Transcript

Transcript for John Oakley journal excerpt, 1856 June-August

Brief transcript from John Oakley’s Journal commencing June 1st 1856. Came over the Missippie {Mississippi} with the company of Saints; some 600 in No. principly Welsh (a few English & Scotch){.} came by R{ail} Road to Iowa City the present terminus of the R Road{.} arrived at 2. O.C. making us about 4½ days from Boston. Here Capt. Dan. Jones (who has been my president from Liverpool to this place) gave me the charge of the luggage to see it safe to the Camp ground 3 mi. from Iowa City.

Tues. 3rd Arranged camping affairs & rec{eive}d notification through James Fergesen that I was appointed by Pres{iden}t Dan{ie}l E Spencer & council to take the Captaincy of the 1st 100 of the 1st Hand Cart Co. to be presided over by Edmund El{l}sworth as president. Cheerfully & much pleased I went to work to arrange for this expedition which I volunteered to go with while yet in England.

Wed. 4th Verry buissy settleing affairs of the Com. I came from L{iver}pool with. Attended meeting in the eve{nin}g{.} Prest D. Spencer & Tyler spoke. Prest S{pencer} said he would venture to day that the Lord’s hand would be heavy on the emigrating Saints if they gave way to a murmuring spirit because of the knowledge they possessed. that the Lord required verry much more of us than others who had not the teachings we have had.

Thur. 5th My 100 was augmented to 150 which was considdered to be about ½ of the 1st Com{pany}. W{illia}m Butler was appointed Capt of the other half{.} Visited the sick. laid hands on a verry emaciated boy of a bro. John Lee’s.

Fri. 6th Meeting in the eve{nin}g{.} Eld{ers}: Spencer{,} Tyler & Furgesen spoke of the high anticipation thought & solicitude for the hand cart co. & how thankfull those ought to be who were about to start out. Prest S{pencer} said how softly had we all ought to walk before the Lord & before angles {angels} who are watching us with most anxious solicitude especially for this company. Bro. Fergusen said shame on him or her who would prop{h}ecy that the H{and} Cart Co. would not go through when Bro. Brigham had said they shall—said it seem it may be now as it has been the Lord has killed off one half of the people to scare the other half to do right.

Sat. 7th Put our boxes of clothing in care of W{illia}m Walker{.} Some paid 2/3 some all the am{oun}t at the rate of 12 & 15 $ per 100{.} Bro Walker has yet to go & buy Cattle & waggons to carry the luggag of the Hand Cart Companies. Eve{nin}g the 1st Hand Cart Co. Moved out of Camp amid much cheering{.} we only moved a few hundred yards to get in camping order{.} it was much to the surprise of the Camp to see us hover around & alight so near when they had bid us as they supposed, a long farewell{.} I can truly say one of the most glad days I have Ever seen I feel that verry many of the Saints will be gathered in this way I have full confidence that the plan will succede. Meeting in the eve of Sun. 8th

Sun. 8th General meeting of the whole Camp{.} Many gentiles from the surrrounding country present & some wondered some blasphemed. E{lde}r Tyler{,} I.G.T. McAlister & Thomas Thomas Spoke. Meeting in the Eve{nin}g in Prest El{l}sworth Co. I opened by prayer. E{lde}r Spencer & Tyler spoke

Mon. 9th Came 3 mi. & camped in a grove{.} 11 of our 12 oxen escaped from the guard before 11 O.C. at night.

Tues. 10th I rode back to the gen. Camp to hunt the oxen{.} saw Prest Spencer. I told him that it would be a lesson to us{.} yes he said you will find that all your time will be required to keep them right and have our minds on our business & dream about it &c

Wed.11th the cattle were found on the herd ground of the Gen. Camp. Came 7 mi. 2 H{and} Cart Axels broke through carelessness. Eve{nin}g had a organization meeting. I motioned that we sustain E{lde}r Edmond {Edmund} El{l}sworth as president of the camp. He Motioned that I & Bro. W{illia}m Butler be his assistants{.} Edw{ar}d Frost as Cap{tai}n of the guard & Bro.A{ndrew}.Galloway as Sec. all unanimous carried{.} Prest E{llsworth} spoke{.} said he did not want to hear any more grumbling from this time on{.} that the Em{igratio}n had cost more that expected{.} consequently Prest Spencer was short of means so that we could not expect Sugar & Meat &c plentifully. said much depended on the success of this Co. if we failed it would throw a damper in the gathering of Israel{.} we are responsible for it will be our own faults if we fail for the Prophet Brigham has Said it can be done. said he would rather the people of this camp would cut open his heart & drink his hearts blood than to hear any more grumbling for the judgements of the almighty would be upon us. Some gentiles present. they asked some questions as a general thing then treat us Kindly

Thurs. 12th moved on 12 mi. extremely disagreeable on account of dust{.} I fetched up the rear as I have done since we started picking up the weary feeble the women with child & adjusting them in the waggons of which we had 3{.} 2 of them were filled with people this day.

Fri, 13th Came 7 mi. & camped on a creek 2½ miles from Malings{.} Some 20 Strangers Came to our Camp evincing much curiosity

Sat. 14th Came 7 mi. & camped on bear creek in a woods{.} the saints seem to endure much better than when we started{.} Bro. Lee’s boy {William} died age 12 y 4 mo. 25 d{.} I went to a saw mill near{.} the owner gave me boards to make a coffin{.} I told him the Lord would bless him for his liberality

Sun. 15th Bro. Richd Prator’s {Richard Preator’s} little girl {Loran Isabella} died age 3 y. 4 mo. 2 d. burried them both in one grave on a private burrying ground 200 yds. N. of the road near the Mill. Meeting A.M. & P.M. (Bro. Ja{me}s Ferguson from the Gen. Camp Came to visit us){.} He Bro Ell{l}sworth & D McArthur spoke{.} Bro. T said it became this co. to be careful as the Devil would exert himself to smash the scheme.

Mon. 15th Came 13 mi.

Tues. 16th Came 11 mi{.} Job Welling’s little boy Job died here with a canker of long standing age 1 y. 17 mo. 17 d.

18th Came 9 mi. & buried Job Welling on the N.W. Corner of a Mr {illegible}’s farm near a creek—A few discontented and unfaithul Spirits began to be manifest complaining of smallness of rations &c

Thurs. 19th Came 12 mi. Crossed a considerable Stream I think Scunk {Skunk} creek—heat great—put in all our cart axles{.} I baptised 7 persons{.} Betsy Bourne for remission of sins. Bowers & Son. Walters & daughters {illegible} Kettle for their health—2 other rebaptisms{.} Meeting in the Eve{nin}g{.} Prest E{llsworth} gave us much good instruction{.} told us much depended on the little meetings such as we have had & will have on the journey{.} in these we got to feel of one anothers spirits & understand one another &c

Fri. 20th Came 14 mi. verry hilly & warm{.} one Bro Loyd {John Lloyd} and family. (Welsh) Complained that the Hand Cart pulling was too hard & stoped after pulling to the top of a hill{.} Bro. L{loyd} likes a full belly & plenty of Whiskey{.} Camped on Indian Creek{.} here I baptised 7 for their health

Sat. 21thCrosed Scunk {Skunk} River. Camped on Yellow creek{.} a Bro. {James} Bowers died here Shortly after geting in Camp. Prest E{lsworth} quite tired out{.} requested me to take charge of the Camp{.} Several Gentiles came in our midst—by one a verry well informed man from Vermont (I think) a traveler, I learned the state of the Slave question in Kansas which is now racking the U.S. like a great ship in a storm as our prophet has predicted. the man told me that many volunteers from the different states had been Killed & others were preaching to their relatives friends parties &c taking the Killed for texts & asked him if he could not see that it must eventually become general but he said he did not think it would go fa{r}ther than Kansas

Sun. 22nd Burried Bro. Bowers (age 44 y. 5 mo. 2d. in Apple grove ½ mi. from the road ¼ mi from the line of a Mr Milards farm N & S. line (Bro. D McArthurs Co Camped with us) Meeting P.M. Some 30 Gentiles present. Bro. D. McA{rthur} said we do not want any of the sympathey of our Gentile friends{.} we had enough of them{.} Prest El{l}sworth told them their sympathies were towa{r}ds our prettiest girls & our strongest young men &c{.} they wanted them to stop & work for them{.} told them if they wanted to shew their sympathies they might do so by donating a few teams{.} one spoke & Said you are now in a free state{.} no Mo. Rufians here{.} Their feelings seemed to be they wanted us to whip their enemies the Mosourians {Missourians.} we gave them to understand that we expected them to do their own drudgery{.} I adminstered to a number of the sick{.} I realize more & more that the Lord is bringing us under training under the rod to dicipline us

23rd Came 14 miles to 4 mi. Creek 4 mi. from the Fort Des Moin{es} town. burried a litle child Sidney Chein {Sheen} 3 mos & 14 days old{.} suposed to have ben lain on by its mother during the night{.} I burried him about 30 yds South of the Bridge on the E. Bank

24th Came 10 mi. extremely hot{.} Some of the saints fainted by the way{.} I had considerable dificulty in fetching up the rear{.} pased the River Des Moin{es} at the town of Des Moin{es.} 2500 inhabitants{.} some of the people here raged with the spirit of Cain against us

W. 25th Came 16 mi. Meeting in the evening. Prest E{lsworth} I and Bro. {William} Butler spoke{.} I spoke on lousiness. cautioned against to freequent talking. & the purpose of the Lord in having us travel in this way{.} it was not that He had not sufficient Cattle &c but He wished to decipline & prove us

Thurs. 26th Came 14 mi. Camped on the middle fork of Grand River{.} here it rained a little for the 1st time since we Started from the Gen. Camp{.} burried a child of Bro. Chein’s {Sheen’s} 100 yds West of the Saw. Mill{.} died of Whopping Cough{.} Many Gentiles Came to camp—treat us well—Mostly from Indiana

Fri. 27th Came 10 mi. C{amped} South folk of Coon River

Sat. 28th Came 16 mi. 12 mi without water{.} weighed some of the saints luggage{.} those whom we suspected of Keeping more than the 17 lbs & had Idols such as Boxes Books &c{.} A person calling himself a Harmonial Philosopher or Spiritualist lecturer followed me a mile or more to ask me concerning our doctrines. he also answered me to my enquirie’s that their superior inteligence Came from a race of Spirits who lived 1400 years ago. I told him ours came from Jesus Christ & his Apostles{.} Eve{ni}ng verry heavy wind & rain & tried for the 1st time our tents{.} 2 were much torn & 3 blew down

Sun. 29th Remained in Camp & had Meeting P.M. Gentiles present as usual

Mon. 30th Came 16 mi{.} a little N. of the Stage road{.} good spring{.} 2 houses near. Bro. {Cyrus William} Card’s (from N. Y. State) daughter Polly C Card age 14 y. 9 mo. 9 da. died of consumption. burried in burrying ground at the Town of Linden (I think). Bro. Card & Bro. France traveled in Company with their families in waggons but not connected with the H{and} Cart Co.

Tues. July 1st Came 14 mi. Some rain

Wed. 2nd Came 10 mi. Strong wind{.} heavy rain during the night & much lightning{.} Some tents tore{.} remained in Camp till ½ past 3 O.C. P.M. while Bro McArthur’s Co hunted for a boy who staid back{.} Camped near the Town of Lewis{.} here we found a family of saints from Tow {.} Man’s name Jos. Peltser (German) some fire in him but a little wild

Thurs. 3rd Prest El{lsworth} and I ate breakfast with Bro. Peltser{.} Prest E{llsworth} bought an Excelent cow of a proffessed bro. named Kerney (good looking man but no fire in him) a turn in the road & indistinct which together with disobedience of counsel (going on out of sight of the Hand Carts) caused a all nights travel for all to get together again

Fri. 4th Came 20 mi. Camped on a Creek near a saw & grist mill{.} Bro. Ja{me}s Argile {Argyle} shot a tame female Elk while it was with a herd of cattle{.} he thought it wild & a glorious game chance{.} the owner said he would settle for 60$ {50$}{.} we took it{.} divided it among the two companies Prest E{llsworth} & McArthurs{.} weight about 300 lbs{.} I feel & have felt that the Saints are too greedy {& lustfull} after meat

Sat. 5 Remained in camp{.} I sought out some Hickory for cart Axles for they were wearing much

Sun. 6th Meeting Bro. El{l}sworth{,} Galaway {Andrew Galloway} & I spoke{.} I spoke some to some Gentils present & then to the saints in faith adverting to the children of Israel when the serpent was lifted for them to look upon. That the Saints who have not yet taken hold of the Hand carts in faith & have confidence in President El{l}sworths promises & those who are afflicted cease to say that nature must have its course like the Sectarian Song I have been diseased for 15 years &c &c{.} That it was time realize that we are serveing a God of miracles who has lost none of his power.

Mon. 7th The owner of the Elk refusing to take 30$ Prest E{llsworth} told him to get what he could from Bro. Jam{e}s Argile {Argyle. got a sheriff & tried to make Prest E{llsworth} believe that he was responsible because he led the Com. no. go. So he took up with 12${.} I came on ahead with the mule team to buy provisions at Kainsville {Kanesville} & meet the Com. on the Mo. bottom by Little Pideon Creek. traveled till dark but did not find them{.} turned out the mules & watched them all night near a (half) bro. William’s mill

Tues 8th The Came {Company} lost their way consequently I did not find them till noon after dillegent search{.} they were hungry & of course glad to see me—crosed over the Mo. River in a Steam ferry boat to Florence a newly commenced town on the site of our Winter Quarters of 1846 & 7

Wed 9th I went with mule team to Kainsville {Kanesville} to get Iron &c for our carts axle skeins. heretofore we had used tin which was found unfit for so great ware.

Thurs. 10th Eve{nin}g attended a Council with Elder McGaw{,} El{l}sworth{,} McArthur{,} Wooley—Bates & others to devise for carrying sufficient provisions &c{.} we all concurred that we must have more teams to carry the am{oun}t named by E{lde}r D. Spencer (60 lbs per head)

Fri. 11th Remained in camp repairing &c{.} also Sat 12th

Sun. 13th Meeting. Apostates present & some half Mormons came to see & entice whom they could to stop in their glorious place showing especial regard for the sisters—one said to me God never required such hard things as drawing a hand cart{.} I told him he had not read his Book right{.} He required (what he the apostate would call hard) his Only Begotten to do a harder thing than draw a hand cart

Mon. 14th & Tues 15th Repairing &c{.} also 17th

Thurs. 17th Prest E{llsworth}’s Co. moved 3 mi to get in trim for the 1000 miles yet before us{.} Some 30 Italians were added to our Com. 14 cows added to our fit out{.} one to each tent of 20 persons{.} 54 hand carts{.} 5 to a hand cart{.} 4 to a tent. Some faint hearted about 15 in no. backed out here. Two small families backed out on the day before we came to the Mo. River{.} complaining that it was too hard

18th & 19 Fited up for our journey Also on Sunday 20th ½ past 5 P.M. Started out{.} came 8 mi.—had much difficulty to keep our cows as we had taken them from their calves only 2 days before we started{.}

Mon. 21st Came to the Elk Horn & crosed over in a ferry boat{.} Thunderstorm came on while crossing{.} most disagreable camping we have had{.} high wet grass & mud to lay down upon.

Tues 22nd Waited till noon to dry our clothes & also wait for Bro. Job Welling to fetch the runaway cow—very warm & heavy sand road{.} Came to the Loup Fork of the Platt{e} River

Wed. 23rd Came 14 mi. no water heavy sandy monotonous road through high grass.

Thurs 24 Came 11 mi. my busines is to drive one ox team{.} superintend the other 3 ox teams & 1 mule team & pick up the wearied feeble faltering &c & adjust them in the waggons which contained about 14500 lbs Flour & some 1200 or 1500 lbs of Groceries such as sugar soap salt D{ried} apples Tea &c

Fri. 25th Came 14 mi{.} Camped again on the L{oup} Fork{.} pased some houses{.} some corn growing by them

Sat. 26th Crosed over the L Fork in a ferry boat Prest E{llsworth} sent me forward of the Hand carts to find a camp ground{.} after going 3 mi a verry severe rain Thunder & lightning storm came on before I found a camp about 5 o'clock P.M. The hand cart train was some 2 mi. behind me & the waggons which carry the tents. we all got most thougerly soaked, water in a few minutes stood a foot deep in places in the road{.} Bro. Henry Walker who was with the Handcarts was kiled by a stroke from lightning{.} some 8 or 10 others struck down at the same time & Bro. Walker's sons skin was broken in a number of places on his body & legs making him verry sore. For the first time we put up our tents in {illegible}

Sun 25th {27th} Burried the body of Bro. Walker near our camp on a mound to the left & near the road 4 mi. from the ferry{.} Age about 50 years. Came on 4 mi to get a good camp{.} found it in 4 mi travel on the Loup Fork. Kiled our first beef steer{.} A Italien {Italian} brother while stroling out came in reported he saw a white woman crying near some Indians{.} some 5 or 6 brethren went out with guns to find her but returned without finding her or the Indians{.} Meeting in the evening

Mon. 28th Came 20 mi

Tues. 29th In consequence of threatening Thunder & rain storm did not start early{.} left the river & came 15 mi{.} Some 25 persons on horse back & in waggons (Some 2 or 3 women in Co.) came to us while camped on their way from the Cal{iforni}a Gold mines

Wed 30th Came 22 miles{.} no water by the way{.} took water with us but not half enough{.} this added much to the severity of a long days journey. Came to some wells dug by emigrants out of which we drew water to give our humble thirsty cattle{.} Prest E{llsworth} taken sick with a severe pain in his head

Thurs 31st Came 18 mi sandy road{.} heavy wind & tore down tent{.} much Thunder & lightning

Fri . Aug 1st Came 16 mi.

Sat. 2nd Came 16 mi & camped on Wood River. here we found two rows of stakes for several miles that seemed to be put down with accuracy some 5 rod apart—saw a large heard of Buffalo. Pres{iden}t E put out after them & I took charge of the camp leaving the teams in charge of Thomas Fowler

Sun. 3rd Prest E{llsworth} went out to hunt on horse back{.} saw the same heard but returned unsuccesfull as yesterday the ground too level & the Horse frightened when nearing the Buffalo—By Prest E{llsworth}’s request I caled the camp together & addressed them{.} Caled them to witness that it was highly probable that we as a camp a whole never enjoyed so good health in our lives as at this time notwithstanding we are living on ¾ lbs of Flower per day{.} verry little of anything else{.} Bro. El{l}sworth & {William} Butler also spoke{.} Came 18 mi. over a desert plain to the Platt{e} (no wood or water)

Tues 5th Came{.} camped on Elm Creek{.} dug a well there. Prest E{llsworth} rode on a mule after a Buffalo{.} shot one down then made to him the mule running head up awkwardly on the Buffalo before seeing him. the Buffalo arose{.} affrighted the mule so he threw Prest E{llsworth} near on the Buffaloo. the B{uffalo} made fight{.} Prest E{llsworth} gave him a punch in the head with his heavy rifle breaking the stock{.} the B{uffalo} turned tail & went his own way. Prest E{llsworth} & the mule to camp but not in company

Wed. 6th Came 10 mi. & camped on Buf{fal}o Creek where we can now see tens of thousands of Buffaloes{.} some 3 or 4 was shot & the meat distributed in camp.

Thurs. 7th Came 21 mi. but did not find water till we dug in a slow place for it 2 feet{.} the cattle humbly knealt down to satiate their thirsty souls

Friday 8th at noon camping we mised Bro. Sanders an old man. Bro. Stephen Moile {Moyle} one of the teamsters unknown to me had told him to get out of the waggon to make room for a sick boy—spent the remainder of the day hunting Father Sanders without sucess{.} some 25 of us hunted till 12 o.c. at night

Sat. Bro. Tho{ma}s. Fowler found Father Sanders some 4 mi. fo{r}ward of our camp wandering in the Praraire{.} I feel most excedingly thankfull to the Lord{.} Came 12 mi.

Sun.10th Prest E{llsworth} told the camp he would lead them no further unless they would do better{.} accused them of stealing one anothers provisions{,} hipocritically pretending sick to ride & c & c{.} told them to put the coat on if it fitted & he knew it did some{.} I spoke some{.} The Camp voted to do better{.} Came on 14 mi & camped by the Big Cold Spring. Much bowel complaint during the past 4 days causes retards our progress much—stopping the teams &c to wait for the sick ones{.} caused no doubt by eating the Buffalo meat & change of air &c

11th Remained in camp to lay in Buffalo meat{.} 3 Bulls kiled{.} no cows to be seen{.} we have come too far to suit our purpose in this but I think it for the best as all the meat we have yet had seems to have done us little or no good{.} it seems to me that we might have been 50 miles farther had we seen no Buffalo{.} I was occupied in repairing carts &c heavy rain during the night

Tues. 12th Our first cow or animal of any kind died with the hollow horn

13th 14th & 15th Came over very sandy road aver{ag}ing only 14 mi per day

Sat 16th Came 17 mi. & camped on Wolf Creek

Sun. 17th Came 12 mi. verry Sandy{.} ½ mi had to double team during this time all walked on. one Bro. Rosing {Giovanni Michel Rochon} an Italien much reduced for want of his accustomed beverage (Brandy) was left behind the teams having taken a different road{.} I went back having taken the horse out of the team to do so intending to put him on the horse but found him to feeble after a thougher trial so I came to the waggons (1 mi.) took {or broke} one the mule teams & came to get him{.} had to lift him in{.} he died before I catched up with the other teams which had moved on. Camped on the Platt{e} opposite Ash Hollow where we burried Bro. Rosong

Mon. 18th to Friday 22nd {August} averaged 20 per day{.} Some travelers told us some 50 teams had left the Valey to meet us

S. 23rd Came 16 mi. camped on the Platt{e} near Scots Bluffs {Scotts Bluff}

Sun 24th The 1st Indian we have seen since leaving Florence came to our camp. Broke up an old waggon{.} Meeting in the eve{nin}g{.} Sacrament administered

M. 25th Came 20 mi. Camped on the Platt{e} by a grove of cottonwood

T. 26th Came 16 mi. to the ford at Ft Laramie{.} crosed over & came 2½ mi. Some U.S. officers from the Ft came to see us.

W. 27th Came 20 mi. & camped on a creek with some mountaineers camped.

T. 28th Came 15 mi. & camped on Horse Shoe Creek{.} scant feed

F. 29 Came 22 mi. & camped on the Platt{e.} crosed it & traveled some 5 mi. where we stoped on a dry creek near the River to noon{.} as I was collecting the cattle I discovered two large veins of what I judged to be good Stone coals{,} particles of Iron ore also in the vacinity in abundance—came on 3 mi farther & camped. Heavy rain at night

S. 30th Crosed the river back again{.} met some of the N.S. men or traders who told us that some of our people from the Valley were camped on Deer Creek with Flour for us. Camped on a creek 4 mi from the river

Sun 31st Came 18 mi & found the before mentioned brethren my Brother in law W. P. McIntire among them. Bro. Robt Stodard died an hour before coming to camp on Deer Creek. Age 51 y. 3 mo. 19 da. I superintended his burial as I have done near all since on the journey

M. Sept 1st Remained in camp to arrange for the Flour brought us & to recruit teams{.} excelent feed{.} Meeting in the Eveg {Evening}

T. 2nd Came 20 mi & camped on the Platt{e} 4 mi. before coming to a U.S. Military Post. Scarcely any feed{.} Came 6 mi. & nooned where we crosed the Platt{e.} a fire got out & came near burning the Hand carts{.} then came on 5 mi & camped on the Platt{e.} This morning an old man by the name of {Walter} Sanders died & was burried at our campground of last night

T. 4th Came 26 mi. & camped on a small creek (Willow Creek) pased the Poison waters

Fri. 5th excedingly disagreeable cold rain & snow storm{.} had snowed some 2 inches during the night

Sat. 6th Found that the guard had lost some 24 head of cattle{.} spent the day hunting{.} sent out 20 men in as many directions{.} I {& Prest El{l}sworth} went also{.} found them{.} they had gone (as is almost alwas the case) to the leaward of the storm. Many of the Saints were bloated in consequence of the severe weather of yesterday

Sun. 7th Came 22 mi{.} Camped on the Sweet Water 3 mi. from Independance {Independence} Rock{.} A Bro. Geo. Liddiard was taken verry ill & remained back some 5 mi. I took the horse & went after him{.} found him dying. I hasted back to camp{.} it was then dark—& came back in com. with Bro. Ira Hinkley & Thos Fowler with a waggon & fetched the body{.} he died an hour after we put him in the waggon{.} this made me 42 mi. travel for the day. According to Bro. Liddiard's own testimony he has been a soldier in the British Army & lived a verry life of debauchery{.} My opinion is that the remains of venereal disease & want of his accustomed stimulous drinks was the cause of his stopping here{.} age 35 years{.} It was 2 oclock in the morning before got to camp with the body.

M. 8th Came 14 mi. verry disagreeable winds & dust

T. 9th Came 15 mi{.} Camped on the Sweet Water

W. 10th Came 16 mi

T. 11th 20 mi but came 2 mi. out of our way mistaking our way taking the left hand road for a cut off but it was a cut on. Camped on a small creek on the Genuine Cut off 6 mi from the turn off to the left{.} 10 oclock at night Bro. Dan{ie}l McArthur & co. came to camp with us the 1st time since leaving Florence Mo.

Fri. 12th Came 15 mi. on the cut off & camped by a good spring{.} to the left of us excelent feed{.} I whiped a man for stubbornly refusing to walk{.} this according to my presidents orders{.} the man's name is Green

Sat. 13th Came 28 mi{.} 15 mi on the cut off{.} traveled till 11 o.c. at night{.} found many waggons of Bro. John Bank's Co. at this camp{.} at the Pacific Spring scarcely any feed{.} a sis Mary Mayo died of disentery{.} She had little faith & had grumbled much (age 65){.} burried her here. Came 3 mi & camped by a springy grassy spot for the day{.} some 5 waggons from the Valley (Patriarch John Smith in Co.) with Flour for the Hand Cart Com'y{.} Meeting in the evening{.} I conducted it. Prest El{l}sworth unwell{.} Patriarch J. Smith spoke some to us

Mon. 15th Came 26 mi & camped on Little Sandy{.} poor feed—no water except by digging 2 feet in the creek bottom

T. 16th Came 23 mi. Camped on big Sandy{.} verry scanty feed.

W. 17th Bro Ja{me}s Birch died of disentery (age 28) burried him by the side of the road near the river on the bluff{.} Came 11 mi. he had murmured considerable{.} Camped on Green River

T. 18th Came 26 mi. Camp in Ham's Fork{.} feed exceding scanty

Fri. 19th Came 25 mi. Camped on Blacks Fork Gloomy Gloomy prospect—it seemed that circumstances had conspired to cheat us out of the little grass there was along this part of the road

Sat. 20th Came 10 mi. & camped at Ft Bridger—providentially Bro. Lewis Robinson had reserved a plot of grass & gave us permission to turn our famishing cattle on it—employed the time in shoeing cattle &c{.} purchased a fat Beef Ox from Bro. R.

Sun. 21st Came 23 mi. Camped on high ridge{.} a Bro Bailey left the camp at noon & went back

M. 22nd Came 24 mi{.} Camped by Bed Bug Cave{.} altogether the worst time since starting{.} at eve{nin}g a heavy rain came on as we were ascending a high hill{.} many of some 60 persons men women & children hugging the waggons to keep out of the rain{.} stoped a little to see if the rain would stop{.} the cattle refused to pull{.} it seemed as though the Elements combined with evil spirits had conspired against us—cloudy & dark so we could not see the road{.} the Hand Carts headed by Bro. El{l}sworth had gone on 5 mi.—by doubling teams I got the waggons to the top of the hill but dare not go down again—for it seemed to me extremely dangerous in the dark—waited some 2½ hours for some one to come from the Hand Cart Co. Bro. A. Hinkley came first & then Bro. El{l}sworth—Bro. E{llsworth} scolded much but it took some of it to rouse the wet cold {(for there was no wood nor sage brush)} sleepy company. Bro. E{llsworth} went ahead & we all followed in drear silence. found the Hand Cart Co. not much better condition—found an ox in the camp ground fat & seemed at home in the mountains—one man of the Italian brethren died {Jean Michel Rochon}.

T. 23rd Came 21 mi & camped on E Kanyon Creek

Wed. 24th Came through E Kanyon Creek & over the big mountain & camped at the foot of the last mountain. I had to go back 3 mi. in the dark to look for one of the teams & waggon & felt all the time that some one might have to come to look after me for I was much exhausted through the severe toil of the day—my head was dizzy. I found the team & waggon full of passengers waiting{.} the teamster taken sick so I told them to pray & I would do the best I could in threading through the dark Kanyon which I did but am sensible not without much assistance from an unseen source{.} 10 o.c. came in Camp

Fri. 26th Some good & wholesome provisions were brought us from G. S. L. City. we could hardly realize it was so. As we came down the little mountain we saw a great company from the city who had come to meet us & bid us welcome. Prest B{righam} Young, H{eber} C. Kimball & others of the heads of Israel among them to thus highly & distinguishingly honour us for I think no Com. was ever met thus far up the mountains before. I feelt that I was abundantly paid for all the toil & care I had with the Hand Cart Co. & my heart is full of gratitude to God that I have had embraced the privilege of coming with the 1st Hand Cart Com.

Dr. Bro. Woodruff,

The above is but a meagre account of our interesting journey{.} on the way there was but little opportunity for journalizing & my skill at best is I feel of the meagre kind

 

Faithfully,
John Oakley

 

G.S.L. City
Jan 16th 1857

June 1 1856
John Oakley’s acc. of the First
hand cart Company of Cap E. Ellsworth

 

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