Transcript for Samuel W. Richards papers, 1839-1909, 1839 April-1840 May
of travels from Pottawatomie Co. Iowa U.S.A.
to Great Salt Lake City Great Basin North America
While a great nation were celebrating the anniversary of their Independence, on the 4th day of July 1849 with my family and substance, including one waggon & ten head of Cattle, I left Carters Vill [sic] two miles from Kanesville, Iowa, to seek a resting place in the Rocky Mountains whither my kindred and the Saints of God were gone, haveing been persecuted and driven into the wilderness because of their faith in the Holy One of Israel.
I crossed the Missouri River near Winter Quarters on the morn of the 10th of July in time to join the 1st fifty of the 2nd hundred as they were ready to move, This Company was organized under the direction of Prest.'s G[eorge]. A. Smith and E[zra]. T[aft]. Benson with the following officers. Bro. Silas Richards Capt. of Fifty, Samuel Clauson [Clawson] Prest. with Bros. Hyrum Clark & Simon [Simeon] Carter his council. The Capt. of Tens in their order as follows. I. [Moses] Clauson [Clawson], Wm. D. Huntington, Augustus Farnham, Samuel [C.] Clark & [blank space] [Elam] Sudington [Luddington].
Capt. of the Guard Lyman Stevens and A[lbert]. P[erry]. Rockwood Grand Marshal of the Camp.
This Company haveing been organized previous to my arrival and my name enrolled in Capt. Huntington's Ten I immediately took my place in said Company, who were then ready to move, and truly felt glad that I was leaveing the home of my childhood and the abodes of false civilization to share with my brethren in the perils of a wilderness journey & life.
We arrived at the Elk Horn River on the eve of the 12th inst & crossed on the 12th & 13th. The waggons were crossed on a raft, and the cattle were swum across, all done without any accident to either man or Beast or loss of <property>.
In the P.M. the camp moved from the River to the Creek between 2 & 3 miles distant there to wait the arrival of Prest.s G[eorge]. A[lbert]. Smith & E[zra].T. Benson's Companies, who were expected daily & constituted the 2nd Fifty of the 2nd one hundred though their Companies numbered fifty or more each.
Sunday 15th They arrived at the River and a few waggons crossed the same evening. Meetings were held at our camp, Prest. Clawson, his council. Capt. Richards A.P. Rockwood & others addressed the meeting. The camp rules were read, and much good advice given in relation to our traveling. Sick in the p.m. with Chills & fever.
Saturday 14th Camp duties were attended to such as washing, baking, cleaning &c preparatory to the journey, at 9 o clock P.M. a military inspection took place, under the direction of the Marshal A[lbert]. P[erry]. Rockwood by which the military strength of the Camp was found to be as follows.
Capt Clauson's Ten 11 men. 9 at hand all well armed with the exception of 1 gun in bad order
Capt Huntington's Ten. 14 men, 12 at hand, 1 man without arms
Capt. Farnham's Ten. 14 men, 12 at hand. 1 without arms & 2 in bad order.
Capt Clarks Ten. 7 men all armed in good order.
Capt. Ludingtons Ten. 15 men, 14 at hand, 1 without arms & 1 in bad order.
Camp well supplied with ammunition & lead generally Pistols, Percussion Caps &c. S.W. Richards, Marshal's Clerk.
Monday 16th Capt. Richards returned to the River to get instructions from the Presidency when and how to proceed. letters were sent by him, to be taken to Kanesville by those who should return from the other Company. I forwarded one to Brother John McLaws St. Louis. On Capt Rs return the Camp were called together and informed that we had permission to move on slowly & keep within hailing distance in case there should be occasion to communicate with each other as we were not cut loose from their companies. accordingly about 1 o'clock at the sound of the Horn the Camp was under motion with the exception of one company of Ten which remained behind to be joined by some waggons not yet crossed the Horn and were to follow next morning. We moved on 11 miles to the Platte River & camped.
Tuesday 17th <a very warm day> Waited till near noon for the other Co. behind to overtake us, and as they came up we were ready to move & traveled together about 5 miles & camped near a small pond for the night.
This day I was very sick with chills & fever, was under the necessity of geting a man to drive my team for me, standing guard, and over exertion proved more than my strength could endure
Wednesday 18th Traveled 9 miles before stoping. was very warm and cattle were traveling with their tongues out. while at rest the propriety of going further was called up, and by some was deemed imprudent and injurious to our teams as there was no Camping place nearer than eight miles, which would make 17 miles drive in a warm day and for the Company which came from the Horn the day before, was considered quite too much.
The subject being laid before Capt. Richards by the Marshal was approved, and a council was called to learn the mind of the Camp generally[.] after considerable discussion upon the matter some being of the mind to go on, and others opposed it was decided that the officers of the Camp were the legal Voters to decide the Question. Prest. Clawson being anxious to go on, sent for his council to be present, who, he expected would vote with him. Bro. [Lyman] Stevens, Capt. of the guard was also sent for. the vote was taken & proved a tie, Bro. Stevens upon hearing the reasons for stoping, withdrew his vote, when Capt. Richards gave the casting vote and decided that we should stop considering that it was not only in keeping with his instructions from George A. [Smith] which was not to get out of hailing distance, but that it would be too much for the cattle of those who drove so far the day before to go eight miles further.
The cattle were gathered and we moved into Currell [corral] near bye. Capt. Clawson appeared to think that his wishes were not sufficiently regarded in the matter, considering the responsibility upon him which was no less than to be a father to the Camp, according to George A [Smith's] own words. however, I heard no more said, but that all was satisfactory untill [sentence Unfinished]
Thursday 19th early in the morning before breakfast I heard Capt Clawson converseing with Brother Rockwood as his waggon was next to mine & he appeared to be calling him in Question for useing an influence in Camp to stop the same contrary to his wishes &c.--but not haveing much of a disposition to meddle with other mens matters, I did not acquaint myself particularly with the nature of the conversation although it was considerable lengthy
Thursday Camp moved about 11 miles crossed shell creek & camped near by. learned here that Capt. Rives, [illegible] Al[l]red, & Companies crossed the same 6 days before all well.