Transcript for John Lyman Smith journal, Library of Congress collection of Mormon diaries, 1935-1938

{Pages 11-13}

We loaded our wagons and having our certificat[e]s as to the amount of provisions (eighteen months' supply) on the 9th of June we bade farwell to Winter Quarters and rode up the hill four miles and camped for the night.

June 11th, at noon, we reached the place of rende[z]vous on the Elk Horn river and formed into line.

On the 16th we raised a pole fifty feet high with a white flag, as a token of p[e]ace.

On the 18th Alfred B[oaz]. Lambson and Jacob Wetherby were shot at while carrying an express to Winter Quarters. Wetherby was wounded and died soon after.

the camp was organized and we made a start as per program from Elk Horn river on the 22nd. We herded our stock evenings and corralled them with our wagons, and guarded at nights.

On July 1st, doubling our teams, we crossed the Loup fork of the Platte river.

On the 5th we found a Pioneer postal.

"April 29th, camp of Pioneers, Grass short but plenty.
Watch Indians. 217 miles to Winter Quarters;
Watch the trees near our encampment".


This was our first news from the Pioneers since they left Winter Quarters.

On the 8th two horses, evidently strays, were caught by Apostles P.P. Pratt and J. Taylor. We saw that day our first buffalo. We were now fairly on our way for the west.


J[ohn]. L[yman]. Smith



Saved by the Gulls


On the 9th of July, 1847 -- one month since leaving Winter Quarters and seventeen days since we moved camp,we had covered 262 miles. That day we had our first sight of buffalo. We often found notes on the rout[e] from the Pioneers giving dates, prospects etc, health of camp, etc. We fol[l]owed their trail as much aspossible [as possible], which has kept us on the north side of the Platt[e] river, while the travel east and west runs on the south side.

On the 31st we camped opposite Scott's bluff. Several of our hunters waded the river (about one mile wide) and climbed the hills; upon the top we found 50 mountain sheep or goats. We shot two. The rest jumped the cliff. Our brethren who went around the cliff said the instant they struck the ground they were off on the run. The leap made would not have been less than 75 or 100 feet. We found the meat of them we killed excellent.

On the 5th of August we arrived opposite "Olf [Old] Fort John" built of sunburnt brick, on the north fork of Platte river. This was falling into decay, and was being replaced by whatisnow [what is now] called Fort Laramie. A few U.S. troops were located here with Indian traders, trappers squaws, etc. We here entered the Black Hills. One of our oxen was taken suddenly sick and died within sixteen minutes. At the north crossing of the Platte we found a good vein of stone coal.

On the 30th of August we arrived at Independence Rock, and met some of the Pioneers, accompanied by some of the Mormon Bat[t]alion who had reached California and had been disbanded and returned to Salt Lake City. They were returning to Winter Quarters. They reported that President Young and thePioneers [the Pioneers] reached Salt LakeCity [Lake City] on the 24th of July, and located a camp and laid out a city.

On the 2nd of September we crossed over the south pass of the Rocky Mountains. From there the water runs to the west.

On the 4th we camped on the Sandy and Met President Brigham Young and a company of returning Pioneers. A general council was held in my father's tent, I being doorkeeper. Many items of instruction and counsel were given for the benefit of all. We enjoyed a visit with Brother George A., and all started on their respective routes, being refreshed andin [and in] good spirits.

On the 7th we camped on Green River. We all feasted upon wild currants, which were in their prime.

The 13th we camped near Fort Bridger, which is surrounded by a trench and a stockade on pickets set in the ground. Thisstockade [This stockade] surrounds about a dozen log cabins occupied by mountaineers, traders, trappers and squaws, and was principally owned by Mr. Bridger, who had been there for a number of years.

On the 25th of September we reached the mounth [mouth] of Emigration canyon and rolled out on the bench in open view of the Great Salt Lake Valley and the tents and wagons where the Presidency have located the city. The feeling of joy that pervaded on [our] bosom when we found the place of rest, the home of peace, a home where mobs would not annoy and to which we truly believed our Fatherhad [Father had] guided us, made us unspeakably happy.