Transcript for Walters, Archer, Diary 1856 Mar.-Sept., 9-16


Saturday May 31st[.] Martha began to be ill. Still at work at the handcarts. A meeting at night and we are to prepare for off.

Sunday June 1st [.] Meeting 1/2 past 10. Bro.____ spoke and Bro. Webb. Sarah still at the farm, Mr. Linley's. Henry went on watch to the cattle. The band played several tunes after the meeting.

Meeting 1/2 past two. Many people here.

[Monday June] 2nd[.] Harriett very ill. Still working at the hand carts.

Tuesday [June] 3rd[.] All well but Harriet.

Wednesday [June] 4th[.] Martha poorly. Made a coffin for a child dead in camp.

Thursday [June] 5th[.] All expect to go with our hand carts. I was liberated from working and my tools to go with us to do repairs on the road.

Friday 6th Made another child’s coffin and a rough table for the Elders to eat upon. Bro. Spencer said as I had been working my extra luggage should go through.

Saturday 7th 8th [sic] Started about 60 yards. Camped for the night and remained Sunday, June the 8th, and meetings held as usual. Harriet [Cross Walters] dreamed about eating fish and Henry [Archer Walters] went and catched one and she eat it all. I road Harriet in the hand cart round the camp. Very bad night owing to camping so late, the dew being on the grass.

Sunday 8th Meetings as usual. Went to bid Mr. Lindley good-buy. We journeyed 3 miles. Lost the cattle at night. Camped amongst bush and did not rest well. Harriet very ill. Found cattle Tuesday night at the old camp ground.

Wednesday 11th Journeyed 7 miles. Very dusty. All tired and smoothered with dust and camped in the dust or where the dust blowed. Was Captain over my tent of 18 in number but they were a family of Welch and our spirits were not united. Had a tent but Elder [Edmund] Ellsworth would not let me use it and had to leave my tent poles behind me.

Thursday 12th Journeyed 12 miles. Went very fast with our hand carts. Harriet still ill.

Friday 13th Journeyed 7 miles. A pleasant road but journeyed so fast.

Saturday 14th Journeyed 7 miles. Pleasant.

Sunday 15th Got up about 4 o’clock to make a coffin for my brother, John Lee’s son name William Lee, aged 12 years. Meetings as usual, and at the same time had to make another coffin for Sister [Mary Harper] Pr[e]ator’s child [Loran Isabella Preator]. Was tired with repairing hand carts the last week. Went and buried them by moonlight at Bear Creek.

Monday 16th Harriet very ill. Travelled 19 miles and after pitching tent mended carts.

Tuesday 17th Traveled about 17 miles; pitched tent. Made a little coffin for Bro. Job Welling’s son [Job Welling, Jr.] and mended a hand cart wheel.

Wednesday 18th Rose before sun rise; travelled about 10 miles. Very hot; and camped for the day. Harriet still very ill but hope she will soon be better if it please my Heavenly Father.

Thursday 19th Travelled about 13 miles. Camped Bear Creek.

Friday 20th Travelled about 14 miles.

Saturday 21st Travelled about 13 miles. Camped at Indian Creek. Bro. (Jas.) Bower died about 6 o’clock; from Birmingham Conference. Went to buy the wood to make the coffin but the kind farmer gave me the wood and nails. It had been a very hot day and I was never more tired, but God has said as my day my strength shall be. For this I rejoice that I have good health and strength according to my day. Indian Camp Creek.

Sunday 22nd Got up at day break and made the coffin for Bro. James Bowers by 9 o’clock and he was buried at 11 o’clock. Aged 44 years, 5 months, 2 days. His relatives cried very much after I lifted him in the coffin and waiting to screw him down. 11 o’clock, washed in the creek and felt very much refreshed. Meeting 2 o’clock until seven. Bro. MacCarter spoke about being driven and he did walk into the Gentiles first rate and told them that they did not mean to be driven again and not to be excited by the priests to come against us as a people again for they would find them a terrible people.

Monday 23rd Rose early and travelled 10 miles; then repaired the hand carts. Harriet a little better.

Tuesday 24th Travelled 18 miles. Very hot. Bro. Ellsworth being always with a family from Birmingham named Brown and always that tent going first and walking so fast and some fainted by the way. Bro. [Edward] Frost worn out by going so fast and not resting and many more.

Wednesday 25th Travelled about 13 miles. Sold some files to a Carpenter; repaired some hand carts.

Thursday 26th Travelled about 1 mile. Very faint for the (lack) of food. We are only allowed about ¾ lb. of flour a head each day and about 3 oz. of sugar each a week. Tea good and plenty; about a ¼ of a lb. of bacon each week; which makes those that have no money very weak. Made a child’s coffin for Sister [Eliza] Sheen—Emma Sheen aged 2-½ years.

Friday 27th Got up before sun rise. Cut a tomb stone on wood and bury the child before starting from camp. Travelled about 10 miles. Repaired hand carts and quite tired and slept without rocking.

Saturday 28th We think Harriet a little better. Rose soon after 4 o’clock. Started with high wind. Short of water and I was never more tired. Rested a bit after we camped them [then] came on a thunder storm, and rain blowed our tent down. Split the canvas and wet our clothes and we had to lay on the wet clothes and ground. I thought of going through needful tribulation but it made me cross. I took poor Harriet into a tent and fixed the tent up again as well I could at Bear Creek Station.

Sunday 29th Rather stiff in joints when we rose and thought, As thy day thy strength shall be, was fulfilled upon us for which I feel thankful to my Heavenly Father. Busy all day. My wife and Sarah [Ann Walters] mending. Short of provisions. Children crying for their dinner. Got the tent up and slept comfortable.

Monday 30th [A]Rose in good health, except Harriet, and started with our hand carts with but a little breakfast as only 3-½ lbs. of flour was served out over night, but never travelled 17 mores more easily. Got 5 lbs. of flour and bacon about 1-¼ lb. ¾ rice, sugar ¾ lb. and was refreshed after satisfying nature. Sleep very well after prayers in tent.

Tuesday JULY 1st Rose soon. It looked very cloudy and began to rain. Travelled about 15 miles. Walked very fast,—nearly 4 miles an hour. Brother Brown’s family and some young sisters with Bro. Ellsworth always going first which causes many of the brothers to have hard feeling. I have heard them call them and Bro. Ellsworth as well, as he always walks with them and looks after them, being in the same tent. ½ lb. of flour each; 2 oz. of rice; which is very little and my children cry with hunger and it grieves me and makes me cross. I can live upon green herbs or anything and do go nearly all day without any and am strengthened with a morsel. Repaired hand carts. A storm came on about 11 o’clock and lasted 1 hour ½. Split the tent and not a dry thread on us.

Wednesday 2nd Rose about 5 o’clock after sleeping in wet clothes, and made a coffin for Bro. [Cyrus William] Card belonging to the Independent Company but travels with us, for his daughter named _______ [Polly Caroline] Card, aged _____ [14]. 5 miles from Indian town. Brother Parker’s boy, from Preston, England, aged 6 years, lost. 2 miles, gone after him which makes us stop today and we hope the brothers will find him. Not found; travelled about 14 or 15 miles.

JULY 1856.

Thursday 3rd Ever to be remembered. Bro Card gave me ½ dollar for making his daughter’s coffin. Start with my cart before the camp as others had done but was told not and had to suffer for it. Went the wrong way; about 30 of the brothers and sisters and went 10-½ miles wrong way. We put our three hand carts together and made beds with all the clothes we had and all layed down about ½ past 10 o’clock. 11 o’clock Bro. [William] Butler, who had charge of the mule teams, came with the mules and wagon to fetch us. Got to camp when they were getting up. Laid down about an hour and started with the camp.

Friday 4th About 20 miles. Tired out. Tied my cart behind the wagon and we got in, after 3 nights. 1st night, thunder, lightning and rain and our tent splitting and blowing over. All wet to the skin. 2nd night: wind blowing; had hard work to hold the tent up and this last night no sleep. Went to bed; sleep never better and rose refreshed.

Saturday 5th A deer or (h)elk served out to camp. Brother Parker brings into the camp his little boy that had been lost. Great joy right through the camp. The mother’s joy I cannot describe. Expect we are going to rest. Washing, etc. today, Jordan Creek. Make a pair of sashes for the old farmer. Indian meal; no flour. Slept well.

Sunday 6th Made 2 doors for the farmer,—3 dollars and boarded with the farmer.

Monday 7th Harriet better. Lydia [Walters] poorly. Travelled about 20 miles.

Tuesday 8th Travelled around-about road about 20 miles. Crossed the river Missouri and camped at the City of Florence. Very tired; glad to rest. Slept well. Lydia better and Harriet. All in good spirits. Expect to stop some time. Old Winter Quarters.

Wed. 9th Rested. Florence City.

Thur. 10th Repairing hand carts. Could of got 3 or 4 dollars per day had I not engaged with Brother Spencer to repair the carts. Harriet Better.

Friday 11th Repairing carts.

Saturday 12th Ditto.

Sunday (13th) Wrote to England and rested.

Monday (14th) Worked all day at carts.

Tuesday (15th) Ditto. Harriet still very ill.

Wednesday (16th) Ditto.

Thursday (17th) Left Florence City and we travelled about 3 miles. Went to ______ [sic] to seek work to buy a pair of shoes for Sarah but got no work for want of tools. Stopped there all night; slept in a stable. Came back to camp Friday morning, 17th. (18).

Friday (18th) Harriet very ill. Bought her some little niceties but she could not eat the pickles. Had a piece of buffalo beef given to me.

Saturday (19th) Repairing carts all day.

Sunday (20) Preparing to start; travelled about 7 miles.

Monday (21) Travelled about 18 miles. Harriet better.

Tuesday (22) Passed of(f) the ferry at (H)elk Horn. Travelled abouts 12 miles. Thunder storm.

Wednesday (23) Very hot day. Travelled about 14 miles. Harriet much better.

Thursday (24) Very hot. Went about 18 miles. Harriet still better.

Friday (25) Travelled about 18-½ miles.

Saturday (26) Passed over the Ferry—Luke [Loup] Fort [Fork]. Travelled about 6 miles. (H)as soon (h)as we crossed it looked very heavy and black. We had (not) got far and it began to lightning and soon[.] the thunders roared and about the middle of the train of hand carts the lightning struck a brother and he fell to rise no more in that body,—by the name of Henry Walker, from Carlisle Conference; aged 58 years. Left a wife and children. One boy burnt a little, named James Studard [Stoddart]; we thought he would die but he recovered and was able to walk and Brother William Studard [Stoddart], father of the boy was knocked to the ground and a sister, Betsy Taylor, was terribly shook but recovered. All wet through. This happened about 2 miles from the Ferry and we then went 2 miles to camp. I put the body, with the help of others, on the hand cart and pulled him to camp and buried him without coffin for there was no boards to be had.

Sunday 27th The next morning, Sunday 27th, 1856, four miles west of Luke Fort [Loup Fork] Ferry. Rose about 4 o’clock. Put a new axletree to a cart that was broke yesterday. Travelled about 2 miles to a better camping ground.

Monday 28th Travelled about 18 miles. Harriet much better; for such we feel thankful.

Tuesday 29th Travelled about 15 miles. Met a Company coming from California. A child [Mary Jane Doney] born in camp. Sister [Ann Temperance Geroge] Doney. My birthday.

Wednesday 30th Travelled 22 miles.

Thursday 31st Travelled 18 miles. Heavy thunderstorm.

AUGUST 1856.

Friday 1st Travelled 16 miles and camped at Prairie Creek.

Sat. 2nd Crossed over 2 creeks,—forded them. Stopt dinner. Camped by Wood River. We saw many buffalo. Travelled about 18 miles.

Sunday 3rd Rested but mended hand carts. Got shell fish out of the creek for we was very hungry. Only ¾ of lb. of flour; 1-½ oz. of sugar; a few apples; tea plenty.

Monday 4th Travelled 18 miles. Camped by Platte River.

Tuesday 5th Travelled 16 miles.

Wednesday 6th Saw thousands of buffalo. 4 was killed. So thick together that they covered 4 miles at once. Camped by Buffalo Creek. Travelled 10 miles.

Thursday 7th Thousands of buffalo. Travelled 25 miles. Camped late at night. Had to dig for water and it was very thick. Our hungry appetites satisfied by the buffalo. Goy up soon to repair hand carts.

Friday 8th Rose soon to repair carts. Travelled about 15 miles. Camped by the side of Flat River. Repaired hand carts. Harriet getting round nicely and I feel truly thankful. My wife very ill tempered at times. An old brother lost named [Walter] Sanderson. Many went in all directions but could not find him.

Saturday 9th Found the old brother Sanderson on a hill about 6 o’clock. Brought him into camp on a mule. Travelled about 15 miles after repairing hand carts until 12 o’clock.

Sunday 10th Travelled 14 miles. All, or most of the people bad with the diarrhoea or purging,—whether it was the buffalo or the muddy river water.

Monday 11th Travelled about 17 miles. 4 men sent to shoot Buffalo. Harriet much better; very weak myself. I expect it is the short rations: ¾ of a lb. of flour per day. It is but little but it is as much as the oxen teams that we have could draw from St. Florence. Forded over 2 creeks. Met a man coming from California by himself; going to the States. One of our cows died. Buffalo killed.

Tuesday 12th Rested while some of the brethern with Captain Ellsworth went and shot 2 more Buffalo and we dried the meat.

Wednesday 13th Travelled 12 miles; forded a large creek.


Thursday 14th Travelled 18 miles. Crossed three creeks. Last herd of Buffalo seen.

Friday 15th Forded over 5 creeks; camped at Snake Creek. Travelled 19 miles; from Florence 352 miles. Harriet much better and walked all the way.

Saturday 16th Forded over 5 or 6 creeks. Travelled 17 miles. Camped by Wolf Creek.

Sunday 17th Crossed over some creeks. Camped over the Platte River. Travelled 12 miles. Brother Missel Rossin, Italian, found dead by the side of the road.

Monday 18th Travelled 20 miles. Camped by the Platte River.

Tuesday 19th Travelled 19 miles. Camped by the Platte River. A nice camping ground. Buffalo chips to burn.

Wednesday 20th Travelled 19 miles. Camped by Ruver [River] Platte.

Thursday 21st Travelled 18 miles. Camped 4 miles past Chimney Rock, Platte River. Sandy Road the last 3 or 4 days.

Friday 22nd Good road. Travelled 24 miles. Camped by Platte River.

Saturday 23rd Travelled 16 miles. Camped by Platte River. Harriet getting well, thank God, and not been in the wagons to ride. Our allowance of flour tonight was 1 lb. a head. For this I was thankful for I never was so hungry in my life. Captain Ellsworth shot a cow. Very thankfully received.

Sunday 24th Rested from travels but had to repair hand carts. Meeting at night. Received the Sacrament. Spoke at the meeting. Bro. Ellsworth spoke some time and said we had made great improvement; that the last week there had been less quarreling and those that had robbed the hand carts, or wagons, unless they repent their flesh would rot from their bones and go to Hell.

Monday 25th Travelled about 19 miles. Saw many Indians. Camped about 19 miles from Fort Laramie. Hand Cart axle tree broke on the road. Plenty of wood. Quite a treat after burning so many Buffalo chips.

Tuesday 26th Travelled about 19 miles. Camped 3 miles from Fort Laramie. Trucked away a dagger for a piece of bacon an salt and sold one for 1 dollars ¼. Bought bacon and meal and Henry and me began to eat it raw we was so hungry. Forded the river. Sister Watts got hurt by the wagon. My wife thinks she would of fell when half way over the river. Bro. John Lee came to her assistance.


Wednesday 27th Travelled about 18 miles. Had bacon and meal porridge for supper; the best supper for many weeks. A camp of Indians passed us.

Thursday 28th Travelled about 15 miles. Mended hand carts good and had road hilley. Camped at a nice place called Horse Shoe Creek. Mother and Sarah washed clothes.

Friday 29th Travelled 25 miles. Camped Platte River. Met some Californians.

Saturday 30th Travelled 22 miles. Met some Californians and they told us the wagons was waiting at Deer Creek for us.

Sunday 31st Very poorly, faint and hungry. Travelled to Deer Creek, 22 miles. Brother R[obert]. Stoddard from Carlisle Conference about 54 years old, died in the wagon on road. More provisions given out.


Monday 1st Rested from travels. I mended carts. Meeting about flour and paying for extra that was brought in the wagons. Harriet getting quite well and walks all the way. 18 cents per lb.

Tuesday 2nd Platte River. Travelled 19 miles. Walter Sanderson, aged 56, died.

Wednesday 3rd Met 4 wagons: Henshaw from Nottingham; John Barns from Sheffiend [Sheffield]—Travelled 15 miles.

Thursday 4th Travelled 10 miles.

Friday 5th Rested. Rained all day.

Saturday 6th Lost cattle.

Sunday 7th Travelled 26 miles. Bro. Nipras [Neppress] died. Left on road.

Monday 8th 11 miles. Had dinner at Devil’s Gate.

Wed. 10th

T. 11th

F. 12th Sarah very poorly. Harriet quite well.

Saturday 13th Travelled 28 miles. Camped at Paciffick [Pacific] Springs. Trucked a blanket with a brother from the Valley who came from Rotherham, named Goldsmith, part of Bro. [John] Bankses Wagon Co.

Sunday 14th Travelled 3 miles. Camped to mend hand carts and women to wash. Sister [Mary] Mayer died.