Transcript for Smith, Silas Sanford, Journal 1854-1906

Aug 25th I made a start for home, am going to drive a 4 mule team for bro Naile [Naegle] who is also driving cattle to carson valley[.] the teams are wild had two run away scrapes[,] done but little damage[.] drove 10 miles[,] found no feed[,] stood guard[,] with difficulty restrained the animals from running back

Aug 26th Started early drove through a pleasant valley for about 10 miles when the road led into the mountains through a rugged defile[.] bailed [baited]one hour at noon—afternoon quickened our pace made 15 miles camped on a slough near the San Joaquin River

Aug 27th the horses wer gone this morning[.] found them and started at 10 A.M. drove 5 miles to the ferry crossed without accident—came on to within 4 miles of Stockton[.] Naile [Naegle] and I went into the town[.] returned again

Aug 28th resumed our journey passed thro' Stockton. The teams are perfectly crazy to day[.] drove 20 miles and camped on the Mc Casma

Aug 29th got a late start in consequence of lame cattle[,] 4 head gave out[.] took aim at dry creek passed thro' a pleasant tho dry country[,] drove 20 miles and camped on Jackson Creek

Aug 30th one of the cows ran back and I rode to last camping place for her[.] returned at one P.M. without the cow[.] started at 2 drove 8 miles camped in a small deserted village[.] this is a mining country the inhabitants will doubtless return at the approach of winter or of the rainy season[.] found water only in a very deep well

Sunday Aug 31st commenced ascending the mountain[.] passed lone valley[.] this is the first place where vegetation looks green and fresh that we have seen. got some beautiful melons. found no water for stock—nooned at mountain Springs—passed thro' a mining country to day[.] the beds of all the streams have all been turned up by the adventures in search of the shining ore. camped near a Quartz mill driven by steam power; made 18 miles. I went into the mill[.] the Quartz Rock with Earth is pounded then passes thro' a washer where the "Dust" is collected on cleates arranged for the purpose. The ground in this vicinity is so full of holes as to render it difficult to walk about at night

Sept 1st 1856 started early. heavy up hill road passed through Grass valley, also aqueduct city which derives its name from an aqueduct about one mile in length built across a Kanyon [canyon] for the purpose of bringing water to a mining district[.] drove 18 miles the most of the way through densely timbered country

Sept 2d continued to ascend the mountain[.] very steep hills to day[,] doubled teams several times drove 12 miles camped at antelope springs no feed[.] wood and water plenty

Sept 3d 1856 drove hard all day made 6 miles[.] ascended some very steep hills[.] stoped and watered at some springs then drove on one mile and camped on a little spot of grass

Sept 4th the road continues to get worse[,] hiched 8 mules to a waggon in some places; nothing can equal the dust on this side of the mountain[.] drove 12 miles to coral flats[.] feed and water[.] rather cool this evening

Sept 5th resumed our journey at 8 AM[.] the ascent becomes more difficult as we near the summit[.] passed a very steep hill one mile long at the junction of Hangtown and Volcano roads[.] passed Tragedy Springs about sundown took in some water drove on one mile to feed[.] camped in the timber[,] weather cool[,] campfire comfortable

Sept 6th passed two small lakes this morning also an ox train bound for Carson valley. road very rough full of bolders[.] saw a bank of old snow passed Rock valley[.] feed and wattr good[.] drove on ‘till dark camped within two miles of the Summit after a drive of 12 miles no water but good grass

Sunday Sept 7th Started early continued to ascend untill we arrived at the top of the first summit[.] found the atmosphere very light felt a dizziness accompanied with bleeding at the nose[.] Lakes of fresh water abound near the summit. we found the descent rough and difficult[.] drove 4 miles to day and camped[.] good feed, water and wood

Monday Sept 8th Found the road very bad[,] doubled teams unloaded one waggon camped part way up the mountain—

Sept 9th drove over the second summit[.] abrupt descent met Bro S. Dolten who returned with us[.] encamped at Silver Lake

Sept 10th crossed hope valley and down this Rocky Kanyon [canyon,] rightly named, broke a waggon tongue drove 15 miles camped

Sept 11 Started at 10 AM road soon led us into the open country[.] passed farms with flocks of cattle [and] horses[.] We drove 20 miles to Mormon Station Carson Valley—Carson is a good grazing country but too cold to farm to advantage

Sept 12th drove 14 miles to Eagle valley a very pleasant location

Saturday Sept 13th I went back 8 miles to get some mules shod[.] Took dinner with Simon Baker[.] evening returned to camp

Sunday Sept 14th making whips preparing for the plains[.] did not attend meeting

Monday Sept 15 went to Washo[e] valley met Bro Orson Hyde and several Brethren from Salt Lake[.] Washo is a pleasant valley[,] has a lake of fresh water[.] Bro Hyde is building a saw mill. The pine trunks covers the Benches low down to the valley[.] the country has the appearance of early and late frost[.] returned to camp[.] Broke down a wagon wheel

Tuesday 16 Started on our journey drove to Washo having decided to take the Truckey [Truckee] route[.] got some tire set. lost a band of the carriage which I went back for and did not reach camp till late at night

Wednesday 17 waiting for Blacksmith work till 12 drove 12 miles over some rough hills passed some hot Springs encamped at 5 P.m. Bros Call & Waters joined us here[.] resumed guard service

Thursday 18 started early 6 miles to Truckey River thence down the stream[.] roads sandy and rough have to double teams occasionally[.] met several immigrants trains all report Indians hostile on the Humbol[d]t[.] camp on the river good feed pleasant & warm

Friday 19 Started at Sunrise continued down the river crossing frequently[.] very rough fording rocky bottom[.] encamped at Sundown having traveled 20 miles. met Bro Brown of Carson with a load of Iron from the desert who reported a band of Hang town Robbers near the upper crossing of the river. he had a negro with him who as believed once belonged to the band[.] guarded the animals across the river[.] feed good[.] I got very wet while on guard

Saturday 20 lay in camp till 1P.m. in order to start on the Desert near night crossed the river for the 20th time[.] saw a few white men. they came near but did not speak. we made the best display in carrying what arms we had that was possible expecting to be attacked while crossing the Desert. it being known that Naile had money. the road was heavy sand for ten miles. we had a terific thunder shower. commencing about dark and lasting three hours. an old lake bed some two miles wide in the desert became a sea of water, the night was so dark we could not keep the course and had to stop. at 1 A.m. the moon rose and we resumed the journey through the water. the mud had not had time to soak soft or the old lake bed could not have been crossed. near day light we stoped at a boiling spring of fresh water. the water is very hot. though fresh enough to make tolerable coffee[.] got some breakfast and resumed our march[.] reached the Sink of the Humboldt at noon having driven 45 miles. We saw nothing more of the Robber Band, they had no shelter and the tremendious shower doubtless left them too wet to make an attack on the train. At this point the water is so strongly impregnated with alkali that we dare not let the mules drink[.] drove 5 miles camped found feed but no water

Monday Sept 22 started at 2 A.M. drove 20 miles found a spring watered the mules for the first time since leaving the Truckey. water not good[.] Some Indians in camp. for better protection we organized the company by appointing J. C. Naile Captain and Levi E. Ritter [Riter] Sirgt [Sergeant] of the guard. Mc Cartha was appointed Chaplain and for the first time we had camp prayers since starting

Tuesday 23 Started early drove 28 miles camped on the river bluff near the river

Wednesday Started 7 A.M. good road made 30 miles camped at the foot of the Lawson meadows.

Thursday Sept 25 drove 25 miles sandy road crossed to the north side and camped

Friday 26 made an early start and drove pretty fast[.] at 10 A.m. met two men who had been robbed by Indians[.] they lost one man killed[,] a wagon load of Indian goods[,] 9 horses and their whole outfit[.] one of them is wounded with a ball through the shoulder. they were very hungry. we gave them provisions and they went on down the river. we drove 35 miles[.] in crossing the river to camp Bro Call broke an axletree. several Indians came in to camp.

Saturday 27 mended Call's wagon[.] Indians in camp—10 A.M. an ox train with a drove of sheep passed[.] we were off the road[.] two men came to camp[.] they had been robbed by Indians[.] had several wounded men along[.] were living on mutton[.] we fed those who came in but had no flour to spare. the Indians had taken a large number of sheep from them. as soon as they came to camp the Indians left and we saw nothing more of them. Started at 1 P.m. road rough drove 10 miles[.] camped away from the river found feed went for water with a light wagon

Sunday 28 made an early start drove 30 miles[.] Indians are burning the grass as signal fires ahead[.] we crossed the river to avoid a narrow dugway where we were afraid of being attacked[.] took possession of a clump of willows for camping[.] the guard heard Indians approaching in the night[.] the camp was called up and all the animals tied[.] we slept on our arms. I was awakened several times in the night and was I believe the only one in camp who slept

Monday 29 hooked up the teams without turning out[.] when we were 100 rods from the camp ground about 70 Indians came out of the brush and occupied the spot where we camped. they were only [waiting] for us to turn the mules loose to feed in the morning as was the usual custom. found the road good to day[.] crossed the river to avoid stony point, saw several places where emigrants and Indians have had engagements. the Indians fired the grass by the road as we passed near the willows but it was not dry enough to detain us. drove 30 miles camped 4 miles below gravelly ford

Tuesday Sept 30 Some Indians attempted to come to camp this morning but were not permitted to come in being constantly warned by travelers we have not let them come to camp to ascertain our strength. heard the bleating of sheep last night as before the Indians occupied the camp ground soon after we left it. the road today leaves the river and crosses the hills.—rough—passed mountain Springs at noon[.] reached the river again at Sundown[.] Camped at the forks. saw Indians on the other side

Wednesday Oct 1, 1856 found a wagon tire which was set on a wheel in place of a broken one. left camp at 10 A.M. drove 18 miles[.] river bottom narrow[.] cross the river frequently found good feed

Thursday 2[.] the mules feel the effects of the rapid travel[.] road good[.] followed up the river most of way the ascent steeper. drove 20 miles camped near the willows. poor feed

Friday Oct 3[.] 15 miles brought us to the head of the river, watered—filled the kegs &c and drove on[.] the Indians are burning before us. saw several as we passed along[.] made a dry camp[,] feed good

Saturday 4 Started early followed up a dry kanyon found plenty of water and timber near its head, a good place for a Small Settlements[.] the frost has not killed the leaves on the willows, passed several warm Springs drove 12 miles camped in the kanyon

Sunday Oct 5[,] 1856[.] made an early start, met travelers to day[.] passed through thousand spring valley reached some springs at a late hour[.] made 42 miles went to bed with the sick head ache, could not sleep

Monday Oct 6. left camp at 8 A.m. commenced the ascent of Goose Creek Mountains found the road good though hilly[.] crossed the summit broke down a wagon and camped[.] made 18 miles[.] repaired the wagon and got it to camp after dark

Tuesday 7 made an early start followed down Goose Creek some distance crossed some dry <rough> hills and camped near the Summit. night very dark and windy

Wednesday 8. commenced snowing at sunrise lasted till 11 A.m. at which time it was 10 inches deep, an axletree which had been spliced failed but was soon repaired—very cold—passed the junction of the emigrant route, reached the De Casme creek and camped[.] made 20 miles[.] there has not been much snow in this valley

Thursday 9 resumed the journey at 8 A.m. down the stream. weather cold—mountains covered with snow[.] Came in Sight of Great Salt Lake[.] reached deep creek and camped making 45 miles[.] bridged the creek with a wagon tongue for the guard to cross

Friday 10th Started at 9 A.m. drove 25 miles and camped at warm springs Bro[.] Call and 4 others went on—water poor

Saturday 11th Started early halted at Sidehill Springs 4 miles from camp. Saw that Call had gone by the Bear River ferry—followed his trail but on reaching the boat could not cross and had to follow up the river 12 miles[.] crossed the ford and camped[.] drove hard all day. making only 21 miles

Sunday 12[.] ten miles brought us to Calls Fort passed Boulder stoped at Willow creek[.] 30 miles[.] some of the party slept in the house

Monday Oct 13 resumed our journey at 8 A.m. passed through Ogden[,] Weber[,] Kays Creek and other Small Settlements[.] reached Farmington near night met Father Ricks thence 4 miles to his farm near Centerville where I met Sarah Ann in good health[.] also my Son John A now 2½ years of age having left him when two months old[.] We drove 40 miles, all shared the Hospitable board of Bro Ricks

Oct 15th[.] I drove the team to the City for Naile that I had driven from California and assisted in unloading. I expected something for the active part I had taken in taking <care> of Nailes property[,] guarding every other night for the protection of his family and animals[,] ever ready to stand in the breach to repel hostile savages besides driving and taking care of a team the whole way, besides merlly [merely] the passage with him having worked at repairs before and after starting and been constantly on hand to do what was necessary to be done. But instead of giving me anything he was disposed to keep my coat which was packed in one of his boxes[.] he however gave it to me. I did certainly do more labor and take more interest in taking care of every thing on the plains than those men who get 40 dollars per month—however I was glad of any chance to get home. I met several relatives and friends. Staid with Cousin Elias Smith, Called to see President Young but he was abscent