David L. Bristow

To Nebraska in 1857: A Diary of E. F. Beadle

 

This site presents the complete text of the 1857 travel diary of Erastus F. Beadle (1821-1894), a man who spent several months in Omaha during the early territorial days. To Nebraska in 1857 is a book-length document, including an introduction and eighteen chapters. Intimate and well-written, Beadle's diary is among the best first-hand accounts of life in a Western frontier town. Through his daily entries, we experience the hardships of travel, the ambition and heady optimism of the frontier, the isolation and longing for family, and the day-to-day trials of life "on the border."

 

Scroll down for links to html text, or download a PDF of the entire book (711 KB).

 

 

Contents

 

Go to Part 1 (Introduction and chapters 1-4), Part 2 (chapters 5-9), Part 3 (chapters 10-13), Part 4 (chapters 14-18).

 

Part 1

Introduction by David L. Bristow
1- Leaving Home. To the Ohio River—March 9-12, 1857. 
2 - Sons of Dixie. To St. Louis—March 13-20.
3- Big Muddy. On the Missouri River—March 21-27.
4 - Stagecoach. To Council Bluffs, Iowa—March 28-30.

 

Part 2

5 - Welcome to Omaha. Omaha, Nebraska—March 31-April 9.
6 - Pawnees & Claim Jumpers. Omaha, Nebraska—April 10-24.
7 - "Gloomy, Lonesome Day" Omaha, Nebraska—April 25-30.
8 - "Such Business Will Pay" Omaha, Nebraska—May 1-9.
9 - Corax. Omaha, Nebraska—May 10-16.

 

Part 3

10 - Saratoga. Omaha, Nebraska—May 17-25.
11 - A Lady. Omaha, Nebraska—May 26-June 9.
12 - The Weary Bachelor. Omaha, Nebraska—June 10-25.
13 - Dick Darling. Omaha, Nebraska—June 26-July 9.

 

Part 4

14 - Frontier Politics. Omaha, Nebraska—July 10-29.
15 - Rock Brook Farm. Omaha, Nebraska—July 30-August 5.
16 - Waiting. Omaha, Nebraska—August 6-20.
17 - Homeward. Omaha, Nebraska to Cooperstown, New York—August 21-September 30.
18 - What Next?. Cooperstown, New York—October 1.

 

 

New material © 2000 by David L. Bristow

www.davidbristow.com

Erastus Beadle. Before he became known a publisher of dime novels, Beadle had his own real-life adventures on the frontier.

photograph of Erastus F. Beadle