Transcript for Silas Richards letter to Brigham Young, 24 August 1849


Camp of Israel. North bank of Platte
near Crab Creek Aug 24th 1849


President B Young & Council

Dear Brethren. Bro. Babbitt informs me that he was instructed to say to the camps as he met them, that if they would send you an account of their circumstances and the probable amount of assistance that they would need to get through to the Valley, that it would be sent them. It is not probable that I can make the estimation as correct as you can, after you are informed relative to our camp.

I was appointed by Bros. G.A. Smith & E.T. Benson, Captain of the 3rd fifty to lead a camp of 70 wagons from Winter Quarters to the Salt Lake Valley, the appointment was confirmed by the camp, we left Winter Quarters 10th July[.] 68 of our wagons being drawn by from one to four yoke of oxen & cows, the other two by a span of horses each, (Bro. Hiram Clark's and my own)[.] our teams are generally rather heavily loaded for the state of the weather & the roads, it having been very warm and rainy most of the way, though we have had no rain for a few days, but the heat continues very opp[r]essive, consequently we have traveled very slow, being determined to take good care of our teams, many days we have only traveled from six to ten miles, we are aware that we are late, yet it will not do to kill up our teams if we can avoid it, we have been very fortunate, even <more> so than our brethren that are before us & behind us. we have had no death in our camp, and very little sickness. have lost no cattle except 3 cows that died, and one old worn out ox that we left-by the way, not broke a wagon materially, and in fact we have not had any serious misfortune, we are getting along very well, and are thankful to our heavenly father for it. peace and union prevails in our camp, though our cattle are generally in good condition yet, it is probable we shall need considerable assistance. as our loads are heavy. in consequence of the council we received from the Valley just before starting in relation to provisions, and the lateness of the season will not admit of much delay. Esqr. Babbitt informs us that feed will be very scarce and the weather very cold before we get through and that we are sure to need assistance, I think our horses will not be able to draw the wagons, though if we can get them along at all. and in fact I do not know many wagons that can spare a single Yoke of oxen, and travel a long comfortably with their present loads, we have many good faithful brethren in our camp, quite a number on [sic] the Battalion boys, and many of the citizens of Kanesville & vicinity but not much wealth except our wagons, teams & other stock[.] we have 70 head of loose cattle mostly to[o] young to work, 100 head of sheep, only nine horses, no spare or loose hands when the teams are going. I need not say any thing farther relative help, as you will, no doubt send what you can, wagons will not be necessary, only send oxen and men enough to bring them, our journey will be very lengthy & much more provisions consumed than was anticipated. we have got but little Buffaloe meat, although we have been in the Buffaloe range for two weeks, it is said they are scarcer & more difficult to kill than usual, that is good ones. Capt. Allen Taylor's camp being about a week ahead of us, have nearly cleared the track, we have not seen any for several days except a few scattering old bulls, it is probable we will save but little, by way of provisions from them.

August 26th 1849 Bros. Campbell, Patten and Elliott are with us on their way to the Valley with the express mail, they will leave us tomorrow morning

I think Proper to inform you that, nine wagons left our company yesterday on their own responcibility, and without our council, and traveled ahead. Yesterday being Sunday, we rested and had meeting as usual[.] the names of those that went on are, as follows, three brothers by the name of Thompson, Mr Poor, (these are not members of the Church I believe) [Joel] Harvy & Hutchens, claim to be members, they have not been disposed to observe, and comply with our camp rules. are profane (except Bro [S.] Hutchins) and incline to be disorderly, the only excuse they offer for leaving is that they do not wish to tie their cattle at night.-they intend being in the valley 3 week[s] ahead of us, my opinion is that the Gold is their principal inducement west, also Allen Green.

Altho we are traveling slow in consequence of the heat & heavy loads yet we are getting along well. the weather is beautiful and pleasant-it being cooler the two last days. having to write in haste and on my knee I will close, being over burthened [burdened] with camp duties

In full faith and expectation of meeting you in joy & peace I remain your Brother in the Gospel of Christ


Silas Richards



To President Young & council

A list of names, of heads of families & <men> emigrating in camp at this time

Silas Richards & family
Hiram Clark -
Lyman Stevens -
Jacob Strong -
Henry Mower -
Wm. McClary
John McLean
Lemuel Leavett [Leavitt]
Hiel K Gay
Wm. D Huntington & family
Simon Dalton -
A[lbert]. P[erry]. Rockwood -
Saml. Richards -
James Guymon -
Thos. Gaunt [Grant]
George Dalton
Henry E Parish
Edmond Fox
John W McDonald
Edward Sayers & family
Luke Beardsell -
Elam Ludington & family
Peter Robinson -
Nathaniel Green -
Theodore Turley -
Arnold Potter -
T[hadeus] Alverd -
Ann Smith -
Augustus Farnham & family
John Eaby
James Lewis
Orlando H Carter & family
Simeon Carter -
Francello [Francillo] Durphy [Durfey]
Osias Kilbourn
Jared Starr & family
Alfred B Benson -
Louisa Gibbons
Samuel G. Clark & family
Philip Garner -
Moses Daley -
Edward Daley -
Moses Daley jr -
John Thompson -
Justin Merrill -
Philemen C Merrill -
D[aniel]. B[erry]. Rawson
V[alentine] Wyrick -
Philander Cotten [Colton]-
[blank space] [James] Goff -
George Clauson