Robert Binns Ellis, 1812-1873 [RG1646.AM]


RG1646.AM:  Robert Binns Ellis, 1812-1873

Diary:  1850

Sacramento, California:  Physician, overland traveler

Size:  Two items


Dr. Robert Binns Ellis was born in 1812 in Virginia and for a time was the personal physician of President Andrew Jackson. He married twice. His first wife, Elizabeth Bayse Collier (b. 1817) died in 1843. Rosa Goodridge, his second wife, died in 1849, the year before he began his journey. He left behind four (possibly five) children in the care of relatives as he headed west to follow the expanding migration. He settled in Sacramento and later became President of the California State Medical University. He also served two terms in the California legislature before moving to Nevada in 1861. He died in Nevada in 1873.


This collection consists of a photocopy of the hand written diary [21 p.] kept by Dr. Robert Binns Ellis during his 1850 overland journey to Sacramento, California. The diary, which describes incidents and travel conditions in what is now the state of Nebraska, is incomplete for unknown reasons, and ends 130 miles west of Fort Kearney. Also included is a photocopy of a typed, briefly annotated transcript of the diary, compiled by the donors.


1850 Diary and transcript (photocopies) of Dr. Robert Binns Ellis


Subject headings:

Ellis, Robert Binns, 1812-1873

Frontier and pioneer life — West (U.S.)

Overland journeys to the Pacific — 1850

Overland journeys to the Pacific — Personal narratives

United States — Description and travel — 1848-1865


KFK                       04-12-1995

Revised TMM        05-17-2007

Become a Member!

Our members make history happen.

Join Now

You May Also Enjoy

It’s Too Hot to Sleep Inside!

It’s Too Hot to Sleep Inside!

Cleaning Amelia Earhart’s Sporting License

Cleaning Amelia Earhart’s Sporting License

Marker Monday: Nebraska’s Big Rodeo

Marker Monday: Nebraska’s Big Rodeo

About History Nebraska
History Nebraska was founded in 1878 as the Nebraska State Historical Society by citizens who recognized Nebraska was going through great changes and they sought to record the stories of both indigenous and immigrant peoples. It was designated a state institution and began receiving funds from the legislature in 1883. Legislation in 1994 changed History Nebraska from a state institution to a state agency. The division is headed by Interim Director and CEO Jill Dolberg. They are assisted by an administrative staff responsible for financial and personnel functions, museum store services, security, and facilities maintenance for History Nebraska.
Explore Nebraska
Discover the real places and people of our past at these History Nebraska sites.

Upcoming Events

View our new and upcoming events to see how you can get involved.

Become a Member

The work we do to discover, preserve, and share Nebraska's history wouldn't be possible without the support of History Nebraska members.

History Nebraska Education

Learn more about the educational programs provided at our museums, sites, and online.

Education Digital Learning Resources

Find games, lists, and more to enhance your history education curriculum.

History Nebraska Programs

Learn more about the programs associated with History Nebraska.

Latest Hall of Fame Inductee

The Nebraska Hall of Fame was established in 1961 to officially recognize prominent Nebraskans.

Listen to our Podcast

Listen to the articles and authors published in the Nebraska History Magazine with our new Nebraska History Podcast!

Nebraska Collections

History Nebraska's mission is to collect, preserve, and open our shared history to all Nebraskans.

Our YouTube Video Collection

Get a closer look at Nebraska's history through your own eyes, with our extensive video collections.

Additional Research Resources

History Nebraska Research and Reference Services help connect you to the material we collect and preserve.

History Nebraska Services

Digital Resources

Find all of our digital resources, files, videos, and more, all in one easy-to-search page!

Support History Nebraska
Make a cash donation to help us acquire, preserve, and interpret Nebraska’s history. Gifts to History Nebraska help leave a legacy and may help your taxes, too! Support the work of History Nebraska by donating to the History Nebraska Foundation today.

Volunteers are the heroes of History Nebraska. So much history, so little time! Your work helps us share access to Nebraska’s stories at our museums and sites, the reference room, and online.