure. The next morning he appeared as well as usual, but at three o'clock became worse, and the company encamped. He failed rapidly, and at 9 the next day, the 8th of June, 1849, painlessly and without a struggle, he sank away as though going to sleep. He was taken to the center of the corral, where funeral services, consisting of reading from the Scriptures by Mr. Burt of Freetown, and prayer by Mr. Sweetser of Boston, Massachusetts, was offered. The body was then carried to the grave by eight bearers, followed by the rest of the company. Tears rolled down the cheeks of those strong men as if they were but children when each deposited a green sprig in the grave.
   For George Winslow the Trail ended here--upon this beautiful scene, in these green pastures. All the rest of his company traveled its tedious length across plains, mountains and deserts, and reached the fabled gardens and glittering sands of El Dorado, only to find them the ashes of their hopes. Peradventure the grave had been kind to Winslow, for it held him safe from the disillusions which befell the rest.



   Letter No. 3. Direct your letters to Sutters Fort, California.
SpacerIndependence May 12 1849.
   My Dear Wife I have purposely delayed writing to you until now so that I might be enabled to inform you with some degree of certanity of our progress & prospects; after starting for this State we heard so many Stories that I could with no certanity make up my mind wether we



should suceed in getting farther than here & of course felt unwilling to mail too many letters as we neared this Town lest we might return before they did. I am happy to say that I heard from you to day Uncle Jesse & Brackett were gratified by their wifes in the same maner. I am glad to hear that you are well. My health was never better than now.
   You ask me to tell you what they say out here about the route well those who have travelled it say we need borrow no trouble about forage; that Millions of Buffaloes have feasted on the vast praries for ages and now they have considerably dimmished by reason of the hunters &c. it is absurd to suppose that a few thousand emigrants cannot cross. I have conversed with Col. Gilpin a Gentleman who lives near by upon the subject and who has crossed to the Pacific five times: and his testimony is as above we all feel very much encouraged and every body says there is not a Co in town better fitted out than ours: we have bought 40 mules & 6 horses and will have two more horses by monday: our mules average us $52. each we have also 4 waggons and perhaps may buy another: one of our waggons left Camp to day for the plaines 10 miles from here there to recruit up before starting: we shall probably get underway next Tuesday or Wednesday: as to your 2d question vis. How I like to ride a mule. I would say that I have not ridden one enough to know and do not expect to at present as I have been appointed Teamster and had the good luck to draw the best waggon we have covered it to day in tall shape: the top has two thicknesses of covering so that it will be first rate in rainy weather or very warm weather also to sleep in nights. As to "camping" I never slept sounder in my life--I always find myself in the morning--or my bed rather, flat as a Pan Cake as the darned thing leaks just enough to land me on Terra Firma by morning--it saves the trouble of pressing out the wind so who cares; it is excellent to keep off dampness..
   We die' on Salt Pork, Hard & Soft Bread, Beans Rice Tea Hasty Pudding & Apple Sauce also smoked pork and Ham. Being out in the Air we relish these dainties very much. My money holds out very well after buying several articles in Boston and 'eating' myself on the road part of



the time I have about $15. on hand out of $25. which I had on leaving home. I have lost nothing except that Glazed Cup which was worth but little. Uncle Jesse Gould and Nichols are talking in our tent so I will defer writing more until morning.
   Sunday morning May 13. This is a glorious morning, and having fed and curried my mules and Bathed myself and washed my clothes I can recommence writing to you Elisa I will number this Letter 3 as I have sent you 2 before, the 2d from Sanduskey. I wish you would adopt the same system, then we may know if we receive every letter. We arrived here Friday P. M. May 4. Pitched our tents cooked and eat our supper & went to Grass, slept first rate, commenced the next day to get ready to move on: it being considerable of a job & the season backward we shall not get fairly started before 15 or 16 the weather is now warm and the grass is growing finely. For two days we---or some mexicans that we engaged have been busily employed breaking 10 mules: it was laughable to see the brutes perform. To harness them the Mex's tied their fore legs together and throwed them down the fellows then got on them rung their ears (which like a niggers shin is the tenderest part) by that time they were docile enough to take the Harness. The animal in many respects resemble a sheep: they are very timid and when frightened will sometime's kick like thunder: They got 6 harnessed into a team when one of the leaders feeling a little mulish jumped right straight over the other one's back. & one fellow offered to bet the liquor that he could ride an unbroken one he had bought: the bet was taken--but he no sooner mounted the (fool) mule than he landed on his hands & feet in a very undignified manner: a roar of laughter from the spectators was his reward.
   After they are broken they are of the two more gentle than the Horse I suppose by this time you have some idea of a Mule. we have formed a coalition with two other (small) companies (one of which Edward Jackson of Newton Con. belongs to) The other from Me. consisting of only 4 persons one of which is Col. Boafish whom we have selected for our military commander. He belonged to the New Eng. Regiment and fought under Gen. Scott



in Mexico. I think he is a first rate man for the office--by this union we have two Doctors and a man of military experience.
   We found Samuel Nicholson here: his co. will start the fore part of the week. There has been some sickness here principally among the intemperate which is the case every where you know. Our Co. is composed mostly of men who believe that God has laid down Laws that must be obeyed if we would enjoy health--& obeying those laws we are all in the possession of good health.
   I see by your letter that you have the blues a little in your anxiety for my welfare. I think we had better not indulge such feelings. I confess I set the example. I do not worry about my self--then why should you for me--I do not discover in your letter any anxiety on your own account--then let us for the future look on the bright side of the subject and indulge no more in useless anxiety--it effects nothing and is almost universally the Bug Bear of the Imagination.
   The reports of the Gold regions here are as encouraging as they were at Ms. just imagine to your self seeing me return with from $10,000 to $100,000. 1 suppose by this time I may congratulate you upon possessing a Family circle without me: for you know we use to say it required three to make a circle and Edward always confirmed it by saying 'No' I wish you would keep a sort of memorandum of kindnesses received. I shall write to Br. David to day requesting him to make great exersion to send you money when needful, you will of course inform him when that time arrives. I do not wonder that Gen. Taylor was opposed to writing long letters when on the Field. I am now writing at a low Box and am compelled to stoop to conquer. I offer this as an appology for not writing more to you now; and writing so little to others I wish you would preServe my letters, as they may be useful for future reference. Although we shall leave probably before your next letter arrives I expect to get it as one of our Co. will not start till about the 23, but will overtake us as he will have no Baggage of importance: he is from Ohio. Lord & Uncle Jesse will write to day They are both up and dressed and go it like men at a days work Hough & Staples Have



just returned from buying horses they have brought two with them: they are very beautiful I should like to send one home to Father we pay about $50. for them apiece: in Boston they would bring $150. Respects to all
SpacerYours truly
SpacerGeorge Winslow.



SpacerFort Kearny June 17' 1849.
   My very beloved wife | It has thus far been a pleasure for me to write to you from the fact that I have had nothing to write that you would not with pleasure peruse but my dear wife the scene has changed and this letter will bear to you intellegence of the most unwelcome character -- -- intellegence of the most painful for me to write and which will wring your hearts with anguish and sorrow -- -- George is dead -- -- what more shall I write -- -- what can I write -- -- but unpleasant as the news may be you will be anxious to hear the particulars.
   About the 27th of May he was taken with the diareahea which lasted several days and which visibly wore upon him. He was taken the day we crossed Kansas river. He however partially recovered but on the following Tuesday he ate some pudding for dinner which hurt him and about three o'clock in the afternoon he was taken much worse vomiting & purging also cramping; here we stopped he continued to grow worse & became very sick. Doct Lake Uncle Jessee Mr. Staples & myself watched with him during the night, about three o'clock in the morning we thought him dying I told him of the fact spoke to him of home, asked him if he did not wish to send some word to Eliza and his Father & mother & others--he did not leave any--seemed very sick. Wednesday morning appeared a little better and continued to improve so during the day--we remained camped during the day and untill Friday morning continued to improve so much so that he wanted to start on and the road being smooth we concluded to go on giving him as comfortable a bed as possible in one of our large waggons and I took charge of the wagon &



drove it all the time that he rode--that he might receive all the attention that our circumstances would allow--Evening he continued about the same--Saturday we travelled part of the day Doctor thought him improving. Sunday we moved a short distance to water and camped remained till Monday 10 o'clock A. M. George appeared much improved--we started on our journey he stood the ride much better than on the previous day we felt quite encourged all said that he was visibly improving. Tuesday we started at 6 o'clock A. M. George continued improving the day was pleasant till the afternoon & George continued in good spirits. At 5 o'clock P. M. there come up a most violent shower such an one you perhaps never saw, there is nothing on these plains to break the wind and it sweeps on most furiously the lightning is truly terrific & when accompanied with wind hail & rain as in this case it is truly sublime. To this storm I attribut G's death. I was however aware of its violence & guarded him as thougroughly as possible with our rubber blankets from all dampness that might come through our covered wagons George did not appear worse. Wednesday morning George remains about the same--travelled most of the day. 3 o'clock George appeared worse. I sent immediately for the Doctor who was behind. Camped as soon as we could get to water. George did not appear better. Uncle Jessee watched the first part of the night but George growing worse uncle Jessee called Staples & myself & we remained with him till he died. Thursday morning George was very sick & much wandering--did not know us only at intervals seemed to fail very fast--continued to sink very fast--9 o'clock--George is dead--his body lays here in the tent but his spirit has fled--Our company feel deeply this solemn providence. I never attended so solemn funeralhere we were on these plains hundreds of miles from any civilized being--and to leave one of our number was most trying. The exercises at the funeral consisted in reading the scriptures and prayer: this closed the scene--we erected grave stones on which we inscribed "George Winslow Newton Mass aged 25-1849" my dear Clarissa you will syinpathise deeply with Eliza in her affliction. What a pity that such a young family should be broken up. I hope



that it may never be thus with us. George remarked several times during his sickness that he had a ways had a poor opinion of human nature but that he had received during his sickness more sympathy and attention than he supposed a member could receive. I am sorry that I have no particular word from him to send to Eliza or his Father and Mother or you--he left none. It was not because he did not think of home but because he thought he might get better--then at the last attack he was too sick to say anything: he used to say to me frequently "Lord if you are taken sick you will think more of your folks at home than yourself. I dont care anything about myself but my wife and my children they are dependent on me." I had every reason to know that he thought much of home and his folks though he said but little. I was with him most of the time during his sickness all the time days and most of the time nights. We did not leave him from the time he was taken sick till his death without a watch and here let me say that he seemed to sink away as though he was going to sleep and died without a struggle. We shall take care of all his things. It is most time for us to start and I must close this letter and leave it. I have not yet said anything to you and I cannot say much now but I can assure you in the first place that I am well and I hope that you are all well--dont let the children forget papa. we are getting along very well and determined if possible to go through. I hope that you will not give yourself much anxiety about us in regard to sickness. I think we have passed through the most of it all of our party are well. I must now close hoping that when I arrive in California, I shall receive a letter from you. As to your getting along in my abscence do as you think best.
SpacerVery affectionately yours,
SpacerB. Lord

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