University of Notre Dame


Hesburgh Libraries

Rare Books & Special Collections

Guide to the Elisur H. Rogers Journal

MSN/EA 8001-01-B


Collection Summary

Title: Elisur H. Rogers journal
Dates: 1849
Collection No.: MSN/EA 8001-01-B
Creator: Rogers, Elisur H. (Elisur Holbert), 1825-1849
Extent: 1 volume
Language: Collection material in English
Repository: University of Notre Dame. Hesburgh Libraries, Department of Special Collections. 102 Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame, IN 46556
Abstract: A manuscript journal kept by Connecticut native Elisur H. Rogers from 23 January to 15 October 1849, recording his experiences on a trip to the California gold fields.

Selected Search Terms

Pioneers -- Northeastern States -- History -- 19th century
Pioneers -- California -- History -- 19th Century
Adventure and adventurers -- California
California -- Gold discoveries
California -- Social conditions -- 19th century
California -- History -- 1846-1850

Administrative Information

Restrictions: There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Preferred Citation: Elisur H. Rogers Journal, Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame.

Acquisition and Processing Note: The Rogers journal has been at Notre Dame since at least 1963; the details of its acquisition are not known. Finding aid 2008, by George Rugg.

Biographical Note

Elisur (or Elizur) H. Rogers was born on 1 May 1825, the son of Abijah H. Rogers and Harriet Chidsey of North Branford, New Haven County, Connecticut. In January 1849 Rogers, then a resident of North Bristol, left Connecticut for the California gold fields, as a member of a joint-stock company called the Montague Mining and Trading Association. He was among 50-odd members (enumerated in the New Haven Register for 24 January 1849) who sailed for California on the schooner G. H. Montague; they made the passage from New Haven to San Francisco via Cape Horn in just over five months (23 January to 27 June 1849). From San Francisco the Montague ascended the Sacramento River to its tributary the Feather, whence many of the company set out for the mines. Rogers himself was plagued by illness, possibly dysentery, from early July, and could do little productive labor. He died on 15 November, by which time many other members had fallen sick and died, and the company, apparently, had been dissolved.

Scope and Content Note

The journal is a single bound volume (26 cm.) of 57 leaves, with 113 pages of entries in Rogers' hand. It covers just under nine months, from the Montague's departure from New Haven on 23 January 1849 to the middle of the following October. Entries appear for most days during that span, and vary in length from around 25 words to 300 or more. About three-fourths of the content pertains to the sea voyage to San Francisco, describing affairs aboard ship, the progress of the voyage, natural history, and a number of landfalls (including one at Rio de Janeiro). Much of the content from California relates to Rogers' own health and that of other members of the company, who began to succumb to disease in early August. The journal breaks off abruptly in the midst of the entry for 15 October.

Container List

  • Journal. Elisur H. Rogers, 1849. (MSN/EA 8001-01-B).