The Nauvoo Exodus and the "Mountain Expedition," 1845-46

Michael Hubbard MacKay and William G. Hartley, "The Nauvoo Exodus and the 'Mountain Expedition,' 1845-46," in The Rise of the Latter-day Saints, ed. Michael Hubbard MacKay and William G. Hartley (Religious Studies Center, Brigham Young University; Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2019), 161–210.


Newel’s material thus far primarily has been his autobiography based on his recollections, some published sources, and several diary-like entries. But, from here on, the last two parts of version 1 (items 5 and 6), is in diary format. His entries are dated, regular, and usually detailed, providing insights into important episodes not well covered in Church history. For the 1846–47 period of Church history, at least a dozen diaries have become important sources of information, such as those penned by Hosea Stout, William Clayton, John D. Lee, Patty Sessions, and Louisa Barnes Pratt.

From the Church’s October 1845 conference until early January 1846, Newel’s diary makes contributions in five arenas. First, it documents how hard it was for the common people to become properly outfitted and supplied for vacating Nauvoo and nearby areas. Second, his diary is the best insider’s account of the massive spring exodus from Nauvoo, the main phase of the exodus, which historians overlook. Third, he writes heartfelt tributes, eulogies, and prayers about the course of the Restoration, the persecutions, the forsaking Nauvoo and the temple, and the Saints’ situation as a modern version of the children of Israel in the wilderness. His powerful literary expressions, reflections, and meditations regarding the Saints’ forced exodus are unequaled. Fourth, Newel provides rare documentation about the “mountain expedition,” which the Twelve sent ahead from the Missouri River in July 1846. And, fifth, Newel’s diary is the best record we have of the Ponca encampment; his record shows that the nearly five hundred souls were not, as is often implied, a disobedient, misled group.

Our featured text, Newel’s version 1 (MS 767, folder 1), has a gap for almost four months between October 6, 1845, and February 1, 1846. However, the Allen version contains narration, evidently written by Newel, which covers the gap period. It fits like a missing puzzle piece into Newel’s version 1 account. Both pieces interlock where each is telling about Newel’s business dispute with Elijah Fordham, which contributed to preventing Newel’s family from leaving Nauvoo with Brigham Young’s advance company in February. Therefore, the missing Newel statements as found only in the Allen version begin the diary entries here in part 5.

Allen Version

1846. January 31. For the last two week my time has been altogether taken up in laboring in the Temple. It is expected that the time will be short in which the Saints can have the privilege of receiving their endowments, as our enemies are prowling about on every side, like ravening wolves, and in fact they have only been held at bay during the whole winter, by the prayers of the Saints; and as the brethren generally have been faithful in laboring to build the Temple, that the Lord might have a place prepared in which to give blessings, and endow the Saints with power from on high. President Young says no time shall be lost, for as they have been faithful in building, so the servant of the Lord shall be faithful in waiting upon them.

We attend in the Temple both day and night, and I can truly say it is better to be a waiter in the House of the Lord, than to enjoy all the glittering wealth this world can afford. My soul has been filled with the love of God. I feel his spirit burning within me day by day. The blessings I have received during this winter, have doubly repaid me for all I have done towards building this house. I think the brethren generally feel in their hearts to say, the Lord has not been slack concerning his promises for the power of God is manifested in withholding our enemies from us.[1]

In the meantime, I found it necessary to be settling my temporal affairs. . . [Elijah] Fordham insisted that he should have his pay so that he could be prepared for the move in the Spring, although it should bring me to beggary. I told him I did not believe in that principle,—I did not think it my duty to take the last bit of bread from my children, under the peculiar circumstances we were placed in, although I acknowledged that he should have his due. But he had assisted us /from/ his abundance, and ought not to demand it of me in my poverty. If the Lord would prosper me in disposing of my property I should be able to satisfy not only him but all my creditors, who should be amply rewarded for waiting on me, as I did not want any man to lose on my account. He still insisted that I should pay his full demand, and I proposed to leave the matter in the hands of some judicious brethren, and would abide by their decision. I told him I was not satisfied with the demand he made upon me, but as he had lost his accounts I did not wish to injure him and would rather pay him more than less than what I owed him, so long as it did not bring my family to suffering to do so.

Bro Fordham chose Edward Hunter, Isaac Higbee and Bishop Hale as referees,[2] and I had intended choosing some of the members of the High Council who were laboring in the Temple the same as myself, attending to the ordinances of the Lord’s House. I was engaged there at the time bro Fordham called and told me he was ready for a settlement, and the brethren at the place designated. It was inconvenient for any of us to leave, so I chose to go alone rather than hinder any of them in their duties.

Version 1

[109] I entered the room where they were waiting for me. Told them it had so happened the men I had selected were at the time engaged so that it would not be expedient for them to be present. And as I did not wish to hinder time either of my self or Brethren and had ever looked upon Brother Fordham to be an honorable man, I arose and made a statement of facts as above written. Told them I would abide the decision of the Brethren who were present, thinking to cut short the affair and supposed it would be done in righteous[ness]. In fact I had so much confidence in Bro Fordham I cold not believe he intended any wrong torards me, but to my surprize he arose and deemanded as his account at least three hundred dollars. He said he had talked with his wife on the subject and they had concluded it was at least three hundred dollars and thought likely it might be three hundred and fifty.

Brother Rollf[3] was present, said h[e] acted as clerk at the time this debt was contracted and knew or was confident the true account, if it could be found, would not exceed one hundred dollars, for he could [not?] be much deceived as to the orders he gave or the debts that were cancelled with Brother Fordham. He allso stated it was not our fault he did not receive his pay for all we traded with him according to agreement. Brother Fordham insisted that the referees he had on hand should give a decision not only whether I should py him immediately but how much his acount should stand. They acordingly decided that I should pay the above mentioned Elijah Fordham one hundred and fifty dollars immediately and one hundred more as soon as I could or some time here after.

Feb 1rst [1846].[4] This day a number of persons met at my Fathers for the purpose of a family interview and to understand each others feelings. As Father had been Called upon to go the following day to the temple to receive his Sealing and anointing, my Step Mother refused to be Seald to my Father. I took some pains to get the family to gather that we might all know each others feelings and understand the cause of my Fathers and Mothers separation. I arose and made a statement of my feelings and intentions, also showed the necesity of such a separation being fully understood by all parties. I first called upon Father to [express] his feelings. He said he loved and respected Phebe but she was not satisfied to abide with him and he had agreed [110] to let her go. I asked her the Cause of her dissatisfaction. She said She respected the old gentleman, believed he was a good man, he had ever been kind to her and as a good man she honored ^respected^ him. But did not love and honor him as her head and boson Companion and for this reason alone she was not Satisfied to a bide wit[h] my Father.

I [t]hen told them all I wanted them to express their feelings to wards me. I did not know at the time why my feelings were thus inpressed that I should be thus particular, but the sequel will show. Mother [Phoebe] said She had no feelings against me. She believed my mo^t^ives and intentions had ever been good towards her self and family. Said She Could find no fault with me and that the above reason alone was all she had for not abideing wit my Father. I told her that reason ought to make her free, yet if she was satisfied to abide with my Father I should have no objections. As such I should honor and respect her. But as her feelings were to leave I should say amen and still respect her and wishe her well.

[T]he Children Henrietta ^Rich^, Hezekiah ^Rich^ and Sarah Peck were present. They said they [had] not ought against me. We agreed to close our interview by prayer, asking the blessings of God upon eache other in the presence of Ezekiel and Electa Peck,[5] Thomas Rich and wife, and Fathers family. My Wife went home with in company with uncle and Aunt Peck. I took my horse and buggy and went 9 miles out on the prairie to get my ^oldest^ Sister Anna [DeMille] to go to the temple with my Father and act as proxy for my Mother, whose remains were the first of the Saints the earth opened [t]he bosom to receive in Jackson CO., M.O.

Feb 2nd. Monday morning took my Sister Anna to the temple to meet my Father according to previous agreement. When Father came, Phebe was with him. [She] said she wanted to talk with some of the Twelve.

I went to attend to usual labor in the temple until we were called in to Council by our President [Brigham Young], who stated us that the Spirit [111] dictated that it was time to Commence our intended move into the wilderness and soon bring our labors to a close in the Temple, to which the Council all agreed.[6]

About the time this Council Closed, one of the Twelve Came to me and said that Phebe had agreed concluded to be Sealed to Father, provided my oppression to her could cease! She told them ^the Twelve^ she was willing to be sealed by the Old gentleman but not by his Children. I replied I had never oppressed her, neither did I wish to rule or oppress her, but if they were agreed I should not hinder their union. But the reader can better judge than I discribe my feelings on hearing the above statement, after what transpired yesterday. Suffice to say they were Sealed and received their annointing.

At this time I owened a grist and and saw mill worth 25 hundred dollars. A few days previous to this I had been offered a trade for my m^ills^. I laid this before the Brethren. They counciled me to take it, allthough it was not more than on fourth the real value of my property, this being the only source I had to fit for the journey.[7] It was agreed that I leave my labors in the temple and attend to the above business.

Brother Nobls[8] and my self started the next morning to go and see the man [Joseph Andrus] who had made the offer for my mills, distance about 20 miles. I accomplished a trade and started for home. A man by the name of Mathews who had formerly belonged to the Church but had turned away was at that place (Laharp).[9] He got up a false account and f[o]llowed with a Constable who was a friend to the enemies of this Church, who attached a good horse I had taken from the man who bought my mills. I arrived home late in the night. I found the Brethren busily engaged prepareing for the journey.

Feb 6. Got the deed of my mills, house, barn, and so fort[h] made over to Joseph An^d^rus.

[Feb] 9. I started with Ira Willis[10] to go and get the oxen, Cows, waggons and such property as I had taken for [112] my mills. We returned. I paid the before mentioned Elijah Fordham two hundred and thirty dollars, which was all but twenty dollars of the demand he claimed against me. This 20 dollars he and his Wife acknoweledged to be an order they had taken from one Nickerson, which I had never given.

In the mean time my Wife was busily engaged prepareing for the journey. She had got our tent, waggon cloths, s[t]ock &C all in readiness, provisions and goods packed, and all things about ready for the journey. When one Hiram Kimball[11] who at the time held a note against me for some [iron] castings which on useing fell to peices in our hands. I had given the note before I had proved the Castings or found them to be bad. I tried to settle with him. I offered him good property to the amount of the note [but] he would take nothing but the money. This I had not, neither Could I get it. As law and justice were out of the power of a Mormon at this time, there was no alternative for me. Although, had justice taken place I should have recovered damages of him.

^Feb 13th^. He attached my teams and waggons which hindered me for the present from the journey. I used my best of my endeavors to make sale of my property to obtain money to satisy his demand which togather with st Cost was about 65 dollars. It was on the 13th day of Feb [t]his Kimball attached my property. The best I could do. I had to sacrifice property I had allowed two hundred dollars in the trade of my mills to satisfy his demand. It may not be improper to here state that the above mentioned Kimball was living at Nauvoo at the time the Church settled there. He was a poor man or a bankrupt. He took every possible advantage of the poor brethren and had mad himself rich from their necesities. In the mean time he had joined the Church but could now strike hand with our oppressers. The Lord reward him according as his works have been. This togather some little affairs I had to settle, left me rather destitute of the necary comfort ^requisite^ such a journey required yet my yet I was encouraged to persevereance by the glorious hope of geting beyond the reach of our oppressors.[12]

[113] I made every possible exertion to make sale of property to get the money for Kimball before the Constables sale arrived. The Constable knowing the injustice of the affair gave me all the lenity the case would admit, but the best I could do I was obliged to sacrifice property. I had allowed two hundred dollars for in the trade of my mills to settle the above affair, which detained me until April. I now saw my Creditors satisfied and again began to Calculate and arrange the little I had left to the best advantage I could for the journey. I could only fit my self with two waggons, 3 yoke of oxen, & 3 Cows. My family consisted of 9 Persons, viz my Self & Wife, 5 sons & 2 Daughters, besides widow Edwards, an aged Sister that had lived with my family for some time.[13]

April 6. To day was appointed fo general Conference but it rained so steady there was but little business done. A few Persons met, Chose a President [and] Secty &c for the meting & adjourned.

[April] 7 the rain continued allmost unceaseingly Conferrence again adjourned.

[April] 8th. The day was quite pleasing. Conferrence met, acknowledged the Authorities of the Church as usual, & general anxiety was manifested by the Saints to fulfill all that the Lord had Commanded to be done, both in this place & in going out from this Nation. Nothing unusual took [place] until just as the Congregation was dismissed, when Bro O Hide Called the attention of the People, said he had just received a letter containing a rifle ball. The letter did not disclose its Author but left all to conjecture for themselves both its Author & intent.

[Still April 8, 1846]. My teams waggons & all things were now about ready to start the journey. But it seems that I cannot go & leve all my kindred. Some of my Cousins Called on me this evening, Said they knew no way that they move. They could not bear the Idea of my going & leaveing them as they were my Children as it were in the gospel. They were among the first or nearly so who had embraced the gospel in this kingdom in these last days on the earth. Were led by me with the first branch of the Saints that emigrated to Jackson CO. MO in 1831 My heart yearned over them. I asked God to give me wisdom that whereby a scheme might be [114] devised for their good. I at length told them if they would all be agreed and hearken to Council, they Could all go & get to a location or resting place of the Saints in time to raise sufficient to sustain their their families the esueing year. We accordingly agreed to meet the following day to enter in to arrangements to this effect.

[April] 9th. I went to Benjamin Slades, my Cousins, & from there about one mile to Freeborn Demills, my Bro. in law. Found them all anxious to go west, but they had but little to prepare for such a journey as they were among the first of the Saints that embraced the gospe in this dispensation and the first who emigrated to Jackson C.O. MO. & had been robed & driven from time to time by our enemies. The Competance they once had was gone y[e]t they felt no less anxious to be gathered with the People of God and be numbered with those that have made a covenant with him by sacrifice. They with he rest of the Saints were obliged to flee from Jackson CO in the Cold & inclement season of the year 1833. they ^we^ were obliged to leave many of their ^our^ effects & necessaries of life, which we by our industry had accumulated for the Comfort & Conveinience of our families, which to gather with the hardships & privations we have suffered from time to time ^from the hand of our enemies, Leaveing the State of MO. in the Cold dreary winter of 1838 in common with the Saints, had greatly impaird our Constitutions so that we had not that strength to labor & accumulate the the things of this life as we once had.

Yet the pleaseing prospect of getting beyond the tyranny and oppression of our enemies & from the banner so deeply staind with the blood of innoce, from the soil thad was allready crimsoned with the blood of martyered Prophets, & from the air that had so oft been rent with the Cries & mournings of the bereaved Widow & Orphan of the aged Father & heartbroken Mother for the loss of her beloved Child, with the virgins sighs & with grief of thousand of the fair Sons & Daughters of this People, yea, I say the hopes of finding an assylum for the Oppressed although it should be in the wilderness or among the red men of the forest or in the lone vally of the Mountains bouy[e]d our Spirits up & seemed to nerve us with [115] youth ful vigor.

Brother Demill [said] he was ready to enter to enter in to any measures that should be advisable. After some Conversation I told them the best & only measures I Could devise was the following: as but few had teams & the necessary means for the journey, it would be imposible for all to go at once. But if they would be agreed & all lay too wit united energy, the summer should not pass away until they with families should be located at a resting place for the Saints & with all have sufficient raised by their industry with the blessings of heaven to attend their labors to sustain their families the ensuing year.

I shall first propose that all our most able men & teams take their farming tools, seeds of all kinds, & grain &c. ^as many families as shall be expedient at the time^ & go as soon as possible to a resting place which probably will not ex[c]eed 2 hundred mile & put in Crops at the earliest moment. While some few of our Older men Stay to take Charge of the families & leave with the[m] team sufficient so that, as soon as they have settled & their affairs & made wath [what] necessary preparations they can, they may all be moved across the Mississippi or the great Father of waters that gives such a Commanding aspect to our beloved City that we are about to bid farewell for a season. And there be in readiness for ebarking on board, not our splendid ships that float loftily upon the ocean nor upon the elegant steamers that ply so fearlessly upon the majestic waters that bound our devoted City that we are forced to abandon because of our faith in Christ & the virtue & integrity that lives in the bosoms of the Saints, but as soon as we get the soil broke, our grain & seeds in so that we can, we will leave some to tend the crop while the remainder take the teams & return for the families that are wating to embark on board our plain yet safe & & commodious common waggons drawn by oxen, save now & then a few horses & mles, the only way of Conveyance into the wilderness where we expect to be hid up for a little season while the indignation of the Lord passes over.

If you all agree to thes proposals I will abandon the idea of Crossing the mountains this [116] yar although I have made everry arrangement to this effect, & [will] use all my means & efforts to assist in moving you to a place of safety. For it would afford me the greatest pleasure of any object to see those that have long suffered to gather, removed to a place of safety that they may of that number that shall sanctify themselves through obedience to the law, even that of a Celestial, & be prepared to receive an inheritance on that Consecrated land when that blessing is given to the Saints, which is promised after much tribulation. My friends appeard Satisfied, said they believed the above measures the best that could be devised & the only way that some of them could be comfortably removed & sustaind.

I left them to determine the matter & returned home. As the day was pretty far spent I told my wife the arrangements we had made notwithstanding it was a disappointment to her & would probably involve us in many inconveiniences which we should a void by makeing our journey to the mountains this year. She Cheerfully consented. I now f[e]lt a pleaseing prospect of seeing my connexions all Comfortably situated beyond the reach of their oppressors, which afforded me a pleaseing sensation.

[April] 12th. Twelvth I went to meting my Brother in law Freeborn Demill. He informed me that the Slades & Cleaveland ^my cousins^ had concluded they could on [during] the Course of the Season get away them selves.[14] And [they] thought perhaps they could accumulate a little more to their personal advantage by doing so & did not Conclude to join the Com. as above proposed. Some of my uncles did not incline to join us. Bro Demill said he Could not bear the idea of haveing me leave him. My Father allso was not in a situation to move ^until he could sell^. I did not want to leave him. I told Demill allthough they should all leave but him, If he would stick to his integrity he should not be left, for I would even for his sake & the sake welfare of his family underg[o] or [not] abandon the Idea of Crossing the mountains this year. I would leave considerabl flour & provisions I had prepared for that expedition, & Carry what I [117] could for him.

He had one yoke of oxen & a verry light waggon which, with what I could take for him, would Carry [the rest] so that our families could live until we could raise mor. And after we had ploughed & put in our seeds & grain I would leave him with the our boys to tend the crop & I would take team & return & fetch up my Father & his family. Demill joyfully agreed to the above, for, said he, it is impossibly for me to go with out assistance & I cannot bear the thought of staying. We parted. I went home with a sorrowful heart reflecting upon the situation of my friends, for I knew if everry one went his way they would bring suffering upon themselves & it might be a long time before they would all find a resting place with the Saints. But I had done all I could ad I could do nothing mor but commit them into the hands of our great Creator who holds the destines of all men[15]

[April]13th. I went to the temple with my Wife & Children to take our last view & farewell of that noble & magnificent building, which will Stand as a monument of everlasting honor to the Saints who have labored with all diligence to build it, that the Lord might have an house to his name in this place & endow his Saints with power from on high, which he has done in his holy temple, which the righteous ^temple & City^ are obliged to leave for the present, which will stand as a testimony against this nation.

[April] 14th. I covered my waggons & got all ready to lod them for the journey. Bro Demill came to see me. He had need of lumber to make a box ^to his waggon^ [and] Iron to repair it, which I gave him. I alls gave him money to b^u^y nails. I told him go to with his might & get ready as soon as possibl, for I should be waiting on expense for him. So he went his way rejoicing with the fond hope of soon being out from under yoke of tyrrany & oppression of this Nation. Sister Edwards who was at this time liveing wit us & expected to go with us, concluded to go to Bro Lewises[16] so that I could carry mor fo Demill. [118]

[April] 15. I went to the Ferry to see when I could Cross. Agreed with the Ferryman take my effects the next day. I returned, loaded my waggons & got all ready for a ^to^ start.

[April] 16th. The wind blew. I took my oxen, got a waggon, & went to Demill. Helped him about packing & getting ready some of his go[o]ds, provisions, & so forth & put in to my waggon to carry for him. To day the governors troops were in our City prowling about like demons in humane form with pretended claims, Claims on Bro Binghams property. They took his Cattle & waggons & drove them out to Carthage.

Friday the 17th The morning was Clear the wind Calm. I arose befor day, fed my Cattle, yoked them, & Started just as daylight began to dawn. I with my family Commited ourselves & our all in to the hands of our make[r] for protection & bade farewell to our Comfortable home & all our earthly possessions, save the little we took with us. When I arrived at the ferry the boat had just left the shore. The wind rose & blew so hard all day we were obliged [to] lay by all day in our waggons To day the troops were in & took 4 of the Brethren out to Carthage & thrust them in the jail where our b[e]loved Prophet & Patriarch fell victims to the Cursed Crew of demons in human form. I went to see my Father and bid him farewell. I left with sufficient APCS [?] to Collect to support him comfortably until I should have time to return for him.

[April] 18th. Just as the Sun began to dawn upon us we found our selves safely on board the Ferry with our effects, & bade farewell to the shores of our beloved City. We crossed safe. I drove on a little from the landing & stoped to wait for Brother Demill. [I] intended to go & help him but the wind rose & blew so hard the boat Could not Cross. I remaind all day with my family. I pitched my tent & felt to offer thanks that all was as well is it was & that we were thus far preserved on our journey

19th. Sunday. The day is fair the wind favorable fo Crossing the River. I went over on the boat & once more had the satisfac[t]ion of walking [119] through the Streets of the City of Joseph & bholding great works he had so nobly reard & laid the foundation of before his Martrydom. I went to Bro Demills to see how he was getting along for the journey. Stayed all night & assisted him until it was time to return to my family, who I had left in a tent with the Care of my Cattle & waggons.

[April 20]. I returned at evening to my family on the 20 & found them all well & all things Safe

21est. I stayed all day with my family, watching fo & expecting Bro Demill.

[April ] 22. Crossed the river again. Went to see what detaind Demill. I assisted him in getting his effects loaded & down to the river. He Crossed safe. The same evening, drove up to my tent & stoped for the night.

[April ] 23rd. One of my oxen was gone, so we were obliged to tarry all day in search of him. I found I had to take so much for Demill, my team could not hall it. I tried to get another yoke of Cattle But Could not. I found an opportunity to b^u^y a horse & pay such property as I Could command by sacrificeing about one 3rd. I did it.

24th. We left Mississippi a bout noon. We ascended the bluff. Here we all halted & took a farewell view of our delightful City that we had seen & helped to rear even from its infancy. We allso beheld the magnificent Temple rearing its lofty tower towards the heavens, which speaks volums in honor of the wisdom & greatness of our Martyred Prophet who was the founder of this magnifficient temple, as well as the persevereance, econe^m^y, & industry of the Saints who have had to labor with the sword in one hand & their tolls [tools] in the other ever since the Commencement of this noble house. We allso took a farewell look of our Comfortable homes we had labored so hard to rear for the Comfort of our families.

While beholding & pondering upon all this, [I] felt to [express] the gratitude of my heart to our heavenly Father that we had got thus far on our journey. I felt my dependeance upon God & asked his protecting Care to be over us on our Journey. Yea, my heart did swell with in me [120] because of the things which I beheld. For I beheld, with one glance of the eye from the eminance where I stood, the noble works of Joseph the Prophet & Seer & Hiram the Patriarch with whom I had been acquainted even from their boyhood. I knew their worth & mourned their loss. I had allso seen their Martyred, mangled bodies, & knew that they now laid in yonder silent resting place mouldering back to dust. And the hands yet wreaking with their blood wer now arrayed against the Saints.

And while I returned thanks fo our preservation, I did not forget the Brethren that were left & mor especially the poor who had not the means to leave & to go out from under the yoke of tyrranny of this Nation. And while I Pondered in my heart I felt to offer up the following Prayer:

O God the eternal Father I ask thee in the name of Jesus thy Son to let thy blessing rest upon us who are now here standing upon thy footstool & Covered with the heavens. For by this our presen situation & Sacrifice we do witness unto the[e] that we ar determined to be faithful unto thee all the remainder of our days upon the earth & to be gathered with thy People, even those that have made a covenant with thee by sacrifice. Therfore, we ask thee to forgive all of our Sins our frailties & unworthiness to which the we have become subjects through ^the^ weakness of our natures[,] for we confess our weakness& depravity before thee. Wilt thou give unto us thy holy Spirit to enlighten our understanding & let thine Angels guard us on our journey & thy presence go before us.

Preserve us from the Power of the destroy[er,] from Sickness & from accidents & from evils of everry kind. And incline he hearts of the People favorably towards us & to all thy Saints as we are journeying through to the wilderness. Wilt thou soften the hearts of our enemies even as thou didst Phario towards the Children of Israel.

And wilt thou O God, the Eternal Father, bless the the poor among the Saints the Widow & the Fatherless. Send men from the North & from the South, from the east & from the West, to b^u^y their houses & their lands, their furniture & all that is left in the hands of [121] of the Committee[17] for the benefit of thy needy Saints, That thy People may be provided with Teams & waggons, with Provisions ,with Clotheing & with every needful thing fo their journey.

Wilt Thou remember in mich [much]mercy my aged Father. Give thine Angels concerning him & provide all needful blessings for him untill I shall see him gathered with thy Saints in a land Peace wher the wicked do not rule. And even then Let thy gentle Spirit guide & thine holy Angels guard him even down to the vally of death, & in the morning of the first resurrection let him Come forth & be Crowned & receive an inheritance with the Sancified.

Grant to bless thy Saints in so much that they may all soon be gathered from among their oppressors, that they be not partakers of the sins of this wicked Nation & receive not of her plagues. And do thou unto our enemies according to thine own pleasure & thy decree which is unalterable. The Cup they have filled to thy People, fill to them doubled & let the Blood of our Martyred Prophet & Patriarch & of all of our Martyred Brethren be avenged. O Lord, thou seest that in Consequence of our enemies thy People at this time are an afflicted & a poor People. Therefore let thy Special blessings rest upon them. Have mercy upon them & deliver them from their enemies. And deliver our Brethren from prison, for at this time the Scared walls & blood stained flor of Carthage Prison holds the bodies of thy Saints, even that Prison wher our bloved Prophet & Patriarch fel[l], a Sacrifice to the wicked & which blo[o]d & Scars stand as a testimony against the Nation that passes by unnoticed such unheard of Cowardice treachery & Bloodshed. Therefor wilt thou O Lord deliver our Brethren out of that Prison that they may again be restored to the bosom of their families & Brethren, for through the malice of the Wicked & not for Crime wer they thrust in to Prison.

As thy People have labored faithfully to build an house to thy name & are driven from it by Our enemies, let that house [122] let that house stand betwen thee & thy People & Our enemies, that whatsoever thy enemies do to that house do thou even so to them. Who so shall bless that house do thou bless them & who so shall Curse that house let them be Cursed.

O Lor[d] God of Israel, wilt thou remember thy ancient Covenant People & as our journeyings have to be among the remnants of that Scattered & long dispersed People, even among the Lamanites who at this time ar a wild uncivelized race having no knowledge of a redeemer or of the resurection, I ask [t]hee in the name of thy only begotten that thou wilt move upon their hearts & let the prayers of their righteous Fathers begin to be answered upon their heads that th^e^y may be favorably inclind to wards thy Saints. And may they in due time Come to a knowledge of their Redeemer & of the incorrect traditions of their forefathers. And Wilt thou give thy Servants wisdom that they may act in all prudence toward thy Chosen Seed, & ^may^ thine Anointed ones honor thee & be preserved as the apple of thine eye.

Bless thy Saints who are in far Countries & upon the Isleand of the Sea, & prepare the way that thy Sons & thy daughters may come from far Countries & bring their rich treasures with them to beautify an house & City which thy Saints will yet build unto thy name, notwithstanding at this time they are scatered & sorely oppressed by their enemies. Therefore wilt [thou] bless thine afflicted People at this time, & in all their journeying let thine Angels guard & thy presence go before thy Saints. And may thy Saints be faithful to remember their Covenants with the[e] & to do them & to Sanctyfy themselves through obediance to thy law. So that when thou Shalt see fit to Call them forth out of their hideing place, or the Secret Chamber thou hast prepared for them, they may be prepared to Come forth with Songs of everlasting joy to Share on that blessing which thou hast promised should follow after much tribulation, even the redemption of Zion.

And as this thy Servant, with all of his immediate connexions who have empraced the gospel in these [123] last days, have been driven by our enemies from that land by our one togather with hundreds of thy Saints, I ask a special blessing upon us & greatly desire that some of us may yet live to return & receive an inheritance on that consecrated land which shall be an everlasting inheritance for us & our Seed after us.

Again, I commit my Self & Family in to thy Care, O God our heavenly Father, with all our Cattle & effects, which [we] acknowledge [are] a gift and blessing from thee. And I ask thee to take us & our all in to thy Care from this time & preserve us from the power of the destroyer & from all harm. Let no evil befall us & give me thy servant wisdom that I may do thy will & honor thee in all that I do.

And wilt thou preserve my wife & little ones through all our journeyings. Let them live to be gathered upon an everlasting inheritance from whence I have been driven. Let us help to build that holy City unto thy name & prepare us with all thy Saints for a place in thy Celestial kingdom & to thy great name shall be all the honor & glory ascribed through the merrits & in the name of thine only begotten, both now & forever. Even so Amen & Amen.

[April 24, 1846].[18] We again resumed our journey until nearly night when we stoped & camped by the wayside.

[April] 25, We arose in go[o]d Spirits & after our breakfast was over our Cattle well fed & all thing in readiness, we started on traveled about 5 miles from Farmington & camped for night.

[April] 26. Traveled through Farmington. This is considerable of a Town about 20 miles from the Mississippi river. The roads are extremely bad. I broke one of my wagon wheels ^about two miles west of this place,^ fixed in som^e^ false spokes & drove on to a conveinient place for Camping [and] Stoped for the night.

[April] 27. Drove on to a little town Called Boneparte 5 miles west of Farmington where I stoped to get my waggon repaired. Pitched my tent on the bank of the Desmoine & stayed over night. The rain poured dwn like torrents during the night.

[April] 28. It rained al day so that we could not travel. [124]

[April] 29 & 30th. The river was so high we could not cross.

May l & 2ond [1846]. The river continued up so that the Ferry did not think Safe Crossing.

[May] 3rd. Sunday, we Crossed the Desmoine river. Drove about 12 miles & Camped for night, the knight was quite rainy.

[May] 4. We traveled a few miles over the worst road I ever saw. Met Bro Gleeson on his way from the Camp to Nauvoo.[19]

[May] 5. We Continued our journey met Brother Taylor returning from the Camp. It truely rejoiced my heart to see him & hear go^o^d news from the Camp of Israel. The road is allmost impassable on account of frequent rains.

[May] 6. We Camped Close by Pearsons Western Hotell. Here it rained nearly all night. In the morning my Wife Sold some Crockerry, towels &C to recruit ours & Bro Demils Provisions.

[May] 7, 8, & 9th. The traveling was so bad & my loads so heavy we traveled but little. Our load had got damp. We dried them & fited up again for Travelling on the 9th.

[May] 10. We Crossed Soap Creek in Appenooce C.O. passed Sister Allen who lay verry sick in a tent supposed to be dying.

[May] 11th. Monday morning, after travelling a short distance we found our selves on the broad & extensive Priarie. Here we could look forward for miles & behold the Prairie spoted with wag gons, Cattle, horses & Sheep, Men, Women & Children, who all seemed to be in good Spirits as if nerved for the journey by his omnipotent arm. And had it not been for the reflection of the poor who are yet behind & have not the means to get away, I should have rejoiced with all my heart. Thus was joy on one hand & Sorrow on the other mingled in my bosom while I Pondered upon the things around me. Joy because of the thousands who have been enabled thus far to take their journey from their oppressors where the wicked shall not rule nor oppress the Saints & again. I lifted m[y] heart in fervent prayer to bless the Camp of Israel in all their journeyings:

Give the Saints patience o Lord God of Irael. Be thou their front & rear wall, a lamp to their feet, & a guide to their path, until they shall all find a resting [125] place where the oppresser shall cease & they that have wasted thy people with out mercy shall have no more dominion. Send men to buy the property thy Saints have to sell that thy people may be provided with means to leave their oppressore & the Nation allredy Crimsoned with the blood of righteous men. May the weather be favorable & let the elements Conspire to favor thy people in their journeyings. The pit that our enemies have dug for us, let them fall there in. Let them be snared & taken in the net they have spread for thy Saints. And now our Father, I dedicate my self & family & all that we have into thy Care & ask the[e] to give wisdom & understanding unto this thy [s]ervant, that all he does may be don in the name of the Lord & acceptably before thee. Give health to my family, strength & patience, as their journeyings may demand. Give us with all thy Saints everry needful blessing even so, Amen.

The rich & variegated Prairie looks as if nature had done her best to Cheer the weary & attract the admiration of the raveler, while our Children amuse themselves with the sweet & beautiful flowers which grow spontaneous. It gives a refreshing fragrance to all & serves to Cheer us on our way.

[May] 12, We stoped to wash & bake &C.

[May] 13. Pursued our journey passed the last house wher white man lives. Pitched our tent & Stayed until the 15 on account of rain[,] when we again resumed our journey Slowly.

[May 16]. Nothing special occuring untill on the 16 we Crossed a trace we did not understand, but as we saw teams before us we followed the largest road.

[May] 17. We found we were too far north & had traveled nearly two days out of course. We forded a Creek which we supposed to be white breast & went on bending our Course towards the Courses we designed to go or supposed the Camp [Mt. Pisgah] to be.

[May] 18. Traveled all day.

[May] 19. Traveled a few miles & stoped our teams. I took my horse & went to find the road that led to the Camp. Found it & returned to my waggons and family a little before night.

[May] 20 Wednesday. The rain fell s[o] fast we did not attempt to travel until nearly non [noon] on the 21.

[May 21]. We resumed our journey until the evening of the 23rd.

Sunday the 24. The rain prevented traveling the fore part of the day. In the afternoon we went a few miles. Brothers G A Smith & A Lyman rode out & met us about 2 miles from the Camp.[20] The first salutation from them was “there Comes [126] the oldest mormon now liveing” (haveing refference to my age in Church & Preisthood) , accompanied with “how do you do Bro Newel” &c &c. Truely did the Prophet say the Countenance of a friend rejoiced the heart of man & truely the salutation of a friend is like o^i^1 or the balm of gilad to a friend, was theirs to me After talking a while they invited me to drive on & they would accompany us to the Camp. I thanked them but told them as the day been some rainy we had not washed & Changed our clothes & I thought we had better Stopt, Stay over night & make ourselves Clean & prepare to go in to the great Camp of Irael on the following morning. They consented bade us good evening & re[t]urned.

[May] 25th.[21] We arose & after a verry heavey shower milked our Cows, eat our breakfast, & started in good Spirits for the Camp. Just before we arrived Bros G A Smith & A Lyman two of the Twelve again Came out & met us. And after a cordial salutation with them we passed on to the Camp. We came first to Father [William]Huntingtons, which about half reared. Here we beheld a sample of econemy & industry unequaled by any other People on earth. And saw the smileing countenance of many a friend & heard their kind salutations that truely made the wilderness seem like the garden of Eden, & the busy hum of the ploughman, the sound of the axe, the industry of the Brethren, all seemed to say the wilderness will soon blossom like the rose & become a fruitful field.

We drove on a short distance & pitched our tents & considered ourselves at home.

As I had bee[n] obliged th [to] Sacrifice so much, not only in Selling my mills but allso again I was obliged to make great Sacrifice to Satisfy the demands of the before mentioned Kimball & Fordham & pay some other demands, besides waiting for & assisting Bro Demill to come to place, I did not expect to be able to Cross the mountains this year. But intended to stop at this pl Stake or resting place for the present & do all I could to gather up my Fathers family to this place, that they may be out of the reach of the gentiles & be prepared to go up to the standard of liberty to the ensign of the nations, wher it shall be reard, & allso to share in that blessing which is promised after much tribulation. For in poverty I have labored [127] & sought to keep the commandments of God. And notwithstanding the slowness of many of my kindred to keep the Commandments & arise & Shake of the yoke of oppression & bondage that they may continue to be of that number ^who^ are gathered to gather, haveing made a Covenant by Sacrifice, My bowels of Compassion still yearn over them.

And as I said I had labored in poverty, I had allso labored in Spirit by night & by day that they may be saved in the kingdom of God, for I could not bear the Idea that one soul of them should be lost or that they should loose the Crown that is laid up for these righteous who have been the first laborers & ^have^ been faithful in this kingdom from the beginning, through all the scenes of trial & persecution we have had to pass, if they continue faithful unto the end. The Crown is yet befoe but blessings will soon be ours if we continue faithful. I now felt to offer up the thanks & gratitude of my heart to our heavenly Father for the preservation of our lives & health & for the privilige of meeting with the Church in this resting place.

After dinne[r] [I went] over to see President Young, Elder Kimball & others. The first salutation I had from Phs[22] Young was “how do you d Bro Knight have you fetched your mill with you?” “No sir,” Said I, “I lacked team so I left[it].” “Well,” said he, “are you going over the mountains with us to build another?” I replied, “if you say so.” “Well,” Said he, “I say so.” I Afterwards had a talk with Elder Kimball. He Said I had better prepare to go on the best that I could. I told him my situation & why I was thus unprepared for such a journey. “Yet,” said I, “at what is required of me I never look back but will make everry exertion & do all I can.”

After enjoying a short interview with the Brethren I returned to my family. Told my wife we had got [128] to prepare to Cross the mountains. This was quite unexpected to her, yet with her usual Calmness & fortitude She replied, “I am ready to do or to go where ^or what^ ever you are counciled [to]do for, notwithstanding our means are small, the Lord is able to preserve us insomuch that we Shall not perish. I had rather trust in the Lord in keeping Council, allthough we have but little, than to depart from it for the prospect of mor ease & plenty. If Brother Young says go I should not expect a^n^y prosperity in Staying.” We accordingly began to make Calculations for a further journey.

This Place the Brethren Called M.t. Pisga.[23] It is Situated a little east of the middle fork of grand river or on its bluff. It is about [ ] miles from the City of Joseph. The land is owned by the indians who freely have given the Brethren liberty to Settle here. There William Huntington Sen. is appointed to Preside here, C C Rich & E T Benson for his Council. From the present appearance & industry manifested by the Brethren, they will be Crowned with an abundant harvest in the fall for their families to subsist upon during the winter & to recruit & load up many for a mountain voyage next Spring.

There is allso a resting place situated on the East fork of grand river about thirty miles from this place Called Garden Grove, wher a goodly number of the Brethren have stoped to raise a Crop this year. Bro Samuel Bent is appointed to Preside, Aaron Johnson & David Fulmer are his council.[24] It will be their object the[r]e same as at Mt. Pisga to raise provisions & do all in their power to aid & assist in establishing the Church in a safe resting place some where in the region of the moun^tains^. [129]

I told Brother Demill I could not assist him to go any further, for my team was not sufficient to carry provisions sufficient ^to^ sustain our families through, nor was it suitable ^to^ go even with my own family. I told him if he would assist me a bout going on ^I thought^ it would prove a blessing to him and ^be^ an advantage to me, for I would go and prepare a place for him to come and should be under obligation to use all my endeavors to hereafter assits him in getting up to the standard of liberty.

In the commencement of our journey I found I had taken so much load for Brother Demill my team could not draw it. I was obliged to mak the best shift I could. Oxen I could not get with out going some distance in to the Country and paying cash for them. This [I] could not do, for I had not money enough to half buy one yoke of oxen. I found an opportunity to buy a horse and turn out a new Saddle. I had some bedding, a rifle, pair of ^otihn^ [?] and so forth to gather with ten dollars cash. to ^twice^ the amount Not withstanding I had to pay a bout twice what the horse was worth, I thought it better to do it than leave Demill. My wife left some things and we by this means and by occasionally doubleing teams we got through, so that Brothr Demill will have provisions enough to last his family till harvest.

The assistance I asked bro Demill was to take the above mentioned horse, a stone [stove], some Chairs, and some other articles I could not carry ovr the mountains and let me have one yoke of oxen. I told him I thought he could take the horse and harness, and such property as [I] could let him ^have^, in to the country and trade them for young cattle which he could break in the course of the winter and have a better team to go in the Spring tha[n] he could have by keeping his oxen. So that it would be a present advantage to me ^and^ result in the same to him in the end. But all this was to no effect. I could get no assistance from him atall, but on the contrary he rather censured me for now leaveing him and not doing still more for him. But this I was obliged to do for I had allready done all that my circumstances would admit of. For I had left of my own goods and provisions to fetch his, so that I shall be obliged to sell off our Clothing and all that we can live ^dispense^ with out to recruit provisions for the journey.

I now commenced fitting up and prepareing my loads and waggons for a further campaign, intending, as I could trade nothing here, to go on to the settlements[25] and there trade my horse for oxen ^and^ get provisions fo^r^ the journey.

[May 31]. Sunday the 31 the People assembled for meting. After a short adress by G A Smith, President Young arose proposed that this meting be a general Conference for the purpose of attending to the general Church buisness. It rejoiced my heart to see the wisdom & prudence with which he had managed & was still manageing for the benefit of of this People. May the Lord ever give unto him a double portion of that Spirit that supported Joseph through his life for the burden is great he has to bear. [130]

June 1st [1846] Monday morning. I had intended to cross the river to day but rain prevented.

[June] 2. One of my oxen was gone. I spent nearly all day in search of him.

[June] 3. I got my Cattle togather, my oxen yoked and all things about ready for a start, when Brother [Thomas?] Grover came up and said he wished I would wait till the following morning so that he could go in company with me. I waited for him.

[June] 4. Thursday morning, all things being now ready, I with my family bid farewell to mount pisga and again commited my all ^my self^ in to the hands of my creator and asked his blessings to rest upon my family, ^my self^ my Cattle, and all that I possessed. And to give unto me wisdom, knowledge and understanding that I may do all that I do in the name of the Lord. I drove on about three miles and stoped to bait my cattle. I waited some time for Brother Grover. He did not come I left my family to take ^Care^ of my teams and went back to mount Pisga to learn what detained him. When I got there I learnt that he had sent back to the farmer [former] first resting place of the Saints [Garden Grove], a distance of about thirty miles for a chest of tools. He was daily expecting it.

I went back to my family and waited untill sunday the 7.

[June 7]. Brother Grover did not come. I went back again to Mount Pisga. The day was pleasant. I attended meting. Elder O Hide arrived to day from Nauvoo. He addressed the congregation. Went ^to^ Brother Grovers. The Chest of tools had not arrived. I told him I could not wait for him much longer [and] as I should be obliged to go out in to the Country to trade, it would be expedient for me to be on the journey soon. He was not willing for me to go and leave him. Said he would go on the next morning ^day^.

[June] 8. Towards evening Brother Gover came on [and went with the Knights].

[June] 9. Tuesday morning, Brother we started on our journey. The road was tolerable good and the weather favorable for traveling. We passed by Bro O[rson] Prats Co.

[June] 10. Crossed the west fork of Grand river.

[June] 11. Crossed Platt.

[June] 12 passed Father John Smiths Co. They had stoped on the acount of sickness. Tthe same day we passed through an Indian town of the Potowatome nation situated on the Otowa ^Nodaway^ river.[26] They come out in great numbers to see us pass and expressed every mark of friendship towards us. They generally looked well and healthy and allthough they could speak but little English I could read much from their appearance. Their countenance bespoke inteligence all though it was shrowded in native simplicity. The appearance of these red men of the west brought many ^re^flections and caused my heart to flow with gratitud to God that he has given me an existence upon the earth in this momentous ^age^ for it truely is a day of great events, a time that the ancient Prophets looked down upon with deep intrest and wrote their most enlivening strains, and offered up the inmost desire of their souls for the accomplishment of the work that is required of this generation. For in this generation shall Israel be restored and the kingdom of [131] God set up on the earth and shall prevail. The Red men of the forest will ere long come to a knowledge of a redeemer and the Gentile yoke shall be broken from off their necks. For according to the knowledge that we have gained from the book of mormon, they are of the blood of Israel and for them is reserved great blessings which are soon to be poured out upon their heads.

[June] 13. We passed Elder Taylors company. They had encamped to stay over the sabbath.

[June] 14. Passed Elder [William] Claytons Co. The same day we Crossed Isthtabotany river.

[June] 15. We traveled all day.

[June] 16. Tuesday. We came up to the Camp. They had stopped nea[r] the Missouri River at Council bluffs. The Brethren had commenced a boat to ferry over the River. I went to see some of the Twelve and found it would be nessary to go in to the Country to trade as soon as we could.

[June] 17 Brother ^Grover^ and myself arose in the morning and after asking Our heavenly Father to protect us and to turn the gentiles favorably towards us that we might obtain grain and Cattle and all such things as was needful for our journey in exchange for such property as we had to carry with us, we committed Our selves, Our families, our Cattle, and all that we posse,^sse^d in to the Care of our Creator and started on.

[June] 18. We came to a settlement where we purchased Cows and grain &c for our journey.

[June] 20. We spent the days in shelling and put up our grain.

[June] 21. Sunday morning started to go to the Camp of the Saints where we had left our families. We travelled about forty miles,

[June 22]. Arrived safe, and found our families all well on Monday P M about four oclock.

[June] 23 & 24. The wind blew high with some rain. The air was quite cold for the season so that it rendered the situation of our women and Children quite inconveneient, y^e^t they manifested patience and resignation in the midst of privations, sufferings, and hardships which they unavoidably had to endure. The thoughts ^of^ being freed from the iron yoke of tyrrany and oppression of those that had so often rendered us houseless and homeless and left us destitute upon a merciless world, and had added to this the most barbarous and cruel murders ^that has ever been recorded on the page of history,^ and that to of our best and most worthy men, buoyed their spirits up and gave them fortitude to brave the most appalling storms and dangers of the western wiles.

How sweet is liberty to the oppressed and how joyful shall this People be when when they can build houses and inhabit them and plant vineyards and eat the fruit there of, when they can worship God and none shall dare to rend their rights asunder, when the blood of martyrs shall cease, and the tear of the widow and Orphan be stayed. We are true Americans. Our fore fathers have fought and bled for liberty and [132] their children are rightfull heirs to that freedom they so nobly won. God, liberty, and patriotism is our motto. For it we intend to live and for it are ready to die.

[June] 27. Two years to day have passed in to eternity since our honorable Prophet and patriarch fell martyrs by the most cowardly cruel and yet unheard of barbarity that ever put forth the the puny arm to accomplish the work of death upon the noblest men that ever had an existance upon the earth. Sad indeed is ^the^ remembrance of that cruel deed to this People. Our present situation, scattered as we are near the wide wilderness priarie, shrinks into Oblivion, or seems but a light momentary thing in comparison to that dreadful scene. When O Lord shall thy people be wholly ^be^ dilivered from blood thirsty men? Me thinks I hear the spirit whisper, hold on to thy integrity a little longer the and the victory will be yours, for in the last days shall my kingdom be established and prevail.

[June] 28 Sunday. I atended meeting. Pesident Young and Elder Kimball addressed the Brethren in verry appropriate manner. Their discourse was well calculated to encourage the honest to persevere in well doing. The Brethren met in the afternoon to attend to arrangements for the journey.

[June] 29. Moved up to president Youngs Co.

[June] 30.[27] The United States officers came here.

July 1[1846]. I intended to go to the Saw mill and prepare to go down to the river to assist in ferrying, but a meting was called to give to officers an opportunity of laying their business before the people. They had come to enlist soldiers for the Califoria frontiers country. President Young told the brethren the hand of God was in this move and it would prove a great blessing to them if they would enlist and make the number of soldiers called for. President Young said he would return to mount pisgah and lay the affair before the brethren there and have them come on and join with the Soldiers here.

July 2. I moved down to the river. Here I pitched my tent and assisted in makeing a road to ascend the bluff, working on the boat, swiming cattle across the river, and so forth, untill wednesday the eighth when I crossed my waggons, family, and cattle over the river.

[July 8]. Drove on about four miles to the general encampment of the saints.[28] Stayed over night with my family.

[July] 9th. I went to the river again to assist the brethren in crossing. Assisted until saturday night when returned to my family. Spent the sabbath with them. Toward night the brethren were called to gather. Inteligence was [told] that president Young had arrived from mount Pisgah at the general encampment on the other side of the river. [133]

[July 10].[29] A general attendance of the brethren of the was requested at that place the following day [meaning July 10] for the purpose of makeing up the companies of volunteers for the California expedition.

[July] 13. Monday morning I went to the place of appointment where president Young, Elder Kimball, and others made a statement of the affair showing the advantage it would give us to go and defend that country. The day passed off well. Volunteers seemed were on hand which loudly spoke the patriotism that lived in the bosoms of our people and their willingness to defend their Countries rights, not withstanding we have been cast out as exiles.

At this time when war seems to threaten the nation, on every hand the great men of the earth begin to feel after the Mormons, notwithstanding their eyes have been blind and their ears deaf to all the petitions and entreaties of the Saints for these many years. They have suffered the innocent to be hounded, in Chains and groan in prisons, virgins to be rob[b]ed, female innocence and virtue to be insulted, the blood of Martyrs to stain the earth from which they receive their daily bread which has caused the innocent the widow and the orphans cries to ascend into the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth, and all so placed him who holds the destinies of the nations of the earth at this time on high to gather with many witnesses whose souls are with t[h]ose that John saw under the altar of God crying day and night to be avenged of their enemies who dwell on the earth.

Yea, I say at this time when the Lord seems to be about to come out of his hideing place to vex the nation. They begin to awake to a sense of what they have suffered upon ^the^ innocent, so much so as to send men after us into the wilderness to intreat of us to go and defend the nations rights, that has thus wantonly expeled us from our rights and and comfortable homes. It truely affords the saints satisfaction that they have the privilege of showing by their works that honor and patriotism that has ever lived in their bosoms and burns in their veins

[July] 14 ^and^ 15. Stayed with my family.

[July] 16.[30] President Young called the brethren to gather to lay before them further arrangements for the general good of this People. He proposed that those that were fitted for crossing the mountains should organize and be on the march as soon as they could [and] that another company go to grand Island[31] and there make a settlement and put in crops so that there may be sufficient resting places for the Saints in their journings through the wilderness. And all such as are not prepared for a further journey at this time stop near this place, and [134] do all they can to bring on the remainder of the Church and prepare to sustain them selves and Cattle through the winter as well as possible. After this meting was closed I went work on the road as it was necessary that considerable labor should be done before the road was finished.

[July] 17. I crossed the river in hopes to trade for a yoke of cattle but did not accomplish it.

[July] 18. Fixed my yokes to yoke my cows and make necessary preparations for crossing the mountains. For president Young’s request is that I shall go on for the purpose of erecting mills, preparing for a carding machine, and so forth. And as I could not get oxen sufficient to draw my loads, I resolved to yoke my cows and never cease my exertions until I had accomplished all that was required at my hand.

[July] 19. This morning president Young, Elders Kimball and [Willard] Richards returned to our Camp, called the Brethren togather in the after noon to attend to arrangements for organizeing a company to cross the mountains, and to impress upon Brethren the necessity of being faithful and diligent in all things that are entrusted to their care. And in particular to have the herdsmen be diligent in attending to their duties. As the Indians corn is infenced it required great attention to keep our Cattle from destroying it.

Monda 20. I worked on the road.

[July] 21. Started on for the mountains.

[July] 22. Stoped at Elkhorn river. This is considerable of a stream about a hundred yards wide and so deep that we could not ford it. It is a bout 22 miles from the Missouri River. As there was no ferry boat we got a raft of dry logs and floated our wagons across on it. This evening president Young, Elders Kimball and Ricchards arrived here to organize or give us the nessesary instructions for organizeing and Crossing the mountains.

[July 23] Early in the morning the brethren assembled on the Bluff a little east of the river to attend to the above named buisness. ^President Young called for a nomination for some who should be duly appointed to lead a company over the mountains or to some good valley or good and safe location in the region of the mountains. The following persons were nominated and unanimously appointed Captains to lead the first Compa[n]y duly organized by the regular authorities of the Church of latter day saints: Joseph Holbrook John A Miksel [Mikesell] and myself Newel Knight.^

After the Council was over, Brothers Young, Richards, Kimball, and Hollman came to my tent where Brother [Jerome Boneparte] Kempton had “dressed the fatted calf” and Sister [Maria] Kempton and my wife had made it ready for our breakfast. And I felt thankful for the privilege of entertaining the best most honorable men of the earth, for I look upon their honor to far out shine any monarch that sits upon any earthly throne.

But to return to the subject or the business of the day, after breakfast was over we resumed the business of Crossing the river. And after Our President & ^his^ Council had given us such instructions as thy deemed proper for us, they they bade us farewell & returned. As soon as we had all safely crossed the river we proceeded to arrange the Company in tens so that all things might be in order for travellin in the morning. The following is a correct Copy of each ten. [135]

A schedule of the first fifty first ten on their way over the mountains, July 23 1846, Elkhorn Creek:


Joseph Holbrook

Hanna Holbrook

Judson Tolman

Sarah Tolman

Charolotte Holbrook

Joseph L. Holbrook

Catharine Barton


Anson Call

Marry A. Call

Bosco Call

Vasti M. Call

Chester Call

6262  7 

Harvey Call

Mary Ann Call

Francis Call

314   1 

Josiah Call

Henrietta Call

212   1 

Ransom Shepherd

Adaline Shepherd

Jacob Shepherd

Mary Shepherd

Samuel Shepherd

527  13 

Fornatus Dustin

Rosaline Dustin

212  11 

Chandler Holbrook

Eunice " "

Diania " "

Maria " "

Eunice " "

Orson " "

Joesph " "

7210 126 

Cyris Call

Sally Call

Sarah Machem

Homer Call

Omer Call

514   1 

Dwight Hardin

Phebe " "

George " "

Charles " "

Alma " "

Elizabeth " "

Phebe E " "

712   2 

Hiram Mace

Elizabeth “ “

Larenerd “ “

312   1 
Anson Call Capt of the first ten. R Shepard Clerk

2nd Ten


Newel Knight Co

Lydia " "
Samuel " "
Sally " "
James F " "
Joseph " "
Newel " "
Lydia " "
Jesse " "
92641 2

Groam ^Jerome^ Kempton

Maria " "

James Porter
Betsey " "
Lydia Ann 
Elizabeth " "
George " "
James " "
Martha " "
72 2   
Jacob Houtz
Lydia " "
Mary " "
Lucinda " "
Asa Rice " "
52 3   
Geroam B. Kemmpton, Capt

3rd Ten


David Lewis No

Doritha " "
Araminta " "
Preston " "
David L. sister
Mary Arkins
Neviah " "
638 1442
Beson Lewis
Elizabeth " "

John " "

Wm Lewis

Martha " "
Elizabeth " "

Frederick Bainbridge

Neriah Lewis
Rebecca " "
Wm " "
Marion " "
Robert " "
Sarah Hendricks
Tabitha " "
Wm Bryant
Anthony Blackburn
Betsey " "
Thomas " "
Matilda Patterson
416 23  
Isaac Hill
Clara " "
Nancy " "
Elizabeth " "
Lucinda " "
Mary " "
Wm " "
712 32  
David Lewis, Capt. And Clerk

4th Ten


John A Miksel

Catherine Miksel

George Miksel

314 3  

I H Miksel

Margaret " "
Joseph " "
John A " "
Asa Barton
Mary " "
Martin Dewitt
Sarah " "
John G Wilkins
Nancy " "
Alexander " "
Jane " "
Ausker " "
514 3  
George Sweet
Mary Ann Sweet
Henry " "
Keziah " "
Robert " "
Phebe " "
614 2  
Solomon Hancock
Phebe " "
Alta " "
Solomon Jr " "
Elijah " "
Jacob " "
Isaac " "
726 2  
Solomon Hancock, Capt. Asa Barton, Clerk

5th Ten


Louvrin H Dame

Sophia " "
Phidelia G " "
Laura A " "
Wesley W " "
Tamson P " "
Simon B " "
Sally M Wade
Minerva Wade



Wm. H Dame
Lovina " "
214 1  
Daniel Drake
Patience " "
Orison " "
Horace " "
Sarah I Wilson
5210 616
W G Paine
Sarah " "
Eunice " "
Sarah I P " "
414 117

Daniel N. Drake

Cyntha P " "
Lucy " "
Sylvia Johnson
414 117

Dames Teamsters

Martin Crandell

John O Augers

Wm. B. Maddock

Louvrin H Dame, Catain, Elkhorn, July 1846

6th Ten


Erastus Bingham

Lucinda " "
Sanford " "
Meria L " "
Willard " "
Edwin " "
Brigham " "
Thomas Gates Sen8312241018

Jacob Gates

Mary Gates

Elizabeth C Gates

314 2  

Mary Freeman

Ed " "
Roxana " "
Oscar " "
416 2  

Olive B. Bingham

Olive L " "
Erastus P " "

Rodney Badger

Nancy " "
Nancy M " "
Lydia " "

Maria Bleliss

Louisa " "

214 11 

Fielding Garr

John T " "
Wm H " "
Abel W. " "
Caroline M " "
Sarah Aaura " "
Mary V " "
Benjamin T " "
Erastus Bingham Capt 6th Ten, Elkhorn July 23 1846

7th Ten


Wm Mathews

Elizabeth " "
Thomas " "
Elizabeth " "
John " "
E C " "
M C " "
N C L " "
E L " "
Pyton Nowlin
Merrert " "
B W " "
I P " "
Aanda " "
Wm. C. " "
V. C " "
N P " "
IV Now, black

Samuel Now[lin], black

Lovina Now[lin], black


Mules 8

Horses 1

David Calvert
Wm " "
Wm " "
Ann " "
Ellen " "
Samuel " "
Nancy " "
Farah " "
M T " "
Julia " "
1016 22 
Elkhorn July 23, 1846. Wm Mathews Cap., P W Nowlin Clerk

[140] [July] 24.[32] The remainder of our company get over the [Elkhorn] river a little before noon.[33] After calling our company to gather to give the necessary instructions for travling and camping at night, ^on the bank of plat river^ we started on [and] traveled a bout eight miles and encamped for the night ^on the bank of a stre of the Plat river^.

[July] 25. We traveleld untill about noon when we stoped to bate our teams. Here we called the Brethren to gather to learn whether our guns ammunition and all necessary preparations for our safety were were in readiness. After which we traveled until it was time to camp for night.

[July] 26. Sunday we traveled about half the day when we found a suitable place to stop. Encamped by a slue. The water was not quite as good as the river yet it was passable. We stayed until the following morning ^by the river side^;

[July] 27. Again resumed our journey. The day was verry warm. Just after we stoped at evening, an ox kicked Brother Call and injured his leg considerable. He is Capt of the first ten in our camp. Brother Shepherd called on me to baptize him for the recovery of his health, this evening.[34] He has been ill for some time. This is quite a commodious place for camping. The ^west^ bank of a strem called [ ] forms a wall on one side, situated so that our long circle of waggons ^oposite^ forms a safe and bautiful pasture for our ^cattle^ to graze upon. With in this circle is a cool clear spring of water which cannot fail to invite the weary traveller to stop and refresh him self. Fire wood is allso on hand. In fact it seems as if nature has done her best to provide a comfortable hotel for emigrants here on this lone long wilderness priarie.

Our course has been west or ^n^early so from Elk horn. We crossed the bottom a distance of a bout 8 miles where where we struck the Platt. The soil is generally sandy an fertile. The grass in many places two feet higher than the cattles backs. Up to this time the bottom has been quite level. We have not ascended or decended at any one place four feet. There is but little timber and that is altogather willow and Cottonwood or principally so. The Platt is considerable of a river. Its bottom is sandy. The water is clear and good. The bank generally commodious fo watering cattle.

[July] 28. We traveled a bout 14 or 15 miles. The road lays so far from the river we were obliged to drive the whole distance without water. Here we again struck the river and found good place for camping. We passed some verry singular looking sand banks, which verry much resembled an Oregon Company at the distance. The sand is from them. The traveller could hardly be convinced to the contrary. We had a refreshing shower last night which coled the air so that it has been comfortable traveling to day.

[July] 29. Traveled about 10 miles. Found a place to water Cattle a bout 6 miles from where we stayed last night. Our encampment to night is on the rivr just were at the entrance of a little branch which heads betwen the road and river.

[July] 30. We got our teams in readiness in good season and started on. ^The soil has been sandy and rather barron. tody until towards [Toward] evening it appeared mor^. Traveled untill about noon. We found water for our Cattle just at the entrance of a creek which we soon forded.

While here resting and bateing our Cattle some of the brethren requested that a meting should be called, which was done. Meting was opened by brother Solomon Hancock [141] singing one of his California songs. It appeared that the organization of our Company had not been fully understood by some, which togather with the misunderstanding of some things or jeaousies that some thing wrong would exist, had rather disturbed the feelings of some few of our company. We gave all an opportunity to exppress their feelings. The Captains ^proposed^ ordrs and regulations for the Camp, but there seemed to be rather a division of feelings among the brethren and our meting broke up rather in confusion. ^a young man who was with us but had never

Just after this meting closed, John T Garr, a young man who was with us but had never been baptixed, came to me and requested me to administer the ordinance to him which I did. We got our teames in readiness and again pursued our journey. It so happened that we did not find water at a suitable hour for camping, which greatly disturbed the uneasy spirit that had showed its self at the above mentioned meting. Some wanted to stop without water, while others insisted it would not injure our teams so much to drive an hour after dark as it would to stop with out wood water.

In the midst of this, Solomon Hancocks boy fell from his waggon and broke his arm. The forward teamsters were not apprized of tis accident until they had come near to Beaver Creek where they designed to stop.[35] It was thought expedient to go on there as there had ^were^ some sick in the forward teams ^waggons^ who verry much needed water. This gave great dissatis with some. Suffice to say some went on and others stoped with out wood or water while their Children were crying with thirst. We arrived a[t] the Creek bout ten in the evening where we found a good place to water our Cattle and ^a^ convenient place for camping, making a distance of travel for the day about 18 miles.

[July] 31. The remainder of our company came up. After breakfast we called the brethren to gather with a determination to have an understanding of all matters pertaining to our journey, and if there there was any root of bitterness in our camp to root it out and plant a root of peace and union instead thereof. Capt Miksel spoke first of the necessity of there being a union of feelings and among us. After which I arose and after setting forth in ^short^ the organization of the Church and showing the strength and power of union and the necesity of this Camp ^and alls the present organization of this Company^ being agreed and acting for one general good, not only for the preservation of our horses and cattle but allso that we ourselves ^may^ enjoy the Spirit of God ^and^ continually have his presence with us and his angels to go before us. That we may be kept from the power of the destroyer and not fall a prey ^to any enemy^ or be overcome with any evil. I endeavored to give the brethren a correct understanding of the organization of this Company and the great benefit it would be to all that were faithful in performing the ^journey^, it being recorded on the Church record [of] president Youngs first company regularly organized to cross the mountains.

I wanted them to act like men and be valient in all that is [142] entrusted to us, for if we do not prove ourselves faithful in this expedition we cannot expect to be entrusted with more of ^or^ be counted faithful stewards over what he hath ^been^ commited to us. Not ^only^ so but it would greatly facilitate the emigration here after if we accomplished the journey this season so that we can put in and raise good crops the coming year, as it would supercede the necesity[of] carrying a years provision over the mountains as we have to at the present time.

After I had finished my remarks, Capt Holbrook arose and said he fully coincided with with what had ^been^ said and exhorted the Brethren to be careful to give heed to Council and to be faithful and diligent in what was commited to them. After which we called a vote to ascertain whether they would all agree to lay aside all jealousies and hardness, and after haveing a full understanding of the design of this Company and our feelings and designs towards each other, we cal we wanted to know whether the officers and organitation should stand as they now are or as president ^Young^ has organized us. To which they voted unanimously. I now felt return thanks to my heavenly Father for the union that has been effected among us. we now commenced to r [Then] when the following resolutions unanimously adopted: Resolved that we unanimously uphold the our officers & that we are Satisfied with our present organization & allso that we go on in union & ley all feelings that have existed in consequence of missunderstanding ^some two or three week previous^.

Soon after our meting closed, George Miller, who had gone a head and had stoped about 6 miles beyond, had heard we were at this place and came to see us. He said ^Charles Crissman, Capt of his 50 who had returned from the Springs [Cold Springs] with us, fetched directions to him from President Young to^ President Young [who] had sent instructions to him to Preside over us and that we should wait until his Com were ready to go on, which would detain us a number of days. And this being ^contrary^ to any directions President Young gave us, it was agreed by our Co unanimously that I should go back and see President Young. Miller said he would go with me.

The next day, [probably August 1], soon after we stoped, Miller sent a messenger to our Camp requesting all the Capts of our Co to come to his Camp to council with him, which we did. He agreed to be at our Camp the next day at ten oclock to go with me to see President Young. Next day [August 2] he arrived about noon, said he had concluded to send Mr. [John] Kay and not go himself.

Kay and myelf started on our mission and arrived at the springs [Cold Springs] about noon on Tuesday [August 4]. The Camp there were just starting to find a location up the Missourie river where they can winter their their Cattle. He [Brigham Young] and his council attended to our business so that we started the next day about non for our Camp. Arrived there in safety about 5 in the evening on Friday [August 7]. Crisman had given Miller wrong information with respect to our Com[pany]. But, it was so late in the season it was deemed [143] wisdom for us to stop and winter in the vicinity of the Pawnee village, by the Council there.[36]

August 1[1846] our ^Camp^ drove up to the loup fork of Platt distance about 5 miles here we stoped until Tuesday the 4 [of August] to set our waggon tire and do such blacksmithing as was needful for our journey, when the Camp drove up the river about 4 miles, where they forded the river it with safety.[37]

About two miles distant from where they forded the river was an old missionary station. The Indians there were of the Pawnee nation who were mostly out on a buffalo hunt. A little before we came to this place the Sue Indians with whom the Pawnees had for some time been at variance had burnt the Pawnees Village and drove the Missionaries away.[38] Bishop Miller was stoped with his Company at the old Missionary Station. He said he had contracted with the Missionaries for grain, Iron, and so forth, which they had left, and [he] advised that our Co should take as much of the same in to their waggons as they passed as they could hall. Accordingly they did so and all things seemed to move well. We all safely forded the river and camped for the night.

This evening [August 4] Brother Kimball’s Co arived to the river where they camped, intending soon to cross the river.

[August] 5 this morning Bishop Miller sent an express to our camp requesting an interview with us before we proceeded on our journey. Caps Holbrook and Micksel, with such of our Co as were not for to guard our Cattle and waggons, went to his Camp. They agreed to wait untill his [Miller’s] Company got over the river and allso Brother Kimballs.

It was thought advisable that the Camp move about 2 miles up the river to find ^a^ more convenient place for camping, in which move a spirit of division showed its deformed head. Capt Lewis who had been appointed Seargeant of the guard gave orders for the move, when Capt Micksel, he being the only one of the three first Capts [of Newel’s seven tens] present, present gave contrary Orders to what Capt Lewis had done, saying Miller had given him orders to arrange the Company as he was doing. All and started on with his team, ordering the Capts. of tens to follow with their respective Cos. Micksel drove on to the designed ground for camping and commenced forming a circle. Capt Lewis saw the move and rode up, requested Capt Micksel to stop, ^turn back^ and form according to his directions. But Micksel utterly refused and Commanded the whole Co. to come to him. Capt Kempton ^and Co^ of the second ten, and who had charge of my teames in my absence, followed Miksel. Some others fell in the rear. Lewis refused to join the circle formed by Micksel and formed another a few yards distant, where the remainder of the Co stoped ^with him^. Capt Holbrook did not arrive with ^his^ waggons untill after dark.

This evening both Kimballs and Millers Company drove up to our camp, after which the respective Capts of each Co [144] met and attended to placeing sufficient guard around our encampment and see that all necessary preparations were made for our safety, as the Pawnees had just returned from their hunt. It was thought nessesary to be well prepared lest they might attack us. The night was clear and beautiful.

[August] 6. Capt Miller gave orders to have all the Iron returned, which our Co. had taken. The request was promptly attended to. This evening the Indians robed two of our boys, who were out on guard for the safety of our Cattle, of their arms and guns and mules. A posse of men went in pursuit of them but to no purpose.

[August] 7.[39] There was nothing special occured, all hand were waiting for the ^return^ of their messengers who had been sent to president Young. They [we] returned in the evening and brought the following information ^and letter^ from him. The following is a Copy of the letter:

Omaha Nation—7 miles west of the Missouri River, Aug 4th 1846.

To Bishop George Miller & the Capts of fifties at Pawnee Village and west. Brethren. We have received Bro Miller’s letter of the first inst and shall endeavor to comply with his request concerning the Ordinance. We are satisfied that it will be impratical for any of you Company to attempt to cross the mountains this fall. S[o] you will have to be diligent to prepare for winter. so as to secure feed for your Cattle before the Idians fire the priaries to gather the buffalo which they will do as soon as the grass is dry enough. it will be wisdom for you to settle as near to gather as circumstances will permit to be able to resist any encroachment from the Indians. When the weather is cold enough you may do well to send back some of your teams to winter in this vicinity and load up with grain ^again^ in the spring. We shall be able to come up with you before you will ^want to^ leave Pawnee in the spring. If there is a good chance for hey [hay] at Pawnee perhaps you you can not do better than to stop in that neighborhood.

You are on fishing ground & have the best ^of^ nets & hooks, spread your nets cast your hooks & live by fishing & leave not one foot ^inch^ of ground unoccupied. You have long wanted a chance to fish & now you can spend the winter at it and no telling how many you may salt before spring. You will do well organize a council of twelve men to superintend the affairs of the Church with you temporally and spiritually and see that offenders of the law are brought do not go unpunished. We would suggest that for your consideration that Geo Miller Preside assisted by Newel Kight. Joseph Holbrook Titus Billings Hiram Clark [145] Bartholomew, Anson Call ^David Lewis, John A Miksel, Solomon Hancock^ Erastus Bingham, Thomas Gates, Charles Chrisman, A^s^el Lathrop. or sufficient of them to constitute the Quorum of twelve.[40]

According to the best knowledge we have, we are now disposed to recall our recommendation of makeing to Larime or the [Grand] island. This for there is danger of the fires cutting off supplies for your stock and we would like to you as near as that we may visit you each other occasionally this winter. We speak some things in parables.[41] Brothers Knight and Kay will explain. In behalf of the council. we remain your brethren in the Gospel. Signed Brigham Young President, Willard Richards Clerk

P.S. Bro Miller you will do well secure the kegs in your possession keep them safe let them not be opned til further instructions.[42]

[146] August Saturday the 8th. A Conference was called to give all an opportunity of hearing the above named letter, allso to give them an oppo ^the necessary^ instructions for organizing and establishing our selves in a proper manner for our safety and best intrest. Alls[o] to give all an opportunity to act for them selves in regard to accepting those men suggested by Brother Young to act as a council for this People. They were all unanimously voted for by the congregation and a general union seemed to prevail, not withstanding their disappointment in regard to crossing the mountains this year.

[August] 9. The Brethren assembled under a commodious arbor which they ^had^ erected to sheild them from the schorching sun to worship God and attend to such instructions as would be for our good and advantage both spiritually and temporally. Meting was opened by singing, prayer by Brother Anson Call, after which Brother Hiram Clark gave a short address, followed by Brother Gates and President Miller, who gave us particular instructions in regard to giveing heed to Council and the necessary course we would have to pursue in order to gain the friendship of the Indians and sustain ourselves and cattle through the winter. After which several of the Brethren expressed their satisfaction with the council and advice which had been given. Meting closed by singing and prayer by Brother Solomon Hancock.


[1] Leonard, Nauvoo: A Place of Peace, 261.

[2] Isaac Higbee was a bishop and a justice of the peace in Nauvoo, and Johnathan Harriman Hale was a Nauvoo bishop, city assessor, and tax collector. Biographical Register, Joseph Smith Papers.

[3] Samuel Jones Rolfe, who at some point was president of the Nauvoo priests quorum.

[4] After Newel’s mother, Polly Peck Knight, died, Father Knight married Phoebe Crosby Peck Knight, the widow and first wife of Polly’s brother Benjamin Peck. Hence, Father Knight’s second wife was his sister-in-law. In a few days, the administering of temple ordinances would cease, so, as Newel explains here, Phoebe’s reluctance to be sealed to Father Knight caused some family concerns that involved Newel and his other Peck relatives related to Polly Peck Knight, Father Knight’s first wife.

[5] Ezekiel Peck was a brother of the deceased first wife, Polly Peck.

[6] According to Brigham Young’s Manuscript History, on February 2 the Twelve, the Nauvoo Trustees, and a few others (including Newel) met in council and “agreed that it was imperatively necessary to start as soon as possible. I counseled the brethren to procure boats and hold them in readiness to convey our wagons and teams over the river, . . . for if we are here for many days, our way will be hedged up. Our enemies have resolved to intercept us whenever we start.”

[7] Flanders, Nauvoo: Kingdom on the Mississippi, 338. See also Leonard, Nauvoo, 561.

[8] Possibly Joseph Bates Noble, who had been the Nauvoo Fifth Ward’s bishop.

[9] La Harpe was twenty-three miles east of Nauvoo.

[10] Ira J. Willis was part of the original Colesville Branch, was with it in Jackson County, and was related to the Knight family network.

[11] Hiram S. Kimball, a resident in the area long before the Latter-day Saints created Nauvoo, was baptized in 1843. His wife, Sarah Granger Kimball, was one of the originators of what became the Relief Society. By 1846, Kimball operated a Nauvoo iron foundry.

[12] Instead of entries between February 13 and April 6, Newel provided the following brief summary of his efforts to get into a position to remove from Nauvoo in the spring.

[13] Newel was 46; Lydia, 24; Samuel, 14; Sally, 10; James, 8; Joseph, 6; Newel, 4; Lydia, 2; and Jessie, about 1. This widow Edwards is unidentified.

[14] Father Knight’s sister, Mary Knight, had married Aaron Slade Jr. Their children were Newel Knight’s first cousins. Of them, Benjamin, Anna, Clark, and George Washington Slade joined the Church. Anna Slade married Henry A. Cleveland.

[15] In the Allen version, its addendum contains the following: “This may certify that Newel Knight is entitled to the privilege of the Baptismal Font having paid his tithing in full to April 12th, A. D. 1846. (Signed) Wm. Clayton Recorder, by J. Whitehead Clerk. City of Joseph, March 13th 1846.”

[16] Three months later, the Lewises would be in the wagon train Newel captained for President Brigham Young.

[17] In January 1846, the Twelve assigned Almon W. Babbitt, Joseph L. Heywood, and John S. Fullmer to be trustees in Nauvoo to find buyers for unsold Church and private property.

[18] Because their livestock could feed on the prairie grass and plants, the exiles from Nauvoo took better routes across Iowa than the one used by Brigham Young’s Camp of Israel. In terms of today’s maps of Iowa, Newel drove through Farmington, and at Bonaparte did not cross the Des Moines like Brigham Young’s company did but instead followed the river’s northern shore to Bentonsport and then Keosauqua. On May 6 they camped close to Pearson’s Western Hotel, probably in Keosauqua. After waiting out high waters, they crossed the Des Moines, then traveled the Camp of Israel’s route on county roads around Richardson’s Point and along the Fox River. Where Drakesville is today, they left the Camp of Israel’s route that bent southward and went west instead, on what was becoming the main alternate route heading to Mount Pisgah. They drove west along a high-ridge road between the Fox River and Soap Creek, passing near present-day Unionville and Moravia. On May 10 they crossed Soap Creek. The next day they rolled up onto a broad and extensive prairie and an amazing panorama suddenly burst into view: wagons, people, and livestock spread out all across the prairie. After traveling along the high ground between the Chariton River and White Breast Creek, about six miles south of present-day Osceola, they intercepted the Camp of Israel’s newly imprinted trail to Mount Pisgah. They arrived at the Mount Pisgah encampment on May 25. They had started across Iowa on April 24.

[19] Probably John S. Gleason.

[20] Apostles George A. Smith and Amasa Lyman.

[21] The Camp of Israel had reached this location on May 18, so they had been there only six days by the time Newel arrived. Here they were setting up a farming settlement, as they had done at Garden Grove, for those not properly equipped to go farther west. Leaders tried but failed to borrow wagons and teams from the Pisgah campers to enable the Twelve and a selected company to push ahead for the Rockies that season. Located on the Middle Fork (Thompson River) of the Grand River, Mount Pisgah was named by Elder Parley P. Pratt after the biblical elevation called Pisgah (Deuteronomy 3:27), from whose summit at Mount Nebo Moses viewed the promised land. The site is located 5.5 miles northeast of today’s town of Afton, Iowa. Mount Pisgah saw a continual turnover of residents. At its largest, it contained two thousand Saints and had several thousand acres of prairie land fenced for cultivation. Saints vacated the settlement by 1852.

[22] Phineas Young.

[23] Mount Pisgah, Iowa.

[24] Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 39.

[25] The settlements Newel mentions were those south of Mount Pisgah in northern Missouri, those located by the Missouri River (where they were headed), or those down the Missouri River in the state of Missouri.

[26] John D. Lee said that the village had fifty wigwams and that “some few lots of grounds were enclosed by Pole fenses & tilled by the squaws.” Lee, diary June 8, 1846. The Pottawattamie Indian Village site is two miles west of today’s Lewis, Iowa, on a ridge overlooking the spot where Indian Creek flows into the East Nishnabotna River.

[27] After meeting with Jesse Little, a Latter-day Saint representative in the East, President James K. Polk authorized the formation of a Mormon battalion to fight in the Mexican War. During the first two weeks in July, Army recruiters from Fort Leavenworth visited the Saints’ encampments and invited the Church to enlist a battalion of five hundred men. Captain James Allen and three dragoons (cavalry men) rode to Council Bluffs and on July 1 gave Brigham Young the enlistment offer.

[28] The Cold Springs Camp. This was located four miles from the west bank landing in present Omaha, Nebraska. It provided a camp headquarters for most of July. See Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 68, 363n1.

[29] MS 767, folder 1, item 7.

[30] As noted above in our introduction, on July 9 Brigham Young sent Bishop George Miller up the Platte River, heading a “mountain expedition” to advance as close to the Rocky Mountains region as possible. Then, a week later, both Brigham Young and Heber C. Kimball organized two more wagon trains to push west to reinforce Miller’s party. Neither Young nor Kimball themselves went with those companies. Young enlisted Newel to go in his company, his “fifty” as it was called, and to captain it. The captains of the seven “tens” in Newel’s “fifty” were Anson Call, Jerome B. Kempton, David Lewis, Solomon Hancock, Louvrin H. Dame, Erastus Bingham, and William Mathews. According to Newel’s roster (below) of his fifty, it included 217 people, sixty-one wagons, 244 oxen, twenty-two horses, 127 cows, and nearly a hundred sheep. Wagons averaged 3.5 people each and 4 oxen. The Knights traveled in Captain Kempton’s ten. It was small, having only four families, twenty-three people, and seven wagons. The Knights had two wagons, six oxen, four cows, and the only horse in that ten. Being captain of a train of five dozen wagons and so much livestock meant he had to be on horseback a lot.

[31] Grand Island, in the Platte River, was nearly two hundred miles upstream. The forty-mile-long island could graze cattle, was well timbered, and had buffalo. Young wanted Bishop Miller to explore that site. But by the end of July, various discouraging reports made Young abandon the Grand Island idea. Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 63–64, 66, 67.

[32] The Platte River flows easterly nearly the length of Nebraska and empties into the Missouri River thirty miles south of where Winter Quarters was later located. Soon after leaving their assembly location by the Elkhorn, Newel’s company reached the Platte. From then on, their route ran near and parallel to the Platte’s north side to where the Loup Fork River flows into it. For more than a week, the wagons followed the poorly defined road until they met up with the Miller and Emmett companies on August 2 at the Loup Fork River. Regarding the sites where Newel’s company watered, traveled, and camped, we have been unable to match them to sites identified by William Clayton in his trail guide written the next year. At the Loup Fork River, finding a fording place proved difficult.

[33] Solomon Hancock estimated the Elkhorn River was 150 feet wide. Journal History, July 23, 1846.

[34] Baptism for health was a healing ritual common among Latter-day Saints from 1841 to 1922; see Stapley and Wright, “‘They Shall Be Made Whole,’” 69–112.

[35] This likely is what William Clayton’s guide calls Beaver River, which he says is 103 miles from Winter Quarters and about ten miles from the Old Pawnee Village, where Bishop Miller was at work. See Kimball’s edition of Clayton, Emigrants’ Guide, 44–45.

[36] These next comments Newel should have prefaced with “meanwhile, while I was gone, my company.” He refers to his company as “they,” and tells what his company did on dates when he was not there: August 4 to 7.

[37] On August 4, Newel left to consult with President Young.

[38] Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 85.

[39] Newel and John Kay returned on August 7, meaning their round-trip to Brigham Young’s camp and back took them three days. They, the “messengers,” brought with them a letter from Young and the council, which is a revision of the August 1 letter noted above that apparently was not sent.

[40] Bennett, Mormons at the Missouri, 86–87.

[41] This reference to speaking in parables might refer to the fishing instructions, which might refer to Indians, not fish, who could be taught that winter.

[42] Kegs probably refers to gunpowder.