Transcript for Niels C. Christensen journal excerpts in Historical Department journal history of the Church, 1896-2001 July, 1860 October-December, 5 Oct. 1860, 1-8
Friday, Oct. 5. The day was cool in G.S.L.City.
Elder Wm. [William] Budge's company arrived this evening <from the Missouri River>.
The "Deseret News" announced the arrival of this train as follows: "Capt. Wm. Budge, in charge of the last immigrant company, consisting of some seventy wagons and over 400 persons, arrived on Friday about noon. There were four deaths and four births reported, in the company, during the journey from Florence.
It is gratifying to witness the arrival of the immigrant saints in good health and spirits before the winter snows begin to fall on the mountains, rendering their passage cold and uncomfortable."
In the "Life of Wm. Budge" by Jesse R. S. Budge it is stated that Elder Wm. Budge who was emigrating to Zion, after serving a number of years in Great Britain as a local missionary, had charge <under Asa Calkin> of the company of saints who crossed the Atlantic in the ship "William Tapscott"
was <and that> on his arrival at Florence <he was> called by Pres. <Elder> Geo. Q. Cannon (the Church Emigration Agent, that year on the frontiers) to take charge of a train across the plains. and <T>this call <came> unexpectedly to Elder Budge, but he responded, and at once they <he> secured as his assistants Elder Nephi Johnson who had crossed the plains before and was a faithful and able frontiersman. The train consisted of 72 wagons all drawn by oxen with 2 or 3 exceptions where horses were used. There were also a number of loose horses, cows and young cattle <in the country>. The journey occupied <two and a half months as> three months, the company left Florence <July 19, 1860> and arrived <in> S.L. City Oct. 5, 1860. Several interesting incidents connected with the journey was is given, in the little work referred to.
Bro. Niels C. Christensen, one of the Scandinavian emigrants who left Florence in Capt. Wm. Budge's train
and who kept a daily journal, from which we cull the following:
Sunday, July 15. Although we had not yet received our oxen, we were taken out <from Florence> by the Church teams <to a point> about three miles from Florence, where we remained encamped about four days.
Thursday, July 19. We had <now> received our oxen, and brought <therefore broke> up camp and commenced our journey toward the west. I was quiet sick <when we started,> but [I] endeavored to stand the journey. We traveled till toward evening and then found a fine <camping> place
to camp. There being <where there was> plenty of water and grass.
Friday, July 20. We remained in camp.
Saturday, July 21. We recommenced our journey quite early in the morning, stopped 1 1/2 hours for dinner and then traveled until sundown, when we arrived at <on the bank of> a river in which the water was not very good;
but we encamped here for the night.
Sunday, July 22. Meeting was held in the camp <in the forenoon>, but we resumed our journey at 3 o'clock in the afternoon and traveled for 6 hours. We passed through a part of the country which was infected with numerous insects and the water was very poor.
Monday, July 23. We continued our journey early in the morning and soon reached a house built on the banks of the <
bank of the> Platte River, where one of the wagons belonging to one of the Swiss emigrants broke. Sister <Else> [Elsa] Mariager died at 2 o'clock and was burred about sundown; she had suffered severely a whole day with stomach trouble, and also had pains in the breasts. Our camping place this evening was good so far as grass for the cattle was concerned but the water was poor.
Tuesday, July 24. The weather was fine. We broke up our encampment at 8 o'clock a.m., and with the exception of a short stop for dinner traveled until sundown, when we encamped for the night where there was plenty of grass and water. Day's journey 18 miles.
Wednesday, July 25. We resumed our journey at 7:30 a.m. and traveled until 3 o'clock p.m., making 16 miles. The day was very warm and both the people and oxen suffered in consequence. We encamped for the night by the Platte River where grass
was and wood and was plentiful.
Thursday, July 26. We remained in camp until 4 o'clock p.m. on account of the oppressive heat. We then traveled until 9 o'clock in the evening when we encamped for the night
on the banks near the Platte river, where grass was not plentiful.
Friday, July 27. We continued our journey at 8:30 p.m. The weather in the forenoon was fine, while the afternoon was somewhat stormy. We camped for the night at 4:30 p.m. I was sick and tired during the day. Two Indians came into camp
who and were treated to food. They were armed with bows and arrows.
Saturday, July 28. We broke <up> our encampment at 12 o'clock noon, though some of the wagons <had> started early in the morning, on account of having to cross a river on a ferry. The last wagons were not able to cross until 1 hour after sundown. We camped about half a mile from the river at 10 p.m.
We <During the day we> had to double team part of the way.
Sunday, July 29. The weather was fine and a little rain fell off and on during the day. We traveled in a southwesterly direction. A wagon wheel broke. We again encamped for the night on the Platte river. During the last three nights we had scarcely had any sleep owing to the annoyance of mosquitoes. We traveled until 9:50 p.m. this day and encamped after sundown.
Monday, July 30. We remained at camp until 1 o'clock p.m. The load on the wagon which broke the day before was loaded into another wagon. One of the Swiss sisters died
on Tuesday <this forenoon> and was buried just before we started. We traveled until 5 o'clock p.m. and camped on the Platte river where grass, water and mosquitoes were plentiful. The emigrants had but little rest.
Tuesday, July 31. We resumed our journey at 8 o'clock a.m. About 1 o'clock p.m. a fearful storm accompanied
with <by> thunder and lightning came up which made travel very unpleasant. The downfall was so plentiful that we could scarcely move because of the water; one wagon belonging to the English emigrants broke. We camped for the night at 3 p.m. Soon afterwards the weather cleared up. About this time the wife of Ola Gaarder from Norway gave birth to a son. We enjoyed a good nights rest not being molested by mosquitoes.
Wednesday, Aug. 1. The weather was somewhat wet and stormy in the morning. During the night the oxen had crossed the river and we had to wade across to get them back. We resumed our journey at 7 o'clock a.m. the forenoon was windy while the afternoon was warm and pleasant. We passed several houses today and encamped for the night at 5 o'clock p.m. An elderly sister Olson from Sweden died today at 2 p.m. She was buried in the evening.
Thursday, Aug. 2. We resumed our journey at 7 o'clock a.m. crossed a small river without a bridge, passed a number of houses, and came to another little small river where we encamped for the night at 3 o'clock p.m. Day's journey 16 miles. I got very tired during the day and traveled behind the company.
Friday, Aug. 3. We resumed our journey at 5 o'clock p.m. and stopped to rest at 8 o'clock by the same river, on which we had camped before; here grass for cattle was scarce, but we found a town inhabited by saints (Genoa) [Wood River Center]
We <and> stopped here a short time for repairs. Our mechanics being <were> very busy till the following day at 2 o'clock p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 4. The weather was fine, We resumed our journey at 3 o'clock p.m. The brethren who had traveled ahead of the company but who had remained in camp waiting for us since Saturday <now> followed us. We traveled till after sundown when we encamped for the night <on Wood River>.
Sunday, Aug. 5. We resumed our journey <from Wood River> at 7:30 a.m. and reached the Platte River once more about noon. Here we encamped and held meeting in the afternoon. The following night was stormy and the thunder and lightning was quite severe.
Monday, Aug. 6. The English and the Scandinavian emigrants were divided <so as to travel seperately> and Carl [Charles] Widerborg was chosen as captain for the <company in which the> Scandinavians and Swiss <were to travel>. We resumed our journey at 1 o'clock, p.m. and traveled until 4:30 p.m. when we encamped for the night.
Tuesday, Aug. 7. We continued the journey at 6 o'clock a.m. traveled over good road until early in the afternoon, when we camped owing to stormy weather.
Wednesday, Aug. 8. Resumed our journey at 6 o'clock a.m. The roads were quite muddy, owing to the recent rains, and the water had cut several deep channels across the road. A number of Indians on horseback came to the camp wanting something to eat. We traveled during the day 22 miles when we camped after dark. During the day we were annoyed by the grasshoppers which seemed to literally cover the earth.
Thursday, Aug. 9. We resumed our journey at 7 o'clock a.m., leaving a camping place where there were was no water. After traveling 2 1/2 hours we were visited by four Indians on horseback. We traveled until 4:30 p.m. and after we had camped, we were visited by Bros. Wm. Budge and Nephi Johnson who informed us that the other company <(the English)> was six miles away.
Friday, Aug. 10. We broke up our encampment at 6:30 a.m. and traveled over a number of steep sand hills. We made a halt 10 a.m. to water our cattle. A couple of Indians crossed the river toward <us>
us. I encountered these Indians while I was gone to the river looking for buffaloes. A child died today belonging to Sister Nicholisen [Nicholaisen], was buried in the evening. A number of Indians came and encamped with us for the night. They seemed to be friendly and were glad to participate in <become recipients of> our hospitality. Our place of encampment here was near junction of the Platte and the Buckhorn rivers.
Saturday, Aug. 11. We resumed our journey at 6 o'clock a.m. and the Indians likewise, but they told us that more Indians would soon
be <put> in their appearance. We had traveled only a short distance when between 1500 and 2000 Indians, consisting of men, women and children were surrounding us. They had with them a number of tents and a multitude of dogs, as well as loose horses. We were very much amused to witness their peculiar mode of travel with their long tent poles and <other equipments>. We gave them some provisions, which, however, did not go far, there being so many of them. They encamped for the night a short distance from the place where we also made our night's encampment in the middle of the afternoon. Most of the day we traveled over sandy roads many of the oxen nearly gave out. We crossed a brook with clear water where we encamped for the night, after traveling 15 miles during the day.
Sunday, Aug. 12. We remained in camp till 1:30 p.m. and traveled only 5 miles. our oxen being tired on account of the heavy sand we encountered the previous day. After making our encampment, a number of Indians visited us, and we entered into a little trading with them. During the afternoon the wife of Jens Jonson <from Sweden> gave birth to a child. During the evening we were visited by a severe shower, accompanied by thunder and lightning.
Monday, Aug. 13. We resumed our journey at 5:45 a.m.
tThe whole body of Indians traveled with us, or where going <went> in the same direction that we did <were going>, but we had to stop while they passed us. They made us understand that they were going into war, with another tribe which had killed some of their women and children while the men were out on a hunt. After they <Indians> had encamped a short distance ahead of us, a number of them came <back> to our camp in the evening begging for something to eat. The night was sultry and we only enjoyed a little sleep <that night>.
Tuesday, Aug. 14. We continued our journey at 6 o'clock a.m. and traveled over good roads, followed by the Indians who gave us cherries. We traveled 4 1/2 miles through sand hills and many of our animals nearly gave out. Tired and weary, <ourselves> we encamped for the night on the banks of a little brook where wood was scarce, but water and grass plentiful.
Wednesday, Aug. 15. Resumed our journey at 7 o'clock a.m. and traveled first over good roads and later through sand hills. After traveling until 3 o'clock p.m. we had only made 8 miles and a half. We crossed Goose Creek on which we camped for the night. The mosquitoes again bothered us.
Thursday, Aug. 16. We resumed our journey at 6 o'clock a.m., traveled over sandy roads, 8 miles, and camped for noon at 1 o'clock p.m. A meeting was held at which we were ordered to throw away sufficient of our baggage to enable us to travel faster. Between 7 and 8 o'clock today the Indians <surrounded>
took a sister Madsen and son <who traveled behind the company> with Bro. Widerborg's wife who was lame. and would have <The Indians evidently intended> run away with <Sister Madsen and do violence to her person> them. This caused a great disturbance in the camp. We all grabbed our guns and ran back to fight the Indians but the woman had already escaped <and rescue the woman, but when we reached her, she had already escaped from the savages unhurt>. Three Indians came Bro. Widerborg's wifebut Bro. Widerborg shot her at once.
Friday, Aug. 17. We discarded and buried a great portion of our baggage and left our encampment about 10 o'clock. The English company came so near us that we could see them <a short distance in the rear>. We traveled 7 miles, crossed two small creeks and camped for the night on a third creek at 2 o'clock p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 18. We resumed our journey at 6:30 a.m. and traveled over good roads, though a little sandy in places. We crossed five small creeks with clear water, stopped to noon from 12 to 2 p.m., after which we assended the worst hill that we so far had encountered on our journey. After making our encampment for the night, we were visited by Bros. Budge and Johnson, who spoke to us and were glad to see us. A child belonging to Peter Peterson from Aalborg conference died in the afternoon. An Indian shot an arrow into Bro. [Alvis Houston] Patterson's dog. The weather was very warm today.
Sunday, Aug. 19. We continued our journey at 6:30 a.m. Two of Bro. [Jens Pedersen] Aagard's oxen were lost, but they were subsequently found. We traveled only a short distance and camped at 2 p.m. to hold meeting in the afternoon. The roads were good and the weather very warm.
Monday, Aug. 20. We resumed our journey at 6:30 a.m. and traveled all day over good roads. The weather was warm. A terrible wind storm visited us after we had made our encampment in the evening blowing over a number of the tents. Some of the Indians brought us berries.
Tuesday, Aug. 21. We resumed our journey as usual at 6:30 a.m., stopped four hours for noon and then continued traveling till evening.
Wednesday, Aug. 22. We resumed our journey at 6:45 a.m. Ola Gunder's child died and was buried. Our journey this day led us over sandy roads. The English company were only 2 or 3 miles behind us
So <so> near that we could see them, Bros. Budge and Johnson visited us <and> traveled with us until we camped for noon. One of the <our> teams ran away <but was finally stopped>. We encamped for the night at 6 o'clock p.m.
Thursday, Aug. 23. We commenced our journey at 6 o'clock a.m. The weather was very warm, an ox <belonging to Jens Larsen> fell exhausted to the ground in the forenoon.
Belonging to Jens Larsen. We nooned from 11 a.m. till 2 p.m. We traveled slowly, with the English company close behind us, and camped for the night at 5 o'clock p.m. on the banks of the Platte river.
Friday, Aug. 24. Resumed our journey at 6 o'clock a.m. and traveled over a good road, though a little sandy. Afternoon stopping three hours for dinner, we traveled till sundown. We passed several cliffs of pyramid shape, and the scenery was
Saturday, Aug. 25. We broke our encampment at 6 o'clock a.m. and stopped four hours for dinner and then traveled till evening. Some of the brethren went out hunting and killed three fowls.
Sunday Aug. 26. We resumed our journey at 6:45. The day was very warm, stopped from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for dinner and then traveled till evening, when we found a pleasant camping place where there was plenty of
water and wood, <but a long distance from water>.
Monday, Aug. 27. Resumed our journey at 6 o'clock a.m. and traveled with English company a short distance behind us. A number of the English emigrants visited us yesterday and today, and we stopped for noon 2 1/2 hours and camped for the night at 6 o'clock p.m. on the Platte river, where grass was scarce, but wood plentiful.
Tuesday, Aug. 28. We resumed our journey at 6:15 a.m. and traveled over a somewhat sandy road, stopped at noon from 12 to 3 p.m. and camped for the night at 6 p.m. at a place where grass was scarce.
Wednesday, Aug 29. We resumed our journey at 5 o'clock a.m. without eating breakfast, <traveled 3 miles and>
we soon found ourselves within three miles of opposite Fort Laramie, where we found that provisions and everything sold at very high prices. We laid in camp from 7 in morning till 4:30 in the afternoon and then traveled 3 miles further, camped for the night at 6:15 p.m. where grass, water and wood was very scarce.
Thursday, Aug. 30. We resumed our journey at 7:15 a.m. Our road at first was level and good, but we soon found ourselves going in among the Black Hills where the climbs were frequently very steep. We did not stop this day for noon, but traveled on till 8 o'clock at night when we encamped on the Platte River, where grass was scarce, having traveled during the day 16 miles. The mountains here are covered with pine and other birch trees.
Here Bro. Christensen's Journal suddenly ends.
Two day's later, on Sept. 1st, 1860, he was accidentally shot by a fellow traveler and friend, Swen N. [ Sven Monson] Lovendahl, while out shooting sage hens. The company were nooning on Horse Shoe Creek when the accident took place, Bro. Christensen died <a little after sundown>
during the night and before sunrise the following day <(Sept. 2nd)> he was buried in a 7 <seven> foot grave, his body being wrapped in burlap.