Transcript for David O. Calder letter [written for Moses Clawson], 7 Aug. 1853, in Brigham Young, Office Files 1832-1878, reel 32, box 23, fd. 1


Fort Lar[a]mie August 7th, 1853


President B. Young

Dear Brother,

I now have the pleasure of forwarding you herein enclosed a statement of the persons and teams composing the St. Louis company, over which I was appointed Captain at Keocuck [Keokuk], by brothers Eldridge and Haight. The Co. left Keocuck for Kanesville in small Cos. as they got ready, and I started in company with 20 wagons on the 16th May, and arrived at Kanesville on the 11th June. Notwithstanding that nearly all the teamsters were quite ignorant in the management of cattle, bad roads, and a runaway of 6 teams and wagons, in which many persons escaped with their lives miraculously, we got to Kanesville without accident, the cattle in first rate travelling order and the company enjoying the best of health.

In consequence of the high state of the Missouri river flooding the country around, we did not get across the river before the afternoon of the 29th June, and after organising, started the following morning on our journey.

On the 30th July 20 teams and wagons, and on the 3d August 17 teams and wagons ran off at a furious rate, many of the Co. escaping with their lives most miraculously, and to the utmost astonishment of all the Co. Although a number of oxen were run over they escaped with but a few scratches, and only 7 wagons were injured; which were immediately repaired and the Co. permitted to go ahead with little loss of time.

The health of the Co. has exceeded my most sanguine expectations. At "Loup Fort" the destroyer made an attack upon the Co. but was repelled with the loss of two children by the scarlet fever. There was no sickness in camp before nor since.

The condition of the cattle is better than I could have expected--all things considered. As for the spirit of the Co. I suppose that it is near a fair average of what may be expected on the Plains in a Co. composed of persons from Michigan, Ill, Ohio, St. Louis and other parts of Mo.

On the 22d July we camped with Capt. Merril's Co. en route to Europe, 306 1/4 miles from Winter Quarters. They were all well and in good spirits. We held two meetings at which they were present and addressed the Co. The remarks they made cheered, refreshed, and encouraged our Co. very much.

Our Co. have held together with the exception of 3 teams who joined a Co. of six wagons who came up to us yesterday, and have camped on the north side of the river. We have heard of the Cos. behind us, and last accounts there was considerable sickness in Spencer's Co.

As we have had no blacksmithing done since we left Kanesville, and as we have a number of chains &c. to repair, we intend remaining here for two days and make all things right for another start. We arrived here today. Company all well, and teams in good condition.

I expect that if all things go as well with us as they have done we shall arrive at Great Salt Lake in about 6 weeks.

We thank the Lord always for the blessings He has so abundantly bestowed upon us during our journey thus far.

I am Dear Brother Yours in the Covenant


Moses Clawson
per David O. Calder Clerk