Henry Stokes, Reminiscences, 4-18.
Trail excerpt transcribed from "Pioneer History Collection" available at Pioneer Memorial Museum [Daughters of Utah Pioneers Museum], Salt Lake City, Utah. Some restrictions apply.
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- Source Locations
- Daughters of the Utah Pioneers, Salt Lake City, Pioneer Index
- Related Companies
- Henry W. Miller Company (1862)
- Related Persons
- James Isaac Barker
- Peter Barker
- Alice Barker
- Naomi Chappell
- William Fuller Critchlow
- James Brace Darton
- William Fuller
- Elizabeth Jane Stokes
- Samuel Hargrave
- Richard Harper
- Henry William Miller
- James Perkes
- Alice Pudney
- Alice Pudney
- David Pudney
- David Pudney
- [Brother] Simmons
- Eliza Olivia Stokes
- Henry Stokes
- Ann Whitall [or Whittail]
The next day we went on board a bo[a]t and started for Florence on the Missouri River. We were landed on the shore of river at midnight, and we had a miserable night.
The next day we were formed into a camp on the East side of the river under the supervision of Elder Joseph W. Young. Here we remained in camp for six weeks waiting for the church teams to come from Utah. The reason for their non arrival was caused by high water in all of the rivers, and streams between Salt Lake city and the Missouri River. The company had to build bridges or make fords at every river and stream before it could cross. While camped here we had a fearful storm of wind, thunder, lightning and rain. One man was killed instantly by lightning and another badly injured that he died in the night after the storm had passed. It was found that nearly every tent in the camp had been blown down and everybody was wet through to the skin, and terror struck to the hearts of all. Such a storm as this was never before experienced by any of us. While camped here were [we] were advised by Elder Joseph W. Young of our president, to make out lists of burned luggage against the Railway Company, and demand damages. This was done and damages were paid by the Railway Company. I was one of those who were chosen to do this business and was up town at the office with the others of the brethren when this terrible storm began, and it was with great difficulty that we found our way down to our camp and to our families. I had kept a diary of our camp life, but I fear it was lost, and I cannot write it from memory. Therfore I must pass it by. We found camp life on the Missouri to be very tedious. But about the end of July the emigrant teams from Utah arrived under the charge of Henry W. Miller of Farmington. As the season for emigration to Utah was already late, all the necessary preparations were made with all possible haste, and no time was lost in crossing over the river and arranging the train in readiness for the start on August 5, 1862.
About one o'clock in the afternoon we made a start and traveled a few miles through a pleasant hilly country and passed by a lone? house on the way and for a short distance a line of teligraph was by the side of the raod. We walked by the side of the train, and as we looked forward or backward we thought that it was a grand sight to behold such a train of people and teams all bound for Zion. An accident happened to one of the wagons in crossing a bridge near the camp ground when it upset into the creek. Some of the teamsters stopped their teams and assisted to get the wagons out of the creek. Very little damage was done, and we soon arrived at the camp ground which was called Big Papio [Papillon] Springs. We pitched our tents and made fires and sat down and ate our suppers. It was a pleasant moonlight night. I was very much fatigued from walking; my feet were sore, having been bitten by mosquitoes and been scratched.
August 6—Pu[r]sued our journey to the Elkhorn River, where we arrived early in the afternoon. I was very much fatigued, so much that I was not able to assist in pitching the tent. I had to sit down and rest myself for about two hours. Our camp ground was on the north side of the river. We remained here three days waiting for the provisions wagon to arrive. We found this to be a pleasant place to camp. The river abounded with fish, and we found a variety of wild fruit, such as gooseberries, currants and wild grapes. The men and boys indulged in bathing and fishing; the women and girls, in gathering fruit. One boy caught a fish which weighed eighteen pounds and could not pull it out of the water. One of the men got a gun and shot it for the boy. A boy named Peter Barker had a narrow escape of being drowned in the river. He went to bathe and could not swim and got into deep water, but he was seen by a man after going down the third time. He rescued him.
August 7—The family all well, except me. I was lame in my foot. Eliza Olivia went out and picked some wild grapes with which my wife [Elizabeth] made a nice roller pudding. In the afternoon I went with our teamster and some other brethren down to the river and had a good bathe. We found it to be good place for bathing. It was a clear swift current with a good sandy bottom. In the late afternoon I went with Eliza Olivia into the woods and got some firewood.
August 8—Eliza Olivia and some other girls went into the woods to pick grapes, but they soon came back in great haste. They were scared by Indians. Some of the Indians came into campe. One of them represented himself to be the Chief of the Omaahs [Omahas]. He wanted to beg a pair of boots or some money to buy them. We had prayers every night about eight o'clock, and tonight after prayers there was a dance. It was a pleasant moonlight night. About nine o'clock three strange men came into camp. One on horseback and the others were in a team. They said that they were all that remained of a Merchant Train of fifty teams. They having lost everything, merchandise, teams and men which were taken by the Indians—were really destitute. Brother Simmons told the people not to be alarmed about what we had been told about the depredations of the Indians. He said if we would do right nothing would harm us. The dance was concluded about nine thirty.
August 9—The camp was called to prayers at about seven o'clock. I took three of the children and went down to the river and tried to catch a mess of fish, but I was not successful. About two o'clock Capt H[enry].W. Miller came into camp. Five teamsters were sent from our camp to assist the church train under Elder Tanve. Captain [Horton D.] Haight's train passed our camp this afternoon. The people amused themselves in fishing, bathing and in gathering wild fruit. I went into the woods about five o'clock with Eliza Olivia to get some firewood and wild grapes. Returned about seven thirty. Had supper. We were very much annoyed by the mosquitoes. They bit us fearfully. The horn blew for prayers. The Captain gave orders for the people to prepare to start out of camp about seven o'clock in the morning. We sat down and picked wild grapes by the campfire. It was a pleasant moonlight night. At about two o'clock in the morning we had a furious wind storm, and we had to get up and dress ourselves and hold the tent. All the family was excited.
August 10—Arose early, expecting to make an early start! But the storm had made the roads bad, and we did not start until about ten o'clock. We found the road soft and slushy. We overtook Captain Haight's train at noon. They had broken a wagon tongue. We camped for noon. In the afternoon we continued our journey. We arrived at Fremont city about six o'clock. We camped near the Platt[e] River that night. We pitched our tents and made a fire and did our cooking. Prayers were called about eight o'clock. After prayers Captain H. W. Miller called for a clerk for the company. Two of the brethren offered their services. I was appointed to act as clerk of the company. Family all well, except myself, and I am troubled with a sore foot.
August 11—Arose early and prepared for an early start. Prayers were called at about half past six o'clock. Started out of camp at seven. It was a fine morning and was pleasant traveling. I rode in the wagon this morning because I had a sore foot. We camped for noon at a place called Dodge County. After eating my dinner I went to see Captain H.W. Miller. Found him sick and laying down in his wagon. He requested me to see him at night or tomorrow morning. Stayed about two hours and a half for noon. Started out in the afternoon at about half past one and traveled til about five o'clock and camped near the Platt River. Water was easy and convenient to obtain. Wood was abundant, only we had to wade the river to get it. Many of the brethren waded the river for firewood but some were scared to do so. Some of the brethren washed and bathed and others caught fish and agin some of them shot some ducks, etc. Prayers were called at eight o'clock. A fine moon light night. Foot still troubles me.
August 12—I arose at the sound of the horn, at half past four. Prayers were called at seven. We started out of camp at eight. Traveled about ten miles and camped for the day. It was pleasant traveling. Today I was very much fatigued, and my foot pained me badly. A pleasant camp ground. Had to wade across a stream of water to get wood. Used the water of the stream. Many large fish were caught. Went to see Captain H. W. Miller. Brother Audney's [Pudney] child died about three P.M. Was buried near the camp at night. Wife was sick with diar[r]hea.
August 13—Arose at the sound of horn. Made a fire and prepared for breakfast. I and Elder [James] Perk[e]s admistered to Sister Nahomi [Naomi] Gardner, who was sick. Another child died this morning. My daughter Elizabeth Jane was taken sick this morning while eating her breakfast. I and Elder Perks administered unto her and she soon recovered. We started out of camp this morning around eight. Traveled about ten miles and stopped for noon. Passed several houses on the way. Saw three squaws who came up to the train and wanted to sell some rush mats. Soon after dinner a storm came up and the Captain gave orders for us to pitch our tents and camp for the night. We obeyed orders and prepared for cooking and baking. Captain Haight's train camae up and camped near our camp. Prayers were called at the usual hour. We had a strong wind storm in the night. I had to get up and knock down the tent pins, as I feared the tent may be blown down. Family all well, except for my sore foot, I'd be well too.
August 14—I arose at the sound of the horn. Left camp about half past six. Before leaving camp I had to write out a list of strayed oxen which were lost while camping at Florence. Arrived at Lou[p] Fork about noon. The train crossed without accident. The people had to wade part of the way across. It was not very deep. After crossing the river we passed through some wood where we found some wild currants with which my wife made a pudding for supper. A sister in Brother Perk's tent was taken very sick and thought that she would die. The Elders administered unto her and she seemed to revive a little. But she remained very ill all night. Captain Haight's train crossed the river and camped on the west side of the Fork. Wrote a letter for Captain Miller to Brother J. W. Young at Florence informing him of our where abouts and of the health of the camp in general. After prayers the Captain permited the people to have a dance. All well. Of course my foot is still troubling me.
August 15—The train started out of camp about seven o'clock; a pleasant morning. Pleasant traveling. Passed several houses on our way. Traveled about ten miles and stopped for noon on Pra[i]rie Creek. Rested about an hour and a half. After which we traveled about eight miles and camped near the Platt[e] River. Just before we stopped we had to cross a deep mud hole. Most of the teams crossed without any difficulty. Some few teams were stuck and had to be helped. Camped about five o'clock.
August 16—Had prayers. Started out of camp about seven. Traveled about five miles. The Platte River presented a variety of scenery. Sometimes it appeared like a deep rolling river and sometimes it appeared to be shallow and several sand barrs in sight and at other times numerous small islands covered with brush and timber which looked beautiful. This beautiful scenery was destroyed by a sudden show of rain. The Captain ordered the corral to be formed and the people to pitch their tents. In a short time the storm passed over and the Captain ordered us to roll out. We started out again and traveled until about seven o'clock in the evening. Camped near the Platte River. Had to wade the river for wood but found no dry wood. We had to cook with green wood then. It was soon dark and we could not see what we were doing. Prayers were called at eight. Family all well. Tired with walking.
August 17—After prayers we started. Before leaving camp I wrote out a list of the names of all families and also single persons to send to Elder J.W. Young to Utah to have it printed in the Deseret News. In our travels this morning we passed a grave by the side of the road with a head board and on it was written the name of the child and its age. We traveled until about two in the afternoon. The distance was about fifteen miles. It was a pleasant journey. But I was very much fatigued and often had to stop and rest myself by the wayside. We camped near the Platte River and had to wade the river to get firewood. A good camp ground. The horn was blown for prayers. Captain Miller delivered a good discourse to the people on their Individual Duties. Elder [Samuel] Hargraves also spoke on the same subject and it was very appropriate to the occasion. Two children died today and were buried near the camp ground.
August 18—After prayers we started out of camp about eight. Passed several houses. Eliza Olivia got half a pound of butter for five steel pens and had a little milk given her. It was quite a treat to us. We passed by a telegraph office at Shoemaker Point. The Captain inquired if there were any message for him, but there was none. We traveled about nine miles in the morning and stopped on a little slough for noon. In the afternoon we traveled about ten miles and camped on the Platte River at night. All well.
August 19—After prayers we started out of camp and after traveling about three miles we crossed Wood River. After which we traveled about six miles. We stopped for noon. In the afternoon we traveled about eleven miles and camped at Wood River Center. The Captain had left eighty head of cattle here which they found.
August 20—The Captain gave us half a day to rest, to allow the sisters to wash, etc. We started out of camp about two in the afternoon and traveled about seven miles and camped at Nebraska Center. A fine day. All well.
August 21—After prayers started out and traveled about eighteen miles and camped on the Platte River.
August 22—After prayers started out of camp about seven. A nice cool morning. Pleasant traveling. Entered upon a new scene this morning. The roads were crooked and hilly and had to cross several bad places. Rested for noon at Elm Creek. It was pleasant place. We got some plums here. Had to get some firewood here and take it with us, as the Captain said there would be no wood at the next camping place. Rested about two hours. Pursued our journey in the afternoon. Had some more bad places to cross and one place in particular was very bad. We arrived at camp about six o'clock. It was a pleasant place, but there was no wood nor good water. The only water we had to use was stagnant water. We were afraid to drink it but made tea with it. The name of the camp was Buffalo Creek. Saw a great many prarie dog holes.
August 23—After prayers, the guard went out to bring in the cattle, but some of the cattle had str[a]yed away (around fifty yoke). The guard succeeded in finding them and brought them into camp. This hindered us about two hours. We started out on our way and pursued our journey until about three o'clock in the afternoon. When we stopped for noon on the Platte River, we got all the good water we needed. Everybody had suffered for the want of water. Rested about one hour. After which we traveled about five or six miles. Camped on the Platte River. There was very little wood to be gotten here and most of that was green. Here we began to gather and use buffalo chips. We thought that they burned well with a little wood.
August 24—After prayers, started out of campe about seven. In good spirits. It was pleasant traveling. Traveled along the side of the Platte River until about two o'clock in the afternoon. Camped. Provisions were dealt out to the people here. The people were all busy cooking, baking, washing and sewing. Some of the men and boys bathed in the river. Prayers were held about the ususal time. After prayers Captain Miller addressed the people on their duties while traveling over the plains. Obtained the names of the different camping places and the distance traveled each day from Captain Miller to be entered in the journal I had to keep of the journey.
August 25—After prayers started out of camp and pursued our journey along the Platte River until noon when we rested about an hour and a half. Afterwards we pursued our journey until about six in the evening and camped near the first low sandy bluff extending down to the Platte River. Here we had no wood and we had to gether and use buffalo chips, and they were rather scarce; however, we managed to cook our supper. A child died this morning.
August 26—After prayers, started out and traveled through a rough sandy country leaving the bluffs on the right and just before stopping for noon we had to cross one stream of water three times. We rested here about one and a half hours. In the afternoon we traveled until we arrived at the Bonney Springs, where we camped for the night. Here we had to use buffalo chips and the teamsters told us that we had to travel about two hundred miles before we would find any more firewood. The sun had set before we arrived at the camp ground, and it was dark before we could get our supper and arrange our beds for the night. Elders Amasa Syman [Lyman] and Charles C. Rich and company arrived in camp this morning, just as our camp was starting out. They stopped with us a short time and had breakfast and then started out on their journey, leaving us behind. Distance traveled was eighteen miles.
August 27—After prayers, started out of camp about seven. Pleasant morning and roads were pretty good, except the first mile or two which were very sand and just before noon we crossed over a muddy creek. We rested on the Platte River for noon. Rested about one and a half hours. After which we pursued our journey about one mile and passed wide creek. Camped on the Platte River for the night. Traveled about sixteen miles. Family all well, but much fatigued. Saw a dead skunk on the way and we smelled it for miles.
August 28—Started out about nine after prayers. Had been hindered by the oxen str[a]ying away. The roads were very rough passing over soft sandy hills. We traveled until we arrived at the Nort[h] Bluff Fork, which we crossed and camped on the other side of it. We had to wade across the stream. I felt sick with a pain in my bowels. The provisions were dealt out to one part of the camp. Brother [David P.] Kimble's [Kimball's] train was at the Fork and waited for us to cross over. Also Brother Bate's train was there. All crossed without accident. Two births occurred at night. One of them died. Sister Miller in Tim Parkinson's wagon gave birth to twins. The roads had a variety of beautiful flowers on the side. Distance traveled was eleven miles.
August 29—After prayers, we started out of campt about seven. Nearly everybody walked on account of the rought roads. We had to cross over some sandy bluffs. Part of the train crossed over and part of it went round. The Captain went to see if he could cut off some of the distance. All the teams got over and around pretty well. There was a nice cool breeze of wind which we felt was quite refreshing. After crossing the first sandy bluffs, we rested awhile for dinner. After which we pursued our journey until we arrived at Bluff Creek, where we camped for the night. When we arrived at the creek, we found Brother Kimble's train just preparing to cross over it. Here we had to use buffalo chips. The road was lined with beautiful flowers. The distance traveled was ten miles.
August 30—After prayers, we started at seven. Crossed over Bluff Creek and after traveling about two miles the roads were rought and sandy and we crossed over one sandy bluff about two miles long and camped at the foot of it. Passed three good springs on way. Two of the teams took fright and caused great excitement. It was feared that we may have a general stampede of the oxen. However, providence ordered it otherwise. It was thought that it was caused by the teams being so heaveily loaded. I and Eliza Olivia traveled by the side of the Platte River a long way and in coming to a nice shallow creek which we had to cross. We pulled off our shoes and stockings and washed our feet and drank freely of the water. A littler farther on we stopped for noon. Afternoon we again started out and a storm came on us and the clouds looked black, so the Captain stopped and camped for night. Distance traveled only eight miles.
August 31—After prayers, we started out of camp about half past seven. Crossed the creek where we had camped and also passed Goose Creek and also passed several small springs. After traveling about six miles we stopped for dinner. After which we pursued our journey about five miles further and camped on the west side of the Rattle Snake Creek near the Platte River. It was a very pleasant camp ground. After supper we held a meeting. Captain Miller and Elder Hargraves addressed the people on faith patience and perseverance and on our duties towards each other and the church. An Indian rode into camp this morning and talked a little. Distance traveled eleven miles.
September 1—After prayers, we started out about seven. Before leaving camp I put up a card by the side of the road stating the date of Captain Miller's camp. We left the creek and traveled until we came to a small creek about six feet wide, a distance of seven miles from Rattle Snake Creek. We stopped here for dinner. In the afternoon we pursued our journey about six miles and camped on the Platte River for night. Buffalo chips were scarce. We had great difficulty in cooking our supper. After prayers Captain Miller cautioned the people about extinguishing the camp fires before leaving camp for fear of setting the prarie on fire.
September 2—After prayers we started out of camp about seven and crossed two small creeks or streams of water and at the foot of a sandy bluff we crossed over Wolf Creek. This was a nice wide stream of water about twenty feet wide and two feet deep. A swift current and very clear! We doubled teams and crossed a sandy bluff in safety. One sick ox died after crossing the bluff. We stopped for noon near the Platte River. In the afternoon we pursued our journey and crossed Watch Creek after traveling about four miles. We continued our journey about four miles further and camped on the Platte River about three miles east of Ash Hollow. Distance traveled about fourteen miles.
September 3—Prayers. Started out at seven and just as train began to move out Kimble's train passed along and was a great hinderance to us because they did not move as quickly as we wanted. Captain Miller Appeared to angry. After traveling about seven or eight miles we stopped for noon on the Platte River. Soon as we stopped our train Kimble's train stopped also. We rested about two hours. In afternoon we again started out on our journey. As soon as our train began to move out Kimble's began to move also. But we were successful in gaining the road first. We traveled about eight miles and camped for the night on the Platte River. It was nearly dark when we arrived at the camp. Buffalo chips were scarce and it was with great difficulty that we cooked our supper. At noon I succeeded in catching three small fish. We cooked them for supper. We had no creek to cross today, after crossing Castle Creek and we were thirsty. Distance traveled about sixteen miles.
September 4—After prayers started about seven. It was pleasant traveling. Roads were pretty good, except some short pieces of sandy land. We traveled about ten miles and stopped a short time and watered the oxen. After which we started out again and traveled about three miles and camped on the west side of Crabb [Crab] Creek, near the Platte River for the night. Before we could get our tents pitched a storm arose upon us and it thundered, lightened and rained until about nine or ten P.M. During a short interval of the storm, provisions were dealt out to some of the people. Family all well. Had miserable night for rain poured through tent.
September 5—After prayers, started at nine. Started late because roads were soft. As we traveled along, the bluffs on the right side of the road were rocky and they appeared to us like ancient ruins. We crossed over Cobble Hills and stopped for dinner. It was pleasant traveling over the hills. Some of the people ascended some of the highest hills to obtain a view of Chimney Rock, which was visible at this point. In the afternoon we traveled about six miles and camped for night on the Platte River. Here we had great difficulty in cooking supper and breakfast because the rainstorm had wet the buffalo chips and we sat up until a late hour trying to cook some beans, but we could not succeed. We hoped that the buffalo chips would be dry in the morning. Distance traveled was sixteen miles.
September 6—After prayers, set out at eight. We pursued our journey this morning about ten miles and stopped for noon on the Platte River. Chimney Rock and Court House Rock were visible this morning, nearly opposite the place where we camped at noon. In the afternoon we pursued our journey across another low sandy bluff and camped at the west foot of it. It was a very pleasant day. Distance traveled about sixteen miles.
September 7—After prayers, started at seven. It was a fine morning and very pleasant traveling. Just as we were starting out of camp, Kimble's train came up to us and waited while a few of our teams drove out of camp. We pursued our journey along the Platte until we drove out of camp. We pursued our journey along the Platte until we came nearly opposite Chimney Rock where we camped for night. Provisions were given out to the people. The sisters were busy cooking, washing, and sewing. At night after prayers, Elder Hargraves (the chapl[a]in) addressed the people on subjects pertaining to their duties. Family well, except myself. I feel quite sick. A child died. Distance traveled was twelve miles.
September 8—After prayers, started at seven. Felt sick and was not able to perform my usual duties. My wife and Eliza Olivia had to attend to them. A fine morning. Pleasant traveling. Stopped for noon on the Platte River. In afternoon we pursued our journey about five miles east of Scotts Bluffs, where we camped for night. Distance traveled, eighteen miles.
September 9—After prayers, we started at seven. Passed Scotts Bluffs. After traveling about five miles and continuing our journey about four miles further and passing Spring Creek and stopping for noon, we pursued our journey about seven miles and camped on the Platte River for night. Distance, sixteen miles.
September 10—After prayers we started at seven. Fine, cool morning. Pleasant traveling. Stopped for noon on Platte River. In afternoon pursued journey about eight miles and camped on the Platte River for night. Distance, eighteen miles.
September 11—After prayers, started at seven, Traveled about ten miles and camped on Platte River. Fine, pleasant morning. Roads were fairly good, except a little sandy in some places. Provisions were dealt out to people. After prayers a meeting was held. Captain Miller and Chaplin Hargraves gave some good advice to people. Distance, ten miles.
September 12—After prayers, started at seven. Pleasant morning, but heavy hauling for the teams, because it was sandy. We traveled about eight miles and camped for noon. A rain storm started and continued all of the dinner time. We had to climb into the wagons and crawl under them for shelter from the storm. Two children were buried at this point who had died during the morning. Wrote out list of names for the Captain of all those who expected to receive mail at Fort Laramie, as the Captain was sending over the river to inquire at the post office. At this point we had a view of the Rocky Mountains. In the afternoon we pursued our journey about five miles and camped opposite Laramie City. We had a rain storm in the afternoon and all those who had to walk got a good wetting. Our camp was about four miles east of Laramie. Distance, sixteen miles.
September 13—After prayers, did not start out of camp this morning [until] nine. Traveled about for miles and crossed over the River Platte, to the south side and camped until next morning. Crossed over river without any accident. A few of the teams had to double. Distance traveled, four miles.
September 14—After prayers, started out of camp about seven and traveled about twelve miles through a very pleasant hilly country on the south side of the Platte River and camped for the night near the mail station. It was a very wet, miserable day. It rained more or less all of the day and made it uncomfortable for night. Many of the tents were flooded with water. Distanced traveled, twelve miles.
September 15—Prayers. Wet, miserable morning. Had rained nearly all night, and whole camp ground was flooded. Many had to dig trenches around the tents to draw off the waters. Did not start out of camp until about one P.M. on account of the bad soft roads, and on account of some of the oxen having strayed. Pursued journey about four miles and camped in the hills. Had plenty of wood but no water, only what we had brought with us. It was fine afternoon and pleasant night, only a little windy. Large fires were made around the campe ground, and it was quite an illumination. It looked as though we were holding a celebration for some important event. Distance traveled, four miles. My wife was sick with diarehea.
September 16—Prayers. My wife was very sick this morning and couldn't cook breakfast or bake bread, so Eliza Olivia had to do it. We started out of camp about seven and traveled through a hilly country. It was very pleasant, the hills being covered or partly covered with fir and pine trees. The grass looked dry and dead. We traveled about eight miles and stopped for noon. In afternoon we continued our journey until we arrived at a slough near the Platte River, where we camped for the night. Pleasant in morning, but rought and stormy in the afternoon. Just before we camped we passed by Kimble's train, which was encamped near us. We had plenty of wood and water and good feed for the cattle. Distance traveled was fourteen miles. Wife still very sick. Got a few biscuits from Brother [Richard] Harper.
September 17—Prayers. Started at seven. Traveled about eight or ten miles through pleasant country. Fine morning. Sun shone in great splender. Gentle breeze was blowing which felt refreshing. Arrived at Platte River and stopped for noon. Captain intended to cross over river after dinner, but found river too deep to ford. We had to turn back about half a mile and cross over the mountain. We pursued our journey until we came to a creek where we stopped and camped for the night. This camp ground was about four or five miles from the Platte River, between the Horse Shoe [Horseshoe] Ford and La Bounty [La Bonte]. We had plenty of wood and water but water was not very good. Distance, fifteen miles. Wife little better.
September 18—Prayers. Did not start out of camp until nine. Pursued journey over a range of mountains near La Bounty. It was pleasant and warm. Continued journey on to the La Bounty bottoms and arrived at a creek where we camped for noon. We found some very nice plums along the creek. I and many of the people gathered all we could pick. In afternoon train started out and left some of us busy picking plums. We followed train and arrived in time for camping. Wrote out some receipts for Captain Miller for flour which he had lent to Kimble's company. Distance, fourteen miles.
September 19—Prayers. Started at eight and traveled over and through a very mountainious country. Stopped for dinner about two. There was no water for the cattle. We dug holes in ground and found a little to drink by using a dipper. Oxen were not unyoked. Only rested short time. In afternoon again pursued journey for about six miles. Camped near creek that was nearly dry. Didn't have sufficient water here. Place where we camped was between two mountains. Distance traveled, sixteen miles. Wife little bit better.
September 20—Prayers. Started at eight. Continued journey over mountains. Fine, beautiful day. Found good place for fishing. Caught a few. Train left us behind. Arrived at our camp just as train was starting out in the afternoon. Train continued journey and camped on Platte River for night. After supper a storm of wind and rain beat upon us. Wind was furious. Had to stand and hold tent from blowing down. Our tent was torn on one side.
September 21—Prayers. Some of the oxen had gone astray and we did not start out of camp until about eleven. Took children down to the river and caught four fishes which made us a nice supper. Train pursued its journey for about one hour and came to a trading station. Train stopped for about half an hour. Captain and several others made some few purchases and exchanges for buffalo robes, etc. Pursued journey until we came to good camping place on Platte River[.] Camped for night. Captain Miller sent a telegraphic message to President B. Young informing him of our whereabouts.
September 22—Prayers. Left camp at seven. Camped at noon, then journeyed about eight miles, camped on Platte River. Cold and frosty night.
September 23—Prayers. Left at seven. Came to Platte Bridge. Passed over. Captain took up some flour which he left when passing down. Camped for night at small vacant station near Platte River. Found great abundance of buffalo berries.
September 24—Prayers. Started at eight. Went over hills. Arrived at Willow Spring, where we rested short time. Camped for night.
September 25—Prayers. Had to use sage brush and buffalo chips to cook breakfast. Left camp at eight. Arrived at Water River and camped.
September 26—Prayers. Left at nine. Passed Devil's Gate. We thought it was a scene of awful grandeur. Camped in evening by Sweet Water [Sweetwater] River.
September 27—Prayers. Started out of camp at eight. Pursued journey along very wild and romantic looking road. On one side was a long range of rocky mountains covered at different points with small fir trees and on the other side was a range of sandy bluffs. Eliza and I started out in advance of train and tried to find some mushrooms but did not succeed. After dinner I struck down towards river and succeeded in finding some fine mushrooms, which I gathered and we had them fried for supper. It made us a nice delicious dish. We thought it was the best meal we had had since leaving New York city. We camped a little before dark.
September 28—Prayers. Left about eight. Pursued journey along Sweet Water river. Today Brother William Fuller and Emma Kappen were married. Brother William Fuller Critchlow officiated as minister. Brother Critchlow sang two love songs and played some lively tunes on the fiddle. Afterwards we sang two hymns. Brother Darton conducted the singing. We came in sight of the mountain which the teamsters said was covered with perpetual snow.
September 29—Prayers. Left at eight. Weather was pleasant. After traveling about five miles we came to a lake of Saleratus. I gathered some and sat down by the side of the road and waited for the train, as I was in head of it. We passed Ice Springs. Camped for night near old station. After we camped a large herd of deer and antelope came near to the camp.
September 30—Prayers. Left at eight. Strong wind was blowing from south west and made it very unpleasant walking. The most conspicuous object today was the snow capped mountains. The roads were good but hilly which made it hard traveling for those who walked and also for the teams with their heavy loads. Camped by cree[k] surrounded with mountains. Had dinner. In afternoon met soldiers going towards the next station.
October 1—Prayers. Left at eight. Stopped for dinner at the west foot of the rocky ridge. Weather was cold. Strong cold wind blew in our faces all of the way. In afternoon we camped in a hollow at the mouth of the great gap of the south pass. When we passed over the rocky ridge we could see the Wind River range of mountains which were covered with perpetual snow, and on the left hand we could see the mountains on the other side of the pass. It was calm but cold night. It was a bad campground all covered with sage brush. Had to clear ground of sage brush before we could pitch our tents.
October 2—Prayers. Left about eight. Fine clear morning. Good roads. I thought they were equal to good roads of old England. Pursued journed and had the Wind River Mountains on the right hand side and the other mountains on the left hand side which formed the great gap. of the south pass. In afternoon camped about two miles west of the Pacific Springs near a small creek. Good grass for oxen. Wind blew upon us from Wind River Mountains, and it looked like a storm was coming. But the wind ceased and it became pleasant. When we arose following morning we found that snow had fallen about three inches deep.
October 3—Prayers. We learned that we were about two hundred miles from Salt Lake City. Cattle had strayed away and couldn't be found so didn't travel today. Cold frosty night and we could not keep ourselves warm.
October 4—Prayers. Left about eight. Fine clear morning. Roads good only little hilly. As we pursued journey we began to have a wide and expansive view, and it look like the plains before we arrived in the rocky mountain region. After traveling about nine miles we came to Dry Sandy where we saw another old Station all in ruins. Distance traveled was about twenty four miles.
October 5—Prayers. Started about eight. Road level and good. Sun shone in splendor. At Big Sandy Creek the brethren had to wade and women and children rode in wagons. Camped at Big Sandy Creek.
October 6—Prayers. Left at ten, as oxen had been on poor feed during night. Saw Green River. It was about two and a half feet deep and about fifty yards wide and there was an abundance of timber. It looked beautiful.
October 7—Prayers. Had to wait for oxen, so about four wagons were three or four hours behind the train. Pursued journey late in morning over very mountainous country. Had two little hail storms in afternoon and at night we had a sharp frost. Were all cold and miserable. But we felt pleased when we came in sight of camp fires.
October 8—Prayers. Left at eight. Pursued journey across barren and hilly country. Ate dinner at Mud Creek. Cold frosty air, windy and dusty. Those who had no scarfs or shawls had to rap themselves in blankets.
October 9—Prayers. Left at nine. Went over barren hilly country. Some of the hills looked like the pitt mounds of old England, and seemed to contain iron stone and lime stone. Stopped for dinner on Muddy Creek. Roads narrow and brush thick in some places which made it very hard wal[k]ing. When we camped had to sit up tents, get wood and cook supper and bake bread after dark.
October 10—Prayers. Scenery pleasant to look at while traveling. There were fir trees growing, and it looked more encouraging to us. In afternoon we found grass growing and trees were more abundant. Just before we stopped for noon Sister Alice Barker was taken in labor. We had to stop for about two hours, pitch the tent and attend to all necessary services. Elizabeth and the children went on with the train, but I stopped behind with the wagon. While the sisters were attending to Sister Barker, we brethren made a fire and cooked some bacon and made some nice pan cakes. Then we sat down by the fire and ate freely and conversed about many interesting subjects. After Sister Barker and her baby son [James] were safe and all right, we pursued our journey and traveled over the mountains. It was a very steep descent and rather dangerous in the dark. The sun set when we were about half way over the hills and the moon did not shine upon us until we were near the camp ground. The camp was located about five miles east of Bear River. I found my wife and children all safe.
October 11—Prayers. Started at nine. Went over a very mountainous country, but it was pleasant and beautiful, being adorned with fir trees and willows. When we came to Bear River, the teams forded the river, but the foot passengers crossed over a bridge. Pleasant place with fine station. People were said to be mormons or Latter-day Saints from Shef[f]ield Conference, England. After seeing this place we continued journey over mountains and hills until we came to a spring and a very good camping place. Had dinner here. Pursued journey and traveled until arrived at Yarrow Creek, where we camped for night.
October 12—Prayers. Pursued journey over mountainous country; it was a fine morning, and all nature seemed to smile upon us. The mountains seemed to beam with joy at the thoughts of soon arriving in Salt Lake city for we were now only about seventy miles distant from it. After traveling about one and a half miles we passed a large newstation where some mormons were supposed to be living. One of the teamsters went and shook hands with one of them. We soon arrived at Echo Canyon and passed Cache Cave and continued journed a short distance down the canyon and stopped for dinner on the creek in a wide open space. In afternoon pursued journey down canyon. We passed by a station where by order of Captain Miller I left a letter for Brother Haight's company. Continued journey down canyon. Met a small train of four wagons loaded with grain for one of the stations east of the canyon. Our captain wanted them to wait while our train descended down the hill, but they would not do it. So we had to wait while they ascended up the hill. The horn was blown for a meeting at the usual time after we camped. Captain Miller and the chaplin spoke to us about the journey which we had nearly completed and said that this may be the last Sunday that we should be all together. The chaplin spoke in favor of the captain and said that he thought that he had done well and called upon the people who were pleased and satisfied with the course he had taken to say "God bless Brother Miller. Amen." All responded to the call. The same course was taken with regard to the chaplin by the captain. All responded to this call. The Chaplin then presented a vote of thanks to the teamsters for their services, and the people responded in the same manner. It was a very agreeable time and everybody seemed to be perfectly satisfied with the proceedings.
October 13—Pursued journey at eight down canyon until we arrived nearly at mouth of it. Scenery was varied and changeable. Many curious looking rocks of different shapes and forms were seen on the right hand side of us and on the left hand of the road were to be seen mountains covered with brush and grass while the rocks were adorned with pine trees growing in abundance in all kinds of places where a person would be supposed to think that there would be no nourishment. The creek ran down about the middle of the canyon, and in some places it made the road very narrow. On both sides of creek willows grew in great abundance. Their leaves now indicated the season of the year. They were turned to a beautiful orange yellow color. After dinner we pursued journey and passed through the mouth of the canyon and turned to the left hand and went round a great mountain by the side of Weber River, and close by the river at the mouth of the canyon were a small settlement. The captain and some of the people stopped there a short time. The Weber River looked pretty by the side of road. During the day we came to a little settlement which reminded us of civilization. The houses were one story high and about square and at regular distances from each other, and all of them were built a few yards from the traveled road, and all were fenced. By the side of the foot road between the horse track and foot road, there was a narrow stream of water running all through the settlement. Trees were growing by the side of the foot path at regular distances from each other. Everything appeared neat and pleasant. After passing this small settlement we traveled a little further on and camped for the night. Name of the place was Chalk Creek.
October 14—Prayers—As we pursued journey today we passed several houses, and as we passed along we saw their stock grasing in their pastures. It seemed to us very encouraging. Passed another small settlement, on Silver Creek. While resting today, I wrote out brief report of our journey from Florence to Salt Lake city. I handed it to him to be given to the clerk of the Deseret News to be published in the Deseret Newspaper. Continued journey onward through Silver Creek Canyon. We found it very difficult in passing through it. Many of the passengers had to walk, even many small children. It was very wearisome and dangerous. Brethren were required to walk by side of wagons on the supperside and hold on to the side of the wagon and try and prevent the wagon from capsizing or tipping over. We passed through the canyon about two or three miles and had to stop a long time being hindered by Kimble's team and Haight's trains. In many places we had to lock the wheels of wagons and put on breakes. It was very steep and rocky. The creek ran through the canyon in its wild rushing manner and ran first on one side and then on the other. Picturesque scenery! Camped for night at Parley's Park. Went around camp and procured report of births and deathes which had occurred since leaving Florence. There had been eight births and twenty eight deaths. Some of the brethren engaged to work at Hoyt's Mills near Silver Creek.
October 15—Prayers. Had a day's rest. Spent day in transacting business for church. Brother Musser and his assistants were Emigration Agents. I assisted them until about five in the afternoon. Two marriages today. Sisters were busy washing and sewing and cleaning.
October 16—Prayers. After journey of ten weeks some of the sisters had put their clothes out on the bushes to air and three ariticles were stolen. Before starting out of camp two individuals: Sisters Whitall were accused of the deed publicly and found guilty by their own confession. Vote was taken upon matter, and they were forgiven. We came to Emigration Canyon. Very steep and difficult to climb. The wind blew up clouds of dust, which made it very unpleasant. We were all covered with dust, and I thought that we looked like minners who had just come out of the mines. It was the hardest part of the whole journey from Florence on the Missouri to Salt Lake city.
October 17—Prayers. I went in advance of the train until I came in sight of the famous and most beautiful city in the whole world, viz, Salt Lake city. I thought it was the most beautiful sight that I had ever seen. Before entering the city I sat down and wrote a brief letter of journey from Florence to Salt Lake city for publication in the Deseret News. When I had nearly completed it, the captain came up and passed on slowly. I hastened after him and gave him the letter. He took me up into his wagon and drove into the city near the public square, where we met the captain's brother, Daniel Miller and his son.