Prichard left Polk County, Iowa in 1852; was in Marysville, Calif., in 1861; Union, Oregon, 1865-1867; and Rye Valley, Oregon, 1868-1869. In 1865, he built a toll road from Union to Express Ranch, Oregon, an investment that failed. His very occasional letters to a brother, Amos, and to other relatives in Iowa give a bare account of his experiences.
Alfred Zieber (1830-1890) travelled overland from Peoria, Illinois to California. The collection consists of Zieber's diary of his journey, as well as four subsequent letters from his father, John S. Zieber.