Updates & More

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Your input allows us to provide these updates to our publications. Please help by letting me know about errors you find, things you thought you should have found but didn’t, and things you wished we had done differently. Just select the publication you want to let us know about, read the latest, and send me an e-mail.

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Thanks — Chuck

Updates & More for Chuck Dodd’s Guide to Following the Applegate-Lassen Trail

About the "Way Bill"

Staffort Hazelett gave me some great information about "The First Guide: Applegate's 1849 Way Bill," which I included in the "Bonus Material" section of my guide.

It was really Levi Scott who wrote the Way Bill.

In March of 1848, Applegate gave a copy of Scott's Way Bill, with some notes of his own, to George Abernethy, owner and publisher of the Oregon Spectator. (Abernethy was also the provisional governor of Oregon at that time).

When Abernethy published the Way Bill in the Spectator he integrated Applegates notes, so Scott's Way Bill and Applegate's notes are not separately identifiable. Worse, when Abernethy published the material he failed to give Scott credit, so Applegate wound up with full credit for it all.

As Stafford says, "Levi Scott wrote the waybill and Jesse Applegate appended a few notes."

Given the relative importance of the "way bill" part of the material (the locations and mileages), when compared with Applegates notes, authorship of the Way Bill should be attributed to Levi Scott, "with notes by Jesse Applegate."

Thanks, Stafford.

A little unnecessarily commentary on this (from Chuck):

Historians have trouble with these kinds of things, not because we dislike receiving new information, but because we have an obligation to those who read what we write as well as those who originally wrote the material we use.

Because of the way Abernethy published it, the Way Bill has been "Applegate's Way Bill" since 1848. Now we know it was (primarily) Scott's work. We must give Scott the credit he deserves — no question about that. But, as historians and writers, we also need to let our readers know that "Scott's Way Bill" is the thing that we have been referring to as "Applegate's Way Bill" for the past 162 years.

How do we give Scott the credit he deserves while letting our readers know the document we are referring to is what was previously attributed to Applegate? Obviously, we use footnotes to explain the situation. In some instances, we might also identify the document as "the Scott-Applegate Way Bill." However we do it, we absolutely must give Scott the credit, now that we know. Thanks again, Stafford.

June 18, 2010

OK, I confess. On the back cover of the guide, it is called the “Bonus CD”; everywhere else it is called the “Supplemetal CD”. Same thing. It was originally the “Supplemetal CD”. Then I changed the name on the cover but forgot about changing the name everywhere else. — It’s hard when you get old.

Chuck, upon publication, 2009.

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Updates & Supplemental Information for Chuck Dodd's Getting Around in the Black Rock Desert and High Rock Canyon

Supplemental Data

Playa Photos: Photos from the guide showing use of color to indicate safe driving conditions on the playa.

Color Photos: Color versions of photos included in the Guide.

NCA Transportation Maps: Where to get the free, accurate maps covering most of the Black Rock/High Rock area.


Guide Updates