[Various locations in Canada and the United States: 1880. pp. 16mo. Contemporary black leatherette diary. Minor wear. Very good. Item #3321
This book begins as an account book in which the author, John Quinn takes twelve pages to record various transactions, beginning in January, 1880. It appears Quinn may have been in the lumber business as he records transactions such as “List to deliver to Lee & Brady 4191 pieces 1 in. 2950 1 x 12; 17 1 x 7.” Quinn also records receipt of rent in Montreal, and various other transactions; the receipt for room rent from Montreal reveals his name as John Quinn, and identifies the landlord as James Strachan. The most interesting entries are the record of a train trip Quinn takes from Montreal to San Francisco in May 1882. While terse (covering just ten pages and totaling some 350 words), Quinn lays out his route, from Montreal to Toronto, then through Port Huron; Chicago; Quincy; Kansas City; Denver; Cheyenne; a Fort [perhaps in Laramie, Wyoming]; Ogden, Utah; Sacramento; and San Francisco. He calculates the trip at 3443 miles, over a period of two weeks.
The diary includes but a few observations by Quinn, although they are interesting: “Arrived at Kansas City at 10 PM and left at midnight for Denver by immigrant train.” Also: “We cross the plains - a barren waste. Not a tree or a bird to be seen as far as the eye could reach. We seen a few antelopes during the day.” In Wyoming: “Left Cheyenne at 4:45 PM for Ogden. Friday 12th. Rode all night without anything to note. Got to fort and Fred Steele at 9:00 AM. Saw some U.S. soldiers who reported Indian troubles 150 miles back in Arizona. 366 miles from Ogden yet.” Another entry reads: “Monday, May 15. We were annoyed by tramps pretty near all night. Kept a watch till midnight.” Lastly, a trip through the mountains: “Tuesday [May 16] across the Sierra Nevada Mountains where we pass through the snow sheds. There was lots of snow and weather very cold freezing and in about two hours we are again in the warm sun.”
An early, if brief, account of a trip across the continent. Quinn also notes various West Coast contacts including named individuals in Alameda County, Warm Springs Station, and Brighton, California as well as individuals in Olympia and Walla Walla, Washington, and Portland, Oregon.