Transcript for William A. Empey, "The Journal of William A. Empey, May 7-August 4, 1847," edited by Dale L. Morgan, Annals of Wyoming (July-October 1949), 124-33

noon it is a valley of dry bones for it looks as thousands of buffalows killed in the big platt[e.] it is a Delight ful country it appears as though there were millions of buffelows killed on this place[.] The plat[e]t is about one mile in weadth and is about 2 feet and a half on a everage[.] some of Brother Brigham teams give out on account of the of the pararie being burnt and the buffalow being so numerous that they have eaten the pararie bare[.] we have averaged a bout 10 miles per Day, up to this preasant time being the 7th of the month;

we Started as usesial on the 8 and all was peace and quietness but our teams bing gun [begun] to fail[.] the weather is cold for the time of the year[.] we saw some hundreds of buffalow this morning where we camped at night near the Big platt and we was a blige [obliged] to sent out men to keep the buffalow from our cattl[.] wee had a good nights rest and

persued on our jurney on the 9 (8) of the (?) we saw severl thousands of buffalow[.] they would follow us for miles and we would set out Dogs on them to see them run. Some times they would fight the dogs[.] we this Day saw a bout 50 thousand but if I would com to the in particalar I think I could say with in bounds that there were 1.00 thousand[.] we traveled 14 (11¼) miles and they were so thick in places that that no person could see through them, for they were like a cloud strung along both sides of the river and in every ille lan [island] a long the platt[.] the woolfs are so numers that as son as you shoot a calf or buffalow that before you can get to the camp and back to fetch the meat the wolves has got persession of them; no grass for our teams on account of buffalows[.] there is many Lies Dead I think on account of faood, we have made an estament of the distance up to this present Date up to the bluffs being the 9 of May, thea numbrs of miles is 3,39 miles; we rested this night in peace and

we arose as usesial by the sound of the bugal being the sabbath day and made preperations for a march on account of no food for our teams[.] it being the 9 (10) of the month traveled 5 (3½) miles and camped, the brethren took a rope and run up to a buffalow[,] caught him around the horns and Drove him for a little Distance and let him go[.] we enjoided our selves well[.] through the Day we had a meeting[,] Br Amasy Lyman opined the meeting by prayer and Brother Orson pratt give us a fine Lecture on the good feelings that existe amoungst the Brethren[.] he said he traveled to far west but he never traveled amongst so many men that observed so good ordar and he new that the spirit of god weighs in the camp[.] Brother Amasy Lyman followed by making some good remarks that was applicable to our case and so Did Brotherly woodruff and Br Benson

On May 10 we jurney on and and traveled 10 (9¾) miles and campeped[.] Shot one buffalow and one Deer and rested in peace and

on the 11 we started on wards to wards the mountains[.] the weather is fine and we had but one shower of rain the season peares (?) to be verry Dry[.] we are now a bout the south faulk [fork] and north faulk on the big platt near the bluffs[.] we are enjoining good health through the camp and all peace except Zebedee Coulter [Coltrin] he and B rother [Sylvester H.] Earl separated this morning; Coulten has Done all the Rangling in the camp; with in a few exceptions he is counted by the majority of the camp a quarles some man[.] Brother Earl appears to be a fine man and is well thought of by the camp of Pioneers[.] the north Faulk [Fork] a bout 1 mile in weadth the water is like the Masuira [Missouri] water[.] we camped for the night and rested in peace we traveled 8 (8½) miles and

on the 12th we started by the sound of the bugal and saw severl flocks of buffalow and also saw were the indians killed severl and took the hides and skin and tongs And leff the meat Lie on the pararie[.] the food is Giting better on account of the buffalow is not so numers[.] it appears that the indians has hunted them a great deal[.] the Land where we traveled to Day we traveled 12 miles campped for the night; the hunters Shot 1 buffalow and we had to use buffalow chips for fewel to cook with[.] the weather is verry Disagreeable[.] it is cold for the season of the year; we have traveled riseing of 300 and 50 miles and have not traveled 25 rods through the timber so you may perceive that there is verry little timber; we rested in peace for the night, and

made ready for to persue on our jurney it being the 13 of the month[.] we traveled a bout 5 miles and bated our teams one [h]our and then made our way on our jurney and came to the bluff, conjunction fork river[.] we traveled 12 miles and camped for the night and rested in peace

we arose as usesial by the sound of the signal and paid our Devotions to to our Father in heaven; and had to clime the bluffs a bout 3 miles this Day[.] we Shot 2 antilopes and 2 buffalow[.] this was on the 14 of the month[.] we traveled 11 (8) miles and 3 quarters and camped about 11 o clock at night[.] one of the gard [Rodney Badger] shot at what he supposed to be an Indian he said he was a bout to take hold of one of the mules[.] we all gathered our teams and rested in peace for the night, and

on the 15 of the month we started and traveled about 3 (2¼) miles and camped on account of rain[.] it cleared off and then we started on and traveled about 8 [6] miles and 3 quarters and camped for the night[.] we Shot 1 buffalow and 2 antilopes[.] the weather is getting a little mileder[.] this was Done on the 15 of may we rested in peace for the night and

on the 16 of thee month we rested on the sabath Day in peace[.] the hunters shot 1 buffalow and 1 antilope Brother [Willard] Richard[s] and B heber [C. Kimball] and some others preached to the camp telling them the importance of our mishion, and the responsibility that rested on us as peoineers in keeping the commandments of god, he said he traveled to far west with a bout 2 hundred but he said he never traveled with a company that keept so good order and he feelt theat god was with us and he knew that the angels was continualey a round and a bout us to open our way to the place where god Desire for the saint to have a resting place where kings and quenn and all the rich would come to hear the word of the Lord and we as peioneers would be look on as angels of god and many more blessings to numerous to mention[.] this Day and night pased in peace and

on the 17 we prepareed to start on our jurney[.] we passed severl butifull springs which came out of the bluffs and we traveled a bout 2 miles over the bluffs and came to a butifull flatte and the hunters shot 3 buffalow and 1 antilope and we camped for the night and we traveled 12 miles and 3 quarters and we rested from our Day travel and paid our Devotions to almighty god for his kind care over us; and

we arose as usesial by the sound of the bugal and prepared to take our march[.] brother Brigham called the capttians to gether and addressed them teling them the evil of killing so much game and wounded so many buffalow and wasting so mutch aminution and teling the camp to be care full of the meat that they had on hand they should not shoot any birds of any kind without orders from him; the bugle sounded and we started as usesial a long the platt[.] we crossed a butifull stream of water wich proceded out of the bluffs[.] we also passed a little island wich was full of read sedar [red cedar] and on the opposite side of the river the bluffs [Cedar Point] came to the waters edge wich was butifull ly a dorrend with butifull read sedar and the cliffs of rocks[.] we traveled 7 miles and a half and bated our teams[.] the game is plenty buffalow antilopes Deers and fowls & hares we traveled 15 miles and 3 quarters and camped for thee night and rested in peace and

a rose at the sound of the bugal at 5 o clock and started and traveled 3 miles to git better food for our teams[.] we bated on[e] our and refreshed our selves with a good breakfast and started on our jurney as usesial and came to the bluffs w[h]ere we crossed the bluffs was a mile and a quarter and came to the platt[.] on the leavel the wather bein rather wet and rainy[.] we halted for about 3 ours and started on and when started it began to rain we halted for the night and camped in a half a circle[.] we traveled 8 miles it being the 19 of the month, and

on the 20 we arose and made ready for our jurney and started at the sound of the bugal and traveled 7 miles 3 quarters and bated our teams 1 our we have traveled a bout 90 miles without seeing on the north side of the platt a tree large anught [enough] for a hand spike till to Day we passed a read sedar a bout 3 feet a cross the stump[.] the bluffs on both sides of the north bank is bluffs with legges [ledges] of rocks and on the opposite side is groves of read sedar and mulbry trees and a fee scrubs of brush[.] I have benn chosen as a Capt of ten for the purpose of night gard and have to stand every 3 night witch makes it purtey Sevear but it is nessay for it to be so[.] we camped to Day at noon[.] the boys took skiff and crossed the platt and found where the road came Down from the south platt as across to the north right opposite of us the place is knon by the name of it is the ash hollow[.] there an Indian killed a white man for his horse and Brother Brown helped to berry him, so we prepared to start and crossed cassel [Castle] Creek a butifull Stream and sand bottom[.] we traveled 15 miles and 3 quarters and camped for the night and rested for the night;

an made ready for a start on the 21 of may and crosse an nother Creek (Lost Creek) and travele 7 miles and 3 quarters and halted and bated our teams one our and Started on our jurney as usesial[.] the weather being in our favour[.] it was arfine Day and the bluffs and legges of rock on the opposite sid of fork. We camped for thee night in a circle[.] there came 3 indians to us Dressed in mens clothing[.] they started back on their horses over the bluffs[.] their horses appeared to be team horses[.] we rested in peace for the night,

on the 22 we started as usesial by the sound of the bugal to persue our jurney the weather being fine and pleasant; the sous [Sioux] indians has caves in the legges rocks of the bluffs so that you come up on them un a wares[.] it is not safe for one man to leave the Camp[.] we traveled a bout 15 and a half a bout 6 miles was over a Dessert place a bout 2 miles over the bluffs[.] we passed severl Dry creeks[.] there were a butifull groves on the opposite side of the river[.] we camped for the night and rested in peace and

arose on the 23 of thee month on the Sabbath Day and rested and had Brother Brigham preach to us and said that he was sasfied with the Brothren for their be haveiour was good fore he said that he never asked them or required any request but what it was done[.] the weather Darkened and it began to thunder and lighting and the wind began to blow and Rain and hail[.] it was a Disagreeable night it being the 23 of the month and

on the 24 we arose and made ready for a start[.] it being colder then I ever saw at this time a year[.] it snowed a Little[.] the bluffs was 2.35 feet a bove the Level of the water[.] we started at the sound of the bugal on our jurney and traveled 10 miles and bated our teams and while we were taken our Dinner there came 2 indians up to the camp and we gave them some Dinner they went off and a bout 2 ours after there came 35 indians and squaws (Here interlineated is: We traveled 15 miles ½) Dressed in the most genteal manner we gave them their suppers and they camped with us all night[.] we risted in peace and in quieeness

we arose in the morning and made ready for our jurney being the 25 of the month[.] those were the sous indians[.] we travele 12 miles and camped and rested in peace a little below Chimley [Chimney] rock[.] this rock is 2.60 [260] feet in height and 10 by 12 in seadth [width] on the top

we arose as usesial being the 26 of the month[.] the hunters shot 5 antiopes and camped and took our Dinners and started on the bluffs[,] is a great height[.] no wood growing on this side of the platt[.] in situ the weather is pleasant but cold nights[.] we reached Chimley rock wich is 2.60 feet in height[.] it is a Delightfull country[.] the atmus phere is pleasant and clear, we traveled 12 (12¼) miles and camped for the night and rested in peace, and

started on the 27 and traveled 6 miles and bated our teams[.] one our the mountains is a great height there is one lone thwer [tower] on the opposite side of the river[.] the hunters killed 4 antilopes; we travele 13 miles and 3 quarters and camped in a circle for the night and rested in peace; and

a rose by the sound of thee bugal as usesial and made ready for our jurney it being 28 of the month[.] it rained a little through the night and at Day Light there was a fine mist of rain[.] the country is in Different places Dersert and barren except what they call Devils toungs which grows on a Dersert[.] the mountains is a great height[.] a Long the platt the country is a Live with woolves & it rained till 10 oclock be fore we started on our jurney and had a fine Day for traveling[.] we Drove 11 miles and a half and camped for the night[.] I planted my men on gard as usesial and at 12 oclock it began to rain a little and

at Day light we a rose as usesial and paid our Devotions to our Father in heaven it being 29 of of the month[.] it keept on raining a so it hindered us from starting at our regular our [hour.] we was called together and Brother Brigham addressed us with the Word of the Lord to repent of uur sins and folleys wich we was giltey of before the Lord sutch as Dansing and Dice playing and card playing wich (?) jumping Loud Lafter and all such habbits wich was a bomation in the sight of god and was a stink in his norstels[.] he went on to tell us our Duty towards our god that we might better Spend our Luiser moments in prayer or in reading some good Books or in structing each other in righteousness for he knew that if we did not reform and turn to the Lord and repent that we would be cut of and would not have a preavilege to go on the mishion that we was appointed to be called for[.] the cats [captains] of tens to call out their men for he said he was not in a hurry nor would not go with men that had such a trifeling spirit[.] he then called for a vote and a covnant of all thoes that would sererve the true and Living god[.] he called on the twelve first wich was unanimous then on the high priest and then on the seventies and then on the elders and all and all[.] those that that was not willing to reform would have the privileg to go back and he request all sutch would go[.] we all as a man covenanted before god and man that we would reform and serve the true and Living god[.] he then requested us as to morrow was the Sabbath that we would fast and pray that god would have mercy uppon us and wood give us more of his holey spirit[.] he then pronounced the blessings of god uppon us as his people and many others blessings that is to numer[ou]s to mention and said that we was Discharged and every man to his waggon to start[.] it being 9 oclock when we started[.] we traveld over a Dersert 4 miles and came to where there were grass and we passed horse Creek on the opposite side of the platt wich is 40 miles from fort Larama [Laramie.] we traveled 8 miles and a half the weather being rainy we camped for the night in peace and in Love one with another[.] we retired as usesial by the sound of the bugal and paid our Devotions to god and rested in peace

we a rose as usesial called on the Lord and had a meeting at 8 oclock and the good Lord was preasan and blessed us[.] our meeting brok up at 10 and commenced at 11 and we per took of the Lords supper there, when good instructions to all and our prayers was offered up in the behalf of all saints under all surcumstances that they might receive more of the spirit of god to gide them in all truth; it commenced raining a little a bout 3 oclock this Day being 30 of the month[.] we rested in peace and called on the Lord as usesial

we arose in the morning at 4 oclock and returned thanks to almighty god for his Loveing kindness to wards us as his servants[.] we then started at 9oclock and traveled 10 miles and bated our teams and took our Dinners[.] it being the 31 of may[.] we started and traveled over a Dersert all after noon[.] we traveled 16 miles and 3 quarters and camted for the night a loung side of a creek called Raw Hide[.] we rested in in peace and

started at 9 oclock it being the first Day of june the weather pleasant and fair[.] we traveled 12 miles and ½ half (12) an came to the fort—Larramie and camped for the night in peace and found some of our Brethren from the missippie [Mississippi] 3 famleys 9 men 5 women and 3 children wich came out in the year 1836 (1846)[.] they went to fort perbolo [Pueblo] and wintered and came to meet the rest of the saints in the spring[.] we hired a boat and ferried our teams and wagons[.] part of them on the 3 of june and visited the fort[.] they treated us with kindness, and

on the fort 4 of june we finished ferring through the night[.] it rained Rappedly; the jentle men of the fort said they had no rain for 2 years before this spring[.] it is a Deloate [desolate] country by all appearances thoes jentle men has got squass [squaws] for their companions[.] we gathered quite a quantity of beads on the pis aunts houses; the fourt is made of large green (unburnt) brick and is 100 and 68 by a 1.00.16 in weadth and also an old fort a bout the same sise[.] we started about 11 oclock and traveled a bout 8 miles a halted and rested in peace for the night and

started on our jurney on the 5the of june and we saw and traveled a long thee black hills [Laramie mountains.] it is al Seder and pine and ash and some other kinds of timbe[r.] we traveled on till a bout 12 oclock and halted by the warm spring wich proceded out of the Mountain while we bated our teams[.] there came a 11 waggons in company for oragon [Oregon] and passed us we then started as usesial and over took the same company and camped for the night[.] we traveled 17 miles. and rested in peace and

got up by the sound of the bugal and paid our Devotions to our Father in Heaven it being the Sabbath Day; we fasted and prayed one with another and Spoke of the goodness of god to wards us as a people wich was rejected from the jentiles nation[.] I can sureley say that god poured out his spirrit up on us and we enjoided our selves well[.] while at meeting there was reported that there was an nother company[.] our meeting was brought to a close and there passed 19 waggons 72 yokes of cattle besides the Loose stock and horses this[.] we then made preperations to start to it being the 6 of the month to travel 6 miles to a good camping place[.] we starte and over took one of the camps that went by us the same Day and we camped[.] we trave 5 miles and rested in peace and

arose at the sound of the bugal being the 7, of the month there is four companys behind in about 20 miles the country a pears to be helthy and pleasant[.] the Land in the flats is good[.] the mountains is a great height[.] my gard is a blight toe [obliged to] Stand every 3 night half of the of the night[.] we are united in Love and in harmany the spirit of the Lord is with us continuley[.] we started as usesial by the sound of the bugal on our jurney and traveled 7 miles and a half and bated our teams opposite of fourt john [Laramie] peak[.] it is a chain of the rocke mountains wich is south west course[.] there is quitee a quantity of snow on the mountains; while we were a bating our teams there passed a 13 waggons and teams going to oragon from Illinois[,] this is the 3 company that has passed us in going 40 miles[.] they said that the waar is still going on in Illinois[,] one side a gainst annother[.] we traveled 13 miles and camped for the night a[t] Long horse shoe creek[.] the hunters shot 2 Deer[.] the Deer has black tails and one antilope wich suplied our wants for the preasant[.] we took our suppers and paid our Devotions to our god and rested in peace for the night[.] the mountains is covered with pine and all over the bluffs a Long thee creeks is thee broade Leaf willow and cotton wood

we started on our Jurney on the 8 Day of june the weather being verry cold we traveled 25 miles and a half and camped for the night a Long side of big timber Creek[.] the hunters shot 2 antilopes and one Deer & there came 6 traders from the mountains with 5 teams Loded with furs[.] we rested in peace for the night and

arose on the 9 of the month and started at sun rise to go to better feed and camped and took our break fast and started on as usesial[.] the Day is pleasant but cold wind from the mountain[.] we trave 10 miles and bated our teams and started on our way and Traveled in all 19 miles and a quarter and camped a Lonng side of Alapier Creek were we enjoided our selves in peace and in Love and

started on in the morning[.] it being the 10 of the month[.] we sent of on the 9, 18 waggons and some horse men to secure the bull hide boat that the traders gave us the priviledg of crossing with[.] there were so many companys a head that we knew that if we Did not send some a head we would be Deaiad [delayed.] we traveled over the black and read [red] hills on the 9 & we traveled 8 miles and a quarter and bated our teams a Long side of Fourche Boisce Creek; we then started on and traviled this 17 miles and 3 quarters and camped a Long side of Deer creek[.] it is a Delightful place situated a Long side of the Platt[.] we left the platt 18 miles a bove Ft. john on the 5 of june and we traveled over the Black and read hills and came to the platt on the 10 of the month; we rested in peace and in quietness and

started on the 11 of june at the sound of the bugal[.] the country is more beautiful then we saw it since we Left winters quarters; Brother B Young say he will have a few famley farm it on Deer Creek for it is a Delightful place[.] we found a coal mind a half a mile Long and 10 feet thick of first quality of coal[.] we traveled 9 miles and a quarter in the fouer noon a long side of the platt in cotton wood grove and we traveled in the after noon 7 miles and 3 quarters which makes 17 miles and camped a Long side of the platt in a butifull valley[.] we rested in peace for the night[.] I for got to say that I shot one antilope on the 11 and there were 7 or 8 shot the same Day shot

we started on our jurney as usesial by the sound of the bugal[.] it being the 12 of june we traveled and Traveled 11 miles and a quarter and came to were our company was ferreying the Emmagrants a cross the platt[.] we had a Dollar and a half a waggon for 22 waggons[.] we got flour at 2 Dollars and a half per hundred and bacon at 6 Dollars per hundred[.] we rested in peace for the night and

on the 13 of the month was the Sabbath[.] we held a prayer meeting and had Br Kimble Speak to us and also Br Young[.] we truly was blessed with the spirit of the Lord was in our midst[.] after metting Br young counciled us to take one team to each ten and a few men with guns and axes and go to the mountains [Casper Range] and cut pine poles for ferrying a cross the Platt[.] so we Started and went accordingly and Got to the mountains and there we found plentey snow on the 13 of june we washed our faces with snow[.] we came back with our poles at 9 oclock at night it being 7 miles to the mountains opposite of of the ferry on the platt and

on the 14 of june we commenced ferrying a cross the platt takeing 2 waggons side of each other and put holes [poles] under the waggons and Lashed them fast and took a Long rope a cross the stream and some [worked] on raffs and as we come menced our operations[,] we soon found that this would not Do we then made 4 or five raffs and

we on the 15 of the month we got a bout 2 thirds a cross the platt[.] the weather being rather to our Disadvantage it being stormmey

on the 16 of the month in the four noon we passed over severl waggons and the the wind began to blow and the water began to rise[.] some did not not do much in the after noon but prepair our craffs on for the night there come too companyes of emagrants one was from Masura [Missiouri] and the others from ohiwa and came to us to make a bargan for to have us to Cross them we a greed to Do so for pay[.] Br Young then thought it would be wisdom for some of our Brethern to go to work and make toe [two] canoes and make a ferry and pint [appoint] some good faith full men to stay at the platt and cross all the companeys that would come so we might get means to sustains thee saints and he would not have any men to stay that would not come on when our Brethren came that we might go on with them[.] The wind a bated a bout 4 oclock in the after noon and we ferried over severl teams and rested in peace for the night and

on the 17 of the mont we commenced ferriing and ferryed over severl waggons and then the wind commenced blowing so we was a blige to stop[.] we got too canoe made to ferry with and too raffs[.] the canoes worked first rate so we Laid by the rafts and worked with the canoes[.] we finished ferring our teams and waggons on the 17 of the month;

and on the 19 of june the camp started on their jurney; we ferried a cross the platt besides our teams of the Emagrants 64 waggons which a mounted to 94 dollars which we took provishions for flower [flour] at 2 Dollars and 50 cents per hundred, and pork at 6 per hundred; on the 18 we ferried all Day for the emagrants and on the 19 we ferried 16 waggons wich finished ferring for them[.] the twelve set in council and appointed 9 men to stay and ferry till our Brethren the 2 camp came up so that we might assis them in crossing and we might have all we made in ferring[.] we then was called together thoes that where chosen to stay and Brother Brigham young gave us in struct how to proceed with the jentiles

North Fork of Platt River Upper Ferry: Juene 18; 1847


125 miles west of Fort
Laraie or St john

. . . By order, and in behalf of the council We remain your Brethren in Christ Brigham Young President


Sunday [July] 11 the Received for Blacksmithing $16. Dol and 45 cents worth[,] for waggon work $1 Dol[,] for Ferrying 12 waggons of Capt Bonser Co $10.55 cents in cash[.] we ferried a nusery of 700 Trees[.] they ware apple peach plumb pare [pear] Curnd [currant] Grapes rasberry and cherryes all growing in a clover patch and were owned by Mr H Lieuelling a Quaker from Salim Iowa & Phineous Young Aaron Faf, Gorge Wodward Herrick Glines Wm Waker, John Cazar arrived from the Camp of Pioniers[.] they Left the camp at Green River july the 4the & got here a bout 10 A M [.] they were a going back to pilot our Brethrening through that ware a coming[.] the rive is fordable the Emagrants is nigh done for this year Emagration & our Bretheren, that were at the ferry thought it adviseable to go back with thoese that had come from the campt to meet their famleys[.] Capt Grover stated that he thought that we would Devide our substance of what we had gained equally amoung us[.] it was a greed so to do

Monday the 12the the Bretrening ware prepareing to go back to Larama When, we Discovered 2 buffalow on the north side of the platt river coming towards us. Luke Johnson & Phineous Young started off persuity [pursuit] of them and soon killed one of them[.] Luke Johnson gave him the Death wound and we fetched the buffalow to the campt and Dryed the meat for our Brethren and our selves

Theusday the 13 the Capt Grover Called together our company and addressed us as our capt in the most feeling manner how the Lord had prospered us on the mishon thatt the president had appointed to us and said that he was a bout to Leave for a short time to go to meet his famley and he would nominate Wm Y Empey for Capt in his Absence[,] till his return[,] it was second and carried[.] there were six of us to stay namely John Higbee Who is quite sick Luke Johnson james Devenport A M Harmon and Br Glines, and after they went off we went to work at cutting up our meat to Drye it for the compy[.] Devenport refused to work and said that if we moved his tools he would not set them up a gain to work[.] he told Br Glines that if he went to work he would hire a man[.] he told Br Luke Johnson the same Br Appleton harmon the same




1. The night encampment was 6 miles northwest of the site of Gothenburg, Nebraska. On this day William Clayton made the first effort at mechanical measurement of the distance traveled, an idea which had its fruition a few days later in the roadometer built by Appleton M. Harmon to Orson Pratt's specifications. From May 8 the distances traveled were measured. . . .

16. The reconnaissance across the Platte, made at William Clayton's suggestion to aid the saints in orienting themselves in relation to Fremont's map, was by Orson Pratt, Amasa Lyman, Luke Johnson, and John Brown. The year before, Brown had led west along the Oregon Trail a small company of Saints from Mississippi, who had hoped to meet somewhere in the Platte Valley the large Mormon immigration out of Nauvoo. When the the Mississippi Saints, here at Ash Hollow, on July 2, 1846, met James Clyman's eastbound company from California and learned that no Mormons were ahead of them on the trail, the 43 persons who comprised Brown's party went on in some perplexity to Fort Bernard, a few miles below Fort Laramie, and then south to Pueblo, on the Arkansas River, where they wintered in company with the Sick Detachment of the Mormon Battalion. Brown himself, once his company was settled at Pueblo, journeyed down the plains to the States, returning to the mountains with the Pioneer party of 1847.

37. This is Empey's first mention of the year's Oregon immigration, but a pack party had brought news of the immigration to Fort Laramie June 2, before the Saints resumed their journey west. Orson Pratt wrote in his journal on June 3, "Yesterday afternoon we saw with our glasses three or four white men coming in on horseback; they were on the opposite side of the Platte, and soon arrived at the fort. This morning brought us the news that they they were from the States, having made the journey in seventeen days, passing about 2,000 wagons in detached companies on their way to Oregon. One small company is expected in to-morrow, another larger the next day, and one still larger the day following. We understand that these emigrants are principally from Missouri, Illinois, and Iowa." Howard Egan says that these men, four in all, had come from St. Joseph. Erastus Snow says they estimated 5,000 immigrants to be with the 2,000 wagons, but William Clayton exhibited some skepticism at these numbers, a skepticism well justified, as the year's Oregon and California immigration did not total more than 1,000 wagons.