Transcript for "Emigrants Perishing on the Plains--The Way They Bury Them," Cleveland Plain Dealer, 4 February 1857
A letter from Washington gives a list of the names of the Mormon emigrants, composing three trains, that were met by Lieut, Kelton, Q. M., and Dr. Page, of Fort Laramie, at the crossing of Sweet water [Sweetwater], in Nebraska, about the 15th of December, en route for Salt Lake, and, according to the statement of the above named gentlemen, are supposed to have perished. At the above date, says the report, they were suffering beyond measure for the want of provisions, and on account of the cold. They were badly clothed, and in consequence of the hardships, many of them were dying; in one camp they buried fifteen in one day. The mode of burial, since they cannot dig the frozen ground, is to lay the bodies in heaps, and pile over them willows and heaps of stones. Gov. Brigham Young, learning something of their condition, dispatched some men and provisions to their relief, but these were met by the mail party returning to the city again, having been turned back by the violence of the storm they encountered. What the poor creatures have done, or what became of them, it is hard to tell. Under delusion, they have left their homes in foreign lands; and, to satisfy a whim of the Governor, undertook a journey of thousands of miles, not half provisioned or fitted for a trip that, even in good weather, is difficult enough, let alone at this inclement season of the year.