Transcript for Philip W. Hoskin camp journal in Historical Department journal history of the Church, 1830-2008, 17 September 1856, 2-8

On this day (Sept. 17, 1856) Capt. Preston Thomas's train of immigrating saints arrived in G. S. L. City. Following is a copy of the camp journal kept by Philip W. Hosking:

Monday, April 7. The captain, with the following brethren and sisters who came from St. Louis to help the Texas company, prepared to roll out from camp, viz., Elder Wm. Southwick, James Holt, Edward Allison, Hyrum Coombs, Maria Hadlin, Charlette Hadlin, Ann Lucas, J. Snelus, M A. Snelus and Elder Philip W. Hosking, Elder Philip W. Hosking, Elder J Ostler and Brother John Whitman, from Texas. We started with 4 wagons, 8 yoke of oxen and 3 horses.

Saturday, April 12. Added 3 yoke to our teams; in the evening arrived at Cardwell's 150 miles from Camp Matagorda, our starting point. Here we were joined by Elder Mcullough, his wife and two children, 1 wagon, 3 yoke oxen 1 cow.

Friday, April 18. Brother S. Lane, with his wife and eight children, 1 black man, 12 yoke of oxen, 2 wagons, 3 horses and 1 mule were added to our camp.

Sunday, April 20. Brother . Harrison Phelps, with his wife, four children and a black boy, 2 wagons, 8 yoke of oxen, and 2 horses also joined us. Total, 34 people, 8 wagons, 60 oxen, 1 cow, 5 horses, 1 mule.

Tuesday, May 6. There were 10 cows and calves bought by the company of Brother Whitm--- 2 miles from Waxahatchie, at $15.00 per cow and calf. Elder Homer Duncan and Elder M. J. Spedaker came out to our camp and preached to us.

Wednesday, May 7. Elder Ostler left us to join the Texas Mission. Brother Lane was elected to his office. We bid the three missionaries farewell and proceeded on our journey.

Thursday, May 8. Crossed Trinity River at Doddy's ferry.

Thursday, May 15. Crossed Red River at the town called Preston. This river is the dividing line between the States and Indian nations; here we had some trouble with a number of quadroons and brook one of our wagon wheels, damage, $5.00, and one day's delay. The Choctaws buy Negroes to work their farms; some own as many as fifty. The houses are large and substantial. They have good schools and speak the English language fluently. Inter-marriages with the whites are frequent. Today one wagon upset.

Sunday, May 18. Today arrived at Boggy Depot.

Tuesday, May 20. Met 20 wagons and 200 head of cattle going to California via El Paso.

Sunday, May 25. Preached to the Lamanites and sun 'Go tell the Red Man.'

Monday, May 26. Crossed the Canada River.

Monday, June 2. Elder Wm. Allen and Brother Dabrel came to our camp and told us that Elder Benjamin L. Clapp and forty of the saints were but 40 miles off, and sent a message to Preston Thomas to join him. Our captain left us to see Brother Clapp.

Tuesday, June 3. Brother Thomas returned and gave us a bad account of the brethren in Brother Clapp's company, owing to a want of union. He then put it to a vote whether we should continue our travels on the Arkansas route or join with Benj. Clapp's company and go the Platte route. It was resolved that we travel the Arkansas route.

Wednesday, June 4. Lost 1 cow, property of Elder John Ostler. We this day enter upon the plains and this portion is owned by the Osage Indians. Several visited our camp. Crossed the River Verdegres. Brother Lane read us a letter which he had just received from his son-in-law, Gilbert Greer, of G. S. L. City. It breathed the spirit of apostacy [apostasy] and produced a bad effect upon two families in our camp.

Saturday, June 7. Added 4 cows and calves to our stock, which now consists of 15 cows 10 calves.

Tuesday, June 10. Broke an axle tree.

Wednesday, June 11. Busy repairing the wagon. A number of Osage Indians came to camp today; they are very friendly.

Thursday, June 12. Today about 20 of the Osage tribe with faces painted and armed to the teeth came with an interpreter. We fed them well and were told that their tribe was now at war with the Comanches and Kiawas, who were united together to the number of about 10,000, and we would have to pass through them on the Arkansas River.

Sunday, June 15. Today a traveling camp of Indians of about 300 rolled past, with squaws, papooses, dogs, etc, the warriors armed and painted red.

Wednesday, June 18. Another axle tree broke. The brethren went off 9 miles to make charcoal. At 2 p.m. built our blacksmith's shop and went to work.

Thursday, June 19. Rolled on once more.

Friday, June 20. Struck the Santa Fe road. Gave chase to a buffalo and killed it.

Saturday, June 21. A train of 19 wagons passed us from Santa Fe, bound for Independence, Mo. We are here 600 miles from Santa Fe and 300 from Bent's Fort on the Arkansas. Today entered upon a town of dogs. Today lost one ox. 1,000 head of buffalo were seen. Met a train of 3 carriages and 4 U. S. wagons. Tonight, for the first time since leaving Camp Matagorda, we turned our cattle off to graze all night.

Saturday, June 28. Camped on the banks of the River Arkansas at 9 p.m. we were surprised by the sound of the trumpets and the tread of a large number of horses. We were soon surrounded by over 100 armed warriors of the Kiawa and Comanchee tribes, as soon as their camp fires were made and their horses staked out. They surrounded us at day break and we had a speech from one of the chiefs. We gave them some provisions and they left us in peace.

Tuesday, July 1. We arrived at an Indian town, stretched along on the banks of the Arkansas for over 2 miles. It seemed today as if the devil had let his imps loose to destroy our little company. At the lowest estimate there were 8000 Kiawas and Comanchees and when we nooned a the red skins came round in swarms, begging as usual for sugar, flour, biscuits, etc. As discretion is the best part of valor, we concluded to exercise patience and give them what they wanted. As soon as our cattle were watered, we rolled on, followed by 100 Lamanites. In about 2 hours a Comanchee chief told our captain that he should proceed no further until he gave him and his retainers a feast, and to this end he must turn back to the river, but the chief finally consented to let us feast them where we were, so we all gave them until they were satisfied. Two of them lariated a two year old calf and then scampered off to their lodges. At night a whole family from a solitary lodge came to our camp and we feasted them all.

Saturday, July 5. This week made 115 miles.

Thursday, July 10. Camped at Bent's fort on the Arkansas River. It is built of rock and about 50 feet square. We found Mr. Bent at home with his Indian wife. Here we found about a dozen white men and Mexicans packing up buffalo skins in bales for the Missouri market. We bought seven robes at $5.00 each. The Indians here are called Rappahoes. We traded more and gave away less with this tribe than any other.

Monday, July 14. Met Mr. Hanley and his family from G. S. L. City, going to Grimes Co., Texas. They have apostatized and are returning to Babylon.

Wednesday, July 16. Today we set the wagon tires.

Thursday, July 17. Shoeing cattle.

Sunday, July 20. We are infested with myriads of mosquitoes, which keep us awake continually.I had a dream the other night when all around was still.I thought I had a mosquito bite and a thurst from his sharp bill.The moon it looked so very bright, its rays on the water shone,I tried to sleep away that night, but alas, for us there's none.

O! Mosquito, don't you sing so free.
I'd rather you were singing at the bottom of the sea.


Monday, July 21. Camped along the banks of "Le Fountaine Cabayo." Pike's Peak rises before us in all its grandeur. Latitude 39 degrees; longitude 106 degrees. We are now in Kansas Territory.

Thursday, July 24. Spent the day as a festival. There are immense groves of pine timber in this neighborhood.

Tuesday, July 29. Camped at Cherry Creek at 6 p.m. 5 wagons with ox teams and a caviard [cavalcade] of horses came up and camped 50 yards from us. They proved to be a company of apostates called Greer and are direct from G. S. L. City. Gilbert Greer is the son-in-law of one of our company called S. Lane. At night the apostates came up to our wagons and had a great talk about Brigham, the Mormons in G. S. L. City, their great distress, starvation, etc. They professed to believe that Brigham was the best man upon the earth, that Mormonism is true, but they could not stand starvation. Aye, there's the rub.

Wednesday, July 30. Rose early and find a division will take place in our camp. S. Lane with his wife and 8 children, 1 black man, 3 wagons, 13 yoke of oxen, 3 horses and 1 mule have concluded to turn back. Also M. Harrison Phelps with his wife, 4 children, 1 black, 2 wagons, 9 yoke of oxen, 2 horses. Total 18 persons, 15 wagons, 9 cows, 22 yoke of oxen, 5 horses, 1 mule. It was a sifting time with us and a time to test our faithfulness. Here were 16 people left with 3 wagons with just one half enough of provisions to do us and 600 miles from the Valley. We committed ourselves with all that we possessed to the watchful care of our Father and remembered the words of our Redeemer: 'I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.' The false brethren gave us 200 lbs of flour and 50 lbs of bacon, before they left, to sustain 6 teamsters and cooks they had engaged from St. Louis to G. S. L. City. The boys declared their intention to go through the Valley if they had only a biscuit a day to subsist on. All the fair promises to our sisters had no effect upon them; they also started for valley and if they died on the way they would feel just right. Turn back to Babylon? Never, no never. Well, we feel just as we ought. We named our 3 wagons, Faith, Hope and Charity, and with 10 yoke of work oxen and 16 loose stock, consisting of 6 cows, 4 lame oxen and 6 calves, we rolled on, singing, 'O Babylon, I bid thee farewell.' We hope the devil has got all the chaff and left us nought [naught] but the pure wheat. So might it be. It was a good thing for us that we bought buffalo robes at Bent's Fort for nearly all the brethren have to sleep with nothing but the broad canopy of heaven over us as a curtain.

Thursday, July 31. Crossed the south fork of the Platte.

Tuesday, August 5. Entered the first kanyon [canyon] in the Rocky Mountains.

Sunday, August 10. Arrived at Thomas' Park. This valley is very well adapted for grazing and raising wheat. A party with 100 cows and ox or mule teams would do well to start from the valley in April and make cheese till September. There is an abundance of the richest kind of grass, plenty of the best of water and three or four sorts of delicious berries that ripen in July. Game also are is plentiful.

Tuesday, August 12. Today Brother McCullough's wagon turned over and spilt the children and all his plunder. Nothing very serious, however, resulted from the accident.

Wednesday, August 13. Killed two antelopes.

Thursday, August 14. Camped at the north fork of the Platte.

Friday, August 15. A gentile named John C. Peltro came to our camp. He has an Irish servant, 2 pack mules and 2 horses. He solicited the privilege of traveling along with us to the Valley.

Sunday, August 17. Camped at Greasewood Spring. We took the right hand road yesterday on leaving the north fork of the Platte. Today had to fill up a gully 5 feet deep to make a road for the wagons. At 3 p.m. Mr. Peltro came up, accompanied by Mr. Timothy Goodale, the guide for the government troops, who were out on an exploring expedition. Soon after a wagon joined us with the guide's Indian wife, 2 Mexican teamsters, the Irish servant and pack mules, etc.

Monday, August 18. This morning the guide gave his wife, wagon, etc., in charge of our captain to see her safe to Green River. He then, after giving us all the camping places between Greasewood Spring and Sweetwater, left for his own camp, which was 10 miles distant. As we now had to make our own road to the Sweetwater, across the mountains and through the kanyons [canyons] that were never before traversed by wagons, our captain with Mr. Peltro went ahead on horseback to survey and hunt for game. Camped at Red Spring.

Tuesday, August 19. Camped at Red Springs.

Wednesday, August 20. Passed a dry creek covered with Epsom salts. At night came to a mountain, doubled teams and camped 3 miles from Peltro's Creek.

Thursday, August 21. This day we left the road commonly called the Dry Route to the Valley to the left and took a northwest course across the valley, leaving mountains on either side. We crossed the divide by a gap, one mile from the mountain on the left. The captain killed 2 antelope today. Several of our brethern went ahead with shovels to fill up the ditches. Sometimes all hands have to go to work, as we have to make our own road.

Sunday, August 24. Mr. Pelto rode out early this morning. He returned to camp about noon and brought the glad news of Sweetwater being only 3 miles from us.

Monday, August 25. We rolled out and at noon struck the Sweetwater; the distance from where we left the old dry route to the Platte Road is 44 miles. It is 108 miles from the north fork of the Platte. At night Godbe's train camped one miles from us. In his company were Elder Wm. Allen of Provo and two brethren called Coley, with their families. There were also two or three others who, with these brethren, left Brother Benjamin L. Clapp's train to join this merchant train.

Saturday, August 30. Nooned on the dividing ridge between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, at the dividing line between Oregon and Kansas Territories. Lat. 42:18. Long. 108:40. Camped at a branch of the Pacific Springs. This week made 101 miles.

Monday, Sept. 1. Met a crowd of apostates. At night met 3 brethren and a sister with 2 wagons and flour for the handcart company. Their company camped with us this night, and they gladdened our hearts with their songs and good news from the Valley. To our souls it was like an oasis in the desert.

Wednesday, Sept. 3. Camped at Big Sandy.

Friday, Sept. 5. A heavy snow storm set in which lasted all day.

Sunday, Sept. 7. Met Brothers Lewis Robinson and Duset, who live at Bridger.

Monday, Sept. 8. Nooned at fort Bridger. Was introduced to Elder John Smith, son of Hyrum, and Elder Isaac Bullock, president of the stake of Fort Supply. We here purchased some fresh beef.

Tuesday, Sept. 9. Our captain, President Thomas, left us to go home to his family at Lehi.

Wednesday, Sept. 10. Brother Wm. Godbe of S. L. City came out to meet us.

Saturday, Sept. 13. Camped at Weber Kanyon [Canyon]. Met Parley P. Pratt and a host of missionaries en route for the States and Old England. We felt to bid them 'God Speed.'

Sunday, Sept 14. Camped at the foot of the Big mountain.

Tuesday, Sept. 15. At 4 a.m. Sister Coley's spirit took its flight from her tabernacle. She prayed to be permitted to live till she could be buried in the Valley, and so she did.

Wednesday, Sept. 16. Sister Cole was interred in the graveyard of G. S. L. City.

Thursday, Sept. 17. Our train arrived in the city being just 5 months and 10 days from the time of our departure from Matagorda Bay, Texas, to our landing in G. S. L. City. I immediately went in search of a home, which I found in the 11th Ward.

Friday, Sept. 18. Philip W. Hosking was rebaptized on this day by Wm. McMaster and confirmed by Joseph Hardy, counselor to Bishop Leonard W. Hardy. And now by the blessing of Almighty God, amidst obloquy and reproach, against wind and tide, I am trying to live my religion.


Philip W. Hosking, 11th Ward
Stencil Engraver, from Austin City, Texas."

(Orig, Doc. on file)