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The Bradshaw Trail

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Bryce Lovejoy P-3 1-6-03 Mr. Chew The Bradshaw Trail The Bradshaw Trail may not have been one of the most significant things in our history but Mr. Bradshaw and it do play an important roll in the history of California. This book is practically split into two. Half of it is about the man William D. Bradshaw and the other half is about the trail, its history and some of events that occurred on it. First about the man, William D. Bradshaw. He was born in 1826 in Buncobe County, North Carolina. He was the youngest if five brothers. His parents were Mary Davis Bradshaw and his father Christopher Bradshaw. When he was young he loved geography and he was a pretty good shot with a gun. For a week at a time, at the age of 8, he would leave his home and wander around just living off the land. When he was the age of 17 he and his two brothers Isaac and John left home and headed west to Arizona. He ended up wandering Arizona and New Mexico for years at a time. He eventually moved to California. A few years later he joined the Bear Flag Rebellion. ...read more.


The author of the book believes that the Indians may have trusted Bradshaw because he had a good personality. He used this road or trail as a guide for the new miners. Meanwhile in June of 1862, he and a man named William Warringer decided to open a ferry business that went across the Colorado River. At this time it was the only ferry business on the Colorado and was very successful. It had a boat big enough to carry a wagon and some animals. Most of the time, Bradshaw was gone prospecting and left the ferry management to his brother Isaac. In July of 1863 he killed a man, this is the only time reported that Bradshaw killed anyone out side of battle and war. It is not certain why he and the other man got into a fight, but the author believes that it was over something to do with his ferry business. The next year, he and another man, Mr. Banning got into an argument about whose route was quicker to the La Paz mines. After the army tried both ways Bradshaw was victorious, his way was fastest. Do to the number of new ferryboat businesses on the Colorado, and his own ferry business beginning to fail, William D. ...read more.


First, most of the water dried up along the route. Bandits, who got away with $1,500, robbed Wells Fargo. A new stage company came which was called the Arizona, New Mexico State Company. There were also many new ways to travel in Southern California, by railroad, by sea and by this new stage company. By 1877, because of all of the new ways to travel, the Bradshaw Trail became obsolete. . It became an actual county road on June 17th 1974 by the County of Riverside. Its old name was Dos Palms Road and it was changed to the Bradshaw Trail. As I bring to a close this report, I want to share with you my opinion and feeling of the book. It was a fairly difficult book to read and keep track of the events. The author often skipped around on the dates and people and events. There was no true story line as it was just pieces of information, without any thing tying together, nor consecutive fact in concert. I do believe that the book had a lot of information and it was all the more interesting since the Trail went through areas where I have gone. For example the route went from Los Angeles through San Bernardino and Riverside Counties before heading south into Arizona. I do feel that I did learn a little bit about Southern California history. ...read more.

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