If you’re just joining us, you may want to read the first three parts of this series: (part 1), (part 2), and especially (part 3) before continuing with today’s Part 4. April, 1851: Alfred T. and (George? or Charles?) Bonniwell to NYC Based on the documents that I have been able to locate so far, the next … Continue reading Farewell to California! The Bonniwell party returns (part 4)
UPDATED, May 13, 2023, with a few minor text edits and additions for clarity. If you’re just joining us, you might want to read the first two parts of this series: Farewell to California! The Bonniwell party returns (part 1) and Farewell to California! The Bonniwell party returns (part 2), before continuing with today’s Part 3. Since … Continue reading Farewell to California! The Bonniwell party returns (part 3)
The Bonniwell party’s prospectors had gone to the California gold fields via two very different routes. The 1849 party went west using a combination of land and water transportation to get from Milwaukee to El Dorado via steamship from New Orleans, then across the Isthmus of Panama by foot, mule and canoe, and then another … Continue reading Farewell to California! The Bonniwell party returns (part 2)
I’ve never been to California’s gold rush country, so I don’t know how accurate this unknown artist’s View of Sutter’s Mill & Culloma Valley. On the South Fork of the American Line, Alta, California might have been.1 It’s drawn in the Romantic style of the time, although it’s clear the unspoiled, natural, “sublime,” view of … Continue reading Farewell to California! The Bonniwell party returns (part 1)
In our last post, we discovered that none of our Bonniwell gold rush expedition members could be found on the surviving population schedules for the 1850 federal census in California.1 Does that mean they were not to be found anywhere on the national 1850 enumeration? Well, no. It turns out that while the Bonniwell men … Continue reading The Bonniwells & Co. and the 1850 census–part 4: “in” Wisconsin!
Our previous post1 left us with two important, unanswered questions: Could the Bonniwells and their companions have been recorded on the 1850 federal population census in California? And if they could be counted, were they? After all, travel through the gold camps in the high mountains could be pretty difficult in the best of times: … Continue reading The Bonniwells & Co. and the 1850 (and ’52) census – part 3
UPDATED, Jan. 9, 2023, to correct a few minor errors. Our December 15, 2022 post, The Bonniwells & Co. and the 1850 census (part 1), ended with a cliffhanger: So the members of the overland Bonniwell overland expedition were not enumerated on the decennial census while on the trail [in Nebraska] in the summer of 1850. … Continue reading Monday: Map Day! — the Bonniwells & Co. and the 1850 census (part 2)
The seventh decennial federal population census was officially enumerated for all persons living in the United States on June 1, 1850. For the first time, all (free) persons were to be listed in the census schedules by their full names.1 But as we discussed previously2, while the actual enumeration of the 1850 census should have … Continue reading The Bonniwells & Co. and the 1850 census (part 1)
Provenance Provenance is an important concept for historians, collectors and museums. It refers to the chain of ownership of any collectible item, including manuscripts, artworks, official documents or, in our case, a family Bible. Establishing the provenance of an item—such as the Bonniwell Bible—from its creation to the present day is important for several reasons: … Continue reading The Bonniwell Bible’s provenance or, Who Owned It & When?
How do you make a historian happy? How about blue skies, sunny and warm fall weather, a visit to the Clark House, and a full day spent studying and inventorying the Bonniwell Family Bible and accompanying family papers and photographs? And you can’t beat this for a pleasant and evocative work area: