Journal 3

17 August-27 September 1846

Richard E. Bennett, "Journal 3: 17 August-27 September 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), 97–120.

journal front page

H. K. Whitney’s Journal.[70]

Nauvoo, May 8th, 1843.

Monday the 17th

Fine day – myself and three others engaged in digging the well – at night, it was 44 feet in depth but yet no water – Dr. Reeves, (the physician who was sent for by Colonel Kane) arrived from Leavensworth this afternoon in company with Mr. Fleming, who lives at the village below. He, (the Doctor) tho’t his patient was recovering rapidly – The two gentlemen came to my tent this evening, when we sent for [William] Pitt Hutchinson and Smithies, who came with their instruments, and entertained us till about 11 o’clock, with a variety of charming music – the Doctor said it was the best music he had heard in this country – Mr. [Lucien] Woodworth (the Parson) came here from over the river to see us to day – the man whom he came with lost his horse, therefore he was obliged to stay all night – There was a council held to-day at Bro. Clayton’s tent This morning, Bro. Dana and W. Markham went back to Mt. Pisgah taking three yoke of oxen and a wagon belonging to Bro. K. –

Colonel Kane, as before stated, was convalescent. The only cause of his sending to Fort Leavenworth for a physician was his anxiety for his Mormon friends, fearing that a relapse might take him off, and his death might be laid to their charge. He came among us with the intention of learning the facts concerning the strange people who had been so terribly persecuted, and were now exiles from their homes, and the spots doubly sacred—the resting place of their dear ones, and after all the sorrows and suffering endured at the hands of the government, they had willingly responded to the first call.

Thus was explained the act of his standing eavesdropping by the side of our tent, on his first arrival at the camp. There was nothing that seemed to escape his notice. The little children who came around Brother Jedediah’s tent, where he was nursed during his sickness, were objects of interest. One of Mother Whitney’s little ones, a beautiful, fair, curly haired boy, who was just recovering from a severe illness, was one that attracted his attention. As he was only a few rods from us the child was often seen at the tent door where he lay, or as he sat under the bower outside.

The next spring there came to his friends numerous and various tokens of remembrance. Among them was a box containing fishing tackle, etc., which was sent to the little fair-haired Whitney boy; also the old nurse who was living in Bishop Whitney’s family—Aunt Sabry Granger—was remembered to [have] a large box of superior black tea. As she parted with a portion of it, my mother purchased a few pounds, and I, being among the invalids, was daily treated to this delicious beverage. None were forgotten who had made his acquaintance, or done him the slightest favor. The presents, though, did not arrive till after the pioneers had left.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 13, no. 8,
15 September 1884, p. 58

Tuesday the 18th

Worked at the well, till noon when it commenced raining, and continued with little intermission thro the day, and night – Dr. Reeves and Mr. Fleming did not return to-day, in consequence of their horses being lost in the night – my wife is quite unwell to-day –

Wednesday the 19th

Cloudy thro the day – little or no rain – the Dr. and Mr. Fleming, not finding their own horse, took Colonel Kane’s to return with – they had not been gone more than 2 or 3 hours before we found their horse in the woods close by – Bro. Burgess was employed to day in making shakes for the roof of our log house – the rest of us were busied in enlarging our cattle-yard – Saw Father Isaac Morley, and Bro. Phineas Richards; they had come over the river to see the brethren; their families are on the other side. Father killed one of his calves this evening –

Thursday the 20th

Rather cloudy in the morning – rained considerably in the middle of the day – tolerably cool weather – The boys busied in shingling the house – Wm. and Porter went down to the village this morning to take down the Doctor’s horse – they returned about 11 o’clock at night – Bro. N. married, this evening, a Miss Black [likely Martha (Patsy) Brown] to a Mr. [David] Boss in our camp. The choir of singers met at Bro. Clayton’s this evening to practise – ground up our scythes this evening preparatory to going at the haying business to-morrow morning – Council held to-day, among the rest was considered the propriety of sending for many things by father when he goes to St. Louis. Some of Brighams camp have commenced mowing some days since.

Friday the 21st

Quite cool weather – wrote a letter for Bro. K. to John Forsgren in answer to two letters received from him and Rob[er]t. Collins – it was directed to Fort Leavensworth – Father Morley, Phineas Richards, and Bro. [Jonathan] Hale went back over the river. Two of our boys and others went out with Bro. Winchester the foreman, intending to commence mowing – the place they have selected for working in is about 3 miles north of here – Brigham and Dr. Richards, with Bro. K. and father, spent the most of the forenoon at my tent in talking over the affairs of the church. &c.–[71]

Saturday the 22d

Cool and cloudy. This morning, felt, quite unwell – wrote a letter of exhortation and advice left by Bro. K. to his family, to be read to them this evening – He, Wm Porter, Brigham, & Dr. Richards went over the river, where they intend to hold meeting to-morrow – Most of the boys went out haying to-day – The money sent up by the brethren in the army at their first payment, amounted to $5860, besides about $800 that they give to Bro. Hyde[72] – One night, while the brethren were encamped in the woods, on the route to Leavensworth, a terrible storm or hurricane arose, which surpassed any thing of the kind within the memory of the inhabitants – But what surprised them all was, that although showers of limbs of trees were constantly falling around them, the space within which they were encamped was in perfect calmness and security. Bro. Sherwood, who arrived day before yesterday told us that father [Samuel] Bent died at Garden Grove quite lately. – the same day Bro. Brigham and wife, Kimball and wife, Father and Mother, dined at Father Lott’s tent – A brother by the name of [Albert Bailey] Griffin called, and bro’t intelligence from Bro. Miller’s camp. He related to us an anecdote concerning two of the brethren who went out on mules armed & equip’t as a kind of scouting party – were surprised by a party of Indians of the Punkaw tribe who dragged them from their mules, took from them their arms, and were about to confine them, when one of the mules suddenly turned and kicked one of their party over – this circumstance distracting their attention, afforded the men a chance to escape, which they quickly did on foot leaving their mules &c. behind in the hands of the Indians, they (the brethren) returned to their camp, and in two days after their mules came in with their saddles and bridles on – the reason was supposed to be that they ran away from the Indians, and they could not retake them – Bro. Griffin also told us, that 8 chiefs of the Punkaw tribe came to the Pawnee village (where the brethren are encamped,) to smoke the “pipe of peace” with the Pawnees, who were out on a hunting excursion – as they did not return after waiting for them some time – The Punkaw chief told Bro. Miller that they would conduct him to a good place (one of their villages) to pass the winter, which they did, it being 50 miles north on the route to Fort Laramy – they went with them and found it a beautiful place indeed, abounding in rushes, pea-vines &c. &c.[73] The Indians appeared to be very friendly and offered them corn, or any thing else they wanted, and told they were welcome to put up buildings and remain as long as they chose –

The 22nd I well remember it being my 18th birthday. That day Horace wrote a letter of exhortation and advice left by my father to his family to be read to them that evening as he, with President B. Young, W. Richards and one or two others, went over the river to hold meetings next day it being Sunday.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 13, no. 9,
October 1, 1884, pp. 65–66

Lately, in looking over some old papers, I found a letter of exhortation and counsel to father’s family, written by my husband, at his dictation, as he was about leaving Cutler’s Park to go with President Young to attend to some business over the river. It is dated August 22nd, 1846, my 18th birthday, and had been preserved among father’s papers. The words being as appropriate today as then, I reproduce a portion for the benefit of those who regarded him in the light of a friend and wise counselor.

“I wish to give a few words of counsel to my family and to all that belong thereto—both male and female, old and young, and what I say unto one I say unto all, and shall expect it to be heeded in the full sense of the word.

“Of late there has been a great deal of carelessness, imprudence and slothfulness with many of the members of my family as regards to taking care of themselves—going without suitable clothing and stockings in cold, chilly weather, sitting out of doors under the bower after dark, when it is cold, wet weather, exposing themselves to sickness and death, which we have suffered much of. These things have caused me much sorrow and regret, and have caused my family much toil and hardship and fatigue, which has been brought upon us by a total neglect of counsel, which would have saved us these things.

* * * * I am now about leaving you for a short time, and I improve this opportunity to address you in this manner. I love my family, and I have never faltered for the first time in seeking their welfare, to provide everything that lay in my power for their happiness, and still intend to, inasmuch as my counsel can be respected. Now, my feelings are this: That all domestic affairs, as far as women are concerned, are out of the way ‘while it is called day,’ for when the night cometh no man can work, for the Lord says, in a certain revelation, ‘Retire to thy bed early, that thy body may be invigorated, that thy days may be many.’

“Now, I shall require these things at your hands, except circumstances shall otherwise direct. Cease from vanity, seek humility and meekness, bow before the Lord in the morning and at eve, and in so doing your days may be many, peace and tranquility shall soothe your bosoms, health and happiness shall dwell in thy wagons, tents, wigwams and cottages, while these things are observed. Cease from murmuring or complaining, finding fault with your friends or with each other, but manifest to all men and women, by your works, and the closeness of your tongues, and the integrity of your hearts, that you are right, and that God is with us of a truth. I always do, and shall expect that those which constitute my house, will remember me before the Lord, that I may have wisdom, health, patience and endurance to endure all things, that I may always give suitable counsel to my family, even that that shall proceed from the Holy Ghost, for I never wish to counsel by any other spirit.

“I now feel to bless you all in the name of the Lord God of Israel, with peace, prosperity and salvation, that we all may be pure in heart. These are the words and blessings I feel to communicate and leave with my dear family.

“As ever, I remain, your most affectionate husband, father and friend in the new and everlasting covenant. Amen.


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

Sunday the 23d

Beautiful morning; I am yet quite unwell – consequently, did not attend meeting to-day, held in the neighboring woods. Bro. Grant, I believe, preached – Father Cutler was to speak, but was hindered on account of sickness.

Monday the 24th

Cool weather – it clouded up toward evening, and had every appearance of raining, which it did during the night. – Bro. Davenport arrived this evening with his family and camped with us, and some other’s, who joined Brigham’s camp. The boys mostly out haying to-day, except myself and Pete, who are quite sick, and Daniel and Wm King, who are making a sort of hay stack [?] .

Tuesday the 25th

Fair day – Sister Young [likely Clarissa Clara Decker Young] who was over to our camp this evening, and took supper, said there were 6 Indians waiting for Brigham to come home, wanting to see him on business –

Wednesday the 26th

Cool, cloudy weather – To-day one of father’s oxen (a stag) died with the murrain. He was apparently well on Sunday morning – One of Bro. [Elijah Knapp] Fuller’s oxen was killed to-day going down a hill too fast, and hitting his head against a tree, broke his neck. – Bro. K. does not yet come home – he and Brigham are raising means of the brethren on the other side the river to send to St. Louis by father, who intends going down there in about a week.

Thursday the 27th

Misty and cloudy – The haying business going on as usual – Bro. K. Wm. Porter and Brigham got back to-day – Council held this evening – Besides the 6 chiefs spoken of above there are about 150 Indians in the vicinity, waiting to make some arrangement with the brethren about the possession of the land we are now occupying, on which they the brethren are to hold a council to-morrow morning. –

Friday the 28th

Fine morning. This morning, pursuant to agreement, a Council was called, at which 150 Indians were present. An aged chief almost blind arose and requested all those who had anything to say about the land business would speak – Accordingly a number of the brethren spoke – the amount of whose words were these: – That we had been driven like themselves, the Lamanites, and now desired a resting place with them for a little season, and would render them any favor in our power, except assisting them to war against other tribes, which would involve the shedding of blood. After the brethren had all got through speaking the old chief arose and said “Have you done?” refusing to make any reply, without or until that was the case – on receiving a token of assent, he arose and said – “I love your words, and will do all the good I can, for we have been pushed and driven too, by the nations around us, and should have come out in open war against them long ago, had not our “Grandfather”, (the President), said, “live in peace”– He further more said, that the land that we are now on, is in dispute between this tribe, (the Omahaws) and the (Otoes) who he said were a thievish race, but if we could move up the river 10 miles to the old Fort of Council Bluffs (where the tribes formerly met in council, and transacted business with the agents of the U. S.), [74] then we might have peace and liberty with them we might make fields for them, and they in return, would let us have young men to assist us in herding our cattle – He furthermore said we were welcome to build houses and winter there, and remain as long as we chose with them, for they had undisputed title to the land in the vicinity of it, and there were greater conveniences there than here, plenty of water, wood, &c. close at hand.[75]

The conclusion of the council was, that some of the brethren would go up and see the country about there before deciding to remove hence – Bro. [Stephen] Markham and family arrived this afternoon – he has had the misfortune to lose one of his fingers since we saw him last

Saturday the 29th

Fine day most all in the hayfield except me. Brigham Bro. K and wife, father and mother took supper at my tent this evening and conversed on several things connected with father’s going to St. Louis – Brigham told us that he had received news of the death of Father [William Huntington] who, had died since we heard of Father Bent’s death – Father H. died at Mt. Pisgah – It is very sickly on the other side the river, and it is generally conceded that it is much healthier this side than the other. – We hear the Captain [James] Allen, who, was appointed to the command of the regiment of Mormon soldiers, has lately died at Fort Leavensworth –

Sunday the 30th

Fine morning – a meeting was held this forenoon at the “Stand” in the wood, did not attend in consequence of illness – Wm. Porter, John Davenport, went back to Musquito Creek to help Bishop [Edward] Hunter up, who is quite sick – A meeting was called at 5 P. M. under the bower near our tent – Father John Smith spoke at some length – He was followed by Elder O. Pratt, who, in a clear and concise manner, pointed out to the brethren the advantages of our closing with the offer of the Omahaw Indians, and moving up the river to the Old Fort, – Father Cutler spoke a few words – the amount of them was, that the brethren were not to discontinue the haying business, because they tho’t they were going to move away, but to “rush ahead” and do all they could – President Young then spoke at some length, on the order of the government of the Kingdom of God. He said, no man was fit to act as a governor or ruler, until he had first proved himself worthy of the office, by showing himself ready and willing to be governed – He also said, that it was necessary we should move as speedily as possible to our winter quarters, in order that we may be engaged in the building of houses, which it is necessary should be immediately commenced – wrote a letter for Bro. K. to John Forsgren, Cyrus Canfield , and Robt. Collins, to be conveyed by (Dr.) H. E., whose departure is a secret – Bro. John Pack’s youngest child (an infant) died to-day – death occasioned by teething.

Monday the 31st

Beautiful morning. This morning, Brigham, Heber, father, Fathers Cutler and Cahoon, and several others, some on horseback, others in wagons, started to go up the river to look out our winter location. This evening Wm. arrived with the carriage, bringing Bishop Hunter with him – His family have stopt for the night 8 or 9 miles back, – John Davenport is with them – they will be up to-morrow – Porter is at the river assisting Bro. Woodworth’s folks across, who are all quite sick.

Tuesday the 1st of September

Quite windy to-day – To-day paid a visit to Bro. Hutchinson’s at Brigham’s camp. Zebedee Coltrin’s father died last night in this camp – another man also in our camp, who had been living with Dr. [Garner Godfrey] Potter whose name I do not know This evening Bro. Woodworth’s folks arrived, all quite sick – We rigged a temporary bedstead in my tent, for Flora, who has been very sick, but is now slowly gaining her health – Her folks encamped on the side hill a little to the left of our camp. –

The father of Zebedee Coltron died in our camp on the night of the 31st, also another man who had traveled with Dr. Patten. On the evening of September 1st Brother Woodworth and family arrived; all sick. They encamped outside of the square a little distance from our tent. We had a temporary bedstead prepared and took their daughter, Flora Gove, into our tent, where I nursed her until she recovered her strength. Her husband was also sick with fever; she had lain helpless for many days, and her heavy raven locks were so matted together that it took me hours to comb them out. We had lived neighbors in Nauvoo, and were old schoolmates. She was older than myself and was sealed to the Prophet Joseph as his wife. This happened before I was aware of the principle. A young man boarding at her father’s, after the death of Joseph not a member of the Church had sought her hand, in time won her heart, and in a reckless moment she was induced to accept his offer and they eloped to Carthage, accompanied by a young lady friend, and were there married by a justice of the peace. Flora was never happy with him as he hated the Mormons, and she felt condemned for the rash step she had taken. She made this confession to me while I was nursing her, and said she desired to cling to Joseph hereafter.

They settled at the “Point,” and she paid me a visit the following winter. She still expressed herself as strong in the faith of the gospel, also her great desire to cleave to the Prophet. I never saw her again as she died at that place, leaving two or three children. Joseph Smith gave her father the title of “pagan prophet.” He came with his family to the valley, where he left them and went to California and never returned. Her mother was a true saint and a very gifted woman, well known and respected by thousands of the Saints in Utah.

I have given this little incident in the life of Flora truthfully, and it ought to teach a lesson to those who read it, for no Latter-day Saint can find happiness in marriage with an unbeliever as soon as the illusion which bewildered them wears off; they find no true companionship, and remorse will come, though, alas, too late to retrace their steps.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 13, no. 11,
1 November 1884, p. 87

Wednesday the 2d

Fair weather – The brethren who went up the river, on Monday, returned to-day – there were 21 or 22 in all among which were 8 of the high council and 5 of the Twelve, besides father – They started from here about 10 o’clock on Monday Morning and took the trail which Bro. Holman and others’ had made in coming from the “Horn” – they travelled 25 or 30 miles this day and stopt for the night when Bro. Pack and Herriman had encamped when they came back from the “Horn” – The next morning they retraced their steps towards the Old Fort of Council Bluffs – travelled till they came to a creek where they had to make a bridge, after crossing which, instead of ascending the ridge on their right hand, they kept on thro the bottom which was covered with very high grass which soon grew so thick that they got entangled in it and were forced to use their knives to cut a passage in some places – it was so high too that they could not see over it although they stood up on their horses. After pursuing this route for some time in momentary danger of getting “swamped,” they at length emerged from it and went up on the Bluff which was so steep that they had to dismount from their horses and let them ascend it by themselves – after a while a while [sic] they saw the Fort in the distance apparently about 6 miles off – they soon came to another brook or ravine where they were again obliged to build a sort of a bridge throwing in stuff of different kinds that they might be enabled to cross – The sun was about a hour high when they arrived at the “Fort,” which consisted of the ruins of a few old buildings the principal of which was the “Magazine” – the walls were of stone, about 8 feet high, which had been formerly arched over with brick which had mostly fallen in – they come on about a mile further and camped for the night at the head of a ravine where they found a good spring of water – The next day they returned home, but little satisfied with the result of their journey. Forgot to mention, that on Monday also, a committee of three, viz: Orson Pratt, J. M. Grant, and Bro. [Charles] Bird were sent to confer with the Omahaws and the Otoes concerning our remaining on the land here – I visited the camp this evening where Bro. Woodworth’s folks are – saw the corpse of Bro. Silas Mayson there who had been dead about an hour His disease was the fever – He came on with Bro. Woodworth’s family –

native american in traditional clothesGeorge Catlin, Chief Big Elk (Omaha, 1832). Wikimedia.

Thursday the 3d

Continued fair till towards night, when it clouded up and rained considerably during the night – Council held this evening – The committee sent on Monday to confer with the Omahaws & Otoes bro’t in their report to the same They had seen the chiefs of the Omahaws, “Big Elk” and “Standing Elk” his son who signed the article which they had drawn up requesting their consent to remain here one or two or more years – Both tribes are very anxious to have all the improvements we shall leave behind The Otoes were anxious that we should not close with the offer of the Omahaws and go up the river, because then they would have no clue to the improvements we shall make, whereas if we stay where we are they consider themselves entitled to every thing we shall leave behind[76]– A committee was appointed by the council to look out a good place for cattle among the pea-vines, and to see something about the removal of the Ferry up the river near here –

Friday the 4th

Weather fine and clear – the atmosphere much purer from the rains of last night Made out a bill of things for Bro. K. to send by father to St. Louis Father Bro. [Edwin Dilworth] Wooley and [Alexander] Wright are also engaged in making out bills of goods.

Saturday the 5th

Fine morning, tho rather cool – This morning, Bro. K., accompanied by eight others, (viz: – O. Pratt, W. Woodruff, J. M., Grant, Tho[ma]s. Grover, Bro. Eldridge, Bro. [Joseph] Busby, Jackson Redding [“Return Jackson Redden”], O. P. Rockwell,) set out in pursuit of a new ferrying place – they travelled 5½ miles down the river, and came to a small creek across which they built a bridge and went over it – Near here they saw 2 deer – Porter killed a turkey – they then went to the mouth of the creek, where they had agreed to meet the committee from the other side the river – they waited here some time and at last saw 4 or 5 men up the river on the other side – they took a leather boat, belonging to Bro. Eldridge, which they had brought with them in a wagon, and two of them Bro. K. and O. Pratt, went over to see the committee – on getting over, they found 5 of the brethren, (viz: – Isaac Morley, Geo.[rge] W. Harris, Phinehas Richards, W[illia]m Snow, Bro. Miller) waiting for them – they all got into the boat with them and went back making 7 in all – There being a heavy wind up stream, and the waves rolling very high, they were in momentary danger of upsetting, so Bro. K. said, who steered the boat, but they landed safe without any accident, at the place from whence they had started – Here at the mouth of the creek they built a brush bridge – 2 of them, Bro. K. and Wm Snow rode up the river about 2 miles to see if they could find any better place for the ferry than here – after a while they returned, not having found any, consequently it was agreed to establish it here – one or two of the brethren then took the others back on the river in the leather boat, and they then returned home by a different route then they had come, making it about 9 miles back – They learned from Father Morley and his brethren of the death of Jonathan Hale who died on Thursday the 3d inst. at the Bluffs – Council held this evening –

Sunday the 6th

Cool fall weather – Meeting held in the grove this morning, did not attend – Council held again this evening – wrote a letter for Bro. K. to Heywood, [Almon] Babbit and [John S.] Fullmer to send back by Daniel and William who start for Nauvoo, to-morrow or next day – the brethren up to this date, have cut from 1500 to 2000 tons of hay the most of which is already stacked. Forgot to mention the arrival of Joseph Young and family on Saturday evening, there is now rising of 800 wagons in the three camps which are situated in the form of a triangle on the different hills around

Monday the 7th

Cool fall weather – This morning, Father, Bros. Wooley, Wright, and [John] Van Cott , started for the river in Bro K’s carriage, Porter going along to drive – their intention is to get aboard of a steamboat, as they had heard of being at the village, or close by – not finding any they all came back this evening, except Bro. Wright who remained at the river – their intention is to start again to-morrow, and if they do not find a boat at the river, to go thro’ by land to Montrose – thence to St. Louis. – Brigham and Bro. K. went down to the New Ferry to-day the former not having yet seen it.

Tuesday the 8th

This morning cool lowery cloudy weather – Bro. K. called his family together this morning to give them a few words of good advice and counsel – He said, that in consequence of three boys having been whipt lately for improper conduct by the Marshall and others appointed for the purpose, a great many persons were “up in arms” about it, and that the spirit which proceeded from the devil and even got into his own family, and the language which some of the fathers and mothers used was this: – “damn them if they attempt to whip my children, I will cut their damned throats for them” – He said furthermore that the men who executed justice on the offenders, were appointed and commanded to do it by the council and authority, which we had made a solemn covenant to uphold and sustain. Consequently we were in a state of rebellion against God when we resisted such things, “for” said he “how it looks: – they attempting to execute the commands of the authorities of the church on one hand, and you on the other, standing in their way saying ‘damn you, if you do, we will cut your damned throats for you’” – He cautioned his family against talking about things they knew nothing about and told them not to listen for a moment to slanderous things said by others, but if they heard anyone telling tales in his tents or in his wagons to forbid it in his name – He further said, inasmuch as William and David and Orson were about starting for Nauvoo, he tho’t proper to call this meeting in order to put them on their guard, that they might be wise while they were there, and not say any thing which should prove a detriment to the church – Many other things he said, and gave a great deal good advice to them all, and finally called for an expression of their minds by vote – “If,” said he, “you are willing to uphold and sustain me in the remarks I have made, signify it, by the uplifted hand – the vote was unanimous – He then closed by prayer, invoking blessings upon the heads of all those who are about leaving us for Nauvoo, and St. Louis.[77]

– To-day 25 yoke of oxen, 7 cows and heifers, belonging to Bro. K. and 5 oxen belonging to Bro. Davenport, and 11 yoke belonging to Father marked “W” were sent up the river to be put into the herd of the whole camp, all having the mark or brand of “H. C. K.” – The man chosen out of this division to assist in herding them is Jack Redding – Forgot to mention that a short time ago, a market place was made for the brethren to put in cattle, in order that when a person wanted a piece of meat they would know where to go and get it. Bro. K. put in 7 (two of which are the ones I drove) Bro. Davenport l. – Father put in three intending to kill them himself when he returns from St. Louis. –

This morning Wm Colonel Kane Daniel and Orson started for Nauvoo, also. Father Bro. Wooley and Van Cott for St. Louis – Porter also, intending to go to Mt. Pisgah – He, however, this evening got back – he came after some letters which had been forwarded here to Colonel Kane by Sarpee[78] [Peter A. Sarpy] – He said the steamer “General Brooks” was or had been at the village, and the folks would have taken passage with them, had it not been that they charged too much, which was 15 dollars apiece, consequently they would go by the way of Nauvoo – The steamboat was going back down the river 80 miles to bring up the rest of the freight belonging to Sarpee – Forgot to mention, that I wrote a little on Monday for Bro. K. to Hiram Kimball commenced raining towards evening and continued the most of the night – Council held this evening at Bro. Russel’s tent. A committee was chosen to select locations for the winter between 2 miles from the village and the Old Fort as sanctioned by the Indians – Committee’s names; Father Eldridge, Cutler, A. P. Rockwood, W. Farr, and J. M Grant – Brigham and Heber intend accompanying them.

a manPeter A. Sarpy (1805–65), fur trader, ferry operator, businessman. Courtesy of Nebraska State Historical Society.

Wednesday the 9th

Rainy bad weather; which continued thro’ the day Porter waited till afternoon in hopes the rain would cease, but being disappointed therein he started back in the rain about the middle of the afternoon, Bro Grant accompanying him – He is going to confer with the Indians, on business. The rain continued thro’ the day, and at intervals during the night –

Thursday the 10th

Commenced raining and blowing very hard towards evening, and continued showery during the night Brigham, Bro. K., O. Pratt, Father Eldridge A. P. Rockwood, Joseph and Phineas Young rode out to seek a location. They went round over the woods and bluffs in the vicinity, but found no place suitable, and as Bro. K said their minds were constantly turned back to this place, as the best they could find – Council was held this evening, at which it was resolved, that all who chose to remain on the prairie, where we now are should have the privilege, and all those who chose to seek the woods should have the same privilege Bro. K. said for his part, he was in favor of remaining where we are –

Friday the 11th

Rather cloudy thro’ the day – This forenoon a majority of the “Twelve” (7 of them) viz: – Brigham, Heber, W. Richards, O. Pratt, G. A. Smith, W. Woodruff, A. Lyman, walked out to survey the ground – and this afternoon got a compass and laid out the city plot – Brighams quarters for the winter will be on this side the road near where we now are, Bro. K’s on the other side near the timber – they also selected the spot on which to build the council house, which is not far hence – About midnight Wm and Porter got back in the wagon – they came back to bring back the bedclothes, &c. belonging to Bro. Grant that were taken away by Colonel Kane – they had gone about 15 miles on their route from the village, when he told them that he did not feel able to go thro’ by land, consequently, they came back, and put him on board the steamboat, letting Wm. take his horse, and agreed to meet him at Nauvoo, in which if he failed, Wm. was to keep the horse – Daniel and Orson went on – also, Father and his company –

Saturday the 12th

Fine weather – nothing worthy of notice during the day – wrote a letter this evening for Bro. K. to Laura and Abigail Pitkin for whom he is going to send by William – also wrote again an order for Bro. Winchester or Lorenzo Young for two dollars worth of beef – Wm and Porter did not start to-day and probably will not before Monday. Council held this evening, at which the following resolutions were made –

1st – that all dogs should be tied up at sunset and not released till the next morning at sunrise – 2d – that no firing of guns should be permitted within hearing of the camp either by night or day, and that such things should cease wholly at sunset – 3d – That no timber should be cut down for fuel, which would answer the purpose of building, and that when any one wanted wood he should apply to Stephen Winchester and Father Eldridge, who would instruct them when and where to fall trees – It was particularly enjoined on the brethren, to spare the walnut trees, which have been already cut down in great numbers to procure walnuts –

Sunday the 13th

Windy, warm weather – Meeting held at the “Stand,” commencing at 10, a.m. Elder O. Pratt opened the meeting by prayer, and said he would endeavor to occupy the time, by the President’s request, till he and Bro. K. should arrive – he then spoke on general matters, for a while, when the President arriving he said he would stop short, but by his request he proceeded. His subject was the necessity of education to the elders of Israel, and to the children in the camp – He was followed by Bro. K., who spoke in corroboration of his remarks, – he said that in Kirtland he studied Grammar for one whole winter, and that positively, he did not know any more about it at the end thereof, than he did when he commenced – unless it was the difference between singular and plural number[79] – He said he did not care any thing about what some folks called grammar; for what he called by that name was the expressing of himself so as to be understood and that was all the Grammar he believed in – He spoke of the late whipping case, and told the congregation that he had called his family together and told them “to hold their tongues and mind their business,” which he said was an important maxim, and one taught by Joseph when he was alive, as being necessary to our salvation – He further rehearsed what he said to his family in the late meeting, and spoke at some length on the government of the kingdom of God. – Bro Eldridge, the Marshall, then arose and told the congregation of the late resolutions adopted by the Council. To him succeeded President Young who spoke at some length, sanctioning what Bro. K had said, and then went on treating on miscellaneous matters, and gave a great deal of good instruction – After singing by the choir, the meeting was closed with prayer by prayer by J. M. Grant. Meeting of the council and others this evening, at which some arrangements were made relative to the cattle – some of the committee received &c. &c.

Monday the 14th

Cool fall weather – This morning Wm and Porter started again – also Bro. Winchester, the foreman of this division called his men together for the first time, since they have been organized, and 9 men were chosen to go out mowing hay to-day – Bro. K. congratulated Bro. W. on his calling them together, that he felt blessed, and that it done him good to see it, and told them they must cut as much as 22 tons of hay to-day, which they nearly did, also that he no doubt they would have enough cut at the end of two weeks – Forgot to mention that Jacob Wetherbee went up the river to herd cattle on Sunday – Some of the boys killed a rattlesnake under Bro. Egan’s wagon this evening – another item forgotten – got a pair of shoes from Clayton on father’s acct. worth $1.50 (one dollar and a half.) Bro. K. Brigham and others were engaged in laying out city lots to-day –

Tuesday the 15th

Went out with the boys cutting hay to-day –there were 15 of them 6 or 8 engaged in mowing, the remainder in raking, – had to build a bridge in order to cross over with the oxen. Toward night it clouded up and had every appearance of rain – 2 brethren (Shurtliff and [Jacob] Houtz ) came from the Punkaw village about 200 miles from here near where Bro. Miller is – they bro’t letters from him and others – there were also with them 3 interpreters – Bro. Miller’s company had killed 5 buffaloes since they have been there, and the brethren saw a number of them about one hundred miles from here, as they were coming down – Bro. K. and others are still engaged in laying out lots –

Wednesday the 16th

Commenced raining this morning about daybreak, and continued thro’ the day – consequently there was no haying done to-day – Sister Hovey [Martha Ann Webster] , the wife of Joseph Hovey, died this morning – She had been ill for some time – He had recently come from Nauvoo, and had spent a great deal of his time and substance in fitting others out for their journey, before he did himself – the consequence is, that he is very sick himself – His wife left three small children – Bro. K. had him put into Daniel Davis’s tent that he might be nearer to us, and thus have better care paid him –

Thursday the 17th

Warm and pleasant – To-day some of the boys were engaged in cutting & drawing houselogs, and finally none of us went into the hayfield – Jacob Wetherbee got back from up the river where he has been to herd cattle – Bro. K. Brigham and some of the council rode down to the new ferrying place attended council this evening, with Bro. K. – Bro. Russel’s tent – it had already commenced when we arrived – they were reading a report sent by Bro. Houtz, (one of the brethren who came from the Punkaw Nation with the 3 interpreters) the substance of which, was that Bishop Miller’s company were located on a stream called “running water” or Punkaw river, about one mile beyond the Punkaw village, and 200 miles from this place – that they were uniformly used well by the Indians, had good forage for their cattle &c. &c. Bro. Grant, by vote of the council gave an oral report of his visit to the village at the point – He had seen Mr. Sarpee and he was willing that we should remove the ferry boat to the new place that we selected, as he had a Mckinaw boat [a light, open sailboat] of his own that would answer his purpose Mr. Sarpee also informed him that he had lately seen a Dr. Mann, who, he said was at the massacre at Haun’s Mills in Missouri, and a regular Mobocrat, who told him that the State Marshall of Missouri, with a posse was on his way here, to arrest the “Twelve”[80] – A vote was taken that no man should go up the river to the place where Father [Thomas] Tanner is herding cattle, to take any cattle without a written order directed to Father Tanner, who was to select the cattle for him, from the foreman of the division to which he belongs, and this in consequence of the cattle being scattered all over the country by men who have been there and taken cattle without the leave of Father Tanner The ferry boat is to be removed to-morrow morning, and Bro. John Higbee is to go to the new ferry to superintend it – Saw a letter written by Sister Billings [Diantha Morley] to Bro. K’s folks in which is recorded a specimen of Indian justice – It appears that one of the young Punkaw Indians had shot an arrow into one of Bro. Brigham’s cattle for which misdemeanor he was taken and whipt, his pony shot and one of his own eyes dug out – One thing Bro. Grant stated, forgot to mention – that the secretary of War had written to the Indian Agent to have the Mormons leave the Pottawatomie lands on the other side the river as soon as may be –

Friday the 18th

Warm and pleasant, 13 of us in the hay field, mostly busied in stacking hay – a number of the boys remained at home, busied in drawing houselogs, doing chores &c. The brethren of the council, also Brigham Bro. K. and others of the Twelve went down on the bottom about 3 miles from here towards the river, and after each one speaking his mind on the subject concluded to settle there for the winter – Bro. Shirtliff and Houtz do not intend starting back to the Punkaw nation before Monday morning – Father I. Morley was over to-day – he said his tent was pitched on the bank of the river on the other side opposite the New Ferry –

Saturday the 19th

Very windy day – most of the boys except myself went to the hayfield, but soon returned, the wind blowing so hard that they could do nothing Brigham Bro. K. and others of the council went to the newly selected place and commenced laying out city lots which they did about thirty – Jacob W. went up the river, and bro’t down 6 yoke of oxen, three yoke of which belonged to father, in order to draw logs for the building of houses.

Sunday the 20th

Fine but windy – Being somewhat indisposed did not attend meeting to-day –

Monday the 21st

Some of the boys went into the hayfield to-day to work at stacking – this being the last day we shall work at the business where we have been – the remainder of our hay we shall get near our winter quarters – wrote two letters for Bro. K. – one to Titus Billings , the other to Elizabeth Glines – To-night about 10 o’clock were routed from our beds by the cry of “all hands repair to the center of the camp,” which was done when the men were sent back after their guns, &c. and then Bro. K. proceeded to tell them the object of their coming together – It appears that the rumor that troops were on their way here to arrest the Twelve, turns out to be true – they crossed the river somewhere down in the settlements, and are now on this side, on their way up here – Therefore it is necessary for every man to be properly armed and equipt, and that a guard should be kept up nights to keep all spies from going to and from the camp – These things being attended to and every man told to arm and prepare himself to obey the orders of the foreman of the Division to which he belongs, the meeting was dismissed – They got the news thro’ the medium of Mr. Sarpee who lives at the village –

Tuesday the 22d

Windy day – This morning at 10 o-clock, the men in the camp were all requested to meet at the Springs in the valley below our camp – President Young then addressed them and told them the object of our coming together, which was to organize ourselves into companies for self-defense – A vote was then taken, whether we should retain the Old officers of the Nauvoo Legion as captains of companies &c. or choose new ones – the vote was unanimous in favor of the former proposition – Bro. K’s boys and myself attached ourselves to the company of artillery, under Captain [Norton] Jacobs [81] – A vote was finally taken whether we should remove immediately to our winter quarters as affording us a better place for convening and self-defense, it was decided in the affirmative, and that we commence to remove to-morrow, one division at a time, the brethren assisting each other in so doing – The companies were dismissed into the hands of their respective officers, with the caution to be on the alert, and ready at a moment’s warning to be called out by night or by day as occasion may require – The captains dismissed their companies with the same admonition –

Wednesday the 23d

Rainy misty day. rather inauspicious for our removal. A number of the brethren with teams came to our assistance, and we arrived at our winter quarters about 1 o’clock P. M. which is three miles from Cutler’s Park – We are located on the second shelf of the River Bottoms, which is laid out in the form of a city, 5 acres in each block, each block consisting of 20 lots – The city as laid out occupies or takes in, from 6 to 800 acres of ground – We are located on the south side of the road across which, and opposite to us is the lot on which we intend to build – Father’s tent and wagons are placed on the other side the road close to the lot where he intends to build, which adjoins Bro. K’s lot – There is a running stream of water within 50 rods of us which empties into the river about ¼ of a mile from here. Bro. Shirtliff and Houtz have not yet gone – they intend starting to-morrow – Geo. B. is to accompany them – taking a team of Bro. K’s to help them along with their goods. Wrote two letters for Bro. K. – one to Father Billings, the other to Bishop Miller, of which George is to be the bearer. Bro. K. told Bro. Miller, (in his letter) to load his wagon with such things as he saw fit, and, if possible, to procure him 3 or 4 buffalo skins – to send back by George when he returns – Father Cutler is encamped on the banks of the river, and his hay is all stacked there also – the grass on our camping ground is nearly all mown down –

They brought considerable news, and next morning came to our tent and remained for an hour or more, telling the particulars of the late battle between 100 of our brethren and 1000 of the mob who came to attack the city, and were kept at bay by the little force, who compelled them to retreat, with considerable loss, as supposed, although the mob would not acknowledge the loss of a man. There were three killed on the brethren’s side and three wounded. The action lasted an hour and twenty minutes, and took place between Winchester street and Squire Wells’s house—in the neighborhood, where my father had built his first house. The place was then called Commerce. The mob had six cannons, besides their small arms; the brethren five cannons. President Young, my father and a number of the Twelve, and some others were present at our tent to hear him relate the affair, after which Dr. Richards read the articles of the capitulation of the city of Nauvoo, which took place on the 17th inst.

Woman’s Exponent, vol. 13, no. 15,
1 January 1885, p. 115

men fighting paintingC. C. A. Christensen (1831–1912), The Battle of Nauvoo, c. 1878, tempera on muslin, 76½ x 113½ inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, gift of the grandchildren of C. C. A. Christensen, 1970. This armed conflict claimed the lives of four men and resulted in the forced evacuation of all remaining Mormons still in Nauvoo in September 1846, the so-called poor camps.

Thursday the 24th

Cool cloudy weather – This morning Geo. Billings started, in company with Bro. Houtz and Shirtliff, for the Punkaw Nation – the boys were busied some in building yards for cattle, the others in drawing families down from Cutler’s Park. The yards are built opposite us on the other side of the road – This evening Squire [Daniel H. ]Wells and Wm. Cutler arrived from Nauvoo – they have been 6 days coming from that place – they came in a buggy – one object of their coming is to get teams to send back for the poor brethren, who are not able to come without assistance – They bro’t considerable news[82]

Friday the 25th

This morning Bro. Wells and Cutler came to our tent, and remained for an hour or more telling the particulars of the late affair at Nauvoo – There was a regular battle took place there on Saturday the 12th inst. between 100 of the brethren and 1000 of the mob who came to attack the city[83] This little force kept them at bay and finally forced them to retreat, with considerable loss, as supposed, altho’ the mob would not acknowledge the loss of a man – The action lasted an hour and twenty minutes and took place between Winchester street and Squire Wells’ house – the mob having 6 cannon besides their small arms, the brethren 5 cannon – On the part of the brethren there were three killed and three wounded – the former were W[illia]m Anderson and his son about 14 years old, and Bro. [David] Norris a blacksmith – Brigham Bro. K. Dr. Richards and a number of the Twelve and some others were at our tent hearing him relate the affair – After he had got through, Dr. Richards read the articles of the capitulation of the city of Nauvoo, which took place on Saturday the 17th inst. at 3 o’clock P. M. – These were that the brethren should surrender their arms, (with the proviso that they should be returned to them when they crossed the river – That the property of the citizens should be respected, as well as their persons, and particularly that the women and children should be unharmed, and that they, (the Quincy Committee) would use their influence that no outrages should be committed of any kind. The treaty was negotiated between [Joseph L.] Heywood [Almon W.] Babbitt and [John S.] Fullmer [the Nauvoo Trustees] on their own part and Colonel [Thomas Patterson] Brockman (a Methodist preacher) commander of the forces of the mob and the Quincy Committee on the other side. They (the mob,) further agreed that 10 men (including the Trustees and their clerks) should be suffered to remain in the city long enough to transact the business of the church, and assist in hastening the removal of the remainder of the brethren as speedily as possible–

Saturday the 26th

Fine and pleasant – one thing forgot to mention – that the [Nauvoo] Temple had been struck by lightning not long since. It demolished one of the carved faces that stand on the top of the pilasters

Sunday the 27th

Council held to day near Bro. Taylor’s tent – did not attend being somewhat indisposed – Squire Wells related to the people the circumstances that lately transpired at Nauvoo, and said that there were a great many brethren there in very indigent circumstances, who would not be able to come away without assistance – Consequently the Council determined to raise teams and send back for them[84] – it was thought advisable first to get all the teams they could of those who had built houses on the other side the river, at Mt. Pisgah, Garden Grove, because they, being in the great measure prepared for the winter, could better spare their teams than we, who have not yet built a single house, except the one that Bro. K. brought down from Cutler’s Park – Helen has been quite unwell, for a few days past, but is now getting better –

Popping the Question

I told her that her marble brow,

O’er which her auburn locks were straying,

Was like a drift of purest snow,

Where golden sunset rays are playing.

I told her that her soft blue eyes

Would shame the brightest spheres of heaven,

That walk the chambers of the skies,

Upon a moonless summer even.

I swore no sunny cloud could vie

In snowy softness with her bosom,

And that her cheeks had stole their dye,

From wild rose and magnolia blossom.

I vowed that unto her alone,

My burning heart had worship given;

That should she on its homage frown,

‘Twould then to dark despair be driven

And then I gazed upon her form,

And pres’d her small white hand with fervor –

And asked her if, ‘mid calm and storm,

She would be mine, and mine forever?

And I swore I’d keep my vows,

As true as rule, or square, or plummet;

But – she placed her finger on her nose,

And told me that – I “Couldn’t Come It.”

Promised I in your Album to write,

If so, will at my vocation;

For promises often unite

Your sex to “the Lords of Creation”

Well, now that I’ve written a verse,

I might as well scribble another,

To tell you it needs a good nurse

And this is its poor foster brother!


[70] [Editor’s Note: This appears to be on the inside of the cover of the journal. At the beginning of this journal, there are 29 pages of H. K. Whitney’s 1843 missionary journal that are not included here.]

[71] The reason why church leaders sometimes met in Horace Whitney’s tent was that he was a highly trusted, dependable, if unofficial secretary to the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. His skills as a writer, his proven ability to keep confidences, and his utter devotion to the Latter-day Saint cause made him an invaluable backup to Thomas Bullock, the official clerk of the Camp of Israel, and to William Clayton, another trusted camp recorder. Heber C. Kimball often entrusted Horace with writing entries in his own personal journal.

[72] This initial payment of $5,860 represented approximately 25 percent of the total $22,000 clothing allowance promised the Mormon Battalion members in return for their service. It is important to note that the money was given first to the battalion member, who then sent his money to his family—either his mother and father or his wife and children. They, in turn, were invited to contribute as much as possible to the church so as to buy food, provisions, and equipment in bulk at cheaper prices. Records show that the average battalion family retained approximately 24 percent of the funds sent home for essential food and supplies, donating the balance to the church. See Bennet, Mormons at the Missouri, 124.

[73] This invitation, extended by the Punkaw Indians to George Miller, was for him and his company to spend the winter at their Niobrara (Vermillion) River settlement, now on the border between South Dakota and Iowa, an invitation that he gladly accepted but that the superintendent of Indian Affairs would not have condoned.

[74] The Old Fort of Council Bluffs appears to be Fort Atkinson. Located ten miles north of Winter Quarters, it was the first United States Army post established west of the Missouri River and is also credited as the first town in Nebraska. Established in 1819 by Colonel Henry Atkinson, it was abandoned in 1827. It is now a State Historical Park and a National Historic Landmark.

[75] Brigham Young followed a policy of strict neutrality while at Winter Quarters with respect to Mormon-Indian relationships. The Mormons would assist the Indians in providing food, medical care, and other necessities but did not want to be seen as preferring one tribe over another.

[76] Said Chief Big Elk through Logan Fontenelle, his interpreter: “I am an old man and will have to call you all my sons. I am willing you should stop in my country but I am afraid of my great father at Washington. . . . We have been oppressed by other tribes because we were weak. We have been like the hungry dog which runs through camp in search of something to eat and meets with enemies on every side. We have been oppressed for ten years; many times we could have defended ourselves, but our great Father told us not to fight. . . . We heard you were a good people, we are glad to have you come.” Winter Quarters High Council Minutes, 28 August 1846, Church History Library. See also Journal History, 28 August 1846.

[77] Under the direction of marshal Horace S. Eldridge and chief of police Hosea Stout, Peletiah Brown, one of the three young men punished was whipped with “18 stripes which brought the blood in two places.” Said he: “O Br Eldridge if you will only stop I’ll never touch another girl again while hell’s afloat.” One of the other young men, Jack Clothier, received 23 stripes, “five [extra] for his mean conduct while in our hands.” Juanita Brooks, ed., On The Mormon Frontier: The Diary of Hosea Stout, 1844–1861 (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press and Utah State Historical Society, 1982), 1:191. Many in the camps feared Stout more than they did the Indians.

[78] Coming from a long line of explorers, fur trappers, and traders, Peter Sarpy had been trading at the Missouri River since at least 1834. His father, Gregoire B. Sarpy, was the first man to navigate the Mississippi River in keel boats. Peter Sarpy’s brothers, Thomas and John, were clerks for the American Fur Company. He had both an Indian and a white wife living on either side of the river. Eccentric and excitable, and one who loved horses and liquor, Sarpy became a wealthy trader in Indian furs, later opening stores at St. Mary’s and Decatur, Nebraska, and farming large acreages near Council Bluffs, Iowa. He died in 1865. See Hiram Martin Chittenden, The American Fur Trade of the Far West (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986), 1:390.

[79] Heber C. Kimball is here referencing the School of the Prophets that Joseph Smith had convened back in Kirtland, Ohio, beginning in 1833. The first school met in the Newel K. Whitney store with an enrollment that never exceeded twenty-five. The School of the Elders convened in both Missouri and in Kirtland, from 1834 to 1836. The School of the Elders had larger enrollments than the School of the Prophets and, in addition to the spiritual preparation of its members, taught penmanship, English, Hebrew, grammar, arithmetic, and other topics. See Daniel H. Ludlow, ed., Encyclopedia of Mormonism (New York City: Macmillan, 1992), 3:1269.

[80] Hawn’s Mill, located on Shoal Creek in eastern Caldwell County, Missouri, was founded by Jacob Hawn (or Haun) in 1835 and was the site of a massacre in October 1838 when seventeen Mormon men and boys were killed by a mob and another thirteen were wounded. The Saints were expelled from Missouri in 1839. See Alexander L. Baugh, “A Rare Account of the Haun’s Mill Massacre: The Reminiscence of Willard Gilbert Smith,” Mormon Historical Studies 8, no. 1 and 2 (Spring/Fall 2007): 165–70.

[81] The Nauvoo City Charter, authorized by the Illinois state legislature in December 1840 and in effect on 1 February 1841, provided for the creation of the Nauvoo Legion. Like hundreds of other city militia throughout the nation, the Nauvoo Legion was a legal entity, an American construct, subject to the military laws of the state and of the nation. As such, it answered ultimately to the governor of the state as its commander-in-chief. Joseph Smith served as its lieutenant general and local leader until his death in June 1844. With the revocation of the charter on 29 January 1845, the Nauvoo Legion ceased to function as a legal, state-sanctioned militia. The reconstitution of the Nauvoo Legion here in Nebraska was strictly a matter of wilderness defense. It would later be more formally reconstituted under the laws of the Territory of Utah as a territorial militia. It was mustered in for service during the so-called Utah War of 1857. For more, see Richard E. Bennett, Susan Easton Black, and Donald Q. Cannon, The Nauvoo Legion in Illinois: A History of the Mormon Militia, 1841–1846 (Norman, OK: Arthur H. Clark, 2010), 264.

[82] The Nauvoo poor camps were the last remnants of Latter-day Saints to leave Nauvoo in the fall of 1846. Driven out of the city at the point of bayonet and cannon fire, the Nauvoo poor camps numbered some nine hundred people who were totally unprepared for the exodus west. Driven out in September, they crossed the river to Montrose, Iowa, where they huddled in refugee camps, waiting for rescue parties that Brigham Young dispatched from Winter Quarters and Council Bluffs in October. Most of the poor camps spent the winter at Garden Grove, Mount Pisgah, or Kanesville. See Richard E. Bennett, “Eastward to Eden: the Nauvoo Rescue Missions,” Dialogue: Journal of Mormon Thought 19 (Winter 1986): 100–108.

[83] The Battle of Nauvoo was fought in September 1846 between anti-Mormon vigilante groups and mob extremists led by Thomas C. Sharp and others on the one hand, and forlorn Mormon defenders on the other. The battle lasted approximately three days and took the lives of at least four men before ending in an unconditional surrender of the city. It also resulted in the desecration of the Nauvoo Temple and in the expulsion of the poor camps, discussed earlier. See Richard E. Bennett, “Barbarously Expelled: The Infamous Nauvoo War of September 1846,” in History of the Saints: The Mormon Wars, ed. Glenn Rawson (American Fork, UT: Covenant Communications, 2014), 77–89.

[84] The three primary rescue camps were the Murdock, Campbell, and Luman S. Shurtliff companies that hastened back from Council Bluffs to the Mississippi in October 1846. They were successful in rescuing virtually all members of the poor camps. For more, see Wendy Top, “‘The Poorest of the Poor and the Sickest of the Sick’: The Shurtliff Poor Camp Rescue,” in Far Away in the West: Reflections on the Mormon Pioneer Trail, ed. Scott C. Esplin, Richard E. Bennett, Susan Easton Black, and Craig K. Manscill (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2015): 81–97.