Transcript for Ossian F. Taylor journal, 1851 April-September

May 1 The weather as cold as in the frigid zones. traveled about fourteen miles[.] fine roads most of the way, passed through Unionville and camped at Soap creek. Quite different from what I had been in the habit of spending May-day[,] driving oxen along, singing out every three minutes whoe haw you hairry monsters. In 1849 I was in a place called Whyomin in Stoneham Mass. at a family picknick. And in 1850 I was in Bangor Maine upon mount Hope enjoying the company of some of my young friends. Alas! never to enjoy again—time flies on and every momend brings us nearer to that boon from whence no traveler returns. The young should remember that youth is the spring time of life[,] the morning also. And in 1851 in Iowa on my way to the great Salt Lake valley, far away from all of my relatives excepting one sister Mrs. Frances Walton. At soap creek saw some of Mr. Waltons acquaintance[s] by the name of Dorhorty. In the evening we had some fine fiddling, by a man that gave us a call who was a pretty good musician.

May 2 Very chilly in the morning and it soon began to snow the hardest k[i]nd, so we concluded to wait there untill it might clear off.

May 3 It looked likely to clear off so we b[e]gan to pack up, and was soon on our way once more. Frances baby is rather unwell, it got a bad cold the day or two before. We went about fifteen miles, and camped on a pleasent place not far from a little timber. Thomas and myself cut a hickery and hitched a yoke of cattle to it and draged it up, to make a fire. Cooked beans in the evening. My pen is so poor it would puzzle a Philadelphia Lawyer to read this short sketch of a journey to the Great and wonderful Salt Lake, even if he had a chance. Or more properly the lights and shadows of the emergrants [emigrants] bound for the far, far west, For through “Numerous tracless wiles they stray”

May 4 A poor chance for our cattle so concluded to move on a piece bfore breakfast: so we moved on and crossed a bad crick[,] Sharadon river, and camped neare it the rest of the day and stoped.

May 5 We trveled sixteen miles and camped on the open prarie, about seven or eight miles from a creek.

May 6 The wind blew so hard, that women folks could not cook breakfast; so we yoked up and started on, as fast as we could, intending to continue untill we might come to warmer place to camp. Before night we reached Garden Grove, and found the company we were expected to go with, making wagons, covering wagons, and prepairing for a start as fast as possible. We camped about one half a mile from town about 4 o’clock by a fine creek in a grove of big scattering timber.

May 7 Frances baby quite sick, she s[t]op[p]ed at a house in town to doctor it a little. no swing in town to put the cattale into to shoe them. So we thought it best to fix one of our own. So the old gent found three trees that nature had formed in the shape of a frame, that would do for a part of it, if a man is not very particular, so we stuck up a forked post, to compleat it, and took the machine belts for gurts, and was soon ready to try an animel. Emerline Owens was down to see us in the evening.

May 8 Shod some cattle. Harry took his wagon dow[n]to the creek and Frances baby (little George) got better so that she could attend to washing &c

May 9 Nothing new today—talked some of proceeding tomorrow, thunder showers, in hopes it will be a little warmer soon, if it should clear off again.


Stormes may rise and thunders roar—
But God’s kind hand is ever o’er:
How quick the bright lightning flies,
See how his glory fills the skies.
All things both great and small—
Not a sparrow to the ground shall fall;
Without the God who rules on high,
Seeing it with pitying eye.


May 10 Harry & Damia bought a fine ox. Did not s[t]art some expect to tomorrow if the weather will permit. Frances baby quite smart. Andrew shot the old Malate ox, that had been sick fo[r] a week. May he rest in peace. Very he[a]vy thunder showers in the evening, some afraid the trees would blow down upon us, but fortunately they stood as straight as a starched dickey.

May 11 Sunday Not very pleasant this morning but One thunder shower in the afternoon, to[w]ards night. I went after the cattle, killed a rattlesnake, the first one I ever saw. Before we went to bed it began to rain and it thundered so loud it seemed as though the very bolts of heaven were breaking and the lightning flew like wildfire, and it kept it up all night the hardest I ever saw. Shower after shower, peal after peal, cracking down ever and anon. It beat into our wagon boath wind and rain, so it was with some difficulty we gout [got] any sleep, but Thomas, my partner, was a jolly fellow, and you would have laughed if you had heard him singing in the middle of the night.


The weather was so dry, The sun so hot I froze to death
Susannah dont you cry—


Or calling out to me, to keep my head as high as possible, so that the water would not run into my breath-hole, &c

May 12 The old gentleman up early this morning found Mr. Scriggins’es wagon partly under water and himself sound sleep. We got up, and soon hauled it out, of (then part of the creek) But he lost three of his boots and a coffepot which probably the swift current wafted them a piece toards the Gulf of Mexico. Kindled a fire and prepaired breakfirst, which was doenuts (or in the vulger way of speaking “nut cakes”) beans, apple-sauce, hot coffe &c

May 13 We, and a number of families from this place started this morning and after breaking a wagon in the first move and stoping to fix it we all rolled on about seven miles, we camped. Found by counting, our company had increased to sixteen wagons.

May 14 Started very early, but found the roads very mudy in places, and numerous creeks where we were obliged to double teams to get along. Broke three chains crossing one creek, and after advancing eleven miles, it began to rain, so we took the precaution to camp; but that was not all of our trouble that day, for the horses ran away. Dania Thomas and myself chased them six miles before we could catch them. I mounted one of the horses, but he reared, and tumbled over backwards a[c]ross my leggs most beautifully, but we were up again as quick as thought, and I hung to him as tight as a father to a child.. And the way we rode them back to the camp, was a caution to Antelopes. If you will allow me to use the expression. They told us the girles had been dancing while we were gone, that was the worst of it.

May 15 We were hushed to sleep by last night by the ever solitary howling of the wolves. Such music may you never hear, dear reardreder [reader.] why do I say reader when prhaps no friend or relative will ever do me the favor, to study out six lines of this miserable comp[o]sition. Traveled about fifteen miles, camped near a creek that was some to cross. One of the oxen got his leg in the bridge, took them off, rolled the wagon over by hand. Nothing more to say at present.

May 16 The weather somewhat rainy this morning, as usual, passed over a few miles of pretty good road, and then, it was then, when we reached Pisgy [Pisgah] one of the towns that I thought beat my first wifes relations, but I shall not atemped [attempt] to describe it at presant. At about five o’clock we arrived at Grand river or one of its branches: found there a company building a bridge across it; so we took hold with them and soon finished it, and before night forty wagons rolled over the famous minute bridge, and camped near it.

Saturday May 17 We got a pretty early start, had a bridge to cross built over a creek which was so narrow that we did [not] try to drive our teams over with our wagons hitched to them. But just roolled them ove[r] by hand like a mice, and was soon on our way crossing a twelve mile prarie. We camped just afte[r] crossing another narrow cassa. But we all passed over safely soon after we crossed, a man from Pisgay lost one of his oxen over the cassa, into the creek, but we soon gave him chance to get out, by cutting the bow pin, and giving him his liberty. Clark Roberts blind horse came very near running over some of the women but fortunately they darted out of the way and he ran aganst the Machine, and oxen and was soon glad to retreat. The cows ate up some of Mrs. Rob[e]rts’es dough that she had prepaired to bake for supper. What very saucy cows, indeed, to torment an old Lady like that. I wander [wonder] my Grand mamma did not have such saucy cows.

May 18 So rainy, we were obliged to stop that day. I must not forget to speak of the coun[t]ry and the beautiful scenery, which notwiths[t]anding so many hardships in rain and mud, I cannot but behold with delight, although I am no genius to describe such a picturesque scenery. Indeed it looks rather odd, to me, so lately from the rocky coast of New England, now beholding the smooth and beautiful Praries just as spring is smiling--Yes the wild flowers feel her moist approach, and many are hanging their heads down, preparing to bid her farewell, and others are puting on their richest colored robes to welcome the next Virgin which they expect soon in all her lov[e]liness. May our hearts be as pure, and well prepared to meet her.

May 19 Rolled on about fourteen miles, camped on an open Prairie. Very cold this evening—kindled a little fire with some wood we brought from the timber, for wood is not very plenty in this country. My birth day, but feel about eighty instead of—a boy. Greesed the wagons, and retired to rest soon after.

Tuesday May 20 Moved over various mudsloughs, ditches, &c, and at length came to a bridge that was so sidelling, that, if persons had seen it, who was not used to such things, as we were, their hair would have stood erect on the top of their heads, at the thought of crossing it, especi[al]ly with heavy loaded wagons. But we all got over safe thank kind pro[v]idence, and camped near the stream that evening.

May 21. All got s[t]arted, but our five wagons and Mr. Merril’s Mrs. Clyde. At length we got started, but had gone not far, when it commenced raining, and the lightning blazed[,] the thunders rolled peal after peal, we went off from the road to the next timber as soon as possible, and we built a fire as soon as we could, turned out the teams, But the company that started in the morning was in the middle of the prairie[.] they had no chance to camp as we did[,] so they pushed on to meet the storm in all its fury. Shower after Shower followed each other, untill we had a shower of what do you think? I must own a stone Shower, for it hailed hailstones as big as prairie chickens eggs. It was a curio[s]ity [to] see them, and an case to feel them, for w[h]ere they hit,

“It raised a blister”

The horses ran not knowing whither to flee to avoid being pelted so unmercifully. the hail was soon over with, but it rained all day such as cannot be beat down east I must as[s]ure you. It wet into the wagons the worst kind. My bed got not a little wet, but Tom and myself got some of the girls to help us dry them in the evening, by one of the bigest fires you ever saw, so we had a very comfor[t]able nights rest, for they were not only dry but warm too. Very heavy showers in the night that ended the thundering at that time.


May 22 Started quite early, but it was quite mud[d]y, and it could not help raining a little. To[w]ards night we arrived at Nodaway stream, found the wagons that was a head of us across the stream, and the bridge washed away. Windy &c

May 23 The menfolds [menfolks] went to building a bridge, and the women to washing. Happy it did not rain. found it had wet and damaged some of the goods in the wagons.

May 24 Quite pleasant this morning. Started as soon as we all got ready. At noon arrived at a branch of Nishna Botna [Nishnabotna River]. Built bridge across it, twenty feet long, but did not cross. Deers and wolves very numerous in this place.

Sunday May 25 Crossed all safe, and proceeded on our way, untill we arrived at Nishna Botany. Found it to[o] high to ferry at presant. Camped near an old Indian Burying ground, for this place was formily [formerly] an Indian town. (Pottawatrmy [Potawatamie] tribe.) Saw some of their skulls and examine[d] them but they were much flat[t]er than a white mans. It does not seem much like the Sabbath, passing through so new a country.

“The sound of the church glowing bell”
“These v[a]llies and streams never heared [heard]”

but it will be all the sweeter when we do get a chance to enjoy it again.


May 26 Very heavy showers last evening[,] the river still rising. Probably shall have to stay a week longe[r] b[e]fore we can cross. So we mist [must] content ourselves by picking wild fruit, wild flowers, hunting, killing rattlesnakes &c Would I could give this beauquette [bouquet] to you, but Alors (alas)! dear [S..b], full may a flower will wither long before I shall have the privilege of telling you what I am wishing now, while gazing at this rud[e] bunch of flowers. Harry and Frank have gone over the river in a kind skiff to visite some of the people that live there. Thunders again[,] probably we shall get rain soon.

May 27 Showe[r] after Shower, last night [.] hope it will rain Saturday nights and Sunday so that poor hired men can rest.

May 28 The river up full bank. terrible freshets all about here. they say the bridges are all washed away between here a[n]d the Missouri river and the Platt[e] river is eight miles wide. We shall have som[e]thing to do to build bridges, in order to proceed, so I fear I shall not have much time to write in this Memorandum. We are obliged to cross the river to get good water to drink, but it is rather hard boating, the current is so strong it fetches down trees stimps [stumps], logs[,] bushes, and most every thing to bother the little boat. We young folks had a fine dance, last evening, which I nearly forgot to mention. Daniel Bunnel that lives over the river played for us. Snakes and Lizards very numerous here, the boys have killed a number six and seven feet long.

May 29 To the weather

Come dreamy nature dream no more,
But give us days pleasant three of four;
Give us sunshine to dry up the creeks,
And help us out of such a fix.

Then we’d with pleasure pass along,
And snap our whip and sing a song.
Once more the trees are clothed in green,
O let our hearts with rapture gleam.

O glorious sun shine out again
Sparkle once more on the dewy glen
Senter of light do not forget
We are not prepaired for darkness yet.

O[ssian] F T[aylor]


Saturday May 31 A part of us started this morning after the ferry boat to take it a mile down the stream to try to cross there, for the water has not fell but very little yet, and we can hardly afford to stay here, doing nothing any longer. About noon we moved the wagons and commenced operations, but it was hard p[u]lling, for the water moved with a perfect rush and we had about a half a mile to ferry. We managed to get over seven wagons by night, and was happy to retire to rest.

June 1 Commenced ferrying this morning quite early, continued all day but did not get quite through. Tried to swim some of the cattle over, but did not do very good business, for they floated down the channel trying to get on shore the same side they were driven in. We were afraid they would get entangled amongst the willows and get drownded, so we followed after them with the big boat, but they soon began to go on shore so we hung up by some trees that was then in the current, to help some of the cattle out. I then jumped over board and swam a shore to go farther down the stream to see if any of the cattle had got entangled in the bushes, but could see none but those that came on shore. So we made the best of our way back to the camp, by wading a qua[r]te[r] of a mile. I was wet and cold, but shifted my clothes directly and went to bed.

June 2 Slept rather cold last night. Finished ferrying this morning, swam the loose cattle and had better luck than we had yesterday, for they swam over like a [m...]. Fortunately we did not lose any.

June 3 Pleasant day moved on to the big Nishy Botna, but the bridge was washed away in the freshet, but found we could get a ferry boat for fifty cents a wagon. But we had a half a mile to row, as we did at the last branch.

June 4 Commenced ferrying this morning, worked hard all day, but did not all cross so we had to remain there another night.

June 5 Finished crossing this morning. Moved on about ten miles, camped near Pony Creek. In sight of the council bluffs, which are curious looking hills rising about two hundred feet or more, smooth as prairie covered with grass, but notwithstanding they look quite wild and present a novel[t]y not soon to be forgoton by the beholder, for they are very [st....] picked sanding thick together as possible.

June 6 Moved on about one half a mile farther to a fine spring, and learning the mosqueto [Mosquito] creek had risen, so we could not cross[,] thought it best to stay there a while.

June 7 Pleasant day. Part of the menfolds [menfolks] went to Hanesville [Kanesville], a town situated about two miles from Missouri river.

June 8 Worte [wrote] a letter to father and Mother, afte[r] hunting after the cattle two or three hours. We had a meeting to[w]ards night, some singing and music in the evening, by Miss Owen and Dr. Roberts.

June 9 Went two [to] Hanesville[,] loocked [looked] about all day. thought it quite a smart chance of a place, it being only four or five years since it was settled. The weather pleasant and water falling a little in the creeks, hope it will be so we can roll on within a few days.

Jun 10 Went to hunt a place to build a bridge over Musqueto [Mosquito] creek, but after traveling all of the forenoon we gave it up and returned home. (I mean camp). Looks very much like rain but it holds up yet however.

June 12 A wagon from Garden Grove came up with us today, that had a boy hurt very much by the wagons runing over him, the boys Grandfather went to take him out of the wagon while the horses were a going, but missed his hold and let him fall, and the wagon ran over his stumache [stomach], but fortunately no bones were broken, and Dr. Roberts thinks he well recover.

June 13 Hunted all of the cattle, moved on toards Hanesville[.] saw the rest of the Garden Grove wagons rolling in sight, so we stoped untill they came up with us and then we rolled on two town. Stoped there most all day, and went about a half a mile toards the Missouri river and camped, but had not scarce time [to] eat supper before it commenced raining, the like I have mentioned before in this little memorandum, accompanied by thunder which sounded like the report of cannon, and lightning as sharp as ever Franklin dared to bottle up, I do believe. Expect organ[i]ze tomorrow morning, and then cross the big river as soon as possible.

June 14 The bottom where we are camped part[l]y co[v]ered with water two or three feet deep and some of the wagons standing in water, for it poured down all night. a perfect creek. Frances little George very sick, hu[n]ted our cattle and moved our wagons up to Hanesville again. But the water ran three feet deep in the s[t]reet most all of the way up. Found an old cabin with a stove in it, built a fire, &c We feel very much discouraged, the season so much advanced, and we hardly started on our long journy. Talk some of giving up the journey this year, for fear we cannot get across the rocky mountains before the snow falls, and then we should be in a pretty condition surely.

June 15 Little George very sick in the night but in hopes he is a little better this morning.

June 16 Little George no better. Fear is apprehended from the Indians on the north rout[e], Armed men are a going to stop the companies that have crossed the river, untill all of the companies can go so we can defend ourselves. They have also applied for some of the government troops to escort the companies through the savage tribes. The Neomihaws are the fir[s]t tribe we have to pass and also the most hostile, demanding pay for passing through their hunting grounds. There may be some trouble but I hope not.

June 17 We are camped now about a mile from town, but Herry[Harry Walton] and Frances are in town with Little George who is no better. A very fine morning[.] the sun shines with all its [s]plendor and we are happy to see it.

Thomas Winn, J Murrel, Emerline Owens, Emily Card, myself &c went to one of the finest little lake[s] you ever saw, a fishing. I caught a Pike, the others caught none. The ladies, as well as the Gents got their feet wet, a fine fishing excurtion [excursion] but no fish.

June 18 A fine morning[,] rather warmer than it was yesterday. Little George no better.

Thursday, June 19 Very heavy showers last evening. A man and his son near here was struck by lightning[,] the boy instantly killed[,] but the man soon recovered. I have also to relate the painful event in this little book of the death of little George who[,] after suffering intensly with the congestive fever, died this morning about five o’clock, aged seven months and 19 days. He was as pretty a child as I ever saw, and the only thoughts that can comfort his mother is that he can suffer no more. He was cut down like a tender rose bud, but his lovly co[u]ntenance from our memories will never be effacd. Alars [Alas]! to[o] lovely for this earth, and it soon returned to the blessed Savior, who said, “Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not, for such is the kingdom of heaven.”


Sweet child thou hast gone to thy rest.But we know thou’lt be forever blessed.Disease may pass from shore to shore,But it will touch thy sweet frame no more.And while we on our journey pass,Let this be a simple epitaph.


Funeral at four oclock P.M. prayer and exortation by Elder Brown. He was then burried in Hanesville burrying lot. A pleasant place on a hill.

Neomahaw chiefs came here today to make a treaty concerning the emergrants passing north through their country. Understand they have agreed to let us pass aroung [around] the river Elk Horn if we will not kill any game.

June 20 Cloudy this morning, thunders some. Expected two [to] organize in a company of fifty this afternoon. Perhaps some one that never have crossed the plains may peruse this scribbling on paper no better than some merchants do up tea and coffee in, may inquire how they manage to get along in safety while crossing such wild barron [barren] countries. If so I will endeavor to tell them in my feeble way (you will say feeble indeed).

They organize in companies of fifty or an hundred wagons, elect Capt.ains of fifty wagons, and also over every ten, under the boss Capt.ain, and a sergeant of the guards &c And then they travel in regular order, one ten travels a head one day and behind the next, so to give every one a fair chance. It is the boss Capt.ains duty to see that all the by-laws are kept, which the article of agreement contains, to select the camping ground to see if the wagons are in propper order, and to keep an eye to the teams &c &c And it is the Sergeant’s duty to detrmine, with Capt.ains advice, how many men to put on guard, to see that they do their duty and take their stations at the proper time, &c The other Capt.ains see that their wagons assist one another, when needed &c Did not organize today, but expect to tomorrow.

June 21 A very heavy shower last evening, some of us stoped in the tent throughout the shower, but it ran through the canvass like a small brook and we got a little wet surely. A heap of menfolks met at our wagons[,] elected Mr. Helford [Telford] chairman, spake of all out doors and so forth. The house was then called to order and then Herry [Harry Walton] was unanimously elected boss Capt.ain. Stephen Hale, Sergeant, George Crooks clerk, and a Capt.ain over every ten wagons, which amounted to six tens, or sixty wagons, and about five hundred head of cattle. Nothing more particular today to note down.

Sunday, June 22 Quite a fine day. T. Winn, Capt.. Walton went up to town to meeting, said they heard a fine lecture delivered by Mr. Hyde. Expect to cross the river tomorrow, but it is up full banks, it will probably be hard boating. Set on guard now sometimes for fun but when we get across Missouri we shall be in the Indian territory. Then it will not be quite so much sport, for we shall have to look out for the red men–while the howling wolves char our hearts ever and anon. while watching us with ravenous eyes.

June 23 Commenced hitching up this morning to roll down to the river. At 10 o’clock arrived on its banks. And I tell you it looked wild romantic and fearfull, running like a whirlwind. Thick with mud and covered over with logs[,] stimps [stumps][,] roots[,] sticks moving as if to swallow every thing before it in an instant, for it went “brashing[,] slashing[,] splashing[,] smashing and dashing.” Commenced ferrying Took an hour and a half to go across and back. How we had to manage to get across at all I shall not attempt to depict. Suffice it to say Mr. Merrils ten (which contained our wagons too[)], got over today, and drove through the woods and bushes a mile or two but the Seperator (a part of the machine) got stuck in the mud, so that we were obliged to leave it untill morning.

June 24 Frank Owens, Joseph Merrill, Buccanon and myself guarded the cattle last night. But by the great horn spoon[,] how the musquitos bit, and the cattle acted like so many devils. Had a heavy thunder shower and wet us like a drounded rat, but nothing could prevent the musquetoes from their inhumane insults and depridations. I had often heard it said that the aunt [ant] is the smartest little insect, but I would like to know what insect could make a fellow smart wors[e], than those little insignificant pusillanimous gluttinous animals of the sm[a]ller tribes.

June 25 Very warm some of us went back to the river to help ferry[,] but our ten moved on to winter quarters. The place where the mormans first settled af[t]er they were driven from Nanvoo [Nauvoo]. But the Indians stole from them so bad they removed to Hanesville which is now quite a flourishing town. The prints of their old houses and Gardens are plain to be seen. Looks some like old ruins in ancient City.

We can get a plenty of musterd [mustard] for greens for we are camped where the settlement was made, but it is a dangerous place four [for] our cattle and horses, there are so many deep and cellars with weeds growing all around them as tall as a man’s shoulders where they feed.

June 26 Arthur Walton lost one of his horses last evening. Hunted most all day for him but cannot get any track of him. Some expect the red men have stolen him.

June 27 Had a very bad time to guard the cattle last night. Had thundershowers as usual; the grass up to our middles[.] wells[,] cellars[,] holes],] ditches in every direction; the cattle as wild as a Giraffe: but however we lived through it.

June 28 While Frank Owen was after his cows this morning, he heard a bubbling noise, and after looking about a little found another well, so hid up with grass and weeds that we had not discovered it before, withe the old horse in it, trying to keep his nose out of the mud and water that nearly covered him. We all ran to the spot to see what could be done; found we could not get him out without digging, so we went to work directly, and soon reserrected him, as we called it. Found the old beast could stand with a little help, after being doubled up in a well 8 feet deep almost covered with mud, most three days.

Hitched up and moved about nine miles, camped on a lovely rise of ground by a small green grove of timber. Capt.ain Carson's ten guards to night.

June 29 The wolves frightened the cattle la[s]t evening, and they ran into lawyer Slatons wagon, and we got up and soon established order: but I must have made a ludiculous [ridiculous] appearance running in the dark half a sleep[.] could not tell which way to go only by the noise, it was so dark we could not see the first thing, especially just out of our beds. Probably we should have f[a]llen and broke our noses, if there had been anything for us to stumbled over, but the ground was so fine and smooth[,] the grass about five inches high on that place.

June 29 Started at eight oclock; had a very fine day for traveling[,] made about twenty miles, camped by a nice spring, and a plenty of good wood &c, but


No cottage in the open field,
No signs of husbandry shines forth,
No church w[h]ere saints have often nealed [kneeled]—
No sound of revelry or mirth,
My heart’s not dum[b], if lips are sealed. OT


June 30 I will now mention we are following up the Missouri river, intending to strike a west[er]ly direction by and by so [doing] to head the Elk Horn river which will see if you will be so kind as to look on the map: so you can get a better idea of our travels in the infernal regions, as some called, for it is so mudy and the river so high, we could not follow the road, and cross the Horn near the Platt[e]. There are a number of companies a head of us however. Passed a company of fifty wagons. (Ca[p]tain Alread [Allred]) He had a stampeed and about forty head of their cattle had ran away but they got them again when and commenced yokeing them[,] when they took another fright and ran over teams, and stove the Capt.ains wagon all to pieces, so I understand.

July 1, 1851 Our ten (or Mr. Merrile’s ten) turn to guard; for each ten guards twenty four hours at a time commencing at four o’clock in the morning. Started about eight oclock, traveled untill we came to a stream which we think may be Omehaw [Omaha] creek.

There is one thing I must mention that nearly took place, just for a change of subject, as a variety is the spice of life. Mr. Bowen[,] an oregon man in the fifty behind us, whiped a young man, some six or eight weeks ago, which he had in his employ and turned him off: so when they arrived at Hanesville, the young man (Hunt) sued Bowen and made him suffer the consequents [consequences]. Bowen was as mad as a hatter and said if he could catch Hunt across the Missouri river he would shoot him, but Hunt had a revolver. And they both met this morning, Slaton was obliged [to] grab the pistols, to keep them from shooting. That ended this great tragedy. A great time and not on[e] drop of rum.

July 2 Built a bridge, and rolled on about seventeen miles, and then camped on a fine spot, but no wood. Had a bit of a dance in the evening.

July 3 Started at the usual time, rolled over the ground at a fine rate. Orison Kyle and Judge Broccus from Washington passed us about noon with a cannon horse teams: bound for the Utah Deseret Territory. The country we are passing through at present is a very fine loocking [looking] tract of prairie, but there are scarcely any timber. It [is] almost impossible to imagine what a fine sight, as far as the eye can extend, not a tree nor a shrub stone nor bush to be seen, sometimes for hours: the grass a foot tall[,] green and beautiful with lovely wild flowers scattered here and there; some which are rich indeed. But probably as we proceed farther west the land will grow more dry and barren in places. We camped after traveling twenty two miles. Plenty of water but not one bit of wood. Boiled the tea kettle with weeds. Which would seem quite romantic to persons who are not used to such chickens fixings. But we poor devils are used to most everything.

July 4 Rained this morning, rather cool[,] looked dismal, for the glorious fourth of July, for you might listen in vain for the ringing of bells or the report of big guns, or the merry possessions following the bugle[,] trumpet[,] drum and &c All is hushed, except the lowing of cattle[,] the neighing of horses, which is dull[,] dull music. After breakfast I went and laid down to sleep, when I awoke the rain had ceased, but still cloudy. Concluded to yoke up and move on to a more convenient camping place. Rolled on till 4, when we commenced huarilling, or forming the wagons in a circle. When Mr. Slaton came like a catamount upon a full jump, and told us that Broccus and band was camped about a mile and a half a head and there was a plenty of wood not far from there, and the Judge would deliver a short oration if we would go there before we camped. So we hitched up again as soon as possible, soon arrived at the goal. The Capt.ains escorted the Judge, Hyde and company to our camp and the Judge addressed us in a few words in statesmalik [statesmanlike], followed by Elder Hyde who gave exelent counsel to his brethering [brethren,] closed by a prayer, was prevented from saying more for want of time.

July 5 A fine day. Stoped to wash.

July 6 Got an early start, but it was very warm, so we had to travel very slow[,] made about fourteen miles, and then camped as usual. Had not any wood except what we brought with us. Our turn to guard tonight.

July 7 Started at half past seven, rolled up hill and down untill almost night when the Capt.ain thought it time [to] camp. Not any wood to cook supper, and poor slough water to drink. Just as we got to bed there came a tempest, such as we would not wish to see every day, accompanied by thunder and lightning, blowing down the tents, stripped the cover off of one wagon, making the tin dishes rattle, spoons gingle [jingle]. Was afraid the cattle would take a fright and break out of the corrall, and do damage, but fortunately they did not, for they huddled at one side of the circle and stood perfectly quiet. So no particular damage was done.

July 8 Got an early start and at noon arrived at a branch of the Horn, But there was no timber of any account to build a bridge and it was too deep to forge[,] so we were almost at a loss what to do. Talked of ditching and turning the its channel, but could not find fall enough to prosicute that plan. So we contrived to sink some grass to the bottom of it to keep the wheels from sinking into the mud.

July 9 This morning some started with their teams, for some willow brash that we saw six miles down the stream, and some went to mowing and others a packing the grass, and sinking it, and as curious as it may appear[,] before night about fifty wagons rolled over our famous grass bridge or tunnel made in a stream with a strong current. I am very unwell today[,] so much so I can hardly get about. Head Ache and pains in every bone. It appears like dry weather now.

July 10 Feel no better today, the Dr. thinks I am threa[t]en[e]d with the bilious fever, took some medicine &c

July 12 Saturday Was no better[.] do not know where we camped Night before last, no last night. Sever headache and obliged to ride in the jolting wagon. A person can get along very well on this California rout[e] if he has his health; but if he gets sick he will soon begin to pray for health, or death to come quickly and take him out of perpetual misery. At night we arrived at another branch of the horn, so I crawled out of the wagon, and a beautiful sight presented itself. I must confess as sick as I was, I could not but admire it so level and green, with beautiful trees all along on the banks—Indeed how wild and rich.

Ye gods! could I but paint a landscape now
With each green leaf and flowery bough
Would there were some genius with his pencil neat
To paint the whole, tree, bush[,] stream and bank compleat.

The wild sunflower, the lilly and the rose
All from them in harmony sweet fragrance flows
And numerous other minor flowers, play their part
O how! such simple scenes does cheer the wanders [wanderer’s] heart.

Many a bunch I’ve plucked while wet with dew
Stopping ever and anon to think of you,
Father, mother, brothers and sister dear,
And wishing you all, one moment could be here.

But alars! such thoughts are childish indeed
To feed my brains with that they did not need
For it would have been far better for my head
To have been content and gone to bed.

July 13 The Indians stole four of the best horses last night, two of them belonged to Dr. Ro[b]erts and then two to Mr. Helfor and Mr. Thompson. They were hobbled and feeding near the timber. But somehow [or] another the sly devils contrived to take them from under the guard’s noses without being discovered.

Feel a little better this morning. Stoped here today and hunted for the lost horses tracked them over the stream, and up it about five miles, but could follow them no farther. Found about four hundred Omyhaw Indians encamped a few miles down the s[tr]eams. Enquired of them about the horses, but they pretended to know nothing about them; but told us they thought the Puncas had got them.

July 14 Started about eight oclock saw young Elk[,] chief of the Omyhaw tribe and a number of their [-] Interpriter &c They wanted us to give them something for damage for passing through their hunting ground. We gave them one calf and told them if they would bring our horses back they should have 35 dollars in cash[,] a cow and some shirts. They said they would bring them back if they could get them, but probably we shall never see them again. Mr. Hunt came back this morning to pilot us along as far as he had been. Mr. Slaton and one more wagon, that was travelling with Brocens, are waiting for us forty or fifty miles a head. There teams got so tired they could not keep up with the Express. Hunt said before he left them, one day they had got there things out a drying nicely they espyed about forty indians on horseback making directly toards them, all armed[,] painted and feathered off to the highth of the Indian fashion. Probably they were a little frightened[,] two wagons alone far away from any big company, and most all of their things in sight more to tempt the Indians. They soon came up and enquired for the white chief and were very friendly. They had an interpreter with them who said they were Puncas. We traveled about fourteen miles, camped on a pretty place but no wood.

July 15 Rolled out as soon as possible[,] but such a chance for traveling [is] equaled only by the Great Sahara desert. Sandy bluffs where the wagons wheels sunk half way to the hubs, and the way the teams had to pull was some sertain[.] made twelve miles[,] camped at a small creek. My healthe no better[,] feel as though I am a going to have ague[.] cannot sit up but a little.

July 16 Started at seven oclock this morning in order to get to the next creek before dark, [k]nowing it to be as hard a track as ever was traveled, and about 18 miles or perhaps more; arrived at the river about sunset. Almost tired out and choked likewise—think how pleased we were to find one of the best springs we have seen while heading the horn.

July 17 Our cattle and horses had such a hard time yesterday concluded to stay here today and let them recruit a little. My health about the same[,] miserable enough.

July 18 Had a shower of rain, and hail last evening. Thomas and myself had to hold cover on the wagon to keep it from blowing off[,] and roll up the bed, but notwithstanding all that we could do they got badly wet. The horses ran away, and we had a quite a time. I expected to get cold, but I did not bad. Very fine and cool after the shower, traveled about fourteen miles before we took dinner, and eight afterwards, and then camped by an almost dry creek, water hardly fit for the cattle to drink. Thomas Cookes [Crooks] team ran away with him and the wagon went over him, but did not hurt him much.

July 19 Started about seven, proceeded about five miles[,] arrived at the north branch of the (oup?) [Loup] Fork river probably, which is about one hundred yards wide but very shole [shallow.] forded it directly, rushed ahead about fourteen miles, camped where those companies camped that are ahead of us, loocking out there own road. Here one company bore south, and the other kept their wes[ter]ly course. Probably the company that went south will reach the Platt river soone, but will not be so far on their journey, when they reach the old road as the company that went west. Saw eleven buffalo today[,] the first we have seen, I believe, but in a day or two we shall see abundance.

July 20 Took the western trail. Made about fourteen miles, crossed another branch of Loup Fork and camped. One of the guards got a sleep while on duty, but I shall not tell who it was, as it was the first offince. I feel a little smarter today. The country not quite so sandy as it has been. A little rough and a plent[y] of dry ravine[s] interspersed in evry direction. Jonathan shot a buffalo twice but did not kill him and the beast, acted so ferocious he did not dare to approach him again.

Monday July 21


Married Ladies bathing




Last eve the Ladies went in to swim,
And the way they wetn [went] it was a sin.
Some jumped in and some jumped out.
You’d laughed to see the fair sex spout.
While they were learning something new
The gents jumped in and spouted too.

This morning looked something like rain,
Hitched up at eight, and moved our train.
Happy to find the road so good,
So we rolled on fast as we could.
Headed a slough, although twas small
Crossed a creek, and circled all.
So we made fifteen miles or so,
While some went hunting buffalo.

July 22

Something to write doth me ann[o]y,
For Mrs. Carson got a boy.
Borne yestoday is sertain true,
Smart today myself or you.
Something else I’d have you know
The boys brought in a buffalo
Skined and dressed so very nice
So this morning we all got a slice
At three o’clock began to rain [blank space] again
So we unhitched and s[t]oped the train


The hunters killed a buffalo about three miles from where we stoped. So they took a team and draged him to the camp to let the ladies see the elephant as they called it.

July 23 Last night the cattle had a stampeed, (The word stampeed is a word, which those who cross the plains apply when the cattle take a fright and run with great speed, and not stoping for any body or any thing, untill they get over their spasm. They generally stampeed between the Missouri river and fort Laramie, but seldom afterwards or after we get past that fort which is about five hundred miles from the velly [valley] of the great Salt Lake. The origonality of the word stampeed I do not know, I cannot find it in my dictionary, but probably it may be found in a larger colection). But they were not in the corral, as usual[,] for the Capt.ain (Wm H. Walton) thought it best not to keep them up nights any more, for if they stampeed in the corral, they would break the wagons, kill and trample everything before them to the Earth. They ran over Mr. Jones’es boy who was out a milking, and stapt upon his neck and hurt him rather bad. The menfolks all went after them, and succeeded in driving them back, but they were a running and cutting up all night. Found them all this morning, but one steer, and a cow was hurt so bad, they were obliged to leave them. We started about eight o/clock when a terrible catastrophe happen[e]d, which chills my very blood to write it. The Capt.ain thought it best for each ten to travel some ways apart for fear the cattle would run away with the wagons[,] they were so wild: But notwithstanding all this precaution, we had not proceeded more than three miles before some of the teams took a fright and ran away. A young woman by the name of Kingsly jumped out of the hind part of the wagon and before she could get out of the way, another team and wagon ran over her; her sister ran to her and asked her if she was hurt much, when she exclaimed “I do not know” these were the only words she uttered, for she instantly expired, leaving her only sister without a relative in the company. It was sad to see how bitterly she wept and no wonder she could not be comforted, to have an only sister killed in so shocking a manner; knowing that she must be left to sleep alone in this desolate place which probably her grave will never be passed, by white men again to her knowledge, for we are as much as an hundred miles from the main road, not knowing, any farther than we go[,] what kind of a country we are to pass through, whether rough or smooth, or whether we can pass at all or not. She was burried just at night, after prayers &c, in a kind of a box for a coffin which was the best we could make deep in the ground, to sleep the sleep that knows [no] waking, and to be visited no more by weeping friends—nor at all except by the ravenous wolves, that are never willing to let the dead rest in peace, on these plains.

July 24 Started at eight o’clock and bid fare well forever to the lonely grave. Traveled untill an hour after dark[,] finding no water all day untill now, and this is nasty slough water, but we are happy to get any thing to quench thirst, which by this time we began to feel a little[,] you better believe, having drank all we brought from the last camping place, long ago.

July 25 I was on guard the after part of last night the cattle ran several times with a noise like the rushing of a mighty wind. I went about a quarter of a mile from the camp, near where the cattle was a feeding, and sat down to reflect a little and watch the movements of things in general and thought it a little curious, to feel a breeze of wind cool and refreshing, and the next moment another would pass over the dry ground, as warm as a summers breeze at noon day in Massachusetts. Probably it was caused by the country there being deversified by sand hills which draw the sun, and make it very hot, then in the evening (or at least night) the cool air from above would occasionally mix with the still air in the Vallies, and make such a curious variety of zepers [zephyrs]. The sun at length began to show its light in the east, and I thought of those whom I loved, far toards the glorious orbe and I exclaimed; many a time wilt thou, great center of all light, unfold, and fold again thy sparkling beams ere I shall behold their faces: if ever, but I felt as though the great and over ruling hand of all things doeth all things well. Found all of the cattle and at length got started. Crossed a creek about two miles from where we camped two rods wide but we do not know what creek or river it is, nor how far we are from the Platt: but any how we are in one of the curious places, you do not often read of. Bluffs five or six hundred feet high with their tops composed of white clay, and grass a growing on the sides, which make them appear different from anything I ever drempt of. At a distance they however resemble the sea in a gale of wind, which no doubt you have seen. Such as stirs up the bosom of the mighty deep and sets it a foaming[,] boiling[,] which might cast a gloom over the bravest mariner’s heart that ever crossed the mighty Main. Soon after we crossed the stream we turned unto a dry ravine, so dusty that it almost put our eye out, and was very disagreeable to our lungs as we inhaled it with the sultry air. Continued a moveing all day on the dangerous trail, met with no other damage but the upsetting of one wagon[,] but fortunately no one was hurt. Camped by a creek which then contained only a little slough water that the buffaloes had been wading in untill it [became] poisin dirty, but however we shall be obliged to drink it, for I expect it is as good as we shall get untill we arrive at Plat[e]t river if we ever do. The country so rough a person can see but a short distance around.

Saturday July 26 The cattle had a stampeed last night at twelve o’clock, and when gathered up what we could find this morning, there were sixty four head a missing. Some afraid they have ran away with the buffaloes, for there are thousands upon thousand[s] all about here we can hardly keep them away from our wagons, and the cattle are as wild and crazy as so many devils all the time. Some lost most all of their teams, only two of Mr. Waltons are a missing, however. We seem to be in the most perilous condition we have been caught in yet. Here on the dry and almost burning plains, nothing but nasty stagnant water to drink, which is to horrible to describe. And nothing but our teams to dependup on to carry us to our place of destination. If we do not find the cattle again some of the company will have a time of it, the famous rocky mountains to cross, where snow falls sometimes in every month[.] we [are] also on a new road surround by savages and wild animals, but however we will hope for the best. Think of it[,] those who are pleasantly situated in towns, what would you be in our condition, for but we must trust in the being that searches all hearts &c Although we are obliged to pass through many hardships, we hope our lives may be spared. We started this morning on horseback, all that could, to search for the lost cattle. After about fifteen miles ride over hills, th[r]ough canyons[,] rav[i]ens Mr. Carson, D. Walton, W. Carson and myself espyed seven animals on a pinnacle, about a mile from the camp. Thought perhaps they might be some of our cattle, so we rode to them and was happy to find they were. Mr. Waltons &c They were standing upon a dry sand hill, four or five hundred high gazing about acting almost as wild as the buffaloes themselves. We started toards the camp, passed near a buffalo, and had all we could do [to] keep the cattle form running away with him. At last arrived at the camp with our cattle, which was all that was in the forenoon. We saw a large amount of buffaloes while we were out hunting, we could ride near them while they [were] running, it was curious to see their fat sides bound along over hills[,] up steep banks, like a hog going [to] war. In the afternoon started in every direction. Mr. Carson and another man found four head eight or nine miles off, with the buffalo, they had all they could do to get them separated from among them they were all cows probably[.] if they had been oxen, the buffaloes would have killed them. And these are all we have found yet.

July 27 We tied the big cattle to trees last night to keep them from running away. They were frightened several times but we kept them all. Started again this morning to hunt after the last cattle again. Frank Owen and Buccannon [Buchanan] found seven head. Heard today one ten that belonged to an other company lost thirty head in one stampeed, hope they will have better luck in hunting them up than we have had. Capt.. Walton, Mr. Hale, two Jelfords,[Telfords] Charles Drury, C. Stodard have gone to the Platt river to find out if possible how far we are from the old road, for we are sick of staying here, drinking such dirty water, which is enough to sicken a horse that enjoys good health.

Monday July 28 Capt.ain Walton and those who went toards the Platt have got back again. Robert Jelford, [Telford] C. Stodard have found more cattle. Capt.. Walton and Mr. Hale went to the Platt and stopped all night. They think it about thirty miles from where we are now camped. I tell you this was good nuse to us.

July 29 Mr. Alreads [Allred’s] Company[,] hunting after their cattle they lost sunday night, found twenty head of our cattle and drove them to our camp today. We all went out today probably for the last hunt for the remaining lost cattle. I went about ten miles. Saw an abundance of Elk and Antelopes and I did admire to see the beautiful animals skip over the ground almost as swift as the wind. We found no more of the cattle today. Mrs. Thompson very sick with the congestive fever.

July 30 Hitched and moved over about six miles of a very rough trail, then we came to a plain almost as level as a house floor, which we could roll over with the greatest ease.

July 31 We arrived at the Platt a little af[ter] dark last evening where we found fo[u]r or five companies camped, for they had waited untill the streams fell and then came [to] the old road, and have arrived here before us, for we have traveled four hundred miles to head the horn and Loup fork and have only gained two hundred and fifty miles. (Brocckus measured where we came with a roadometer.) It is rather discourageing so late in the season and we have[,] I believe[,] about seven hundred fifty to go yet, before we arrive at our place of destination. Some talk of returning again, but Cap. Harry say[s] he shall go if he is obliged to go alone, so there is no danger of any backing out if the Capt.ain does not, for some of the women dare not take pills without asking his advice, but do not laugh, for it is a fact, but I expect they would be mad if I should tell them so but never mind I will not read this part before them. We are in hopes our greatest troubles [are] over with now[,] that is stampeeding, for it strikes the traveler with perfect horror to wake up in the middle of the night, hear the cattle running and bellowing like bull-dogs nothing but the yel[l]s of the savages could sound worse. Mrs. Thompson very sick, and some of the wagons needs repairing, so we shall stop a day or two to recruit a little. Some of the company talk of or think best for the company to separate and travel in smaller parties. I went to bathe in the Platt and crossed it but could find no place deep enough to swim. The Bohoise have kill[ed] a buffalo, to jurk [jerk]. If you should not happen to know what we mean by saying "a buffalo to jurk”, I will tell you how we jurk meat here: we take the best pieces and put them in brine about twelve hours and then we take it out, and cut it into thin slices[,] hang it into the sun untill it becomes dry: or dry it over a fire, it will then keep first rate. And it’s good too. I wish I could send a slice, to see how you would like it.

Aug. 1 The camp held a meeting this morning to see if they should divide or not. John Jelford chairman. Came to order when the following resolutions were made. First, to still continue to travel together, ne[ve]r[the]less any ten should wish to leave, they might leave for good. Carried unanimously.

Second. That the teams should be disposed of as the Capt.ain saw fit[.] that is[,] if any man had more team[s] than they needed, that he might take them and help those who had weak teams, for some had their teams greatly weakened by loss of their cattle in Stampeeds &[c]. Carried also.

Third. That if a guard was found not doing his duty by sleeping &c he should be marched three times round the camp, the next morning with a paper cap upon his head, with these words written on it with large letters “Sleepy head”. Carried also.So the sleepy fellows had better be very careful how they take a nap while on duty, unless they wish sealed upon them eternal shame. Verrious other things were brought before the meeting which I shall not ate[m]pt to record in these limited sheets. Some of the company got frightened last by the noise the buffaloes made, they thought they were comming toard the camp, but probably they were four or five miles off, for it is so level here on Platt[e] bottom you can hear the noise the animals make a great way off.

Aug. 2 Started quite early this morning (all hands) passed over some good and some sandy road, made about 22 miles, thought that would do, so we camped at skunk creek.

Sunday Aug. 3 Started early: at noon passed by the junction of the north and south forks of the platt[e] which you will see on the map, if you do not recollect where it is. At evening arrived at a wide deep creek which is twenty two and one fourth miles from skunk creek.

Monday Aug. 4 Traveled about eighteen miles drove off of the road toards the river to camp, corraled on rather a rough place.

Aug. 5 Had a stampeed this morning at one o’clock and the loose cattle all ran away like a streak of lightning, trampling Buccannon [Buchanan] to the earth and hurt him very much. We jumped out of our beds and drove back what we could see, but when we came to see them by day light thirty five h[e]ad were a missing. So we had the pleasure to hunt them, found them about five miles on [a]head to another camp. Mr. Hale, A Walton did not come in from hunting. So Mr. M[e]rrill’s ten stoped to waite for them, and the rest moved on as fast as possible untill we came up with Mr. Jones’es ten who were camped and a waiting for us. So we thought it best to stop there all night, expecting the company were seven or eight miles ahead.

Aug. 6 The moon shone very beautiful last evening. I sat a while singing

Roll on silver moon &c

interrupted now and then by the bitter howling of the wolves hunting for a chance to drink at some new victems clear red spring. At length I went to bed, and took a five nights rest with jolly Tom. The cattle behaved very well and we soon got started this morning, found the rest of the company about two miles on a head. Rolled over some bad sandy bluffs, crossed about five creeks, and passed by some excellent springs. Made about eighteen miles and then we camped. Fine day.


Aug. 7 A very fine evening last night, the Girls sung some pretty songs, and we cracked a joke or two, had a good time, and went to bed. But the oxen that was chained to our wagon kept it a jiggling or wig[g]ling about so we could not sleep but little. We keep the cattle chained up nights now to our wagons, so if they run away they can take us with them. Cool breezes this morning, about right for the teams to travel with ease. Crossed a steep and sandy bluff; made about twenty one miles[,] camped near a place called the lone tree, for there is one tree standing here alone, there being no more trees on this side of the river for two hundred miles. You might ask what do you do for wood to cook with. To tell you the truth, travelers are obliged to burn chewed grass, or to speak polite about it, buffalo chips. The victuals cooked with them, tastes little the richest of any thing out, jail if I do not fib. Mrs. Thompson very sick again.

Friday Aug. 8 Fine moonlight last evening.

Queen of the night roll on roll on—
How many stars hast thou hid?
Lend us thy gentle beams till morn
Then we’ll with pleasure bid—
Thy form good by

Antelope skip skip away
With thy form so light and free.
Nimble hare run run and play,
Would I could thy playmate be;
This lovely night

Prairie dog bark, bark away—
There’s music in thy tiny voice,
But there’s a wolf can he catch thee nay!
For thou canst skulk like a mouse
Away into thy hole

O, I can sing my broken song
No matter whether it rymes or no,
No matter whether its short or long,
If I but sing it very low,
So none can hear

Day is approaching good by moon
Thou must now fold thy gentle beams
To behold thy face what a boon
Sparkling in the crystal streams
Good by Good by

moved on as usual but Merrill’s ten goes ahead now all of the time now. At ten o’clock crossed castle creek, six feet wide, and passed castle bluffs on the opposite side of the river. They are bluffs resembling the ruins of ancient castles and fortifications. I wish I could have gone and seen them. I would have written more about them. Made about eighteen miles, camped early in order to give the sick a little chance to rest a little, for it is so late in the season we are obliged to travel when we should not, were it otherwise. Another very fine camping ground, would there were none sick in the company. Mrs. Thompson very low, Joseph Merrill and one of Mr. Chritchalows boys are very unwell, but have entirely recovered, and feel first rate.

Aug 9 Left our fine camping ground at half past seven this morning. In the afternoon crossed crab creek and arrived at Hobble hills, and while crossing them Mrs. Thompson expired, another painful event which I was in hopes I should not have had to write in this Memorandum. She seemed to be comfortable for an invalid all day, the hills were very sandy and hard for the teams, so her daughter, or the girl that was with her got out of the wagon to walk a piece, and when she got into the wagon again, behold she had breathed her last. Only the Oh! God can comfort her children, who are most of them in the company, for it is a very painful thing to bury a friend on these loansome plains; especially a dear mother. Stephen Hale, George Hale[,] a printer[,] and Henry Hale, are her sons, which some of them I have spoken of before. We went to cobble hills west foot and camped making about nineteen miles.

August 10 We are encamped near some more bluff ruins, which I have been to and examined they appear curious indeed, formed of rock, which looks as though they were made, or composed, of cement and clay, the outside being hard like common rock but when broken the inside appear[s] a great deal more soft and brittle. In some of the cliffs we have found what the Dr. said were once human bones, but now they are nearly petrified.

Mrs. Thompson was buried at eleven o’clock after Prayers and singing &c A board was placed at the head of her grave with the usual inscription. Neatly lettered by her son Stephen Hale who is a stone cutter. May all who read it remember that “blessed are the dead, that die in the Lord.” We hitched up about noon, and bid farewell to [the] grave of a good old Lady who will long be remembered by those who knew her.

We leave thee here to rest alone,
A friend to all, a mother dear,
But who can leave, that hast thee known,
Without dropping a silent tear.

Proceeded on our journey, passed Brown’s and Phelpes’es company[.] rolled over about ten miles of sandy road, and camped near the river.

Monday Aug. 11 Hitched up as usual traveled nineteen miles, and camped nearly opposite the famous chimney rock. This rock is about four hundred feet high, it is quite large at the base and then it['s] slanting enough for a man to go up it, a piece, and the rest of it is very steep, or almost perpendicular, so that a person cannot go within a hundred feet of the top. Five or six of the boys went over the river, to the base of it, after we camped, but it was so late, they did not have time to go up it any. This natural monument, which can be seen at a great distance, resembling then a big steam chimney which you have no doubt noticed at mills and factories, cannot properly be called a rock since it is formed of a substance about half way between hard clay and soapstone. A portion of one side has fell off lately I believe. Herry and a Mr. Simeon Card climbed up it last year when they went it, as high as they could, and wrote there names. Sim threw one [of] his boots down to see how long it would be falling to the bottom, unfortunately for him it caught in a crag before it reached the base and he was obliged to go back with one boot that was a nice joke for fooling, what a pity it was that he did not go up it bear footed. I wish we were not so much hurried, so that we could stop and scruternize such curious natural Geological fixings which we are obliged to hurry by. I cannot even get time to attempt to draw them, with my old lead pencil, which I would like to very much.

Aug 12 Moved today about twenty miles and camped nearly opposite Scots bluffs, these look very pretty, rising from two to three hundred feet, resembling splended building at a distance.

Wednesday Aug 13 Traveled about seventeen miles and camped beside the river.

Aug. 14 Traveled a few miles, camped again near the river, where we can gather sticks to burn, instead of buffalo chips which pleases the Ladies, but not so much our sex for some say that buisket never tastes so well as when baked in a bed of coals produced from the rearlest thing what is.

Aug 15 Started this morning, crossed raw hide creek, camped one and a half miles from fort Laramie, which is about five hundred miles [from] the great Salt Lake City, which if I remember right is not printed on common school atlases but I believe it is by Laramie fork so called in Smiths atlas, but not so in Mitchills. The Loup Indians are camped all about the fort, and up and down the river. They come about our wagons as thick as bees about a hive, to beg “some serga some buisea” and to sell moccasons &c but they seem to be very friendly.

Saturday 16 Crossed the river and then we stopped the teams untill we went up to the fort to do some tradeing. At eleven oclock we all started again, took the middle road, traveled untill rather late, when we came to a good camping place, expecting to stop tomorrow and rest a little. Some excellent choke cherries and black currant here so you see we have a taste of the juicy order once and a while. Waited untill the moon had risen before we tied the cattle up, so it was midnight before we got any rest.

Aug. 17 Fine day, the women are a washing and some of the menfolks are gone upon the hill to make tar. This is the way we rest while on this journey[,] sunday not excepted. Browns company passed us to day and Phelpse’sd have stopped in sight.

Aug 18 Had a stampeed with the horses or more properly the horses had a stampeed last night and ran like bull dogs out of the corral, with hobbles on, but we got them again directly. They got frightened at Mrs. Chritchellow’s churn full of buttermilk, I think. Hitched up this morning[,] rolled over rough hills, chasing Browns company, but did not come to a camping place untill it became so dark we were obliged to stop about one and a half miles from the river, so we were obliged to drive the cattle down there, for water and also we went there for water to drink (wasn’t that bully roundy for to get a drink of water).

Aug 19 All rolled out this morning, but our Wagons and George Crookes stoped at the first creek, we came too, to set out wagon tires, but the rest of the company moved on. Mr. Phelpes’es company stoped near us, so we were not so loansome. Found a large amount of choke cherries down the creek. If I am mistake not we ate a few.

Aug. 20 Rolled out this morning a head of Phelpes company. Found Mr. Jelford’s [Telford's] Wagons a few miles ahead waiting for us, but the rest of the company did not stop. So we traveled with our small band untill night when we camped.

Aug. 21 Traveled through what might be called the devils brick yard. Got in sight of the company. About one oclock, we overtook them just across the river, so we all rolled on as usual together, merrily singing the same old tune—“Whoe_Han_Old peppers once, Golden &c” Came to the river near night, found a lovely place to camp, plenty of wood and grass. Us young sprouts had a dance in the evening. Mr. Griffeth S.[and] Hale, was the musicians and they made their Violins Speak many languages, and Henry Hale was just the man to hint to us to,


“ballance all, all promanard, ladies chain
alamand left” &c


I must confess we felt like dancing whenever we could get a good camping place, for good camping places are getting scarce, the feed is so short.

Aug 22. Traveled on a pretty good trail untill about three o’clock and then we struck the old road and river. There are so many ways to cross the black hills, some travelers go one way and some another just as they think best. I cannot give a description of the road, for we have turned and twisted about, sometime traveling in an old road, and sometimes in an newe trail by the river, we go just where we can find the best feed for our cattle. I almost forgot to mention that Mr. Huntsmans five wagons left the company the nineteenth ins [sic] to travel by themselves.

Went about five miles after we came to the old road again, and camped at deer creek which is ninty 8 miles from Laramie. An abundance of wood and water, but the feed is very short. There is a plenty of good stone coal mines on this creek, for we now begin to touch the mineral country, if you will allow me to express myself in this way.

Aug. 23 Dug some stone and took along with us. Traveled untill the Captain found a good camping place, about a half a mile from the road, down by the river.

Sunday Aug 24 Hitched up once more, and started, passed Mr. Horners company, forded the river, and camped directly, making about thwelwe, for a sabbath days journey. Feed short, this place is called the upper ford, or ferr[y]ing in place. There are two good ferry boats on the shore now, but they are only used in the spring when the water is high. Mrs. Griffethe very sick.

Aug. 25 Mr. Carsons ten obliged to stop untill Mrs. Griffeth gets better, but the rest of the company moved on, took merrilie’s [sic] new road by the river, expecting to find better feed for our cattle[,] but we found one of the roughest roads that was ever invented[.] made about twelve miles[,] camped in a dry spot indeed, near the river, feed poor, think we did not make a great speck thing this scandalous new trail[,] but however it will not last long for I believe we are not far from the old road now. We now have to be very careful what kind of water we let our cattle drink for there are so many Alka[l]i springs all about in this part of the country: there has been a great many cattle lost, by folks not knowing where they are, and when they turned their cattle out, they would drink at them, which is most always shure to kill them. But now most every body that crosses the plains, knows so well about them, it [is] quite an easy matter, to avoid them.

Aug 26 Hitched up and moved on this morning, soon came to the old road again and about sunset arrived at the willow sprinags turned the teams out to drink if they get any water, for to talk about, feeding would be absurd indeed, for every bit of the grass is ete up as snug, and dry as a sheep pastire. Tied the cattle up again to keep them from running away, where we cannot find them, for the country is hilly, and dry as the torrid zone deserts[,] covered with wild sage and prickly pears that have thornes on them nearly two inches long which will sometimes stick through a cowhide boot, into your foot if you step on them, and in some places they are so numerous you can hardly avoid them. They grow nearly the same form of those prickly pears folks cultivate in hot bed[s] and gardens &c but ten times more (-), but I do not believe any body would have tame ones in sight after they had crossed these plains, for they are as much worse than a thistle, or more disagreeable to my notion than a thistle is compared with the tulip.

Wednesday Aug 27 Started at daylight went about five miles[,] came to a spot of grass, camped not far from a creek expecting to stop all day and wait for Mr. Carsons’es ten to overtake us but it is very miry, we have been obliged to pull three animals out with a rope already. Quite a large party of Shoshonee Indians[,] the Indian agent and some men from California and Oregon passed here today. The Indians appeared to be very friendly, but I understand some [-] all parties have been robbed by the Shiemes and other hostile tribes.

Aug. 28 Started early, moved to geese creek and went down it two or three miles to find some better feed and wait a while longer for Mr. Carsons’es ten, but we did not find any good, so we stopped and took breakfast, and hitched again directly, bound for to camp the next time on Sweetwater river[,] a fine stream which we follow up a hundred mile[s] or two. Arrived at independence rock (this rock if I remember right, Fremont and his party took dinner on the top of on the fourth of July. When they went through here exploring a number of years ago). We stopped the teams by it a few moments, to go up it and take a walk on the top of this noble mass of granit[e] rock which I believe is about four hundred feet high, and is slanting enough on one side for people to ascend it, comfortably. Quite a party of boys and girls &c went up it, and found quite a big, little worled , we red [read] a number of the names that have been chiseled in the huge monument and after gratifying our curiosity a little, we came down, drove about a mile beyond the rock and camped on the banks of the romantic and beautiful Sweet Water. Carsons’es ten have just overtaken us.

Friday 29 Started after taking breakfast, intending to travel untill we find a good camping place, and then stop to give the cattle and horses a chance to rest and eat (for they have been half starved for the last two weeks,) and to fix our wagons and hunt some buffalo &c &c You will notice that [“]&c. &c["] in this little sketch of five months on the plains because I do not write half what I would wish to, if I had a better opportunity, and therefore I wish for you to imagine what I do not write, especially all of the &c’s. Had a heavy sandy road untill we arrived at the Devils Gate. S[o]uth of this place a short distance, the river runs between two rocks four hundred feet high and perpendicular next to the stream. The company stopped a little way from it to wait till the Capt.ain might find a good chance to camp, so we had a good chance to visit and examine this grand, romantic curiosity. We went up over a rock, and down to the stream which is not bigger than a brook (being in the drouth, or the dry season,) between the huge rocks and it was awfully grand to gaze up four hundred feet, and see the projecting rocks, or ledges hang far above our heads, seeming ready every moment to tumble its mighty masses in upon us[,] but all was still excepting the music of the sparkling Sweet Water, that went bubbling along close by our feet, or every now and then a merry laugh, and the voice of some one every few moments exclaiming, Oh! look Oh! look Miss O, Miss R., Mrs. H., Mr. W....&c. We had been there but a little while, when a man made his appearance on a projecting crag at the top, it made my head dizzy to look at him. At length I thought I would go through the passage by the side of the stream and go up the ledge on the other side to see how far it might be or at least, I would see if I could climb up it that way. So Miss Bowen volenteered to go with me believing she was as pry as I was, and probably as long winded. So we started as fast as we could jumping from rock to rock, crossing and re-crossing the Sweetwater in order to get along, at length after going about a quarter of [a] mile we thought we could climb the hill very well; so we ascended as fast as we could, but Miss Bowen got so tired that I was obliged to wait for her to rest a number of time[s]; although, I thought she stood it remarkably well. I was led to exclaim a number of times while looking back behind us into the clear stream, below[,] what Lady dare follow the [-], she would answer “any brave heart or heroin[e]”. But before we got up to the top, we came to a ledge that I was at a loss for a moment how young Miss could get up it. But at length I hit upon a plan that was about inkstand [sic]. I got up, and told her if she would climb a small pine tree and give me her hand I could easily help her on the ledge where I was. I[t] was no sooner said than done, so we ascended to the top without any more particular difficulty. And I was happy to find Mr. Jelford, Anna Eliza, and Robert Jelford, Charly and Rebecca Stodard, Peter Cornia amusing themselves by searching things nature had formed, or gazing down the hanging cliff four hundred feet below into the clear sparkling stream as it went meandering along, in all the lovliness of a stream of diamonds. At length we all returned to the camp, much pleased with our ramble, thinking perhaps it would be a long time before we should have another opportunity to visit such a curious place. The Capt.ain returned about noon, and told us there was an excellent camping place about six miles from the road, south toards some fine loocking mountains; so we rolled on as fast as we could, across the valley untill we arrived at the spot, and stopped on the very place where H[a]rry camped the year before and stopped four days. And Frances cooked supper with some of the wood he hauled one year before. Found an abundance of old iron that had been left there, for since the gold mines have been found every year there has been a great many gold diggers across the plains and they not knowing how to manage, and the grass being so short that their teams would die off, or tire out, so they were obliged to leave their stoves, chests, shovels, picks, axes, and even wagons and get along the best they could, but many of them died, themselves before they reached Salt Lake with the cholera, and mountain fever[,] exposure, &c

Saturday Aug. 30 Quite a fine day, only the wind blows rather disagreeable every day, hurling the dust in our faces making our lips sore as a bile and skin as rough as a shad[‘]s back. Built a forge, and fixed up the bellows, and the blacksmith tried to weld some wagon tiers, but the wind blew so, he could not weld, so our trouble has not been much benefit as yet.

Aug. 31 Windy again today and as dry as a sheep pasture, but we are camped by the side of a clear cool creek that runs from the mountains, which are only four miles off.

Sept. 1 A little windy today. Stopped to finish fixing the wagons and go up to the mountains on a hunting excurtion. A number of us went in search of the grizzly bear, which abounds here you know. Andrew Walton and myself went up a ravene and through a thick growth of pine and fir timber, saw where the bears had torn the bark from the trees but did not get to see any of the animals themselves, so we went up a rugged crag of the mountain and amused ourselves a while by rolling big rocks from the cliff and seeing them bound from ledge to ledge and at length bound into the woods far below, smashing and crashing, upsetting dry trees, bruising and bending green ones, and at length spoping in the kanyon far below, and it was nice to hear the sounds reecho in the everlasting hills. Toards night we returned to the camp, but had not been there long before a monstrous big buffalo came near the camp probably to take a squint at white folks, but he did not have long to gaze at us for we poured a volley of thunder and bullets into him, which brought him to the ground. Mr. Carsons’es dog got shot a little in the fracus. I was glad it was not any of us, for we fired at him from every direction, as regardless of each other as you please.

Tuesday Sept. 2 Had a fine dance on the green grass last evening by a bright fire, and I must confess, when I saw the Ladies moving so graceful over the smooth green carpet, I thought of the wild nymphs dancing alone by some clear sparkling stream, seen only by imagination untill now when if you could see them you would say they are plainly visible. Our cattle had got nicely rested, and all things being prepared, eight oclock we started and bid a long farewell to our short home by the little mountain brook, but not without wishing we might find a number of such camping places before our long journey is finished. At length we came to the old road, made about sixteen miles, and camped once again.

Sept. 3 Moved on about twelve miles and camped about a quarter of a mile from the road on a little level bottom near the river, surrounded by rocky mountains which seemed almost to shut us in. Some of the Ladies and Gentlemen ascended one of them by moonlight. Quite a fine evening’s excurtion.

Sept. 4 Hitched up once more and on along through vallies walled in by high hillls, crossed sweetwater a number of times[.] made about twenty two miles, and camped, but there was but a very little feed for the cattle.

Sept. 5 Only went about six miles, before the Capt.ain found a good chance for the teams to live again, so we camped and sot a wagon tire, and was please[d] to see the cattle and horses enjoying themselves in the tall grass.

Sept. 6 Went about nineteen miles, turned off from the road, and struck the river a mile below in hopes to find some feed, but we were disappointed for the Indians had kept their ponies there till nothing was left in the line of feed, but willow bushes. Was very dark untill the moon began to shine over the hills, so we turned the cattle out and let them have the privaledge of searching for themselves. Mr. Phelpes’es company also camped by us so the cattle all were together, wandering about browsing the willows &c

Sept. 7 Started very early to gather up the cattle but it was some time before we could find them all and drive them through the willows to the wagons, but at length we got started, traveled almost to the summit of the dividing ridge, that turns the little streams toards the mighty Pacific Ocean, and seems to say thou canst no longer wind thy way to the Gulf of Mexico, but must bend thy course toards the west to mingle with the mightyest of waters. We camped about a mile from the road by the side of the Sweet Water river for the last time, for tomorrow we leave this elegant stream and see it no more while on this journey.

Sept. 8 Moved on to the pecific [Pacific] springs and down the creek about three miles, the whole making ten miles, rather muddy but none of our cattle got badly mired, feed pretty good, the water mixed with alkali or at least a little alkali mixed with the water but not enough to do any damage.

Sept. 9 Started about eight o’clock, was obliged to travel nineteen miles without feed or water, which was pretty hard for our teams, for they are getting footsore, and most tired out. Cap. Merrils made a mistake and followed Herrison Walton round a big bluff without orders, but at last we arrived at the little sandy creek, but the feed was so short that it was about as good as no feed at all, they were obliged to cut the young willows which was there in abundance.

Sept. 10 Hunted up the cattle as soon as possible this morning, found some of them down the creek with Mr. Phelpes’es cattle, at length got started, went about six miles to the big Sandy, and camped, feed tolerable good. The weather quite pleasant for the time of year, and climate, nights cool, windy days &c

Sept. 11 Quite a fine morning, yoked up early and started about half past eight o’clock, had a fine road arrived at big sandy again, about sunset, went down the stream a mile, and camped, but there was but very [little] feed for our cattle. Last evening was a splendid one truly: the moon shone with all its splendor, the camp had a business meeting to see about getting some spair cattle to help those along whose teams have given out, for some lost so many cattle in the big stampeed that their teams are getting so weak they cannot get along without help very well. This morning the Capt.ain went to get some help from Mr. Clark Miller and Chritchelo [Critchlow], but they were not willing to let any of their[s] go, probably they would rather their neighbors would leave their wagons on the plains and even stay themselves than to let any of their neighbors who were more unfortunate than they have any of their cattle, they might spare. Such mighty [a]com[m]idating men will long be remembered by those who know them. And I believe the great judge of all will not forget men with such benevolent disposition. They have forgot the golden rule “Do unto others as you would that they should do unto you.”

Sept. 12 The Captains met again last evening to see what is best to be done with those stingy men I have already mentioned. Mr. Miller agreed to do what the company might require of him, probably they will forgive him. They thought it best to cut Mr. Clark’s off from the company and let them travel by themselves, but did not on account of some of their relatives which are in the company whom they respected so much. They agreed to attend to Critchello’s case some other time. Hitched up[,] rolled on nine miles to the splendid stream called the Green river. This river is a number of rods wide, the bottom covered with pebbles, the banks covered or bordered with scattering trees, and grass. I would write a whole sheet over about this lovely spot, and river, if I had time but as I have not, let it suffice it to say what I have already said. We met three wagons loaded with provisions for the emergrants. I understand the church sent it for those who might need it. Looks like rain a little, for the first time for a number of weeks.

Sept. 13 Had some singing last evening by a number of the young folks, and some music by Paterson[Patison] Griffeth. We have good times in the evenings when we are all well and have a good place to camp. Started as early as convenient, followed the stream down three or four miles, and then turned to the right[,] ascended a steep place, and rolled over a sandy and gravelly road, struck black’s fork a mile or two below the old road, in order to find better feed, but it was nine o’clock before we got corralled. Our cattle was very tired, we could scarcely get them along. Mr. Hale had one of Mr. Wear’s [Thomas Weir's] oxen, but it was so sick or tired, that he left it before we camped.

Sept. 14 Hitched up at noon, moved on to Ham’s fork about six miles and camped.

Sept. 15 Traveled about seventeen miles, turned from the road, four miles below the crossing of Blacks Fork and camped.

Sept. 16 Traveled over a fine road untill near sunset when we arrived at fort Bridger, which is four log houses, and a small enclosure for horses, we camped about one half a mile from there[,] it being about one hundred and fourteen miles from the Great Salt Lake City.

Sept. 17 Traveled to the Cop[p]eras Springs where some of them camped and the rest ascended the ridge which is seven thousand three hundred and fifteen feet high, above the level of the sea.

Sept. 18 We waited untill those who stopped at the Cop[p]eras springs overtook us. These springs contain or pass through so much Coperas that they are very poison, but a little one side and below there is a spring of pretty good water, and then we rolled on as usual: passed the tar springs (These springs are a real curiosity, gushing out of the ground bringing out with them an oily tar, which rises on top, and can be gathered and used for nearly [the] same purpose as tar made from pitch pine) and at length arrived at Bear River, which is quite a pretty river four or five rods wide, this river as well as Green river has to be ferried over excepting in the dry season.

Sept. 19 Found all of the cattle excepting onr of Dr. Roberts’es heifers which probably was hid in the bushes on the banks of the river. We moved on as fast as we could, crossed yellow creek, ascended a steep hill and down a long one, and before sunset arrived at echoe cave, at the head of echoe creek.

Saturday Sept. 20 Hitched up and traveled only nine miles down the kanyon and camped. Had a camp meeting in the afternoon, agreed to make ready for a farewell dance, which was to come off in the evening[,] that is to commence about six oclock and dance three or four hours, for we are now within two or three days drive of our journeys end.

Sept. 21 Last evening just as we got all ready to dance, the Ladies all dressed in white and lawns when it began to sprinkle, and our pleasure was soon spoiled, for we had just began, when the rain poured down so abundantly we took a shoot four our wagons[.] the Gentlemen hardly could catch their partners but I was more fortunate than some of the rest for I did not have any. We started as usual this morning, traveled fourteen miles farther down echoe [Echo] kanyon [Canyon], walled in on each side by high hills or chains of mountains, and sometimes perpendicular ledges four or five hundred feet, which we passed close by. We then came to Weber river[,] went two miles down it and camped.

Sept. 22 We did not find all of the cattle untill very late. At length got started[,] traveled two miles farther down the Weber and crossed it and made about fourteen miles and camped on kanyon creek which is twenty nine miles from Salt Lake City.

Sept. 23 Hitched up[,] rolled up the kanyon about eight miles, and then we turned into another one and followed it up to cross a big mountain, the road the roughest kind as well as one of [the] steepest at last we got up it and sent back some of our cattle to help up some of the weak teams, and then we rolled down another kanyon on the other side, upon a two horse race, until it was so dark we could go no farther, so we stopped[,] chained up our cattle to the wagons, took supper and went to bed in the solitary kanyon.

Sept. 24 Started as soon as the glorious sun began to lite up the Earth: rolled down to where the road turns to go up another mountain and then corralled. Turned out the teams, and the women cooked breakfast and at ten o’clock hitched up again and rolled up a steep and last mountain, which was a hard case truly, but by and by we got up it and rolled down it three miles. Found a place to camp, and good feed for the cattle, so we camped intending to roll into the city the twenty fifth, it being only seven miles. In the afternoon they had a camp meeting, voted to have the farewell dance come off in the evening, which we tried once before, but the rain spoiled our fun. So they elected for Managers, George Crooks, Ossian F Taylor, Henry Hale (They had one pretty manager you know). So we smoothed the ground where the ball was to come off, collected wood, engaged the musicians, at the appointed time all things being ready we commenced operations. The music was excellent, and there were a number of strangers out there from the City, so the young ladies done their best and we had a first rate time, as true as you are borne.

Thursday Sept. 25 Hitched up this morning[,] formed in a line and rolled into the famous Great Salt Lake City, and then the company dispersed in every direction to meet as then never again. I tell you it seemed as though we were parting with old friends to leave some of those whom we had traveled with so long. I almost forgot to mention that the last meeting the company awarded their sincere thanks to Capt.ain Wm. H. Walton for the servacies he had rendered them in leading them so patiently and persevereingly over the lonely plains, hunting camping places which might be the most beneficial for the whole company &c

I will now close this short epistle, which is a true one, and if ever I should get thanked with a word or thought by a brother, sister or an old friend, I shall then be satisfied for taking a moment now and then, in ravine and wind[,] amid dust and a burning sun, I shall feel amply paid. If they will overlook the numerous mistakes which probably some of them I could have avoided or never made had I had a plenty of time[,] chance to have pondered a little[,] and adhered more particularly to grammatical rules.

Notwithstanding if I have an opportunity before the mail goes out I will attempt to describe in my limited way the valley, and City of the Great Salt Lake, and add to these few sheets of fools cap, indeed. So good by for the present but remember I am yours truly.


Ossian Taylor