The collection consists of a diary (typescript) kept by John T. Gibson (aka John Blunt). The diary dates from April 18 - Sept. 11, 1859 and documents an overland trip from Marengo, Iowa to California. Initially, Gibson was headed to Pike's Peak, but disillusioned gold seekers returning east convinced Gibson's group to bypass the Peak and head for California. Gibson gives brief descriptions of the towns and geographic landmarks on the Oregon and California Trails along with camp life and the weather. Mentioned throughout are names of people (mostly from Marengo, Iowa), as well as costs of food, etc. The diary concludes with a paragraph about how animal hides are tanned.