Transcript for Lorenzo Brown reminiscences and diaries, 1856-1900, Volume 1, 37-53

Winter Quarters May 25[,] 1848 Thursday[.] Left Winter Quarters & bade adieu to the town and all its associations, not forgetting the buria(l) ground where hundreds of saints have found a final resting place and to judge of its appearance is large enough for the town to have been settled for a(t) least 20 years or more

Left about noon on our journey westward[.] The weather was very hot & oppressive this afternoon[.] Encamped with H.C. Kimballs Company on the prarie

26 Drove to Brighams camp some 5 or 6 miles[.] His family camout [came out]

27 Drove to the Elk Horn about 18 miles. From the bluffs of this river had a view of the Big Platte river some 6 or 7 miles distant

28 Sunday[.] This morning considerable rain fell. There is now about 200 wagons on this side to cross which is done on a raft of logs one wagon at a time the cattle swimming[.] The stream is not wide

30 Crossed the river & moved into line. Thursday & Friday went fishing with a seine in a small Lake near by which in common with all of these small lakes had no outlet. Caught for my part some 20 or thirty mostly Buffalo[.] These are small & the seine reaches from shore to shore[.] They abound with fish of different kinds

June 3 Saturday[.] Left the Elk Horn & drove about 11 miles to the Big Platte. Befor[e] leaving the Horn we were organized into companies of 100 wagons these were subdivided into fifties & again into tens[.] Wm G Perkins was captain of 100. Eleaser Miller of 50 & George Alley of 10[.] One Company left yesterday one the day before 1 of Brighams & all of Hebers companies are in the rear. About midway between the Horn & here we were visited by a very severe hail storm with wind and rain from the west[.] We turned the ends of our wagons to it and our cattle loose. It lasted for half an hour in which our cattle scattered

4 Sunday[.] Do not travel to day[.] The Platte is nearly as wide & about the color of the Missouri river but very shallow & hard at the bottom[.] Here as at the Horn there is a liberty pole raised by the Pioneers

5 Left and drove 13¼ miles[.] encamped on Platte where it comes round an island

6 Late Start[.] Drove to shell creek[Shell Creek.] stopped to feed saw some Buffalo grass. Drove on to a Lake on the Pra[i]rie[.] brought our wood from shell creek

7 Drove 12 miles encamped by a Lake near the Loup Fork of Platte[.] Rained hard all night & some through the day

8 Did not travel rained in the forenoon[.] found plenty of sweet flag

9 One of the company killed an Elk[.] Moved on to looking glass [Looking Glass] creek

10 Very hot[.] travelled slow[.] stopped about noon for the sisters to wash etc[.] one brother killed 2 Antelope[.] They appeared to be tolerably plenty

11 Sunday[.] meeting at 9 A M

12 Passed the Missionary station of 1846. Stopped at noon on Plumb Creek P.M. Passed the remains of old Pawnee village which [was] burnt and plundered by the Sioux in the summer of 1846[.] Lat 41° 24' 29" Lo[ng] 1090[.] Crossed Cedar river by doubling teams & caraled [corraled] for the night[.] This is near the old Pawnee corn fields in and around them are holes of various sizes dug for the purpose of secreting their grain etc they keep it in this manner from damp etc for a long time[.] Found chalk which appears plenty

13 Passed the remains of another village camped at the for[d] of Loup Fork 13¾ miles

14 Crossed the river by doubling teams going up stream ¾ mile sometimes in water 3 feet & sometimes on dry sand bars[.] The bottom is sand and quick sand, which caused the wagons to jolt very bad as on a rough road

Loup Fork June 15 1848 President B Youngs Company came across A.M. very hot P M heavy rain which lasted most of the night[.] Caraled [Corraled] about a mile from the ford above

17 Saturday Pres. H C Kimball & company came safe across

18 Meeting in Pres. Youngs company P.M. drove about 5 miles[.] wet road[.] Stopped near the Bluffs[.] Snows Company ahead[,] Perkins next[,] then Pulsiphers[,] B Youngs & last of all H.C. Kimballs

19 Drove to Pra[i]rie Creek very wet bad road in the morning then came Sand hills as bad some heavy wagons had to have help[.] a number stayed on the pra[i]rie[.] some teams gave out[.] one ox died[.] Brought word from Loup Fork[.] This was a very hard days drive & brought us all in confusion

20 Drove to Wood Creek in Br Youngs company[.] roads dry dusty & level[.] Platte river close by Grand Island opposite

21 Stopped on Platte noticed rushes in great quantities yesterday & to day[.] A guide board here put up by the pioneers of 1847 Buffalo grass plenty

22 Grought [Brought] our wood no timber to day[.] Drove our Cattle ½ miles to the river to drink

23 Stopped half mile from Platte[.] water & wood near[.] crossed Buffalo Creek head Grand Is[land].

24 Encamped at some small Lakes[.] no wood but plenty of Buffalo dung or chips

25 Sunday drove 4 or 5 miles & stopped on Platte[.] some wood which is growing scarcer every day[.] Meeting 6 P.M. Have drove in the past week over 100 miles[.] Road good & level[.] Cool nights & tolerably cool days[.] plenty of wind & dust[.] Sometimes dig for water to drink which is cool & good some 5 or 6 feet deep[.] Have been in the Buffalo Country for 2 or 3 days but not many in sight[.] Some scarce. Plenty of Pra[i]rie Dogs which are about the size of a squirrel and live in holes[.] Not on[e] has been seen or heard of. Took a wash in the river, which is 4 feet in places from that to nothing[.] two men went across[.] it is about 1½ miles I should think[.] Brigham Co. has 200 wagons

26 and 27 Whilst waiting for Kimballs Co. to come up done some Blacksmithing etc

28 Drove on[.] Brought some wood & used some chips which are first rate to burn

29 Saw Buffalo on the other side of the river[.] one was killed

30 Saw several Buffalo lumbering about[.] some were killed[.] some heavy sandy road. Stopped at the sand springs which are cool & clear & boil up from the bottom. No wood but plenty of chips which make a hot fire

July 1 Good road halted a little after noon on Platte. Plenty of wood on an Island close by willow & some cottonwood[.] Plenty of Buffalo[.] a number have been killed[.] The feed has been nearly eaten up by them[.] Distance from Winter Quarters 300 miles[.] staid over Sunday[.] Back over the bluffs all is sand[.] Sand Hills in profusion which more resemble waves of the sea though not so regular[.] Amongst these Hills are thousands of buffalo of all sizes[.] A Bull killed yesterday from end of his rump to end of his nose measured 9 feet

9 Sunday During the weak [week] our road has been mostly on the banks of Platte. Having passed the junction of the North & South forks the bottom grows narrow[.] At some points the Bluff comes directly to the river when we have to rise them and then find heavy sandy roads[.] At one place it was 3 or 4 miles across. Friday saw no fresh signs of buffalo[.] Just at night crossed a very heavy high point of Bluff at wolf creek near ½ mile across[.] Sat. Came to the lone tree at noon[.] the only tree on this side this week[.] It is a low but large tree Cedar[.] on one of its branches is the body of an Indian child wrapped up in buffalo skins[.] P M drove three or four miles & stopped opposite to Ash Hollow[.] On the other side are six teams 2 of them Indian traders & 4 from Salt Lake valley[.] They tell us that the Sioux have been watching us from the head of Grand Island[.] About 25 miles ahead they are encamped with 100 Lodges & a 1000 Horses

Ash Hollow July 9 1848 The news from the valley is good as could be expected. Our wood has been drift wood pine and Cedar picked up along the river and chips[.] Thurs[day] one of our company killed a fine cow & calf this detained us that we did not get into camp till dark[.] Had a heavy shower during the night

12 Crossed Crab Creek from which we could discern Chimney rock, 30 or 40 miles distant[.] Shortly after raised the Bluff had heavy Sandy road for 2 or 3 miles[,] several dry creeks to cross[.] the bottom was sand and gravel[.] very hard for teams. Last night about 11, three brethren came into camp from the valley. Some 18 teams were waiting for us at Snows Co. 11 miles farther on. Came up with them to day at 4 P.M. Found several of our old acquaintence

13 Did not travel[.] P.M. Had the pleasure of going back to help Kimballs teams through the Sand. About 9 P.M. had a very heavy storm of wind and rain

14 Cool and cloudy. Considerable sand on the road. Caraled [Corraled] near the river. A singular bluff on the opposite side called the Court Ho use [House] & resembling a large round building with a conical roof[.] Chimney Rock in sight all day dead ahead. The greater part of the valley teams were left at the Ferry on Platte from being foot sore etc.

15 Drove till late. Encamped opposite Chimney Rock. This has the appearance in the distance of a Hay Stack with the pole in the top

16 Sunday remained in camp. Wrote a letter to the valley[.] Had no wood & but few chips[.] About 1½ miles from the river[.] Dug for water about 5 feet found springs which boiled up until the well was nearly full. Here the companies were divided into fifties, for the purpos[e] of being better prepared to find feed for our teams. Brighams was divided in four[.] we travel in his company yet. Grass is getting scarce

17 Had good road all day[.] drove about 15 miles. High broken bluffs on the opposite side[.] Encamped about ½ mile from the river[.] Had another shower & heavy dew[.] There is seldom any dew

18 Kimballs Co. crossed the river[.] also some of Brighams[.] Stopped opposite Scotts Bluffs at noon[;] good wood. Camped on the head of a spring creek. This morning 4 men left camp bound for the valley with the mail

19 Some Sand but not very heavy[.] Stopped by a creek[,] water cold & clear. Heavy wind[,] rain most of the night[.] Some Cos. ahead and some opposite side. A few chips & a little drift wood[.] Our cattle run loose to night for the first time on our journey[.] Our custom has been to tie them up after feeding outsid[e] the caral [corral] each one having a rake & a stake[.] This was a very good way

20 Met O.P. Rockwell & 4 or 5 others from Salt Lake prospects good[.] stopped for night by the river banks and 15 miles from Fort Laramie[.] [so] far this week the land has been very barren no grass except in patches. The prickly pears are very thick indeed

21 Crossed the main river by doubling teams. good crossing[.] water not so deep as to run into our wagons. Drove about a mile & encamped near the river. Plenty of wood. The men from the S.L. left to return to Platte ferry 150 miles above. We are now in the Oregon emigrant road a little more than 500 miles from Winter Quarters being about half the distance to the valley[.] Heavy shower before day this morning

Fort Laramie July 22 1848 Saturday Drove 17 miles[.] About noon crossed Laramies Fork of Platte at the old Fort which is in ruins. Fort Laramie is 2 miles up this stream & in plain sight but did not go to it. Drove about 5 miles farther & stopped for night. Saw a few Indians at noon. Plenty of hills ahead & on both sides of us[.] River narrow & deep. Feed scarce[.] Drove our cattle across the river

23 Sunday. Did not travel[.] remained in Camp all day

24 Drove about 10 miles. Ascended the Bluffs & shortly descended a very steep hill by locking both wheels. This is our introduction to Black Hills[.] Encamped for night near the river[.] Tolerably good feed & plenty of choke cherries. Plenty of red[,] yellow & black currants & Large Bear Tracks

25 Passed the warm spring. After leaving the river had very good road[.] P.M. A shower passed which laid the dust & cooled the air

26 Our road is up a dry sandy hollow, over a hill ¼ mile long & down another hollow or ravine. crossed Horse creek & camped for night[.] The timber consists of Cedar, pine, ash & narrow leaf Cottonwood all of them short and scrubby. On our left is Laramie Peak at some distance

27 Rain last night & this morning. Laid by all day. Feed short and scarce. Shod an ox, etc. Plenty of Choke cherries, gooseberries & currants[.] Met 4 brethren from Calafornia via Salt Lake bound for the States[.] They had charge of the mail & brought us Letters & Papers

28 Hail and rain before day in torrents. Started late stopped early[.] Drove 5 miles found some feed & water[.] Heavy rain for part of the night

29 Drove about 12 miles over a very hilly road. Cold & Cloudy. Coats and mittens were very acceptable[.] Stopped on La Bontes [LaBonte] River[.] The water is quite red

30 Drove to day 19 miles stopped about dark on A. La. Prele river[.] Feed scarce[.] For game there are Buffalo[,] Bear[,] Antelope & some mountain sheep[.] About a mile above the stream comes through under an arch forming something of a curiosity while above it is a deep narrow Kanyon

31 Laid in camp to rest our teams[.] found some very good & drove them to it[.] an ox died last night[.] This is the fifth in our company[.] Some 3 or 4 Buffalo have been killed to day

August First Drove 8 miles camped on Four the Boise [Fourche Boise] river[.] Road hilly feed scarce Lat. 42° 51' 5" Distance from W.Q. 610 miles[;] from S Lake 421 miles

2 and 3 Sat & Sun. Laid by to set wagon tire[,] shoe cattle etc etc[.] Several mountain sheep & one Bear have been killed[.] brought in from the mountain some 6 or 8 miles off. The valley teams have been waiting at this point about six weeks

Monday Drove 7 or 8 miles[.] forded Platte for the last time & without doubling[.] Two miles from the ford stopped & drove our cattle across the river to the best grass we have seen this side Laramie. The company was divided this morning into tens. We here leave Platte altogether

8 Drove 23 miles some hills but not bad. passed the Alkah [Alkali] Springs & stopped at a small clear spring[.] No wood but plenty of Sage[,] little grass

9 Drove 13 miles passed Willow Spring in 3miles[.] camped on Greasewood creek. Grass short. No wood but plenty of sage which here grows very large[.] some stalks were 8 feet h[e]ight & 6 or 8 inches in diameter[.] P.M. had a light shower

10 Six miles brought us to the saleratus lake near the road where we got what we wanted[.] It is in cakes over the surface of a pond sometimes 3 inches thick[.] saw other lakes at a distance looking like snow[.] Dug down 18 inches & found it in large quantitites which appeared like saltpetre

Independence Rock August 10th 1848 Four miles farther brought us to sweet water [Sweetwater] river water clear & cold. One mile farther came to Independence Rock where we stopped for night. no wood nor sage & but few chips[.] This rock is about 600 yds long by 120 composed of coarse hard granite[.] There are hundreds of names painted & cut on the S. side next the road. Our road from Grease Wood has been heavy and sandy

11 Drove 5 miles & stopped to kill some meat[.] Near this is the Devils Gate[.] The river here has forced a channel through a mountain whose perpendicular rocks rise 400 feet & just wide enough for the river to run & 19¾ of a mile through[,] choked in many places by large rocks which have fallen from above. At high water this must be a grand sight

Some boy[s] have ascend to the top of a rugged path & were seen from below with their feet hanging over the giddy precipice careless of danger and dropping stones into the abyss, below counting the second which each took in its fall. This was fool hardy but boys will be boys

12 Sat Moved our camp up the river 1 mile to the foot of a rocky mountain. We stayed here until wednesday but through bad management &c killed but one Buffalo & part of this was spoiled

15 This morning found one of our oxen dead. During the day another died the two best which as minus[.] Br [Absalom P.] Free lost an ox the same day

16 Left & drove 11 miles camped on Platte[.] Heavy sand most of the way[.] Saw several dead cattle near the road 4 sick oxen in our company[.] Buffalo have all left the road but antelope[,] Bear[,] mountain sheep[,] Elk[,] wolves &c &care to be met every day

17 Drove 10 miles stopped on the river to doctor our sick ox

18 Eight miles to day stopped at a rocky pass. With wood & water plenty[.] Plenty of dead cattle by the road side yesterday & to day[.] [Simeon Adams] Dunn lost a cow

19 Drove 9 miles camped on Sweet Water[.] No wood or Sage & but few chips[.] Ice froze 1/8 inch thick for two nights past

20 Sun. Drove 16 miles without water or grass. About midway one of our best oxen gave out from his shoulder being out of place. We were obliged to leave him. He followed for a little way gave a sad look & turned out of the road and lay down. This ox & one sick made us another yoke less but still drag along slow[l]y wondering what will happen next[.] Brother Free lost a cow to day[.] Encamped on Sweet Water[.] Plenty of wood & grass[.] One of the boys killed an Antelope

21 Drove 9 miles & stopped on the river[.] Free lost an ox which had been sick some time[.] I here took my first hunt[.] Had a shot as [at] a deer but missed shooting too far[.] I have been prevented from hunting or tramping about much on account of a lame foot which swelled at times to such a degree that it was very painful indeed & often could not wear a shoe at all

22 Drove 12 miles & stopped on a branch of sweet water [Sweetwater][.] Free found another cow dead which he did [not] know was sick. Curious that cattle die without complaint

23 Drove 7 miles & stopped on s[S]weetwater. Here all teams that are going back stop. Those that have had them are obliged to wait until teams arrive from the valley. We are obliged to send one yoke back which leaves us with but two yoke beside our cows. To move 3 heavy wagons. This is 10 miles East of the South pass or dividing ridge between the waters of the Atlantic & Pacific Oceans[.] Lots of dead cattle & many more sick ones

24 To day our ox that was left 40 miles back & lame was drov[e] into camp by Pres. Young who found him 7 or 8 miles back in company with another ox. They were in the road following up the camp. We had not expected to see him again. He was not lame at all

Another Crossing Sweet Water Sept 1st Up to this date nothing of [int]erest has transpired in camp[.] Our time has been occupied in taking [care] of our teams &c[.] Myself & brother Homer [Brown] have been 2 or 3 days hunting sage hens, around camp. We always came in loaded with […m] & ducks. Had as many as we could eat & gave away a great [num]ber. The Teams have come from the valley and to day we had two […e] allotted us by Father [Isaac] Morley, belonging to Mr Thatcher who drives [them] himself. We got a yoke also from Br [John] Benbow[.] No wood but willow [wh]ich grows in great abundance[.] Weather cold cloudy & wet[.] Heavy [wi]nd & rain most of the night. The wolves howl at night so bad [th]at one sometimes can but think that he is in sectarian purgatory[.] Cold & wet rained hard most of the day. Towards night cleared up [bu]t was very cold during the night. Hard frost every night & some[ti]mes ice ½ inch thick[.] Our altitude is 7000 feet. Whilst raining [he]re the snow has been falling on the north of us which are quite [wh]ite[.] The wolves took one of Father [Reynolds] Cahoons boots from under his [w]agon & carried it about ½ mile where it was accidentally found

[illegible] Sunday[.] Cold with strong N W wind in the morning. Started contrary [t]o our usual custom on the Sabbath. George Grant met us in about ½ mile and informed us that Br. H.C. Kimball could not move for want [o]f teams & that he must have one yoke of our cattle. Father [Benjamin Brown] told [h]im to take what he wanted[.] He selected the best yoke & left. This circumstance with the fact that we had an ox sick reduced us to such a degree that we were barely able to crawl[.] Ten miles brought us to the South Pass[.] The ascent is quite gradual so much so that hardly knew he was going up hill[.] Altitude of Pass 7085 feet[.] The descent on the west side is more abrupt but still gradual. Four miles farther brought us to Pacific creek which runs to westward[.] This crossed & drove 2 miles farther[.] Found good feed by turning to the left on the creek[.] At the crossing of creek Latitude is 42° 18'58". Lon. 108° 40'

4 Drove 18 miles & stopped on little Sandy[.] Good road[.] Had to leave our sick ox about half way as he could <go> no farther[.] Tis the same that we left before[.] It seems hard to leave a good faithful ox by the road side

5 Drove 10 miles and camped on big Sandy[.] Plenty of grass water & wood

6 Drove 19 miles & stopped on Big Sandy

7 13 miles encamped on Green River 3 miles below the ford[.] In fording we were unfortunate in getting 2 of our loads wet. One wagon went in half way up the box side. But very little damage was done

8 This morning met some more teams. One drove by Bishop A Averett took in some loading for us 500 or 600 lbs which helped us materially[.] Drove 19 miles Hilly road some sand & some cobble stones P.M. rain & with some Hail & heavy thunder[.] road after muddy & slippery[.] encamped on Blacks fork a branch of Green river

9 Drove 16 miles & camped on Blocks [Blacks] fork again road good but some mud[.] Plenty of grass & wood[.] Stopped with Br Taylor

10 Sunday 14 miles brought us to Fort Bridger[.] Lat. 41. 19.13 Lon. 110.5. altitude 6665 feet[.] For 4 or 5 miles back the road has been a good deal of cobble stones which were hard on wagons & cattles feet. When near the fort crossed three very swift streams the water clear & cold & filled with cobble stones[.] Several Camps close by Wood & grass scarce[.] left the Oregon road last monday

11 this morning bought an Elk skin of a mountaineer for a Hickory shirt worth 25 cts[.] Homer [Brown] my only brother stops here to work for Bridger & Vasques[,] the proprietors for a year at $15.00 per month. At this I felt to grieve[.] Drove 17 miles & camped at the copperas or Soda Springs. The water is clear & cold & not bad tasted[.] One that I saw was raised 4 or 5 feet mound shaped rooted over with grass[.] Cattle could pass without mire but a man could spring & shak[e] the whole

Soda Springs Sept 11th 1848 Stopped with Br E D Wool[l]ey. plenty of grass & dry Cedar wood. For 4 or 5 miles after leaving the Fort we went gradually up hill afterward down again. Some very steep hills to go down

12 Drove 16 miles & camped on Bear river a tributary of Salt Lake[.] The water like all streams in this country are clear & cold. Wood & grass[.] Saw some people boiling Tar which is obtained from a spring & when boiled to free it from sand & dirt has the appearance of Tar & is applied to the same uses. This spring is about a mile N W from the road. Where the road crosses sulphur Creek met several teams en route for the states

13Drove 13 miles stopped at the Cave rock at the head of Red or Echo Creek. This morning before day began raining moderately & continued till about 8 A M[.] When it ceased & we started roads slippery but not bad. Weather lousy & at night more rain[.] Altitude 6070 feet good spring water & good grass but no wood but sage & that scarce

14 This morning is lousy & wet with sleet which renders it very disagreeable[.] Our road is down the creek which it crosses several times[.] Some of the crossing bad[.] Drove 16 miles & camped on the Creek

15 Drove 5 miles down the creek to its junction with Weber river where we stopped. Here Brs Thatcher & [Elijah] Averett left us taking their loads[.] The orders from Pres. Young were that all should stop here until he should come up. P.M. took a hunt[,] saw some antelope & signs of sheep but killed none

16 Employed myself in pickingThorn Plums or Red Haws. We gathered some 2 bushels. In this stream there are plenty of Trout but few have been taken. President Young came up & passed us

17 Drove about 5 miles[.] Encamped about 1 [mile] beyond the Weber crossing at a spring that comes from the foot of a mountain

18 Drove 18 miles & stopped at the first crossing of Kanyon [Canyon] Creek[.] A M the road was up a small creek till we gained the summit then down another till we came to this Creek

19 Drove 8 miles up Kanyon Creek which we crossed 13 times. Road crooked & in some places dangerous. Passed three broken wagons. After this turned to the right up another Kanyon down which runs a small creek which we crossed 7 times. Four miles brought us to the summit of the highest mountain on the route. Height of mountain 7,245 feet. From here had a view of the South part of S.L. valley 18 miles distant. We now began the descent which is steep & long one & half miles from summit[.] stopped for night it being quite dark. Most of the way down this far had one wheel locked <&> some time both

20Started late & stopped early. Drove 10 miles[.] Followed down a creek 4 or 5 miles turned to the right & began the ascent of another mountain one mile to the summit. Towards the top very steep had to double as we did on the other mountain. Descended ¾ mile very steep came to a creek since named Emigration[.] This we followed down near 3 miles & camped[.] Found some mountain grapes

21 Continued our way down this creek which we crossed 19 times in going 5 miles. At the mouth of the kanyon came on a sudden into the valley within 5 miles of the Fort. Here we had the first view of Salt Lake about 20 miles west[.] Drove to the Fort which [is] the residence of brethren that came last year