Sam's Wagon Train
We got copies of Col. Lander's report to Congress. It has some interesting things to say about relations with the Shoshone and Paiute in 1858 and 1859, along the Lander Cutoff, the most northerly variation of the California Trail. The report includes petitions to the government to pay for the building of a bridge over the Green River, where at least one life was lost to the swift current as emigrants crossed the stream.
Sam signed one of the petitions, as a recent emigrant who took the Lander route. This tells us that Sam crossed the Plains during the summer of 1858, or 1859.
Name and Residence: S. H. Blonger, Minnesota
Number of Wagons: 7
Number of Persons: 17
Number of Stock: 129
The booklet, reprinted from scans of the original texts, lists the signatories. Scott found a little on one R.V. Newsham from Minnesota. RV was listed two names below Sam, and apparently traveling as an individual.
Territory of New Mexico
County of Grant
Notice:Know all men by these presents that we the undersigned have this day located for grazing and farming purposes three hundred and twenty acres of land lying in what is called Animas Valley located about five miles west of the Animas Mountains about 28 miles north of the Gaudapar Canon at the mouth of a cienega running into the [undecipherable word] valley from the west and shall be known as the Alfalfa Ranch or Cienega this the first day of November, AD 1880.
J I Clanton
Filed for record Nov 26th, 1880 at 1 pm
RV Newsham, Probate Clerk
Another transaction involved "Curly Bill" Brocious.
He was a Civil War vet, Fifth California Infantry, Company F, serving in Arizona and New Mexico from 1861 to 1864. Sam was said in family lore to have been a vet, though the records show nothing. But then, we have no evidence at all of Sam's whereabouts between 1861 and 1865.
The 1880 census has Newsham in Silver City, NM. Sam and Lou were in Albuquerque by 1882, and Lou in Silver City by '83.
A Man of Some Renown
Scott found this article on Lou from a West Virginia paper:
The Johnson boys have been terribly quiet and way too busy. I'll let Craig speak for himself. As for me, I've been up to my ears with a book deadline for the past four months and not up to working on much else. The book's not Blonger but basketball this time.
Anyway, all the writing, editing, and proofreading is now behind me. I have my life back. More soon.
Sorry 'bout that. Bad planning on my part, compounded by the usual chaos of moving.