Journal 1

15 February–15 July 1846

Richard E. Bennett, "Journal 1: 15 February-15 July 1846," in The Journey West: The Mormon Pioneer Journals of Horace K. Whitney with Insights by Helen Mar Kimball Whitney, ed. Richard E. Bennett (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2018), 1–72.

Sunday, the 15th of February 1846

President Brigham Young, with his family, crossed the river at Nauvoo, and repaired to the encampment on Sugar Creek, I. T. seven miles from the opposite side.[1]

In that first exodus there was such a great desire among the people and such a determination to emigrate with the first company that there were hundreds started without the necessary outfit. They could neither procure sufficient teams nor provisions, which retarded our progress, and was the cause of a greater amount of suffering than there would otherwise have been. And my father, in speaking of it, said, under the circumstances it would take years to reach the mountains.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 13
1 December 1883, pp. 102–3

Monday the 16th

Elder Heber C. Kimball and family left their home also and departed to the same place.

I see by my husband’s journal that it was Monday the 16th that “Heber C. Kimball and family left their home and repaired to the encampment on Sugar Creek,” and that President Young had gone the day before. The wagons father had sent ahead as fast as they were loaded, and he with mother and family were invited to stop and take dinner with Hiram Kimball and wife, our respected sister, Sarah M. Kimball. The day was pleasant, but the weather freezing. My husband returned and came over to camp next day.

At Sugar Creek father’s men had pitched a tent and put up a sheet iron stove at one end, and great log fires were burning all through the camp. When we had warmed ourselves we made our beds upon the ground and laid down with grateful hearts for so comfortable a shelter, and slept soundly till morning. The snow was deep so that paths had to be made with spades between the wagons and tents. Camping out increased our appetites so that our picnic was very nearly consumed before the camp was ready to leave Sugar Creek. We had cooked up a great amount of provisions, consisting of roasted chicken, beef, boiled hams, pork and beans, bread, rusks and many other eatables, beside sea biscuits and crackers, which we could eat and eat and still be hungry.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 11,
1 November 1883, p. 81

Tuesday the 17th

Bro. Joseph C. Kingsbury and myself went over to the camp – he returned, I staid all night.

city paintingNauvoo, from the Mississippi, Looking Down the River. In
[Frederick] Gleason’s Pictorial Drawing-Room Companion
(Boston, 1854), 36. Courtesy of Church History Library.

Wednesday the 18th

President Young called the people of the camp together for the purpose of organization – I returned the same day to Nauvoo to assist father in removing – In the afternoon Bros. B.[righam] Young and H. C. Kimball came back to assist Joseph Kingsbury to procure teams.

Thursday the 19th

It being very stormy, they did not recross the river to the camp – next day my wife [Helen Mar Kimball Whitney] came back intending to remain with us till we start – Nothing of notice transpired till.

On the 19th it began storming, and it was dismal enough to give even a saint the blues.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 11,
1 November 1883, p. 81

Editor’s Note: Horace’s journal in explicably jumps to Sunday the 22nd.

Sunday the 22d

Bros. Brigham and Heber went over to the camp. [Editor's note: no entries for 23rd to the 26th.]

Friday the 27th

Father [Cornelius Peter] Lott with his team left Nauvoo with the women and children crossed the river on the ice and took them to the camp.[2] – I accompanied them on horseback Father Lott staid with us all night.[3]

Friday, the 27th of February, I bade my last adieu to our home and city and recrossed the Mississippi with Bishop Whitney’s family, whom he sent to camp in charge of Father C. R. Lott, the bishop remaining behind to see his own and church teams over, and he came to the camp next day. Brother Joseph C. Kingsbury and Wm. Clayton stayed back in Nauvoo to assist in winding up the church business. During that time Wm. Clayton composed a parody on the song, “Dido and I,” and though I have forgotten the words, the burthen of it was that the chores had been left for the “bishop and I,” which was afterwards sung in camp with much gusto by the boys.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 12,
15 November 1883, pp. 89–90

creekModern photograph of Sugar Creek. Courtesy of Kenneth R. Mays.

creek paintingC. C. A. Christensen, Sugar Creek. Church History Museum, Salt Lake City.

Saturday the 28th

Bro W[illia]m. Kimball and myself returned to the City – before crossing over found father’s teams had all just got over the river – they proceeded to the camp, we transacted some business which we had in the city, [Nauvoo] and returned – reached our quarters about sunset –

Camp-life in February was quite a novel experience, and might be called a pleasant one at Sugar Creek when compared with what was laying before us; more especially the youthful portion—they feeling no particular responsibilities resting upon them, nor any great hardships as yet. The band played every evening, and Hans C. Hanson, an adopted son of my parents, was very fond of playing his violin. My husband would often join him with his flute, and there being quite a number of young people in my father’s family we could form a cotillion or French four by the big log fire, and often we did so at evening, and danced to amuse ourselves as well as to keep our blood in proper circulation. I there took my first lesson in the Danish waltz. The weather was so cold that it was impossible to keep warm without exercise. Many declared that they had never suffered so much from the cold as they did at Sugar Creek, and we were informed that nine children were born the first night the Saints camped there. Feb. 5th, 1846.[4] The inspiring music by William Pitt’s brass band, which was organized into companies of tens to travel together, often gladdened the hearts of the Saints, and helped greatly to keep their spirits from sinking. They appointed Wm. Cahoon and Howard Egan captains over them.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 13,
1 December 1883, pp. 102–3

Sunday the 1st of March

about noon Bro. Kimball and father with the majority of the camp left Sugar Creek encampment – travelled about 6 miles and encamped for the night on a small creek about 15 miles from Farmington – the same evening brother Brigham arrived with the remainder of the camp (except the artillery) who came up late in the evening[5]

Our difficulties commenced the first day that we started from Sugar Creek; and my trials as well. My father had one large family carriage in which mother and the children and most of the women folks were obliged to ride or else walk, as his wagons were all so heavily loaded; I did not consider that my marrying had lessened my claims, nor given anyone else the right to my place by the side of my mother, and it was something of a surprise and a trial to my faith to find that my father’s family had become so large that he had not conveyances for them. One of his wives (Christine Golden) who came from Philadelphia and was living with the family of Bro. Jedediah Grant at Sugar Creek, was unknown to me until I met her there. She was a very proud-spirited woman, and that morning father sent her to his carriage, but finding it crowded full she turned without a word and went and rode that day with Sister Grant. After becoming acquainted we made our confessions, and many a time we have referred to that day and laughed heartily over it, as well as other things that once vexed and tried us.[6] At every bad place the teams had to be doubled, and the first day we were detained, it seemed to me hours, while they crossed over a deep ravine and drew the loaded wagons up a steep hill on the other side. The rest had all got out of the carriage, and while I sat holding the reins the wind was so cold and piercing that it seemed to me as if I should perish. We only made six miles and encamped for the night on a small creek about fifteen miles from Farmington. . . . The snow had to be cleaned away to pitch the tents, and our beds were made upon the frozen ground. We were not blessed with a stove in our tent that night and it was impossible to get warm by the campfire; so that night I laid nothing off, not even my hood or josie. But the weather moderated before morning and the backbone of winter was broken. We started from there about noon and traveled only seven miles in consequence of the badness of the road.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 13,
1 December 1883, pp. 102–3

Monday the 2d

Left our place of encampment about noon and travelled 7 miles only in the consequence of the badness of the roads – encamped on another small creek this night Bro. Brigham having preceded us and encamped 3 miles ahead.

Tuesday the 3d

Proceeded about 10 miles and encamped three miles beyond Farmington through which we passed[7] – very muddy bad travelling to-day. overtook Brother Brigham here – also Bishop [George] Miller who, with his company, had been here about a week.

We passed through Farmington on the 3rd and encamped three miles Beyond—making ten miles that we traveled that day—the mud made traveling almost impossible. We overtook President Young here, also Bishop Miller, who with his company had been encamped about a week.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 13,
1 December 1883, pp. 102–3

Wednesday the 4th

To day we remained here in our tents – In the afternoon the Band, [William Pitt’s brass band] having received an invitation from the people of Farmington, went there and played[8] – Wm. and myself accompanied them – were treated with great respect and kindness by the inhabitants – returned to the camp about 9 P. M.– This day also Bishop Miller and his company left the camp and went ahead to seek a new place. – Bro. Kimball’s family and our own all continue well hearty and in good spirits.

There was a great amount of sympathy manifested by the people as we traveled through Iowa. Many visited our camps, and wherever the companies stopped our men were able to find employment. The splendid music made by the Nauvoo Brass Band quite surpassed anything that had been heard in that part and they were cordially invited to play at every settlement, and requested to give a number of concerts—this they did after consulting the Presidency, and for which they were generously recompensed. Thus we see that God did fulfill the predictions made that day by my father, and truly His angels went before us, and He was the breaker up of our way.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 13,
1 December 1883, pp. 102–3

We remained in our tents. Early that morning the band came and played for the benefit of President Young and brethren. In the afternoon, they having received an invitation from the people of Farmington to play, went after obtaining the mind of the President, where John Kay, our favorite songster, sang one of his best, “The sea, the sea.” They were treated with the greatest respect and kindness, and given an excellent supper at the Gait House, and afterwards escorted a mile towards the camp.

The following little incident occur[r]ed in the early part of our journey. Two or more of father’s young wives were walking behind the wagons when night overtook them and the wagons being out of sight, and, not daring to proceed alone, they stopped at a farmhouse where they were kept all night and treated to the best the house afforded. The nicest room they had—belonging to their only son—was given them to sleep in, and after breakfast he escorted them to the camp, which though but a little distance off was hidden under a high hill to the left of the road. Father had cautioned his wives and folks from about lingering behind, and this had a tendency to make them remember it.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 14,
15 December 1883, pp. 110–11

a womanSarah Ann Whitney (Kingsbury) Kimball (1825–73), younger sister to Horace K. Whitney. Courtesy
of Church History Library.

Thursday the 5th

Struck our tents about 10 a.m. – had not proceeded more than 10 or 15 rods when the axle-tree of one of our wagons was broken – in consequence had to leave the wagon behind and put the load on our other wagons. – I went ahead 2 miles with [Orrin] Porter [Rockwell] on horseback to a little place called Bonaparte – we stopped till our folks came up;[9] At this place we crossed the Des Moines River and encamped, after going a short distance having made only 3 miles this day – I then proceeded 2 miles further to Bro. Kimball’s encampment who with several others including the artillery had stopt on the open prairie – About 11 o’clock was awakened by Joseph K. who came for Bro. Kimball, stating tha [sic] S.[arah] Ann [Whitney] [Horace’s younger sister] was very sick – the next morning.

Friday the 6th

After having struck our tents and being about ready to start, Bro. Kimball returned from father’s encampment bringing the news that Sarah Ann was much better. Bro. Kimball, and family then went on – I remained till our folks came up and proceeded about 6 miles to Indian Creek, where we arrived at 2 P. M. and took up our quarters from the night, they having made 8 miles to day – Very bad muddy going, but not so much so as yesterday.

Saturday the 7th

Before starting this morning a man living in the neighborhood 4 miles south of Keosauqua by the name of Cochran came to our camp and laid claim to one yoke of father’s oxen, saying that they had strayed or been stolen from him three years previously.[10] To avoid disturbance father paid him 30 dollars in gold and about 10 o’clock a.m. struck our tents and travelled about 9 miles and encamped on a small creek by the side of the road, Bro. Kimball’s family having preceded us and stopped 3 miles ahead. – About 4 o’clock in the morning was awakened by hearing Sarah Ann cry – appeared to be in great pain – Bro. Kimball was sent for – arrived about daylight – I went on foot to Bro. Kimball’s camp – had not been there long before Bro. [Stephen] Markham arrived, bringing the news of the birth of S. Ann’s child, which happened at 8 minutes past 7 o’clock on this 8th day of March 1846. – The child was called David as also the valley where he was born. It is located in Jackson Township Van Buren Co. I. T. [Iowa Territory][11] Towards evening Brigham and Heber went to father’s camp blessed the child and returned home – This evening Bro. W[illia]m Clayton with the Band came up and camped with us.

Monday the 9th

This afternoon about 3 o’clock father’s family left the Valley of David and went to the place where Bro. K. was encamped which is called Richard’s Point on the borders of a small wood Bro. B. Young is also here with the majority of the camp.[12] – The number of souls in Zion’s camp this side the Mississippi River at the present time somewhat exceeds 2000. – Wm. conveyed Sarah Ann in an easy carriage to the camp this day, before leaving the Valley of David father had the good luck to exchange a span of horses for two yoke of oxen and 30 bushels of corn with a man living in the vicinity.[13]

Towards morning father was sent for to return to Bishop Whitney’s camp. Next day Bro. Markham arrived, bringing the news of the birth of a son to my father’s wife, Sarah Ann. This was the eighth day of March, and the child was called David, as also the valley where he was born. Next day towards evening father and President Young went to Bishop Whitney’s camp and blessed the child. The same evening Bro. Wm. Clayton with the band came up and camped with us, for which we were all glad, as they entertained us every evening when in camp. This place where we were camped was called Richard’s Point, on the borders of a small wood. The majority of the camp of Israel were there, where we were obliged to remain over a week in consequence of stormy weather.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 14,
15 December 1883, pp. 110–11

Tuesday the 10th

This day in consequence of a heavy fall of rain we did not strike our tents – The Band having received a invitation from the people of Keosauqua to come and play, went and returned receiving an invitation to repeat their visit the next night. – This place the county seat of Van Buren county lies about 10 miles east from our present place of encampment on the Des Moines about 15 or 16 miles above Farmington

Wednesday the 11th

In accordance with their invitation the Band went to Keosauqua – Wm. and myself accompanied them – started about noon – returned at 2 a.m. on the 12th

a manJames J. Strang (1813–56), contender for church leadership. Daguerreotype, 1856.

Thursday the 12th

Very stormy. – The rain has fallen almost incessantly since Tuesday last, To-day received a letter from W.[illiam Wines] Phelps stating the general news in Nauvoo, among which was that W[illia]m. Smith and [George] Adams had arrived there and were about to reorganize the church, that John E. Page and Rufus Beach had joined the Strangites, that Luke Johnson was again received into the church on Sunday the 8th, that Cain was to leave on the 10th inst. that the ice had got out of the river, that steamboats were running, &c &c. –[14]

Richards’ Point, where we are now located, is situated on Chequest Prairie, and here we are likely to remain for some time at least, as the roads were almost impassable.

This was quite a newsy letter, and all these things were interesting to a people who were traveling away from their homes, never more to behold them. But there was no mourning nor lamentations, we felt too glad to have made our escape. And the first evening after the warm sun had dried the earth, the young people were out dancing by moonlight—determined upon being happy, or at least to snatch all the pleasant moments and enjoy them as they came along. Some of the camp were already prostrated with chills and fever in consequence of want and exposure. It now rained almost incessantly, and Bishop Whitney’s daughter Sarah Ann, was in a critical state part of the time while there. And Mother Whitney, who stayed with her daughter, and, like all the rest was exposed to cold and wet, took the rheumatism, and it settled in her left wrist, which had been broken the previous winter by jumping from a buggy when the horse became frightened one evening as she was returning from the temple. She could not be convinced that it was broken, although the bishop’s father, who was a doctor, told her that it was broken, and that she ought to have a doctor to set it, he being then too old to attend to it himself. Her hand and arm commenced to wither away, and one day while on the journey Father John Smith called to her tent to see her, and noticing her hand and wrist enquired into the cause and seemed to feel greatly interested in her behalf. He called for a bottle of consecrated oil and administered it with prayer and mighty faith, and he prophesied that flesh should come upon that arm and hand, which was literally fulfilled, though the wrist was out of place.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 14,
15 December 1883, pp. 110–11

Friday the 13th.

The clouds having cleared away this morning the weather assumes a near smiling aspect; which, after 3 days of incessant rain and storm is very acceptable. – This afternoon Porter and myself took a short ride of about 3 miles on horseback into the country.

Saturday the 14th.

This morning about 10 a.m. Porter and Edwin Cutler Started on horseback for Nauvoo. – [Clark] Lyman W.[hitney] and myself took a short excursion into the country for the purpose of trading for oxen – returned, having partially effected an exchange – the tolerably fair to-day [sic] though evening set in as if for a storm.

Sunday the 15th.

This morning, notwithstanding the inauspicious appearance of the weather last evening, the sun arose cloudless and beautiful – In the afternoon Wm. and myself accompanied by several others went to a small place called Stringtown, took dinner and returned home about sunset.[15]

Monday the 16th

This day remained in camp – the weather continues favorable – fair prospect of being able to renew our journey in a few days.

Tuesday the 17th

To day quite cloudy but no rain – about 11 o-clock in the night began a slow drizzly rain which continued the remainder for the night were intending to start to morrow had it not been for the rain. To-day the Band again went to Keosauqua by invitation.

Wednesday the 18th

The weather continued showery through the day till evening when it cleared off pleasant. – The corpse of Bro. Edwin Little was brought into camp and interred to-day. He was taken sick here a few days ago and conveyed into the country in order to have the advantage of skillful treatment and to be shielded from the inclemency of the weather; but notwithstanding all was done for his relief that human aid could afford he died today while in the wagon on the way to the camp His disease was the quick consumption [tuberculosis] – he appeared to be reconciled to his death, and died in the full faith of the Gospel.

Thursday the 19th

This morning about 11 o’clock struck our tents and proceeded on our journey having been encamped 9 days, the weather fine and pleasant, though rather cool – the roads quite smooth, and improving all the time – travelled about 2 miles and pitched our tents on a small creek, which also bears the name of Chequest, on the land of a widow, name unknown. – We are now travelling through Davis County, which joins Van Buren county Bro. Kimball’s family and our own are all well – Sarah Ann gaining rapidly.

Friday the 20th

This morning about half past 9 started over again our route being chiefly on the prairie the roads were very bad – crossed Fox River to-day – travelled 14 miles and encamped about 4 P. M. in the edge of a small piece of timber – very poor muddy camping plain being destitute of a name, consequently gave it one, viz: – Slough of Discontent – The prairie through which we have been travelling to-day and shall be for a day or two is called the “New Purchase” or the “Fox Divide”[16]

Saturday the 21st

Started at half past 7 this morning – had a good road – proceeded 11 miles and encamped on the brow of a hill, in the vicinity of a creek in the edge of the timber about 4 miles from the river Chariton – reached this place at 2 P. M.

That evening the band overtook us, and before retiring they played a few tunes before President Young’s tent and father’s. Oh, what dismal days those were! And the next day was Sunday—cloudy and disagreeable—as we started in the morning and crossed the bottom, which intervened between us and the Chariton River. We had considerable difficulty in crossing that stream, on account of the steepness of the descent on its banks. After crossing there was a very bad hill to ascend, and they were obliged to double team in both places, besides the assistance of a number of men to hold back, and push up hill. This labor consumed the greater part of the day. We encamped on the top of the hill in a small piece of timber. How fresh in my mind are some of those tedious days of rain, sleet and mud, and sometimes hunger, for already were our rations poor and pinched, it being the intention at that time to cross over the Rocky Mountains the same year. One important event transpired that dismal morning, while we were crossing the bottom between our camping ground and Chariton River, which was indelibly written upon my memory. We passed the wagon of Sister Zina D. H. Young, which had halted upon the east bank, where she had a beautiful son born, and he was named Chariton. I have never met that son nor heard his name without its reminding me of Chariton River, and the circumstances attending our sojourn there.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 14,
15 December 1883, pp. 110–11

Sunday the 22d

Cloudy disagreeable morning but no rain – started at half past 9 – crossed the bottom which intervened between us and the Chariton River had considerable difficulty in crossing that stream on account of the steepness of the descent on its banks – after crossing had a very bad hill to ascend – were obliged to double team in both places – besides the assistance of a number of men to hold back and push up hill – this labor consumed the greater part of the day – encamped on the top of the hill, having only made 4 miles to day. Rec’d a letter from Sarah Foot.

brigham young

I remember how nearly forlorn I felt some of the time during those dismal, stormy days; being in Bp. Whitney’s camp I was separated from my dear mother by an almost impassable road of mud, and was all of a quarter of a mile away from father’s camp. So one morning I undertook the disagreeable and perilous journey on the back of a little white Ginnie, which Father Lot had given to one of the Bp’s little boys in Nauvoo, and, by the by, she had carried me over the Mississippi the last time that I crossed it to Sugar Creek, accompanied by Horace on his pony.

Ginnie stood about three feet from the ground, and the mud being so deep, I felt some dubiety about our accomplishing the journey that day in safety, but being stimulated by a touch of homesickness I persevered without regard to appearance or the mud, with which I was generously bespattered. On the opposite side of the road from father’s camp was the camp of the Nauvoo Brass Band, and O! their woebegone appearance I could never forget; and how I looked over at them with a pitying gaze from the door of my mother’s wagon. They were actually swamped in mud; but what was most surprising, under the circumstances, not a sad face did I behold. The women were out around, and would give me a cheerful nod as they were attending to their domestic duties, and all the camps were in a similar condition. The following incident was related to me concerning Br. Wm. Pitt and wife, who, like some of the rest, were sick with the ague, caused by the cold and wet weather, and one night they were left behind in the mud, and were not missed till late the next morning when some of the band went back and found them. Those were sorry times, but who, besides the Latter-day Saints, can understand or explain the reasons for such patience, and even cheerfulness under like circumstances, having been expelled, though they were law-abiding citizens, from their homes, and at that time of the year, enduring such hardships and privation, that would have disheartened any but the true Saints, who were willing to make sacrifice and to be tried, even though it be seven times in the furnace of affliction.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 15,
1 January 1884, pp. 117–18

Monday the 23d

Remained within pitched tents – This afternoon about 2 o’clock had quite a hail storm – they fell as large or larger than buckshot Continued stormy with rain and hail alternately through the day & night Yesterday Bro. John Butler came from Bishop Miller’s camp which is seven miles ahead – he seems to like to be in advance of the main body as he always pulls up stakes at our approach and goes ahead with his company [17] – Bro. Butler thinks it would be a good idea to go back 20 miles or so in order to get on a road which goes thro’ the settlements as the country through which we are now travelling affords us scarcely any provender for our cattle.

Tuesday the 24th

Commenced snowing and continued with little cessation through the day – In the afternoon Bros. [Stillman] Pond and [Thomas] Burns went into the country about 8 miles and bought 20 bushels of corn at 25 cts. a bushel – rather scarce at that price – some of the cattle in camp have had no sustenance since day before yesterday with the exception of what they could browse in the woods – To-day – saw three deer carried by our tent that had been killed by the hunters – first that we have seen on our journey, – the roads very muddy and almost impassable – fair probability of being obliged to remain here a number of days –

Wednesday the 25th

Continued snowing through the day till evening when it cleared off pleasant – This afternoon Bro. Pond took my colt and two of our team horses into the country with the intention of exchanging them for oxen – did not return to-day –

Thursday the 26th

Tolerably fair to-day – hail fell a little this after-noon saw Bishop Miller, P[arley] P Pratt , O.[rson] Pratt and G.[eorge] A.[lbert] Smith pass by our tent on their way home – they came up from Bro Miller’s camp by request to hold council –

Friday the 27th

Quite windy to-day though the sky cloudless and serene. This forenoon Bros. Brigham and Heber went ahead about 7 miles to a place where they were met by Bishop Miller’s company, and where he had formerly been encamped but which place he had left a few days before and gone a few miles ahead – Here they proceeded to make a new organization of the Companies – B. Young, H.C. Kimball, P. P. Pratt, John Taylor , Peter Hawes , and Bishop Miller, who had formerly been captains of companies, were promoted to the office of President and their places filled by others – In our company the vacancy of the office of Capt. was filled by Stephen Markham an able and efficient officer – In each company there was appointed 2 commissaries and a clerk – In our company the leading commissary is David Yearsly – His business is to go ahead and engage grain, procure jobs for the company &c.– Our distributing commissary is Jedediah Grant whose business it is to distribute corn oats &c. when bro’t into the camp. Our clerk is John Pack , whose business is to record all essential matters pertaining to the company.

Saturday the 28th

To-day a council was held – but little was done, however, except ratifying what was done yesterday at Father Smith’s camp. The weather continues favorable and the roads are improving, though there are some very bad places ahead yet, as we learn from our men who occasionly [sic] go out in pursuit of game – which in this section consists principally of deer and turkeys. There has been a number of the former already bro’t into the camp.

Bishop Whitney disposed of a feather bed at this place valued at $9.00 in exchange for a cow, with a man living six or seven miles in the country. Brother Pond returned, having disposed of the colt and another team horse for two yoke of oxen. He had been over in the state of Missouri where he made the trade, and one of the oxen proving lame Brother Pond swapped him for another, giving $9.00 “to boot.” On the 31st O. P. Rockwell returned from Nauvoo. My husband and brother Wm. received some papers from Phineas Kimball, brother-in-law to Sarah M. Kimball. Porter started back to Nauvoo in a few days.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 15,
1 January 1884, pp. 117–18

Sunday the 29th

To-day father disposed of a feather bed, valued at $9 in exchange for a cow with a man living some six or seven miles in the country – Bro. Pond also returned to-day having disposed of the colt and another team horse for 2 yoke of oxen which are also in the country with the rest of our oxen sent out to feed about the same distance – He has been over in the State of Missouri about 20 miles when he made the trade.[18]

Monday the 30th

To-day Bro. Parley G.A. Smith Orson and Bishop Miller again came here to hold council with the brethren – the result was the camp concluded to move on Wednesday. One of the oxen that Bro. Pond got proving lame he swapped him for another giving $9 to “boot”–

Tuesday the 31st

To-day Porter returned from Nauvoo. Wm. and myself received through him 2 papers from [Heber] P. Kimball also a letter for me from Mr. [Noah] Rogers . To day the boys also brought the oxen in from the country 7 miles where we have been keeping them to feed, as also the cow which father purchased last Sunday – Porter intends starting back to-morrow or next day.

Wednesday the 1st of April

Brigham with all the camp except our “Fifty” started on their journey – they intended going only 6 miles to Father Smiths camp where they intended to wait till we come up in order to hold a council. To-day Father’s company employed themselves in making ox yokes and other chores necessary for the journey – To-day a Thomas Burns one of our teamsters left us to return to Nauvoo, in consequence had to hire another by the name of David Taylor, whom we found with Dr. Bealy here in the camp – This evening H. C. K. wrote 2 letters to Nauvoo for a friend –

Thursday the 2d

This morning about half past 8 struck our tents and proceeded to Father Smith’s camp on Shoal Creek about 7 miles where we found Bro. Brigham, who had encamped here yesterday. When we arrived they were holding a council – Bro Kimball went to it and returned with the news that we were going on, consequently Bro. K’s. company, the artillery and some others went on 5 miles further and encamped on Prairie Creek a branch of Shoal Creek, leaving Bro. B’s. company behind – were piloted a short distance by Bishop Miller and another brother who then rode on to his camp, which is 3 miles ahead of our present place of encampment. Took leave of Porter at Bro. B’s camp who returns to Nauvoo to-day the bearer of several letters – This day quite cloudy but not rain the roads improving, though rather bad yet in some places – Before leaving Shoal Creek camp unloaded 1 of our wagons and sent it after corn in company with 1 or 2 others – putting the load on our other wagons – Crossed the Missouri State line this afternoon just before coming to this place –[19]

Friday the 3d

This morning, soon after breakfast, Bro. Brigham’s company over took us and after stopping a few minutes went on to Bro. Miller’s camp where they intend to feed – During last night three of our oxen strayed away, consequently were detained after the rest of our company had left – I proceeded on foot to Bro. M’s. camp – had not gone far before it commenced raining, which continued through the greater part of the day and night. Bro. M. is encamped on the South Fork of Shoal Creek, after crossing which, and ascending the opposite hill, Bro. K. encamped – Thinking the rain might hinder father from coming on I started back – had not gone far before I met Bro. Johnson of the artillery who informed me that father had recovered his cattle, the men sent out in pursuit having found a man in the act of driving them off – Bro. Johnson informed me as near as he could find out that his name is John Shaddon, living about 12 miles from here. He is said to have been seen in our camp this morning – Father started about 1 o’ clock and reached here at 3 P. M. when he encamped by the rest of Bro. K’s company

We had not been here more than a hour before the teams, which had been sent out in pursuit of corn arrived bringing 51 bushels – After ascending the hill, Bro Brigham with his company continued on – we suppose they have gone on to the next creek which is 13 miles ahead, Joseph K. broke one of the thills of his buggy, this morning, soon after starting – occasioned by the horse jumping suddenly. –

Saturday the 4th

From the rains of the previous day and night the little creek on which we are encamped, is much swollen continued also raining thro’ this day and night with but little cessation, consequently had to remain within pitched tents.

Sunday the 5th

This morning the sun arose in unclouded splendor – Bro. Kimball called the people of the camp together and exhorted them to observance of several duties which had been hitherto neglected – one of which was that the captain of each Ten should call his company together and partake of the sacrament, which was accordingly done – The weather continued beautiful thro’ the day but the ground dried very little or none.[20]

Monday the 6th

On waking up this morning was astonished to find it raining, the more so as yesterday closed so auspiciously – it continued raining without intermission till evening when it had the appearance of clearing off when all at once the sky was obscured with dark heavy clouds the distant roaring of the wind was heard, which accompanied by a cold rain soon burst upon us in all its fury blowing off hats & prostrating the tents of which but few were found standing in the morning – Tho the storm or rather hurricane continued the most of the night but little other damage was sustained, except the inconvenience of being wet by the constant dripping of the rain thro’ the covers of the wagons where we slept, or rather passed the night. Today the company again sent into the country after corn, Jacob W.[etherbee] went with one of our wagons, also Father Durfee with one of Joseph Kingsbury’s wagons. – From information the course which we are now pursuing is very little south of west –

I remember this very well. The camps were about ready to retire to rest when the storm overtook us; some were in the act of evening worship and others were preparing their beds or closing their tents and wagons for the night, when the hurricane overtook us “as a thief in the night,” and not a wagon cover or tent could withstand it except the ones that were fastened down. Those who had no covering sought shelter with the ones that had till morning, when the tents were pitched and things righted. Next day it was very cold and windy, though tolerably fair. The day previous men had again been sent into the country for corn.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 15,
1 January 1884, pp. 117–18

Tuesday the 7th

Very cold & windy day – but tolerably fair – To-day a messenger came from Brigham 12 miles ahead requesting the brethren to come on – To-day Helen and myself succeeded in getting a wagon for ourselves to ride and sleep in – one that father gave up for that purpose – Our teams which were sent out after corn we understand have come as far as Shoal creek, which they are unable to cross in consequence of the late rains which have considerably swollen that stream – they will probably be in tomorrow, when we contemplate pursuing our journey –

On the 7th a message came from President Young, who was twelve miles ahead, requesting my father and the rest to come on. That day Horace succeeded in getting a wagon for us and also a gentle yoke of oxen. Previously we had had no place in particular. I had traveled mostly with my mother, and our lodging had been, like that of hundreds of others, on the ground. But here was a new lesson for Horace, who from a schoolboy in Kirtland had done little else but printing and school teaching—yoking up and driving oxen he had never before undertaken.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 16,
16 January 1884, pp. 126–27

Wednesday the 8th

No rain, but cold and cloudy – This afternoon P. P. Pratt, Amasa Lyman , and G. A. Smith, came up with us – Our teams also came up with 30 bushels of corn – a council was called in the evening and a letter from Brigham read, requesting us to come on.

Thursday the 9th

Started this morning about 8 o’ clock – took my first lesson in the science of Oxology[21] – On taking the team to drive, I went into Bro. Kimball’s company – had not gone far before it began to rain, which continued thro’ the day and night – travelled 7 miles and encamped about 6 P. M. on the open prairie in one of the most disagreeable muddy places I remember ever to have seen – drove our horses and cattle about a mile to the nearest wood, which consisted principally of elm trees, and afforded them an excellent opportunity for browsing – Some of my father’s teams got stuck in the mud, and had to stop a mile or two back and none reached us except J. C. K. [Kingsbury] with the buggy, the one horse wagon, and Sarah Ann’s wagon. Bro. Pond broke his harness in attempting to extricate himself from a mud-hole – Bro. Lorenzo Young and other of the company were also unable to come up, as also Parley and his company.

inside a wagonPhotographer unknown, “The Next Thing to Paradise.” Interior of a covered wagon, circa 1858. Kerosene lamps came into popularity in the early 1850s. Wyoming State Archives.

On the 9th, after leaving this place, he wrote, “Started this morning about eight o’clock—took my first lesson in the science of oxology.” On taking the ox whip to drive, the first thing he did was to go on the wrong side, and then had to endure the roars of laughter from several of the boys who were standing ready to witness his first effort, but some of them were quite as green as himself in the practice of ox driving. But after seeing his chagrin one of them took the whip and drove a little ways to give him an idea how it was done, and he soon became as handy in yoking, unyoking and driving ox-teams as any of the boys, and even some of our sisters were schooled in the same science before we got to our journey’s end, as numbers of our brethren who came out from Nauvoo as teamsters, returned after a little, some of them taking their teams with them, after we had obtained some from other quarters. We had doors, generally, cut on the left side of the wagon covers. Boxes and bags of grain, etc., were packed in the rear part of our wagon, upon which our bed was made. We had our provision chest in front, which served as a table, and between was just room for my chair—this being my only piece of furniture—the most of our household chattels having been left in our house in Nauvoo. I could now knit and read as we traveled, and Horace could read or play his flute as he liked, and none, I think, but those who had a like experience can form the slightest idea of the appreciation and happiness it gave us, to have a little wagon all to ourselves, which, under the circumstances, was next thing to paradise. . . .

The muddy camping place, mentioned by Horace, was one not easily to be forgotten. The dismal places were the ones that seemed to impress themselves the most indelibly upon my memory, but this one really had its pleasant side, for I remember how grateful I felt there to be under a tight wagon cover, where we were comfortable and secure from the cold and beating rain, which, falling upon the cover, served as a kind of lullaby to soothe us to sleep. And in the morning my cousin Netty, the head cook, brought us some warm eatables, requesting me to stay in the wagon, as she would rather bring our breakfast to us than have me bothering around in the mud, to which arrangement we very cheerfully submitted.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 16,
16 January 1884, pp. 126–27

Friday the 10th

This morning on rising, found the rain had not ceased falling, but, on the contrary, pouring down with redoubled vigor – Getting our cattle from the woods we started about noon doubling teams when it cleared off leaving J. C. K. behind, as also 3 of Bro. Kimball’s teams in the care of Hans [Hanson] travelled 3½ miles and encamped at 3 P. M. on the East Fork of Locust Creek near where Brigham had previously encamped – one of the most beautiful locations for an encampment my eyes ever beheld – in fact it seems as if expressly designed for our use, and, in contrast with the place where we last stopt a perfect paradise –

Saturday the 11th

Bro. Kimball’s horse and ox teams, including myself, went back after the wagons left behind Wm put 4 of his horses on Sarah Ann’s wagon and our ox teams went back a mile further to pull one of father’s teams out of a mud-hole and the folks all got to the camp about 3½ o-clock the same time we did with the ox teams – When we arrived found Brigham here with 2 or three other brethren they were in council – Bro. B’s camp is only 2 miles from here on the W. Fork of Locust To-day made a coal pit that we might be able to do some blacksmithing –

Sunday the 12th

To-day a meeting was called at 12 M. – Present – B. Young, H. C. Kimball, P. P. Pratt, O. Pratt, A. Lyman, G. A. Smith, J Taylor, Bishops [Newel K.] Whitney and Miller, and several others. Bro. Young spoke, gave some good instruction, and concluded with a plan for our future movements – that was to send 50 men ahead to the source of Grand River and then to make some improvements – fence in about a mile square build some huts plant some grain and garden seeds then by saving their garden seeds which would not otherwise keep any length of time – after that for the main body to follow them – from here the place where we now are we aim to take a north west course. till we arrive at the head of Grand River – from thence proceed to Council Bluffs on the Missouri River – thence over the mountains, leaving behind at our new settlement those that have not the means to prosecute the Journey – thereby furnishing a sojourning place for those that may hereafter come on from the States[22] – Bro Brigham and the brethren with him went back to his camp, after having taken dinner – In the afternoon at 4½ P. M. Bro. R. called a meeting, gave some good advice to the brethren, partook of the sacrament and dismissed with prayer – I did not attend, being absent with the cattle up the creek a little ways where I had taken them to feed – The weather has continued fine since Friday last – To-day a number of our teams, as also 2 of Bro. Kimballs to bring up the remainder of our co. viz: – Bro. Lorenzo, Young, L. Whitney [Clark Lyman Whitney], and a wagon father had left behind – We are now in Putnam County, Missouri and have been since we left the South Fork of Shoal Creek –

Monday the 13th

Remained in camp today – Bro. [Hosea] Cushing [William] King , and Orson and myself put a new set of hoops on my wagon – Bro. C. is to put his horses on my wagon when we start, and my oxen to be put on another wagon which does not run so easy

Tuesday the 14th

Struck our tents and proceeded to Bro. B’s. Camp on the W. Fork of Locust Creek where we arrived late in the afternoon – Bro. Perry [Fitzgerald] drove team for me to day, he had been driving for Bro. [Rufus] Allen who left us and went back a day or two ago. Had to double our teams some distance across the bottom – as also the hill on which we encamped after we left the creek – soon after arriving went to Bro. Willard Richard’s tent which is called by us the Post Office of the Camp of Israel where Charles Decker had just arrived from Nauvoo the bearer of a number of messages and letters – he however had none for me –

That evening the band also came up and they played for President Young and father before retiring. All remained at this place till Thursday, except Bishop Miller and company, they went ahead next morning.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 16,
16 January 1884, pp. 126–27

Wednesday the 15th

Bishop Miller, and his company left this morning and went ahead – we staid behind – tolerably fair weather to-day – it rained a little however during the night, but not enough to impair the roads for traveling This afternoon the pioneers of our company consisting of about 20 men with others from Brigham’s camp, started for the head of Grand River – on arriving they are to take jobs of work in order to procure corn and provisions – Bro. Kimball gave them a great deal of good advice, such as never to involve themselves in any quarrels, strifes, or contentions with the inhabitants, but on the contrary to court their favor by every possible means in their power – Bros. Kimball and Markham accompanied them a short distance on their route, and gave them other good counsel about conducting themselves – Hans Hanson took his cow and went with them – In the evening there was a grand christening held at Bro. Claytons camp in celebration of the birth of his child in Nauvoo when the band was encamped a short distance from us just at the top of the hill[23]

As I learned, through the mail, that Wm. Clayton was the father of a child by his wife, Diantha Farr, who was left with her parents in Nauvoo. I bore the tidings to Wm., whose delight knew no bounds, and that evening Horace, myself and a number were invited over to their camp, Wm. being one of the band, whose encampment was only a short distance from ours.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 16,
16 January 1884, pp. 126–27

mapMap of Mormon crossing of Iowa Territory, February–June 1846. Courtesy of Brandon S. Plewe, ed., Mapping Mormonism: An Atlas of Latter-day Saint History, 2nd ed. (Provo, UT: BYU Press, 2014), 75.

Thursday the 16th

Left our place of encampment at half past 9 a.m. proceed about 6 miles and encamped at 2 P. M. on the prairie near where Bro Taylor G A Smith A Lyman had encamped the night previously To-day 8 rattlesnakes were killed by our company, and 2 of the oxen in the same were bitten – One of Willard’s horses’ lips was swelled considerably supposed also to be occasioned by the bite of a rattlesnake – To-day is the first time we have seen any of these reptiles on our journey – as we progress on our route game grows quite plenty more especially deer and turkey of which there are several almost daily bro’t into our camp – vegetation also is now commencing to spring up around us which we consider as quite a blessing as we have had no corn for our cattle for two or three days – Bro. Brigham and the Band is also encamped on the prairie within 1½ a mile of our place – on arriving here had to drive our cattle a mile or two to give them a good chance – to feed – while absent saw 3 large turkeys but had no gun

I remember that day, and of seeing our men killing snakes in the grass, where our tents were afterwards pitched, and it was enough to give one nervous spasms to see them, and then to think of sleeping in the neighborhood of such dangerous enemies.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 16,
16 January 1884, pp. 126–27


Friday the 17th

Started this morning at 8½ a.m. – proceeded about 8 miles and encamped in a grove of hickory, bordering on the prairie on the Medicine Creek. Father, – Bro. Yearsly, and others of our company instead of joining us went down the hill crossed the creek, proceeded about 3/4 a mile and encamped in the vicinity of a small piece of timber, where Brigham and the Band also encamped. Bro. Kimball learning this, determined to go on – accordingly we started about 5 P. M. – after descending the hill and crossing the creek, we were detained by the fire on the prairie about 3/4 of an hour, and a number of us were obliged to stand by with sticks to whip out the fire in order to make ourselves a road, or passage thro’ it – we then went on without interruption to the place where the rest of our company were and encamped – Here also, we overtook Bishop Miller’s Co. Our two principal hunters, Bros. [Isaac] Higbee and Smith went out before starting this morning, and cut down two bee-trees bringing in to the Commissary 3 pails full of first rate honey – they also killed 2 deer and 2 turkeys during the day, which were distributed to the company – To-day I for the first time saw a rattlesnake – he was in the road – had just been killed – This evening we met Bro Averett [Addison Everett] who had just come from Grand River, from here distant 15 miles – he tells us there is abundance of corn in that region, and that some of the brethren have taken a job, building a double log barn –

On the morning of the 17th our company proceeded about eight miles and encamped in a grove of hickory on a stream called Medicine Creek, named by the Indians, no doubt. Prest. Young, Bp. Whitney and others, with the band, had encamped three quarters of a mile ahead, and father, learning this, determined to go on.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 16,
16 January 1884, pp. 126–27

Saturday the 18th

To day started about 8 a.m. and went 2 miles, and camped on E. F. of Madison – father did not start with us but staid to be at the council – Bro K. afterwards went back also to the council – which consisted of the principle authorities of the Church together with the Captains of Tens, Hundreds, Fiftys, &c. Their decision was in accordance with what had been suggested by Bro. Young, viz: that after reaching the source of Grand River every one who had sufficient means and provisions should proceed over the mountains, but none others, except, indeed, Mechanics of different kinds who are to be assisted to prosecute their journey – council being over Father with his family started and came up with us, Bro B. remaining behind, as also Bishop Miller and the Band – Bro. Taylor is encamped with in a short distance of us. Took a short fishing excursion down the creek this evening – caught 3 fish but not very large ones – some few small cat fish here – This afternoon sent into the country for corn –

Sunday the 19th

Fine weather this morning – Porter and Edwin Cutler came in with the mail to-day – Nauvoo Left there last Thursday some families have started and are starting from there all the time – This afternoon at 4 o’clock a meeting was called between Bro. Taylor’s and our camp Bro. Taylor and Kimball spoke at some length giving a great deal of good instruction cheering up the hearts of all – Bro. K. told us that it would be necessary to allow 1½ lb of bread-stuff per day to each individual for 500 days – in going 1500 miles over the Mountains Had a letter from our pioneers stating that they had a job to do of building a jail and storehouse – worth $250, on the E. Fork of Grand River 30 miles from here – Yesterday wolves were seen round the camp

Monday the 20th

Beautiful day the birds begin to sing, grass to grow and every thing assumes a pleasing aspect – Bro Back [ Pack?] came in with one of the teams sent out after corn – Wm and Cushing and King did not come – they had to pay 20cts. per bushel – Bro. [Daniel] Spencer who has been a long while back just came up with us this afternoon In the last mail Bro. R. Received a number of the Hancock Eagle – Bro. K. and father went back to Bro B’s camp to day to attend the general Council –

Tuesday the 21st

To day Bros Cushing and King came in bringing in 22 bushels of corn – Wm. did not come with them but they supposed had gone to the place where Hans is – Brigham’s and Bishop Miller’s companys passed our camp this forenoon – Bro K. will start as soon as Wm arrives, and as soon as he can arrang [sic] his loading. An Indian was seen passing by our camp – there is said to be an Indian encampment somewhere in the vicinity – Porter went on ahead to Bro. B’s. camp – he intends starting back to-morrow or next day – In the little woods on the little creek where we are now camped a person can discover evident signs of Indians having been here – While fishing the other day I noticed a kind of hut or wigwam made of boughs of trees, very ingeniously interwoven together, having been formerly covered with bark – it had the appearance of having been erected last autumn probably used as a temporary sojourn while they were hunting in the vicinity – Heard day before yesterday that Bro. Wilford Woodruff had returned to Nauvoo. Bro. Markham, L. Young, [Aaron] Farr, W.[illiam] Walker with their families went ahead to-day –

Wednesday the 22d

William does not come yet consequently we are unable to start – Porter came back from Brigham’s camp which is 6 miles the nearest way tho’ the way they went it is 10 or 15 miles – part of our company that went ahead yesterday had overtaken them Porter intends starting to morrow for the city, as also Bro. Pond and Durfee whom further has released with their teams – father intends taking back the 2 yoke of oxen he gave to me, and Bro. K. has made an arrangement for another yoke and intends to get another yoke still in the place of them – it has been somewhat cloudy, but did not rain till evening when it commenced and rained most of the night accompanied by considerable thunder and lightning. – Bro. K. and father have been busy arranging their loading, taking out such things as they wish to dispose of for provisions to the inhabitants – wrote 4 letters for Bro. K. to-day – to Bro. Winchester, Sister Orson, Amanda, and O[rson] Hyde , and W. Woodruff – intends sending them by Porter to Nauvoo –

Thursday the 23d

This afternoon Wm. came back having explored most of the country as far as Grand River – saw our pioneers there, who he says find plenty of work to do – cattle are rather scarce there, an Oregon company having traversed the region round and engaged above 500 yoke of cattle previously to his arrival – Bro. Pond, Porter, W[illia]m. [Lathrop] Cutler and Father Durfee started back to-day taking 2 buggies with them. Porter took my watch with him to get fixed. Start 8 o clock P. M. We started and went about 4 miles and encamped about sunset on the edge of a ravine in the open prairie, where there was beautiful feed for our oxen and horses, the grass being of very high and thick growth – I drove 1 yoke of oxen to-day on Wm’s wagon he having swapped wagons with his father – Bro. W[illia]m. Cahoon , with part of the Band is camped within a short distance of us Bro. Taylor and Spencer have gone ahead, probably to Brighams camp – tolerable weather thro the day tho’ it commenced raining soon after our arrival, which, however, did not last long. Bro. Perry left us also to-day and went back to Nauvoo.

Friday the 24th

Bro. Markham came back from his camp, which is 3 miles ahead near where Brigham had firmly encamped with 15 or 16 yoke of oxen to assist us along which was very acceptable as during the last night 4 of Bro. K’s. horses had strayed away – a number of the boys went out in pursuit of them – we went on to Bro M. camp and stopt – This afternoon Bro. Yearsly who went ahead with the pioneers a few days ago to the Grand River, came back and told us that he had seen the boys and told them where to find the horses – they found them at the place where they had last bo’t corn some 15 miles distant, and came back to us about 9 P. M. we run on another small creek, name unknown Bro Hosea Stout is camped within a short distance from us – Bro. [Charles] Dalton’s h[orse]; was bitten by a rattlesnake to day – we have a civilized Indian of the ancient Delaware tribe with us who is of great service to us in such cases[24] – also this morning noticed a heifer be longing to Bro. Pack which had been bitten – These reptiles are getting so plenty as to be quite dangerous for those traveling on foot tho’ I believe as yet no person has [been?] bitten – the other day one of Bro. K’s horses being bitten, he laid his hand on the part affected and rebuked the sickness occasioned by the poison in the name of the Lord which prayer was almost immediately answered – Bro. K. says it is just as proper to lay hands on a horse or an ox and administer – to them in the name of the Lord, and of as much utility as it is to a human being, both being creations of his creation, both consequently having a claim to his attention[25]

Saturday the 25th

Travelled about 7 miles this day and encamped on quite a large creek the name unknown – called it Mt. Pleasant This day by the advice and arrangement of Bro. K Helen and myself commenced “keeping house” or tent rather by ourselves, taking Cushing King, [Helen Janet] Jenette [Murray] F.[rancis] Whitney and Heber, thus by this means more equalizing the number for the other 2 tents rained a little during the night so much so as to render it somewhat slippery the next day. To-day news came to Bro K. from Brigham that he was 5 miles ahead of us on one of the forks of G. River our present place of destination and that the calculation is to commence splitting rails &c in order to enclose some farms, also to lay out a town plat &c.,[26] For the last 2 days have been driving 1 yoke of oxen –

When hearing the rehearsal of trials, privations and hardships endured by the camp of Israel, while journeying from the Mississippi River to the Missouri, my mind inadvertently turns to that portion between Nauvoo and Garden Grove, as the darkest in my memory. We were poorly prepared for such an exodus; and many joining us who were anxious to come, but had little or nothing of the necessaries for their own sustenance, ours had to be divided among them. We had many weeks of cold, stormy weather, and our teams being insufficient to draw the loads, rendered traveling over those soft prairies next thing to an impossibility; expecting, as we did, to go over the mountains that year we were put on rations, and had to lengthen out our flour and provisions in the most economical manner. During that time our sea biscuit, crackers, parched cornmeal, etc., which were among the luxuries, molded, until finally they were fed out to our horses and cattle. At the beginning of the journey the crackers went very well to eat dry, but I’ll never forget the first time I saw a meal made of sea biscuit broken into milk. I had called at Uncle Brigham’s tent—I had always addressed him by that title—where he was just taking some for dinner, and he invited me to have a bowl; but I declined, with thanks, and a feeling of wonder how he could relish it. When it came to sitting down daily to milk and water porridge and crackers in it, it became so nauseous that hunger could not tempt me to eat it.

At this period the young, and even aged people were forced to walk, if it were possible, a goodly portion of the way to save the teams, no matter what the weather might be, storms, or excessive heat, or how weary, faint and footsore we became, there was no alternative but to endure till we had reached the spot called Garden Grove. Here they unpacked and sent out many valuables into the Missouri settlements and exchanged them for provisions and the most needful articles. They also traded horses for oxen and milk cows, and from that time our living was more comfortable. Father’s and Bishop Whitney’s families were divided up into messes, each tent having one or two women to cook for the teamsters, and wagons were provided for all the women and their little children to ride and to sleep in at night. Although we were not rid of hardships and vexations, consequent upon the moving of a great camp, and the intense heat of the weather, we certainly had little cause for complaint compared with what we had experienced previously, and the rest of our journey was made with comparative ease.

The whooping cough, which had so sorely afflicted my mother’s babe, Brigham Willard, previous to starting from Nauvoo, grew lighter from the time we commenced camping out at Sugar Creek, and Mother Whitney’s babe, Mary, which had been sick unto death, improved rapidly from that date. There were others, and even some of the most feeble and delicate women, that grew stronger for a time, until after the hot weather set in. Some of the strongest, who were more exposed, became prostrated with fever and ague, etc., before arriving at Chariton River, where we stopped a time for the weather to settle. My mother’s little one had commenced to run down with teething, etc., and her own health, which was never good, failed to that degree that Mary Ann Sheflin, one of father’s wives, who had lived with her in Nauvoo, being anxious to relieve her, took the child, and she loved and cared for him as tenderly as though he had been her own, till after we arrived at the end of our journey.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 14, no. 9,
1 October 1885, p. 66

Sunday the 26th

This morning notwithstanding our beautiful location we are forced to go ahead in consequence of there being no good range for our cattle to feed – went on to Bro B’s camp – Before starting heard Bro [John] Scott telling a circumstance that happened about 15 miles from here in the Weldon Settlement, near where Wm found his horses – this man, (Weldon) being notorious for his Mobocratic principle A portion of the artillery had gone there and taken jobs of work[27] – they had earned about $26 of our men, when they were waited on by a committee, professing to be a deputation of the people, who told them they must leave immediately – the man who owed them the $26 seemed disposed to pay them but on manifesting a disposition to do so, he was told by his neighbors that he should “pack his duds and leave” accordingly he paid them nothing

travelled 5 miles and overtook the remainder of Zions Camp – at this place the fitting out of those who intend going over the Mountains, will take place – here it is said we will remain above a week in order to enclose grounds plant seeds &c &c. This evening Bro. S.[hadrach] Roundy came from the City bringing the mail – father received a letter from Bro. Tho[ma]s. Burdick dated April 22 at Nauvoo, stating that he had just received a letter from his brother-in-law Reuben McBride living in Kirtland, announcing the death of Grandfather [Samuel] Whitney , which happened soon after his arrival there. This morning by the kindness of Bro. S. of the artillery we were furnished with some pull pork, some of his company having killed 2 wild hogs in this vicinity, of which they saw quite a drove –

Monday the 27th

On waking this morning found it raining, which continued thro’ the day and night, a slow drizzly rain – consequently the brethren could not do much at splitting rails &c. There are a hundred men assigned to this business, 10 laying up rails, 48 to building houses, 12 to each house – 10 herding cattle, 12 digging wells, 10 building a bridge across the river for us to pass over on our journey west 10 stocking ploughs and making drays, 5 or 6 blacksmith shops started the remainder to attend to the business of farming &c, &c.

It seems that for two days there was not much done on account of the rains, which continued incessantly day and night till Wednesday evening, when it cleared off pleasant. By the last mail father had received a letter from Bro. Joseph L. Heywood, at Nauvoo, announcing the sale of our place there for thirty-five yoke of oxen, to which Horace wrote an answer on the 28th.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 17,
1 February 1884, pp. 135–36

Thursday the 28th

Not much done, to-day on account of the rains – a company of about 100 is about being fitted out for the expedition over the mountains – which I heard Brigham say to-day must start by Monday or Tuesday next – A general council of all hands to take place to morrow noon – it continued raining incessantly through the day and night – Wrote a letter for Bro. K. to-day to Bro. [Joseph L.] Haywood in answer to one from him announcing Bro. K’s place was sold for 35 yoke of oxen –

Wednesday the 29th

Rained till evening when it cleared off pleasant, and the moon and stars shone out beautifully – continued pleasant thro’ the night – This evening Orson and Geo.[rge Pierce] Billings and Lyman came in from the last camp but one being 15 miles distant where they had been two or three days taking care of 2 of J. K.’s teams A meeting was called about noon of all hands, in order to do some business necessary to fitting out an expedition over the mountains – Bro. O. Pratt made an estimate of the number of wagons, grain, implements of farming such as hoes, shovels, &c. that would be necessary for 100 men on this expedition which I have not in possession – The bill he made out varied considerably from those made by others – We are on the E. F. of G. River

Thursday the 30th

On rising this morning found it raining again – considered it rather surprising last evening closed so beautifully – the sky continued lowery thro. the day and night – Bishop Miller with a number of others went out peddling (Bro [James] Smithies among) the other day – the Quadrille Band the number also went out Tuesday on the same business – Father Roundy and Edwin Cutler started back today R. C. Moon also went with them – Bro. R. took two of J. C. K’s wagons back, and one span of horses belonging to himself – one of the wagons Sarah Ann had rode in since we started from Nauvoo

Friday the 1st of May

Rather cloudy, but no rain – This forenoon Bro. Yearsley, John Davenport and Francis Whitney went into the country with a wagon and 2 yoke of oxen, taking a harness, double-tree, crockery &c. &c., in order to make exchange for bacon and other provisions, which we stand much in need of – I suppose they will go somewhere near where Hans is on Grand River, some 46 miles distant from this place – We are now engaged in repairing the wagons that we intend taking with us when we shall start again – The weather has been so inclement since our arrival that our stay here will necessarily be protracted beyond the time originally intended – there is however, now, a prospect of fair weather. –

He also speaks of his father and mother, Prest. Young and wife Mary Ann, and my father and mother going to Lorenzo Young’s tent that same day to dine, where they had quite a family meeting. While stopping there there was not more than one or two days till about the 13th that we did not have a shower; some of the time hail and rain, and on the night of the 5th had a heavy thunderstorm, and there was some sickness in consequence, but we had very few deaths in our camp during that part of our journey, for which we had great cause to be thankful. Numbers of the brethren, who had come that far with teams and to drive, return to Nauvoo.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 17,
1 February 1884, pp. 135–36

Saturday the 2d

The sun rose cloudless and beautiful tho’ about 10 it became cloudy – Had a small shower about 1 P. M. at the place where I was, 3 miles from here, watching cattle – the sun went down behind a cloud this evening. –

Sunday the 3d

Remained quite pleasant till the afternoon when we had quite a shower of rain which lasted till evening – there was a meeting held to-day – did not attend in consequence of illness – all the boys except Peter and myself went out on the prairie 2½ miles where the oxen are in order to erect a temporary hut for the herdsmen to stay in, also, a yard to put the cattle in nights –

Monday the 4th

Rather cloudy by spells, but no rain – Abram Hatch one of J.C.K.’s teamsters went back with Houston’s team – I went out where the boys are herding the cattle – returned again in the evening – one of father’s horses on being driven up to night was discovered to be very badly bitten in two or three places on the head – we immediately resorted to our family horse physician, the Delaware who has been very successful hitherto in such cases, and under his hands we look for a speedy and permanent cure – Forgot to mention that on the 1st day of May, Brigham and wife Heber and wife and father and mother went to Lorenzo Youngs tent and dined and had quite a family meeting.

field of flowersGarden Grove site. Photograph by Kenneth R. Mays.

Tuesday the 5th

The weather fair thro’ the day – the warmest day we have yet experienced – as the night set in had quite a thunder storm, engendered by the heat during the day – raised the creek considerably – Stephen Winchester started back this morning with his team, in order to assist his father to come up with us – To-day Bro. K. made some arrangements about the loading of the wagons – Helen and myself changed – took a wagon which H.[orace] Rockwell had formerly had – more convenient still than the Murray wagon, which we had last –

Wednesday the 6th

This morning the sun rose cloudless and beautiful – towards night however a storm with hail and rain somewhat similar to the one of last evening arose, accompanied by considerable wind which prostrated 2 trees a short distance from our tent the tops falling on a mule that happened to be in the way and knocking him down – he could not rise till we took the limbs from off him, what is quite surprising he was not injured in the least – Bro. J. M. Grant returned from the county, where he has been for the purpose of trading – he exchanged a horse for 1 yoke of 3 year old steers, a cow & calf J. C. K. has been quite unwell for a number of days – a number are complaining of the diarrhea, probably owing to their drinking the creek water – I myself have not been well for a few days past –

Thursday the 7th

Somewhat cloudy it cleared off however towards night – Wm wrote a letter to day to P. Kimball, intend sending it by the first opportunity – we are still continuing to fix the wagons we intend taking with us when we start – The brethren are mostly engaged in drawing rails cutting house logs, building fence, blacksmithing digging wells, repairing wagons, &c.– while quite a number are gone into the country engaged in peddling off such things as they cannot take with them on the Journey for bacon, flour, meal, corn, and other necessaries of life – these things we stand much in need of – we have had no meat of any kind, (except a little we borrowed the other day) for a number of weeks, but have subsisted principally on sea biscuit, and milk porridge Father’s horse, spoken of as being bitten by a rattlesnake on Monday, died today contrary to our expectations, as we had began to hope he was getting well – this was owing to inattention on the part of the boys who neglected to take care of him – Father considers it quite a loss as it breaks up one of his teams –

Friday the 8th

Beautiful day – sky cloudless and serene – Jacob with 5 yoke of Bro. K’s. oxen came in and went to drawing rails this afternoon. The brethren finished their fencing to day. having enclosed 300 acres, leaving a surplus of 10,000 rails – they have besides a sufficient number of house logs cut to build 30 or 40 buildings. This afternoon A.[ndrew] Cahoon came in from Nauvoo – brought the mail – the 5th No. of the Eagle for Brigham, and the news that Porter was arrested, while asleep, by [Sheriff Jacob] Backenstos in Nauvoo, for the murder of [Frank] Warrell, that he was taken to Carthage, stood trial on the charge and was acquitted – he was no sooner liberated, however, than he was taken up on another accusation – that of threatening a man’s life, and committed to Quincy Jail there to await his trial[28] – The wife of Bro. [John Hyrum] Green, Captain of a company of pioneers died lately. – she was buried here yesterday –

Saturday the 9th

Beautiful day – about noon I started out and got the cattle – put 4 yoke on my wagon 3 on Bro. Smithies, and 1 on the Carriage and went out 3 or 4 m. and encamped where our cattle have been kept – took the little tent with us. Wm and King went with us and helped us drive the teams and went back to the camp – we got here about sunset. We are in a great distance of the hut which the boys built the other day, where John Smith and Jacob Frazier stay nights There is a wolf’s den about a ¼ of a mile from here which Wm found the other day – the boys chased a wolf into it and put fire at the entrance, but could not scare the wolf out and on repairing them the next day discovered the sticks they had made it of carefully laid aside Besides Helen and myself there are 6 of us John, Jacob, Jenette Sister Smithies, and her 2 children –

Sunday the 10th

The weather is beautiful this morning, but I being unwell did not attend the meeting at Garden Grove, which is the name given to the new settlement – understood there were some resolutions passed at the meeting – one was, that the land which has been enclosed, and all that pertains thereto, should be considered as belonging to the Church, or church property – Each man, or family, is allotted a certain portion of land to till, and if he neglect it it is to be taken from him and given to another[29] – Father [Samuel] Bent is to be left as President of the Stake or Br. assisted by 2 counsellors and the most implicit obedience to his orders is enforced on the brethren who remain by Prest. Young Bro. Grant preached in the forenoon on the first principles of the gospel – a number of Missionaries were present. Feel a little worried to day about Mother’s health in consequence of what father told me yesterday that her arm, which she hurt last winter in getting into a wagon, is gradually perishing away and it pains her so much that it affects her whole system – All the rest of the folks, like myself staid out here on the prairie, in our wagons, the most of the day, which was rather lonesome Caught quite a number of fish to day out of the little creek which flows by our camp –

This day the sky was cloudless and beautiful, and I was happy because the few days spent there were so quiet and peaceful, and I looked forward with a feeling of dread to the time that it must be broken in upon and again be forced to mingle with the crowd and unavoidable noise and bustle of a large camp. Our tent was pitched on a gentle slope, and below, some distance away, was a crystal stream of water babbling over the rocks down through a little grove of trees and willows, where I accompanied Horace the next day, Sunday, to fish, taking along our books to read. This was his favorite pastime, and in which he indulged every opportunity. This was the most delightful spot we had seen, the whole landscape around us was lovely, they called it rolling prairie, and it had such a variety of hills and dales, all dressed anew in their bright velvety robes of spring.

The first morning I took an early stroll to enjoy the scene, and I was almost enchanted as I stood there alone gazing at the glorious sight as the sun was peeping over the hills—and to lend more to the scene of enchantment here came a beautiful fawn and also an antelope, skipping fearlessly over hill and dale and out of sight, with naught to disturb them nor the peace and tranquility of my thoughts, but the knowledge that the spell was so soon to be broken.

I was a romantic girl, not yet eighteen, and naturally an admirer of the beauties of God’s handiwork, and I thought, like the “Minstrel,”

“O nature, how in every charm supreme! Whose votaries feast on raptures ever new! O, for the voice and lire of seraphim, To sing thy glories with devotion due!”

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 17,
1 February 1884, pp. 135–36

Monday the 11th

The weather still continues fair – The intention is to make a start again in a day or two – Bro. Parley, with his company started to day, some of them encamped a little way beyond us the rest about a mile back – Bro. K this morning sent out for 4 yoke of oxen – Jacob went in with them and returned in the evening bringing Wm’s wagon, with him and Mary – to-morrow the rest of the folks are coming out here – heard more news from Porter – Bro. Scott told Bro. K. that he heard that he had been shot in an attempt to escape from Quincy Jail, whether this is true or false, we know not. But judge and hope it is an idle rumor – took another fishing excursion down the creek to day – caught a dozen or more of very decent size –

Next day another fishing excursion was taken, where Horace caught a dozen or more. These substantials were very acceptable, as we had had no meat, except a little that had been given to us and some we had borrowed a few days previous, for a number of weeks, but had subsisted principally on sea biscuits and that sort of fare. When the sun did shine the heat was intense, and the reason for my remembering it was that we were compelled to walk all that was possible to favor the teams, as they were fast giving out, and the most aggravating part was the slow progress that we made, it taking us over three months to accomplish what would have been a week’s journey under ordinary circumstances.[30]

Sometimes our camping place would be in sight of the one that we had started from in the morning, being on the prairie and having to follow the crooked ravines, there being no roads or bridges unless we stopped to build them. The most trying part of the journey, at least to me, was when we had to walk, and the scorching sun at times beating down upon us, until my little strength and patience would be quickly exhausted. There were times when we girls would drop down by the roadside and vow that we would not rise again till we saw the tents pitched, then we would take a straight line to the camp. I had not yet obtained sufficient religion to assist me and as my strength failed me so did my faith, but when the teams were ahead our only alternative was to get up and travel on. But after they decided to peddle off such things as they could not take with them over the mountains and we got more teams and provisions, we were much more comfortable. I shall never forget how I feasted at Garden Grove upon my mother’s first white bread and fresh churned butter. I had been famishing for a fortnight or more for the want of nourishment, or the lack of appetite to eat such as was set before us. At Garden Grove we had our first trial at eating cakes made of parched cornmeal, one meal of which sufficed me. At the beginning of our journey the crackers went very well for lunch, but after laying in the boxes, as they did through that long siege of wet weather, they became more or less mouldy and tainted with the pine wood, so that the greater part were fit only to be thrown away.

I remember one evening at our pleasant camping place, after leaving the main camp, when our little circle had knelt for prayers, I happened to bow by the bag of parched meal, and the effect was so unpleasant I could not center my thoughts upon worship, so I arose quietly and moved to the opposite end of the tent. Some were considerably reduced in flesh by this time. But at this place Bishop Miller and a number of the brethren went out peddling. The quadrille band, Bro. James Smithers among the number, had gone on the same business in order to make exchanges for teams, flour, bacon, and other provisions, which the camp stood in great need of.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 17,
1 February 1884, pp. 135–36

Tuesday the 12th

The weather continues fair, till toward evening when it clouded up and rained a little during the night. Bro K’s folks all got along this evening, also Bro. Grant[,] Thibbetts [Alvah Tippets] & Walker – John Davenport came in with the rest – he reached camp this morning, bringing 10 bushels of meal and 1000 weight of bacon, which the pioneers had earned – expect Hans in before long, as Bro. K has sent for him – Bro. K has just bo’t two wagons, one of which he let Sarah Ann have, the other he bro’t along with him – father could not start, till he had got his wagon fixed but will be along in a day or two – Understood Horace Rockwell started for the city to-day, probably to see about Porter’s case –

The evening of the 12th it clouded up and rained some during the night, just at dusk came father, Bro. Jedediah Grant, and their families with others of the camp, with the loud ge-ha’s of teamsters and yells of herdsmen, driving, unyoking and taking off their teams and other like noises which brought confusion, when the charm was broken, and lo, my bliss had departed.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 18,
15 February 1884, p. 138

Wednesday the 13th

Rain and sunshine alternately thro’ the day, till evening, when a tremendous cold rain storm came on – it lasted a good part of the night – Bro. Grant’s tent was blown down in the gal. This forenoon Bro. K. and Wm. rode back to the camp of Garden Grove, on horseback. Bro. K. let father have 2 yoke of oxen for J. C. K. in addition to the wagon he had already given him – Bro. Brigham with his company passed by to day – we should have started to-morrow, had it not rained – took out a lot of sea-biscuit, which was in my wagon, and put it in the place thereof other articles of greater weight They are as follows: –



1 sack of flour ________________________


" " " buckwheat ____________________


" " " beans ________________________


1 box of soap _________________________


" " " " __________________________


" " " " __________________________


" " iron horseshoes &c.________________


" keg of alcohol _______________________


" coil of rope _________________________


" sack of boots & shoes _________________


" bed, clothing, &c. ____________________



953 lbs.[31]

This is the number and amount of the articles in the back part of the wagon Bro. Spencer is encamped about a mile beyond us – Brigham probably 5 or 6 miles ahead, where Parley is – fished a little again to-day, caught a large catfish and 2 or three small ones, of the common kind, called dace. – Bro. A. Farr, Pack, and Lorenzo Young, came up to day and camped with us.

We had rain and sunshine alternately through the day till evening, when a tremendous cold rainstorm came on and lasted a good part of the night. Bro. Grant’s tent was blown down in the gale. President B. Young and company had passed us that day. Some of fathers men who had been out trading reached camp that morning, bringing 10 bushels of meal and 1,000 weight of bacon, which these pioneers had earned. Father had purchased two wagons, and before starting from Garden Grove our small one was exchanged for a larger one, and this day they had some sea biscuits taken out and articles of greater weight put in to equalize the loads, making the whole load about 1148 pounds, also another yoke of oxen was added.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 18,
15 February 1884, p. 138

Thursday the 14th

Beautiful day – nothing of notice transpired – expect to start tomorrow if the weather is fair – Father does not yet come up with us, but is remaining at Garden Grove, repairing his wagon – In addition to the load already put into the back part of my wagon there is to be put in the fore part a chest weighing 80 lbs., our cooking utensils, about 15 lbs., a fiddle box and fiddle, 10 lbs. Bro. K’s tent and mine, ours weighing 50 the other 40 lbs., making the whole load about 1148 pounds.

Friday the 15th

The weather still beautiful not a cloud to be seen in the horizon, tho’ the roads somewhat muddy from the recent rain – Started this morning about 8 a.m. went about 3 miles and saw Bro. Spencer’s and Dr. [Willard] Richard’s place of encampment – they soon struck their tents and went on – we proceeded about 2 miles and met the Band returning from their trading expedition, as also Bishop Miller, with some of his company who had also been out trading – went on about 6 miles further and encamped, the sun about an hour high on the edge of a ravine that makes into one of the banks of Grand River on the prairie, a short distance from the timber, having made 11 miles to-day – Bro. Kimball styles it the – “Cream of all the encampments we have hitherto had,” in consequence of the beautiful “rolling” prairie, and the rich verdure for our cattle that abounds in such plenty around us – Saw what is called the “Oregon trail” to day, that is the route pursued generally by the Emigrants in their ways to that territory.[32] Dr Richards is encamped with us tonight, Bro. Spencer about a mile and a half, where Brigham encamped last night –

Saturday the 16th

Fair day again – travelled about 11 miles, and encamped on a small creek on the prairie, about a mile from timber – Bro. K. named it “Crooked Creek” After coming about half way to-day, saw the place where Brigham had encamped the night previously on a small creek by the side of the road in the prairie –

Sunday the 17th

Somewhat cloudy and sprinkled a little – started at about 8 a.m. travelled 2½ miles and found Brigham encamped on a small creek in a valley – We went on by and a little way and pitched our tents on the top of an hill about 10 a.m. – Brigham and Bro. K, Amasa, G. A. Smith, and one or two others, went ahead on horseback to survey the road – returned after a short time bringing the news that they had found a good place to camp about 3 miles ahead, concluded to go on for fear it might rain; before starting father overtook us was glad to see him – Young Jasper had left him and gone back – He took two of Bro. N.[oah] Packards boys with him to assist him, on starting from Garden Grove – He would have been along sooner, but he lost his horses and was detained half a day in consequence – Lyman has lost his horses, and is yet behind – Bro. Myres came up to-day – as also Solomon Hancock , bringing the news that there were 200 tents pitched at Sugar Creek of those that had crossed the river since our departure[33] – they were 4 weeks from Nauvoo – we are encamped about an hour high at the place the brethren had selected on a small creek on the prairie having made 5 miles to-day – glad to find mother in pretty good spirits – her arm getting better J. C. K. also –

The morning of the 17th was cloudy and rained a little. We traveled about two and a half miles and found President Young encamped on a small creek in a valley. We went on a little way and pitched our tents on the top of a hill, when father, Brigham Young, Amasa Lyman, George A. Smith and one or two others went ahead on horseback to survey the road, and finding a good place to camp about three miles ahead, returned and concluded to go on for fear it might rain. We made about five miles that day. Bishop Whitney and family overtook us at the place where we last stopped, and we were rejoiced to see them. He had lost some of his horses and been detained at Garden Grove. We felt considerably worried about Mother Whitney’s health in consequence of her arm which was gradually perishing away, and it pained her so that it affected her whole system, but we found her getting better and in pretty good spirits, and also Bro. Joseph C. Kingsbury, who had been quite sick. Sister E. B. Whitney (the present editor of the EXPONENT) was the faithful nurse and companion of Mother Whitney in those troubling times, and continued to be like a loving daughter to her until she was laid in her last resting place. Bro. Soloman Hancock came up the same day bringing news that there were 200 tents pitched at Sugar Creek of those that had crossed the river since our departure. They were four weeks from Nauvoo.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 18,
15 February 1884, p. 138

Monday the 18th

No rain tho’ rather cloudy – Had to build a bridge this morning, before starting – A large horse apparently having formerly belonged to the Indians was caught by T[h]om[as] Williams lately – Started early this morning – stopt in the afternoon again to build a bridge – after doing which, and ascending the opposite hill, we perceived a large rock which had the appearance of having been rent in pieces either by the Indians setting fire to it, or by some convulsion of Nature – Proceeded and encamped at evening in a hickory grove on the brow of a hill, a small bottom of about half a mile in width intervening between us and the Middle Fork of Grand River, which is here about as large as the Chariton It abounds in fish, such as fish, sunfish, – Here it is the intention to remain some time, and make another farm – travelled 10 miles to-day –

Monday morning, 18th, the brethren had to build a bridge before starting and had to stop and build another in the afternoon. We traveled ten miles and encamped at evening in a grove on the brow of a hill—a small bottom intervening between us and the middle fork of the Grand River, which abounded in fish, such as sunfish and catfish. Here we were to remain some time and make another farm for the saints that were to follow us. This was called Mt. Pisgah.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 18,
15 February 1884, p. 138

Tuesday the 19th

This morning Bro. Wm King and myself with 6 yoke of oxen and 1 wagon started for Garden Grove, to bring up some provisions, which we expected to get out of Bro. Yearsly – Met Lyman W. and Bro. Potts after going about 10 miles – also Bro. [Jacob Flynn] Hutchinson , who was in search of his horse – Lyman did not find his horse but came on without him – Got to the farm on Wednesday, Met Bro. Hans also about noon – Bro Yearsley not at home – waited for him till Friday about 10 o’clock when we started back the creeks all very high and some scarcely fordable – reached home on Monday evening, accompanied by Bro. Markham Cahoon & several others – Bro’t back the most of Bro. T’s things in his wagon and our own, putting three yoke on his and two on ours – one yoke to let Bro. [Charles C.] Rich have to help him along who also came with us – Met J. C. K. and C. L. W. [Clark Lyman Whitney] going out to track Saturday – While we were going met a great number of emigrants just from Nauvoo – some three weeks from there and some 6 – in fact they are coming away as fast as they can get ready[34] – Bro. Kimball talks of building 3 houses here Brigham 2 – there have been 2 Indians here since we have been gone who said they had lost 3 horses – they were very glad to recognize the horse that Tom Williams found as being one of them – There were two messengers sent to their station on the West Fork about 50 miles hence to make arrangements about paying for the cultivation of the land – they returned bringing word that the Chief himself would come here and settle the terms thereof – they belong to the Pottawatomie tribe – Found Jacob Frazier very sick on our arrival – two deaths – Bishop Miller’s company – Bro. Wm Edwards and Bro. Farley’s child. Bro. W[illia]m. Huntington has been appointed president over those who remain here assisted by Ezra Benson and Charles Rich – No whites within 45 miles of here – Bro. [John] Holman was the first man to put a plough in the ground here, notwithstanding he does not intend to remain – Our two messengers learned from the Indians that Bro. L. Wight is about 100 miles from there but do not know in what direction Bro. John Taylor has just returned from Nauvoo – he say that has got to be a wicked place – he makes the calculation that there are about 600 wagons on the way between here and Nauvoo – there are all sorts of reports afloat there respecting us, such as that we have been mobbed &c.–

While they were absent two Indians came to our camp belonging to the Pottawatomie tribe, who said they had lost their horses, one of which had been caught by one of the company a few days previous—they were glad to recognize the horse. They had been sent as messengers to their station on the west fork, about fifty miles hence, to make arrangements about paying for the cultivation of the land—they returned, bringing word that the chief himself would come to us and settle the terms thereof. Also learned through them that Lyman Wight was about one hundred miles from there, but could not tell the direction. Here Bishop Whitney’s driver (Jacob Frazier) was very sick, which Horace mentions—also speaks of two deaths in Bishop Miller’s company—Bro. Wm. Edwards’s and Bro. Turley’s child.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 18,
15 February 1884, p. 138

[Editor’s Note: No entries from May 20th to May 25th]

Tuesday the 26th

Tolerable fair to-day – built a yard this afternoon to put our cattle in nights Bro. Clayton come up this evening. Mothers arm getting better – she has a rattlesnake bound on it – Bro. Geo. Herring, a Mohawk Indian arrived here today, he having been sent for some time since by the brethren – he came from Council Bluffs – he says [sic] there are a number of the brethren of [James] Emmett’s company waiting for us at the State line[35] – that some had taken jobs of work near a settlement of the Pottawattomie Indians about 2000 in number – that the Indian agents by the orders of the governor of Missouri, are enjoined not to let any whites stop among them but More especially to prohibit the “Mormons” from doing so, also that they (the Mormons) should not be suffered to settle this side of the Rocky Mountains Bro Herring also told us that the United States had declared war against Mexico We hail all such things as happy events, because when the Gentiles are embroiled among themselves, they have less leisure to persecute the Saints of God[36]

cabinModern reconstruction of a log cabin at Mount Pisgah. Courtesy of Kenneth R. Mays.

This may be considered, by some, an unkind feeling, but note the orders received by those agents concerning us, and the unnatural treatment we have received from the hands of our government, which should have protected and succored us, but instead have allowed us to be persecuted, harassed and driven from state to state, and our men to be imprisoned and many slain, and also innocent women and children murdered in cold blood, and a whole people to be exiled and driven into an almost unknown wilderness, without the inquiry or understanding of the facts concerning us, and all the suffering that we were daily enduring as consequence, could they realize this, and how sorely we felt it, and then take it home to themselves, they would wonder at our patience, and that we did not join hands with the poor Indians, who would have been too glad—or with the Mexicans to fight against the nation, who had driven us out from their midst, hoping as they did and expecting that we should perish or be scattered to the four winds, regardless of our feelings and rights, and had it not been that our people were true Christians we would long since have followed our natural instinct, as others have done, who, though professing so much more enlightenment, have shown how much they were lacking in that same spirit of Christianity, which has ever governed and controlled the Latter-day Saints, of whose inner lives and faith they know nothing until they are willing to become, as Jesus said, “Like little children, for of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.”

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 18,
15 February 1884, p. 138

Wednesday the 27th

On rising this morning found it raining, which however did not last long – it commenced raining again towards evening which contd. till 10 oclock – To-day father presented me with a pistol – Hans arrived to day with Bro Smith – Brigham Heber father and some others went on horseback to find a suitable place for crossing the river when they shall start again they returned having found a place where they intend to build a bridge –

Thursday the 28th

Somewhat cloudy, but no rain – one of Bro. K’s horses (Prince) on being found and bro’t up from the prairie this evening was discovered to be bitten – went a fishing at a slough close by the river found Bro. Clayton at it also – caught quite a number of sunfish & trout, &c. Got summer cloth for 2 pair of pants of S. Ann one of which was made up today by mother also calico for 1 shirt for myself – The brethren here are busily engaged – some ploughing and putting corn into the ground others building fences and houses, making ploughs & ox yokes & c. while the rest are herding the cattle[37] – Bro. Yearsly, with his family, arrived here to day from Garden Grove – he got there the same day Bro. William King and myself came away

Friday the 29th

Fine and pleasant – the brethren have nearly completed the bridge – Bro. Brigham chastised the people last Sunday at meeting because a great many manifested a disposition to tie the hands of the twelve, as it were – neglecting to put in crops here and wanting to go ahead on their journey when they have not the means to do so, – Bro. Brigham gave them the choice of two things to do – either to fit themselves out and go ahead, and leave the Twelve here, or, by using their utmost exertion to fit out the Twelve and let them go into the wilderness and establish the kingdom – there was however no vote taken on the subject Br. K. said if the people chose to have the Twelve stay here – they (the Twelve,) would go into foreign countries, preach the gospel and raise up a body of people who would be willing to abide by council and act as become the saints of God[38] – Got Ruth Pack to make me another pair of pants, to day – also got some leather of Sarah Ann and Abram is making me a pair of shoes – I have worn out 1 pair of shoes and 1 of boots since we have been on the journey besides an old pair I had when we started – this in consequence of having to travel so much on foot driving oxen thro the mud prairie grass &c., &c.–

Saturday the 30th

The weather fine and pleasant – nothing of moment transpired –

Sunday the 31st

A General Conference had been appointed for to-day, but as the meeting was about [to] commence, a heavy storm arose which caused the people to disperse – they met again in the afternoon but the weather being rainy they did not effect much of anything – the rain continued thro’ the day and night – Bro. Noah Rogers expired to-day after an illness of 10 days – He, Bro. [Benjamin Franklin] Grouard , Bro. Addison Pratt and Bro. [Knowlton F.] Hanks were the first to introduce the gospel to the inhabitants of Toobouai and Tahiti, islands belonging to the Society Group in the Pacific Ocean – Bro. Rogers was gone about 3 years, during which time he, with his brethren, accomplished a great work and were the means of bringing many to the knowledge of the truth He has left a large family to sorrow for his loss, but one great consolation to them will be the fact that he died in full faith of the gospel and with the hope of a glorious resurrection, having the conscious satisfaction many a dark and benighted heathen had, thro’ his instrumentality, been led into the “straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life”[39]

Monday the 1st of June

Continued raining till about noon when it cleared off – was on watch with Jacob, (who is getting better,) from 11 till 1 P. M. – very cold weather indeed, for the time of year, being the first day of the first month of summer – Horace Rockwell arrived here to-day from Nauvoo, bringing the mail – he left the city last Wednesday – brot’ me a paper (“Hancock Eagle”) from [William] Waterman Phelps by reading which I found that Porter had taken a change of venue to Jo. Daviess Co. and is to be tried at Galena on Monday the 8th inst. – the rumors that we have heard, of his being shot in his unsuccessful attempts to escape from Quincy Jail, are entirely groundless – on the contrary he has made no effort to escape, and has declared that were even so good an opportunity to present itself he would not avail himself of a chance to escape, but would await his trial – we had formerly heard that Sheriff Backenstos sent him word that he would have to arrest him, in order to give him a chance to get beyond his circle and that Porter disdained the idea of running away, but this is not so, he never got the message – Horace says there did not seem to be much hostility manifested towards him where he has been, but rather a feeling of curiosity to behold such a noted individual, and that he had a great number of visitors who daily flocked to see him – He is treated kindly, uniformly both by the officers of the law and the people – We intend moving over the river to-morrow –

Tuesday the 2d

Rose early this morning, and went after the cattle – very cold morning – struck our tents sun about 2 hours high, crossed the river, went 2 miles and encamped on the prairie – Brigham is 3 miles ahead, he having started yesterday – Father did not start to-day, but probably will tomorrow – Sarah Ann accompanied us and intends living with Helen and myself here after – Orson drives team for her – The roads somewhat muddy, but improving

It rained a little during that night—just as we were about starting next morning a young Indian, belonging to the Pottawatomie tribe, rode up on a pony—he had a young spotted fawn in his arms, which father bought of him, giving him a dollar in silver, but it died in a couple of days after. We overtook President Young before his tents were struck, stopped there about three hours, where Bishop Whitney overtook us, having come that morning from Mt. Pisgah.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 21,
1 April 1884, pp. 161–62

Wednesday the 3d

Notwithstanding the inauspicious appearance of the weather last evening it did not rain much during the night – as we were about starting this morning, a young Indian belonging to the Pottawatomie tribe rode up on a pony – he had a young spotted fawn in his arms which Bro. K. bought of him a dollar in silver travelled about 3 m’s and overtook Brigham who had not struck his tents – here father overtook us – he left the farm to day – stopt here about 3 hours when the whole camp proceeded 6 miles and encamped on the prairie near the timber making in all 9 miles today – G. A. Smith is encamped about 2 miles back This morning, before starting wrote 2 letters (one to the Trustees in Trust, the other to Mary Smith , Hyrum [Smith]’s widow for Bro K. – he intends sending them by Bro. Markham who is shortly going back – Bro. K gave him an order on the Trustees for 4 yoke of oxen, he having given up his team to him The name of the last settlement made is Mt. Pisgah, (from the Bible –)

Day was cold and cloudy, accompanied by quite a sharp wind. We started quite early that morning, leaving Bishop Whitney behind—he had lost his cattle during that night. We went about eight miles and halted about noon, where we saw some fine looking Indians on horseback. We went ten miles further and encamped on the prairie, which we were told was eighteen miles long, being the distance we had accomplished that day; the longest day’s journey since we left Nauvoo. We had just encamped when Bro. A. Fielding overtook us and remained with us all night. He was to start next day for Nauvoo. A day or two previous to this my husband’s sister, Sarah Ann, commenced tenting with us, and we continued together till houses were built at Winter Quarters.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 21,
1 April 1884, pp. 161–62

Thursday the 4th

Cold and cloudy accompanied by quite a sharp wind – started quite early this morning, leaving father behind – he had lost his cattle during the last night and could not come on – went about 8 miles and baited, about noon, went 10 miles further and encamped on the prairie near the timber and a running stream of water – Our route to day has been altogether on the prairie, which Bro. [John D.] Lee told us last night was 18 miles long, being the distance we accomplished to-day, the longest days’ journey since we left Nauvoo We had just encamped when Bro. A.[mos] Fielding overtook us – he said he passed father’s place of encampment about 2 o’clock and he had just found his cattle – Bro. Fielding remained with us all night – I slept with him – he is going to start back to Nauvoo to morrow

Friday the 5th

The sun some what obscured by clouds this morning and a little rain, but it soon cleared off, cloudless, and beautiful – Wrote a letter this morning for Bro. K, (and took a copy thereof,) to Bros. Huntington, Benson and Rich, at Mount Pisgah requesting 4 yoke of cattle – Started about 8, and about 10 o’clock, struck the Indian trail leading from Raccoon Forks to Council Bluffs – passed thro some very romantic spots, and quite a diversity of scenery to what we have hitherto seen on our route – passing “over hill and dale, tho’ brake and bush” – We saw the remains of a great many Indian wigwams which had the appearance of being constructed sometime since – they were composed of boughs of trees curiously interwoven Just before reaching our place of encampment for the night we saw a large number of them which had fallen down, and were dried from on account of the long time that had elapsed since they were built. As we intended going on a little further before stopping and as there was nothing but prairie before us as far as the eye could extend – every man gathered a bundle for fire wood Wm. found a small breastplate that had evidently been lost by the Indians – the young fawn which Bro. K. bought lately died to day – we traveled about 14 miles to day – father does not yet come up with us – encamped on a small creek on the prairie, – Brigham also, within a short distance from us –

native american homeUnknown artist, Pottawattamie (Potawatomi) Village of Prairie Indians. The Pottawattamie
were the first Native American
tribe the Saints encountered in their western trek across Iowa in 1846.

Saturday the 6th

Rained a little during the day – travelled about 14 miles – encamped on the bottom in the vicinity of quite a large creek – the wagons were all arranged successively in a circle of about a quarter of a mile in circumference thus making an enclosure for our horses, that the Indians might not steal them – just as we were camping, father with his teams, came up – they had traveled very fast to overtake us to night, and would have overtaken us before had they not stopt to repair a wagon

Sunday the 7th

Meeting was called at 10 Bro. Brigham and Heber spoke at some length exhorting the people to the observance of the ordinances and commandments of God – A number of Indians and squaws came in to see us, mounted on their ponies and horses, and decorated and painted in their peculiar manner – they are of the Pottawatomie tribe[40] – they have a camp some 4 or 5 miles from here – About 3 P. M. got up our cattle and started on – went about 7 miles and encamped just after sunset on a small creek, near the timber after crossing the bridge. Brigham arranging his wagons on one side the road, Bro. Heber his on the other Had a beautiful day for travelling – the roads very good – One of Bro. Dike’s [likely William Dykes (1815-1879)] oxen in Brigham’s company had his neck broken, being turned loose in the yoke. Bro. Miller has built a bridge here and on a tree before crossing which, will be seen an inscription, done with a knife – “Lost Fork Bridge

Monday the 8th

Beautiful day – started about 8 this morning travelled about 4 miles came to a river which we crossed on a bridge and passed thro the village, where the Chief of the Pottawatomies resides – immediately after crossed the same stream again which bears the name of Manottawa, or the “Sleeping Rock”, probably originating from some wild legend or tradition of the Indians – here we stopt about an hour and baited our cattle – during which time we were visited by a great number of the tribe, both Indians and squaws The Chief went to Brigham and wished him to pay them – for the grass which the cattle eat, the request they were probably “put up to” by some of the whites, enemies to our people – The Pottawatomie village is situated in a bend of the river and consists, as we were told by some of the Indians, of 130 wigwams, but we did not learn the number of inhabitants – while we stopt here we had the amusement of seeing 2 or three Indian horse races – they have very fine horses and ponies among them, as we found out to our satisfaction by running with them – travelled 14 miles and encamped about sunset on another small creek near the timber – Father and Brigham had already arrived here, and encamped – Just before descending the hill to the river saw an Indian burying ground which we distinguished by a white flag which we saw fastened to a tree – The Indians appeared to be in quite a destitute condition offering us various ornaments, such as beads wampum and other trinkets in exchange for food – To day a trifling difficulty occurred between Bro. [Howard] Egan and Pack about the right of place – During the evening Bro. K. called his portion of the camp together, and admonished them to get their flintlocks ready in case of emergency – The names of those who never had been organized were then called over – there were 14 of them of whom Bro. Alva Thibbets was appointed Captain

Tuesday the 9th

Beautiful day – started about 8 o clock this morning nothing worthy of notice transpired – towards evening arrived at a spot something like an inclined plane, situated on a small creek and environed by trees on each side – On account of the uncommon beauty of the place Bro. K. named it “Paradise” – We there crossed the creek, ascended a hill, proceeded about a mile and encamped on another creek in the vicinity of timber – here we found a beautiful spring of water which rivaled in sweetness any I ever saw – Did not overtake Bro. Brigham learned from Lorenzo, (whom we found lame,) that he is encamped 3 miles ahead, where Bishop Miller and company are engaged in building a bridge, which they intend finishing to-morrow – This day travelled about 13 miles

Here we found Bro. Lorenzo Young, who, as a rule, camped a little distance from the rest to favor Sister Harriet Young, who was a constant sufferer from asthma, and desired to be quiet, which was out of the question in a large camp, and as young as I was she had my sympathies. We learned from Uncle Lorenzo that President Young had encamped three miles ahead, where Bishop Miller and company were engaged in building a bridge, so we stopped here, having traveled about thirteen miles.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 21,
1 April 1884, pp. 161–62

Wednesday the 10th

Fine day – In consequence of having to build a bridge where Bishop Miller is, we did not start to-day – A number of our camp went to assist about it – Bro. K. and father went in the carriage to Bishop Miller’s camp and returned – In the afternoon Brigham and wife with his carriage came over to our camp – He, Bro. K. and father mounted their horses, while Sisters Young, K. and Mother got into the carriage and went out after strawberries – they returned towards evening bringing 3 or 4 quarts – To-night our boys returned, having finished the bridge. – Bro. Miller intended going ahead 5 or 6 miles this evening – We all intend to start to-morrow morning – had quite a pleasant time this evening which we spent in dancing on the green grass till bed time the bright orb of night shinning in all its glory over our heads –

A number of our camp went to assist in building the bridge. Father and Bishop Whitney drove over to see the President, and in the afternoon he came back in his carriage with Sister Mary Ann Young. He, with father and Bishop Whitney, mounted their horses, while sister Young, my mother and Mother Whitney got into the carriage and went after strawberries. They returned towards evening bringing three or four quarts.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 21,
1 April 1884, pp. 161–62

landscapeArtist unknown, Nishnabotna River Crossing. Courtesy of Church History Library.

Thursday the 11th

Very warm and sultry – Started about 8 a.m. crossed the creek, and on ascending the opposite hill, saw that Brigham had not yet started – therefore we stopt and waited an hour till his teams had got out of the way – we then went on, crossed the bridge which the boys finished yesterday – this, like the one at the Sleeping Rock, has no other foundation than flood wood. – Passed thro the timber about half a mile before reaching it and after crossing a small bottom and ascending a hill on the opposite side of the river, saw a grave, which had been dug apparently some 4 or 5 months since – it was covered with logs laid up in an oblong form, and about 3 feet high; something like a log building – the stream we crossed is called by the Indians the “Nishina the E. Fork Botany” River[41] – stopt again about noon, baited our cattle and waited for Bro Miller and B. Young, to cross another bridge which they had about finished when we came up with them – we then went on and encamped sun about a hour high on a “divide” near the timber, quite a large creek on one side and a branch of the same on the other, Brigham having encamped on our right, and Bro. Miller on our left, while Bro. Spencer is in front of us, on the bottom close to the creek – Bro. [James Willard] Cummings came from the Bluffs, yesterday – he says Emett’s company are 30 miles below the Bluffs; on the River and have taken jobs of work there, in order to get themselves provisions to prosecute their journey – he said that there were 12 wagons (Mormon,) had come up from St. Louis lately, and that a U. S. officer, had told them that he was ordered to prohibit all suspicious persons from crossing the State line, hinting that the Mormons were the persons meant. Some of the brethren tho’t that the grave that we saw to-day, was that of one of the brethren in Bro. Wight’s Company[42] Bro. [Henry G.] Sherwood tells me that the streams we crossed after leaving Grand River, or before reaching the Monottawa, are the head waters of the Platte – the stream where we are now is the W. Fork of the “Nishinie Botanie

Friday the 12th

Did not start till towards noon – having to build a bridge – Bro. K. sent a large number of men to assist – the weather warm and sultry – travelled about 10 m’s and encamped sun an hour high between the 2 forks of a creek, where we have, to-morrow morning to build another bridge – Bro. K. called the people of the camp together, and selected 25 men to go to work at it early in the morning, before breakfast. Bro. Brigham and Miller are encamped within a short distance of us.

­Saturday the 13th

Were detained this morning, about the same length of time we were yesterday morning, in building a bridge – we then started – the weather sultry and unpleasant – stopt about 2 o’clock P. M. and baited our cattle – had to drive them about a mile to water – in fact there has been so much dry weather and so little rain in this part of the country, that there is a great drought through the country – from our stopping place, we could perceive the grand and lofty hills on the opposite side of the Missouri River, their pinnacles widely jutting up and reaching far above the surrounding scenery – Brigham is encamped for the night about a ¼ of a mile beyond – Bro. K. went ahead to look out a good camping ground – he returned, having found one – and we all started and went a mile and a half further and encamped on a creek near the timber, somewhat out of our way, in order to have a good place for our cattle – we can perceive the Missouri River from our present position, which is about 2 miles, a swampy wet bottom intervening[43] – some of the brethren tho’t they could see the trader’s houses sometime before we got here – on the right hand side of us is Musquitoe Creek, on our left a branch of the same with a beautiful wood in the front and the Council Bluffs are to be seen in the distance[44] – over this creek we have to build another bridge, before we can proceed further, and then we shall have to retrace our steps and travel 6 miles south to accomplish the 2 miles across to the river – travelled about 10 miles to-day – we found another beautiful spring of water in this place, in fact the ground here appears to be full of springs The scenery around us, is entirely different from that thro’ which we have hitherto been travelling abounding in hills and dales and murmuring rivulets, and considerably resembles that of the New England states –

landscapeMissouri River and Council Bluffs. Lithograph by Frederick J. Piercy in Route from Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley, ed. James Linforth (Liverpool: Franklin D. Richards, 1855). It took Brigham Young’s vanguard company over three months to cross Iowa and reach Council Bluffs, much longer than expected. Courtesy of Church History Library.

Sunday the 14th

The weather still warm – A number of the girls went out strawberrying this forenoon – Bro. K. rode over about a mile to Brigham’s camp – Bro. Miller had finished the bridge on Musquitoe creek – he had been to see the agents – they agreed to furnish spikes and pitch for the building of a ferry-boat if after the church had all crossed they would give up in the boat to them – they wished us to have nothing to say to the Indians in the way of tampering with them. Struck our tents about 2 P. M. – and went on – after crossing the creek ascending and descending a bluff travelled in a circuitous route over the bottom – after getting a short distance from the bluff – we discovered at our right hand just under the brow of the same a large farm enclosed by a fence, which extended a good way over the bottom, – also 2 or 3 houses. The whole camp of Israel encamped on the banks of the Missouri River, near the timber, about a mile above the trading houses – there is also quite a settlement on opposite side of the river to where we are – saw a number of Indians, and half-breeds, on our arrival, who accompanied by the agent were riding about on their horses – there are 3 trading houses at the settlement below – Soon after our arrival, the brethren met in council on the banks of the river to lay down certain rules for our observance while we remain here – there were as follows: – every 4th man is to assist in building the boat, 1 or 2 out of each 10 to herd cattle, while others are to go out in the country, to trade for provisions There was a committee of three appointed (viz: Father, Rockwood & Miller) to wait on the agents, and ascertain the prices of things – meanwhile no man is permitted to have any traffic with the inhabitants or Indians without having permission so to do from the proper source – and there are men hereafter to be appointed to do all the trading – so that if a person stands in need of any article he must apply to them –

The heat of the weather was now at its height, and the whole country around abounded in strawberries, raspberries and blackberries, and other fruit indigenous to the country; and the day following our arrival there, a number of our girls went out strawberrying. This was Sunday, and father rode over about a mile to President Young’s camp, and learned there that Bishop Miller had been to see the agents, who agreed to furnish spokes and pitch for the building of a ferry boat; if, after the church had all crossed, they would give it up to them. They wished us to have nothing to say to the Indians in the way of tampering with them. Our companies had no disposition to do this, but it was nothing strange that they should view us, or any other white people, with suspicion, for they had generally been mean and dishonest in their dealings with the Indians; besides they had been warned by a Unites States officer to beware of us, but we had too much at stake to take advantage of the tribes, traveling as we were through their territories.

There were certain ones in camp at the early start who received severe rebukes from the presidency for being dishonest. One was the case of a young man in Bishop Miller’s camp, who undertook to pass counterfeit money in pay for cattle, etc. The bishop wrote to President Young to excuse the young man, but wished him to make restitution to Mr. Cochran, the man who had been cheated by him—but for which the bishop received an awful rebuke, and was ordered to restore the property. It was soon discovered that such characters were not wanted among us, nor were they to be sustained in the camp, for the most strict laws and rules were laid down in their council held at Chariton, where they organized the camp. Here are a few words from President Young’s remarks, made on the following Sabbath: “I told them I was satisfied that the course we were taking would prove to be the salvation, not only of this camp, but of the Saints left behind; but there had been things done which were wrong. Some pleaded our suffering from persecution, and the loss of our houses and property, as a justification for retaliating upon our enemies, but such a course tends to destroy the kingdom of God.”[45]

The whole of the camp started in the afternoon and encamped on the bank of the Missouri River about a mile above the trading houses, where we saw a number of Indians and half-breeds, who were riding about accompanied by the agent, trading horses at the settlement below.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 22,
15 April 1884, p. 170

Monday the 15th

Went to the slough hard by to assist the girls in washing very warm day – Wm and King went down to the settlement – this forenoon – Wm learned that there are 2200 Indians, (Pottawatomies) 100 families of whites traders [sic] a number of halfbreeds, that reside on the pt. below us, – Among those on the other side of the river are some Mohawks – Sioux, and other tribes – Early this morning there was a rumor thro’ the camp that 2 cows had been killed by the Indians, last night, but on inquiry it turned out to be false Bro. Pack, Egan, Grant, & L. Young and others went out into the country to day for the purpose of trading – there is some talk this evening of moving back to our old quarters on the bluff, that we last had before coming here, on account of being so crowded here with our cattle, and the other place affording so much better chance to us for fuel, good pure spring water, &c., &c.– the brethren commenced their work on the bridge to-day – [Mary] Emeline Harris (fathers family) is very sick with the fever at this time – Brigham, Bro K, father, and Bro. Miller went down to the trading house today to make some arrangements with the agents and ascertain the prices of things

Those uninteresting and unpleasant incidents I remember very distinctly, though I might have passed them over had he not made mention of this circumstance. As cleanliness is next to godliness, and having abundance of time when the weather permitted, we had no good reason for neglecting this duty. And we had plenty of boys ready and willing to hitch up a team to take us to the water if any distance away from camp; if so, we would take a picnic or send back for a warm dinner. The boys would spend their spare time fishing or as they felt inclined till the washing was done. Though our washing was not so very extensive, it was hard enough with the sun beating down, and so breathless and sultry that it appeared as though we must melt down under it, and this was not a pleasant thing to anticipate. I was not a strong girl—having grown up like a shaded plant I had little strength, and was what is generally termed lazy; one of the worst ills, I think, that can afflict humanity, if I may judge from my own experience. But we had ample time to do our washing, ironing and mending, also our sewing, besides making our daily toilet. And even our fashionable dressmakers found employment as the warm weather came on. Father had two or three wives who had learned the trade, and the same number who understood tailoring, and one of them had been brought up to the corset making trade, and all of them were trained up to some kind of useful industry, and were virtuous and worthy women, and, as a general rule, they sought the interests of one another. All had their trials and temptations—being new beginners in what might be termed an adverse school, which was calculated to bring into action faculties that might forever have lain dormant—testing everyone’s nature, showing up their weak points and bringing them to the surface, to be thrown off, and learn each one to govern themselves, which was the very thing to make them saints or sinners. The “Mormon” companies were all orderly, and were truly models by the side of those who followed in their trail who were not governed by the same strict rules and religious motives and principles that our people were. Our salvation, both temporal and spiritual, depended upon this course, and our history is a wonder and a marvel to those who have taken the trouble to hunt us and review it in all its ups and downs. And my reasons for writing what many, no doubt, think rather dry and prosy reading, concerning the journey and sojourn of the Latter-day Saints in the wilderness in the year 1846, over a country which could be easily traveled in a week or ten days under ordinary circumstances, but which took us six months to accomplish, are to give to the generations that have grown up since, a little idea of the trials and hardships of those long and tedious days and months that were spent by the pioneers in making roads, building bridges and houses and making farms, etc., etc., for the comfort of the ones who were to follow; and our experience, I think, comes nearest to that of the children of Israel after their departure out of the land of Egypt than any other people of whom we have any record, though I believe that we were a more patient people. And who have been as miraculously saved from death in many forms than they were? And the same God has fought for us while we have held our peace, and has brought us deliverance every time; and it is our wish and purpose to trust Him still.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 23,
1 May 1884, p. 182

Tuesday the 16th

Very warm – We all started back about noon, after having retraced our steps across the bottom instead of ascending the bluff we kept ‘round on the edge of it to the right hand, and built a bridge in about 2 hours, over the creek considerably further down than the one that Bro. Miller built, which we crossed and soon reached our old place, which forms a beautiful contrast to the one we just left – every thing – wood and water being more conveniently at hand than they were there – reached here in good season, and shortened the distance considerably by coming the way we did Brigham with his company soon followed us, also Bishop Miller, who arrived about 10 in the evening and encamped just behind us – he bro’t a large quantity of fish, which consisted of catfish, buffalo of good size, and – a number of small ones – he gave Bro. K. about 100wt. which was distributed in the company – Bro. K. intends sending some teams into the country to-morrow after provisions – I suppose we shall remain here 2 or three weeks which time it will take to build the boat – we hear there are a great many brethren on the road between here and Nauvoo and one told me that there were about 500 wagons, but I am inclined to think this account somewhat exaggerated –[46]

Wednesday the 17th

This morning, Bro. King, Hans, W.[arren] Markham and myself started into the country to get wheat, flour, corn &c. for Bro. K – father sending a number of hands with teams at the same time Went into Atchison Co. one of the border countries of Missouri, threshed out something like 160 bushels of wheat and sent 140 odd to Mill 20 miles below – bro’t home about 6300 flour [sic]– shelled out a quantity of corn, and bro’t home 42 bushels of seed wheat, Bro’t 5 cows for father while gone having been absent 3 weeks to a day[47] – about a week before we came back, Bro. K. sent Daniel Davis and John Davenport down to our assistance – Bro Egan, who preceded us some two or three days into the country was our principal agent, engaging our grain &c.– Returned on

Horace, with some of my father’s men and W. Markham, started on a trading expedition, also some of Bishop Whitney’s men with teams. They went into Atchison Co., Missouri, where they threshed out about 120 bushels of wheat, sent it to mill about twenty miles below there to be ground, and brought back about 6,300 pounds, also shelled out a quantity of corn and brought with them—also some seed wheat. Howard Egan, who was father’s principal agent, had preceded them two or three days. They were absent two weeks and returned on the 17th of July, finding President B. Young and father absent, having gone back for the purpose of raising volunteers for the Mexican expedition. From the 17th Horace had to depend on Peter Hanson’s journal for facts occurring during his absence.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 23,
1 May 1884, p. 182

Tuesday the 7th of July

[Editor’s Note: While Horace was ill for almost a month, Peter Hanson wrote in his journal for him from 17 June to 15 July.]

found our folks encamped on the bottom some what nearer the trading house than they they were before, tho’ a great number yet remain on the hill where our folks were when we left – Bro. K. and Brigham had gone back to the “Trains” to raise 500 volunteers for the Mexican expedition. In consequence of working very hard since I have been gone, and the excessive hot weather, I am quite unwell – therefore I am obliged to depend on Peter’s Journal for facts occurring during my absence as well as for about a week after my arrival The following, from Wednesday the 17th of June to Wednesday the 15th of July are extracts from the same –

Wednesday the 17th [of June]

Fine cool morning – To-day the girls went about a mile to wash – very warm day – 4 of our wagons started for the Platt country for provisions – for Bro. K., Bro. King, [Chancey] Whiting Hans and Hanson for Bro. Whitney, J. Wetherbee, Orson, Abijah [likely Abiah Wadsworth] – To-day, by invitation, B. Young, Bro. K. Dr. Richards, Bro. Whitney and some of the Band went down in carriages to the settlement to take dinner – The Agent, the principal Indian chief and a number of others were there and appeared delighted with our music – This evening our company was enlarged by 5 families from Michigan – We learn that Elder Orson Hyde and John Taylor have just come up with their companies

land with animalsMormon Trail Encampment. Lithograph by Piercy, Route from Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley. Utah State
Historical Society.

Peter speaks of the abundance of strawberries found at that place. There was a carriage load of us went with mother on the 19th some distance from camp where they grew so thick that we could not help stepping on them. The heat was intense, being in a small valley in the woods, and having no water, only what we carried in a jug. I had been picking for quite a time and the berries looking so delicately tempting I kept reaching for them until I fell helpless, though not senseless. But the rest having gone farther away from the carriage than myself, I was alone and had to lay there till I recovered enough to crawl to the carriage where, though famishing for a cooling draught, I found nothing but tepid water. Towards sundown it grew cooler, and feeling better, I went out again. President B. Young came down with a carriage load of his family about that time and we picked berries till dusk, when we returned to camp. We had filled all our pails and pans full and eaten till we were clogged and wanted no more strawberries that year. That day an invitation had been received from the agent for the camp and Wm. Pitt’s band to spend the day at the Point. This was delightful, especially to the young people, and though I was very unwell through the night, it was out of the question for me to forego such a pleasure. This was the first time that our chests had been disturbed or opened since packing them in Nauvoo, being the first time that we had needed anything but common apparel. And it was really delightful to once more see the inside of our chests and to bring out the pretty bonnets, laces, ribbons, parasols and kid shoes, etc., that had been packed away, and to think that we were again to attend a ball. And I rather think we astonished the good folks at the Point to see so many well dressed and merry hearted boys and girls and gentle people who were exiles from civilization. Peter Hanson, in his description, says of them, “They were mostly French, half breeds and Indians—the ladies of all are very interesting and quite neat in their personal appearance. Music and dancing were had, and one of the Indian ladies wished to have an introduction to Brother Kimball, that she might dance with him.” This was Le Clerc’s daughter, the educated chief of the Pot-towatomie tribe. She was a spoiled child, and had married a young white man of very immoral habits. She had been educated in a western city and dressed with taste and was quite accomplished in the art of coquetry and the bewitching graces characteristic of the fashionable belle of society. All of the inhabitants were warm-hearted and treated us with great hospitality. The gaiety and excitement of the day with the dancing was too much for me and I was taken home very sick, and remained so for three or four days; and afterwards received quite a reproof from my father, when I had recovered enough to bear it, for my foolishness. My husband being absent, he felt it his duty to chasten his daughter, whose only plea was ignorance and a passionate love of the dance. But the lesson came too late only as a warning with a heavy penitence for past folly. At this place we had some windy, dusty and stormy days. Five families came from Michigan—and also a large camp, called the Mississippi company, overtook us there.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 23,
1 May 1884, p. 182

Thursday the 18th

Father [Charles W.] Hubbard joined us to-day – strawberries are found here in abundance – warm weather during the day – thunder in the distance this evening –

Friday the 19th

Fine morning – heavy dews – warm weather thro’ the day

Saturday the 20th

This forenoon Bro. K. with most of his family went 9 miles to the town in 2 carriages, together with some of the “Twelve” and families, also, some of the Band, to visit the inhabitants who were very much pleased – they are mostly French, half-breeds & Indians, and speak English F. and Indian – The ladies of all sorts are very interesting and quite neat in their personal appearance – Music and dancing was had, and one of the Indian ladies, wished to have an introduction to Bro. K. that she might dance with him – Elder G. A. Smith and A. Lyman camped within a short distance from us this afternoon – A large camp called the Mississippi company of Latter-day Saint converts, lays about ½ a mile from O. Hyde’s camp which lies east about a ¼ a mile –

Sunday 21st.

Cold and windy – which makes it unpleasant, on account of the dust – A number of French and Indians came up to the camp on horseback this afternoon – Two meetings held this day –

Monday the 22d

Cold and windy – Killed one of our calves this morning this forenoon, father with some of his family went down to the village to visit and at the same time bo’t some boards, salt, buffalo hides &c.

Tuesday the 23d.

Cold windy and rainy to-day – Bro. Joseph Toronto , the only Italian in the church, made mother (Sister [Vilate Murray] K.[imball] ) a present of some oranges lemons and wine – he had come from the city of Joseph in 9 days – Helen been quite sick – getting well –

Wednesday the 24th

Still cold and rainy – Bro. K. is writing a letter to Nauvoo, called this place “Heber’s Rest” – This day we have been glad to make even of the storm –

Thursday the 25th

Warm calm and foggy this morning – Teams sent down on the flat after timber for ox yokes – News from the Society Islands – branchs [sic] of the church are being built up continuously, and the Queen and all the heirs to the crown have been baptized – The agent’s name is Mitchell –

News was received from the “Society Islands” of branches being built up, and that the queen and all the heirs to the crown had been baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 24,
15 May 1884, p. 186

Friday the 26th

Council held to-day – To-day George Rhodes came to drive a team for Bro. K. –

Saturday the 27th

Fine weather – To-day Bro. K. and Brigham went back 3 miles and while gone saw 14 camps of the Saints – This Morning men were sent down 10 miles to build a bridge that those returning from trading in the Platt country could thus save some 15 miles journey – rather stormy this evening –

Sunday the 28th

Meeting at our largest tent this morning – a large number of K’s family being present and some others he preached to them exhorting them to love one another with a great deal of other good advice – the sacrament was then administered, and the meeting closed Bro. K. then went to public meeting which was opened with prayer by O. Hyde – B. Young then spoke at some length He spoke of the necessity of guarding our sheep from the wolves – Bro. Grant, [Samuel] Myers and some others came from the Platt county to day –

Monday the 29th

Fine morning – 2 men with 6 yoke of oxen sent to meet our teams –

Tuesday the 30th

This morning Bro. K. & family started to move back to the river but it commenced raining, and so only went a little way beyond Musquito Creek bridge, and stopt – after we had took dinner it cleared off and we saw a number of the Twelve pass by on their way to the old camping ground on the river Bro. K. accordingly also went on to the river and encamped also – The reason of the Twelve’s moving was this – they received intelligence that 4 officers had come from Fort Leavenworth to Mt. Pisgah, and were now on the road here, to request us to let our young and able bodied men enlist and go to the Fort, there to procure arms provisions &c., and go to Santa Fe to fight against the Mexicans and then go to California to get a location for the rest of the Mormons, in remuneration for their services after we had started to-day a messenger came up to tell us that the said officers had arrived at the camp on the hill[48]

Wednesday, July the 1st

Fine morning This morning the Presidency went back to the Bluffs to see said officers – Council was held, and their request to raise 500 volunteers from among us, taken into consideration. (Each man to be allowed $12 a month, 18 oz. bread stuff per day, and 14 oz. meat.) If they could not raise that number they did not want any – The presidency agreed to it – on condition that the people were willing – In the afternoon, when Bro. K. came back, we started to cross the river, but on getting to the ferry we could not cross – therefore went back a about 3/4 of a mile and encamped on a slight elevation of ground, under the beautiful shade of an old elm tree – Bro. K. and Brigham are about starting back to Mt. Pisgah to raise volunteers – Colonel Scott and Dr. Richards are encamped here with us –

The mosquitoes being so troublesome near the river obliged us to move back, and as we were far from water they accordingly dug a well closeby.

As it was nearly dusk when they concluded to move from the river, and being very weary, I, with one or two others, had accepted an invitation from the chief’s daughter to accompany her home; and when returning, finding the wagons gone and not feeling strong, she urged me to return and stop the night, which invitation I accepted, though I spent a somewhat nervous and wakeful night, but when morning came I felt more at ease. I learned that her parents had separated, as her mother was now living with her and did most of the work. Though dressed in her native costume she looked neat, and kept the house tidy, and could cook equal to the white women. This was quite a wood country, which abounded in blackberries and other wild fruit, and as they were getting ripe we went out in the morning and picked what we wanted to eat, after which she showed her taste and skill in braiding my hair in broad plats, after the latest French style, and put it up a la mode, and after dinner accompanied me to camp. While stopping at this place I went, by invitation, with one or two of my father’s young wives, to take tea with the wife of the interpreter, who gave us a little of the history, not only of the chief and his daughter, but of the Indian tribes the Sioux and Pottawatomies, who were at war with each other. And it was only the evening of the 6th that a Pottawatomie Indian came to our camp on horseback, bringing a message, which he could only make known by signs. The import of it was that the Sioux Indians had killed a Pottawatomie, and he wanted our people to assist them in fighting the Sioux, and thus revenge their comrade’s death.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 24,
15 May 1884, p. 186

Thursday the 2d

We learn this morning that some cattle have been lost in the creek – As we are far from water, we went to the N. E. bend of Musquito creek to seek for springs, and a place to encamp, but as we found none, and no place high enough to be out of the reach of Musquitos, we determined to remain here, and accordingly dug a well close by under the hill an elevation on which we are encamped, the water of which proved to be very good Today Wm sold his “Cub Hare” to a man living in the village below We have our wagons so arranged as to form quite a door-yard –

On the morning of the 3rd father and President B. Young started for Mt. Pisgah on the recruiting business. When the news first came to us of the war between the United States and Mexico we little dreamed of the requirement that the government were about to make at our hands, and congratulated ourselves that being expelled from their midst we should travel undisturbed Beyond the Rocky Mountains, where we should hear no more contentions, turmoils and strife, and we had cause to look upon this demand with suspicion, especially after the threat which was thrown out in the letter received from Sam Brannan just previous to starting on our journey. But our people proved their loyalty by kissing the hand that had driven them into the wilderness, where it was hoped, by the majority, we should utterly perish, and it was thought that by taking from us 500 of our young, able bodied men in the Indian country that it would cripple us so much that it would insure our utter destruction; but there a few honorable men like Colonel Thomas L. Kane, who, like true-hearted countrymen, rendered all the assistance that was possible to the Saints in this, their most trying hour.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 12, no. 24,
15 May 1884, p. 186

Previous to this an express had been sent by the president to Mt. Pisgah to raise one hundred men for the expedition over the mountains, and the day before their arrival brother Woodruff had called for mounted volunteers, when “sixty at once stepped out into line” But the day following the people there were thrown into consternation by the sudden cry, “The United States troops are upon us!”

But it soon proved to be Captain James Allen with three dragoons—who, after making known his business in the high council at that place, was furnished with a letter of introduction to the President and authorities at Council Bluffs and Brother Woodruff dispatched a messenger to prepare them for the business of this government agent.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 13, no. 1,
1 June 1884, p. 2

Friday the 3d

This morning, Bro. K. and Brigham started for Mt. Pisgah on the recruiting business – Wm went to the Bluffs to bring down a load of goods left there – Quite windy to day –

Saturday the 4th

Very warm – To-day Bishop Whitney and Bro. Grant moved down here from the Bluffs Colonel Rockwood had sent word for us to come down at 9 P. M. and cross over to night, but we judged it expedient to remain here on account of the Indians – Bro. Billings, [Luman] Shirtliff and others arrived here to day from Nauvoo having been 6 weeks on the road – after dark it commenced raining very hard accompanied with considerable wind & hail – a number of tents were blown down –

Sunday the 5th

Nothing important to day – Very warm – Thunder this afternoon –

Monday the 6th

A Pottawatomie Indian came here last evening on horseback to bring a message, the import of which, as far as we could judge by his signs, was this: – That a Mormon had been shot by a mobocrat, that Mobs were gathering, and that it was better for us to go away – This afterward proved to be a mistake – Instead it appeared that the Sioux had killed a Pottawatomie, and he wanted us to assist them in fighting the Sioux and thus revenge their comrade’s death This afternoon, Bro. Winchester with his family arrived –

Tuesday the 7th

Fine day – 4 wagons started to cross the river – This afternoon, our brethren, Hans, Daniel, King, Horace, John D. and Whitney & others came in no other accident than a yoke being broken and Hans’ breaking his wagon tongue while alone on the prairie

That day Horace and the other boys returned from their trading trip in the Platt country, having met with no other accident than the breaking of a yoke and a wagon tongue, the latter happened to Hans Hanson while alone on the prairie. There was but one boat and that capable of holding only three wagons at a time.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 13, no. 1,
1 June 1884, p. 2

Wednesday the 8th

We drove our cows across this morning with considerable difficulty – We all intend crossing this afternoon – We have but one boat and that is capable of holding only 3 wagons at a time – The current is quite favorable – setting in almost to the opposite shore, where there is quite an eddy – the road from the landing is very steep, but it has been dug down so much as to render it quite passable – after ascending this steep declivity from the river, the road leads thro a narrow defile or ravine between two lofty hills and then begins gradually to rise to higher ground – after going about 2 miles thro woods “brake and bust” you commence anon on to the open prairie – we came down to the landing in the afternoon, but a number of teams were ahead of us, and we had to wait till 1 a.m. before we could commence crossing over –

Our cows were driven across on the 8th, and we came down to the landing in the afternoon, but a number of teams were ahead of us, and we had to wait till one a.m. before we could commence crossing over.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 13, no. 1,
1 June 1884, p. 2

sketchThomas L. Kane, Enlisting Camp of the Mormons, July 14, 1846 (sketch). Comments on the reverse side of the sketch identify landmarks with letters: “A. Captain [James] Allen’s tent. B. The road that comes from Mount Pisgah to the Missouri and continues all along the Prairie Bottom, marked here and there by waggons drawn by ox teams. . . . C. Marks the course of the Missouri.” Kane’s sketches are among the very few contemporary visual portrayals of the Mormons at Council Bluffs. Thomas L. Kane Collection, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah.

Thursday the 9th

We were blessed with a fine moonlight night, which aided us greatly in crossing – This morning drove our oxen into the river to swim them across but they would not go, on account of the reflection of the sun’s rays upon the water, which dazzeled their eyes – consequently had to take them over in the boat – at about 5 o’clock had every thing over but 2 oxen which were missing – Had a very heavy rain while we were going out to the camp 4 miles from the river where we all arrived to night pretty well fatigued – We just learned that Bishop Miller who has gone ahead has had his horses stolen –

Friday the 10th

Raining this morning Bishop Whitney came up to day – He crossed soon after we did – He staid in the woods last night and was detained somewhat, having lost some of his cattle but he found them again – We learn that a woman, (sister Higbee,) and a child have died lately in the camp Joseph Herring, and Indian of the Mohawk tribe has just come from the south-west, – he tells us that there is a civil war among the Cherokees on account of one party of them selling land to the United States[49] – he had to escape to save his life, and travelled 200 miles on his horse in three days – This[50] afternoon we moved about ¼ of a mile beyond and located ourselves on a small rise of ground, being much more commodious and cleanly than this place where Brigham is and where Bishop Miller has formerly encamped – Very good springs of water in the vicinity – Quite a large creek about 3/4 of a mile distant The Indians have cornfields immediately around us, and on that account we have to keep close watch over our horses and cattle lest they should break into them –

I remember the scenes he describes and the camping fires; also of going to the creek mentioned to do our washing, as well as the cornfields that we passed, they being the first we had seen; and of our purchasing some of the ears to roast. It looked good to us to once more see vegetation and cultivated land, or anything resembling civilization after traveling as we had and camped for so long a time upon wild prairie land. It was to us like an oasis to the weary traveler in the midst of a wilderness, and reminded us of our western homes, where the tall cornfields waved o’er our heads, and where we had learned the art of making hoe cake, which was our “daily bread” with hominy and the luxurious gravy from transparent pork.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 13, no. 1,
1 June 1884, p. 2

Saturday the 11th

Fine – day –

Sunday the 12th

Fine morning – Last night, Hans has the misfortune to cut his foot with an axe We have all of us been troubled with sore feet – This evening Colonel [Thomas L.] Kane made a speech here concerning the recruiting affairs – This young gentleman became acquainted with some of our presiding elders in the east, particularly Bro. [Jesse C.] Little with whom he held several interviews, and obtained knowledge of our persecutions, &c. and having sympathy for us he was anxious to do something for our benefit, and being intimately acquainted with the President of the U. S., he went to the city of Washington, and laid before him our case – The President knowing that the land of California stood in need of protection concluded to send an army thither, and accordingly gave Capt. Allen orders to raise a regiment of volunteers from among the Mormons, on such conditions that it would be an advantage to us – Bro. O. Pratt and G. A. Smith also made an appropriate speech ratifying what Colonel Kane had just said – Thus this young man appears to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to bring about our salvation at the present time[51] – The U. S. fleet has taken possession of the coast of California By doing this, we establish a certain claim on the land, and once there ours will be the majority of people – A meeting is to be held to morrow morning at 10 o’clock to enlist men –

Those who could went to see them, some in carriages and some on horseback. My mother went with others of our family and I was to have gone horseback, but the boys all wanting to go, and not having horses enough, I stayed back—Horace and others returned that evening, but father and mother remained. We learned that one hundred men were yet wanting to complete the recruiting list.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 13, no. 1,
1 June 1884, p. 2

Monday the 13th

not very warm – somewhat cloudy – We learn that Bro. K and B. Young is at the camp on the Bluffs – Sister K. Wm Peter John F. John D. Hosea, Daniel, some in the carriage and some on horseback went to see them – Every thing was full of life and bustle in the camp, and over 300 enlisted and their officers were chosen by themselves – Bro. K. William and mother stayed, the rest of us returned home which we reached about dark –

Tuesday the 14th

Bro Orson Hyde had his two lost horses bro’t to him by two Indians – Monday – every thing going on bravely – Bro K. does not yet come back – 100 men are yet wanting to complete their recruiting list

Wednesday the 15th

This afternoon Bro. K. Wm and Mother came back – To day the requisite number of troops have been ready made up – Bro. J.[ohn] Forsgren embarked to day. News: – P. P. Pratt, Orson Hyde and John Taylor appointed to day to go to England[52] – It is said the steamboat will be up to night after the troops”

End of extract from Peter’s Journal –


[1] Ever since the Black Hawk Indian War of 1830–32, eastern Iowa had been open to settlement. In 1838, it separated from Wisconsin and became a relatively small territory. From 1838 to 1846, its population tripled from thirty thousand to ninety-six thousand, most of whom were settlers clustered in the eastern counties along the Mississippi and Des Moines Rivers.

[2] For most of the month of February 1846, the Saints crossed the river on ferryboats and other watercraft, sometimes navigating around ice chunks. However, from 24 February until 1 March the river froze solid between Nauvoo and Montrose. At best, no more than two hundred to three hundred crossed on solid ice. Many crossed back and forth on the river fetching last-minute supplies, attending meetings, and completing last-minute details. For the most recent scholarship on this topic, see William G. Hartley, “The Nauvoo Exodus and Crossing the Ice Myths,” Journal of Mormon History 43, no. 1 (January 2017): 30–58.

[3] Of their first night sleeping on the frozen Iowa ground, Emmeline B. Wells recorded the following in her journal:

“Mrs. Whitney, Sarah Ann and myself crossed the river to go to the encampment of the saints. Br. Lot and his wife took Mrs. W. and myself in their carriage. We crossed the river a part of the way on foot, and then went on to the encampment about 7 miles beyond; we reached the destined place about sunset when we came in view it looked like pictures I have seen of the ancients pitching their tents and journeying from place to place with their cattle and their goods. We repaired immediately to Br. H. C. Kimball’s tent, . . . took supper and slept for the first time on the ground. There was a snow-storm without yet all was peace and harmony within.” Emmeline B. Wells, journal, 27 February 1846, L. Tom Perry Special Collections, Harold B. Lee Library, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT.

[4] The long-standing myth of nine children being born on one single night does not hold up to scholarly scrutiny. It may be that nine were born while the Saints headed west across Iowa but not on one single night. Thomas L. Kane, in his crusading, humanitarian style of describing the Mormon sufferings after having witnessed them himself, was probably responsible for this exaggeration. See Carol Lynn Pearson, “‘Nine Children Were Born’: A Historical Problem from the Sugar Creek Episode,” BYU Studies 21, no. 4 (1981): 441–44. See also Thomas L. Kane, The Mormons: A Discourse Delivered before the Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia: King and Baird, printers, 1850).

[5] Farmington, Iowa, was settled in 1833 and officially incorporated in 1841. Named for Farmington, Connecticut, it is the oldest village in Van Buren County and was the first county seat. It was a major center for milling, manufacturing, and trading.

[6] Heber C. Kimball’s first wife was Vilate Murray (1806–67), whom he married in 1822, well before they joined the church. He married his first plural wife, Sarah Peak Noon, in 1842 in Nauvoo. Stanley B. Kimball, Heber Kimball’s biographer, estimated that by the beginning of the exodus Heber had married at least thirty-eight wives, many of whom were widows of Joseph Smith or of other men. Once in Utah he married an additional five more wives, for a total of forty-three. At least seven of his wives refused to come west. Seventeen bore children, for a combined posterity numbering fifty-seven children. See Stanley B. Kimball, Heber C. Kimball: Mormon Patriarch and Pioneer (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981), 95, 122, 227–44, 307–16.

[7] George Miller was then associate presiding bishop to Newel K. Whitney.

[8] William Pitt (1813–73), a British convert, was a well-known musician in Nauvoo who organized a small brass ensemble in 1842. It played at many festive occasions and included trumpets, trombones, baritones, and other instruments. William Clayton was also a member. Pitt’s brass band performed evening concerts in various settlements along the Des Moines River, the proceeds of which proved very beneficial to the migrating companies.

[9] Bonaparte, Iowa, named after Napoleon Bonaparte, was originally settled by William Meek who established a woolen mill there in 1837. His mill later became internationally renowned for the quality of wool it produced. It is located in Van Buren County, on the banks of the Des Moines River.

[10] Keosaqua is the largest village and county seat of Van Buren county, Iowa. Established in 1839, it is located on the Big Bend of the Des Moines River. Its name translates from Meskwaki and Sauk to “Bend in the river.”

[11] Iowa did not become a state of the Union until 28 December 1846. Thus technically in February it was still a territory of the United States.

[12] Richardson’s Point is located in Van Buren county, Iowa, fifty-six miles west of Nauvoo. The Saints encamped there for several days, waiting for the roads to become more passable.

[13] The well-advised came with a solidly built wagon, a harness, a dependable team of horses or preferably oxen, some cows, a thousand pounds of flour, a hundred pounds of sugar, farming and mechanical tools, cooking utensils, seeds, clothing, a musket, and other necessities.

[14] James Strang (1813–56), a relatively recent convert to Mormonism, laid claim to succession as president of the church after Joseph Smith’s martyrdom. Professing prophetic authority from a letter Joseph Smith allegedly had written him appointing him to be “President,” Strang opposed Brigham Young’s plan for exodus in favor of a resettlement of the Saints in Wisconsin. Proclaiming new scripture, visions and revelations, Strang believed in an immediate reorganization of the First Presidency. He was temporarily successful in drawing away the allegiance of approximately 1,500 Latter-day Saints, primarily in areas removed from Nauvoo. Among his many followers were Martin Harris, William Smith (Joseph Smith’s younger brother), Clark Lyman Whitney (Bishop Newel K. Whitney’s brother), George Miller, and apostle John E. Page. Strang eventually moved to Beaver Island, Michigan, where in 1856 he was assassinated. Many of his followers eventually drifted into the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Community of Christ). The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Strangite) continues in small congregations in Wisconsin and New Mexico to this day.

[15] Still a small town in eastern Iowa, Stringtown is known today for its Amish-style grocery stores.

[16] In 1839 a federal highway or “agency road” opened from the Mississippi northwestward to the Sac and Fox Indian agency near Ottumwa on the Des Moines River. Along this route sprang a number of river communities the Mormons had been passing through. But beyond these frontier settlements, farms and fledgling, intermittent settlements were connected by the poorest of roads (more aptly described as surveyed trails) in southeast and south-central Iowa as far as the Knoxville meridian, or Red Rock line, in central Iowa. See Richard E. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 1846–1852: “And Should We Die” (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1987 and 2004), 30.

[17] Bishop George Miller was one of the principal scouts during the Iowa crossing. He had been across Iowa Territory previously and probably knew the terrain better than anyone else. As we shall see, however, he was not one to take counsel or direction very well and eventually would break with the church and with Brigham Young at Winter Quarters.

[18] The Mormons first settled in Independence, Jackson County, Missouri in 1831. For a variety of religious, cultural, and economic reasons, they were driven north into Clay County in 1833 and later into Caldwell and Daviess Counties. Hostilities so intensified during the “Mormon Missouri War” of 1838–39 that Governor Lilburn W. Boggs issued an “extermination order” in late 1838, driving some five thousand Mormon settlers from Far West, Missouri to Quincy, Illinois. Thus in 1846 Mormon-Missouri relations were at an all-time low. Two excellent studies on the Mormon difficulties in Missouri are Alexander L. Baugh, A Call to Arms: The 1838 Mormon Defense in Northern Missouri (Provo, UT: Joseph Fielding Smith Institute for Latter-day Saint History and BYU Studies, 1996); and Stephen C. LeSueur, The 1838 Mormon War in Missouri (Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1984).

[19] At stake in this long-standing dispute were 2,600 square miles of fertile farm land. It stemmed from a discrepancy between an 1816 survey and an 1820 survey over the location of a set or river rapids that were to mark the northeastern boundary of Missouri, which claimed the valuable land when seeking statehood in 1820. Since Missouri came into the Union as a slave state, the slavery question was also at issue. The two sides almost went to war (the so-called “Honey War”) in 1839 over it but at the last moment agreed to submit the matter to Congress, which, in turn, passed it on to the Supreme Court. In 1849, the Court ruled in Iowa’s favor. See Caroll J. Krauss, “A Study in Border Confrontation: The Iowa-Missouri Boundary Dispute,” Annals of Iowa 40, no. 2 (Fall 1969): 81–107. See also Spencer M. Thomas, “‘Demand Nothing but What Is Strictly Right and Submit to Nothing That Is Wrong’: Governor Lilburn Boggs, Governor Robert Lucas, and the Honey War of 1839,” Missouri Historical Review 103, no. 1 (October 2008): 22–40.

[20] Unlike the practices of many of their fellow overlanders, Mormon devotion to the Sabbath was a mixture of Puritan devotion and New England practicality. Invariably they rested on Sundays, except when travel for a better campground made it necessary to move on. Hunting was not allowed, unless they were totally without food. And worship services, complete with makeshift pews, choirs, and speeches, were held as occasion allowed. Admitted Isaac Pettijohn, part of an Illinois company that later caught up to the Mormons west of Fort Laramie: “I saw and talked with [William] Vance, a son of Mr. Vance from McDonough Co. Illinois. Unlike us they had stopped to spend the Sabbath.” See Richard E. Bennett, We’ll Find the Place: The Mormon Exodus, 1846–1848 (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2009), 155.

[21] Those who did not know that oxen would hold up along the trail much better than horses would soon find such to be the case. Slower and much more deliberate than horses, oxen nevertheless proved far more durable and dependable, could pull much heavier loads, were much less fussy about what to eat, and if necessary, provided better meat.

[22] The original plan of Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles was to reach a destination and forge a new settlement somewhere in the Rocky Mountains in the summer of 1846. The extremely wet weather they were now facing in Iowa threatened to postpone this original plan. A new revision of the plan would now force them to leave behind a large number of the Saints at two or more waystations in Iowa and to send an “express company” to Council Bluffs, Grand Island, and up the Platte River to their destination somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. For much more on the planning and preparations for the exodus, see Matthew J. Grow et al., eds., Council of Fifty, Minutes, March 1844–January 1846, vol. 1 of the Administrative Records series of The Joseph Smith Papers, ed. Ronald K. Esplin, Matthew J. Grow, and Matthew C. Godfrey (Salt Lake City: Church Historian’s Press, 2016); see also Matthew J. Grow and R. Eric Smith, eds., The Council of Fifty: What the Records Reveal about Mormon History (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2017), especially chapter 13.

[23] Mormonism’s ‘anthem of the exodus’, “Come, Come Ye Saints,” was composed by William Clayton at a site twelve miles southeast of present-day Corydon, Iowa. An instant favorite, this memorable hymn, while predicting eventual rest in the west, also foreshadowed the inevitable loss of life among the Saints.

[24] Whitney is likely referring to Lewis Dana. See glossary of names.

[25] Latter-day Saints believed in the laying on of hands for the healing of the sick. While male members of the church exercised priesthood authority to perform such blessings, women also performed healing ministrations through the gift of faith. See Bennet, Mormons at the Missouri, 175–79.

[26] Recognizing that their plans to reach the Missouri River would now have to be postponed, and aware that thousands of other Saints would soon be leaving Nauvoo in their wake, Brigham Young established a waystation near Weldon Creek (the east fork of “Grand River”) Iowa. On 27 April 1846, the Saints began to establish a farm site and a community of forty-eight log houses. Eventually named Garden Grove, this farm settlement would provide not only relief for the struggling advance company immigrants, but also provisions, crops, and sustenance for later companies yet to leave Nauvoo. See Paul and Karla Gunzenhauser, “Decatur County: Garden Grove—A Mormon Frontier Community,” in The Iowa Mormon Trail: Legacy of Faith and Courage, ed. Susan Easton Black and William G. Hartley (Orem, UT: Helix Publishing, 1997), 219–28. For an excellent demographic study of Garden Grove, see Jill N. Crandell, “Garden Grove, Iowa: From Mormon Way Station to Permanent Settlement, 1846–1852” (master’s thesis, Brigham Young University, 2010). See also Bennet, Mormons at the Missouri, 39–51.

[27] With reference to the artillery, it should be noted that this advanced company of the Twelve brought with it at least three canons. Their primary purpose, as was the case with many other non-Mormon companies moving west, was to intimidate Indian war parties and scare off possible Indian attacks. A large number of men in the company had also served in the Nauvoo Legion and carried with them military titles such as “captain,” “colonel,” etc.

[28] Lieutenant Frank A. Worrell of the Carthage Greys, the militia that failed to protect the prophet Joseph Smith the day he was murdered, was himself shot to death in a bitter altercation on 16 September 1845, by one of Smith’s most loyal bodyguards, Orrin Porter Rockwell.

[29] The Garden Grove settlement represented an important feature in the Mormon belief in the law of consecration. No private properties existed in Garden Grove since all belonged to “The Lord” (i.e., the church), and properties were divvied out based on family size and other needs. Many of the wagons the Saints had been traveling in also belonged to the church, and were surrendered on demand to help with later migrations of other companies leaving Nauvoo.

[30] Hellen Mar is correct in saying that it took the advance company three months to cross Iowa Territory; however, she greatly exaggerates in saying that it should have taken them “only a week.” A distance of three hundred miles at an optimum speed of fifteen miles per day would have taken them at least three weeks’ time. Still, she reflects accurately the original plan of the Twelve to reach the Missouri River well before the end of May.

[31] As per reference to the “100 lbs of alcohol,” the Latter-day Saints were not then adhering to the Word of Wisdom in quite the same way as they do now. Tea, coffee, tobacco, brandy, and whisky were often consumed along the way, although moderation was enjoined. Not until the late nineteenth century, and certainly by the time of the administration of President Heber J. Grant, did a more literal living of the Word of Wisdom become binding upon the Saints. See Paul H. Peterson, An Historical Analysis of the Word of Wisdom (Salt Lake City: Benchmark Books, 2005); see also Thomas G. Alexander, “The Word of Wisdom: From Principle to Requirement,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 14, no. 3 (1981): 80–90.

[32] Whitney’s reference to the Oregon Trail may be of interest to scholars of the American West, who have long believed that the Oregon Trail began at various jumping-off spots along the Missouri River, stretching over two thousand miles to the fertile Willamette Valley. Whitney’s reference here in Iowa indicates that some Oregon-bound emigrants also drove across Iowa.

[33] The approximately 2,500 Saints who left Nauvoo in February 1846 in this “vanguard company” represented approximately one-sixth of the total Mormon population in and around Nauvoo. The exodus from Nauvoo also included later spring and summer departures and eventually the ‘poor camps’ of September 1846. See William G. Hartley, “Spring Exodus from Nauvoo: Act Two in the 1846 Mormon Evacuation Drama,” in Iowa Mormon Trail, 61–83.

[34] Whitney is likely referring to the so-called spring exodus of Mormons from Nauvoo. When the Camp of Israel, or Company of the Twelve, left Nauvoo in early February with approximately 2,500 souls, at least 11,000 others were still preparing to leave. The spring, or May, exodus consisted of at least 3,200 Saints, and during July and August other companies departed sporadically. A final group of less than 1,000 people, the so-called “poor camps,” who were driven out as a result of the Battle of Nauvoo or the Nauvoo War, left in mid-September. See Hartley, “Spring Exodus from Nauvoo,” 61–83. See also Richard E. Bennett, ‘Dadda, I Wish We Were Out of This Country’: The Nauvoo Poor Camps in Iowa, Fall 1846,” in Iowa Mormon Trail, 155–70.

[35] James Emmett, a member of the Council of Fifty, an advisory body to the Twelve Apostles, had been a persistent problem to Brigham Young for years. Never content to stay in any one place for very long, he had led one expedition after another. In September 1845 he led a group of people across Iowa to establish an unauthorized settlement among the Sioux Indians on the banks of the Vermillion River. Upon the orders of Indian agents and church leaders, Emmett moved south. Early in June 1846, the Emmett party had reached the Bluffs, intending to merge with the main companies and set up camp approximately thirty-five miles south of Mosquito Creek, on the east bank near the Missouri state line, in order to be close to trading centers. Emmett, meanwhile, had offended his wife, alienated most of his followers, and disturbed Indian agents when it was learned that he secretly had taken a Sioux Indian woman as another wife. He had also stolen several Indian horses. His heavy-handed style of leadership and impolitic actions caused most of his bedraggled followers to abandon him for the main camp, then nearing the Missouri River. See Juanita Brooks, ed., On the Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844–1861 (Logan: University of Utah Press, Utah State Historical Society, 1964), 1:168; Journal of John D. Lee, 11 June 1846, Church History Library. For even more context, see Matthew J. Grow et al., eds., The Joseph Smith Papers: Administrative Records: Council of Fifty Minutes, March 1844–January 1846 (Salt Lake City: The Church Historian’s Press); also Richard E. Bennett, “Mormon Renegade: James Emmett at the Vermillion, 1846,” South Dakota History 15, no. 3 (Fall 1985): 217–33.

[36] The Mexican-American War, also known as the Mexican War (1846–48), was an armed conflict between the United States and the Centralist Republic of Mexico, brought on in part by the American annexation of Texas. The expansionist-minded administration of President James K. Polk dispatched American forces, including the Mormon Battalion, to occupy New Mexico and California, and then invade parts of northeastern Mexico and northwestern Mexico. Another American army captured Mexico City. The war ended soon thereafter in a victory for the United States. The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo forced Mexican cession of California and New Mexico to the United States, in exchange for fifteen million dollars. Mexico accepted the loss of Texas and thereafter recognized the Rio Grande as its national northern border. For more on the war, see Seymour V. Connor and Odie B. Faulk, North America Divided: the Mexican War, 1846–1848 (New York: Oxford University Press, 1971).

[37] Located twenty-seven miles west of Garden Grove, Mount Pisgah, so named by Parley P. Pratt after an Old Testament site, was “a farm of several thousand acres.” Patterned after the earlier way station of Garden Grove, Mount Pisgah was divided into five-, ten-, and 2twenty-acre plots and distributed by lot among individual families. Though the land was privately farmed, the effort was clearly a cooperative enterprise. There, a high council was organized to regulate both church and civic matters. A welcome respite from the dreariness of their immediate past sojourn, Ezra T. Benson said of it, “This was the first place where I felt willing in my heart to stay at, since I left Nauvoo.” See Leland H. Gentry, “The Mormon Way Stations: Garden Grove and Mt. Pisgah,” Brigham Young University Studies 21 (Fall 1981): 456–57. See also Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 40.

[38] Said Brigham Young: “The Saints have crowded on us all the while, and have completely tied our hands by importuning and saying: Do not leave us behind. Wherever you go, we want to go, be with you, and thus our hands and feet have been bound, which has caused our delay to the present time, and now hundreds at Nauvoo are continually praying . . . that they may overtake us and be with us. . . . They are afraid to let us go on and leave them behind, forgetting that they have covenanted to help the poor away at the sacrifice all of their property.” Journal History of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3 May 1846, Church History Library (hereafter Journal History).

[39] Addison Pratt is best known for his two missions to French Polynesia. Baptized in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1838, Pratt, along with Noah Rogers and two other companions, left on a mission to the South Pacific in May 1843, where he established the first branch of the church in the Pacific Islands on the isle of Tubuai. He established several more branches on neighboring islands before returning to America in 1847. After Meeting up with the Saints in the Salt Lake Valley where he rejoined his family, Pratt returned again to the islands in 1848, accompanied by his wife and four daughters. In 1852, he made his way back to California, where he left the church and became a spiritualist. He died in Anaheim in 1872. Andrew H. Hedges, “Pratt, Addison,” in Encyclopedia of Latter-day Saint History, ed. Arnold K. Garr, Donald Q. Cannon, and Richard O. Cowan (Salt Lake City; Deseret Book, 2000), 938. For more, see S. George Ellsworth, ed., The Journals of Addison Pratt (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1990).

[40] The Pottawatomi (also spelled Potawatomi or Pottawatomie), originally known as Anishnabek, are a Native American tribe of the Upper Mississippi River and Western Great Lakes region. A member of the Algonquin family, they originally lived in what is now southwestern Michigan. Pottawatomi warriors took part in Tecumseh’s War, the War of 1812, and the war in Peoria, siding at various times with Britain and the United States. Dispossessed of their original lands, the Pottawatomi were forced westward to lands along the Missouri River where they first encountered the Latter-day Saints in 1846. Recognizing a similarly dispossessed people, the Pottawatomi and most other tribes at the Missouri remained on relatively friendly terms with the Mormons. Today the Pottawatomie are a thriving community in southwestern Michigan. R. David Edmunds, The Potawatomis: Keepers of the Fire, vol. 145 of the Civilization of the American Indian Series (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1978).

[41] A tributary of the Missouri River, the Nishna Botana (or Nishnabotna) River is made up of two smaller rivers (the East Nishnabotna and West Nishnabotna) originating in Fremont County, Iowa. Its name translates in Otoe to “canoe-making river.” It served as the water supply for several temporary Mormon settlements in southwestern Iowa.

[42] Lyman Wight was a disaffected member of the Council of the Twelve. For the most recent study of Wight and his Texas colony, see Melvin C. Johnson, Polygamy on the Pedernales: Lyman Wight’s Mormon Villages in Antebellum Texas, 1845 to 1858 (Logan: Utah State University Press, 2006).

[43] It was well known among traders and trappers in the American West that no travelers should leave for the Rocky Mountains from the Missouri River any later than 1 June as the Donner party learned the hard way in 1846. Trapped in the snows of the High Sierras, the Donner Reed Party cannibalized itself in the winter of 1846–47.

[44] The modern city of Council Bluffs, Iowa, was named after an 1804 meeting of Lewis and Clark with the Otoe Indian tribe, which occurred at Council Bluffs near present day Fort Calhoun, Nebraska. Council Bluffs became the generic name for land on both sides of the Missouri River, north of the mouth of the Platte River.

[45] For more on counterfeiting among the Saints, see Kenneth W. Godfrey, “Crime and Punishment in Mormon Nauvoo, 1839–46,” Brigham Young University Studies 32, no. 1 (1992): 195–227.

[46] Horace’s statement about the number of wagons is not an exaggeration. By mid-June, the vast majority of Nauvoo Saints, upwards of ten thousand, were on the trail crossing Iowa and following the path of the advanced company of the Twelve.

[47] For a fuller discussion of the Missouri lifeline to the Mormons, see Richard E. Bennett, “Mormons and Missourians: The Uneasy Truce,” Midwest Review 9 (Spring 1987): 12–21. Between September 1846 and the spring of 1847, Mormon pioneers purchased a minimum of $28,000 worth of food and provisions from Missouri farmers and mercantile establishments. Furthermore, many Mormons spent the winter in northern Missouri working in stores, farms, and other establishments for a substantial amount of money.

[48] Mustered into service in June 1846 at Council Bluffs to serve in Stephen W. Kearny’s U.S. Army of the West, the “Mormon Battalion” consisted of 497 volunteers and as many as 80 women and children. Many in camp were at first reluctant to sign up but with the fortuitous arrival of Col. Thomas L. Kane of Philadelphia, a trusted associate of President James Polk, he was able to dispel a great many fears. The truth is, Jessie Little, agent for the church in Washington, DC, and acting under the authority of the Twelve, had been trying to arrange some accommodation with the US government not only to manifest Mormon loyalties to the United States but also to arrange for government contracts to help allay the costs of the exodus. Designed to serve in the-Mexican-American War, the Mormon Battalion marched to San Diego via Pueblo, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Tucson, and Yuma, arriving at the shores of the Pacific Ocean on 29 January 1847. While many members of the battalion were discharged at Los Angeles in July 1847, several others continued to serve and later participated in the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill near Sacramento in 1848, which signaled the beginning of the California gold rush the following year. Rather than staying in the gold fields, most battalion members returned to meet their families either in the new Mormon settlement of the Great Salt Lake City in the summer of 1847 or all the way back to Winter Quarters in the fall of the same year. The march of the Mormon Battalion has gone down as one of the longest in modern military history. See John F. Yurtinus, “A Ram in the Thicket: A History of the Mormon Battalion in the Mexican War” (PhD diss., Brigham Young University, 1975). See also David L. Bigler, and Will Bagley, eds., Army of Israel: Mormon Battalion Narratives (Logan: Utah State University Press, 2000).

[49] With the signing of the infamous Indian Removal Act of 1830, President Andrew Jackson pushed for the removal of a large number of Indian tribes from off their ancestral lands to new, unknown territory west of the Missouri. The forcible expulsion of several southeastern tribes in particular, most notably the Cherokee in 1838, led to what is known as the “Trail of Tears,” in which upwards of 6,000 of the 16,543 Cherokees perished making the move. Although the government made financial payments in exchange for the removal, numerous conflicts erupted between and among the tribes over control of such funds.

[50] Editor’s Note: At this point in the diary is the following insertion in another person’s hand. It reads: “H. K. Whitney weighed 143lbs on J. S. Clapp’s scales on the 13th of July 1846 W. M. Rogers.”

[51] Born in Pennsylvania in 1822, Thomas L. Kane was a soldier and colonel in the U.S. military and later served in the Civil War. Though never baptized a Mormon, he nevertheless remained a friend to the Mormons for his entire life. Kane was highly instrumental in persuading the Latter-day Saints at Mount Pisgah and at Council Bluffs that President Polk’s invitation to recruit a Mormon battalion was a legitimate expression of American interests. Kane rapidly gained the trust of Brigham Young and later played a crucial role in the resolution of the Utah War of 1857. Kane County, Utah was named after him. For more on this famous “friend of the Mormons,” see Matthew J. Grow, “Liberty to the Downtrodden”: Thomas L. Kane, Romantic Reformer (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2009).

[52] The reason for this apostolic mission to England was to gather tithing funds from the British Saints and to put an end to various embezzlement schemes that had been siphoning off donations to the church. They also wanted to purchase the best surveying and measurement instruments to aid in the exodus west. See Richard E. Bennett, “‘We Might Have Gone to Vancouver’s Island’: The Mormon Exodus, British Emigration, and the Pacific Northwest,” in Regional Studies in Latter-day Saint Church History: Western Canada, ed. Dennis A. Wright et al. (Provo, UT: Department of Church History and Doctrine, Brigham Young University, 2000), 13–34.