#5. (June 24th - July 4th, 1853). Bois De Sioux to the Grand Côteau Du Missouri.

To better envision this narrative think of Isaac Stevens as the center of the sun with various teams (six I believe) extending outward as with the rays of the sun. Usually Stevens stayed with the Main Train while sending smaller trains on special excursions. For example, Lambert and Tinkham train were sent to the Chippewa River; Donelson’s team to survey the Missouri River, thence to Pomme de Terre River and then they separated for other destinations. As Lambert and Tinkham set out on the first leg of their assignment (Chippewa River), Stevens instructs the organization of a special team: I directed Lieutenant Grover to select a party of twenty picked men, twenty-six mules, three horses,

#4. June 21st - 23rd, 1853. Lightning Lake to Pike Lake.

In the prior column we learned that the main train arrived at Lightning Lake in the late afternoon of the 20th. Isaac Stevens’ journal indicates a number of problems experienced with the soggy plains where the various wagons progress was arduous. Having crossed several streams the damage to supplies was assessed and it was discovered that flour would be deficient as some had been damaged in crossing the streams, and two bags of salt had been lost to the water. On the 21st, Lieutenant DuBarry was excused from the train to report back to the Secretary of War to report on the progress of the expedition to that point. Accompanying him was a Mr. Kendall who was to purchase supplies and Indian

#3: June 6-1, 1853. Saint Paul to the Sauk River.

Isaac Stevens’ journal is filled with details of the Mighty Mississippi, the surrounding land, the plants, resident animals and humans. Stevens described the Native Americans he met with on the West side of the Mississippi about three miles above Rum River. …there was a large encampment of Winnebago Indians, consisting of about 100 lodges. These are constructed of oak bark, fastened by strips of buckskin over arched poles, resembling in shape the cover of a wagon; they are about eight feet high, and from ten to thirty feet long, according to the number of families to be accommodated. The chief’s lodge, in the centre, is much larger, and distinguished by the flags upon it, two British and

#2: Determining the Practicable Route for the Transcontinental Railroad. (Series)

In the introductory column, I introduced you to Isaac Stevens who had been recently appointed Governor of the Washington Territory and assigned the task of heading a team to gather information to help determine the route for the future transcontinental railroad. Such an undertaking had required a great deal of preparation and collaboration, including the Secretary of State, Secretary of War and other government officials as well private entities such as the Hudson Bay Company. Logistics included securing advance assistance for Native American guides in the unexplored regions. The exploration was divided into two Divisions, the Eastern and Western. The Eastern Division was under the immedi

Let's go on a journey!

Washington, D.C., February 7, 1859 Sir: I have the honor to submit my final report of the explorations made by me and under my direction, in the years 1853, 1854, and 1855, to determine the practicability of the northern route for a railroad to the Pacific. I am, very respectfully, your most obedient Isaac I. Stevens Hon. John B. Floyd Secretary of War, Washington City. Thus begins Volume XII a hard-bound report containing the general, geographic, biological, meteorological, and zoological information gathered to determine the best root to build a railroad from the Mississippi to the Pacific. Specifically from Saint Paul to Puget Sound along the forty-seventh and forty-ninth parallels You

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