Disaster at the Colorado: Beale’s Wagon Road and the First Emigrant Party, by Charles W. Baley


A brand new emigrant route to California: a wagon train seeking an alternative to the main California Trail, then impeded by a brewing war between the federal goverment and Mormons in Utah, a sometimes nearly blind and always arduous trek across unforgiving Arizona desert; an Indian attack on the banks of the Colorado River that left eight emigrants dead and a dozen more wounded, the desperate, thirsty and starving survivors retreat from the borders of California to New Mexico; these are all elements of a little-known history of emigrants who, in 1858, were the first to follow Beale’s Wagon Road.

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