"During this afternoon (at the Green River) we were all much surprised by the unexpected arrival of Elder Samuel Brannan who was at the head of the company of the brethren that went round by sea last year from New York city to California—He was accompanied by 3 men, 2 of whom had come thro' with him from the latter country—with 1 of them I was well acquainted. This man is [Charles C.] Smith & is I believe some distant relation of our prophet Joseph. He left Nauvoo (where I made his acquaintance) some 2 years since for Oregon. One of the other 2 men was one of the individuals seen with Mr. Bridger the other day—the other man I did not know. Elder Brannan gives a very favorable account of climate, soil, etc. of California & appears quite anxious that we should immediately go there to take possession of the country before it becomes occupied by others. He had left Yerba Buena April 13th—This place is situated on the bay of San Francisco & from all accounts bids fair to become in time a flourishing city. he brought a number of news papers with him which he distributed among the "Twelve"—among these was a file of his own entitled the "California Star" 12 all in number. Mr. Smith informed us that in Oregon they had 2 seasons, rust & dry."
(Horace Kimball Whitney, Journal, as quoted in Will Bagley, ed.,Frontiersman, Abner Blackburn's Narrative [Salt Lake City, Utah: University of Utah Press, 1992], 53.)