Transcript for A. Milton Musser diaries, 1852-1876, Diary, 1857 May - 1857 August, 12-39

Florence [Nebraska] June 1857.

Tues. 9 Slept on the St[eame]r. A.M. getting ourselves &c into the wall house.

Wed. 10th. A number (over 70) Elders have <just> arrived from Utah with H. Carts [handcarts] making the trip in 48 days. These brethren all departed on missions for various parts of the world. Everything as we might expect in Utah is O.K. The Saints are prosperous and happy. In the evening had a meeting[.] several of the Elders with myself spoke. Cousin Harvey Pierce is with one of the No. [number] going to Europe.

Fri. 12th. Yesterday & today busily engaged in the warehouse arranging my the supplies for the companies the first (H. cart) of which I am anxiously looking for. I trust they will soon make their appearance as the season is advancing fast. Many of the missionaries here left for their fields of labour.

Sat. 13th. About noon the H. Cart train made its appearance on the opposite bank of the river. Immediately crossed and welcomed them to Florence. They feel well and are in good spirits[.] It is pleasing to observe their willingness to practically endorse all thats commanded them & do go along rejoicing singing their cheerfull & spirited songs with becoming zeal and may the God of our Fathers abundantly bless the Hand Cart pas emigrants & sustain them in all their journeyings Zionward[.] Amen. In the evening I [-] joined in Holy Wedlock Bro. Elias Crane & Sister Elizabeth Smith. May they live in peace & die in peace that in the end they may be have Celestial patrimonies guaranteed unto them[.] Amen.

Sun 14th At meeting at 10 AM & spoke awhile in the afternoon accompanied Bro. Cunningham & others to the Little Papeo[Pappea] to organize But a company of our emigrants. We first baptized about 25 souls. Amongst the No appeared Bro Thos B. Marsh who joined the Church I think he said 25 years ago. 5 new candidates were baptized. After confirmation & registration we organized the Co. (appointing Bro. Wm Walker Capt-) numbering 85 souls, 26 wagons 13 horses, 3 mules, 136 Oxen, 26 Cows, 21 Loose Cattle & 1 Hand Cart. Sift our blessings & then started for the town, it being so dark we cd. [could] not see the road nor anything else only when the lightning flashed which was almost incessant & twice it struck quite close to us.

Mon. 15th Last night & the preceding one were very stormy nights for our tented Saints[.] Most of them obtained no sleep, & recd. [received] as a token of rememberance a good & thorough soaking.

Thurs. 18 Forepart of week much rain fell swelling the small & large streams greatly so much so, they are impassable. Preparing the Issuing provisions for the Co. H. Cart Co. In the evening the str. “Silver Heels” made her appearance ladened with a goodly cargo of Saints (Bros Taylor & Snow among the number) & freight for the Saints.


Florence 18 June 1857.


Fri. 19th. ch Receiving & checking freight for Bros Taylor & Snow till 2 this morning & then went aboard & took a nap till morning[.] Most of the day engaged with Bro [-] the freights. The H. Cart train mov’d to the Little Pappea[.] In the evening went out in a buggy to see them

Sat. 20th All night in camp. AM got camp got underway when Bros Taylor & Snow came up & spoke to them giving them a few practical lessons on trave migration & & other subjects suited to the welfare of the Saints crossing the plains. They then started off feeling as they manifested a good spirit.

Sun 21st. Had several good sermons from different Elders.

Mon. 22nd Bro Ja[me]s. Gammiel has just arrived from independence. A horde of blood hounds pounced upon & came very nearly taking his life. The[y] fired upon him perhaps 50 times, one bullet grazed his finger. In persuing, after his shots were exhausted a fellow came so close upon Bro. G. that Bro. G. turned upon him & left his knife sticking into the devils bosom. McSean recd. a donation of 2000.

Fri. 3d. July.. My attention has been so incessantly employed with emigration matters that I’ve had no time to journalize. Last week Bro. J[esse] B. Martin’s Co & Jacob Huffine’s [Hofheins] Co. arrived from Iowa City[.] They had been blessed with health & general prosperity. On Sunday last Bro. M’s Co left this place & camped on the Little Pappea[.] I went out & spent the night with them. I fitted them out as speedily as possible & took steps to procure a horse for Capt. M. paying 125$ for one. On Monday Bro [James Amasa] Little arrived from St. Louis[.] On Tuesday the str A day or so later Bro [Henry] Lunt made his appearance on the str. Ogden from the same quarter with a large supply of outfitting necessaries for the emigrants. Several Saints accompanied him 3 of whom are [-] passengers across the plains. Thurs. a Co of Danish Saints under the presidency of Bro M. [Matthias] Cowley came in[.] This day brot. with it a large Co. of Danish Saints with Hand Carts under the guidence of Bro. J.P. Park. This Co. as well as the one preceding it has lost several of its emigrants between this & Iowa City. We have lots of men & women from Utah the west as well as from the east. Apostates are becoming as thick in this country as the lice of Egypt were were in Egypt in the days of Phareoh [Pharaoh].

8th July Wed. W[illiam] G[oodall] Young came in this day with a small team Co. from Iowa City. At a council of the Elders we appointed Bro. C Christiansen conductor or Captain of the Danish H.C. Co. They have started some days since[.] I am now sedularsly engaged in preparing my wagon for the plains. A few days ago Wm Mc[-] while passing my tent observed my name upon it & immediately enquired for me. I was on hand but he did not recognise me. After an introduction, he drove <me> over in town & told me much about his own mundane prosperity & C.& C. After we parted, several persons told me who knew him told me that he was an inveterate foe to the “Mormons”[.] He manifested a pretty good spirit to me & desired me prosperity & wished me to open a correspondence with me.

The “glorious 4th[”] was celebrated all Florence in miniature in miniature by the young & old of Florence & to make the things go off “O.K.” a man by the name of Bigs went to work & stabbed another adulterous animal by the name of Kingsley, who it s[ai]d. had been in the habit of cuddling Ro’s wife. Had B. [-] his wife as well ask, & afterwards committed suicide himself, the [-] town of Florence would have got rid of a black plaster of human trash.

12th July Sun. After working hard days & greater parts of nights I am ready to start on the plains with [-] brethren for Zion. I have 4 female passengers with me. The Lord has blessed me with a good Chicago wagon & 2 good yoke of oxen[,] a good stove & many other things to make me comfortable[.] When I think & truths meditate upon the goodness of God to me I feel inexpressibly grateful.

About 10 O’clock we rolled out of Florence & before we reached the Big Pappea we met with encountered a miniature stampede with the cattle while descending a hill hitched up to the wagons[.] Fortunately no damage was incurred notwithstanding the affair at one time assumed a dangerous aspect[.] To observe 10 or 12 wagons disc some of which contained women & children, drawn furiously down a hill in many directions is a sight not a desirable sight. Women, children & some of the men partook of the spirit of the Cattle train with all their [-] & speed they Co. commands in all directions making anything but a pleasant medley of sounds. In the evening we organized the camp[.] Bro. WG Young was chosen captain[,] Bro. A[lbert]. P[eck]. Tyler sargeant of the guard, Bro. [Henry] Lunt chaplain & A[mos] M[lton] Musser Clerk for the Co. We have 19 wagons [blank space] oxen [blank space] Souls (including men women & children) cows & [blank space] Mules. We purpose making our transit across the plains as speedily as possible.

Mon. 13th--It rained much last night. This is one of the greatest countries for thunder, lightning & rain. These are most striking ct atmospheric characteri[sti]cs of this country. Evening we camped on the west of the Elk Horn amongst mosquitoes imme[a]s[ur]ably thick. We ferried at a cost of 50 cents pr. team & 2 yoke of cattle. 7 Co’s of Saints are now on the plains. 2 of these are hand cart Cos. One contains about 330 souls & the 149 souls[.] The first Co. was furnished with 60 lbs flour[,] 10 lbs Bacon, 5 lbs sugar, 1 lbs rice, 1 lbs peaches, 2 lbs salt & ½ lbs tea to each souls old & young. The 2d or Danish Co. got 58 lbs flour, 5 lbs rice, 4 lbs Bacon, 2 lbs D. Beef, 4 lbs Sugar, 3 lbs peas, 2 lbs salt, 2 lbs Coffee 8 good mules & 2 wagons, tents &c[.] The first had but one 4 mule wagon. These Cos. have in all 1214 souls, 157 wagons, 646 hd of oxen, 75 cows, 18 mules, 20 horses, 19 loose cattle & 97 H. Carts. Add to these isolated emigrants with Bros. Tyler & others we have the sum total of our this years emigration.

Sat. 18th This day after travelling about 10 miles we camped on the Loup Fork & after hav a good little meeting we were all Baptized. Our object is to go to the Valley as pure before the Lord as possible that we will merit his peculiar favors, as He is constantly pouring <them> out upon us.

Sun. 19th I have just written a long letter to the Mormon[s], copy retained. This day reached Genoa & after resting the Cattle & regaling ourselves, we crossed the river, Loup Fork. This is the worst stream to ford I ever forded. Some of our wagons had 10 yoke of cattle on them & then it was with difficulty they managed to get along. The colony of Genoa is an enterprising one & bids fair to become a place of importance in a little while. our brethren have made much fence & put in much grain. May the Lord abundantly bless their labours

Thurs. 23d—We left the Loup Fork early A.M. & drove over a very hard road. about 22 miles & camped on prairie creek. We passed several wells, but the water was scarce & not sufficient to give each head a ½ cup Bucket full. Our Cattle are much fatigued & nearly exhausted. We passed a Dane who belonged to Bro. Cowley’s Co. He lossed [lost] an ox & another was sick which according to his story prevented his going farther. We also passed some Californians returning. They informed us that the Co. ahead have lossed cattle & that some are returning

Fri. 24th About noon met Bros. Latey[,] Gillis & Greener & Keates, who were members of Bro. Martins Co. returning. That Co. had several stampedes with their cattle, one of which terminated in the death of Bro. Howard & one of Sis. Bamfords daughters & to the searious if not mortal injury of several others. This melancholy inteligence which I [was] much upset to learn, & it is my firm belief that if the camp had been united in word thought & deed they would have got along without any difficulty. From what Ive seen & heard concerning some of the members of that Co. I am led to conclude that the Lord was not well pleased with some of their doings. I believe that adulteries were & are not committed[.] if this be true they need not expect prosperity.

Among the number that were baptized last week, there were 5 persons (names as follows) Rich[ar]d Newne[s]s, Geo[rge] Howe, Eliza Ann Hawkins, Mary A[manda] Gibbs & Josiah F[rancis] Gibbs that had not recd. prior baptism. They with the rest were afterwards confirmed.

Sun. 26 We crossed wood river yesterday evening & are now camped on its banks. Here had a good meeting. Sacrament was administered children blessed, the brethren & sis. were severally expressed their feelings[.] a good Spirit p seems to pervade every bosom, our cattle not accepted [excepted]. May this spirit & feeling continue until our journey is consummated in peace[.] Amen. The day is wet[.] We do not exactly know where we are, or at least above the old pioneer ford of this river.

Mon. 27. Today camped on the Platte. We observed at a distance 2 Buffalo, the first seen by us. Wolves antilope elk & deer all becoming numerous. There are innumerable host of winged ants following & bothering us today. They are truly annoying. The “Mesketries” [mosquitoes] are also very numerous. & annoying. We come on guard every other night stay up 2 hours at a time

Tues. 28. Camped not far we think from the crossing of Buffalo Creek. P.M. Rained very hard & weather rather cold. Our road for the past few days very good indeed. Yesterday 4 Indians (Pawnees) visited us & appeared very friendly. We are about the head of Grand Island which is supposed to be about 50 or 60 miles in length. One yoke of my oxen’s necks are very sore. My load is about the heaviest taking into consideration the size and strength of my team of any in camp the company. There are a no. of oxen in camp with sore necks but I believe most if not all are convalescent. With these exceptions our cattle & everything else are healthy & all is prosperity & peace. We meet many snakes, a goodly no. of which are rattlesnakes. I’ve bruised the heads of 2 of not with my “heel” but with my whip. one had 10 rattles on his tail.

Wed. 29th This day Bro WC Young killed a Buffalo Bull which we cleaned <dressed> in double quick time. He eates pretty well, tho’ somewhat tough. Buffalo are becoming quite numerous. It is somewhat singular what a rabid desire emigrants manifest for shooting at—killing & wounding these poor creatures. Tho’ there may be no meet wanted in the camp yet the “bright” bhoys gentile like, Keep a perforating the hides of these animals & after they’ve wounded them they will laugh heartily to see them jump “stiff legged” & trot off in great pain. My plan is not to shoot any inoffensive & harmless animal bird &c without you are quite sure of killing it & then not, unless their flesh is actually required for food. I don’t believe in crippling or killing anything unless circumstances & necessity require it. All these things belong to the Lord & He created them for us to use in wisdom & not to abuse them.

Thurs. <30>th. Buffalo are very numerous. perhaps a million in sight at a time. We had to go ahead of the train & scare them from the road[.] We nooned near the spot where Bro. Martins Co had the stampede. A double grave is a melancholy characteristic feature of that serious event. The large board has on it “E H. A65” noo & the small one “I.B.A 4.” No doubt E. Howard aged 65 years & I. Banford aged 4 years. This was a melancholy affair & it is thought it wd not have happened had the camp not possessed some adulterous & refractary Spirits. How true this is I scarcely can say But I very Know that every thing was not right with some of them on the Platte.

Fri. 31st Buffalo more numerous than yesterday. A non tillion more or less on both sides of the river. A.M. Pres Y Killed a heifer calf which was quite tender. The way we cure the meat is the in this wise. Cut the meat in across the p grain in slices about ¼ inch thick & then string it one put it into a tub & salt it down over night, observing to put a little sa but a little salt on. In the morning put it on sticks or things & in this manner dry & smoke it in the sun & over a fire during the day by the side of the wagon & in the during camp hours smoke it over a fire. Meat cured in this way until it is quite dry & hard is very nice indeed. Grasshoppers have I’ve noticed been very numerous, all the way. It is somewhat strange to observe that when you disturb them they hop or jump East & not west or from you. They appear to be migrating East. Perhaps they have got tired of ravaging the crops of Israel & purpose visiting our immaculate neighbours in the States. If this is their mission I trust they will have a good time of it. The Lord’s will be done at all times & in all things. We have had hard work to keep the Buffalo at bay. Several appeared determined to rush through our train but were timely prevented by the [-] position of several small bits of lead as they were ejected from many guns pretty well aimed. camped

Sat. 1st Augst. Buffalo are becoming scarce[.] We keep on our course up the Platte. Camped at night near a spring amidst green headed flies & mosquitoes innumerable. These flies are desperate perforaters of our oxen’s hides & when filled with Blood they leave their victim with blood oozing out & trickling down their sides in a shameful & most painful manner. I have been quite unwell this day.

[written in the margin, then X-d out:] Thomas P. Boyes of Bellevue [--] Mr. Thos Kino Sioux City Iowa


Plains & Platte Aug 1857


Sun. 2d Augst. Left those [-] flies pretty early & travelled 8 miles to where the river & [-] meet. Here we camped largely in comfortable circumstances. Some rain fell & the atmosphere is more cool. We are now about 900 miles from Florence. Thus far we’ve had an excellent time [-] humbly fast & pray that our prosperity may continue[.] Buffalo chips constitute the chief portion of our fuel. [-] evening had a good meeting amidst mosquitoes as thick as Abraham’s blessing was found progeny is numerous.

Mon. 3d Considerable rain fell during the night & morning. Got underway about 9 A.M. & travelled about 6 or 7 miles[.] Camped for the day on account of the numerous green headed flies. We purpose travelling in the night. Nearby our camp is the grave of Bro. [-] who died on the 16th. He is [illegible] Bros. Evans & Cart left here on the 16[.] We’re all pretty well. They had lost the 3 yoke of cattle they had exchanged the 2 head of mules for and were being assisted by Bro. W.S. Walkers. Today is pretty warm.

Tues 4th Started from Camp after the moon rose & travelled by its light about 10 miles over a pretty bad road crossing numerous small streams emptying themselves into the Platte.

Tues 4th Part of our road pretty Land for our cattle & the green fly very troublesome[.] We have just passed a number of Californian emigrants. They informed us that several companies ahead have lost stampeded cattle by stampedes. One Co has lost 42 head & all their horses. This is es serious news, which I much regret to hear. One of the emigrants told us that he and [“]Old Heber” say that the Saints in Utah w[oul]d raise enough grain this year to last 7 years[,] that the Gentiles wd have to come to the Saints for food. He also said that “Old Brigham” told them the emigrants that if they met old Gen Harney & his soldiers on the way they might tell him that if they come to the valley & did not conduct themselves virtuously & in decorum he wd send them to hell cross lots but if they behaved as gentlemen they wd be treated as such. Gen[era]l peace & prosperity prevailed in Utah. A hearty amen was the response from every breast in this camp on hearing the above. Most every bleached bone & buffalo skull we meet pass we receive some information anew[.] the Cos ahead saw of these manuscript bones certain infor varied information according to the spirit and mood of the caterer. One bone we passed contained this solicitation of information “Come on boy Jordan is a hard road to trable travel.”

Wed. 5. Today road much Sandy at one for some distance had to double teams. Passed more emigrants. A.M. the flies were very pestiferous. Had to surround the oxen with bushes & keep them off & prevent their extracting the life’s blood from the Cattle by the quart per hour. We have prayers daily and frequent good & spirited meetings.

Thurs. 6th. Considerable Sand again today. Had to double teams again P.M. The flies more numerous & desperate then ever. had all hands employed keeping them measurably off. The Lane pailes several marmot or prarie dog “civil.”

Fri. 7th Last night will long be remembered by some of us at least. I never was more troubled with “Sketees” After standing guard 3 hours, at 10 went to bed I joined my worthy bed fellow. Chaplain Lunt [said], The “Sketees” wd not let me sleep. The & after making a no. of of [villi....nt] assaults or sortees drove me from my castle into the open air, said down on the inside of my wagon tongue, little dreaming the rogues wd have the audicity [audacity] to hunt me in the open air, but lo & behold, the[y] soon found me out and made repeated assaults, which made <me> feel all over in spots[.] I almost swore vengeance against the entire race and only wish regretted I c[oul]d not get them all in a bag where I cd pay them off for their mean[n]ess. In the meantime pastor S. found egress from the wagon & after Considerable grumbling about the [.lagy] pests we correlled [corralled] together in the open air a little distance from the wagon. But we found no peace. Blankets, Counterpanes &c were no barriers unless you enveloped yourself in them. If the nasal hair obtruded itself to get a sniff to get an occasional sniff of the celubrious breeze why a no.wd gather round & commence perforating that member with all the sangfroid of a Frenchman discussing the virtues or merits of a dish of Crapoo. Pm AM [-] passed a small encampment of Indians, Sioux. P.M. passed a very large encampment of them no. hundreds. We made them presents & traded some with them, treating them kindly & with condescension. Many of them with their Chief visited us in the evening

Sat. 8th. Several of the Indians occupied one of our tents last night. Left Camp early. Heavy roads part of the way. Bro An Ox belonging to Bros. Little & Young died very suddenly this day. This is the only serious featullo of journey thus far. One of their wagons was injured the other day & at noon abandoned, the load & oxen divided among the other teams. In the evening camped on the river in a pretty place & under very agreeable <& pleasant> circumstances. Another week has passed never to return. The labour of this week has been more severe & hard upon our cattle than all the preceeding once [ones] since we quitted Florence. Amidst flies, mosquitoes, sand Bluffs, Indians, &c &c we have passed the last week with as little difficulty as anyone cd at all expect. Thank the Lord for all favours & blessings & may we so conduct ourselves as to merit a continuation of His goodness, Amen. [“]Fat Hen & pigweed.”

Sun 9th. Nooned nearly opposite ash hollow. Had a good meeting[,] partook of the sacrament & enjoyed ourselves first rate. Observing a carriage & some horsemen on the opposite side of the river bent westward. Bro. W.G. Young crossed to meet see them. Found they were the precursors of the swarm <of the> biped Egyptian flies no en-route for Deseret. They are going out to correct, so Editors say, the Mormons & show up to the world their bold practices &c &c. Poor uninformed Kine, they’d best keep their weather eye open & conduct themselves very Strait else they will be sadly disappointed. We are now where alkali water exists in great abundance. We are about 381 miles from Florence.

Wed. 12th. We have been passing amid picturesque & grotesque natural mountain & hill scenery. Many of the clayey hills resemble in a most striking manner, at a distance, ruined castles, fortifications &c &c. Such as are found up in Lindr & I have seen in India & Europe. P.M. Just before camping in the evening we passed the grave of a Dane by the name of Peter Hanson, Died 4 Aust. This poor brother’s was grave was not deep sufficiently deep to prevent rapacity of the numerous wolves to find its inmate who had been consigned to it by his brethren to sleep until the resurrection trump sounds its welcome requium. They These animals had partly exhumed & devoured his body. I took my spade & with assistance to threw in dirt & brush made the grave impervious to the future endeavours to exhume the body. A Sis. a member of our camp handed me a letter which she recd prior to quitting her home from her son in law & daughter & which she desired me to read. After they have both written saying all they well cd to prevent her going to Zion, declaring that they wd rather follow her to the grave the Son in law concludes as follows. verbatum <ed> literabum.

“Mormonism fa[i]ls and you will find it so when it is to late[.] the papers is fool [(]full) of there bad works and thare will be trubble thare this summer[.] Your hart will ake when you think of what I have sed when it is to late to repent. look before you le[a]p for wo be to your Stefes[.] You will see it now marke it. I [-] rite plane but I feel it you may depend on it.”

We’re in sight of “Chimney rock.”

Fri. 14th. P.M. camped opposite Chimney rock. This is indeed a somewhat singular natural monument. It is a Clayey sandy material & is split from the top to its first base.

Sun. 16th. Camped opposite Scott’s Bluffs. These Bluffs present a beautiful picturesque appearance (description hereafter.) This day we’ve set apart for fasting. Had good meeting in the morning & another good meeting in the evening. Last evening while on guard I walked by circumscribing the camp about 38 times, 5 9/11 miles. We keep constantly moving while on guard to prevent ingressing Indians.

Tues. 18. It was unanimously voted that Bro. W.G. Young precede the Cos., on the mule to the valley to report to Prest. Young their circumstances wants &c &c. He left us P.M. with the blessings of the camp. We nooned near Sun a trading post. B of the Waders visited us, but made us exchanges. They informed us that the Utah mail has been stopped by order of the postmaster general. Genl Harvey has the great man eater, who gained a notoriety some time since in massacreing [massacring] squaws & decripit Indians near ash hollow, & who was appointed by Govt. to head the Soldiers deput[iz]ed for Utah, has been fighting a duel with one of his Lieutenants & shot him. He has been arrested and remanded to await a trial. good.

Wed. 19th. I’ve had no occasion to use my lock chain wheel from Elk Horn till this day. A day or so ago I bartered for a yoke of 2 year old steers, costing me about 30$. Many wild cherries, currants & goose berries are found on the streams[.] I Wrote to the [“]Mormon”

Sat 22 Fri. 21.. Bro. GW Wimmer from Porter’s Station about 35 miles beyond Laramie arrived in our camp to conduct us thither. Dr. Howe & Col. Amasa know nothing Geo. Taylors nite[.] This day forded the river opposite Laramie. & camped in the evening with Bro. Saml. W. Richards & a few accompanying brethren. Bro. Saml is but 9 days from the valley. He goes to the States & Europe on important business & expects to return next Spring with a No. of the brethren now on missions[.] Emigration from Europe is stopped for a season. All this trouble & annoyance is occasioned by the ingress to the valley of the Soldiers ordered by the Govt. Bro Lunt addressed us in the evening.

Sun. 23rd Augst. This day came to Porter’s Station about 35 miles west of Laramie. The brethren in a very short time have built a number of good comfortable log houses & a good Korrell [corral] at this place. Now they have to go off & leave it all & as they have been remanded by our mutually beloved & esteemed Prest. Brigham Young. The news from the valley is most cheering. Bro. Brigham & Heber &c have come down upon the United States Authorities like a 1000 of bricks for stopping the mail & sending troops to Utah. Many important propacies [prophecies] relative to the times close at hand & the executives of the U.S. have been delivered which will be speedily fulfilled which may god grant. Bro. Heber has pronounced a curse upon the President of the U.S. old Buchanon bachelor Bucannon in his meaness for siding with our enimies and listening to the brayings of Satans emissaries. I shall look with interest and observe with pleasure to & on the fulfillment of these & other anathemies. The brethren at this station will accompany us home. So will those at Deer Creek.

Wed. 26th. We are making some large days drives & purpose continuing our course with all possible expedition as our as Bro Brigham’s instructions to this effect are most urgent. This day drove about 25 m. & camped on Deer Creek. Here we met a No. of valley brethren amongst whom I found the familiar faces of Bros. N V Joules: B. Monaghan & others. The brethren arrived at this place but about 2 months ago & have done since then a very great deal of work. They also have made an excellent correll & have commenced a hewed log fort laid out & planned most admirably. They also have made many much ditching for irrigating farm [-] & have very planted 7 acres of corn. These brethren purpose accompanying us to the valley

Thurs. 27th. Recrossed the river[.] Squaw berries very numerous currants also on the Platte. Recrossed the river to the north side for the last time.

Sat. 20 [29]th. Recrossed the river to the north side for the last time. Find many dead cattle stretched along the roads. Feed for cattle very scarce. Nights quite cool.

Tues. 1stSept. Just before we came to Independence Rock we gathered what Saleratus we wanted from Alkali lake south or immediately to the left of the road. This Saleratus is found in a crust sometimes 2 inches thick & very [-][.] It is said to be best after slacking & a few months after gathering. Independence Rock is truly independent & somewhat singular in appearance. isolated as it is on the west where we keep in our minds eye the eastern appearance. it much resembles a trip ponderous tripple tortoise with is varied strata layers & creases put the beholder much in mind of the impervious Rhinoceros skin as it lays in extending layers. 5 miles About 5 miles on this side of this rock is what is called the Devils Gate through which the beautiful Sweet Water River passes as it goes gurgling along its course towards the great waters [-]. The rock on either side of the river is said to be per 400 feet high & perpendicular.

Wed. 2d. Arrived at the Station of the Saints west of the D. Gate. Found a No. of brethren, deputed by Bro. Brigham to come out & see the emigration safely in & keep their weather fire open of for “Black Sam’s Soldiery.[”] Bros. Cummings[,] Burton & other familiar faces were formed a part of the deputation. We shod some of our oxes. A No. of our cattle have died & others are sadly only the wain. Many causes are assigned for their being sick but the general opinion is that alkali dust & water is the cause are the chief causes. Others attribute it to excessive hard labour.

Thurs. 3rd. Travell At a me the meeting last night several family wagons submitted to the Capt. & the Saints the propriety of seperating from the main body of the train, thinking that by so doing it wd be for our mutual benefit & advantage. This morning Bro Lunt[,] Green & myself with our passengers with the blessings of our brethren left the main camp & started ahead.

[He later wrote that he lost his journal. Maybe that is why he repeated these two days]


Sweet Water Septr 1[8]57


Wed 2. Arrived at the Station west of Devils Gate. Shod some of our cattle. The brethren that made this station have abdicated & gone home, & hthere are now no one but a few minute me[n] from the valley under the [coni……] of Cols Cummings & Brighton, watching the [--] of our [-]. A No. of our Cattle have died & others are on the wain [wane]. 3 out of 4 of Bro. P.H. Youngs have died. Their sickness of cattle is attributed to several causes. All that dust & water & excessive labour no doubt are the chief causes[.] We pass daily many dead cattle lying by the road side

Thurs 3d. Bro. P.H. Youngs cow is quite sick [---]. This morning Bros Lunt[,] Green & myself left the main train & started ahead with our wagons. It is done for our mutual benefit & with the blessing of our brethren. Bros Jos A Little & P.H. Young suggested the propriety of doing so after we passed Laramie


Sweet Water Plains Septr. 1857


Fri. 4th. This morning found Ice in our Bucket. Sage brush willows & buffalo chips form the fuel. The first has carried the supremicy [supremacy] in the estimation of our worth & hostess or Cook Sis. Lucy Strudevick. She with her assistants serve up our limited supply of food very tastefully & as food well as can be expected on the plains & under hurried wearied circumstances. When we left Florence our variety of po provender consisted of flour, Bacon & ham, peas, Rice, peaches, pepper, salt, mustard, [-] vinegar & sugar. To this we have added Buffalo meat & a semi-occasional mess of greens.

I have lost my journal which I much regret. Wolves at night are very numerous but by morning they “Absquabulate” or decamp[.] Have aret

Sun 6 Yesterday traveled near 30 miles[.] This morning observed a man ahead dressed in military costume & when we met found it to be Bro. Ja[me]s M.Barlow. He is here in command of a small detachment of minute men. We camped near them for the day & enjoyed their society. Met with many familiar faces. Our blessings were reciprocal.

Mon 7 Travelled to last crossing of the Sweet Water

Tues 8th Antelope, Sage Hens & Hare all very numerous. While moving today Bros Bernight & Hanley came up & informed us that the soldiers were coming on as hard as possible. These brethren were deputed to go back & [recon…..][.] They passed themselves off for California emigrants. This day passed the summit or dividing rid[g]e that separates the pacific from the Atlantic[.] Altitude 7080 feet. Camped <Pacific creek (Sept 1857.)> where we found good & plenty of grass provender for cattle is pretty scarce.

Fri 11 Came to Green River[.] A No. of Banak & Shoshones Indians visited us. For the last few days we’ve been in sight of the snow caped Wind River mtns. They resemble a petrified sea during a storm. We pass many natural curiosities.

Sat 12th Camped in Hams Fork aft traveling abut 28 mi. Soldiers we found encamped 3 or 4 Gov’t hands. Our cattle look pretty well in fact first rate taking into consideration the journey they have performed.

Mon 14 Late in the evening arrived at Ft. Bridger. This place now belongs to the Church. It was bought from Bridger for a goodly sum of money. I have learned 8000$. Bro. Lewis Robinson is the superintendent. He has made at this place he has made great improvements which will have to be abandoned if the foldian expected contest [remainder of sentence missing]

Fort Bridger Septr 15 I have inhaled enough of dust to kill a 1001 consumptive beings has been very amazing. The potatoes onions turnips butter cheese, &c bo[ugh]t here & at Ft. Supply to be just cater.

Tues. 15 Wed. 16 Yesterday had some Cattle shod. Captn Vanvliet the Govmt deputation to Utah to see about forriage &c for the Black Sam’s home & cows[.] human & [..ped] cattle has just arrived from GSL City in Co. with Br. Bernhisel[,] OP Rockwell & others. The Captn it is currently reported, will endeavor to create a favourable influence in the States towards the Utoneans. whether he will or not time will determine but with me it is somewhat problimatical. Visited Fort Supply 12 m [-]. Traded my young steers to Bro. Wm M. Thompson for a cow.

Fri 18th Bro. Wm G. Young’s Co came [-]. We concluded to wait for them & to all go in together. [-] is quite well. I have learned that Bro H. Young has found my journal

Sat 19 Sept Ft. B about 11 AM[.] Grass from Ft B & the valley is represented good. Bros. Brigham & Heber have sent out Cattle (39 yoke) to meet us & assist us in[.] The weather is cool