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A.L. Murphy diary

 Collection — Volume: 1
Call Number: RH VLT MS A5


A.L. Murphy's diary recounts his journey from Independence, Missouri overland to California.


  • Creation: 1849-05 - 1849-10-18


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Andrew Lopp Murphy

Andrew Lopp Murphy (A.L. Murphy) was born in St. Francois County, Missouri, in 1826. He was the son of William M. Murphy and wife Rachel (George) Murphy. He grew to manhood on his father's farm which was located along the Big River, a few miles northeast of Bonne Terre, Missouri. In his youth, he worked on his father's farm and for a short time as a miner for the St. Joseph Lead Company's mines located at Bonne Terre. In 1849, at the age of 23 years, he decided to try his luck in search of gold in the gold fields of California. He and his older brother, Franklin Murphy, along with a group of others were a part of a company of about 50 people who left Independence, Missouri on May 4, 1849, in ox drawn covered wagons for California. The company was six months going to California. Andrew Murphy kept a daily record of all their experiences while on this trip. His diary tells of all their experiences and hardships. He was one of the few who remained in California more than three years. He remained there for 45 years and it is believed that he spent more of his time as a lonely prospector out in the gold fields. He returned to Missouri in 1897 and lived in the home of his brother, Franklin, and his wife, at Delassus, Missouri. It was at their home that he died in 1900. He is buried in the Masonic Cemetery on the Franklin Murphy burial plot located at Farmington, Missouri.


1 volume (126 pages, 15 cm. Handwritten.)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Murphy diary begins on May 8 or 9, 1849 with his departure from Independence, Missouri, and recounts his journey overland to California. The last entry for October 18, 1849, is very short and abruptly ends the volume. The book appears to have been later used by his niece, Amanda J. Murphy, as a volume to keep recipes in.

The original diary is handwritten in pencil and is very difficult to read. A complete transcription done in 1970 by Dale Morgan at the University of California-Berkeley, is maintained in the accession file for patron use.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, James E. Griffin, Jr, 12/61

Guide to the A.L. Murphy Collection
A.L. Murphy diary
jss 8/83 mg 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid writtenin<language> English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
A.L. Murphy Collection, Kansas Collection, RH Vlt MS A5, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States