I found yet another treasure in the CAA’s library!

Warren B. Johnson published his tale in 1887, calling it Across the Continent: From the Pacific to the Atlantic, being an Account of a Journey Overland from Eureka, Humboldt Co., California, to Webster, Worcester Co., Mass., with a Horse, Carriage, Cow and Dog.

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In his preface, Mr. Johnson explained that he was sixty-eight years old when he published his tale, and that he was “a native of Connecticut, born in Woodstock, and lived there until he was nine years of age. At that time he moved with his parents to that portion of the present town of Webster, which was then called Oxford South Gore. … From that time until the outbreak of the Rebellion, he was an inhabitant of the town. In August of that year [1861] he enlisted in the 21st Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers. In 1864, he re-enlisted in the First Brigade Band, of the First Division of the 20th Army Corps, being with General Sherman in his march from Atlanta to the Sea. He left Sherman’s Army at Fayetteville, N.C., and went into the hospital at New York for treatment, where he was transferred to Dale Hospital in Massachusetts and soon afterwards mustered out. For his disability incurred in the army, he has since received a small pension. He went to California in 1880 at the solicitation of friends and relatives, and took this means of getting back to Massachusetts [beginning in June 1882], as he did not like California, and was short of means to bring himself, horse, and cow back to Massachusetts by railroad.”

So, in the end, Mr. Johnson (and his horse and his cow) walked from coast to coast.

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In occasional excerpts, I’m going to share portions of Mr. Johnson’s journey, as they relate to carriages, driving, and the roads that he encountered along the way.