The bulk of the papers is a diary by Amos Bargdoll. Written in 1850, Bargdoll chronicles his journey from Nebraska to Ringgold, CA where he planned to dig for gold. The diary includes a list of letters he sent during his journey as well as a daily list of the miles he traveled. Several sketches are found in the final pages of the diary. The papers also include a transcript of a letter written by Bargdoll from California to his father-in-law. A letter and other personal writings by Anna Bargdoll, Amos Bargdoll's daughter, complete the collection.