Discovery of the Beckwourth Trail
Early in 1850, Jim Beckwourth was on a prospecting expedition in northern California. He and his companions had travelled north from American Valley (now Quincy) to the Pitt River. Nothing much came of the trip, except that Beckwourth saw a pass through the mountains "far away to the southward that seemed lower than any other." He kept quiet about it at the time, but decided to return later.
After a short stay at American Valley, Beckwourth once again set out with a few companions. "We proceeded in an easterly direction, and all busied themselves in searching for gold; but my errand was of a different character: I had come to discover what I suspected to be a pass." (p.515)
Beckwourth waxes poetic about the beautiful valley he found, and, a few miles to the east, the low elevation pass through the rugged Sierra Nevada mountains. He saw immediately that this "would afford the best wagon-road into the American Valley approaching from the eastward..."
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