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Missouri river at the mouth of the Kansas. I had returned
shortly before from an extensive expedition to the upper
Mississippi which had taken me to within fifty miles of Lake
Itaska, the headwaters of the mighty stream.

High water and malaria-fever among my crew were the
causes that had prevented me from going to Itaska which I
had visited twenty-one years before with a company of
French-Canadian voyageurs and half-breeds.

My major enterprise for this year was a trip across the
vast wilderness of the domain between the Missouri and
the great divide where the rivers flowing east and west have
their common source, and to the great inland region where
Brigham Young, like a new Moses, had led his people to set
up a kingdom of his own.

Fear that untoward circumstances might arise to delay
my return to St. Louis, and therefore the greater under-
taking, to a date which would render its completion before


the beginning of winter impossible, decided me to abandon
the Itaska project before it was completed.

For this same reason I refused to listen to the insistent
entreaties of my host of friends at St. Louis, friends that
had survived the years intervening between my former stays
in that city, in 1823 and again in 1829-31, to visit them for
an indeterminate period. Only by my solemn promise that
nothing should prevent me from the enjoyment of such a
visit after my return from the West late in the fall was I
able to still their pleadings.

A number of countrymen of mine accompanied me to
the wharf. These had wished to defer their adieux until the
moment when the boat's captain should give the signal for
all who were not passengers to leave the ship. Among these
friends of mine was the Prussian consul, Mr. Anger odt, a
cultured, honorable and most lovable gentleman whom I had
known in Berlin.

Two travelling companions set out with me from St.
Louis. One of these was a Mr. Moellhausen, a native of
Berlin and a volunteer on the forthcoming expedition. I
had taken him on before my departure from New Orleans.
He wished to join me purely from a desire for adventure.
Although I had many misgivings about his ability to with-
stand the hardships of such a tremendous undertaking, I
was, on the other hand, so well impressed with his appear-
ance that I did not have the heart to refuse him.

Mr. Moellhausen came from an excellent family. He
had a fine and lovable personality and he won my heart at
first sight. I found him to be the epitome of honor and loy-
alty ; and in courage he was behind none I had ever known,
throughout my thousands of miles of journeying through
western North America. A man of broad culture despite
his youth he was scarcely twenty-five and of rarest refine-
ment, he proved to be invaluable as a traveling companion.
Moreover, he was an expert sketch-artist, an accomplish-
ment that could not help but prove indispensable for the pur-
pose of my trip.

Another young man, a Mr. Ziellinski, was from Dres-
den. I had met him in New Orleans. He, too, was full of
the love for adventure, but entirely "green" in all practical
matters. Against my better judgment I had yielded to his
pleadings to become a member of this long journey.

Before setting out from the great capital of the splendid
young commonwealth I had made purchases of everything
that was needful for so long and hazardous an undertaking.


I was told that supplies of every kind were very dear in
Kansastown from where I expected to set out overland.

I had to make a choice between a light and a very heavy
wagon, as there was no type offered for sale between the
two extremes. I felt apprehensive from the outset that the
lighter, the one I chose, would not be substantial enough.
On the other hand, it was out of the question to take the
heavy kind as it was entirely unsuited for light and rapid

As I had to provide myself with everything needful for
the journey that might easily extend over distances total-
ling three thousand miles, it was difficult to decide on what
was to be taken when the extreme load-limit must not exceed
ten hundredweight.

First I purchased bedding for three single camp-beds,
woolen blankets with sailcloth coverings. I equipped the
three of us with stout breeches and scout-leggins and water-
proof leather boots, flannel shirts and both light and heavy
head coverings.

Then came the provisions. These must consist of such
foodstuffs as were not perishable; coffee, tea, sugar, salt,
pepper, flour, rice and bacon.

I purchased a small, compact-container for such drugs
as were indispensable for a long journey. St. Louis was at
that time the distributing center over a vast territory in all
manner of pharmaceutical supplies.

In the next place I had to purchase a pair of light but
hardy horses for the wagon and a stout saddle-horse for
Mr. Moellhausen who had been a lieutenant in the Prussian
cavalry service, and who was to do scouting duty during
the expedition.

St. Louis was still the great outfitting emporium for all
the trappers and hunters of the West, as well as for the pio-
neers bound for the Gold Coast of California and for Oregon.
It was also the leading trade-center for firearms and for
ammunition. The best quality of lead was mined in the state
which was sold as far east as Pittsburg and Chicago, and
throughout the South, the Southwest, and the West as well
as North. Not a small part of our cargo therefore, consisted
in lead and powder.

All our equipment had been delivered to the little
packet-boat on the previous evening, including our personal

The voyage up the Missouri lasted five days, whereas
the previous ones, the one in 1823 and the other in 1830, had


consumed three weeks or longer. As may be seen from this,
the ingenuity of the Americans had in the meantime devel-
oped water transportation to almost incredible perfection.
Also, the conveniences on ship-board had become greatly

Kansastown is quite picturesquely situated on some
hills along the Kansas river near its junction with the much
bigger Missouri. The main street is about thirty feet above
the water level. The houses are of both baked brick and
boards, the latter called "frame" houses.

It is a lively little place. Here most travellers bound for
the West purchase what they require for their long overland
journey. Moreover, the neighboring hordes of semi-civilized
Indians buy their supplies here. These are the Delawares,
Shawnees, Wyandottes, the coarser, brutal Ayowahs
[lowas], the Putowatomies and the Kansas Indians.

Nothing is more comical than the costumes of these
Indians, most of whom are now breeds more or less mixed in
blood. They wear their own old clothes and that of the
whites in such a fantastic combination that it would reflect
credit on circus-clowns to match the effect.

On the other hand, I had the pleasure of seeing a num-
ber of very pretty Indian maidens strutting about in the
modish costumes of our own women. The positively charm-
ing faces of these daughters of the dusky race, with their
superbly lustrous black hair, look right elegant dressed in
the modes of their pale-faced sisters; far lovelier, indeed,
than the negresses and quadroons who suffer actual disfig-
urement on account of their coarse features, thick lips and
krinkly hair whenever they try to affect the modes and man-
ners of the white race. Then, too these latter have ugly
large feet and hands, whereas the Indians have pretty and
shapely ones.

I cannot refrain, before setting out from this last out-
post of civilization, from indulging in a brief retrospect.

As I have said, my trip up the Missouri on the modern
little steamer Padukah had come to an end without any
untoward happening.

I had an opportunity to see again, after the lapse of
many years, the river bottoms which I had described in
1823, and again in 1830, with the changes that had taken
place between those two dates.


I noted also the vanishing of the older settlements, as,
for instance, of Franklin, and the bursting into flower of
new ones, most important among these latter, situated along
the banks of the river, being Hermann, Jefferson City,
Booneville, and Glasgow. These are enjoying a constant
growth on account of their favorable locations. About Her-
mann, the German settlers have occupied themselves with
grape-culture, as I have mentioned in another place in my

Farther up the stream there are the new towns of
Kansas, the one of the same name as the river that empties
into the Missouri ; also Weston and Saint Joseph. The latter
is almost entirely owned by the family Robidoux and named
after Joseph Robidoux. This is a place of some importance. It
is near by Blacksnake Creek where I had once had a meeting
in the year 1830 with the chief of the Sac and the Fox

Kansastown is next to Independence and Westport the
principal post from which wagon-trains and expeditions set
out for the West to Santa Fe, Fort Laramie, Salt Lake, Cali-
fornia, and Oregon.

It had grown frightfully hot in these latter days of
August. Just when I had finished my preparations for
departing there set in a series of heavy rain storms. But
these failed to lower the extraordinary heat to any percepti-
ble degree. They only tended to increase the swarms of tor-
turing insects to an intolerable intensity.

I decided to purchase here another light wagon and a
team of horses ; and to load up with a further supply of pro-
visions and ammunition, against Mr. Moellhausen's good-
natured protest.

Just as one reaches the frontier of Missouri the prairie
region begins not those steppes covered with short grass
typical of the higher plateau, but tall grasses and herbs, with
here and there copses of low bushes, sumach and smaller
kinds of oak trees.

This vast expanse is still owned for a considerable dis-
tance by Indian tribes that have been transferred there from
more eastern regions through treaties with the national

From Westport to the Kansas River and somewhat far-
ther westward it belongs to the Shawnees, most of whom are
by this time Christianized. These have three missions on
their reservations, a Presbyterian, a Baptist, and a Metho-


dist. These serve both for devotional and proselyting pur-
poses. For the pious zeal of the Anglo-Americans is greatly
concerned about the spreading of Christianity among the

This country is immediately surrounded by other
friendly, half civilized Indian tribes.

I followed along the travel route of Colonel Fremont
which is even today the regular California route. In passing
along the first ninety miles I had to ford many deep creeks
and small wooded rivers. At the end of this leg of the journey
I reached a settlement of some importance belonging to the
Putowatomie Indians 1 and called Union-Town. Not far
from this place I had my outfit ferried across the Kansas
which at this point has a very strong current, stronger than
that of the Neckar at Heilbronn. 2

Ten miles farther on is the last settlement, a Catholic
Mission, about 130 miles distant from Kansastown. Here
we met a number of people mounted on mules and horses
who came from California. These had made the journey in
57 days.

Here resides a titular bishop. Indian children of both
sexes are cared for and instructed at this mission in both
religious and secular subjects. This institution is in a fairly
prosperous condition and is spreading a good influence that
is felt far and wide.

From the Catholic Mission to the La Platte river it is
about 240 miles, all of it a country undulating and crossed by
deep brooks and small rivers.

All these waters are tributaries of the Kansas. They
are adorned with forest growth, passing through an im-
measurable sea of gregarious 3 grasses where one encounters
very little animal life except a few birds and rodents, and
quite frequently packs of prairie wolves and their far more
dangerous cousins, gray and white wolves.

Among the bird life the most common to appear are the
prairie chicken, the horned lark, the yellow-headed pirole
and the American kite, or blue glide, closely resembling the
gray hen-harner of my own country.

1. Now spelled Pottowatomie. The Translator.

2. Heilbronn, in Northern Wiirttemberg. It should be understood that Prince
Paul wrote these journals solely for his own countrymen. The Neckar is the second-
largest tributary of the Rhine from the east. Tr.

3. The prince uses the word "gesellig" which means "sociable," flocklike, uniform,
of the same kind.


The quadrupeds most frequently seen are the wolves,
already mentioned, the polecat, and the badger. Also there
are several species of mice. The streams are so well sheltered
by tree-growth that they offer a splendid refuge for deer,
prairie chickens, 4 tree turkeys, and rabbits. These, however,
do not appear in great numbers until the La Platte is

The streams, both large and small, are the Vermillion,
Rock river, Big Blue, Little Blue, and Big Sandy. The Little
Blue we followed for 80 miles or more. Occasionally some
small detachments of buffaloes stray as far south-east as
this stream. It is only about 25 miles from this stream to the
valley of the Platte. On reaching the level bottoms of this
stream at the ford, one has only 12 miles farther to go to
reach Fort Kearney, where a company of 200 regular troops
under the command of a captain is stationed. Eight miles
away, on approaching the ford from the south, one can see
the national banner floating over it quite plainly. It is on a
level plain, near the edge of the hills, with the Nebraska
river only a mile away. The buildings are all of wood sur-
mounted by tall brick chimneys. Here is also a sutler's store
where general merchandise and liquors are retailed. In the
latter a postoffice is located. Here the traveller in the cov-
ered four-wheeled wagon and the drivers of the great
wagon-trains carrying supplies to western outposts or with
the destination of California or Oregon take their first rest.

I covered the distance from Kansastown in nineteen
days, but had the misfortune to have one of my two wagons
wrecked which could have been repaired quite easily, had
not my young companion Zielinsky, felt too ill to attend to it.

Even at this early stage of my journey I had reason to
repent grievously of my folly to have allowed these two inex-
perienced volunteers to persuade me to take them with me,
instead of hiring sound and experienced men who know how
to do what they are told, or even without any suggestion, and
who are equal to any emergency, and inured to the tortures
of the climate and the countless swarms of mosquitoes,
gnats, and other noxious insects.

This post with its small military establishment is the
only station between Kansastown and Fort Laramie that
offers protection to travellers to and from California. The

4. Presumably willow-grouse. Tr.


commanding oMicer i:; Captain llotlam A id - from Iheolli
cei .UK! enh .led men HUT*' are a con aderable number of
employee pi;;f Ilic .HIM' a , in oilier imhl;irv |>' .1 ;

Three mile. farther on I noticed what ;il ;i dr. lance
looked Mornelhinj' nol. unlike a hij' mole lull AM I drew
nearer I ,.iw old hrokcndown wapon ; ;md Ihe wreck <,|
larm implements liev n about on the ground. Impelled
bv cm 10 it y I drove up l.o I he place ;md found Ifiere ;i circular
hill compactly I. mil ol ::mi;ire piece.; ol pf.'in )e MO(|.

I r;irne lo Ihe door ;md knocked. Invited lo -nli i, I
found Ihe interior <juite HpaciouM. If I >e|o tiered lo ;m Ameri-
can wln h;id ;:<-lll<'d down here ;md broken up onn forty
;irre.; of j-round ;d>oiil lh<- lime Ihe forl vv;i:, huill. Thi:i
ground w.i.. in ;i hi)'h , l.ile of cultivation, and Die .oil
neemed lo he inexhaiiMlihly IK h l''r<m vvh;il I could oh.Mei ve
I r;m ;iver lh;if I have ne\'er een il ; e<ju;il. Indeed it . i C>IM d
lo me (lie :;! r;i nj'.e;:! lhm> r home ;,eeker: p;i:::;ed hy
.ilnio I <l.iil\ I h I'oilj-'houl the piin;' ;ind iimmer who could
nol help hill. .'.<<' Ihe wonder-,; in crop;, Ih.d llu ; piece of
ground produced with almo:il no work, Ihen p;i;,,, on lo (he
\\ lein , l\v<> I lion: ,;i nd mile;; di,',l;inl, \vilh no pn.-ihve
.1 111 .nice (hnf climate nnd Moil pr'oduct i\ ene,,,, would he li;dl
inj' JIM W;IM wluil I hey had here ri^ht hefore their

mill Oi mil y <>l MIC :<nl \\.i . ;i. ;! oundine. II \\;c. l)l;ick
ind enlirely free from HfoneH. The man h;id ;i younj.^

\\lio ..eeined h;df idiolic, lo keep hoil.e foi'

I 1 ! \ ei \ I hi ii)' \\.i \cry ne;il and invil inj/, and Ihe ho ,1 ;i,,
il., I ;;he wa;; an excellenl rook

lie .1 Led n lo \\.ill, o\ er In., farm \\ilh him \\lnle the
\<iiiii)' woman prepared Ihe noon meal which h<* insisted (hat
we should .hare \\'ilh him, and which there \\;i., little need
for iiirinj' I hat we accept ;i., we were nearly f:imi .lied.

He look ii., In ;i llnrly acre held <>l mai/.e was the
mo:;l marvelous si^ht I have ever seen. The slalks were over
eij.^ht l<-el l.dl .ind dark j-reeii ()n nearly e\<-ry one there
were from !'. l .". kirj-e ejii'S. II wa.. like \\;dkinj' Ihroiij-li a
hue I In p.i;,., hel ween Ihe row:;, a ..Iraiife hid very pleasant
odor was noticeable, characteristic, the man explained, of
ripe corn.

lie ;il..o had . everal acre;, in potatoes I hat were in
bloom. Such a lield of potatoes I have never beheld. II i
unbelievable to one who could nol ;,eelln with his own eyes
Ulld nol ic.ih < \\ an enormou;. \\callh of food lay there
in Ihe Kround.


Then h<- had a larjM- ;-ai d<-n oi ;< I ; , (,)<, j f oni which he
.supplied I. he tahle.", of th<- ollic< r. ;il UK- I or I and a I '.o many
traveller.", lhal drove pa .1 To all ol l.he.-.e, fnvth / ;" lahlc'i
were a j/od.'fcrid. In I h<' f/ardcn he had al.'.o herrie.", of .".everal
kind.'., hut ;aid lhal h<- n<-v-r had hin<- l> pid'. jifjy

lie ;il :<> lol<l rnc lh;i! h<- coulil :il.oi<- lh- ron on I h<-
{'rourirl afU-r hir.i'.nij' ;ind lh;il. if would l(eep .oini'l l.h/->uj'h
oul,<- ;in'l .prin;', '//heri fie drpocd <>) 1 1. |.<> f,h<*
FiOfne .''!'.'[ . ;il 'jM)Mri<)ij . pt J f ' (- .

A-'.kerl why IK- }I;M! no! h'-'-n r.-mj'fi! in lh- j",|(j |.- /,,
ru.-'.h, h- l:juj'fM-rJ ;hd .;nl !h;l. Un- lorly .MM h- fi;r| w<-re
l.he :iure:'.l, j/old rnin- ol ;ill, (*<' ;m.- l.h<-y would n<- / "jHti'-fi"


"Why, Hff'iiUJV^i" h' - ."ii'i, ''Ihr, '/;ill<-y lo fiv fiUfidfed
rnilf . ! 1-1 lit i \\i<- Mi oun '// .I i ; ; j*;ir d-n ::pol.. All ol I h- l;.nd
in ;i,:', j/ood i ..' rnine!"

Wh'-fj we rd in n<-<! lo lh<- f.-ihm, Ui ( - in<-;d WUM reudy.

ii < ormiHted of bacon, potatoes, ejrg, biscuits, coffee and
fresh butter, A feast for the rods! For the first time in

;i.lrrio - i. ;t. rnonf.h were we ;id u;illy ,<-;il-f| ;il. ;i l;jhl- ;>nd on

' I } i ( } i ; 1 1 1 ' t : i / y n ' ; ' t o ',' \ \ \ f n ; i f I < u . I ; 1 1 1 ; ' } i ; 1 1 m o . I r o n
Ht.antJy v/ilfi }j'-r j'linnin;', h< r jnj'in;' ol lu/jny H'-JMO m<-l
orJie:',, ;i/jfj y/ ;i.|| <orl i f ^l fnonl'.-y ''.hi/i'-; v/hi'-h, .'< h'-r
rn;i ;t <-r I old ir ., //</ < n'-v-r 1 ;i ! i V. <

"That younK huHny is a nachural bom entertainer/' h<-'-l' h-;ih 'I })' oldi-r-.

corn'-:; oul. h'T<- ;.nd ,p<-nd.'. Sunday ;i 1 l.-r noon . ;nd f.aken
dinri'-j y/ji.h /n'- p.! l.o j'jl. <-nterl.;iinrrienf, And l.h-y p;> y .
rn<- rnJKhf.y w-ll loo !"

Then }jf M-;';.!<-'J u . v/jlh a. f>Ig dipper full Of bllf '/ //idk
fiul. v/hen J r^/f'ered io pay him f'o hi-', ho-'.fiil.alil.y, h- wa;-.

/ f > i j ; > / ' i n y n d ; i f j n ' ; ' i f 1 1 J < r n ; i. n A / j d , o i ; '. y o u f

pa./ dner. When you come back, remember that this heah

laf.rh .Inn;' r, ;ill you ne<-d l.o pull 1 1. v/ill o[>-n l.h- dofj Jo/-
you un;i ;j.nd a . ,hu; you of v/eJrofllfJ w

After a drive of about ten miles we saw the first buf-

talO, It. Was lyifiK alon;' he river hank in the tall
Hut. .toon ;ift.<:r l.haf. v/< hrrn

o^uit.e urjf.o/jcernedl y f/y our ' . :

That Harm? evening we rriel a wa^on l.rain from Fort
ptain of which f vi ,),-d till in the

sketch of the wagon road out to Cali-


fornia, and especially across the great Sierra Nevada
through which I had travelled the previous year from the
head-waters of the Sacramento to where it ran out into
detached, low mountain-groups, then beyond, where the
Cascades rose up, as far as Mount Rainier.

This weather-beaten man of nondescript age told me a
number of hair-breadth escapes from hostile Indians which
impressed my companions exceedingly.

The La Platte is here dotted with innumerable little
islands covered with copses of willows and with young pop-
lars. The water has at this season almost disappeared in
the sand. Only tiny little streams like silvery threads,
strung loosely, trickled down the more than mile-wide bed.
One of these ran along the left bank which we now followed
for about a hundred miles, where the south-fork, the Padu-
kah, makes the junction with its bigger mate. Bison herds
were seen at most every hour of the day now.

Here is a ford about 20 miles below the junction of the
two streams and we forded it on the morning after our
arrival successfully. From here on, the way winds along a
low plain, similar to the one we had followed from Fort
Kearney, and it is bordered by a continuous chain of low
hills, to the place where it issues from the rocky Cordilleras
of New Spain, 5 some three hundred miles farther west.
They rise within a few miles of each other. The north-fork
describes a huge semi-circle, some 700 miles in length, be-
fore this union with the smaller sister is effected.

Here begin the peculiar tertiary formations of lime-
rock which, with few interruptions, encircling the Rocky
Mountains in grotesque shapes, extend as far as the Mis-
souri river.

The grass is gradually appearing shorter, but much
more nutritious, due, I suppose, to the dry climate which
here resembles that of northern Africa. But, as if in con-
tradiction to what had been told me about the aridity of that
region, we had several days, of continuous rains and violent

We were compelled to wring out the water from our
rugs and bed covers before we spread them out on the

5. The territory south of lat. 42 and west of long. 100 (Greenwich) until the
Treaty of Guadalupe-Hidalgo, 1848, was Mexican territory. Hence Prince Paul's
reference to the Rocky Mountains as being the "Pedrosa (Rocky) Cordillera de
Nueva Espana" is the correct one as referring to the Rocky Mountains. The Trans-


ground for our beds. There was a severe drop in the tempera-
ture, from 86 to 37 Fahr.

There were plenty of little wolves along the way now,
and were never out of sight of antelopes.

On September 24 I killed a huge buffalo bull that had
come to within 200 paces of our camp. We did not break up
camp until we had cooked a goodly supply of its meat. This
consumed several hours of precious time, for the wood was
wet and would not burn briskly.

After following the Padukah for about eighty miles we
came to the ford which at this time was dry. From here we
must turn north across the divide to the north-fork, a dis-
tance of about 35 miles.

At the ford there was a veritable city of covered
wagons, tents, and buggies drawn by horses and mules;
also several ox-teams. At intervals of half an hour a new
train could be seen lumbering down the hillslope half a mile

Besides these groups of migrant people, bound either
for the Pacific Slope or homeward toward the States, there
was a large body of cavalry camped at this point commanded
by Colonel Leaven worth.

As I, too, am a cavalry officer 6 I felt drawn to make an
effort at becoming acquainted with that distinguished Indian
fighter, and it was long after midnight before the colonel
and his fellow officers were inclined to let me retire to my
own camp.

About twenty miles from the ford across the Padukah,
the wagontrail makes a sudden and almost sheer descent into

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