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Sloan Rare Books

Loveland account documents

one of the first

cattle drives to California from Missouri. It is not

the first cattle drive by a long shot. After all, both Portola and De Anza drove stock with their ex-

peditions. Ewing Young and Philip Leget Edwards drove cattle

out of

California, to Oregon, thir-

teen years before Loveland and the Crow boys pointed their herd Californiawards. There were

undoubtedly earlier drives on the Texas-Gila route, but of them we know little or nothing.

Thanks to the shortage of documentation, the story of the Missouri-California cattle trail

has never been told. The publication of this document is a contribution toward closing that gap

in the rich fabric of our western history. California’s bandits, miners, ’49ers, railroaders, and

thespians have all had more than their due. Their historic bones have been disinterred and re-

disinterred by historians–lay and academic. But hardly has there been a nod given to the man

who epitomizes the West, the cowboy. Texas has all but canonized him, but California has

hardly allowed his name on the playbill of history. The recent works of Jo Mora and Arnold J.

Rojas have helped, but where are the trail-herding


of the great beef bonanza? They are

still buried, apparently, in fallow sources, unturned diaries and in the lines of unread newspa-

pers of their day.

Cyrus Clark Loveland, born–like baseball in Cooperstown, Otsego County, New York, be-

came a member of that praetorian guard of roughnecks which Colonel Jonathan Drake Steven-

son scraped together as the First Regiment of New York Volunteers in 1846. The old windjam-


Susan Drew, Loo Choo,


Thomas H. Perkins

which conveyed the men to San Francisco

proved to be breeding grounds for some of ’Frisco’s most famous criminals. Sam Roberts, chief

of the Hounds, or Regulators, who terrorized the city until Sam Brannan put them out of action,

was one. Another was Jack Powers, Alta California’s greatest


bandit and one who ranked

right up there with Murieta and Vasquez.

Not all of Stevenson’s Regiment were cutthroats, to be sure, and Loveland was one of the law-

abiding majority. In later years he used to reminisce that it was six months from the day the



left New York with him and Company K (August 26, 1846) that she reached San Francisco.

According to Guy Giffen, historian of Stevenson’s Regiment, the date (March 26, 1847) is cor-

rect, which would indicate that Loveland either had a good memory or a journal which extended

back beyond this one, herein published, of 1850.

Cyrus’s son, Fremont B. Loveland, had an old Testament signed by his father “on board Ship

Loo Choo, 1846” and the old man’s trunk from the voyage was in his hands until it was damaged

and had to be destroyed. Fremont Loveland also had for years a copper coin that his father had

picked up as a souvenir of Rio de Janeiro, where the

Loo Choo

put in November 1846.

Company K, in which Cyrus enlisted after having been an apprentice to Boss Tweed in New

York, did duty in San Francisco until August 15, 1848, when those who had not deserted were

mustered out. From ’Frisco, Loveland and two comrades went up to the “diggings” where they

spent seven months and took out $18,000. Loveland came down with what he took to be scurvy

and bought himself two pounds of potatoes at $5.00 the pound. These he ate raw. The heavy dos-

age of raw spuds did the trick as an anti-scorbutic and he recovered his health and returned to

New York via Panama. From there he went to Pike County, where he joined the Crows in the

cattle drive described in the following narrative.

Loveland settled at Lawrence, four miles west of Santa Clara in “the San Jose Pueblo Val-

ley”, as he termed the Santa Clara Valley. He married a widow, Mrs. Catherine (Davis) Barney,

a farmer’s daughter who had, herself, come across the plains managing a team of six horses. He

registered as voter 981 in the first complete Great Register (on August 7, 1866) of Santa Clara


Cyrus Loveland was living in Santa Clara County as late as 1883, but he spent some of his later

years in traveling in Europe. He is said to have kissed the Blarney Stone and to have “had some

merit as a poet.” Either claim can be made by few ex-cowboys. He was a farmer-house painter

by occupation in his later years, after he decided to hang up his drover’s spurs. Loveland was a

loyal Republican in politics but he never held political office during his lifetime, which came to

an end in New York City on December 17, 1885. He was buried in Green Wood Cemetery.

Cyrus Loveland left six children: Fremont B., Austin Clark, Lillian Elizabeth, Naomi Jose-