Transcript for John Parson camp journal.
Following is a copy of the camp journal of this company, compiled by John Parson [or Parsons], clerk of the company.
"Journal of the First Camp of Latter-day Saints from Mormon Grove, Atchison, K.T., to Salt Lake Valley, organized May 30, 1855, by Erastus Snow and Milo Andrus.Thursday, Jun 7, 1855. Left Mormon Grove at 1/2 past 11 o'clock. When about four miles out, one of the axles of wagon belonging to Bro. [Peter] Burgess broke and he returned to the Grove to obtain assistance, got refitted and arrived safely at Walnut Creek in the night, where the company was camped. Elder Milo Andrus also arrived in the night to give us parting instructions and say farewell.Friday, June 8. Held meeting in the morning and felt much blessed in listening to the instructions of Bro. Andrus, he bidding us his last farewell, and we started in good spirits at 1/2 past 11 o'clock, made Little Grasshopper Creek about noon, where Sister Jeshura Avery died of cholera; we buried her; watered the cattle and camped in the evening at Kickapoo River.
Saturday, June 9. Started before 7 o'clock, made Great Grasshopper Creek, crossed it and camped before sundown.
Sunday, June 10. Weather fine, meeting in the morning at 1/2 past 10 o'clock. Preaching by Elder John Parons(. Testimony and sacrament meeting in the afternoon. The men were drilled in the evening by Sergeant Wright.
Mon. June 11. Started at 7 o'clock in the morning. About noon had two small accidents. Bro. [John] Singleton's carriage wheel was run into and broken by a wagon, and Bro. Andrus' wagon wheel iron bound; got it fixed. We rolled on and camped about sun down.
Tues. June 12. Crossed a creek in the morning and the Great Min-a-haw Creek about noon. Camped all safe at the side of the road a little before sundown.
Wed. June 13. Very wet in the morning, did not start until noon, and camped by sun down.
Thurs. June 14. Good traveling, crossed Vermillion Creek at 1/2 past 10 o'clock. Passed W. McGraw, the government contractor for the Utah mail, who informed us that the Indians were very hostile.
Friday, June 15. Arrived at the Big Blue about noon and crossed it by fording, had an interview with some Pawnee Indians and chief. Rolled on about five miles and camped on the prairie.
Sat. June 16. Good traveling. Early in the day met the brethren from the Valley on a mission to Europe and sent a letter by them to President Snow. Found wood and water and camped early in the afternoon for the sisters to wash.
Sun. June 17. Weather stormy and hot. The U. S. Dragoons passed us in the morning bound for Laramie. Divine service as usual.
Mon. June 18. Traveling good. Left an ox and nine sheep belonging to Bro. Neal. Whilst hitching up at noon, Sister [Elizabeth] Joiner's wagon tongue was broken.
Tues. June 19. Rolled out in good time. Weather hot and road hilly; camped on Sandy Creek.
Wed. June 20. Crossed river in the morning having a good road we traveled well and camped on Little Blue River about sundown. Were overtaken by a small party of U.S. officers, who brought us letters from Pres. Erastus Snow.
Thurs. June 21. At meeting in the morning Elder Snow's letter was read instructing us to wait in the neighborhood of Fort Kearney until Elder Ballantyne and the first four companies, over which he was appointed to preside should arrive, so that we might travel in close proximity to each other. Also that if we had feelings or misunderstanding existed, that we were not to proceed till we could do so in perfect unity of spirit, so that the blessings of Israel's God might be with us continually. Capt. Hindley called on the captains of tens and other Elders to express their feelings on the occasion. Much good instruction was given by the brethren, and all felt much blessed and voted unanimously that they would carry out the intentions of the presidency at St. Louis. We remained camped during the day, and about noon Bro. George Waters died. His sickness was suppose to be consumption. He took cold at Atchison and gradually got worse until the time of his death. He was a faithful, good man and died in full faith. He was buried in a bed of roses at the same place and the spot marked by a head board.
Fri. June 22. Meeting in the morning, at which the Captain told us he would make a short trip so as to preserve health by keeping in motion.
Sat. June 23. Fine weather and traveling; we made a few miles and camped for the day.
Sun. June 24. Fine day. The meeting was addressed in the morning by Elders Wright, [Darius] Lonzie and [John] Parsons. Sacrament was administered in the afternoon. Throughout the day we enjoyed much of the spirit of God.
Mon. June 25. Good traveling. About noon came in sight of buffalo and soon after camped. A party of hunters were sent out, and Bro. Burgess shot a buffalo which was divided next morning among the company.
Tues. June 26. Forwarded a letter to Bro. Ballantyne by a company going to the states from Salt Lake City. Traveled about ten miles and camped. The brethren shot two buffalo which were the next day divided among the company.
Wed. June 27. Remained camped all day and dried our buffalo meat.
Thurs. June 28. Traveled a few miles and camped at the point where the road leaves the Little Blue River.
Fri. June 29. Very windy and cold. Started at 3 o'clock and traveled all night, made the Platte River a little after day break.
Sat. June 30. Remained camped on the Platte River during the day. Feed good, wood scarce.
Sun. July 1. Prayed in the morning, and as the ground was damp, and no wood, it was concluded to move on. We did so and camped at noon at Fort Kearney and found six wagons of the brethren from Kanesville, who had been waiting for us for a week.
Mon. July 2. Remained camped during the day. Were visited by some "Cheyenne Indians" and soldiers.
Tues. July 3. Started in the morning at half past seven and camped in the evening at the Platte River, where we determined to stay until the mail should arrive with orders from Bro. Ballantyne; built a blacksmith shop and commenced to work.
Wednesday, July 11. After having spent a week encamped on the Platte River we hitched up and made a short drive to a better camping ground. Having encamped on the Platte River July 3rd, we determined to stay until the mail should arrived with orders from Bro. Ballantyne. We remained there until July 10th. On the evening of the 9th, Capt. Stevenson of the third company passed us and camped about a mile on the other side. Capt. Hindley with the captains of tens visited them in the evening. Capt. Stevenson informed them that he expected instructions by mail, but had permission to continue his journey and intended doing so. On July 11th, Capt. Hindley sent a note to Capt. Stevenson inviting him and his counselors to visit us that we might counsel together. Capt. Stevenson came along and told us he saw no need for us to remain there and that he intended to go on. The mail passed us in the morning and we were much disappointed in not receiving any news or instructions by the mail in answer to our communication to Elder Ballantyne.
Thurs. July 12. We started in good time in the morning and camped at "Plum Creek" a little after noon, in sight of Capt. Stevenson, Williams and a California company, who were camped at the same place. The brethren settled up some business relative to smith work and held a council meeting in the evening. Following are the minutes of this meeting
A council meeting was held on Plum Creek, attended by Captains Hindley, [Peter] Burgess, [Henry or Willard] McMullen, [Darius] Lonzie, [John W.] Coward, [John] Singleton, Sergeant Wright and John Parsons, clerk. Capt. John Hindley said he wished to lay the present circumstances of the camp before the brethren and wished them to speak freely their sentiments, so that unity of action might be obtained in regard to our future proceedings. He said some captains two counselors, and with them alone managed all the affairs of their camps. He had made all the officers of his camp his counselors and wished to honor them in their positions, and now wanted their wisdom and assistance, that the spirit of God might be with us and such decisions made that would best subserve the interest of the camp. He stated that no instructions had come by mail from Elder Ballantyne, that our instructions to stay were expressly in consequence of reports of Indian depredations which had since proved not true. That Capt. Stevenson, who left at a later date with a third company, had permission to proceed, and he had no doubt that the same privilege would have been extended to us, if the brethren could have sent us a communication to that effect. He believed it had been their intention to do so, but had missed the mail and thus we were left in some measure to act on our own responsibility. The mail party had informed him that they had passed Capt. Ballantyne on the 4th, 30 miles from Mormon Grove, that we had already waited 14 days and it would take the same amount of time for him to overtake us. We could not do so and have our provision hold out until we reached the valley. He furthermore remarked that feed was very scarce for the cattle in the neighborhood where we then were camped and wished the brethren to consider these circumstances and speak their minds freely. The whole of the brethren then spoke in turn. Their remarks were so similar that they need not be individually recorded; they were unanimously of the opinion that if the third company had instructions to proceed from Elders Snow and Ballantyne, that they would have given the same privilege if they could have communicated with us at a later date, and that we should be more justified to them and the authorities at the Valley in proceeding than in staying and sending to the Valley for provisions to sustain us during the latter part of the journey. It was therefore moved by Bro. Jefferson Wright and seconded by Elder [John W.] Coward that we move on and that letters be sent by the first quick train to Elders Snow and Ballantyne to inform them of our proceedings, and that if Elder Ballantyne wished us to stay, he could inform us by the next mail at Laramie or other opportunity. This vote was carried unanimously.
Fri. July 13. Started at the usual time in the morning and made average traveling through the day.
Sat. July 14. Ditto.
Sun. July 15. Started at sunrise and made a ten mile drive and camped before breakfast. Very hot during the day. The brethren killed two buffalo. On account of the heat meeting was postponed until evening.
Mon. July 16. At meeting in the morning, Capt. Hindley passed some severe strictures on the brethren who left the camp the day previous to hunt and said he would have no more of such conduct without suspending the guilty parties. He also made some remarks about cattle found on the road and proposed that all such should be preserved and handed over to the P. E. Fund on our arrival in the Valley. Average traveling, weather fine.
Tues. July 17. At noon today, Capt. Hindley was taken with a violet attack of sickness. The captains of tens were sent for and were promptly in attendance. They administered to him and he commenced to recover.
Wed. July 18. Capt. Hindley continued to mend during the day, and we camped within two miles of the crossing of the South Fork of the Platte.
Thurs. July 19. Crossed the river in the morning, all well. Weather cool and cloudy, which favored us very much. Made a good drive during the day. Passed "Ash Hollow" and camped about sundown on the banks of the North Fork of the Platte River.
Fri. July 20. Road very sandy, weather cool, average traveling.
Sat. July 21. Same as previous day.
Sun. July 22. Good camping ground. Remained camped during the day, meeting held as usual.
Mon. July 23. While rolling out of camp we caught five horses which we recognized as belonging to the second company (Ballantyne). Wrote a note at noon and fixed it on a stake in a conspicuous place, so that the owners might see it, as they were only a few miles behind.
Tues. July 24. Good traveling. Camped in the evening near Chimney Rock.
Wed. July 25. Two of the brethren arrived by sunrise in the morning for the horses, having found our note. They informed us that the second and third companies, with one of the Williams freight trains were about 75 miles behind. Traveled well during the day and camped the other side of Scotts Bluffs.
Thurs. July 26. Good traveling.
Fri. July 27. Ditto.
Sat. July 28. Arrived at Fort Laramie at 3 o'clock. The mail from the Valley was in and about to start, so that we had no time to write, but posted the letters we wrote at Plum Creek to Elders Snow and Ballantyne. Rolled on about five miles in search of feed for the cattle.
Sun. July 29. Remained in camp through the day; meetings held as usual.
Mon. July 30. Road sandy and hilly. Camped at Cold Springs. Bro. Pearce strayed from camp and lost himself; we lit a fire on the top of the highest hill, but he did not return. One of Bro. Worley's wagons had some spokes broken out of one wheel in consequence of striking some rock while descending a hill.
Tues. July 31. Sent horseman out in search of Bro. Pearse. Henry Perry found him at the trading post we passed the day before. Got the wagons wheel fixed, but on account of delays did not roll on till about noon.
Wed. August 1. Rolled out in the morning as usual and made "Horseshoe Creek" about noon, where we found a French trader with six wagons. We had seen him before, and he had waited for us, wishing to travel in our company. He informed us that he had seen Indians in the morning and apprehended some danger. Capt. Hindley appointed a front and rear guard of well armed horsemen in case of difficulty with the Indians. Camped in the evening on the bank of the river.
Thurs. Aug. 2. Early this morning we crossed the river and made good progress during the day.
Fri. Aug. 3. Crossed the river again and made a good drive.
Sat. Aug. 4. Crossed Willow Creek about noon and camped at night on Deer Creek.
Sun. Aug. 5. Remained camped and held meeting in the afternoon.
Mon. Aug. 6. Rolled out early in the morning and camped about two miles from the ford of the North Fork of the Platte River. This day we made a long drive.
Tues. Aug. 7. Crossed the river, made a long drive and camped at the Mineral Lake and Springs.
Wed. Aug. 8. We drove till noon and as we stopped for dinner, Bro. [Henry or John] Buckwater's [Buckwalter] wagon turned over into the creek. We remained that day to dry his goods and reload. Feed pretty good.
Thurs. Aug. 9. Watered the cattle at noon at a creek by the road side. Made a good drive, passed "Willow Creek" and camped at "Spring Creek" a little off the road where there was good feed and water.
Fri. Aug. 10. Arrived at Independence Rock about noon and camped for the women to wash. The brethren collected considerable saleratus from the lakes in this district.
Sat. Aug. 11. Passed "Devil's Gate" before noon and camped on the "Sweetwater" near a lake of saleratus.
Sun. Aug. 12. Drove ten miles and camped. Held fellowship meeting in the afternoon.
Mon. Aug. 13. Traveled about 13 miles, crossed the river three times and camped in the pass of the Mountains.
Tues. Aug. 14. Drove six miles and forded the "Sweetwater" nooned at "Alkali Springs" and made a long drive to the next camping ground on the "Sweetwater"; feed scarce.
Wed. Aug. 15. Rolled out in good time in the morning and stopped to bait the cattle at 9 o'clock. Camped at 11 o'clock at night on a branch of the "Sweetwater".
Thurs. Aug. 16. Made a short drive and camped on the last crossing of the "Sweetwater'.
Fri. Aug. 17. Crossed the "South Pass" (or Continental Divide) at noon and camped at "Pacific Springs" at 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
Sat. Aug. 18. Rolled out in the morning, and when about two miles Bro. [John] Singleton's man died and Bro. Neal's child . We stopped and camped.
Sun. Aug. 19. Rolled out about 2 o'clock; it soon commenced to rain and we were obliged to camp.
Mon. Aug. 20. Rolled out in the morning and traveled all day, there being no feed nor water on the new road we traveled. Camped at sundown on the "Big Sandy", feed very scarce. This day Capt. Hindley and other brethren went back as far as "Pacific Springs" in search of some strayed cattle. They found them and did not arrive in camp until 3 o'clock the next morning.
Tues. Aug. 21. Made a good drive and camped on the "Big Sandy".
Wed. Aug. 22. Made "Green River" about noon and rested a short time before fording; crossed the river and camped at night where the road leaves the river and crosses the hills.
Thurs. Aug. 23. Bro. Milling's wife being confined in the morning, we did not roll out till noon; camped at 11 o'clock at night on "Ham's Fork".
Fri. Aug. 24. Made a good drive and camped about 10 o'clock.
Sat. Aug. 25. Traveled 10 miles and camped at "Ford Bridger" where we met some brethren who were sent by Pres. Young with flour to meet the emigrating Saints.
Sun. Aug. 26. Remained camped all day. Meeting in the evening; Elders Parsons, Butler and Robinson addressed the meeting.
Mon. Aug. 27. Rolled out at noon and camped on "Muddy Creek".
Tues. Aug. 28. Camped late on "Bear River".
Wed. Aug. 29. Camped at "Cache Cave".
Thurs. Aug. 30. Bro. [Allen T.] Riley broke a wagon wheel and tongue. Bro. [Peter] Burgess broke a tongue and Bro. Perry broke a wheel in "Echo Kanyon [Canyon]". Capt. [Willard Glover] McMullin's ten arrived at the mouth of the Kanyon [Canyon] on Weber River all safe.
Fri. Aug. 31. Camped about four miles from the foot of Big Mountain.
Sat. Sept. 1. Crossed Big Mountain.
Sun. Sept. 2. Camped at Brown's Springs, two miles from the summit of Little Mountain.
Mon. Sept. 3. Crossed Little Mountain, broke one wheel and one axle in Emigration Kanyon [Canyon]. Camped on the Public Square in Salt Lake City about 4 o'clock.
(JOHN PARSON, Clerk of Capt. John Hindley's Company)(
Doc. on file in archives of Daughters of Utah Pioneers)