The travel diary, from 1838, two years after Texas became an independent republic, was written by a man prospecting routes for stagecoach lines across northern Texas. Neither the author nor the identities of the prospecting team are known. In concise prose, the author records distances traveled, the availability of timber, grass and potable water, the presence of Indians, and major geographical features.
The expedition traveled 2,100 miles, from Jefferson City, Missouri, through Fort Smith, Texas, to Franklin, Texas (now El Paso), and back to the Texas-Oklahoma border at Preston. They averaged 21 miles per day and completed the journey in 14 weeks and 2 days (Monday January 4th- through Sunday April 11, 1838).