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John Prichet journals

Identifier: L130

Scope and Contents

This collection consists of three hand written journals (1849-1851) of John Prichet describing his journey from Indiana to California during the Gold Rush. His journals cover his trip from Centreville, Indiana to California by steamboat on the Ohio and Missouri rivers, and overland from Independence, Missouri to California using the Truckee River route; his life in the mining camps near Yuba City and Sacramento, California; and his return trip by ship from San Francisco through Panama, to New Orleans. The first journal includes a carte-de-visite of Dr. Prichet.

This collection also includes a typed transcript of the diaries.


  • 1849-1851


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

John Prichet was born in New Jersey on November 25, 1803 to Joab and Mary (Buzby) Prichet. In 1805, his parents moved to Columbiana County, Ohio. He began studying medicine with Dr. Gustavus Allen of Fairfield, Ohio. After being granted a license by the medical board, Prichet began his practice in 1825 and moved to Petersburg. He moved to Wayne County, Indiana in 1826, but stayed only one year before moving back to Ohio. However, Prichet returned to Centreville in Wayne County, Indiana in 1828, and soon after he formed a partnership with Dr. William Pugh. Dr. Prichet became a Mason in 1825 and an Odd Fellow in 1849. He was a prominent member of the Methodist Episcopal Church.

Prichet married Emily Talbott, a native of Virginia, on March 4, 1830. Together they had three children: Mary, Gustavus, and James. In 1843, Prichet received a medical diploma from the Ohio College of Medicine in Cincinnati. Dr. Prichet went to California during the gold rush in 1849, but not having the success he hoped, returned to Centreville in 1851 where he remained. He later became co-owner of a drug store with Dr. Reed.

Prichet was commissioned surgeon during the U.S. Civil War for the 57th Indiana Volunteers on November 18, 1861 and remained on duty with the regiments until June 16, 1862, when he resigned because of physical disability. Dr. Prichet passed away on June 6, 1884 in Centreville.


Items in the collection.

History of Wayne County, Indiana, vol. 1, p. 597. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1884.

History of Wayne County, Indiana, vol. 2, p. 356. Chicago: Inter-State Pub. Co., 1884.


0.3 Cubic Feet (1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged chronologically.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Mary E. Ormsbee on 1921/03/19.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2005/09 by Elizabeth M. Wilkinson. Finding aid created 2005/09 by Elizabeth M. Wilkinson. Finding aid updated 2015/11/14 by Laura Eliason. EAD finding aid revised 2016/09/14 by Brittany Kropf.
John Prichet journals
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.