The Travel Journal of Peter L. Branstetter
March to August of 1850
The following digitized pages are from the book, titled "Life and Travels, Labors and Writings of Elder Peter L. Branstetter", published by Messenger of Peace, St. Joseph, Missouri
c1891.  These pages are from a handwritten journal describing the many arduous trials and harsh conditions undertaken during his journey to California. The handwritten journal was
originally transcribed by Peter L's children for publication into book for family and friends. The original handwritten journal is currently in safekeeping with Peter L's granddaughter,
Rachel G. Branstetter-Kohl, daughter of Enoch H. Branstetter.

As a youth, I spent quite a bit of time reading this book, and tried to imagine the curious sites and what the terrain visually was like. Now, many years later I had the opportunity and
the same inclination to find the locations that were described as he passed by. I began by mapping his trail and searching for the most authentic photographs and drawings to illustrate
his experience. By posting this digitized edition on our website, it is my hope many more people will have the opportunity to read this chapter, "The Trip to California" from the book
titled "Life and Travels, Labors and Writings of Elder Peter L. Branstetter".

Jeannette K Branstetter-Barnes
Great-granddaughter of Elder Peter L. Branstetter
August 11, 2012

The Life of Elder Peter L. Branstetter


I feel that it might be well to write a few words by way of introduction. This book contains a great deal of the history of father’s life, both natural and spiritual, and I know it will be a
comfort to the family to have the writings of our father, (the original being his own handwriting), preserved in the form of a book, that we may spend some of our leisure moments
reading and meditating on the things that he speaks of in his day. I do not know that father thought, when penning the words collected in this book, that they would be preserved for his
children and their descendants to read.

The surroundings, naturally speaking, are quite different at the present from what they were in father’s day, and as time goes on there will be many other changes which will make this
book more and more interesting.

Besides the interest that the family will take in this book, there are many brethren and sisters in the churches still living who were associated with father, and many who sat under his
ministry and mingled their voices with his in songs of praise and prayer to God, and I have no doubt many of these will take a special interest in his account of his travels and labors,
bringing back to their minds afresh the times and seasons now gone into the past forever.

There are many other brethren and sisters, belonging to the younger generation, who personally can not realize the hardships and difficulties of the pioneer ministers who laid the
foundations for the present churches in labor and self-denial, and I believe all these will be benefited and instructed by reading these pages.

Twenty-three years have passed since father’s spirit took its flight to the better land. Let us, his children, remember his last words as he took us each, one by one, by the hand and
said, “Farewell, be good boys and girls.” A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.  Eccl. 7:1

Your brother, in hope of eternal life through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Curryville, Mo., March 15, 1913
Son of Elder Peter L. Branstetter and Sarah Frances Elmore Branstetter