21 July-30 October 1847
Richard E. Bennett, "Journal 6: 21 July-30 October 1847," 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), 305–374.
Wednesday the 21st.
Very warm day. Bro. Heber, Benson, & L. Young rode out this morning to survey the country – they returned this afternoon – they had been to the Kanyon, about 1½ mile from here – there they were obliged to dismount from their horses & explore the passage on foot, – the country being almost inaccessible – Bro. Heber told me that the Kanyon is about ½ mile in extent, & that it was his conviction we would be obliged to pass over a high ridge of mountains covered with snow, where we shall resume our journey. – President Young being much fatigued with yesterday’s travel, It was thought best to remain here to-day. Father Sherwood & the other brethren are some better to-day. –
Thursday the 22d.
Cloudy morning, though quite warm. – We again set forward this morning about ½ past 7 o’clock, & taking near a south course through the valley, we crossed the stream on which we encamped 4 times & halted about 9 a.m., having come about 2½ miles – This creek is called “Ogden’s Fork” & on its banks are numerous remains of small Indian lodges, hastily constructed of willow boughs. The reason of our stopping is that Father Case’s wagon wheel was broken or considerably damaged this morning, while on the road which has been quite stony in places. – Bro. Heber, Benson, H. Egan went back to assist in repairing the damage. – They soon returned, having remedied the matter by tying a pole lengthwise under the wagon, & the brethren relieved him of a good share of his load, by each one taking a portion thereof. We again started on at at [sic] 11 o’clock – Our course now lay south alternately over a hilly road and through dense copses or thickets of willow & cotton wood, which line the banks of the stream – at length after ascending a steep hill, we found a letter in the end of a stick placed upright in the ground by the side of the road – Inside this was written the following: –
“Kanyon Creek, Tuesday Morning,
July 20, 1847.
Artist unknown, Mormon Trail—Big Mountain. First view of Great Salt Lake Valley from a mountain pass. Utah State Historical Society.
“To Willard Richards, George A. Smith, or any of the Saints: – From this point it is 5 miles west to the summit of the dividing ridge: the road will be of a gradual ascent, & considerably better than the one you have passed over for a few days back – the ravine, up which you will go, is without water, except 2 or 3 small springs, which soon lose themselves beneath the soil. You will pass through groves of “quaking asp,” “balsam” & “cotton wood”, more than you have seen for many days. From the dividing ridge you will make a more rapid descent – the hill for a short distance, will be quite steep, though strait & smooth, we have descended worse since we left Ft. Bridger. You will go down about 6 miles, where you will find a camping place, – grass middling good – you will find a small spring about 100 rods after leaving the dividing ridge which soon loses itself in the soil; the bed of the stream remains mostly dry for 2 or 3 miles, where you will strike a stream nearly one third as large as the one where I leave this note. Your road, in descending, will lead through quite a timbered forest, principally aspen, but some underwood of oak & small maple. The soil is extremely rich. About 1½ mile beyond the camping ground above mentioned, you will find quite a lengthy hill to avoid passing through a rough, rocky Kanyon. You will then descend in a ravine for 3 or 4 miles unto a broad, & comparatively level valley, which is probably an arm of a prairie, putting up among the mountains from the Eutaw outlets.
“Elders Amasa Lyman, Charles C. Rich, & the Saints: – Beloved Brethren, – I leave you an extract of a letter from Orson Pratt, found at this camping ground, for your benefit and guidance. Yours, very truly, Thomas Bullock, Clerk of Pioneer camp, Tuesday evening, 7 o’clock. – The sick are getting better.” –
The above letter was read by W. Woodruff to the brethren, while we halted on the brow of the hill, which we soon descended, &, after going about ¼ of a mile & crossing “Ogden’s Fork” for the 7th time this afternoon, & the 11th during the day, we encamped on its banks in the valley or ravine at ½ past 3 P. M. – having come 7½ miles to-day. I omitted to mention that we had quite a shower during our halt this morning. This stream abounds in fine trout, of which I caught one to-day, & its banks are studded with plenty of underwood, wild current, gooseberry, &c.–
William H. Jackson, View of the Salt Lake Valley. Utah State Historical Society.
Friday the 23d.
Pleasant morning. – We started at ¼ past 7 a.m., & leaving Ogden’s Fork in our rear, we turned up a ravine, pursuing a west course over a gradual ascent of ground – The road is rough, rocky, & sidling in many places, & leads through dense thickets of underbrush, & quite a forest of hemlock and poplar trees. At length, after travelling 4 miles we attained the summit of the dividing ridge, mentioned by O. Pratt in his letter – here we had a fine view of the mountains covered with snow, & the open country in the distance beyond – we have passed 2 or 3 springs during our route this forenoon. We now began to descend a long, & for some distance, quite a steep hill, over a rough road made by the brethren by cutting down trees, the stumps of which annoyed us not a little, as we passed along, as well as projecting boughs & prostrate trunks of trees, which lay in our path – we crossed a small rivulet 6 times, which ran along at the base of the hill through a ravine, and after having come 4½ miles down a gradual descent we emerged on to an open area of ground, where there is a good spring of water, spoken of also by O. Pratt as probably being an arm of the prairie communicating with the lake. – Here we halted to bait at 12 M., having come 4½ miles. – While here, Bro. John Pack & Joseph Matthews rode up on horseback – they reported both companies of the brethren to be some 14 miles ahead encamped in a valley, apparently about 20 miles from the “Salt Lake”, which could be seen in the distance to the north-west. The brethren, when they left them this morning, were intending to move about 4 miles further, & then stop & commence planting seeds in the ground, which, they speak of, as being extremely rich and fertile. – Bros. Pack and Matthews were the bearers of a letter from O. Pratt, G. A. Smith & W. Richards, to President Young, giving the latter an account of the roads ahead, the fertility of the soil, & the general features of the country in their vicinity, &c., &c.– After remaining here about 2 hours we were again in motion – going west a short distance, the valley becoming more confined in its limits as we advanced, we turned to the right, & pursuing a west-n-west course, we ascended a very long & steep hill, on attaining the summit of which, Bros. Pack & Matthews left us & went ahead. – Descending now a west course, another long and steep hill, (some wagons being obliged to lock both wheels,) we encamped at its base at ½ past 5 P. M., near a pure & beautiful stream of water, whose banks are thickly skirted with quaking asp, & cotton wood trees having come 9 miles to-day, I omitted to mention that Bro. Lorenzo Young’s wagon, while descending the hill this forenoon, was overturned by some obstacle impeding the passage of the road, & the bows mostly broken in pieces. His 2 little boys, who happened to be in the wagon at the time, providentially escaped uninjured, though a portion of the load having become disarranged inside, rolled upon them, stopping up the entrance, & they were only liberated by cutting a hole in the cover. A short time previous to our arrival at this place, the sky became overcast with clouds, & a strong breeze setting in from the south west, there is quite a prospect of rain this evening. The grass here is rather rank & tall though in places quite good. –
Saturday the 24th.
Notwithstanding the threatening appearance of the weather last evening, the clouds have cleared away, & this morning, the sun rose bright & beautiful as usual – The majority of the camp were in motion about ¼ past 7 a.m., – Frank Dewey & myself did not start with the rest, our horses having strayed away. Bro. Howard Egan had also lost one of his – he went back over the mountain about 4 miles where he found them all, brought them up, & we got started in about 2 hours after the departure of the rest. Pursuing a west course through the ravine, we crossed the stream 18 times. – going down several steep descents, we at length emerged from the pass, (having come 4 miles,) & were highly gratified with a fine view of the open country and the “Great Salt Lake,” whose blue surface could be seen in the distance with a lofty range of mountains in the background, which I should judge to be some 30 or 40 miles distant.  There is an extensive, beautiful, level, looking valley, from here to the Lake, which I should judge from the numerous deep green patches must be fertile and rich. The valley extends to the south probably 50 miles, where it is again surrounded by high mountains. To the south-west across the valley, at about 25 to 30 miles’ distance, is a high mountain, extending from the south end of the valley to about opposite this place, where it ceases abruptly, leaving a pleasant view of the dark waters of the Lake, – standing in the Lake, & about due west, there are 2 mountains, & far in the distance, another one, which I suppose is on the other side the Lake, probably from 80 to 100 miles distant. To the north-west is another mountain, at the base of which is a long ridge of what I should consider to be rock salt from its white & shining appearance. – of Rattlesnakes there are plenty of a rare size, which probably have their dens in the mountains. The distance from the entrance of “Pratt’s Pass to avoid the Kanyon” at “Weber’s Fork”, to this place, is 41¼ miles – we have travelled 44¼ miles during the past week, & are this evening, distant from Ft. Bridger 115 miles, from Ft. John 512¾ miles, & from Winter Quarters 1053 miles. President Young is slowly recovering his health, &, finally, all those in the camp who have been sick are rapidly recovering. – It commenced raining quite hard about 4 P. M., accompanied by a strong wind from the south-west, which continued about 2 hours, thus setting at naught the opinions & apprehensions of some of the brethren, that rain is not sufficiently incidental to this county for the growth of wheat, corn, &c.– Some of them, indeed, had thought that we would be obliged to irrigate the country by digging ditches, &c., but there is no fear, if we continue to serve the Lord with full purpose of heart, but that he will provide us with every thing essential to our future comfort & happiness. One thing I omitted to mention, viz. There are numerous black crickets of an enormous size to be seen here – On these the bears are supposed to subsist in winter, which devour them with great voracity. They would also doubtless be good for the fatting of hogs. It again commenced raining about 9 o’clock this evening, which, however, did not last long. Lewis B. Myers & one of Bro. Crow’s sons have gone out hunting taking pack horses with them intending to be gone a month or two, in order to get their supply of meat for the winter – they left here yesterday. –
Sunday the 25th.
Somewhat cloudy this morning, although we had but little rain during the last night. This morning is the anniversary of my birthday and I have completed my 24th year. About 9 a.m., Robert Byard, John Gleason & myself took a walk of about ¾ of a mile to the creek across which the brethren had built a dam, from which the water running, through a narrow dike they had dug, irrigated the land that has been ploughed over and partially planted with potatoes – here we found a number of the brethren bathing in the pure, cold water of the stream. There we continued our course about 2 miles along the bottom, at the base of the mountain, & came to 3 different places, where very hot water, issuing from the mountains, runs down to the valley below, and there forms into as many large pools or ponds. It possesses a salt or sulphurous taste, & is so extremely noxious to the smell, that it is almost impossible to remain in the vicinity long at a time – The brink or bottom of these streams abound in a kind of vertigris or slime of a greenish color, like unto copperas, to which it also bears some resemblance in taste, being of a poisonous nature in the opinion of Prof. Orson Pratt, although the water itself is as-transparent as any I have ever seen, after tasting & viewing the waters awhile, we retraced our steps to the camp, halting, a few minutes to bathe at the dam on our return. There had been a meeting during our absence, which I understand was successively addressed by Elders Kimball, G. A. Smith & Benson on different subjects. – at 1 P. M., by request of H. C. Kimball, the following persons, viz. Howard Egan, Hans C. Hansen, Jackson Redden, Carlos Murray, Thomas Cloward, George Billings, Philo Johnson, Charles Harper , Edson Whipple, Wm. A. King Hosea Cushing, Robert Byard, Orson K. Whitney , & myself, assembled themselves in a grove adjacent to the camp, when Elder Kimball addressed them in substance as follows. – “Most of you here present, have become adopted into my family, except a very few (calling them by name,) & Horace, who has become connected with my family by marriage; but I do not care for that, you are all the same to me, & your interest is my interest, for what’s mine is yours, & what’s yours is your own. If I have the privilege of building a house, I want you to help me, & and I will help you. Horace will want to build a house for some of his father’s family, if they should come up, & there is plenty of timber in the hills. When my family comes up, we may conclude to settle somewhere else, if so, there will be plenty to buy us out, if we shall have made any improvements. – I want you all to be prudent, & take care of your horses, cattle, & every thing intrusted to your care. It would be a good plan, (& probably will be done,) for those who stay here, to go back on the ‘Sweet Water,’ & kill buffalo, &c., for winter consumption. We shall go to-morrow, if Brigham is well enough, in search of a better location, (if, indeed, such can be found,) if not, we shall remain here. – There should be an enclosure made for the purpose of keeping the horses & cattle in nights, for there are plenty of Indians in the vicinity. I should advise you to keep the Sabbath day holy, whether others do or not. I want you to put all the seed into the ground, that you think will come to maturity. I am satisfied that buckwheat will do as well here, as any other seed we can sow. I want also some peach stones, & apple seeds to be planted forthwith. – Bro. Byard & Hans I would like to have immediately engage in making garments of buckskins, & Bro. Cloward in making shoes, & Bro. Johnson in making hats as soon as practicable. If you wish to go hunting, fishing, or to see the country, select a week day, & not the Lord’s day, for that purpose. Do not let us get giddy & high minded, as the Nephites did of old, but strive to work righteousness in the beginning, inasmuch as we have reached the ‘Promised Land’. If it is advisable to work in a family capacity, we will do so, & if in a church capacity, we should be equally willing to do that. I am going out on a scout with the brethren, & I shall probably want one or two of you to go with me, & also one or two wagons. I am not going to take any thing back with me to Winter Quarters, only what is actually necessary – even some of my clothes I shall leave behind. I shall leave Bishop Whipple with you, – he is quite a steady & economical man, & as such I recommend him to you. I want every man to be as industrious as possible while I am gone, & get into the ground all the turnip, cabbage, & other seeds you can. In case a storm of snow should come on it would advisable to drive all the cattle among the willows, where they can remain until the snow goes off. I want you all to work together, until such times shall come, when every man will have his inheritance set off to him. – I feel towards you as a father towards his children, & I want you to banish all peevishness from among your midst, & accommodate yourselves as much as possible to each others’ wishes. I have it to say, that my boys have been faithful to their various duties on this journey, & other people have noticed it & expressed their opinions that they never saw such an attentive set of men in their lives, & I consider that their conduct is worthy of imitation. I want you to be solemn & prayerful & remember me & my family in your prayers.” A number of other good ideas were advanced by Bro. Heber of an edifying nature, & then we closed the meeting by prayer, at 2 P. M. & we all retired separately to the camp, having enjoyed one of the happiest, &, apparently, the briefest interviews, I have witnessed for a long time. A meeting was again held this afternoon, near President Young’s wagon where the brethren were successively addressed by Elders Woodruff, O. Pratt, & W. Richards on subjects of a general nature, & in particular of the good fortune that had attended our safe arrival at this place, without the loss of any individual by death or otherwise, while on the road; & also, how admirably adapted to their condition is this location for the Saints, abounding, as the country does in beautiful scenery, & the land being unequalled in the fertility & richness of its soil, for which blessings we should render thanks to the Lord, the Benefactor & Author of all good deeds to those who love, serve, & obey him. About 6 P. M., the meeting was dismissed, & the brethren retired to their several wagons, having had a good time, & a spirit of unanimity & good feeling seemed to pervade the whole camp. – This afternoon, Lewis B. Meyers & William Crow returned from their hunting expedition – they brought in only one deer – they returned sooner than they contemplated, in consequence of one of their horses having strayed away. –
Monday the 26th.
Somewhat cloudy this morning. – at 4 a.m., in accordance with previous arrangements, the bugle was sounded for the brethren to collect their horses & cattle to recommence ploughing & planting, & also at an interval of every 4 hours during the day, that the teams might be alternately relived from labor, & others substituted in their place. – The brethren being called together, Col. Markham read out a list of names of those selected for farming operations – 15 men were also chosen to go & make a road through the Kanyon, as it is called in the mountains, in order to obtain an easy-access to places where there is supposed to be timber for building. – Orson was chosen as one of the latter, who soon proceeded to the performance of their task, with axes, spades, & other implements necessary for its completion. Most of the Twelve, accompanied by some others, rode out morning, on horseback, to take a view of the country, & after a short absence returned, & again went out. – The brethren, as yet, are engaged in ploughing & planting indiscriminately together on the same plot of ground, though Pres’t. Young yesterday advanced the idea that as soon as convenient, lines would be drawn, & each man allotted a portion of land, for his individual cultivation. A tent was pitched upon the site of ground, where the family meeting was held yesterday, & in it, this morning, Bros. Byard & Cloward commenced their respective avocations of tailoring & shoemaking. The Twelve returned towards evening – they had visited the large hot springs about 4 miles above here, in which, Bro. Heber informed me, he bathed himself – they also ascended a mountain in the vicinity & took a view of the surrounding country. Bros. Joseph Matthews & John Brown informed me this evening, that they had visited a mountain to-day which lies 15 or 16 miles west of this place – about 4 miles from here, they crossed a beautiful clear stream, about 5 rods in width, & of a moderate current – this, issuing from the mountains to the south-east, traverses the whole length of the valley, and runs N. N. W. into the “salt Lake”. – The soil, if possible, is richer & more fertile than at this place, near the river; beyond, it is not quite so good. Adjacent to, & on the sides of the mountain, they saw considerable wild sage, – at the base thereof, they found a horse, which they brought with them to the camp, – to whom this belongs, they have no idea. Orson returned this evening, pretty well tired out with his day’s work. This evening, Orson & myself made up our bed under the wagon, the weather was so warm & pleasant. –
Tuesday the 27th.
The sky is partially overcast with clouds this morning, although the weather is quite warm. Orson went, this morning, with Joseph Scofield , & others, into the mountains to procure timber for building a boat. Soon after breakfast, 2 Indians, of the Eutaw tribe, came to the camp – they were somewhat slightly clad in skins, & are quite small in stature, as I am informed this tribe usually are – J. Redden exchanged a gun & a shirt with one of them for a pony. They gave us to understand by signs, that there was a large party of their tribe about 40 miles from here. The bugle was sounded this morning at the usual hour, & the brethren assembled together, & the list of names of those selected for farming, again read over, soon after which all hands commenced ploughing, planting, &c.– The Twelve and some others started on an exploring expedition this morning, – before they got out of sight, 4 horsemen were observed at a distance coming towards the camp. Bro. Heber waited a few minutes until they arrived. They proved to be Bros. Amasa Lyman, Samuel Brannan. Roswell Stevens & Rodney Badger. – they report the battalion to be two days’ journey distant, on their way to this place, Bro. A. Lyman & S. Brannan joined the expedition. This afternoon 5 or 6 more Indians made their appearance in the camp, & stayed here all night. 16 wagons belonging to the Twelve, & some others, (including 3 of Heber’s,) were removed to a spot across the creek, about ¾ of a mile hence, near the site of ground, where it is supposed the future city will be built. The tent was also taken to that place.
Wednesday the 28th.
Warm & sultry with but little air stirring. – The horn was sounded at the usual hour this morning as a signal to recommence the labors in the field. Orson, with our horses, harrowed this forenoon. Elder S. Brannan arrived here this morning from the Salt Lake, which he says is about 30 miles distant – he reports the Twelve to be on their return, who will probably be in this evening – they had taken a good bathe in the Lake, the waters of which he reports to be so extremely salt, that a man could not sink, if he should try. On the margin are vast quantities of salt of superior fineness & quality. Brother Joseph Hancock came into camp this morning, bringing with him a red tailed deer he had killed in the mountains. – he also informed me that he shot an elk the other day.
Lewis B. Meyers, Monroe Frink , Orson & myself started about noon on horseback to go back & meet the soldier brethren from Pueblo. We proceeded up the pass, 14 miles from here, & arrived at their camp, sun 1 hour high, which was situated on the “arm of Prairie” mentioned some time since, in O. Pratt’s letter. – They had arrived at this place yesterday, & remained encamped to-day. I found a number of acquaintances among the “boys,” one of whom was William Squires . – with him Orson & myself took supper in his tent, & I stayed with him all night. – The brethren that had been sick among them, have mostly recovered.
Thursday the 29th.
Considerably warm & sultry, though there was a slight breeze from the east. The camp struck their tents sun about an hour high, & proceeded on the journey the horsemen preceding the wagons to the mouth of the pass, where the former, whom I accompanied, arrived about noon, soon after which, the Twelve, & a number of others arrived from the camp on the bottom, who, after exchanging salutations with the soldier brethren, proceeded up the pass to meet the wagons, which were detained somewhat, on account of 2 or 3 of them “breaking down” The horsemen also remained here in waiting. Lewis B. Myers, Orson, & myself after stopping a short time, started for the camp. – going a short distance, we descended to the 2d shelf; where we found the brethren engaged in making an extensive garden – Here we also halted a few minutes, when we rode on to the camp, where we arrived about 1 P. M., fatigued with our ride, though not regretting our journey – For particulars occurring during my absence yesterday, I am indebted to the able journal, kept by Howard Egan, from which the following is an extract: – “Wednesday 28th. The brethren of the Twelve arrived at the camp this evening, very much fatigued by their journey. They reported seeing a number of large caves in the rocks along the mountains, – one of them they could penetrate on horseback, 40 or 50 feet, They also saw a number of wild goats. Brother Woodruff lost his whip & went back 3 miles, & saw a party of Indians a short distance off. – one of them rode up to him & shook hands with him, & made signs that they were going to the north part of the Lake. The brethren bathed in the Lake, – the waters of which are so extremely salt, that a man could not sink in it, if he should try. On the margin are vast quantities of salt of a superior quality, a sample of which Bro. Young brought home with him. They reported it as one of the most beautiful places they had ever seen. The brethren of the Twelve wished me to notify Bro. Markham to have the brethren meet close by our camp, at 8 o’clock this evening, when they were addressed by Pres’t. Young, pertaining to our locating ourselves here. ‘To begin,’ he said, ‘he wanted the brethren to express their feelings on the subject.’ Many of the brethren done so – all were in favor of settling here. It was moved & seconded that we should locate in this valley for the present, & lay out a city at this place, which was carried without a dissenting voice. It was also moved that the Twelve act as a committee, to superintend the laying out of the city, &c., the plan of which, I will give in another place. He expressed his feelings warmly to the brethren on different subjects – he was filled with the spirit of God, & spoke with power, which caused the brethren to rejoice.” – Soon after Lewis B. Myers, Orson & myself arrived here, it commenced raining, accompanied by thunder & lightning, with a strong wind from the south-east, which continued at intervals through the day – The soldier brethren, who were detained, by the accident above mentioned, happening to the wagons, arrived here this evening, about ½ past 5 o’clock – they came in, in a martial manner in the following order, viz: – 1st, the Twelve, with the officers on horseback, – 2d. followed a body of horsemen, next a company of footmen, who stept to the time of the soul-stirring tones of the fife & drum, – 3d, & last, closing the line, followed 30 or 35 wagons. They passed our camp, beyond which they went ¼ of a mile, & encamped, after first crossing the creek, on the banks thereof in a semi-circle. – I learned of Wm Squires that there were about 14 Government wagons, & about 20 wagons belonging to the Mississippi company of brethren, that accompanied the soldiers from Pueblo, where the former arrived last year from Mississippi. I am informed that the slight rain we have had, has so raised the creek in the Pass, that all the small bridges made by the brethren have floated away this afternoon. A number of other wagons, that had been detained in the Pass by accident, arrived soon after the majority did at this place. –
William H. Jackson, Washakie’s Shoshoni Band and Encampment, 1870, Wind River Mountains. Wyoming State Archives.
Friday the 30th.
Warm day. – the usual avocations of ploughing and planting were recommenced to-day. The brethren also erected a saw pit for the purpose of sawing lumber, with which to build a boat, intended to be constructed in the form of a batteau. The twelve held a council with the officers of the battalion, after which, they rode up to the hot springs. I got Bro. Cloward to mend my boots to-day. This evening, Orson & myself got up our horses, & moved north ¾ of a mile, to the place where the Twelve & others had located themselves to the number of about 30 wagons. Near here is the site of the future city, including the ground allotted to the building of the Temple, which is to occupy 40 acres – adjacent to this place, flowing west is a small, clear stream, which affords excellent water. Of this place, when surveyed & laid out in the form of a city, I will give a more minute description hereafter. Bro. Howard Egan, & the rest of Bro. Heber’s boys are engaged in ploughing, & planting seeds of different kinds. This evening, a general meeting of the camp, (including the soldier brethren) was held at this place near my wagon, which was addressed by Pres’t. Young. He told his feelings concerning the soldiers – they had saved the people by going when they were required, & he rejoiced that they are here. He expressed his feelings warmly towards the brethren, & also told his feelings towards the Gentiles. The meeting was opened by “Hosannahs” three times, & closed by requesting the battalion to build a bower to-morrow on the Temple Lot, where we can assemble for meetings, &c.–
Saturday the 31st.
Fine weather, with a warm breeze from the south. This morning about 11 o’clock, Robt. Byard, Carlos Murray, Samuel Gould & his son, & myself, started on horseback, to visit the “Big Salt Spring, about 4 miles up the valley, north of this place. Proceeding along the base of the mountains about 3 miles, the clouds, which for some time had worn a threatening appearance, began to discharge a heavy rain – we immediately sought shelter under the protecting boughs of a small tree, growing on a slightly elevated point of ground jutting out from the mountain. After remaining here about ½ hour the rain ceased, when we renewed our excursion. Travelling about a mile further we arrived at the Spring. This is situated at the base of quite a high, large mass of rock, from a cavity of which, gushing forth, it forms into a semi circular pool, about 18 feet in diameter. To ascertain the intensity of its heat, I thrust my hand into the pool, & found it very difficult to keep it there, while I counted the number “10.” Having satisfied our curiosity at this place, we next visited quite an extensive salt lake, lying about 100 rods to the west. It is near a mile in length, & in places, about the same in width, communicating with the Spring, which is its source, by means of a small outlet, running from the former into the latter. Near the margin of the Lake the water is quite shallow, though it increases in depth, as you advance towards the center. The water itself is considerably cool, & quite salt in its nature. We took a fine bath therein, & felt ourselves very much refreshed, & invigorated by the operation. after remaining here about an hour, we mounted our horses to return. After going near a mile, it recommenced raining, & we again retreated to the tree, under which we had previously found shelter. It continued to rain quite hard for ¾ of an hour, accompanied by a strong breeze from the west, & a slight fall of hail, about the size of a kernel of corn, when it suddenly ceased, & we retraced our steps to the camp, where we arrived without accident about 4 P. M., having been highly edified & gratified by our visit. I learned, on my arrival, that there were between 20 & 30 Indians at the camp below. Bro. W. Clayton informed me that he witnessed quite a fight between 2 of their number, originating, I believe, in some misunderstanding connected with the loss of a horse or gun, which one accused the other of stealing from him. The soldier brethren, agreeably to the suggestion of Pres’t. Young last evening, commenced to build a bowery this morning, near this place, on the site of the Temple lot, which they completed this evening. I omitted to mention, that, during our route this morning, between this place & the Big Salt Spring, we noticed several smaller ones, of 2 or 3 of which I have given an account elsewhere, while on a former visit. The brethren have already ploughed 53 acres of land since we have been here, the most of which is planted. The following is a list of the kinds of seeds put into the ground for Bro. Heber’s family, viz. buckwheat 3 acres – corn 1 acre, oats 1 acre – turnips ½ acre – of different kinds of seeds ¼ acre – potatoes 1 bushel. – Bro. Pack & G. Billings rode back 6 miles on the road we came, & cut 41 logs for building. – Since writing the above, I learned the particulars, connected with the Indian quarrel above-mentioned, a misunderstanding having occurred between 2 of them about a horse that was traded to 1 of the brethren for a gun, one of them struck the other on the head with his gun. Immediately, an old Indian, whom I suppose to be a chief, interfered, & horse-whipped both of them. A short time after, the one stricken with the gun, mounted one of their horses, & rode off. He had not gone more than a mile, when they perceived him. Immediately, 6 of them started in pursuit. – After an absence of a few hours they returned, & made signs that they had killed both the refugee & his horse. The former were Shoshone or Snake Indians, the latter, (of which there is also a number,) here) [sic] were Eutaws. Between here & the camp of the soldiers, the former are encamped to-night. Bro. Clayton & Orson informed me, that while there, they saw 5 or 6 Indians assembled around their fire, over a huge mass of the large, black crickets, peculiar to this country, which, after having first deprived of their legs & heads, & roasted on the coals, they were devouring with great voracity. – The battalion being paraded this evening Pres’t Young addressed them. I only arrived in time to hear the latter part of his speech – This advised us of the folly of trading with the Indians here, for if we continued to do so, he said, we would always be molested with them, therefore, we should give them to understand that we were not permitted to trade at this place, but appoint a distant place for that purpose. He also admonished the brethren not to buy Indian and California horses, as they were not near so good as our American ones, neither did we wish to be overstocked with horses, for they were only a trouble to us. He further said that as Captain Brown was about to start for California, in order to procure the amount of pay due to them, he thought it best that he should be liberated from all duties pertaining to the battalion here, that he might immediately make preparations for his journey, & that Captain [Nelson] Higgins , as next officer should take the command. He then called upon them to know if they were “willing to obey Capt. Higgins & himself as their superior officer – to which inquiry they all gave a unanimous assent. – He also gave them leave to disband, (in a manner,) & go to work tilling the ground, &c., like the rest of the brethren, & told them, that although their time had expired, they could draw pay until they were legally discharged.
Sunday the 1st of August.
Pleasant morning, with a strong breeze from the north-west. A meeting was held this forenoon in the bowery, commencing at 10 o’clock – another this afternoon, commencing at 2 o’clock P. M. – Being absent, I did not attend, but learned that the revelation given in Winter Quarters last winter, was read by Dr. Richards, & a note taken that they would abide by the precepts contained therein. The idea was suggested, & finally adopted, that we employ the Spanish mode of building houeses [sic] with “adobies” – clay or dirt moulded and dried in the sun. I took supper with Lieut. [William Wesley] Willis at his tent, in company with Elders A. Lyman & G. A. Smith, & slept with J. Buchanan.
Monday the 2d.
Fine weather, with a cool breeze from the N. E. – This morning, H. Egan, G. Billings, Wm. King, & P. Johnson, started into the mountains with teams for timber. Agreeably to previous arrangements, the 2 camps below commenced to move, to this place, that we may all form our wagons into a circle. Prof. O. Pratt, Father Sherwood, & others commenced surveying the ground for the city. Men were chosen for herdsmen, among whom was Orson. Those not engaged in moving to this place are occupied in ploughing, planting, sawing lumber for a boat, making coal kits, &c., &c.– Brother Benson & Porter, & 3 others started to go back about noon to meet the next company expected soon from Winter Quarters. Bro. Clayton wrote a letter for Bro. Heber, to James Smithies, the amount of which was, that he wished him to forword by the bearer, (Bro. Benson,) the general news in Winter Quarters, particularly, as regarded his (Heber’s) family; & also, all letters that may have been written by our friends from that place. – Orson, with the assistance of Hark Lay , is engaged in washing our clothes this afternoon. The wagons of the 3 camps, all arrived, & were formed into a circle about noon, a short distance from here. Wm. Squires slept with me tonight in my wagon. Orson and S.[amuel Bradford] Fox under the wagon.
Tuesday the 3d.
Warm and pleasant as usual, tho’ quite cold last night. Orson, soon after breakfast, went with Erastus Snow to watch cattle. The brethren engaged in their usual occupations – I understood that the ploughing was about finished. – Considerable of the corn & beans planted has already made its appearance above the ground, & is in a flourishing condition. H. Egan & J. Redden again went into the woods, up the pass, after timber. Pres’t. Young informed me this morning, that it was his intention to have the ox-teams start back on Monday next – & the horse teams, in two weeks from that time. – I omitted to mention that L. B. Myers returned from the Eutaw Lake yesterday – he reports it to be about 30 miles distant, & that on the east side of it is plenty of timber – which might be easily floated down the river to this place, which is the outlet of the lake. H. Egan and J. Redden returned about 9 o’clock this evening – they had been back up the pass about 8 miles, where they got cedar with which to make bedsteads, pails, &c.– They report the bridges all to have been carried away. A number of hunters have gone back within a day or two, some 40 miles in pursuit of game, meat being something not seen among us for a long time.
Wednesday the 4th.
Pleasant weather, with a slight breeze from the south. H. Egan, J. Redden, H. Cushing and G. Billings with 3 teams went 6 miles to get timber – they returned this evening, soon after dark with 3 loads of good logs, got for the purpose of building a storehouse. Bro. Wm. Clayton, with the assistance of Wm. King & Orson, was engaged in making a new “Rodometer,” as he intends to start back with the ox teams on Monday next. Bro. S. Brannan, J. C. Little, Lieut. Willis, & one or two others, started this morning on an excursion to the south, intending to go to the Eutaw Lake. I learned that a case was brought before the Twelve for trial to-day. – it referred to one of the soldier brethren, W[illia]m. Tubbs , who was accused of improper conduct with 2 females, who accompanied the army. I did not learn particulars, but understood, that the accused acknowledged that he had done wrong & was sorry for it, when the case was dismissed, & he was told to “go & sin no more.”
Thursday the 5th.
Warm as usual. H. Egan, G. Billings, J. Redden, H. Cushing, Andrew Gibbons, & Philo Johnson, again, with 3 teams went into the ravine after logs – they returned towards night. Orson & Carlos Murray took off the box, & drew a load of wood on our wagon this afternoon. This evening, Samuel Brannan, J. C. Little, Lieut. Willis, returned from their excursion to the Eutaw Lake, of which, & the adjacent country, they give a similar account to that of Lewis B. Myers. During their route, about 10 miles from here, they saw, lying by the side of the trail, the dead bodies of 2 Indians, supposed to have been killed in the affray mentioned as having occurred on the 31st ultimo. They also discovered the dead body of a horse, with its throat cut, some 6 miles from here – this probably belonged to one of them, & had been first shot, while they were endeavoring to make their escape. – Orson & myself used the last of our 3d bag of flour this evening. A number of Indians came into camp this evening, & stopt for the night.
Friday the 6th.
Warm & sultry. – the brethren, engaged in their usual avocations. This morning, considerable alarm was created in camp by the report that the Indians had left during the night, & taken with them all of our loose horses. This, however, proved groundless, as upon a thorough search, the horses supposed to be missing were found, not being easily seen from the camp on account of the high grass. The preliminary arrangements having been completed, the brethren this morning commenced making “adobies” on the bottom about a mile below here; & during this forenoon, moulded and laid out in the sun to dry, some 750 of them. H. Egan, H. Cushing, G. Billings, Andrew Gibbons, with 4 teams went after more logs for building, consisting mostly of balsam fir – they returned towards evening.
Saturday the 7th.
Pleasant weather. – The hounds to G. Billings’ wagon having been broken, were repaired this morning, & H. Egan, G. Billings, Andrew Gibbons, J. Redden, & John Tibbets again went into the woods with 3 teams – they returned about noon, with a quantity of poles, of which they made a horseyard this afternoon, on Bro. Heber’s lot, which is situated on the other side the creek, a few rods hence. Hosea Cushing made a hayrick to-day – Wm. King is still engaged in constructing a “Rodometer” for Bro. Clayton. Orson & myself, by request of Bro. Heber, took our team, & went up the pass near here, about ½ mile, & got a load of bushes, with which to cover a blacksmith shop, the first house built of logs, which stands a short distance from here. To-day a number of the brethren made a dam, a few rods above the wagons, over the small stream, which was along on the north side of the camp, after this 2 dikes were made, communicating with the dam, the water of which irrigating the whole camp ground, & laying the dust, renders every thing more cool and pleasant. – I was considerably amused this afternoon by the sight of a whirlwind, which occurred near here – It commenced on the south side of the camp traversing which, it passed up the ravine, to the North-east, nearly overturning a number of wagons, and quite demolishing a bower belonging to Bro. Crow’s family, during its progress. It also raised a quantity of dust, which, for some time after the wind had ceased, could be seen, at a vast height hovering over our heads, in apparent proximity to the clouds. This evening, Bro. Heber invited all the members of his family to the dam above here, where he administered to them the ordinance of baptism. – A number of other brethren, (making, I believe, 56 in all,) were rebaptized this evening, by himself & others of the Quorum of the Twelve.
Sunday the 8th.
Cloudy morning, with considerable appearance of rain. This morning, the ceremony of baptism was recommenced, & all who felt disposed, were invited to come forward & receive the ordinance, which they did in great numbers, both men & women. A number of Indians again made their appearance in camp this morning. They came for the purpose of reclaiming a horse one of them had sold to Bro. Joseph Hancock for a gun, which the Indians had some way broken, by accident, & still wished to keep it. By the President’s advice, Bro. H. refused to give up the horse, for, if we yielded to their claim in this instance, we might make up our minds to submit in future, to every other demand they might make of the like nature. Meeting was held at the bower commencing at 10 a. m. Bro. Heber first addressed the congregation, – exhorting them to abide by their covenants, & to the observance of various duties devolving upon them as Saints of God. He was followed by Elder W. Woodruff, who gave them a great deal of instruction and advice of a like nature, & the meeting was dismissed at noon, being adjourned until 2 P. M. – I wrote quite a lengthy letter for Wm. Squires, addressed to A. & V. Brown [?]. – giving them a detailed account of his adventures, & future prospects in this country, & also a minute description of the “Great Valley of the Salt Lake.” A council of the Twelve was held in a tent near here, at 11 a.m., at which an “Epistle of the Twelve to the Battalion & Saints in California,” was read – this is to be transmitted by S. Brannan, who starts on his return to morrow. Meeting met pursuant to adjournment. Present of the Quorum of the Twelve. – Pres’t Young, H. C. Kimball, Willard Richards, W. Woodruff, & O. Pratt. – Sacrament was administered, during which time, Bro. Lorenzo Young made some remarks, – after which Bro. Heber arose & said, – “There is some business to bring before the brethren – 1st, in regard to building the stockade of “adobies,” & now the idea is, to call out a company of men to be under a leader, who shall attend to that business. Pres’t Young says that men, say that 110 are necessary for the business, 60 to bake, 12 to mould, & 20 to put up walls. I think it best to beat [sic] up for volunteers.” – The names of 76 men were taken as volunteers. Pres’t Young said – “We now propose to put up some log houses, & plaster them up outside – perhaps build one side with logs.” H. C. K. motioned that we put the log houses on the line – seconded & carried. Robt. Crow moved that we have 4 gates, one on each side – seconded & carried. Pres’t Young said. – “We want 5 or 6 men to assist Father Sherwood in surveying the city. Every man shall be credited what he does in the adobie houses, & then when others come in they shall pay the price for it – we expect every man will have his lot & farm & attend to it himself. A few men came with Thos. Williams when he came to Ft. Bridger, – when they came, they borrowed flour of the Pioneer company – most of them refuse to pay what was borrowed for them – they ought to return the complement.” Thos Williams said, “there are only 2 or 3 who have paid their portions. Those were the persons who returned to the Battalion.” Capt. Brown said, – “Thos. Williams suggested the propriety of going ahead to overtake the Pioneers, & get back a couple of stolen mules – if Williams had asked for volunteers, he could have had half the Battalion.” Pres’t. Young said. – “you came, & would not have eat more, if you had stayed. Is there a man who would not have borrowed on the strength of his rations? Brother Rockwood let them have 20 lbs. flour – that we don’t want – but the 12th 10 have not 10 lbs. flour among them, & that ought to be paid.” He then related the “Tim. Goodell affair.” “I anticipate the time will come, that I shall enjoy good health in this valley, & be able to speak to the brethren. I deprive myself of preaching to the brethren, in order to keep this side the vail – if the wind had not blowed so hard, I should have spoken upon the sealing principle. I perceive that I fail – that my bodily strength is decreasing – if I had spoken, it would have hurt me. There are many things that I want to say, before I go. I feel thankful I am here – words & actions cannot exhibit what is in me – the hand of the Lord is stretched out – he will surely vex the nation that has driven us out. – They have rejected the whole council of God. The nation will be sifted, and the most[?] will come out chaff, & they will go to the fiery furnace – they will go to hell. This is the spot that I had anticipated – they will not have a hard winter here – the highest mountains are near 1¼ mile high – we shall find that sugar-cane, & sweet potatoes will grow here – The brethren from Pueblo, advise us all to build “adobie” houses – there never was a better or richer soil than this – Last fall, we found there were lots of persons who had not 2 weeks provisions with them – if we had come on then, we should have led a people to the mountains to suffer – we told the Pioneers to bring at least 100 lbs. bread-stuff – if men had not bread, let them go where it is – there are some who would lie down & die before they would complain, &, again, others, who would take the blood of man for it – the 1st company were charged to bring a sufficient quantity to last them through the present season, until they can raise – I calculate we shall bring as much as will last us until we can raise food, – we want all the brethren who are going back, to go to the “Salt Lake,” & have a swim – it is almost equal to vinegar to make your eyes and nose smart.” – after a benediction by the Pres’t., the meeting was dismissed at 20 minutes past 5 P. M. – This evening, John Buchanan, myself & one or two others went to the 1st salt spring 1½ mile distant, when we had a fine bathe in the warm water. –
Monday the 9th.
Fine weather – This morning, H. Egan, Andrew Gibbons, George Billings, H. Cushing, & Wm. King with 3 teams, & myself, with my team, went up the pass about 6 miles from here, – when we got 4 loads of poles, & took them to the yard about a mile below here, when the brethren are engaged in making “adobies,” with with which to build the stockade or fort – Orson to day assisted in irrigating the land. – Capt. Brown, Samuel Brannan, Wm. H. Squiers [sic], & some others started this morning on pack horses for California. – Bro. J. C. Little & some other brethren went with them, intending to accompany them as far as Ft. Hall, – & a few only as far as Bear River –
Tuesday the 10th.
Pleasant morning. – H. Egan & myself, with 2 teams went to the place where we got poles yesterday, & cut 3 loads of logs, which he myself, & Ozro Eastman , with an third team took to the adobie yard about 5 P. M., & found Bros. Heber, Markham, King, J. Redden, Andrew Gibbons, George Billings engaged in laying the basement of a row of log buildings on the east side, which side of the stockade, being immediately on the line, is, I understand to be built entirely of logs. One of these buildings is I believe intended for father. Pres’t Young’s row of buildings joins Bro. Heber’s. – I omitted to mention that last evening Bro. Heber invited H. Egan, Bro. Whipple, William Clayton, Wm. King, Hosea Cushing, & myself to a walk over the creek a short distance hence, to view the building lot he had selected. It is situated on a small, elevated bench of land, which commands a beautiful & extensive view of the valley to the north & south. Bro. Heber informed us that it was his intention to select 2 lots for father, to the west of, & joining his own, – one of which he would probably bestow on me – & next to us Bro. Wm. Clayton could have one if he chose. He said that Most of the Twelve have selected lots in the vicinity of the Temple lot, which consists of 40 acres. – after spending some time in conversation on different subjects, chiefly relating how-ever to the prospect of our return to W. Quarters, he proposed that we should pray – accordingly, he made a beautiful prayer, returning thanks to the Lord, for the preservation of ourselves, horses, & cattle, & for conducting us to a goodly land, possessed a rich & fertile soil, even a “Land of Promise.” He also prayed for our friends in Winter Quarters, that they might have no sickness among them – & finally for the Saints throughout the land. After he had closed we again repaired to the camp. – This evening I feel very much fatigued, owing to lifting heavy logs, & chopping down trees, to which I have not been used for some time. This afternoon the weather has been quite cloudy, & towards evening, we had quite a heavy gale that prostrated a few of the soldiers’ tents, but this, however, did not last long.
Wednesday the 11th.
Fine day. – I was quite unwell this morning. H. Egan & Orson went into the woods after logs – they returned just at night with 2 loads. The rest of the boys were engaged in laying up logs at the “adobie” yard. – That part of the wall [for the fort], to be constructed of “adobies”, was commenced to be layed to-day. – a large band of Indians made their appearance in camp this morning, on horseback – not being permitted to come within the circle, after staying some time, they went down the bottom & encamped about 3 miles below here. 4 wagons, (ox teams,) started for Winter Quarters this morning, under the command of Captain Jacobs. – These, I suppose, will stay on the “Sweet Water”, & hunts buffalos till we come up. This afternoon, we were all much surprised & grieved by the unusual occurrence among us, of an afflicting & domestic calamity. The following is a brief relation of the affair.: – Bro. Brown Crow, while getting a pail of water out of the small stream, which flows on the south side of the camp, discovered the dead body of his nephew, Milton Therlkill – (a boy about 3 years old,) lying in the deepest part of the water near the dam. The body was immediately taken out & notwithstanding every remedy, usual in such cases, was resorted to for its resuscitation for an hour or more, they were at last obliged to give up the case as hopeless. The child had been seen playing with a younger brother a short time previous by the side of the stream, hence, they inferred that he must have been in the water some 10 minutes. The grief of both the parents was great; but that of the agonized mother baffles all description. She laughed, wept, walked to & fro alternately, refusing all attempts at consolation from her friends, being apparently unable to be resigned to her domestic & melancholy bereavement. As for myself, I never witnessed a sight that so awakened my sympathy, & I sincerely hope, that I may “never look on its like again.”
Thursday the 12th.
Very warm day. – We did not go after logs to-day. The most of the boys, as usual, were engaged in laying up logs at the “adobie” yard. The funeral or burial of the child of Geo. W., & Matilda Jane Therlkill, took place about 2 P. M. Myself with a number of others, accompanied, as assistants, the mourners to the place of burial, which is on Bro. Crow’s lot, about a mile below here, nearly opposite the “adobie” yard. as soon as we marked the grave, we all knelt, & a beautiful prayer was made by Elder O. Pratt in behalf of the bereaved parents & friends – after which, by request of Bro. Crow, he made a few remarks, by way of exhortation & instruction to us all; & concluded by a brief, consoling address to the parents, & friends of the deceased – about 3 P. M. we returned to the camp, when 2 loads of salt had just arrived from the “Salt Lake.” It is the best kind I ever saw, being as white as snow, though somewhat coarse. The brethren who brought it in, remained on the shores of the Lake for a day or two, boiling down the salt together with the water, in order to separate it from the particles of dirt, with which, it abounded more or less. a number of brethren started to day on horseback for Winter Quarters.
Friday the 13th.
Warm & sultry as usual. – Orson & myself went into the woods with a team this morning, after logs, which we took to the “adobie” yard, where we arrived at 2 P. M. & found that they had got Bro. Heber’s row of buildings, consisting of 5 rooms, already built up 5 logs high. – Dr. Richards & others of the Twelve are building on the end of his houses. H. Egan & John Tibbetts went into the woods for saw logs. – There were 2 additional loads of salt brought in by the brethren this afternoon.
Saturday the 14th.
Pleasant day. – This morning, John Gleason, Alexander Chessley, & myself went fishing in the slough or large creek, about 2 miles from here – we followed it to the mouth, where it empties into a river about 8 rods in width – here we took a fine bath, in the clear blue water – we noticed in the bed of this river, innumerable particles of a gold color mixed with the sand; we separated a quantity therefrom, & brought it to camp, where Bro. Carrington pronounced it to be izen glass – We also caught & brought to camp some 20 fish of a different kind from that which I have before seen. As it is the intention to start the ox teams on Monday next, all who are then going back, started, this morning, on an excursion to the “Salt Lake.” Some others also were permitted to go, among whom was Orson. Bro. Clayton went with his wagon – when they returned this evening, he reported the distance to be 22 miles – The shaft, or screw to the “rodometer” was broken on his return. J. C. Little, Joseph Matthews, John Brown, Lieut. Willis, & John Buchanan, who accompanied Capt. Brown & the others as far as Bear River on their way to California, on Monday last, returned to-day – they had been as far as Cash Valley on an exploring expedition, of which place they give a favorable account, although they say there is no more timber there than here, & that like this being up the ravines of the mountains. Lewis B. Myers also returned to day from the same country – Both parties report the game to be very scarce, neither party having killed any. Some of them visited the settlement made by a man by the name of Miles [Goodyear] before referred to, & report the American corn them to be as high as one’s shoulders, & the Spanish corn “tassling out.” H. Egan, G. Billings & H. Cushing again went into the woods for logs – While on the road they met with quite an accident – H. Cushing’s team being ahead, stopt suddenly, when one of the oxen, of G. Billing’s, attached to the wagon immediately behind, ran, with full force, against the reach of the former wagon, which projects considerably out behind – the reach penetrated the breast of the ox near 6 inches, inflicting a wound large enough to admit a man’s clinched hand, but notwithstanding, having bandaged it up, we think he will get well. The fortification or stockade has progressed barely during the past week, from the united diligence and industry of the brethren & we indulge hopes to be ready to start back soon after Bro. Benson’s return.
Sunday the 15th.
Beautiful weather as usual. A meeting was held at the “Bower,” commencing at 10 a.m. Pres’t. Young addressed the congregation on the “sealing principles,” or more particularly on the “law of adoption.” He told them it did not detract from a man’s glory or reputation to be sealed to another but added to them; for he still held those of his own & adopted parent of the same time. Meeting was adjourned at 12 M., to meet again at 2 P. M. Meeting met pursuant to adjournment, & the congregation was addressed by Elders H. C. Kimball & O. Pratt on various subjects. The meeting was dismissed at 6 P. M., with the request by Pres’t Young that all those who intend to start back to-morrow, should meet at his tent this evening, at the sound of the bugle, which was accordingly done; & all the soldiers going, brought their guns, ammunition, &c., & surrendered them into the President’s hands, for the reception & safe keeping of which, there will be a house built hereafter. I do not know the number of those going, but of those about Bro. Heber, are the following: – Wm. Clayton, J. Redden, Robt. Byard, & Thomas Cloward. It rained considerably, soon after we retired for the night.
Monday the 16th.
Somewhat cloudy, & rained at intervals through the day. H. Egan was engaged in hunting up the cattle this forenoon, – Bros. Byard and Cloward got started to-day, each having a wagon with 2 yoke of oxen attached. – 1 yoke of these Bro. Heber procured of Bro. Huntington; the other of [rest of line is blank] Wm. King repaired the shaft to the “Rodometer” this forenoon, & this afternoon Wm. Clayton, J. Redden, & Howard Egan, rode up, in the former’s wagon, as far as the first warm springs, which they ascertained to be 1½ m. distant. Quite a number of wagons also got started for Winter Quarters. Some of the boys went up the hollow, where we have been accustomed to get logs, & got quite a large piece of sandstone, out of which, this afternoon, Bro. Allen is fashioning a grind-stone. – Quite a severe wind & storm soon after we retired for the night. –
William Clayton (1814–79), scribe, trailblazer, musician, and writer.
Tuesday the 17th.
The sky somewhat cloudy this morning. Bro. Clayton with his wagon, started from here to-day. He is accompanied by J. Redden, & E[dwin Ruthven] Lamb . Bro. Heber, Dr. Richards, Thomas Bullock, H. Egan, S. Goddard, Col. Rockwood went up the pass about 10 miles from here, where they [sic] brethren were encamped, called them together, & Bro. Heber gave them some instructions, for their guidance & direction on the journey. – This company is entrusted to the commands of Captains Roundy, & Tunis Rappleye. – Bro. Heber, & the others returned towards night, & he & myself took supper at Bro. Wilkie’s tent, after which we took a walk over the creek to look at the city lots, of their situation of which, &c., he gave me a better idea than I had before possessed. After we had got, we knelt & prayed by his suggestion; after which we returned to camp. He then called most of his boys together at Bro. Wilkie’s tent, where each chose his respective lot, & I wrote their names on the blanks, representing their lots on the city plot or map. Bro. W. Clayton, having left, by request of Bro. Heber, to-morrow, I commence to keep his journal. The brethren, as usual, to day are engaged at work on the adobie wall, which will be 9 feet high & 27 inches thick. Prof. Pratt has taken observations & found the latitude of this place to be 40o 45’ 50”. The altitude above the level of the sea 4309 feet, & above the Eutaw outlet 65 feet. This evening, after we retired, we again had quite a heavy wind from the south-west, accompanied by some rain, & mingled with the latter last night, it is said there was considerable snow – this heralds the approach of cold weather, &, in the opinion of all, we ought not to remain here much longer. The list of men & teams under the command of Capts. Roundy & Rappleye, as taken by the Clerk, Thomas Bullock, are as follow: – 59 men – 32 wagons – 14 mules – 16 horses – 92 yokes of oxen. –
Wednesday the 18th.
Fair weather this a.m. though somewhat showery this afternoon. – Nothing of importance occurred to-day, except the usual work going on at the adobie yard. President Young has announced his intention that we shall start back on Tuesday next, & had his horses shod yesterday, in preparation for that event. I went fishing this afternoon, but caught only one – the rain having come on, I returned to the camp, after about 2 hour’s absence.
Thursday the 19th.
Warm & pleasant. – H. Egan & H. Cushing were engaged to-day in drawing gravel with which to cover the houses – the remainder of the boys were also at work finishing them off. Bro. Heber had his horses shod to-day, preparatory to our starting on Tuesday next. – a party of mountaineers, (consisting of 4 white men & 2 squaws,) arrived in the valley this P. M. from Ft. Bridger. Their ostensible reason in coming here was “to see how we get along,” as they expressed themselves; but undoubtedly the real object of their visit was to trade with the Indians. They were encamped this evening, about a mile below us on the bottom. – By Bro. Heber’s request, this afternoon, I copied the names of those who had selected lots; as also the number of lots & blocks selected opposite each one’s name.
Friday the 20th.
Pleasant weather. – I got Bro. B. Frost to make me a new birch pen to-day. – This forenoon, by Bro. Heber’s request, I took a bar of iron to the blacksmith shop, got it cut into, & carried it to the stockade, to be used in constructing a chimney in one of Bro. Heber’s room’s which is being built by Bro. S. Goddard. – Bro. [Levi] Jackman is engaged in making a door. – They have got the covering laid over the top of one of the rooms, & the remainder are nearly ready for covering. – Bro. J. Matthews is engaged in sawing lumber in the saw pit near by, with which to make the floors. While at the buildings, I wrote a few more names on the blanks of the city plot, by Bro. Heber’s request among which were father’s & my own. These latter are situated on the East side & opposite the temple block. The laying out of the city is now completed: it is composed of 135 blocks each containing 10 acres, which is also subdivided into 8 lots each containing 1¼ acre. The streets are eight rods wide; there are 3 public squares (including the “adobie” yard,) besides the Temple block, in different parts of the city. – Father Sherwood returned from an exploring expedition to Cash Valley this evening whither he went day before yesterday for the purpose of trading with the Indians. With him came a man by the name of Wells, who has lived sometime in New Mexico, among the Spaniards. I understand the brethren have given him the privilege of choosing a city lot, if he wishes to dwell here. Bro. A. Carrington, John Brown, & one or two others started this evening on an exploring expedition to go to two high mountains, called the “Twin Peaks,” lying some distance to the south east of this place. It is their intention to proceed to the base of the mountain, & then encamp for the night, & on the morrow around the same in search of coal, &c.– H. Egan & H. Cushing were engaged to-day, in hauling some loose logs, that lay near here, down to the “adobie” yard, &c., &c.– Orson is quite sick to-day. –
Saturday the 21st.
Fair weather, as usual – Pres’t. Young & Bro. Heber moved their wagons & effects down to the stockade to-day. Nearly all of Bro. Heber’s rooms are now covered, & the floor of the one appropriated to Ellen Sanders’ use is nearly laid. The main part of the day was employed by Bro. Heber, H. Egan & H. Cushing, in packing, unpacking, repacking, & storing away the things in the house. I took my wagon to the blacksmith shop this afternoon, when Bro. Burr Frost repaired the skein to my axle-tree, & also one of the hounds which had been broken, for which service, I let him have ⅔ of a pail of corn.
Sunday the 22d.
Pleasant day, though thunder could be heard in the distance this afternoon, & it probably rained considerably in the mountains. A meeting was held at the Bowery, commencing at 10 a.m. – The congregation was addressed by Elder Amasa Lyman upon the subject of our present situation as a people, the blessings that we had received at the hands of the Lord, our future prospects, &c.– A few remarks were made by Pres’t. Young stating the necessity of our holding a conference, in order to transact some church business, which it was important should be brought before the people, before we shall leave this place on our return to Winter Quarters. The meeting was then adjourned to meet again at 2 P. M. on this ground. – In the interim, a council of the Twelve was held under the tree on Bro. Heber’s lot. – Pursuant to adjournment, Conference met at 2 P. M. – The following are the minutes of said Conference, as reported by the clerk, Thomas Bullock. –
Sunday, Aug. 22, 1847
2 o’clock P. M. –
A special Conference of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, held in the Bowery, on the Temple Block, in the ‘Great Salt Lake City.’
Present – Pres’t. B. Young, H. C. Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, A. Lyman, W. Richards, & O. Pratt – also Thomas Bullock & J. C. Little, clerks of the Conference. – Pres’t. Young called the meeting to order, & the Choir sung ‘The Spirit of God like a fire is burning’ – Prayer by Elder Woodruff. – The Choir sung ‘From all that dwell below the skies.’ – Elder Kimball called for the business to be transacted before this Conference; & requested the brethren ‘to be free & open[‘], that it may be well for those who remain, & those who are to come here. – ‘It is necessary to transact a few items – to have a Presidency to preside over this place, & appoint such officers as are necessary to watch over & counsel them for their well-being – also the Stockade; shall we continue our labors, & concentrate all our efforts in the building of that, or scatter, & every man work for himself? – Whether we shall cultivate the earth in the vicinity of the city, or go 3 or 4 miles and make farms, & fence them so that our crops can be secure? – Shall we scatter our labors; one man build his house, another fence his lot, another go hunting? &c., &c.– These are matters for your consideration – if the brethren have any interest, we want an expression of it – if they have not, be silent, & we’ll transact the business.’ –
H. G. Sherwood [city surveyor] said – ‘It meets my feelings to cultivate the city, & fence it in with an adobie” fence; & a high one will make a guard against the Indians, & keep the cattle out – I am in favor of fencing in the city, & cultivating it.’ –
N. Higgins said – ‘The Indians suppose the land is all theirs; & are in the habit of taking a share of the grain for the use of the land.’
Pres’t. B. Young moved – ‘That the brethren fence in the city, & such portion as they’ve a mind to in sections, & cultivate it’ – seconded by D.[imick] B.[aker] Huntington, –
H. C. Kimball said – ‘We’ve talked considerably about it, & the most prudent & economical way of doing it – it is best to fence in that portion which is tillable, & that which is the most convenient for us – suppose we divide it into 3 sections – the fence is put on the line of the city, just where we want it; & that which is not wet enough can be irrigated – Another year, we can raise 100’s & 1000’s of bushels for ourselves and those who come after us; & they shall pay you a good round price for it – I would rather fence a block of 10 acres & have the crop, than to plant 100 acres for the cattle to destroy – Will you put your mights together, for that which is the best for every man, woman, & child? – will ye do it? – (cries of “yes.”) – I say, put our forces together, & fence the city, & sow our wheat safely.’ – The motion was carried unanimously. –
Pres’t. Young said – ‘I move, that there be a President to preside over this place’ – seconded & carried. – ‘I move that there be a High Council’ – seconded & carried. – ‘I move that all other officers that are necessary, be appointed for this place.’ – seconded & carried. – ‘I move, that we call this place, “The Great Salt Lake City, of the Great Basin, North America’ – seconded & carried. – ‘I move, that we call the Post Office, “The Great Basin Post Office –”’ sec’d. & carried. –
H. C. Kimball said – ‘I move that we call the River, “The Western Jordan”’ – sec’d & carried. –
Pres’t. Young said – ‘It is the right of the Twelve to nominate the officers, & the people to receive them – we wish to know who is coming in the next company – if Uncle John Smith comes, it is our minds, that he preside.’ – He further said – ‘Col. Rockwood is my principal man, & attends to all my duties.’ –
H. C. Kimball said – ‘I move that Col. Rockwood be honorably discharged from his duties as overseer of the Stockade’ – sec’d & carried. – ‘I also move, that Tarleton Lewis be appointed to that office’ – sec’d. & carried. –
Pres’t Young said – ‘There will be thousands of such instances of men being discharged, & who are never shown on record, as appointed. It is the business of all clerks to write the business that is transacted, & not to ask questions – if I call on men to clerk, it is we who do the business, & the clerk who writes it – if we dismiss a hog, a clerk has a right to write it – it is none of his business to ask questions – Col. Rockwood is my aide-de-camp; I was acknowledged as their general & their dictator – if I appoint him to do a thing & don’t tell the clerk, the clerk is not to blame, & when he is discharged, it can be recorded. – The brethren are not requested to labor for naught – you don’t know what dangers you are in – I am full of caution – I wish that this people may grow & increase, & become a great nation. It ought to suffice the elders of Israel to go & do as they are told – Is it not necessary that that yard should be secured? that Indians cannot get in? – About 40 persons are going to live in those houses – that would only be ¼ of the whole, & have 3 sides exposed – but common sense teaches us to build it all ‘round. – Men laboring here will be glad to buy a cow, some sheep, clothing & other things – Some wealthy men are coming, & will want rooms – the men who build them are entitled to their pay – don’t be so devilish hoggish as to be afraid of doing a day’s work, without getting pay for it; & I can prophesy in the name of Jesus Christ, that a man harboring such a spirit, will be damned – & I say further, such a man shall not live here – Get up your walls 4½ feet high, & that will keep the cattle out – who is there sick in this camp, through living in your wagons? – Now, if you go & leave those walls, & build up your own house, & I venture to prophesy, that you, or some of your family, will be sick; & you will have to watch over them – I had rather they would sleep in the Bowery than in a close house – We propose to fence in 30 rods square, that in case of necessity, the cattle can be fenced in, – & in the inside, stack up your hay – in the spring, remove the fence – plow a trench about 20 feet from the houses, & the women can raise a multitude of garden sauce – I want to engage 50,000 bushels of wheat, 50,000 bushels of corn, & other grain in proportion, & I will pay you 50 cents per bushel for corn, $1.25 for wheat, .25 cents for oats – Why not I bring glass for you, & you raise grain for me? – raise all you can; you can buy sheep, teams, or a cow or two – we want you to live in that stockade, until we come back again, & raise grain next year – If you only fence in 40 acres, make it so that an Indian cannot see in, & then they won’t be tempted.’ –
O. Pratt said – ‘It will be impossible to fence in this city with a fence, so that an Indian can’t see in it – it will take 2300 rods to fence in the whole city, & will take a good many months.’ –
H. C. Kimball said – ‘There are some creeks that have no names.’ –
Pres’t. Young said – ‘I move, that this creek be called the City Creek’ – sec’d. & carried. ‘I move, that the large creek about 8 miles south, be called Mill Creek’ – sec’d & carried. ‘I move, that the little creek a little south, be called Red Bute Creek’ – sec’d & carried. – ‘I move, that the next be called ‘Kanyon Creek’ – seconded and carried. – ‘I move, that the next be called Big Kanyon Creek’ – seconded & carried – ‘Now I want to know if the people are satisfied with the labors of the Twelve.’
Map of early pioneer leadership of downtown Salt Lake City. From Daughters of Utah Pioneers, Tales of a Triumphant
People: A History of Salt Lake County, Utah, 1847–1900 (Salt Lake City: Stevens & Wallis Press, 1947).
T. Lewis said – ‘I move, that we give them our approbation, that we are satisfied with their labors, & give them our blessing’ – seconded & carried. –
Lorenzo Young reminded those brethren who did not pray, that it was a good time for them to begin; & fulfill their covenants that they have now made – ‘When we covenant to do a thing, be careful, & always do it.’ –
Pres’t. Young said – ‘I want to know who are going back to Winter Quarters – those who are going to stay – will ye finish that adobie wall? – if so, rise up. – (a number arose.) – I should have no hesitancy in taking 5 men, & build 1 mile of adobie wall, 8 feet high, this fall – Keep it in mind – 50 cts. for corn, $1.25 for wheat, & other grain in proportion.’ –
H. C. Kimball said – ‘My feelings are for the welfare & well-being of all this people – I am your brother, & you are my brethren – all being born from the same parents; & I am now approximating back again to those feelings, in again being restored to their parents & you should throw it away with selfishness, for it is of Hell – & I say in the name of Jesus, away with it to Hell. – (cries of “amen.” –) A man possessed of such feelings stinks worse than a skunk. – I want to cultivate a feeling of union, of peace, towards my brethren; & if they knock me over, I’ll try to forget it, & the Holy Ghost will rest upon you; & I shall see the day when the heavens will be opened; & we will render up our stewardships to our Heavenly Father. – Bro. Brigham is going to be greater than he was; he will be greater in strength, in beauty, & in glory – a man don’t know how to appreciate a thing, until it is taken away A man don’t appreciate a wife, until she is away; nor a wife appreciate a husband until he is gone – Call upon God & we shall increase here – away with the spirit of alienation, & let us be united – I believe I shall have power to thrust every thing beneath my feet, & rise in glory – I wish to God, we had not got to return – if I had my family here, I would give anything I have – this is a Paradise to me – it is one of the most lovely places I ever beheld – I hope none of us will be left to pollute this land – I had rather depart, then do as a great many do.’ –
B. Young said – ‘I move, that Brother [William] McIntyre be clerk, & keep an account of the public labors’ – sec’d & carried. – ‘In regard to our starting – get ready as fast as possible, & on Tuesday night we will start out, & see if we are ready to go – ‘I move, that we adjourn this Conference to Oct. 6, 1848, at 10 o’clock at this place’ – sec’d & carried. – ‘I also move, that Edson Whipple attend to the distribution of water over the plowed land.’ seconded & carried. –
Elder O. Pratt dismissed the Conference by benediction.” –
After meeting was dismissed, H. Egan & the rest of the boys, assisted me in taking my wagon, by hand, from the blacksmith shop, down to the stockade. The Twelve held another council, this evening, in front of the buildings. – Bro. Carrington, Brown, & the others returned, during the session of Conference, from the exploring expedition to the mountains, on ascending which, they had found no coal, but plenty of black slate. –
Monday the 23d.
Somewhat cloudy, with a little rain. Geo. Billings & A. Gibbons went after poles, with which to cover the buildings. H. Egan & the rest of the boys were at work on the houses. – Ellen Sanders has moved into her room & the other rooms will soon be finished. – I spent the whole day in copying the “Conference Minutes” of yesterday, into Bro. Heber’s Journal & my own. – Thomas Williams & others returned from Ft. Hall to-day – The former was the bearer of a letter from Capt. Brown to Bro. Heber, merely stating his health, prospects, &c. Bro. Heber has recently got a good wagon of Bro. Shelton. This he loaned him for the purpose of assisting in bringing up the families. –
Tuesday the 24th.
Fair weather, till about noon, when it suddenly became cloudy, & we had quite a heavy thunder shower. – The boys mostly busy this forenoon, at work on the houses. – About 2 P. M., it having cleared off, H. Egan & myself, with my wagon, & H. Cushing, G. Billings, & Carlos Murray, with one of Bro. Hebers, [sic] wagons, started on an excursion to the “Salt Lake” It is unnecessary to relate particulars, connected with our visit, or give any further description of the Lake; as there has been sufficient mention made of it heretofore; but suffice it to say, that we had a fine bath in its waters, & stayed all night on its banks, together with a number of others, who had come in wagons or on horse back.
Wednesday the 25th.
Bright & clear morning. We arose early, got our breakfasts, & after waiting a short time for H. Egan & George Billings to fill a bag with salt, we started back, & arrived at the stockade about noon, where we found the brethren of the Twelve making preparations to go back, as it is the intention to start about 6 o’clock to morrow morning. After our return from the Lake, we busied ourselves, this afternoon, in getting up the horses, cutting grass for them, that we may keep them up all night, in order to be ready with the rest to make an early start. – Orson & myself packed my trunk with things belonging to both of us & committed it to the care of Bishop Whipple, to whom Bro. Heber has intrusted the charge of his business affairs while he is absent. We also took the things out of our wagon, & rearranged the load. This evening, we had a beautiful moon, the night being cold & clear.–
Thursday the 26th.
Beautiful morning – as fast as the teams got ready this morning, they started out, one by one; the first about 9 o’clock – I started with my wagon about 10 a. m. & travelled up the pass 14 miles & stopt, about 4 P. M., near a cold spring, on “Kanyon Creek,” situated on the “Arm of Prairie”, spoken of by O. Pratt in his letter some time since – Here we found some 10 or 12 wagons, which had already preceded us to this place. Brigham & Heber did not start until most of the teams had left the valley, in consequence of being obliged to make some business arrangements before they could leave. – We were considerably annoyed by the dust on our route to-day. Just as I started, I met Lewis B. Myers, on horseback, who, with his squaw, was on his return from Ft. Bridger, where he went about a week since – Bro. Heber & his wagons arrived about sunset. –
Friday the 27th.
The weather to-day was somewhat warm & sultry – We arose early got our breakfasts, & resumed our journey, sun about 2 hours high – ascending the 2d long steep hill over a rough road, we at length attained its summit, having made 4½ miles – Here we halted a few minutes to breathe our horses, & then travelled 4 miles down on the other side, when we reached “Ogden’s Fork” – after going a short distance we stopt to bait about 4 P. M. – Then we continued about an hour & then proceeded, & encamped about sunset, having come near 15 miles to-day. – This place is near one of our old camping grounds on “Ogden’s Fork”. We found the grass here tolerably plenty, though quite dry. Yet there is considerable virtue in it, as there have been little or no frosts. – Bro. Heber related to me, this evening, the following dream, which he’d had a few nights since – He thought himself & father were together near a stream of water. On the margin of the latter, floating along was a large fragment of ice, upon which father stood. – Seeing the danger Bro. Heber told him “to come off, or he would get into trouble”; notwithstanding, he still remained upon the floating mass, & went with it, down the stream. – & at length, was hid from view. Following down the stream a short distance, he saw him swimming as fast as he could for the shore, which he at length attained, & Bro. Heber awoke. – Cold & clear to night, with a bright moon. –
The following are the names of those going back with Bro. Heber’s 3 wagons: – Howard Egan, Hosea Cushing, Wm. King, Geo. Billings, Andrew Gibbons, Carlos Murray, Ralph Douglas, Abel M. Sargeant, Wm. Terrill, Albert Sharp, Thurston Larson, & Edward Holden. Bro. Markham is taking back Porter’s wagon, by Heber’s request. By the latter’s suggestion, I have taken Geo. Billings into my mess; he having furnished a quantity of meat, flour, & meal. –
1867 Echo Canyon Wagon Train. Charles W. Carter Photograph Collection, Church History Library.
Saturday the 28th.
Tolerably fair day. – This morning, we got up our teams & started about ½ past 7 o’clock. Having travelled near 12 miles, we forded “Weber’s Fork”, & halted about an hour to bait. This stream has fallen considerably since we were last here. We renewed our journey at 3 P. M. – Going about 4 miles along the banks of the stream, we at length turned abruptly to the left, (leaving it in our rear,) & travelled up another pass about 4 miles & encamped a little after dark in it near the creek, leaving our wagons in the road, in single file, the same order in which we travel. – Thomas Wolsey & others went ahead of the wagons in pursuit of game – they saw a number of bears, but did not kill them, as Pres’t. Young thought we had meat enough for the present, one of the soldier brethren yesterday having found a Government ox that had strayed away from the valley, the meat of which was divided, this noon, among the Pioneers & soldiers We have made about 20 miles to-day. – After supper, being afflicted with a severe tooth-ache, I retired to my couch, which I made upon the grass in the open air. – It rained considerably during the night.
Sunday the 29th.
Good weather. We resumed our journey at 25 minutes to 8 a.m., – after proceeding some 12 miles we came to “Redden’s Cave”, where we halted at 1 P. M. to bait. Soon after our halt, Bro. Benson rode up, with whom, it may be supposed, we were very glad to meet. The brethren gathered around him in a large group, & he proceeded, in a hurried manner, to tell us the news. He said that he had travelled within 40 miles of Ft. John, before he met the company [the west-bound Emigration Camp], which consisted of 566 wagons. He brought a list of most of the names from 13 to 1500 in number. These were divided into 9 companies. – He & Porter had left the foremost company on “Sweet Water”, where they had lost a great many cattle by sickness, besides quite a number of horses & cattle that strayed away & were taken by the “Crows”. Bro. B. – was also the bearer of numerous newspapers & letters for the brethren. I received 4 from father, mother, my wife, & mother-in-law. Orson also got one – These were dated 14th June. Father’s letter informed me that Bro. S. Pond & Arch. Hills were coming to take charge of his business, & that he had sent by them 200 lbs. flour for my use. By the 3 others I learned of the birth of my child on the 6th of May, & of its death soon afterwards. – About 4 P. M. – we again started on – after proceeding a short distance we met Porter on horseback, when, after travelling 8 miles we encamped in the small valley near a creek, about dark, having come about 20 miles to-day. – severe frost to-night. – We were obliged to use wild sage root for fuel at this place.
Monday the 30th.
Cloudy, gloomy, & cold weather. – We continued our journey at 20 minutes to 8 a m. – After travelling about 6 miles, we came to “Bear River”, which after fording, we stopt to bait at 11 a.m. – Orson took Porter’s horse, & went from here to the “Mineral Tar” springs, (about 2 miles distant off the road,) after tar. Bro. Heber & myself retired apart, a short distance from the wagons, to read the letters he lately received. These were from Hiram Kimball, James Smithies, Jennette Murray , Mary Forsgren, Sarah Ann, & some others. – After remaining here about an hour, we proceeded on. Having gone about 8 miles, we encamped in a valley at 4 P. M., thus making 14 miles we have travelled to-day. The grass here is quite green & high, & near the wagons are two good springs of water. – Soon after we arrived, it commenced raining a slow, drizzly rain. – Just before arriving at this place, we ascended & descended two long & steep hills, which brought us to the valley where we are encamped this evening. – From the abundance of cedar trees growing on the sides of the hills, we are at no loss for fuel, with which to cook our suppers. – The following are the names of those going back in the present company; –
[Editor’s note: In the original journal, the names were presented in two columns over three pages. They were combined together using brackets. For convenience, I have showed combinations by single-spacing the text. Presumably, those in their own grouping are those who rode on horseback for the return trip.]
John Y. Green
Truman O. Angel
A. P. Rockwood
S. H. Goddard
A. S. Hanks
J. G. Luce
G. R. Grant
B. B. Richmond
Ezra T. Benson
John P. Wilson
Wm A. Smoot
J. W. Stewart
Robt. Thomas Nowlin
J. C. Earl
M. B. Thorpe
A. L. Huntly
W. W. Rust
P. T. Marshall
B. L. Adams
A. P. Chessley
G. A. Smith
J. J. Terrill
C. A. Harper
Isaac M. Weston
Levi N. Kendall
H. K. Whitney
O. K. Whitney
Abel M. Sargent
Heber C. Kimball
comprising 108 men, 36 wagons, 71 horses, & 49 mules. – Pres’t. Young called the brethren together this evening for organization, upon which, the following officers were elected Col. Markham, Capt. Of 100 – Barnabas S. Adams, & Joseph Matthews, Capt’s. of 50’s – Brigham Young, John Brown, Howard Egan, George Clark , George [Deliverance] Wilson , E. Snow, Thomas Tanner, & C. A. Harper, capts. of 10’s – Pres’t. Young selected his 10, which includes 6 of the Twelve, Col. Rockwood, S. H. Goddard, & J. Scofield. – It was moved that we travel in order. After we had thus organized, Pres’t. Young advised the brethren to gather up their horses & tie them, as it was his intention to start as early as 6 o’clock in the Morning, which was accordingly done. – Thomas Bullock, (clerk,) then read a portion of the names of those coming on in the company expected.
Tuesday the 31st.
Pleasant weather. – We renewed our journey at 7 a.m. – After going 10 miles, we crossed “Muddy Fork,” the bed of which we found to be quite dry. – Proceeding thence 7 miles, we halted to bait at 1 P. M., after ascending quite a steep hill, & descending to the bottom below. – Here we remained about 2 hours & then started on, & arrived at Ft. Bridger, about 5 P. M. where the wagons halted a few minutes. – We found the numerous small rushing torrents that we noticed when we were here before, were mostly dried up, except the main stream. There were a number of Indians here, – These had several lodges around the Fort. – We proceeded about a mile beyond the latter & encamped for the night, about sunset, having come 23 miles to-day. –
Wednesday the 1st of September.
Tolerably fair weather. – This morning, the several companies of 10’s were organized under their respective captains Col. Markham wished me to receive the appointment of captain of this 10, which however, I declined in favor of O. K. Whitney. A government ox, that had been left at Ft. Bridger as the soldiers passed along, was killed this morning, & the meat distributed among the brethren. We continued our journey at ¼ to 8 a.m. – after going 17¾ miles, (crossing “Black’s Fork” twice on our route,) we arrived at the ford of the latter stream the 3d time, where we halted to bait at 1 P. M., near one of our old camping grounds. While here, the captains of 10’s made out their returns to the captains of 50’s – About 2 P. M. we again took the road – again crossing “Black’s Fork”, we proceeded 13¼ miles & forded it again, when, after going 1½ further, we encamped a little after dark in a circle on the banks of “Hams’ Fork”, having come 32½ miles to-day, the longest day’s journey we have accomplished since we left the valley. The grass here, we found quite good. – by the order of Pres’t. Young, the horses were all staked out. – The night was quite cold, as the nights usually are, altho’ the days are warm & pleasant. –
Thursday the 2d.
Warm & sultry. – This morning, 3 mountaineers with pack horses arrived at the camp, – they left Ft. Bridger, last evening at 5 o’clock, & are on their way to Ft. John. We started at 8 a.m., – After fording “Ham’s Fork” we travelled 3½ miles & passed one of our old camp grounds on “Black’s Fork.” – Continuing thence our journey over a barren, desert country, for 19 miles we arrived at “Green River,” & encamped on its banks at 4 P. M., having come 22½ miles to-day. – This place is about 4 miles below the ferry, & 1 mile from the place where we last encamped, previous to leaving the river, on our way to the “Salt Lake” valley. – We found an Indian at this place, who said he left “Sweet Water” 2 days since, where there was a body of his own tribe, (“snakes,”) encamped. – We learned this from an interpreter, (one of the mountaineers, who stopt with us to night. The Indian also said that he had not seen our wagons on the road. Geo. Billings & myself took a fine bath in the river this evening. – Soon after our arrival, a heavy wind arose, & it suddenly became quite cold. –
Friday the 3d.
Somewhat cool & cloudy this morning. – Orson last night stood on guard the last watch. We arose early, got our breakfasts, & continued our journey at ½ past 6 a.m. – We proceeded 2 miles, & forded the river which we found to be at quite a low stage of water – Proceeding thence 8 miles, we stopt at 10 a. m. to bait on the banks of “Big Sandy,” near one of our old camping grounds. Here we remained about 2 hours, & then proceeded on – after going 17 miles, we forded “Big Sandy,” & encamped on its banks, a little after dark, having come 27 miles to-day. – At this place we found Daniel Spencer’s company encamped, consisting of about 80 wagons. – They reported the next company under P. P. Pratt, to be encamped on “Little Sandy,” 6¾ miles from here, & the other companies scattered at different intervals along the road. – Bro. S.’s company was called together this evening, & addressed successively by Brigham, Heber, W. Woodruff, & G. A Smith, who gave them a description of the valley of the Salt Lake, the extent of our labors there &c. Pres’t Young counseled them to go as far as “Green River”, & then go back & assist the other companies to come up, some of them being quite needy in consequence of having lost their cattle. The horses were taken up the river about ½ a mile where the grass was good, & several others & myself stood guard there until midnight, when, by Brigham’s advice, the horses were brought to camp & staked out, as we learned 2 or 3 horses had been stolen 2 or 3 nights since by the Indians. The night cold & clear, as usual. –
Saturday the 4th.
Cool & pleasant. – At 8 a. m., D. Spencer’s camp was in motion. A number of our company, having here met with their families, went back to the valley with them. – The following are some of their names: – Wm. McIntyre, Burr Frost, Dayton [Horace Datus] Ensign , Seth Taft. – About the same time, we proceeded on our journey. – After going 7 miles, we encamped at noon, on the banks of “Little Sandy” near one of our former camp grounds. Here we found P. P. Pratt’s company encamped, consisting of between 70 & 80 wagons – a messenger having been sent ahead this morning, to detain them here, until we should arrive. – among the acquaintances I found here, were Father John Smith & family, – Sister Thompson & Father Sessions & family. – Most of this afternoon, the Twelve were in council. This evening, the people were again called together, & similar instruction, & information to that of last evening, here given them by the Twelve. – I know of but 2, who are to leave us & go back to the valley, viz. George Mills, & Ed. Holden.
Sunday the 5th.
Fine weather. – We pursued our journey about 9 a. m. – After going 2 miles, we forded “Little Sandy,” thence 13½ miles, we crossed “Dry Sandy” thence 9 miles & crossed a stream, (name unknown,) when, after going a mile we encamped on the same about 5 P. M. having come 26 miles. – Here we found three companies [of the Big Camp] encamped viz: – those of C. C. Rich, Geo. Wallace, & A.[braham O.] Smoot . Among the acquaintance we found, were the following, – James Smithies & family, Peter Hansen, Bro. Pond & family, Thos. More & family, A. Hill, Mary Ellen Harris , Mary Forsgren. The brethren were again called together this evening, & addressed by G. A. Smith, O. Pratt, & W. Woodruff, – similar information & counsel to that of last evening, being given. Prest. Young also added a few words to what had been said, – that it was his intention we should all remain here to-morrow, & a meeting held at 11 a. m. –
Monday the 6th.
Pleasant weather. – Pursuant to appointment, the brethren assembled at 11 a. m., & were addressed by E. Snow & others, upon matters similar to those heretofore mentioned. The Twelve met in council this a. m., Bro. Heber sent back Thurston Larson to the valley from here – also Carlos Murray with Layfayette Granger , who has charge of Hiram Kimball’s teams. I wrote some in a letter for Heber which is to be sent to Bro. Whipple. A number of the brethren, also left us at this place, to return to the valley with their families – evening quite cold & cloudy. –
Tuesday the 7th.
Morning cold & cloudy & considerable snow to be seen on the mountains, which had fallen during the night. – a messenger was sent ahead this morning to detain Bro. Taylor’s camp till we should come up. – We started about 9 a. m. – soon after we had quite a heavy snow storm which continued most of the afternoon – We arrived at J. Taylor’s camp on “Sweet Water” about 2 P. M., having come 14 miles – Here we found the brethren, under the direction of Elder Taylor & Bishop Hunter, had made preparations to give us a dinner, which passed off finely, the table being set in an adjacent grove, on the banks of the river. It was a rare sight, in deed, to see a table so well spread with the “good things of this life,” in the wilderness, so remote from a civilized country. The remains of the feast, were distributed among the soldiers & prisoners, & the ceremonies of the afternoon, concluded this evening with a dance, which came off to the satisfaction of all parties. – The Twelve were again in council this evening. – The snow has ceased falling, but the weather is yet quite cold. I believe one or two buffaloes, & some few antelopes have been killed, since we arrived in the vicinity of “Sweet Water.”
Wednesday the 8th.
Clear & cold weather. – We continued our journey at 9 a. m. – after going about 12 miles we encamped at noon, on a small branch of “Sweet Water”, where we found Bishop Nobles’ fifty encamped – about the middle of the afternoon, J. Grant & W. Snow, with the remainder of the last company arrived here. I wrote again for Bro. Heber this afternoon, in his letter to E. Whipple, to be sent back by Porter, who is to remain in the valley this winter.
Thursday the 9th.
Cold, clear, & windy weather. – This morning, considerable consternation was created in the camp, by the discovery that between 40 & 50 horses were missing – From the circumstances of an Indian arrow being found near here, & a bell strap, known to have been on the neck of one of the horses, being found & cut into, it was at once concluded that they had been stolen by the Indians – Therefore, about 10 a. m. Col. Markham, at the hand of about 20 men, including Orson, started in pursuit. – This afternoon, 2 of the men returned, being sent back with 2 of the horses, which had been found near the place where Brigham’s horse was shot, some 30 miles distant, at evening, 2 or 3 more men came in with 3 horses – These had also been found near the same place, being probably left behind by the Indians in the hurry of their flight. These men informed us, that it was with considerable difficulty they could keep the trail, as the Indians, in order to baffle pursuit, had occasionally separated, left the road, & resumed it some distance ahead. – Owing to this, & other tricks & devices, to which but too well they know how to resort, it is but a mere chance against the most consummate cunning & duplicity, if they are successful in the pursuit. Both of my horses being gone I am entirely broken up as to a team. –
This evening, the brethren assembled themselves together, & were successively addressed, by O. Pratt, B. Young, & H. C. Kimball, who gave them much good counsel & instruction & a description of the valley, similar to that heretofore given to the rest of the companies. – As some portion of J. M. Grant’s 100 intend to proceed on their journey to-morrow, it was deemed advisable to send back some of the Pioneers with horses, to assist in hauling their wagons as far as the “Dividing Ridge.” A number of them being quite destitute as far as teams are concerned. – The night, though clear, was quite cold.
Friday the 10th.
Fine, clear weather. – Porter & some others returned this morning but brought no horses with them. – The whole of J. M. Grant’s Hundred were in motion by about 9 o’clock. – We started soon afterwards, previous to which, however, I wrote another short epistle for Bro. Heber, to E. Whipple, to be sent back by O. P. R. – After going about 10 miles we halted to bait at 4 P. M., on the banks of “Sweet Water.” Here we were met by Col. Markham & the remainder of the company, on their return from hunting the horses, in which they had been unsuccessful – having been some 30 miles beyond this place. – after proceeding about 2 miles further, we encamped on the banks of the same stream, having some 12 miles to-day. – Bro. Heber to-day furnished me with 2 horses to put before my wagon, & others, who had lost horses, were supplied in the same manner, with the loose horses. Brigham, Heber, & others who had been accustomed to ride on horseback, being now debarred of that privilege – The grass here was quite good – the night cold & clear. –
Saturday the 11th.
Warm & pleasant. We continued our journey at 8 a. m. – This morning, I put in my pony along side of one of those I had yesterday, before my wagon. The pony I purchased of Ed. Holden a few days since, with whom I exchanged my rifle for the same. – We travelled along through the valley of the “Sweet Water,” noticing on our route 2 or 3 dead cattle lying in the road, that belonged to some of the brethren of the different camps. – we also saw quite a number of buffaloes & antelopes; one of the latter was killed by T. Wolsey. – After crossing “Sweet Water” twice, we encamped on its banks at 5 P. M., having come 24 miles to-day. – The grass here was quite good. – The night warm & pleasant.
Sunday the 12th.
Fine weather. Last night about 12 o’clock, 2 shots were fired, & considerable alarm created in the camp by the report that there were Indians in the vicinity. A horse, belonging to G. R. Grant, was missing this morning, which was believed to be stolen by the Indians. – H. Egan & Wm King went back this morning, after a horse that yesterday strayed away from one of the 3 mountaineers who accompanied us. – We started this morning at 8 o’clock – Proceeding 8 miles we halted to bait at noon – after remaining about an hour we went on & encamped at 5 P. M. on the banks of “Sweet Water,” having come 23 miles. Just before we arrived here, quite a large number of both antelopes & buffaloes were seen at a distance – one of the former, & three of the latter I believe were killed, & brought to camp. – H. Egan & W. King returned this evening, having been unsuccessful in their search for the horse. They reported that they had seen 8 Indians at a distance, who were probably following the camp with the intention of stealing horses.
Monday the 13th.
Warm & pleasant, tho’ quite windy. – I stood on guard this morning. – In dividing the meat this morning there was such a large overplus, that it was with considerable reluctance, that the brethren would take any more into their wagons, but it being the President’s orders, that no meat should be left behind, they at length agreed to it. – We continued our journey at ½ past 8 a.m. – after travelling 8 miles, we halted at noon to bait. – About 1 P. M., we were again in motion. Passing “Devil’s Gate,” sun about an hour high, we turned aside from the road, proceeded 2 miles further, forded “Sweet Water,” & encamped on its banks in sight of “Independence Rock” at sunset, having come about 20 miles to-day. Here we found the grass better than any we have seen since we left the valley. –
Tuesday the 14th.
Clear weather this morning, though somewhat windy. – We resumed our journey at 9 a.m. – We re-crossed the stream & after gaining the road, proceeded 3 miles & again forded the same near “Independence Rock”. Thence going 3 miles, the teams all halted at salaratus pond to get a quantity of salaratus – The bed of this we found to be quite dry & hard, the water having congealed since we were here before. – It was so very solid, we were obliged, in order to procure any, to cut it out with axes. – From this place, Monroe Frink & myself went ahead on foot. – While on the road we saw a number of herds of buffaloes. – 5 or 6 of them came at full speed towards us, & we began to think they were in danger of being overrun & killed by them; until, when they got within 50 yds. of us, they suddenly halted, gazed at us a few minutes, & wheeled in another direction. We walked on 5 or 6 miles further & came to a small creek, where a number of wagons had already preceded us, & encamped, about 5 P. M., the remainder of the wagons came up & encamped. – We have made only 12 miles to-day, owing to the road being very deep & sandy most of the way. – Just before we arrived, a thunder storm arose, which continued the most of the day. The grass here was not very good, but plenty of wild sage, growing both high & rank. Orson & myself stood on guard to night, the 1st watch – Continued cloudy & rained at intervals during the night. –
Wednesday the 15th.
We arose this morning, before sunrise; & although it rained considerably, we started on soon after. – We went 6 miles, & halted to bait at 8 a.m. – Then we got breakfast – Our horses were taken to a spot ¼ mile distant where there was a small stream of water & the feed quite decent. – In about 2 hours we resumed the road. – Going about 6 miles, we again halted to bait at 3 P. M., near a small stream running along at the side of the road – Here the grass was tolerably good – Here we stopt 2 hours also, & then went on – Proceeding 12 miles further & travelling after dark, we encamped near a small sheet or pond of water, having its source in springs. The night was cold & clear, with considerable frost; the rain having ceased, & the clouds cleared away about 10 a.m.. We staked our horses within the circle as the grass here was found to be very scant. We have made about 24 miles to-day. –
Thursday the 16th.
Beautiful, clear weather. I arose before daylight, & took my horses about 2 miles back towards the “North Fork,” where the grass was tolerably good. We started about 8 a.m. – after going 12 miles, we forded the “North Fork of Platte River” near our old ferrying place, & encamped on the opposite bank, at 3 P. M. We found this stream quite shallow, the water scarcely coming up to our wagon beds – We took our horses, back from the river ½ mile where the grass was tolerably good. –
Friday the 17th.
Warm & pleasant day. – This morning the following men recrossed the river on horseback in pursuit of buffaloes viz: – Wilford Woodruff, G. A. Smith, Jos. Matthews, John Brown, & Jos. A. After an hour’s absence they returned without any game; the reason of which was, they saw no cows; but a number of bulls – the latter they did not wish to kill. – About ½ past 12 M., we were again in motion. – After going 12 miles, we encamped at 5 P. M., on the banks of the River, near a grove of cotton wood trees, where the grass was quite fresh & high. – A number of the horses were taken to the opposite side the river, where the feed was said to be still better. –
Saturday the 18th.
Beautiful weather. – We continued our journey at 8 a.m. – As we passed along the river, we saw a number of large herds of buffaloes, on either side of the stream – one of them was killed by one of the Frenchmen who accompany us. – After going 17 miles we forded “Deer Creek,” & encamped 4 P. M. on its banks, near the site of our old camp ground. – This stream we found had fallen considerably since we were here before, being quite low at this time. – There was plenty of good grass here; also fuel; as we encamped on the borders of quite a dense forest of cotton wood. Soon after dark, 2 of the Frenchmen came in with another buffalo, (a cow,) which was fatter than any we have yet seen. – They reported that they had seen, about a mile ahead, a large herd of buffalo cows – it is the intention, I believe, to remain here, till we shall secure some of them. – This evening, while Prest. Young, Bro. Heber, Dr. Richards, Bro. Benson & T. Bullock were taking a walk up the creek in search of coal, Pres’t Young and Bro. Benson being in advance, & Bro. Heber a little in the rear, the latter saw a she-bear with 2 cubs walking leisurely along the bed of the stream. He immediately notified the others of the fact, when Bro. Benson took deliberate aim at them over the Presidents shoulders, but the gun missed fire 3 times in succession. The bear, now seeing them for the first time, made for them at full speed. – Noticing this, Pres’t. Young fired his pistol & one of the cubs immediately fell, but soon recovered and rose again. Bro. Heber then discharged his piece but apparently without effect. By this time, the animal, continuing to advance with great rapidity, had got within 2 rods of them, when their situation became so evidently critical, that Pres’t Young advised an immediate retreat to a neighboring rocky height, which they effected with ease. – The bear seeing them to be out of her reach, turned & went up the hill, sought shelter in a thick cluster of bushes and underbrush, & they lost sight of her & saw her no more – A number of men, with dogs afterwards went in pursuit, but after considerable search, concluded to abandon the enterprise till morning. –
Sunday the 19th.
Fine, clear day – After breakfast, Brigham, Heber, & a number of others again went out in pursuit of the bear seen last evening. – They returned, after an hour’s absence, having seen plenty of signs, but nothing of the animal herself. – This morning, also a number of men rode out on horseback in pursuit of game. – A few of them returned unsuccessful this forenoon, – about 3 P. M. we continued our journey – at the same time, Barney Adams rode up & said that some of the hunters had succeeded in killing a buffalo cow & one black tailed deer about 5 miles back. – Accordingly, Col. Markham, with a few other men, (including Orson,) went back after them, taking a wagon along for that purpose. – Three or four other wagons remained here, in consequence of the horses belonging to them, being out with the hunters after game. – After going 4¾ miles we left the river to our left, & travelling 4¼ miles further, we encamped, at sunset, on the banks of “North Buffalo Fork”, having come 9 miles. – Here we found the grass rather short but quite good, especially on the banks of the stream. –
Monday the 20th.
This morning, the sun rose bright, & clear as usual. – The hunters, with the wagons, arrived at camp, about 2 oclock this morning, – bringing with them one buffalo-cow, 2 black-tailed deer. – We renewed our journey at 9 a.m. – After proceeding 8¾ miles, we halted at noon on the banks of “A la Prele Creek” – In about 2 hours, we were again in motion – going about 8 miles further, we arrived at a small spring situated in a sandbed. – Finding but little grass here, we continued on, & travelling 7¾ miles, came to a small stream, in which there was considerable water when we passed it before; but at this time, the bed of it was quite dry. As we had a fine moon, we determined to proceed to the next stream 3 ½ miles hence, called “Big Timber Creek”, where we arrived at 9 P. M.. After fording which & going up the same a mile or two, (leaving the road in our rear) we encamped at 10 P. M. on its banks, having come in all about 30 miles to-day. – The grass here was quite scant, & but little water in the stream, though we found plenty of fuel in the vast forest that skirts its banks. – This evening a young man by the name of Judson Persons was discovered to be missing from the camp. Upon inquiry it was ascertained that he had last been seen, some 10 miles back, following the wagons on foot. – Soon after our arrival, Wm. King & Geo. Billings went back in pursuit of him – they returned about 1 a.m., with the intelligence that they had been about 3 miles, but could not find him. – It was conjectured by some, that being not far behind the wagons when we turned off the road, he had continued on, not being aware of our deviation from the same. – Orson & myself stood on guard to night, the first watch. –
Tuesday the 21st.
Tolerably fair this morning. – Judson Persons made his appearance in camp about sunrise. He had slept in the bushes last night as far back as the sandbed. – Bro. Heber gave him in charge to Charles Harper. At 8 a.m., just as we were on the point of getting ready to start, some of our men, who had gone out to gather up the horses, gave the alarm, that the Indians were “rushing” them (driving them off.) As some 20 head of them were going over the hill, at full speed we headed & brought them to camp but notwithstanding, they succeeded in getting off with 11 horses. A number of shots were fired at the Indians, but without effect. Bro. Heber & others started off immediately in pursuit of the missing ones. – Soon after, about 200 Indians made their appearance in camp, mostly on horseback – these were commanded by the same chief, who met us with his band below Ft. John, on our way up the Platte River. He & Pres’t Young at once recognized each other, & had quite an interview together, he told the President, that he supposed us to be Crows, or the horses would not have been taken, & said that they should be restored to us. – That a few days since they had stolen 45 head of horses from the Crows on the “Sweet Water”. – These turned out to be our own horses. Considerable salt was given to them by the brethren, & about 1 P. M. they departed for their camp, about 5 miles up the creek. The horses had been hitched up all the morning, & about 2 P. M., we drove ½ a mile down the creek, & again encamped on the open prairie – Soon after it commenced raining, & continued most of the night. During the afternoon, the missing horses were brought into camp with the exception of one horse & a mule, Bro. Heber recovered his four mules that had been taken – these were all bro’t in by different ones, who visited the Indian camp. Bro. Heber returned this evening, from there also. – He was received kindly by the Indians & “smoked the pipe of peace”, with some of their most distinguished men. He saw quite a number of horses that were stolen from us on “Sweet Water” including my own. – Pres’t Young suggested that we say nothing about these for the present, but when we got to Ft. John, to offer Mr. Bordeau 100 dollars to procure them for us inasmuch as it was deemed inexpedient to try to take them by force, numbering as they do, some 800 men [in] their camp, & comprising upwards of 100 lodges.
Wednesday the 22d.
Cloudy, gloomy, & cold morning. – We started this morning about 8 o’clock. – After going 8¾ miles, we halted to bait at noon, on the banks of a small creek the bed of which was quite dry, although, we found water in a spring in the vicinity. – In an hour we were again in motion. – We proceeded 6¾ miles further, & encamped at 5 P. M., near “Kimball’s Spring”, on “Horseshoe Creek. In this we found but little water, & the grass, though much shorter than when we were here before, was quite good. – Plenty of fuel from the surrounding forest. – It has continued to rain considerably at intervals through the day. – This evening, Bro. Heber having found a good place to bait our horses, Bro. Benson, E. Snow, H. Cushing Wm. King, & some others & myself took our horses there, where we remained till about 10 o’clock. –
Thursday the 23d.
Fine morning. – I felt quite unwell this morning having taken considerable cold, while out last night. – We arose at daylight, & continued our journey at sunrise. Halting to bait twice on our route we arrived at “Warm Springs,” at 10 o’clock in the evening, where we again stopt a few minutes to water our horses, & then turning to the right, took another road to the Ft. from that which we came, being considerably nearer, one way being 14, the other 10 miles. – After going about ½ a mile, we encamped at 11 o’clock, having come about 29 miles to-day.
Artist unknown, Fort Laramie, 1842. E. Weber and Co. lithograph. Wyoming State Archives.
Friday the 24th.
Pleasant morning. – The brethren got up their teams at an early hour, when they were called together, (each 10 standing apart by itself,) & considerable instruction given them by Pres’t Young. A vote was first taken whether the men would obey their officers, & when we get to the Ft. not everybody run there to see what was going on, &c. it was unanimous in the affirmative. – He then cautioned every man to remain near his own wagon, & each captain of 10 to keep his company together. – He severely reproved those who were murmuring against the laws of the camp, & told them if they did not abstain from it, he would leave them on the prairie. – That when they got among the Gentiles, they might swear about us as much as they pleased; but as long as they remain with us, he wanted them to hold their tongues. – Considerable more he said; & finally concluded by telling them that he had scolded them a good deal, & now hoped they would be good boys in future, & blessed them in the name of the Lord. – We continued our journey at 9 a.m., – After reaching the fort, we passed it, & fording the river, near our old ferrying place, we proceeded a mile down the river, & encamped for the night, having come about 12 miles. – At the fort, we found Appleton Harmon, who has hired out there for the winter at the rate of $25 per month. – He informed us that the ox teams left here on Monday last. – They had been somewhat detained owing to 18 of their horses having been stolen by the Indians; 13 of which they recovered. He told us also that on Monday, Luke Johnson, with 3 others, had started back to meet us with a number of horses – The reason that we did not see them, was owing to their having taken the river road. – Brigham, Heber, & others of the Twelve visited the Fortt [sic] this afternoon, & had an interview with Mr. Bordeau, the proprietor. He told them, it was rather a dull chance about recovering their horses, but that to-morrow-morning, he would send back a man with any number of men we were a mind to send, to see what could be done. – On inquiry, we found flour to be worth here $45 per barrel, (or 25 cts. a pound), & corn 12½ cts. a pint. The horses were driven down the river a short distance, & strictly guarded. The grass here was tolerably good. –
This evening, a while after dark, the brethren were again called together & 40 men chosen to go on the expedition to-morrow morning, in pursuit of our horses. Previous to this 10 men had been chosen to go ahead & find the Indians, while the others are to follow them up, remaining a little in the rear, to act as a reinforcement in case of necessity. The orders were to recover the horses, “peaceably if they could, but forcibly if they must”, being governed, for the most part, by circumstances. – The command of the 2 companies were intrusted to E. T. Benson & Stephen Markham. Pres’t Young then gave some general instructions for their guidance, & the meeting was dismissed.
Saturday the 25th.
Warm, though somewhat cloudy & windy. – Agreeably to the arrangements of last night, the first company of 10 under Col. Markham started at 8 a.m., on their expedition, & in an hour afterward, 40 more, under the command of E. T. Benson, followed in their footsteps. They all returned in 2 or 3 hours, as when they got to the Fort, Mr. Bordeau told them that he believed it useless for them to go farther, because the Indians about the Ft. had sent ahead runners last night to apprise them that we were coming. – It is the general opinion, however, of the brethren, that both the Frenchmen & Indians are leagued together against us in the affair, therefore it was deemed improper to pursue the matter any further. – We learned, this afternoon, more particulars connected with the departure of the ox teams from this place – These were 5 day’s journey in advance of us, while Wm. Clayton, J. Redden, & a few others, who had previously preceded them, were 8 day’s journey in advance of us. – We shall probably go on to-morrow morning, & are waiting, in hopes that Luke Johnson will arrive with his men this afternoon. – I stood guard this forenoon watching the horses. – Towards evening, Com. Stockton of the U. S. Navy, arrived at the Fort.– With him came Major Harris as pilot. The former is on his way from California to the States. They report a portion of their own company, accompanied by Luke Johnson, & his men, to be about 6 miles distant. Pres’t Young & Heber to day bought a number of buffalo robes at the Ft., paying at the rate of $1.25 apiece – Two wagons were sent to bring them over. Orson & myself stood on guard last night, last watch. –
Sunday the 26th.
Fine day. – This morning, a written & minute description of our stolen horses, was given to a.m. Harmon, that, if an opportunity should present itself, he might avail himself of it to recover them for us. – About 8 o’clock, Luke Johnson, John Buchanan, Norman Taylor & J. C. Little arrived with 11 horses, including those they rode. They had been as far as “Big Timber Creek”, in search of us, where the same band of Indians that we had seen, undertook to take their horses from them; but on their showing signs of resistance, the Indians betook themselves to flight – Near here, also they met Com. Stockton’s company, consisting of about 40 men, with whom they traveled till last night, & encamped with them on the “North Fork”, about 4 miles distant. – Pres’t Young & Heber each bought a cow at the Fort this morning, paying $15 apiece for them. Heber is also going to take back a cow for a.m. Harmon. – About 4 P. M. having completed our business at the Fort, we renewed our journey. – After going about 3 miles, we encamped at 5 P. M. on the banks of the river where the feed was tolerably good. Com. Stockton intends pursuing the same route with ourselves to the Bluffs, & will probably leave the Ft. to-morrow. He has one wagon with him, in which a number of his men ride, who are afflicted with the measles, while he carries his effects on pack mules. To-day I took Father [Ezekiel] Kellogg into my wagon with his effects – By request of Bro. K. John Buchanan is hereafter to mess with me, who puts in his horse alongside of my pony to work before my wagon –
Monday the 27th.
Fine, cool weather. – Luke Johnson started back to the Fort on horseback after some things that he had forgotten & left behind. We started this morning, a little before sunrise without taking breakfast, after going about 10 miles, we crossed “Raw-Hide Creek”, the bed of which was dry, turned aside from the road & halted to bait at 9 a.m. near the river, where the feed was tolerably good – about 11 a.m. we again went on – going 10 miles further, we encamped, at 5 P. M. ½ a mile from the river, having come 20 miles to-day. Soon after our arrival, 2 deer were seen to pass, at full speed, within ¼ mile of the camp. Thos. Wolsey made a shot at one of them, but without effect. – The grass here in places, was good, though somewhat scant. – I sold my buckskin pants to Geo. Duncan to-day for $2.00 – This evening 6 companies of 10’s were organized in a military capacity in order that we may be better prepared to defend ourselves against the attacks of the Indians. – The following are the names of the captain of said comp’s. Brigham Young, H. Egan, Thos. Tanner, Luke Johnson, Charles Harper, & Geo. Wilson. Besides these, an independent company was formed consisting of those not included in the others. At the head of this was Capt. Brigham Young, whose aide-de-camp was Col. Rockwood & Col. Markham as Colonel & Thos. Bullock as adjutant. – Bro. Heber & myself retired a short distance from camp this evening to pray by ourselves. –
Tuesday the 28th.
Warm & pleasant day. We arose this morning at daylight & were in motion by sunrise – After going near 6 miles we halted at 8 a.m., to bait & get breakfast. The companies of 10s recently organized as a military body, were called together for the inspection of their arms, & to ascertain the number of guns & quantity of ammunition each man had. About 10 a.m. we again started on – Proceeding about 10 miles, we encamped on the banks of the river at 4 P. M. within sight of “Scott’s Bluffs,” having come 16 miles to-day, at this place we found plenty of buffalo grass, which the horses devoured quite greedily. – Just as we arrived a large herd of antelope passed us at full speed; but notwithstanding several shots were fired at them, only one was killed, shot by S. Goddard. – a small spring creek puts into the river near this place. – Another antelope was killed & brought into camp this evening. We cut a large quantity of grass, & put before our horses to-night, that we may be better prepared for an early start. –
Artist unknown, Fording Laramie Creek (near Fort Laramie). Wyoming State Archives.
Wednesday the 29th.
Fine weather – We arose, as usual, at daylight & started on at sunrise. After going 5 miles, we passed “Scotts Bluff’s,” when proceeding about 6 miles further we halted at 9 a.m. to bait & get breakfast. – During our stay here we noticed quite a large body of Indians on horseback, passing along down at a considerable distance on the opposite side the river. About 11 a.m., we were again in motion. During our progress this afternoon, we saw a number of antelopes & buffaloes. One of the latter was killed by Luke Johnson, which was brought on horses to the camp. – After going about 11 miles further, we encamped, at 5 P. M., on the banks of the river, 3 or 4 miles above, & in sight of “Chimney Rock,” having come 22 miles. – My pony having become well nigh exhausted, this afternoon I worked George R. Grant’s horse alongside of the one belonging to John Buchanan. The grass here was extremely high and good; as indeed we have found it in several places, when when [sic] we were here before, it was quite scant, we were obliged to resort to buffalo chips, with which to cook our suppers, being the only fuel that could be found. – A short time previous to our arrival at this place, we observed the Indians, spoken of above, pitching their lodges, & encamping for the night, some 4 or 5 miles up the river, on the opposite side. – Bro. Heber and myself again this evening retired by ourselves for prayer.
Thursday the 30th.
Warm and beautiful weather. – We arose at the usual hour, and got started ¾ of an hour before sunrise, I put John Brimhall’s , and John Buchanan’s horses before my wagon this morning. After going 5 miles, we passed “Chimney Rock,” when, proceeding 10 miles, we halted at ¼ past 10 a.m., to bait and get breakfast, on the banks of the river, having come 15 miles. – About 1 P. M., we again went on – after journeying 6 miles, we encamped at 5 P. M., on the banks of the river opposite a French and Indian camp, consisting of 8 or 10 lodges, having come about 21 miles to-day. Just as we arrived, we met a Frenchman with a pack-mule loaded with buffalo, taking it to his camp. The man who has charge of this camp, is a Frenchman by the name of Rashaw [Jean Baptists Richard], who is hired to kill game for the inhabitants of Ft. John. The grass here was unusually good, as also it was all along, through the country through which we have passed to-day, & no fuel except a little flood wood, & buffalo chips. Geo. Wilson killed one antelope & George Billings a wild goose to-day. – Two Indians visited our camp this evening. – Col. Markham went, by appointment, over to the Indian camp to make some trades with them for the brethren. – I sent by him a horn of powder to sell for the money. – He returned about 8 this evening, with the intelligence that the Frenchman had proposed if we would stay here to-morrow, & assist them in hunting buffaloes, they would give us half the game that should be killed – Accordingly, it was decided to accept of the offer, & orders were issued this evening, that no man should leave the camp in the morning, without permission of his captain. –
Camping on the Platte with Chimney Rock. Lithograph by Piercy, Route from Liverpool to Great Salt Lake Valley. Courtesy of Church History Library.
Friday the 1st of October.
Bright & beautiful morning. – Some 10 or 12 Indians passed our camp & went out hunting this morning. About noon, Brigham, Heber, & several others also went out on horseback – they returned about 4 P. M. They had seen quite a large herd of buffalo cows, but when they came to them, they found Geo. R. Grant chasing them, so that they could not get a fair shot at them. Owing to this, and Mr. Rashaw with his men not appearing to assist in the hunt, they did not secure any game themselves. Mr. Rashaw said afterward, that it was not, at first his intention to go out himself; but that he had instructed the Indians to kill more than they themselves wanted, & give the surplus quantity to us. – This forenoon, Geo. Billings, John Buchanan, & myself went over to the Indian lodges on the other side the river, where we exchanged a small quantity of salt, powder & a powder-horn, for considerable tallow & meat, a number of others made exchanges of a like nature with the squaws who visited the camp during the day. – About 5 P. M. Com. Stockton’s company came in sight, & encamped up the river, 3 or 4 miles. – We learned, this evening, that the Indians who went out this morning, had killed about 20 cows, but whether we will be benefited by it or not, we have no knowledge. –
Saturday the 2d.
Fine weather, as usual. – Some of the brethren bought a number of horses, & Dr. Richards one cow, of the Frenchman. A messenger, (Col. Little,) was, this morning despatched to the camp of Com. Stockton, to ascertain his intentions about accompanying us. The messenger soon returned with the news, that he now intended to cross the river, & take the road to St. Joseph, Mo., as he thought that to be a much nearer road to the States, than the one we are pursuing. – We renewed our journey at 8 a. m. – After going about 5 miles, we halted on the banks of the river while a buffalo cow killed by Thomas Wolsey, & A. P. Chessley, was being skinned & distributed in the camp, – going about 2 miles farther, a young calf was killed by Luke Johnson. We then proceeded 8 miles further, & encamped at ½ past 4 P. M., on the banks of the river, opposite the “Ancient Bluff Ruins,” – near which Nath. Fairbanks was bitten by a rattlesnake on our journey out – having come about 15 miles to-day. – Soon after our arrival, a buffalo bull was killed by Thos. Wolsey. We found the grass here, good as usual – plenty of buffalo chips, & but little floodwood for fuel, stood guard last night 1st watch.
Sunday the 3d.
Beautiful morning. We arose at sunrise, & after taking breakfast, & baiting our horses awhile, we continued our journey at 9 a.m. Orson went ahead on the pony; myself on foot; leaving the wagon in charge of John Brimhall, & John Buchanan. After going 2 miles, the road turns to the left, & leads over a sandy bluff. This we avoided, by taking to the bed of the stream, (now quite low,) & went a mile further, where we stopt to bait at noon. A buffalo cow killed by Luke J. & W. Woodruff was brought in here, & distributed among the brethren. – At 2 P. M., we were again in motion. Proceeding 5 miles, we turned aside from the road, & encamped at 4 P. M. having come only 8 miles, owing to the delays occasioned by the killing of buffaloes; as it is considered good policy to lay up a supply of meat while we have the opportunity, most of the camp depending solely upon that for subsistence, being entirely destitute of flour & other provisions. We learned, soon after our arrival, that 2 more buffalo cows had been killed, the one by Amasa Lyman, the other by whom I know not. A wagon was immediately unloaded, & sent out to bring them in. – Orson & Geo. R. Grant killed an antelope this afternoon, that had been previously wounded by Amasa Lyman. The grass here was tolerably good; but no fuel, except our usual resource b. chips.
Monday the 4th.
Warm & pleasant. We arose this morning at the usual hour, & got started at 9 a. m. Proceeding 2 miles, we came to “Crab Creek,” where we found a guide-board, with the following inscription. “Camp of Pioneers, stopt here & killed & dried 30 buffalo cows, Sept. 28, 1847.” – From this it appears, that they were 6 days ahead of us, & that they left here the above date. We went on 8 miles further & halted at noon to bait on the banks of the river. Here we found two of our Frenchmen, who had gone ahead yesterday, & killed 5 buffaloes near here, 3 of which they saved, the remainder was devoured by the wolves, while they were absent. – Geo. Billings shot a buffalo cow this noon; but, on examination, it proved to be so poor, that we did not take it along. We were again in motion by 2 P. M. Going 10 miles further, we halted on the banks of the river, & encamped at sunset, having come 20 miles to-day. The grass here was good as usual, – no fuel, except buffalo chips. – One of Monroe Frink’s horses having failed, I let him have my pony to work this afternoon, in order to enable him to get to the camp with his wagon. – I omitted to mention that this noon, 4 Sioux Indians, including a squaw, visited our camp – These were a portion of a war party, that had been some distance below near the limits of the Pawnee hunting ground, the main body of which had already gone ahead to Ft. John. – This evening, several horses having failed, it was deemed advisable to raise volunteers to go ahead on foot, & arrest the progress of the ox teams. The following are the names of those, who volunteered to go on the expedition, viz. – Amasa Lyman, Luke Johnson, John Buchanan, John Brown, John Crow, William Rowe, W[illia]m. Parks, Newton Weston, S. H. Goddard, Alexander P. Chessley, Joseph Rooker, & Kellogg. – A letter was written & signed by the President & Dr. Richards, & given into the hands of Amasa Lyman, who has charge of the expedition, addressed to Tunis Rappleye & John Smith, the captains of the company ahead. This contained instructions for them to stop, kill buffaloes, & dry the meat till we should come up, that they may relieve us of some of our wagons, or, at least, some of the loads in them. –
Tuesday the 5th.
This morning, before daylight, the above named individuals, (most of them being well armed,) started off on foot, on the projected service of last night. – We got our breakfasts, & after waiting awhile for the horses to bait, we continued our journey at 9 a.m. – After going 7¾ miles, we halted at noon on the banks of the river to bait our horses, some of which are failing quite rapidly. – We again started on at 2 P. M. – Proceeding 2 miles we forded “Castle Creek.” which was much lower than when we were here before. Going 3¼ miles further, we encamped at ½ past 4 P. M., on the banks of the river, a little below “Ash Hollow” having come about 13 miles to-day. The grass here was plentiful, though getting to be somewhat dry – no fuel, except buffalo chips. – Soon after our arrival, Wm. King, Orson, & some others went over the river to visit “Ash Hollow”. In about ½ hour they returned, bringing with them a load of dry cedar wood. We saw plenty of buffaloes on our route to-day, but none were killed that I have heard of. – John Buchanan requested me to take charge of his horse during his absence, & I still continue to work his & John Brimhall’s horses before my wagon, both persons intending to accompany me through to Winter Quarters, in the same. – The Frenchmen killed a buffalo cow, & Charles Barnum an antelope this afternoon. I learned this evening. –
Wednesday the 6th.
Beautiful weather. We got started at 8 a.m. – Proceeding 7 miles, we found a letter in a stick by the side of the road, stating, that our boys were here last night about dark, they had also killed a buffalo calf, the skin of which we also found. – We went on 3 miles further, & halted on the banks of the river, at noon, near the base of a sand bluff that comes to the water’s edge. At 2 P. M. we again went on, passing over the bluff, through the deep sand, we soon after forded “Wolf Creek.” – Here we found John Buchanan & John Crow. The former had been taken sick, & was obliged to stay behind. He stated that the rest left him, last night at 11 o’clock, & were intending to travel all night. – We proceeded 4½ miles further, & encamped at 6 P. M. on the banks of “Camp Creek,” ½ a mile from the river, having come 15¼ miles to-day. – The grass here was good – the usual resource for fuel. The Frenchmen killed 2 buffalo cows & 2 calves this afternoon. Orson stood guard to-night last watch. –
Joseph R. Walker (1798–1876), mountainman,
explorer, and scout.
Thursday the 7th.
Somewhat cloudy & windy, though a pleasant day for travelling. – We renewed our journey at 8 a.m. – soon after we forded a small creek. Proceeding about 2 miles, we met a party of 3 mountaineers, on their way from Independence, Mo., to Ft. John. They had seen us from the other side of the river, & came over for the purpose of holding an interview. Their whole number, was 8 men; 5 remaining on the other side. The one, who seemed to be their leader, gave his name & title as “Capt. Walker.” He imparted to us some news of a general nature, of which we were not before in possession. – Among the rest were the following items, – That the war between the United States & Mexico, which for a short time had suffered some little cessation, was now being prosecuted with renewed vigor – That there had been a more abundant harvest of wheat & corn in the States, than had been before witnessed for several years. – He also stated that packet steamers were now plying regularly between St. Louis & Council Bluffs, & that one had left the latter place for the Yellowstone River, a short time previous to his departure. – That we would find plenty of buffaloes for a hundred or more miles, as we passed along down the Platte River. – He himself intends to proceed as far as Ft. Bridger, &, for ought he knows to “Weber’s Fork”, near the “Salt Lake”. A number of letters were written by different ones to send by him to the valley, – among the rest, I wrote one for Bro. Heber, to Edson Whipple, Ellen, and Mary Ellen. – After spending about an hour with Capt. Walker and his comrade, we bade them farewell, and pursued our journey – Proceeding 3 miles, we stopt at noon on the banks of a small creek, to bait our horses. At 2 P. M., we again went on – going 7 miles further, we encamped at 5 P. M., on the banks of the river, having made 12 miles to-day. – The grass here was comparatively green & high – fuel – buffalo chips, as usual. The bed of the river, at this point was much dryer than at any place we have yet seen. –
Soon after our arrival, this evening our Frenchmen came in bringing with them a letter, which they found in a stick, by the side of the road, near a creek, about a mile below here. – This, on being opened, proved to be from William Clayton. It stated that they had passed here the 1st of October, (being 6 days ahead of us,) & were intending to continue on till they should arrive at some place where there is plenty of wood, & there make a short delay, while they should procure an additional quantity of buffalo meat, several of them being short of provisions. From the letter we also learned, that they traveled from 15 to 20 miles per day; & if this be the case, they must be a hundred or more miles in advance of us. – Appended to the letter were a few lines from Amasa Lyman, stating his determination to overtake them if he had to follow them to Winter Quarters.
Quite an amusing little incident, which I omitted to mention in its proper place, occurred soon after we left our noon halting place. Bro. Woodruff, with his carriage, Dr. Richards, Bro. Benson & a number of others, including myself, had preceded the wagons, about ½ mile, when all at once, we noticed standing by the side of the road, within a few yards of us, a buffalo bull, of some size. Brother Benson rode up close to him, but he would not retreat an inch; on the contrary, shaking his head fiercely, & elevating his back, he manifested evident symptoms of hostility towards us, & would, no doubt, have made an attack upon us had we not been so numerous. As it was, he remained firm and immovable like as if he were lord of the soil, & possessed both the powers and inclinations to-dispute successfully this passage of the road. We finally caused him to flee, after the teams came up, by sending our dogs after him. –
I stood on guard to-night, last watch. –
Friday the 8th.
Warm & pleasant day. – We continued our journey at 8 a.m. – After we had proceeded a mile, we forded a small stream, saw the stake, in which the letter, written by Wm Clayton, was found. – On one side of this was inscribed the following: “12 – B. Y. & Council – A. L.” – The last 2 letters are initials of Amasa Lyman, & were probably written by him, as he and his comrades passed along. Here, the ox teams had encamped, & there were evident signs that they had remained here a day or two. We proceeded 7 miles further, (crossing 3 more streams in our route,) & halted at noon, a short distance from the river, having come 8 miles. Just as we arrived a large herd of elk made their appearance upon the brow of the hill to our left. Two or three of the brethren went out to get a shot at them, but soon returned without success. Two of our Frenchmen, being mounted on mules, succeeded in killing one of them. – At 2 P. M., we again went on – after going near 4 miles, we came to the base of another sand bluff – Part of the wagons passed entirely over in this the deep sand, & the remainder took to the bed of the stream, (which was quite dry in places,) a portion of the way, & then resumed the road over the bluffs, – I myself waded the river and walked over the wet sand alternately for 2½ miles. – After the wagons had passed over, they forded “Spring Creek,” – proceeding a mile beyond this, we encamped at sunset near the river, & one of our old camp grounds, having come 15 miles to-day. Plenty of buffalo grass here, though not so high as we have hitherto seen. Orson & myself feel quite unwell this evening, owing to our using so much meat, as we have not tasted of any other kind of food, for 2 or 3 weeks. My pony continuing to fail rapidly to night, I turned him loose; considering that it was as well for him to live & be stolen by the Indians, as to die by starvation among us. –
Saturday the 9th.
Beautiful weather. We continued our journey at 8 a.m., Proceeding some 4 miles, we passed over another sand-bluff, about a mile in length, when after going 6½ miles further, we came to the base of yet another bluff, 4½ miles in extent. Here we halted about 1 P. M. to bait At 3 P. M., we again went on – After passing over the above named bluff, we proceeded a short distance beyond, & encamped at sunset on the banks of “Junction Bluff Fork,” having come 15¾ miles to-day. – & are this evening 202¼ miles from Ft. John. This stream has fallen but little since we were here before – the grass along its margin, was quite good. The usual resource for fuel.
Sunday the 10th.
Still fine weather. Bro. Heber & myself, this morning, made out a list of a large portion of the members of his family, who are to be fitted out, next season, at his expense, with provisions necessary on their journey to the valley of Salt Lake. These amounted in all, including grown persons & children, to 71 souls. We also made an estimate of the quantity of flour they would need; which amounted to about 23000 lbs. – The grass here being better than any we have lately seen, it was deemed expedient to remain here the greater part of the day, in order to give our horses a chance to recruit themselves – Meanwhile, Joseph Matthews was sent ahead to look out a good camp ground for the ensuing night. He returned about 1 P. M., & at 2 o’clock we forded the “Junction Bluff Fork,” &, travelling 3 miles, encamped at 4 P. M. on the banks of the river, opposite a small island, where the grass was tolerably good. About the time we arrived, we saw a number of buffaloes to our left, near the bluffs, which the Frenchmen were endeavoring to get a shot at. They succeeded in killing 1, which they brought to camp this evening. –
Monday the 11th.
It commenced to rain about 5 o’clock this morning, & continued without intermission for ¾ of an hour, when it ceased, though it remained cool, & misty through the day, the sun shining at intervals through the clouds, we pursued our journey at 8 a.m. Proceeding a mile, we forded a small stream, near which, in a stick by the side of the road, we found a few lines from Amasa Lyman, stating that they had left here on Saturday morning last; & that, the night before, they had gone to the bluffs to procure a supply of meat – that they got along rather slow, not making over between 15 & 20 miles per day; but were all well & in tolerably good spirits. – Near here we noticed that the ox teams had encamped; from appearances some 4 or 5 days since. – It is the opinion of most of the brethren, that Amasa & his comrades are not now more than 30 or 40 miles ahead of us, & if the ox-teams do not stop, the brethren, weak & faint from living entirely on meat, must, necessarily give up the chase. – We proceeded 6¾ miles further, & halted at noon on the banks of the river, opposite quite an extensive island, covered with bushes & shrubbery. We have travelled along this forenoon in sight of a large cluster of trees, which, in the distance mark the progress of the South Fork of Platte River. It is quite cheering to us, to come once more in sight of, & travel along near the timber, after being so long debarred of that privilege. – At 1 P. M. we again went on – Travelling 4 miles, we encamped at 3 P. M., opposite 2 small islands, having come 11¾ miles to-day. From the appearance of the country ahead, we judge timbers this evening to be but 2 or 3 miles above the junction; but as none of our company have explored the country, near the spot, we have no exact idea of its whereabouts. – The grass here, immediately on the margin of the stream, was quite good; in other places, rather scant. – Quite a number of trees & bushes on the above named islands – & buffalo chips in plenty. – Two buffaloes were killed this forenoon by Geo. Clarke & one of the Frenchmen; &, this afternoon, 2 more were killed near the bluffs, opposite our camp, which, some of the brethren, (including Orson,) went out & brought in on horses.
Tuesday the 12th.
Clear, cool weather. – We started at 8 a.m. – Proceeding 10 miles, we halted to bait at noon on the banks of the river opposite “Brady’s Island,” which abounds in bushes and some little large timber. – Opposite this place, on the other side the river, is quite a high range of bluffs, the extremity of which, about 2 miles behind and west of us, in our opinion, makes the junction of the 2 Forks. At 2 P. M., we again went on. Travelling 6 miles further, we encamped at 5 P. M., near the margin of a small slough on marsh that apparently has its source in springs not far distant, – We are, this evening, about a mile from the river, near the bluffs. The grass is tall and rank, in general but in places, tolerably good. – Buffalo chips, in plenty as usual. There was one buffalo killed to-day by Dexter Stillman, which W. Woodruff brought to camp in his carriage.
Wednesday the 13th.
Clear, cool, and windy weather. – We started on, as usual at 8 a.m. – Going on till noon, we halted on the banks of the main branch of Platte River, opposite a group of islands, abounding in both large and small cotton-wood trees, having come about 8 miles. At 2 o’clock we were again in motion – proceeding 8 miles further, we encamped at ½ past 5 P. M., opposite a small island abounding in bushes. – Just as we arrived, we saw 2 or 3 large herds of buffalo coming down to the water a little in advance of us. Thos. Woolsey, & John Holman went out and each shot a cow. A number of men, (including Orson with the pony) went out to assist in skinning the one killed by the latter, and were gone until 10 o’clock, when they returned Orson bringing in quite a supply of the fattest meat we have seen in some time. Another buffalo was killed to-day I believe by one of the Frenchmen. – The grass here, on the main shore, was quite closely grazed by the buffaloes; on the island it was some better. We have come 16 miles to-day. –
Artist unknown, Fording the (South) Platte. Wyoming State Archives.
Thursday the 14th.
As usual, clear, cold & windy weather. – We continued our journey at 8 a.m. Proceeding 6 miles, we halted at noon bait near an island, abounding in small timber & a few rushes which the horses devoured greedily, after subsisting so long entirely upon dry grass. We again started on at 2 P. M. after going 4 miles further, we encamped at ½ past 4 P. M., opposite a group of islands, also abounding in cotton wood trees, & marshes. We have seen numerous herds of buffaloes on either side of the river during our route to-day; at this point, the grass has been very closely grazed by them. The Frenchmen killed 2 cows this afternoon for the benefit of the camp. We are situated, this evening, near the site of one of our old camp grounds [.]
Friday the 15th.
Warm & pleasant day. We started this morning about 8 o’clock. Proceeding 8 miles, we halted at 12 M. to bait, near a slough not far from the river. During our stay here, the prairie got on fire, through the carelessness or neglect of Father Chamberlain. We, however, soon succeeded in extinguishing it, before it had made any material progress. – We again pursued our way at 1 P. M. – Travelling 6 or 7 miles, we passed the spot where Pres’t. Young lost his spy-glass on our journey out, & encamped at ½ past 3 P. M. on the banks of the river, – opposite another group of islands, abounding in small timber & a few rushes, – having come 15 miles to-day. – Thos. Wolsey shot 2 cows this evening; the brethren went out after them, but brought in only one, not being able to find the other.
Saturday the 16th.
Fair, cool weather. – We continued our journey at 8 a.m. Proceeding about 20 miles, without making any noon halt, we forded “Buffalo Creek,” (the bed of which was dry,) & proceeding a mile down the stream, we encamped at sunset in a bend of the same, where there was plenty of water, having come 21 miles to-day. At this place we found Amasa Lyman, & his comrades, with the exception of 2, viz. – Stephen H. Goddard, & Father Kellogg. These had left them on Tuesday last, a little above here, determined yet to overtake the ox teams. Amasa, with the remainder, passed here on Wednesday last, & went as far as the head of Grand Island, some 10 or 12 miles below here, where, not seeing any buffaloes, they were obliged to return to this place on Thursday, in order to get meat, & have remained here in waiting for us, ever since. The brethren all looked considerably fatigued with their travels, & were glad, once more, to meet with us. We have but slight hopes of overtaking the ox teams, & these are grounded upon the possibility of their being stopt by Bro. Goddard & Kellogg. – The grass here was tolerably good; & we found plenty of fuel from the scattering trees on the banks of the creek. Two of the Frenchmen came in this evening bringing on their mules part of 2 cows that they had killed. Father Chamberlain broke the iron axle tree of his wagon while descending a steep bank when we forded the creek. –
Sunday the 17th.
Pleasant weather. There being but few, if any, buffaloes to be seen below here, & a number of our horses having given out, it was determined to remain in the vicinity a day or two, while we could procure some meat, & also recruit the failing strength of our animals. Accordingly, this morning two capts. viz. Luke Johnson & John Brown were appointed to superintend the hunting expedition to be undertaken to-day in pursuit of buffaloes. Each of these chose their men, & started out on foot about 9 o’clock a.m. – Soon after the camp was moved to the mouth of the creek, about a mile below here, & near one of our old camp grounds. Here, for considerable distance around the margin of the stream, the grass was tolerably good; but out from the river some distance it had been closely grazed by the prairie dogs, near a large village of which we were situated. – Soon after our arrival at this place, 2 men, who had seen our wagons from the other side of the river, came over to see us. One of them, whose name is John Shaw , was the leader of a party of 12 men, the remainder of whom stayed the other side. They had 4 wagons with them, & were on their way from Independence, Mo., to Ft. John. The most of them were going out to trade with the Indians this winter. He informed us that he had met Com. Stockton’s company 4 days since; they had lost one of their number, who they supposed was shot by the Pawnees. They also killed one of the latter. – Mr. Shaw, after remaining here a short time in conversation, went back over the river, accompanied by John Buchanan, Thos. Wolsey & 2 of the Frenchmen. The latter 4 returned this afternoon. – About noon, a number of wagons were sent out to bring in the buffaloes in case the hunters should succeed in killing any.
Monday the 18th.
Fine, cool weather. Thomas Wolsey was sent out this morning, to tell the hunters to come in to-night, with what game they had killed, that we might proceed on our way. – We started on at 10 a.m. Proceeding 3 miles, we met a company of horsemen from Winter Quarters, whose names are as follow:
Geo. D. Grant
G. J. Potter
Geo. W. Langley
W. J. Earl
Luman H. Calkins
James W. Cummings
S. S. Thornton
James H. Glines
Wm. H. Kimball & Geo. Grant each brought a wagon, loaded with provisions & grain for Heber & Brigham. They had been coming from Winter Quarters, 11 days, & were sent from there, by counsel, to our assistance. They had met the ox teams near the ford of the Loup Fork who intended to go on without stopping. – With the horsemen came Stephen H. Goddard, Ezekiel Kellogg, & Jackson Redden. The latter was with W. Clayton when he left the valley. – Orson & myself received a letter from mother, & myself one from my wife, stating that they were all well, &c.– these were dated Oct. 7th. Our folks also sent us a bag of sea biscuit, a small cheese, & a little coffee & sugar, – my wife a little parcel, containing 2 apples & a little tea. After spending a short time in conversation with the brethren, we went on, about 7 miles further, & encamped at ½ past 3 P. M. opposite G [rand]. Island, some few miles below its head; having come 10 miles to-day. The grass here was very good, everything considered. – Thomas Wolsey came in this evening with the intelligence that he had seen one party of our hunters – these he said, had secured enough meat to load the wagons – the other party he had not seen. He told us, furthermore, that they did not intend coming to camp to-night, but would remain near our last camp ground until morning. – That, as he was returning, he saw a large body of Indians across the river, some 5 or 6 miles distant. – It was therefore deemed expedient to send word for our brethren to come in to-night. Accordingly, a little after dark, Hosea Stout, Wilber J. Earl , J. Redden, J. Matthews, Wm. Huntington & W[illia]m. Martindale started out on horseback for that purpose. –
Early in October Bro. William Clayton, with a few others who had preceded the camp of pioneers, arrived at Winter Quarters, weary and worn down by travel, and having been for some time destitute of provisions, and dependent solely upon the killing of wild game for subsistence. They were a sorry looking set, and words would fail to express our feelings when we saw them in such a ragged and forlorn condition, and were told that they must be eight or nine days in advance of the main company; but everyone being interested, they went to work with a will, the women cooking, browning coffee and preparing every good thing that our limited means would admit of. There was no rest nor sleep till everything was ready to start and many a loving message commenced in the midst of it took till far into the night to finish. It had been so long since there had been any communication between us, and some of us were in doubt as to our husbands being with them, as some, we were told, had gone to California, and the feelings that thrilled our hearts under such various and trying circumstances can be better imagined than described; but we did not allow our fears to stand in the way. Everyone did all in their power, and it was something surprising how quickly two wagons were loaded—one for father and another for President Young—with grain and vegetables, all of the latter that could be taken, or whatever could be mustered in the way of provisions. I had two apples, which I packed up carefully with bread, cakes and various little parcels—one apple for Horace and the other for Orson, though this particular circumstance had passed from my recollection till reading of it in my husband’s journal with other things received from his father, viz., Wm. Kimball—he driving father’s team, and George D. Grant the President’s. [In a short letter, hastily written by Sister E. B. Whitney, the present editor of the Woman’s Exponent, who acted as scribe, Mother Whitney expresses herself as follows:]
“We are all well, and hope and pray you are, but we have neither flour nor meal, and have not had any for several days, or we should have baked something to send you so we send you a bag of sea biscuit and a cheese, with a little coffee and sugar. * * The greatest comfort I have had in your absence has been in getting alone to pray for you, that you might be blessed, and I have always been blessed in so doing. I can say that almost my very breath has been prayer for you ever since you left us, that you might return home in safety, and nothing hinder or harm you. * * May the Lord bless and preserve you and return you safe to us, is my constant prayer for you—be faithful and diligent in prayer. I will not write any news, for I shall want to tell you that when you come. I must close, so goodbye.
Woman’s Exponent, vol. 15, no. 1,
1 June 1886, p. 6
Tuesday the 19th.
Fine, pleasant weather, as usual. – We remained to-day encamped. – This forenoon, Bro. Heber, Wm. H. Kimball, & 3 or 4 others went over the river in pursuit of a large herd of buffaloes, that had lately made their appearance in the vicinity. They returned this afternoon, with a cow, which was killed by G. J. Potter & Levi Nickerson . This evening, a little after dark, the hunters, who went out on Sunday morning last, returned, with those who were in pursuit of them – they brought in 3 wagons, which were loaded down with 9 buffalo cows in very good condition. Hosea Stout & his comrades did not find them until this morning. I stood on guard to-night, the 1st, & Orson the last watch. – The wolves again to-night entertained us at a distance, with one of their (dis)agreeable concerts. This morning Father Kellogg & myself made search in my wagon for a little bag that had disappeared from his little tin box during his absence. – This contained 2 gold sovereigns but we were not able to find it.
For a time, after the provisions had ran so low that they had to depend on the killing of wild game, for subsistence, they indulged once a week—Sunday—in, a thin porridge made of flour and water. After living so much on meat it seemed to create an appetite for tobacco, some who had never previously cared for it were now eager to get it. The scarcity of the article made it so valuable that the boys would make one cud serve them a number of times, and they would lay it away carefully as a most choice morsel. After every other source had failed, and being in a great strait, my husband, knowing that Brother Benson kept the weed for doctoring horses, went and asked him for a little, which he gave him, and when asked what the charge was, he was told that he could return the favor when they got home by coming to his house and singing some songs for him. This was not written down but was related to me verbally.
Woman’s Exponent, vol. 15, no. 5,
1 August 1886, p. 34
Wednesday the 20th.
Cold & cloudy weather, with a light, misty fall of rain at intervals during the day. – Bro. Heber intimated to me privately this morning, that search was about to be instituted in my wagon for the recovery of the 2 lost sovereigns belonging to Father Kellogg. This he done, that I should not be taken by surprise. Accordingly about 9 a.m., soon after we had started on, my wagon was ordered out from the road, & the rest went on. Hosea Stout, at the head of a number of men, then came up & forming a circle, he made a short speech of which this is the substance. “That it was well known who had taken the money, & if it was immediately given up, without further ceremony, ‘well & good’; if not, every thing in the wagon should be ripped to pieces & burnt, together with the wagon itself, & they would hunt among the ashes for the lost money; & wo be to him whose effects it should be found; for his bones should be left to bleach on this prairie.[”] – Neither John Buchanan, John Brimhall, Orson nor myself making any confession, they took all the things out of the wagon, & proceeded to examine every parcel with great minuteness. They had looked over about ½ of the effects, & were about to search my person, when Geo. Grant halloed that the “lost was found.” On opening J. Buchanan’s nap-sack it was found concealed therein, thus verifying the suspicions of all, that he was the author of the theft. – He himself endeavored to excuse the matter, by saying that this was a portion of 10 sovereigns he had in the valley & he could prove it by Lieut. Willis & others there, but on being asked why he did not tell in the first place that he had the money, he could make no answer. – About this time, Dr. Richards & Bro. Benson rode up, & it being concluded, that without doubt this was the missing money, no further search was made; & the matter was dropt, for further investigation hereafter. – We therefore reloaded our things & went on at a rapid rate, some 3 miles, before we overtook the others wagons, having been detained about an hour by the search. – After having gone about 12 miles, we halted at 3 P. M. on the open prairie to bait our horses; there was no water here, except, indeed, the light misty rain, that continued to fall. At 4 P. M. we again went on – going a little over 2 miles further, we encamped at 10 o’clock in the evening, on the banks of the river near Grand Island on which there was plenty of rushes & good grass for our teams; also wood & water.
Thursday the 21st.
Still cold, cloudy & windy weather. – We continued our journey at 9 a.m. – Proceeding 15 miles, without making any halt, we encamped at 3 P. M. in the bed of the river, (which was dry here,) between Grand Island & the Main shore, either side being heavily timbered, & abounding in rushes & good grass. This was one of the best camp grounds we had had for some time, secured as we were, on every side, from the howling blasts that swept fiercely across the open prairie. We were encamped this evening about ¼ of a mile above the mouth of “Wood Creek,” – quite a beautiful little stream whose banks, one either side, were studded with considerable timber. – Frenchmen reported this evening, that they had discovered traces of an Indian camp, & moccasin tracks of no older a date than last night; therefore the brethren were cautioned to watch closely their horses. –
Friday the 22d.
Beautiful, clear weather, though yet quite cool. – We started on at 8 a.m. Going a short distance down the bed of the river, we forded “Wood Creek,” near its mouth, – we now began gradually to bear away from the Platte, & after travelling 12 miles we encamped at 3 P. M. on “Prairie Creek,” on the open prairie, where there was no timber in sight. The grass here was tolerably good for this season of the year; as for wood, we had brought along a little, knowing the spot where we should encamp, would be destitute of timber. – We are now able to move considerably faster than we have hither to done, in consequence of our reinforcement of horses from W. Quarters. –
Saturday the 23d.
Warm & pleasant day. We were obliged to throw a quantity of grass into this creek before crossing it, on account of the bed of the stream being somewhat miry. – After this it being just sunrise, we continued our journey. – Travelling over a rolling prairie we at length reached the “Loup Fork of Platte River” at 3 P. M. & encamped on its banks, having come 22 miles to-day. – This place is some 3 or 4 miles above the ford of the ox teams, & about 20 miles above our old ford. – The river seems to be much lower than when we were here before. – There is considerable small cotton wood growing on either bank at this point; also on the islands adjacent. – The grass here was not very good being mostly of the tall, rank kind. –
Sunday the 24th.
Clear weather, though extremely cold & windy. – Two wagons made several attempts to cross the river this a.m. which all proved ineffectual, on account of the high winds, & quicksand giving way beneath the horses’ feet. – One or two horsemen also while urging their horses across the stream, were thrown from their backs, on account of their stumbling & sinking in the sand; it was therefore decided to defer fording the river, until to-morrow when the wind might cease, & we have a better chance for crossing. Accordingly we drove our teams about a mile down the river, & encamped at 10 a.m. on its banks near a small grove of cottonwood trees, where we were considerably sheltered from the cold wind that continued to blow fiercely through the day. It snowed to-night. –
Monday the 25th.
This morning the weather was quite warm & but little air stirring. We therefore went back to the same place & commenced crossing the river about 10 a.m. Men had been previously sent ahead to stake out a track for us to follow, which, after a few of the wagons had passed over, became quite firm. We were obliged, however, to double teams, & in some cases, a number of men were obliged to accompany the wagons, wading in the water to assist them through. Bro. Heber & myself both did this & were quite chilled through, the water being extremely cold, though not very high, coming up only to the bottom of the lowest wagon beds. We finally got over, without accident, about noon, when we proceeded 8 miles, & came to a small creek on the bottom. Here we noticed quite an extent of ground that had formerly been under cultivation by the Pawnees. After crossing this, & ascending a hill, we encamped at ½ past 3 P. M. upon the site of an Old Pawnee village, which had been burned down by the Sioux several years since – Here we found the grass & other vegetation quite green, affording first rate feed for our horses. We also found plenty of fuel from the ruins of the lodges. This evening, by council, the following men went ahead on horseback to Winter Quarters, to apprise the brethren there that were close by, & that to allay the anxiety that they might feel at our prolonged absence from home: – Amasa Lyman, Luman H. Calkins, J. Matthews, & Thos. Wolsey, John Buchanan, & 2 of the Frenchmen also accompanied them. I wrote a letter for Bro. Heber to Vilate, encouraging her to be of good cheer &c. for we should be with them in about a week –
Tuesday the 26th.
Rather cold & cloudy weather. We arose early this morning, & got started at sunrise. Proceeding 9 miles, we forded a large tributary of the “Loup Fork,” about 8 rods in width. Ascending a hill, we now passed the Old Pawnee village, opposite our old fording place. Going a mile further, we passed a Missionary station, consisting of 5 or 6 buildings, that had been built since we were here before. It was now entirely deserted; the Sioux having paid it a visit about the last of July, when they tore down the fences & picquets, enclosing the houses, demolished the doors, stove in the heads of flour barrels, & scattered their contents on the ground, & destroyed other property in divers ways too numerous to mention. After leaving this behind, we went on a mile further, & encamped at 2 P. M. near the Old Missionary station, where we encamped on our journey out, having come 13 miles to-day. In an adjacent cornfield, we put our horses, where we gleaned considerable corn that had not been gathered. Some of the brethren also got quite a quantity to eat. Near the field, there was quite a large patch of oats, which our American horses devoured quite greedily, though the Indian ones did not care so much about it. – To-day, Bro. Heber let me have his Prince Horse to work before my wagon in the place of John Buchanan’s.
Wednesday the 27th.
Rather cool weather. We got started at 8 a.m. Proceeding 6 miles, we forded “Beaver Creek.” Thence going 9 miles we forded “Looking Glass Creek” & halted to bait, at 2 P. M., on its banks, having come 15 miles. – At 3 P. M., we again went on – After going about 10 m’s, we encamped, at sunset, on the banks of a slough, below “Sarpee’s Trading Post,” near the place where we were visited by the Pawnees when we halted at noon, on our journey out. – the grass here was dry & poor, – consequently we cut down cotton wood trees for our horses. – We made 25 miles today. Orson & myself stood guard, 1st watch.
Thursday the 28th.
Cold & windy day. – We continued our journey at 8 a. m. After going 10 miles, we made a brief halt to water our horses, when proceeding 10 miles further, we encamped at 4 P. M., on the banks of “Shell Creek,” having come 20 miles. Here the grass was poor, & the brethren again cut cotton wood for their horses, which, however, was not very plenty, the timber on this stream being mostly elm. From this point, we can see this evening that the prairie has been lately burned over as far as the eye can extend. Another stray ox was found, this evening, by the brethren, near here –
Friday the 29th.
Warm, though windy weather. The camp was routed by the guard at 5 a.m.., & we got started a short time before sunrise. – After a mile’s travel, we halted on the banks of the river, where there was plenty of cotton wood trees, of which we cut down a large supply for our horses. A number of men with wagons went ahead from here to select a good camp ground for the night. – After remaining here about 2 hours we again went on. We halted only once during the day to water our horses, & encamped at 5 P. M. on the banks of the “Platte River,” having come 25 miles to-day. Here also there was a large quantity of cotton wood which we made use of for our horses. Near here was a “liberty pole,” raised by P. P. Pratt & J. Taylor on their journey out. – We have travelled altogether over burnt prairie to-day, & encamped on the same to-night. –
Saturday the 30th.
Still warm & windy weather. – We arose early, fed our horses heartily upon cotton wood bark, & got under way by 9 a. m. travelling 12 miles we came to the “Elk Horn river.” which we forded about 12 or 15 miles above our old ford, & after proceeding a mile down the stream, we encamped at 2 P. M., on its banks, in a large grove of cotton wood, having come about 13 miles to-day. – This stream was considerably high, so that we were obliged to elevate our wagon beds before crossing it. – Immediately after we were encamped, the brethren were called together in the center of the ring, when Pres’t. Young said that he wished to know who wanted to go ahead to Winter Quarters, to-night, & if there were any such to arise – none however did. – An expression was then taken whether we should all remain in a body, horsemen & all, & go into town together or otherwise; which resulted in the affirmative. – Pres’t Young & Bro. Heber then spoke briefly, stating that they were satisfied with the conduct of the Pioneers during the journey of the past season, & blessed them in the name of the Lord; & soon after we were dismissed with the injunction to provide plenty of cotton wood for our horses during the night. – Bro. Heber let me have a little flour to-night, as my provisions had all given out. –
Sunday the 31st
They arrived home early the evening following, Sunday, October 31st. When within a mile or so of Winter Quarters “a halt was called, the company was drawn up in order, and addressed by President Young who then dismissed the pioneer camp with his blessing.” Many of the brethren and sisters went out to meet them. They drove into town in order and the streets were lined with men, women and children to welcome them “home again.”
When we saw them safe back our joy was equal to our sorrows. We could doubly realize why the Lord had so moved upon us to fast and pray, uniting our faith as one in their behalf, as well as for ourselves during their absence; and that it had been nothing less than miraculous that so many were preserved to meet again, saying nothing of the prosperity which had attended us. Many of our people had previously turned their attention to the manufacturing of various articles, such as willow baskets, washboards, half bushels, etc. which they sold to help themselves to a living and preparing for their journey the coming spring.
No picture of despair had been visible, nor were there any doubts entertained of the accomplishment of the journey laying before us, and the building up of Zion in the valleys of the Rocky Mountains. The hand of God had been visible in every trial and to those who sought Him He was ever near.
I will now say to my kind friends and all who have taken an interest in the historical sketches which I have gathered up that the changes which have come to me since I began this pleasant duty, the increase of care and responsibilities thrown upon me through the death of my husband, with various duties which require my attention, I must resign this one at least at the present, as I find it difficult to devote the amount of time and thought which it requires and attend to the tasks incumbent upon me. But I do so with the hope that it will be taken up by some one of our sisters who has more time at her command, as well as ability to do it justice. There are many unwritten incidents which could be related with profit, and prove interesting reading to those who pioneered across the barren, trackless wastes of the great American desert to these once lone and dreary vales of the Rocky Mountains, as well as scores who are not of that number and even many strangers would enjoy reading of those early scenes among the “Mormons.” Had I not received this assurance from different quarters in these valleys as well as from outsiders accompanied with urgent requests to continue these sketches, I should have long since yielded to private feelings and discontinued them. I mention this as a stimulus to prompt others to write and give to the world the benefit of their travels and experience with this people, who are so grossly misunderstood and misjudged by the world generally. For every one of us have a mission upon this earth, and it is only the willing hands and hearts, and those who will sacrifice self to the good of others that will gain an everlasting triumph, and be crowned to reign throughout the glorious eternities to come.
Woman’s Exponent, vol. 15, no. 6,
15 August 1886, pp. 46–47
 Born in Lower Canada (Quebec), Peter Skeene Ogden (1790–1854), after whom the city of Ogden was named, was a fur trader and explorer in the American/
 The Great Salt Lake, believed to have been formed about 11,000 years ago, is a remnant of Lake Bonneville, a body of fresh water, about 20,000 square miles and 1,000 feet deep. Over time, the lake emptied through a cut made in the north and nearly dried up. Increasing precipitation later formed the Great Salt Lake, which is currently 1,700 square miles in size, with a maximum depth of 33 feet. The lake has no outlets, trapping the water until it evaporates, leaving the salt behind. Richard H. Jackson, “Great Salt Lake,” in Utah History Encyclopedia (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1994), http://
 Not everyone in the pioneer company was excited at seeing the Great Salt Lake. Their celebration was muted by noticeable restraint at seeing a potential home so void of vegetation. Wrote William Clayton: “For my own part I am happily disappointed in the appearance of the valley of the Salt Lake, but if the land be as rich as it has the appearance of being, I have no fears but the Saints can live here and do well while we will do right.” William Clayton’s Journal, 309. Nevertheless, he was soon calling it “the promised land” as did so many others in the camp (316). Wilford Woodruff, who was at Brigham Young’s side when he first saw the valley, remarked that “President Young expressed his full satisfaction in the appearance of the valley as a resting place for the Saints and was amply repayed [sic] for his journey.” Wilford Woodruff’s Journal, 3:234, entry for 24 July 1847.
 The so-called “Mormon Cricket,” technically identified as Anabrus simplex, is approximately 1.25 inches long. Traveling in hordes as big as a city block or more, they moved up to two miles per day. They not only consumed vegetation but other insect and animal life as well, including rattlesnakes, evergreen trees, and sagebrush. See Frank T. Cowan, Life Habits, History and Control of the Mormon Cricket, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture Technical Bulletin No. 161 (1929), 26–27. Such infestations are rare today because most crickets have been destroyed in the maze of irrigation ditches throughout the valley. The famous infestation of crickets among Mormon settlements in 1848 is well remembered in history and folklore. Several contemporary accounts, however, report that the crops were saved by flocks of seagulls that descended upon the crickets, first gorging themselves, then vomiting up the remains, before returning again and again in waves of deliverance. See Bennett, We’ll Find the Place, 344–49. See also William G. Hartley, “Mormons, Crickets, and Gulls: A New Look at an Old Story,” Utah Historical Quarterly 38 (Summer 1970): 224–39.
 The Mormons were not the first to implement patterns of irrigation in the American West but were arguably the most successful by their means of diverting water flow from creeks and streams to flood the parched desert soil. Once so watered, the parched soil proved surprisingly fertile. See Leonard J. Arrington and Dean May, “‘A Different Mode of Life’: Irrigation and Society in Nineteenth-Century Utah,” Agricultural History 49 (1975): 7.
 In the early Salt Lake settlement, properties were ceded out by church authorities to the faithful as their “inheritance” for obedience in traveling to the valley. In the absence of any land records office, or any other form of civil government, Brigham Young and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles were the ultimate ecclesiastical as well as secular authority. See Arrington, Great Basin Kingdom.
 The Mormon pioneers chose a particularly safe place to settle. The Ute Indian tribes frequented lands primarily south of what is today called “Point of the Mountain” in northern Utah County, while the Shoshones were more to the north. Sometimes called “diggers” for their propensity to live off ants, grasshoppers, crickets, and weeds, the Utes were a particularly impoverished tribe. See Virginia McConnell Simmons, The Ute Indians of Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico (Boulder: University Press of Colorado, 2000).
 The original temple lot or square of forty acres was soon reduced in size to a more manageable ten-acre lot. see note 137 above.
 In 1847 the Shoshone or Shoshoni (“high-growing grasses”) numbered approximately 4,500. Originating in the Great Basin, by the time of the Mormon arrival they were spread across northern Nevada, northern Utah, southern Idaho, and western Wyoming. In 1860 the Shoshone, led by Chief Pocatello, fought against incursions upon their land by new-coming settlers. In 1863, 430 Shoshone were killed in the infamous Bear River Massacre. Today some 12,000 Shoshones have survived, many living in the Duck Valley reservations in Nevada and the Goshute reservation in Utah.
The Snake Indians include the Bannock, Shoshone, and northern Paiute Indians. They were so named by Oregon Trail emigrants while confronting these Native Americans along the Snake River valley of southern Idaho. The Snake Indians fought several battles against encroaching American settlers, including the Snake War from 1864 to 1868.
The Ute Indians, one of the poorest of all Native American tribes, had inhabited the Great Basin for perhaps a millennium before 1847. By the late 1840s, their northern boundary with the Shoshone was vaguely drawn at the point of the mountain in present-day Utah County, some twenty miles south of the Mormon camp. Most still traveled on foot and already have been labeled “diggers” for their propensity to live off ants, grasshoppers, crickets, roots, seeds, and even weeds. As Father Pierre de Smet, the famous Catholic explorer had written, “There is not, perhaps, in the whole world, a people in a deeper state of wretchedness and corruption . . . their habitations are holes in the rocks, or the natural crevices of the ground.” Pierre Jean de Smet, “Letters and Sketches: With a Narrative of a Year’s Residence Among the Indian Tribes of the Rocky Mountains,” Early Western Travels, 1748–1846 (Cleveland, OH: Arthur H. Clark, 1906), 17:165–67. Today some 3,000 Utes survive.
 The revelation read by Dr. Richards was undoubtedly Brigham Young’s “Word and Will of the Lord,” presented to and sustained by the membership of the church back at Winter Quarters and other Mormon settlements at the Missouri River.
 With so little timber nearby, the pioneers quickly resorted to using adobe construction for their early homes and fortifications. Adobe construction long preceded the Spanish conquests of North and South America. In fact, its origins go back thousands of years. Adobes are mud brick construction from earth and other organic materials and are extremely durable, especially in dry, hot climates.
 Rebaptism was a popular ordinance in the early Salt Lake Valley among the Mormon pioneers. Its purpose was to recovenant and recommit the Saints to building up their new Zion in the newfound valleys of the Rocky Mountains. Wilford Woodruff recorded that the first to be rebaptized was a still enfeebled Brigham Young himself, followed by 287 others between 6 August and 8 August. Kenney, Wilford Woodruff Journals, 3:250–51. Three-fourths of all baptisms performed in Salt Lake City between 1847 and 1852 were rebaptisms. See Richard E. Bennett, “‘I Mean to Be Baptized for Scores More’: Baptisms for the Dead among the Latter-day Saints, 1846–67,” in An Eye of Faith: Essays Written in Honor of Richard O. Cowan, ed. Kenneth L. Alford and Richard E. Bennett (Provo, UT: Religious Studies Center; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2015), 139–57. See also M. Guy Bishop, “What Has Become of Our Fathers: Baptism for the Dead in Nauvoo,” Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 23, no. 2 (Summer 1990): 85–97.
 These letters defined Latter-day Saint policy for California. The first confirmed Brannan’s leadership in California, while the second advised Battalion veterans “to come directly to this place.” See Journal History, 7 August 1847. Apparently Brannan took with him not only these letters but also a flag of the Kingdom of God. See Orson Hyde to Brannan, 5 September 1846, as referenced in editor Will Bagley’s footnotes in Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 252.
 This likely pertained to the matter of Timothy Goodale having allegedly stolen horses from camp. However, “the majority were inclined to acquit him.” See entry for 7 July 1847.
 Although neither the Whitney journal nor any of the other primary journal accounts reference Young expressing the words “This is the Place” on 24 July 1847, Horace Whitney does make a significant recording of what he said on 8 August, after two weeks of scouting reports had arrived from in and around the valley confirming his choice for the Salt Lake settlement: “This is the spot that I had anticipated.” The term “spot” was his preferred term and finds its precedence in many of his sermons and earlier revelations, most notably that defining the place for the Independence temple: “The place which is now called Independence is the center place; and a spot for the temple is lying westward, upon a lot which is not far from the courthouse” (Doctrine and Covenants 57:3).
 Their purpose in going to California was to make sure the sick detachments were properly discharged and to pick up their pay, which the Saints used to purchase Miles Goodyear’s fort. See Will Bagley, ed., Frontiersman: Abner Blackburn’s Narrative (Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 1992): 63–120.
 Editor’s Note: Whitney added the following footnote: “The stockade, I believe, is to enclose 10 acres.”
 The temple lot or temple square was considered the center spot of their new city although it was later reduced in size from forty to ten acres. The apportioning of property among the early settlers of Salt Lake City was based on the law of consecration, not on private purchase or speculation. Church leaders made distributions based on apostolic rank and authority, adopted family sizes and needs, faithfulness, and other related priorities. Brigham Young chose first, opting for the block immediately east of the temple block. Heber C. Kimball opted for the block north, Orson Pratt the block on the south side, and Wilford Woodruff chose the block 40 rods southwest of the temple lot. By 20 August, Henry G. Sherwood’s survey of the city consisted of 135 blocks, each containing eight lots of 1¼ acres, large enough to accommodate 1,080 families or from 5,000 to 6,000 people, streets eight rods wide, and three public squares besides the temple lot. Journal History, 20 August 1847. See also Bennett, We’ll Find the Place, 237–40.
 The Saints had been in the valley for only a few weeks when discussions centered on returning to Winter Quarters. It had ever been their plan to leave most in the valley to build the fort, cabins and other buildings and defenses, cut down timber, put in late crops, fence farmlands, build roads, and in so many other ways prepare to receive the 1,500 Saints in the Big or Emigration Camp now on its way from Winter Quarters to the valley and which was expected to arrive in late September or early October. Meanwhile, Brigham Young, William Clayton, Horace K. Whitney, and several Mormon Battalion members who were anxious to reunite with their families after so long an absence, and other seasoned pioneers would head back to the Missouri River before winter set in so as to prepare for the spring migrations of 1848. Clayton and his company were appointed to head back to Winter Quarters first with a large number of spare ox teams, horses, and empty wagons in case early snowstorms hindered the later parties.
 Horace first wrote “40 rods” but then wrote in the word “eight” above it, the actual width of the city’s streets—132 feet.
 At the top of this page, apparently still in the hand of Horace K. Whitney but in red ink is a note that reads, “The 19th birthday of Helen M. Whitney.”
 In this sermon given just before their return to Winter Quarters, Heber C. Kimball calls for unity within his adopted family and for his “children” to for go any interest returning to their “gentile” state with families out of the church.
 Thirty miles south of present-day Pocatello, Idaho, Fort Hall was a trading post on the Snake River. Once one of the Hudson’s Bay Company’s most southerly outposts, it was eventually included in United States territory after 1846. It later became an important station on both the Oregon and California Trails.
 Perhaps no other entry points to the sometimes matter-of-fact, often unreflective method of Horace’s journal keeping than this entry about the birth and death of his first child, a daughter, back at Winter Quarters 3½ months before. See Helen Mar’s entry for 6 May 1847.
 See Bagley, Pioneer Camp of the Saints, 276–77.
 Daniel Spencer’s company of 362 souls was in the vanguard of the Big or Emigration Camp that left Winter Quarters on 17 June 1847. It was the first of that large entourage to arrive in the Salt Lake Valley on 19 September.
 The meeting between Brigham Young and Parley P. Pratt “by the blaze of a willow patch” was a highly contentious one. Brigham severely chastised his junior colleague in the Quorum of the Twelve for tampering with the instructions laid down in his “Word and Will of the Lord” on how to organize the companies in the Big or Emigration Camp for their trek west. In Brigham Young’s estimation, the camp was far larger than the Twelve had expected or directed it to be, that it was overpopulated with the best provisioned and underrepresented the poor and the halt, and that it did not include nearly as many of the Mormon Battalion families as Brigham Young had promised back at the Missouri River the year before. “When the Quorum of the Twelve do a thing it is not in the power of two of them to rip it up. . . . You had no business to control, alter or direct our organization,” thundered the Mormon leader. See General Church Minutes, 4 September 1847, and Journal History, 4 September 1847. Weighing heavily on Brigham Young’s mind, however, was more than the organization of the Big Camp; he was also preoccupied with when and how to reorganize the First Presidency of the church, a matter he viewed as increasingly necessary but which Pratt and others of the Twelve did not yet view with the same urgency. For much more on this fascinating meeting and the issues involved, see Bennett, We’ll Find the Place, 267–74.
 John Taylor was second in command to Parley P. Pratt in supervising the Emigration Camp as it moved west. His company was near the rear and was almost the last one Brigham Young visited as he hurried eastward. Eliza R. Snow, a former plural wife of Joseph Smith and one of Brigham Young’s “for time-only” plural wives (since their marriage on 3 October 1844) was a key factor in persuading Taylor to put on a sumptuous prairie feast of roasted and broiled beef, pies, cakes, and biscuits for both companies, despite the fact it was snowing heavily. As Isabella Horne recalled, “I can assure you we had a feast indeed, spiritual as well as temporal.” Isabella Horne, “Pioneer Reminiscences,” 293. Could such a reunion feast explain why Young chose not chastise Taylor nearly as much as he had done Pratt just three days earlier?
 One such glorified report of their new valley home came from George A. Smith. “It feels well,” he said to one group of westbound pioneers. “We came over these sages, plains and rocks and found a sweet little valley in the midst of the hills. . . . The soil is of sufficient variety to please every person. If the sisters are in want of hot drinks they can find spring water already heated for them and drink as much as they please . . . with industry, economy and prudence it will be one of the most blessed places in the world. I never was so contented as I was in that valley.” General Church Minutes, 3–4 September 1847, Church History Library.
 For more on Appleton Milo Harmon and his significant contributions to the Mormon exodus, see Maybelle Harmon Anderson, ed., The Journals of Appleton Milo Harmon: A Participant in the Mormon Exodus from Illinois and the Early Settlements of Utah, 1846–1877 (Glendale, CA: Arthur H. Clark, 1946).
 Robert Field Stockton (1795–1866) was a United States navy commodore noted for his role in the capture of California during the Mexican-American War. Second military governor of California, he also later served as a United States senator from New Jersey. He was the first American naval officer to carry out actions against slave ships and was instrumental in the founding of Liberia. [Why is this footnote not indented correctly to align with the others?]
 Captain Joseph R. Walker (1798–1876) was born in Tennessee and became a mountain man, scout, explorer, and trader. In 1833 Captain Benjamin L. Bonneville paid Walker to explore the territory west of the Great Salt Lake to California. He blazed the trail from Fort Hall (southeast Idaho) to the Truckee River that would later become the principal route for the California gold rush. In 1845 he was in charge of John C. Frémont’s third government expedition to California and Oregon. The pioneers sent letters with him to the Salt Lake Valley in October 1847.
 Departing from St. Louis on 26 March 1832, the steamboat Yellowstone reached the Fort Union Trading Post at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers (twenty-five miles southwest of Williston, North Dakota) in June of that year. From that time on, the Yellowstone and other steamboats sailed as far north as Fort Union when the water levels were sufficiently high.
 John S. Shaw carried on an independent fur trade with the Sioux. Upon returning to St. Joseph, Missouri, in the fall of 1847, he reported having encountered some two hundred Mormon wagons along the trail.
 The reader will note that the buffalo herds had migrated much further east this time of year (the fall) than they were when the pioneer companies left Winter Quarters in the spring. Such migrations were primarily dictated by weather, grazing patterns, grass supply, and prairie fires. Richard Hart, “Where the Buffalo Roamed—Or Did They?,” Great Plains Research: A Journal of Natural and Social Sciences 11 (Spring 2001): 83–102.
 It had taken the eastbound companies at least a week to ten days longer to make the return trip to Winter Quarters than anticipated in part because of stolen horses, time spent talking to the various companies of the Big Camp, and other factors.
 Liberty Poles were a common feature amongst most overland pioneers. Bedecked with flags of one sort or another, liberty poles served as rallying places for several Mormon settlements. They were well-known features at Winter Quarters and in the early Salt Lake settlements. See Richard E. Bennett, “The Star-Spangled Banner Forever Be Furled: The Mormon Exodus as Liberty,” Nauvoo Journal 10, no. 1 (Spring 1998): 21–40. The Mormon banner was primarily a pure white flag.