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Volume one of a two volume set chronicles Marion Battey's journey overland from New York to California between April to August, 1852. Her travels display many of the common experiences traveling to California by land during the California Gold Rush. Mrs. Battey travels by river boat, then wagon, and on foot along the California Trail, commenting on many of the route's most significant aspects, including: Ohio and Missouri Rivers, Fort Laramie, Chimney Rock, Green River, Carson Sink, et al. Mrs. Battey describes her interactions with individuals in her traveling company and those she encounters along the way. Other significant topics discussed include: Native American interactions, the demands of overland travel, conditions of the trail and resources, as well as complications and disease.
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