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the Humboldt, is a very much superior road to yours for stock-drivers with large bands of cattle, and for the ox-team emigration. When the Humboldt river is high, the early emigrants generally take the south side of the river, near the mountains, but the road is hilly and quite bad. They then find plenty of grass and water. Later, when the springs get dry and the grass is scant - say in the last of July, August, and September - they take the valley of the river. There is then on the bottoms more grass than is found on any other road. The valley is a mile or two wide, and there are very large meadows of grass and laying up grounds. They can stop, too, at Lasson's meadows and make hay or cut grass for crossing the strip of country which lies between the bend of the Humboldt and Carson valley or the Mud lakes. I suppose you have to cross this desert on your road for the south. I don't see how large bands of cattle can get enough water late in July, August, and September, on your road, especially worn down and foot-sore cattle.
     "Those that have come all the way from the States at about that time can't make long marches between water, and need a good deal of it to keep them up.
     "As to your road being shorter, surveyors would know best. It can't be much shorter if we go through the South Pass.
     "It would be shorter if we could get through the Parks - that is, straight across from Denver City over to Camp Floyd.
     "The trouble about getting across is the amount of timber and the rough country. I have travelled the best known trail across a good many times. This cut-off would be very scant of grass for a large emigration - say such as goes every summer through the South Pass. For a mail, the mountain would be right high. I started over once, the 15th of May, and got into the worst of the snow on the head of Piney; it was very bad in the Divide till I got to the head of the Arkansas. I got through with difficulty. I had wintered on Grand river. There is another big mountain between Grand and White rivers. This I did not have to cross. Besides these mountains, there is the great mountain west of these valleys that divides them from Camp Floyd or the Salt Lake basin.
     I think this whole country ought to be explored before the road is built.
     Perhaps if the timber were burnt out it might do for emigrants. It is my belief, now the Lander cut-off is built, avoiding the bad grass country that reaches from the South Pass to Ham's Fork, emigrants and stock-drivers will stick to the old road. There is more grass on it than any route I know; emigrants can't afford to haul forage. They don't like to go near Salt Lake City, because they are charged high for the Mormon grass and the country is too much settled up to get it free. I think if government builds the southern road through the Parks, Green river and some other streams should be bridged.
     "Lander's road keeps the emigration free of tolls.
     "I don't call his road good for an overland mail from where it leaves Green river. It is laid out high up in the mountains over the meadows where the Snake Indians summer their ponies. I have seen about thirteen thousand emigrants take it this year. They all bragged on it, and it saved a great deal of stock.



     "In my opinion, an emigrant road to furnish grass and water for large bands of tired stock in July, August, and September, and a road over the low plains where snow don't fall deep in winter and where mules can be supplied from way forage stations, are two different things, and must be laid out in two different places. I think there is a good chance for a telegraph, if timber is wanted, on the straight route across the Parks.
     "Emigrants don't care how far they go round if they get plenty of grass and water every few miles.
     "There is a very good route from Denver City round by Laramie Plains and through Bridger's Pass, by the Cache le Poudre. This would be favorable for a winter mail. it is not so good for emigrants as the South Pass, because the bad country avoided by the Lander road must be passed over. Emigrants to Oregon this way could go the Lander road. It would be a little out of the way through to California.
     "Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


     "Capt. J. H. SIMPSON,
          "Topographical Engineers."

"WASHINGTON, February 2, 1860.

     DEAR SIR: Since your conversation with 'Goodale,' and receiving his communication, written at your request, on the subject of the various wagon roads of the central route, may I respectfully inquire if you concur in the following statement of the report of the honorable Secretary of War:
     "'Captain J. H. Simpson, of the Topographical Engineers, has, during the past season, explored and opened two new routes from Camp Floyd to California, either of which is about two hundred and-fifty miles shorter than the old emigrant route by the way of the Humboldt river, and far better for grass, wood, and water.  *    *   *   *
     "'The saving in time of travel by these roads to emigrants for California is about fifteen days, and for the mails about four. The saving in stock and draught cattle on these routes over those formerly travelled, owing to pure water and abundant grass, is estimated at twenty-five per cent.'
     "The honorable Secretary conveys the idea that these routes are shorter from the States to California than the old road and better furnished with grass and water; he probably means Camp Floyd. I have never yet known that emigrants go there.
     "An editorial of the Sacramento Union of California, December 5, 1859, says: 'The whole interior section of country was once fully and thoroughly explored by the beaver-trappers of the old fur companies.
     "'These experienced men adopted the great valleys of the river Platte, Snake river, and the Humboldt, because the grass in these valleys was abundant for the animals of their large trains. *   *   *
     "'The subject of the old roads and the Simpson routes is very much



more important than might at first glance appear. If the tens of thousands of animals of even one year's emigration were to be turned over a route not abundantly furnished with grass and water, the result would be detrimental to one of the chief sources of the prosperity of our State.
     "'If there is any doubt of there being grass and water enough upon the Simpson route for a large emigration, that question should be settled before it is made a main emigrant road.'
     "Judge Eckles has written a letter to the honorable Secretary of the Interior stating that your road is three hundred miles nearer and much better than the old one. All these reports will cause the less experienced emigrants to take your road. The question is, tire you ready to advocate it as suitable for the ox-team emigration? If so, there is nothing more to be said upon the subject.
     Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


     "Capt. J. H. SIMPSON,
        "Topographical Engineers."

"WASHINGTON CITY, February 4, 1860.

     "DEAR SIR: Your letter of the 2d instant I received yesterday.
     Be assured that it has been the farthest thing from my mind to do injustice to you, or any one else, in what I may have reported of the explorations I have recently made between the Rocky mountains and the Sierra Nevada; and that it shall be my pleasure to set the matter right before the public as soon as practicable.
     Very respectfully, yours,


WASHINGTON, February 4, 1860.

     "DEAR SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of February 4, 1860.
     "As to the matter referred to, it can in no way affect me at all. I think it best to gather such papers as I may be enabled to, into statistical forms, and leave the department free to act as it may choose in the premises.
     I am, very truly and respectfully, yours,


     "Capt. J. H. SIMPSON,
        "Topographical Engineers."

"WASHINGTON CITY, February 11, 1860.

     DEAR SIR: I have the pleasure to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of the 4th instant, which has only just come into my hands.



*   *   *   *   *   *   *   Your letter came too late to prevent a communication to the public which had already been placed in the hands of the printer, and will appear in tomorrow's Constitution. I trust you, as well as Mr. Campbell, will find that I have not been backward to repair any wrong which I unintentionally may have committed in my representations to the Secretary of War.
     With best wishes for yourself and Mr. Campbell,
     "1 remain, very truly, yours,


     "F. W. LANDER, Esq.,

WASHINGTON, January 27, 1860.

     "DEAR SIR: In reply to your interrogation regarding the emigration which passed over the new road built by you under the direction of the honorable Secretary of the Interior, I have to state that I passed over that portion of the new road extending from Ross' Fork to the great valley of Salt river. I found it abundantly timbered and abounding in grass and water.
     "The expedition in my charge was sent out from Camp Floyd for the purpose of protecting emigrants from Indian aggression. Nearly all the emigration was met on its way to California. Stock drovers and emigrants who had passed over the old line of travel were unanimous in praise of your new route. I heard no dissentient voice, and have no doubt that the construction of this road, avoiding the sand plains, the deleterious waters, and the toll bridges of the south, will prove of vast importance to the overland emigrant to California and Oregon.
     I have seen as many as three hundred wagons in a day, and at least fifteen thousand head of stock. I am of opinion that this vast cavalcade cannot properly forsake the old routes of travel along the great river valleys. Your cut-off road was the single thing needed in the passage from the South Pass over the ungrassed region of the hig Sandy or Sublett's desert, enabling the emigrants to entirely avoid this terrible country and to rest and recruit their stock at the very point heretofore most dreaded hy travellers.
     Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

"J. LYNDE,   
"Major 7th Infantry.

     "F. W. LANDER, Esq.,
        "Sup't U. S. Overland Road via the South Pass."

     I subjoin the statement of Thomas Pitt, one of the best-known conductors of trains on the continent, and a most reliable and conscientious man:
     "I certify that the route known as the Captain Simpson route is not suitable for oxen or other horned cattle, either driven loose or yoked, after the month of July. I made the first trip over this route in



1854; have passed over the route and changed the line of travel fire times; was a cattle-trader at Ragtown, Carson Valley; have heen in charge of large hands of cattle crossing the plains for many years, and drove one herd of one thousand three hundred and twenty-five to California last year.

"T. D. PITT.

WASHINGTON, D. C., December 29, 1859.

'Witness: JOHN R. KEY.

     "Not one man in five thousand knows what a tired ox can drink in twenty-four hours. The quantity is enormous, and desert springs don't answer at all late in the season.

"T. D. PITT."

     The following statement, signed hy sixty emigrants, may also have its force:
     "The undersigned, emigrants from Iowa and other States to California, desire to state, for the benefit of those who may emigrate hereafter, that they travelled the road leading by Salt Lake and found it very mountainous and rough, and most of the streams on said road were bridged and ferries established, over which exorbitant tolls were exacted for the passage of trains and teams, and where there were no bridges or ferries over the streams, the fords were not only difficult but dangerous. They would also state, for the benefit of those who may emigrate hereafter, that they were compelled to pay from twenty-five cents to five cents per head a night for pasturage of their stock at Salt Lake and as far up as hear river, a distance of nearly one hundred miles. That for about one hundred and twenty-five miles from the South Pass towards Salt Lake City the country was nearly destitute of grass and might almost be called a barren waste, and the road strewn with carcasses and bones of dead animals lost the present and past seasons, caused, doubtless, by the great scarcity of grass, and they specially advise all future emigrants not to travel the Salt Lake road."
     Signed hy John E. Movers and fifty-nine others.

     Of this country, southwest from the South Pass, Lieut. Col. P. St. George Cooke, of the Utah army, in an official report, said:
     "1 have one hundred and forty-four horses, and have lost one hundred and thirty-four. Most of the loss has occurred much this side of the South Pass, in comparatively moderate weather. It has heen of starvation. The earth has a no more lifeless, treeless, grassless desert; it contains scarcely a wolf to glut itself on the hundreds of dead animals which, for thirty miles, nearly block the road with abandoned and shattered property."
     It was this region which the Interior Department road was built expressly to avoid. Our road passes directly west from the Pass, the old roads southwest. All overland travellers desiring to take the Simpson road must, therefore, cross this terrible range of country, unless a new route is discovered westward from the Denver City



mines. It is highly important to the country that an appropriation should be made for such an exploration. It would give great character to the Simpson road, at least as a mail route.
     But we must not be led astray hy a mere supposition. Goodale's letter informs us that it is a very open question whether a new route westward from Denver City exists. It would cost thirty thousand dollars to properly explore for it. The estimate of cost of building cannot he made until it is explored. It is a subject more properly connected with the Simpson route than with the one 1 am treating.
     As to distance, after passing over the desert, the Simpson road is only four miles nearer than the Interior Department road to Carson Valley, a point to which the Interior Department road is not directed.
     But hy the Simpson Guide we are informed that in several instances the emigrant must drive more than this four miles off the road to grass and water.
     But this is the especial explanation. There are two points at the eastern houndary of California for which the emigration has hitherto travelled. The one is Honey Lake, to which the law of Congress directed the extension of the Interior Department road; the other is Carson Valley, at which the Simpson road terminates. When the emigration reaches Honey Lake it goes over the mountains to California, much of it to take up the unoccupied lands of the northern counties of that State. Were it to go to Carson Valley after reaching Honey Lake, it must absolutely descend parallel with and one hundred (100) miles along the eastern boundary of California. From the Simpson road it must, in like manner, ascend one hundred (100) miles north to reach Honey Lake. The clearest statement would, therefore, be, that to the eastern boundary of California the Simpson route from the South Pass is eight hundred and forty-six (846) miles in length; the Interior Department road from the South Pass to the eastern boundary of California is eight hundred and four (804) miles in length.
     As to grass and water over the two lines, the animals of our own expedition, which aided in constructing the road in the mountains and then crossed the continent, arrived in California in such order as to sell at a large advance on first cost.
     I wish most explicitly to state that Captain Simpson, in my opinion, is the last man in the world who would willingly confuse the public mind on any subject whatever. He has recently made public the following letter:

"WASHINGTON CITY, February 8, 1860.

     "MESSRS. EDITORS: From motives, as I trust, of public good, and desire to do justice to officers of government who have been zealously and efficiently engaged in works of public benefit, I beg leave to make the following statement:
     "It has been made known to the public by the honorable Secretary of War, and the press has given currency to the fact, that during the past year, by authority of the honorable Secretary and the instructions of General Johnston, commanding the Department of Utah, I have opened two new wagon roads from Camp Floyd to California, either



of which, in connection with the South Pass or Lieutenant Bryan's road from the Missouri river, forms a highway which is shorter to Sacramento or San Francisco than any other known route.
     "From data obtained in Utah, it was believed that the difference in favor of my routes was very much greater than is now known to exist; and it was only after I had made a report to the honorable Secretary, on my return to this city, that, the last year's report of Mr. Albert E. Campbell, general superintendent of Pacific wagon roads under the Secretary of the Interior, was placed in my hands.
     "By this report and the statement of distances which Mr. Camptell has furnished me, I find that very considerable improvements have been made in the old route between the South Pass and the City of Rocks by Mr. F. W. Lander, in the location and construction of a new road, which avoids the artemisia barrens of the Green River basin with its deleterious waters; the rugged defiles of Wahsatch mountains leading to Salt Lake City, and the circuitous route by the valley of the Bear river.
     "As these are very important advantages to the heavy ox-emigration trains which annually pass over the plains, and which can only accrue on my route after reaching Fort Bridger, and then are intermitted to a degree at the outset of my routes from Camp Floyd, and then again near Carson Lake, albeit between these points there is an abundance of grass and water, it is very possible that emigrants desiring to travel through to California without passing through Great Salt Lake City or Camp Floyd, for purposes of replenishing supplies, or other reasons, would do best to take the Lander cut-off at the South Pass and keep the old road along the Humboldt river. In thus speaking, however, I do not wish it to be understood that I am in any degree disparaging my routes from Camp Floyd, for it was the decided opinion of the two guides I had with me, and who had been over the Humboldt river road - one of them, Colonel Reese, having several times driven stock over it - and who were, therefore, competent to make a comparison, that my routes were, in respect to wood, water, and grass, very much superior to the old route; and others who have since passed over the routes have reported the same thing. But still there have been reports to the effect that, in consequence of the deficiency of water and grass at some points of the routes, they are not calculated for heavy trains and large herds of cattle; and I cannot, therefore, take the responsibility of diverting the thousands who annually pass over the continent with their immense trains and herds of cattle from the old road, improved as it has been by Mr. Lander between the South Pass and the City of Rocks. Time can only settle which is the best route to the travelling public; and to that arbiter do I leave the decision; only feeling desirous that that route which furnishes the greatest facilities may, as it will, be eventually taken.
     There is, however, no question, that for emigrants who may find it necessary to pass through Great Salt Lake City or Camp Floyd, or tarry in that country during the winter, my routes will be found to be much the nearest to Sacramento and San Francisco, and probably the best in other respects; and that in consequence of their being the shortest and situated in a lower and milder region in the winter than
     H. Ex. Doc. 64-21)



the old road, they are the best for the transportation of the mail. Indeed, in consequence of the deep snow on some portions of the old road during the winter, the Great Salt Lake and California Mail Company has already been obliged to transfer their stock and build their stations on one of my routes, and on it they are now carrying the mail. My return route to Camp Floyd, in consequence of the timber along it, at points, will also doubtless be the best for the magnetic telegraph.
     In this connection, and in deference to General Johnston, commanding, the Department of Utah, by whose directions the letter was addressed to me by Major F. J. Porter, Assistant Adjutant General, under date of November 16, I subjoin the following extract; and I do so in order that the letter may accomplish the effect for which it was intended. It was based upon the conflicting reports of persons who had traversed one of the routes, and was received too late to be of use in qualifying the preliminary report, already referred to, which I made to the Secretary of War:
     "'The Commanding General does not doubt that the routes opened by you are of real value for military and mail purposes, and for the ordinary travel of this country, especially early in the summer and late in the fall for those who may winter in this country or may be late in arriving. They can be advantageously used by parties of emigrants having a small number of animals, and should the emigration be greatly reduced, these roads will probably be used in preference to, and perhaps to the exclusion of, those generally travelled. Time will prove if they will sustain a large travel, but till the country becomes more open and its resources prove abundant, the General desires that no effort be made to turn the main tide of emigration from Lander's road north of this Territory. If once on these roads, and the water and grass prove insufficient, it could not be checked and turned aside in time to prevent immense suffering.'
     I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

"Captain Topographical Engineers."

     I consider the strange statement of the letter of Judge Eckles, that interestedly false representations were made to emigrants," as forced and out of place to the last degree. I trust that your own knowledge of the character of the officers of the wagon road expedition will deprive it of weight or signification.
     The same subject has been referred to in my report to the honorable Commissioner of Indian Affairs.
     With the whole case now before you, the propriety of further work on the Interior Department road may be more definitely considered. But if it is still held by you that this road of the Interior Department has been properly laid out, and in view of its adoption by the ox-team emigration, and their absolute endorsement of it, and the endorsement of it by the press of California and Oregon, and the highly responsible officer of the United States army who has given his opinion of it, and the great stock drovers who have so especially advocated it, then if you propose that the sum remaining of the original appropriation



should be expended upon it, I would respectfully suggest the following programme:
     In reference to any further expenditures we cannot fail to note the sufferings of the emigrants between the head of the Humboldt river and the settlements at the eastern base of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The law of Congress directs the construction of this road to Honey Lake. The emigration usually breaks up at Lassen's Meadows, so called, whence there are not less than three routes to California. All of them pass over a desert upon which the expenditure of money will be of very great service in developing supplies of pure water. Under the law it is plain that the improvements must be made upon the northernmost route; but Mr. Campbell, who has passed over all these lines of travel, and who was entrusted with the important duty of obtaining further information in regard to them, reports to me that the Truckee river line, which is the central, is that best adapted to emigrant travel. A sum of twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) would develop the line between the bend of the Humboldt and Honey Lake, with aqueduct, logs and troughs of water for the use of emigrants but I do not think it practicable to attempt construction along the Truckee route for less than forty thousand dollars ($40,000.) If either of these works is attempted, I would suggest the employment of F. A. Bishop, esq., chief engineer of the Kirk expedition, who studied these roads with great care, and is well known as an efficient and accomplished engineer. With such service as Mr. Campbell could render him, I have no doubt that any expenditure made upon the western division would be conducted with energy and economy.
     While it is not expedient to build the western division from the Missouri border, the citizens of California and Nevada claim that some portion of this government work shall be allotted to them. And, although I never heard that they would object to my supervision of it, I would cheerfully defer to any new arrangements of the sort proposed.
     Mr. Wagner's explorations have demonstrated the fact that; the Goose Creek mountains may be avoided by an emigrant road. They are one of the chief obstacles encountered by overland travel. The sum of ten thousand dollars would make the improvement required, if connected with either a western or Central division party.
     In view of the false reports made by Mormon traders, I think it advisable that a small party should be placed at the South Pass at the commencement of the present season. In fact, it is indispensably necessary that emigrants should be correctly informed as to the character of the new road on reaching that important point. For the purpose of carrying out the views herewith submitted, and those of my report on the Indian affairs, made to honorable Commissioner Greenwood, it may seem expedient, to you to once more send a small expedition over the road.
     If instructions were immediately given, a party could start from the border by the 20th of April, carry out the suggestions of my Indian report, bridge Green river and the smaller streams; and, going on to California, unite with that of the western division the same season, passing the last of the emigration over the desert as improved

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